1) RPG? 2) MMORPG?

I'm talking more about good content here.

Update: Because it is said here that volume of information is low in my question, and because there was too much to say, I created an extension question

closed as not a real question by Tetrad Nov 16 '10 at 17:59

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  • 2
    There's not enough information here - there's always a tradeoff between time, money, and people involved when trying to achieve a certain quality. With unlimited time, one skilled person can make a fine RPG; if they can find free hosting, the same for an MMORPG. What kind of schedule are you dealing with and how much money do you have, as well as defining "good content", are necessary to answer the question. – user744 Nov 15 '10 at 11:16
  • Related: gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/90/… – Tetrad Nov 15 '10 at 19:01
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Well Warhammer Online was made by somewhere between 300 and 400 people depending on who you ask and it is slowly tanking. Kingdom of Loathing has a dev team of about 4 or 5 and is awesome. Are either of those numbers useful? Not in the slightest.

100+ people for our project http://allods.com/ . It was really hard to gather so many high skilled people together in one place.

Well, what makes a good RPG/MMORPG?

Personally I have enjoyed Torchlight a lot (single player action RPG) and it was created by a rather small team of roughly 26 people.

If you look at a game like World of Warcraft, the numbers are entirely different though.

  • Definitely, the difference between an offline RPG and an MMORPG is vast. An offline RPG can be fairly simple tech-wise, but building a scalable MMO is one of the toughest engineering tasks in game development. And as far as content creation goes - with an offline RPG, you need tens or low hundreds of hours of gameplay. With an MMO, people will expect to play for tens or hundreds of days!... – bluescrn Nov 15 '10 at 19:02
  • You're right, but unspecific questions usually get unspecific answers. Also: MMORPG or RPG alone doesn't say much about content or hours of gameplay (let alone fun). Sure, MMORPGs usually tend to be way more complex and content-rich than offline games but the opposite can just as well be the case. – bummzack Nov 15 '10 at 22:38
  • Indeed, MMO means massively multiplayer. It doesn't necessarilly mean masses of content. Imagine if you took the levelling areas and quests out of WoW and made it just a dungeon-crawling game - you could do away without about 80% of the content. – U62 Nov 16 '10 at 13:32

You don't have nearly enough information.

Is it 2D or 3D? How much character customization? How many creatures? How many textures? How much music/sound? How big is the world?

I could go on forever with thousands of questions you need to ask yourself before you can even attempt to figure out how many people it will take. Short answer is; anywhere from 1 to 1000 people.

We've made our MMORPG game in team of few friends, less than 10 people ( http://www.margonem.pl ): only 2 programmers, few artist and some content creators. But you need to consider 2 main things: time and cost. With good team, lot of money and time you can beat 10 times bigger teams with no funds. Smaller teams are also easier to maintain.

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    Also good bets were going 2d and using tiles for level creation. They dramatically reduce the cost of content creation! – drxzcl Nov 16 '10 at 14:51

I think it depends on the scale of your MMORPG, and the level of graphical and control fidelity you expect. The smallest "AAA" MMO team I can remember was at EA and about 80 people, but it flopped. On the other hand, Puzzle Pirates succeeded (in its modest way) with about a dozen developers.

In general I suspect the number of backend engineers you need grows logarithmically with the number of expected users.

RuneScape Classic: two brothers (Paul and Andrew Gower) and a couple years. Very inspiring, if nothing else; of course, nowadays the current RuneScape game is managed by a large staff of which I could not find a number.

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