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Old 07-22-2011, 08:25 AM
Administrator Administrator is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 161

Hello glitch,

We do not charge you on a per player basis. You don't have to charge your players to play. You can make your game entirely free if you want.

I'm not sure where you got the notion we are charging you per person. We have never stated this, and it's definitely not mentioned anywhere in the forums. Whoever told you this is wrong.

There are indeed royalties on all the payment plugins where we automatically shave a percentage of the earnings to pay off our expenses so if that's what you're referring to: you control the price and subscription amounts. Our prices and royalties are constant, predictable and always fair. We prosper when you prosper. You don't have to charge any subscriptions if you don't want to; again, your game can be entirely 100% free. However, the royalties exist so we can provide you cost savings (e.g. Adobe Flash will cost you $699 USD, we charge $37 USD for the beta access), but you don't pay a single dollar in royalties unless you made a sale.

Our servers go for a monthly fee. Currently, we're planning for servers to start at just $4.95 USD/month. A decent server will cost you $25.99 USD/month, and this "mid-tier" plan should be more than enough for most amateur MMORPG games.

Any job (even the minimum wage jobs in the USA) will provide enough to handily cover these fees. If you're concerned about profit margins due to royalties, consider contacting us about our licensing deal for game studios I previously mentioned. We let these licensees run their own independent servers as well. Otherwise, we don't charge anything until you make a sale, and you will always hit a positive net profit even after automatic, worry-free royalty payments.

In order to put the costs in perspective, you need to know how much it takes to run an MMORPG with proper, stable infrastructure. You also further need to put things into perspective and realize MMORPG Maker XB is the first download-free web MMORPG engine - and we have patents pending to halt competition. The web as a distribution platform is superior to the desktop in every way; therefore, in most cases, you should expect more and faster growth.

I hope you weren't thinking of running a home server, but just in case you were, here it goes (and this may get technical):

Yes, there are competing offerings that offer a home server, but they've never built a real MMORPG or scaled anything significant.

If you want to compare offers, ask them what DBMS they are using to power their/your back-end. Chances are they aren't using one. So are they re-inventing the wheel? Are they delivering an inferior, unscalable product? Or do they have the resources of Google and built a BigTable on top of a GFS?

Are they using MySQL? Memcached? Redis? Oracle? Cassandra? SQL? NoSQL? Have they even heard these terms before? If they're using one of these, ask them why they chose to. If they can't explain why, they don't know the first thing about scalability.

Can you run the database on a different, separate dedicated server? Do they use a message queue? Or are they just arbitrarily blasting data to these servers? If there's a message queue, which one? Microsoft? RabbitMQ? 0MQ?

Where does their security logic sit? Do they have any security logic? Is it up to the user/developer? How well abstracted is it? What were their design principles for their security architecture? Do they know how to secure an MMORPG? I'm not talking about securing TCP/IP or UDP communications - that should be a given; I'm referring specifically to MMORPG game security. Security checks can be CPU intensive; how are they handling that?

Which parts of their design are blocking? Is there a good reason for doing so? Are they familiar with asynchronous design patterns? Do they have a protocol for testing race conditions or a set of best practices to mitigate them?

Are they load balancing? Can you load balance? Is there a single point of failure?

Do they have high performance server software? Was it built with scalability in mind? Was it built using an interpreted language? An interpreted language would be something like PHP, Visual Basic, etc. It's too slow for MMORPG servers. Is it compiled? Statically compiled or JIT compiled? Method JIT? What does it compile to? MSIL/CIL? Machine code? Are they statically linking? Dynamically linking? Why? Do they have at least a rudimentary understanding of how the compiler works?

Unlike scaling standard web systems, scaling an MMORPG requires strong front-end development skills (mainly in game programming) and an in-depth knowledge of how the specific game operates. There are back-end specialists; there are front-end specialists; however, being able to combine and excel in both in an MMORPG environment, one of the most difficult areas of programming, is a very rare and highly specialized skill which would be very expensive to contract or hire.

This only scratches the surface of the programming side of things. I can go on and on. The benefit of having us host the servers is that you don't have to worry about ANY of the above - we set it up and we maintain it; it doesn't get any easier than that and simplification for non-professional developers is our goal. Anyway, you (or they) also need to think about the business and economic side of things:

How much does the server cost to deploy? What are the fixed costs? What are the variable costs? How are they working to provide you cost savings? From a business perspective? From a technical perspective?

Do they have a contingency plan? Are they taking advantage of economies of scale? Do they have a plan for that? Does it equate to cost savings passed on to the end user? Do they have a monitoring system? How do they respond during an outage? If their answer is to reboot the systems, they don't know what they're doing.

At the very least, it should give you an idea of what we're thinking about and how much detail we go into during actual organized planning. Our competitive analyses show our competitors have not thought things through on a business or even technical level, and the vast majority of them have zero years of professional development experience and no knowledge of scalability. Can you really trust your mission-critical applications and back-end software to that - especially when our prices start at $4.95 USD/month?