updated: March 15, 2015
updated: March 15, 2015
Lost Raven MMO textmode game-server beta realm!
(Linux/OS X command line: telnet textMMOde.com 23)
(or, from the Windows GUI, you can use puTTY's telnet mode to connect to textMMOde.com port 23)
News: March 15, 2015We have a name! In case you didn't notice above, the MMO is as of now officially known as the Lost Raven MMO!
I've dropped all of my other projects and am only two weeks away from working on the Lost Raven MMO full time. As many of you already know, the server is now feature-complete and playable via telnet. Only one major game feature is missing; the ability to seamlessly jump from one galaxy (realm) to another. Most of that feature will have to be implemented in the client -- so it can't be made available in text mode.
News: March 10, 2015
The bot game just rolled over 2^32 game transactions on March 10th!
Stats: #plrs:121 Tx:4295883929 busy:36% TPM:106672
Hello, Colonist! I'm sorry if you were misled by the gloriously habitable planet stories that no doubt led you here. Sadly, the planet doesn't seem to exist. Or, maybe we've been unlucky and just haven't found it yet. But, anyway, we can always use a few more humans out here. So, Welcome! I hope you brought plenty of supplies...
Welcome to the Lost Raven MMO.
So, what is it? It's a beta-test version of the complete server engine for an upcoming sandbox mmo. The main thing missing is the graphical client, but the game is already completely playable in text mode using a telnet client. That lets us play-test the game server before the game client is in a usable state. The system hosting this game server is configured to support a single-galaxy game large enough for several hundred concurrent players and has been tested to handle 1600 game transactions per second.
I'm currently building the ship models. Here are shots of two of the designs:
A brief overview of the game...
This is a "low-intensity" PVP space-based mmo game. It's not about fighting all the time. The PVP is 99%+ military preparation, plotting, espionage, and even politics; with actual PVP battles infrequent. As the great military strategist, Sun Tzu, said; "Every battle is either won or lost before the fighting even begins." You'll come to see that Sun Tzu's advice holds true in space as well.
No hostile NPC's, no high-security sectors
It's ALL 'null-sec', as they say in some other game. There is no 'high security' space. There ARE sectors with neutral drones that will react to any open-space ship attacks. But neutral drones provide very limited protection. Not only can they be killed by other players, they can also be easily recruited into the fleets of the would-be attackers. They're neutral and can be 'salvaged' by reprogramming and repainting, and thereby returned to working condition -- as new units of any player's fleet. When hiding under neutrals, don't ignore this possibility -- that they can be cheaply drafted by a completely pennyless player who happens to already have more drones than the neutral fleet. That is, a player can simply sell enough of his drones to raise the cash to salvage the neutrals -- far cheaper than killing them.
Lastly, there are Alien ships throughout the galaxy. They are easy to identify since they have unusual names that start and end with special characters (-,~,+,*), unlike player names which always start with a letter. Aliens will not deliberately provoke or attack you. However, they do drop cash loot when killed, just like players. Also like players, they must be at or above your own level in order for you to be awarded honor, XP, and loot when you destroy one.
New player protections
Each new player starts out with a 90% stealth rating. This makes it very hard to see, target, and attack them. This stealth benefits small ships as well as new players. If you use up all of your forces in battle, you reacquire your original 90% stealth rating.
The more forces you accumulate, the less effective this natural stealth (ship cloaking) becomes. You can offset that decline in stealth by equipping your starship with stealth panels. and always retain a high level of stealth, regardless of wealth. Or, you can choose to invest in...
Other Ship Enhancing Devices
You can buy devices that increase your effectiveness in battle. Or, you can buy equipment that lets you move ports -- and even planets -- from one starsystem to another. There are also devices that partially offset stealth and let you attack stealthed starships more effectively. Each time you level up, you become eligible to install an additional device, up to the level cap of 20.
But you must carefully consider the mix of devices that you install on your starship. Once you attach a device to your ship, it cannot be removed. Well, not without cracking the entire hull and destroying everything inside. And that would be very expensive. If, Heaven forbid, your starship were to be destroyed, you would only lose the installed equipment and the microbots and drones actually onboard. Your starbases, bunkers, and deployed drones throughout the Universe would be unaffected.
A few pointers
Here are a few quick tips on the mechanics of being a commodity trader in deep space:
That's about all I can tell you about surviving here. Use the ? command on your starship console to display the operational capabilities of your ship.
You look like a sharp kid. I'm sure *cough* you'll do just fine.
This realm hosts a complete galaxy and is free-to-play. You can play up to 4 characters. There is no intrusive registration; just pick a name and password and start to play.
The persistent telnet game runs on port 23. That game is intended to be permanent and always available via telnet, barring some major problem causing a game reset.
In addition to the work on ship models, quite a few other game objects are in development. Here are three untextured device models; a machine shop, a smelter, and a distillery...
...and my first attempt at planets...
History...Below is the only remaining digital screenshot that I have from Starship Traders (SST), the main ancestor of the new game. The visible objects are:
There were no pre-built art assets in the game; all of this was dynamically generated by the OpenGL-based client at a scalding 15.3 frames per second on some primitive piece of hardware, as we can see in the bottom right corner. This was circa 2001, I believe.
Ancient History...Starship Traders was based on The Last Resort (1999). TLR, in turn, was based on Tsarwars, a complete rewrite of SST which came online in 1996 as the first networked variant. Tsarwars was modelled on a stand-alone bulletin board game named Czarwars (1986).
Czarwars was inspired by Trade Wars 2, Risk, and Star Trader, and it was the first game in my series.
After Starship Traders came Space Tyrant (2005) and Currency Traders (written in 2011 but never released). Space Tyrant was built as a completely new software architecture designed to be massively multiplayer and was the first complete rewrite since Tsarwars. Czarwars was written in an early version of Microsoft's QuickBASIC. All of the successors were written in C.
Back to the present...The new one, the Lost Raven MMO, is based on the code of Currency Traders. The MMO has been loosely planned since the redesign in 2005 and the MMO server has been under active development for over a year.
The decisions to use Blender and the Godot Game Engine were made in late February and work on the art assets began immediately thereafter.
I will soon be released from my system administration responsibilities and I will begin working full time on the MMO begining April 2nd, 2015.