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Developing Online Games: Insiders Guide (Nrg-Programming) Paperback – 7 Mar 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (7 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592730000
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592730001
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 2.8 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,703,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

In her 16 years in the online gaming industry, Jessica Mulligan has been involved in the design, development, and/or post-launch management of more than 50 online games, including ADD: NeverWinter Nights on AOL, Descent Online, Anarchy Online, and Ultima Online. She is the co-author of Joint Strike Fighter Strategy Guide (Prima) and the author of the long-running industry column "Biting the Hand," now in its sixth year and found on Jessica was the co-founder of The Themis Group in 2001 and remains on the Board of Directors. She is currently a consultant in online game design, development, and management, living in Southern California.

Bridgette Patrovsky, a respected executive in the online services industry since 1988, was the founder and CEO of Access 24, the first attempt at melding the Internet with online services. She began her career in high technology in the mid-1980s, working with the executives and engineering staff at Everex Computers on the design of the world's first multiprocessor, fault-tolerant PCs. Bridgette was a founder of Interplay Online Services in 1994 (later Engage Games Online), she served as the CEO of online service pioneer GEnie in 1998, and she was a third-party producer for Sony Online's EverQuest during launch in 1999. Her consulting clients have included some of the biggest names in the industry, including Sierra Online, Paramount Studios, IDT, Origin Systems, Sony Online Entertainment, and Electronic Arts.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "razzleh" on 30 Jun 2003
Format: Paperback
Very, very good book. If you're developing an online game, or are thinking about developing one, you *must* read this book. It covers all aspects from design, to coding, to QA, to actually running the game itself - often making you think of issues you would never of thought about.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An excellent book for developers of PWs 8 April 2003
By Cemil Sinasi Turun - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is THE guide for those who are planning to start development on massively multiplayer online games or Persistent Worlds as the authors call them. Authors, with tons of their own experience from previous games and input from other producers prepared a very good guide for us the smaller crowd out there who are crazy enough to put effort and money behind a PW development.
The best thing about the book is that the authors sincerely shared their experience and problems. One would have thought that the golden gems might have been kept out of such books, but I frankly feel that this is not the case here. Kudos also, for they did not keep Korean examples out or at an arm's length like others in the field consistently do. They take the examples in Korea as real and share their valuable information with us. They also made a good point of mentioning that PW production is not game development but being in the service business big time.
They also made a long chapter on testing the PWs, which I guess is the real icing on the cake. They share with us information such as number of personnel needed to maintain the PWs or servicing the clients with volunteers, how to keep this volunteer army content etc. One might not be able to get this information for hundreds of thousands of dollars from consultants. I thank the authors for sharing the information so generously.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Real Inside Look at Massively Multiplayer Game Development 28 May 2003
By LarryinLA - Published on
Format: Paperback
In an industry still in its infancy, but with more of a history than most people realize, comes a couple of experienced pros to share their experiences and understanding of the phenomena of online games. This book is chock full of real numbers and real documents as well as anecdotal material to back it all up. Jessica and Bridgette give the floor to some well known designer/developers to let them share their experiences with us, too. And most of it is in Ms. Mulligan's slightly ascerbic but eternally hopeful-that-we'll-finally-get-it, wit that we have come to know and love in her Biting the Hand online games column. If you are about to spend several million dollars on one of these modern epics or have some part of the responsibility of getting one to market, you have to have this book right by your side all the way through the process. Great forward from Raph Korsten (Ultima Online, SWG), good stuff from Gordon Walton (Kesmai Games, EA, SOE), Jonathan Baron (XBox Online), Damion Schubert (Meridian59, Shadowbane), and several others. Looking forward to her next book in the series - how to manage one of these beasts!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Excellent! Somber, sober, and dead on 7 April 2003
By Jeffrey Thompson - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you are even "thinking" of writing an online game or MMOG/PW you should read this book. It will likely challenge your thoughts on design, production, development, and most importantly support. In fact this book should probably scare you into not making a PW, and that in and of itself may be worth the price of the book. If you read this book and still believe you and your team has what it takes to put a PW together, then you will be well armed with knowledge of the history, the successes, and lessons from the mistakes made time and time again in this market. I cannot recommend this book enough. It's not a cheerleeding book to make you feel good, its an honest book and there simply aren't enough of these.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Not for me, but understandably so 29 Sep 2003
By Antonio A. Rodriguez - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've always been curious as to what is the appeal of online games. It seems to be a thinly-veneered way of getting anti-social computer users to interact in a pseudo-social environment. My roommate is a big fan of Dark Ages of Camelot, and the devotion he places into playing the game on a regular basis confounds me.
I picked up this book to try and see what the key ingredients are that make some games flop and others flourish. I learned that it's service. Most computer games leave the publishers office, and are never dealt with again, except for patches and such. Online gaming requires a certain amount of devotion after publishing that many game publishing companies don't understand. A persistent world requires persistent staff, running servers, customer service, etc.
The book is excellent for developers; they will see the pitfalls and dedication they must place into a game during and after placing them on the retail shelves. I was more interested in the social aspects of gaming from the point of view of the player, and I wasn't that impressed with the book. If you use my review as a basis to purchase/not purchase this book, understand that I wasn't the target audience that this was directed to.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Good Read for all game developers 30 Mar 2005
By Ghada V - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book focuses on the elements necessary to develop a successful launch of an online game. In order to have the successful launch, the book looks at what needs to be considers in creating the game from the development team's point of view. The assumption is that you know how to code, you know what kind of game you want to create and you have the resources to create one. But this is the toolbox for the pre-launch, launch and the post-launch. It is an interesting look at the theories behind creating your game for longevity. The post launch is probably the most interesting phase from this point of view.

"It isn't your game, it's the player's game."

This has been written more for Persistent World Games as they need a community for them to thrive. There are chapters that look at how to build these communities and nurture them so they continue playing your (or is it their?) game. One chapter looks at the different players you will encounter that can help, hinder or downright sabotage the success of a game (the 3 broad groups are aptly called Barbarians, Tribesmen and Citizens).

This book is also worth a look for the Online Timeline starting in 1986 and the anecdotes from games that worked and games that didn't. You might chuckle a bit in remembrance of some of the events mentioned, like the first testing of Quake in 1995. If you are looking to develop a game that has a following, there are definitely some tips here worth knowing about.



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