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What I don't need is an MMORPG engine, at the moment.

What I do need is a flexible easy-to-use engine that I can make a mock-up with. I don't need support for more than 10 players in an instance, so any multiplayer platform is probably fine.

I need an engine with which I can create the following core features:

  • Waves of simple AI enemies that have specific objectives (move to point A, destroy target, move to point B). The units present can be between 50-200 in number.
  • An over-the-shoulder view and the ability to control a team of 3 (like Mass Effect or the latest Dragon Age)
  • Functioning inventory system

Right now, all I can really think of is Unreal or Source. Any other suggestions? Again, this is a proving mock-up, not an actual MMO.

I'm not terribly worried about the visual aspects as we just want to test mechanics.

Note: Can write some scripts in Python, Ruby, or Lua, if necessary.

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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I know you said you don't want a full-fledged MMORPG, but I can't think of something that will fit your bill without being big...

Here is a modern MMORPG, open sourced, including assets: Ryzom. It should provide a good starting point for any open world multiplayer game.

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Wow @_@. I had no idea that Ryzom went open source!! That could be an excellent place to muck around as a proving ground. –  Kayle Apr 20 '11 at 17:42
    
It was the aim from the start of the Ryzom project, it took a lot longer than hoped for, but here it is now. The FSF is rightly delighted with this ;) –  jv42 Apr 21 '11 at 8:47
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Unity - It will allow you quickly prototype what you're after. It has networking support, you can add flexible scripts to it to create your gameplay mechanics and it's got a lot of support and resources.

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"Quickly" is very relative though. –  Ricket Apr 20 '11 at 0:00
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Also, although the original poster said he could write scripts in Python, Ruby, or Lua, Unity offers C#, Boo, or Javascript! –  Kylotan Apr 20 '11 at 11:05
    
@Ricket I completely agree. But there is a steeper learning curve to the OP's original thoughts with Unreal and Source. @Kylotan I did notice that, but again with Unreal using UnrealScript and Source using C++ (?) I made the assumption that the poster wanted to learn. To be completely honest, this was a lazy answer since I'm getting a little flustered with the amount of "What engine...?" questions on the site. Yeah, they may be for different intents and purposes, but essentially most are answered with Unity, it's just a matter of who answers it first. –  Ray Dey Apr 20 '11 at 14:38
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Your best bet is probably to mod an existing game. Some people are even modding Starcraft 2 to an MMO, but that looks like a lot more work than modding a game that already has some RPG features.

There's an active modding community for Diablo 2, so this might be a starting point?

I'm making this answer CW, because I'm not a modding expert and somebody might add some better suggestions for easy moddable RPGs or MMOs.

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That was also my reasoning behind Source and Unreal. I probably would start as a HL2 mod or something, as opposed to a from-scratch project just for mock purposes. Thanks for the suggestion! Diablo does have a fair bit of interesting features that are conducive to this project. –  Kayle Apr 20 '11 at 17:44
    
If you are thinking of using Source you should take a look at garry's mod. –  Simurr Apr 20 '11 at 19:02
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About the only thing that will be this high-level is a tool like RPGMaker. Honestly if you just want to test it, mock something out in a top-down view using blue and red boxes or something.

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I don't believe RPGmaker is capable of this sort of simulation. Thanks for the suggestion though. –  Kayle Apr 19 '11 at 22:19
    
Yeah, it would be a stretch at best. I think you are just going to have to write something yourself. You could also go the other direction, mock it up with index cards and dice or similar. –  coderanger Apr 19 '11 at 23:28
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