Is jME the engine for me?

Hello,



Sorry if I misplaced the post, could not find any other suitable category.



I have a 'little' question about jME: is it the engine for me?





First the background story:

We are a small 'team' of gaming enthusiasts with plenty of IT experience but not in gaming as developers.

I came up with a new MMO game concept, talked it through, searched for similar existing games (spent much time doing this) and came to the conclusion it's worth investing some time and money for at least a prototype.



Problem is, as stated, we do not have experience with game development. We're on the lookout for programmers, but we must first decide on an engine so we can specify desired skill set for the people we call in.



We first focused on Ogre / Irrlicht, but they have no networking capability. Since we have no actual headquarters we must work from home and no network capability might just be a blocker. Please correct me if I'm wrong here.



What we need from an engine:

  • 2D/3D capability (viewpoint not decided yet but will be most likely isometric)
  • networking
  • scripting
  • extensive customization ('dynamic' is our motto)
  • compatible with Blender (not a must but a big plus)



    Basically we need: dynamic territorial control, dynamic landscape, dynamic hierarchy, ever-evolving world (technology-wise, via a variant of user-created content). Kind of like EVE but a bit more complex. Oh and AI is most important :slight_smile:



    Many thanks in advance!

Many people who start using jME have no experience with game development, but rather an expressed interest.  Java experience is definitely a requirement though.  The needed level to be effective with the engine is a number that's impossible to nail down, but understanding OOP concepts is at least the base line.  From there, some underpinnings of the engine are complex but that is more an understanding of OpenGL, Linear Algebra, etc. (This knowledge is not needed to just use the engine, however)


Rhadiel said:

What we need from an engine:
- 2D/3D capability (viewpoint not decided yet but will be most likely isometric)


Both jME2 and jME3 have this.  Most engines should :)

Rhadiel said:

- networking


JGN (Java Game Networking) was written by someone who has a big part of jME some time back and contributed some important components to the engine.  It is a tested system and has been recently invigorated by a new developer.

Rhadiel said:

- scripting


Right now, this is 'implement it yourself' functionality.  jME is still very much a developer's engine, much of the traditional designer interaction gets less concentration than the actual functionality of the engine.  This is, however, beginning a slow change, and jMonkeyPlatform is a big step in this direction.

Rhadiel said:

- extensive customization ('dynamic' is our motto)


We're open source...  There's nothing you can't change.

Rhadiel said:

- compatible with Blender (not a must but a big plus)


Both engine and community support for blender are very strong.  For jME2, there is a specific tool written for use with Blender

BlenderJME Tutorial (3 Parts)

Also very popular is exporting OgreXML from any modeling tool and importing it into jME2 or jME3

Rhadiel said:


Basically we need: dynamic territorial control, dynamic landscape, dynamic hierarchy, ever-evolving world (technology-wise, via a variant of user-created content). Kind of like EVE but a bit more complex. Oh and AI is most important :)


Ambitious!  Answer, these are possible with jME.  AI is something that you'd implement yourself depending on your requirements but there are many on here who have worked with path-finding routines and seem to enjoy discussing the subject.


Hope this helps!
Rhadiel said:
Basically we need: dynamic territorial control, dynamic landscape, dynamic hierarchy, ever-evolving world (technology-wise, via a variant of user-created content). Kind of like EVE but a bit more complex. Oh and AI is most important :)
Like Skye hinted, these are features you'd have to make yourself, but jME might make it easier for you to tie them together. You don't want to get in over your head, so unless you're prepared to drastically extend the engine to your needs, a project of this size can't go places.

It is definitely possible though. Nordgame and Poisonville are both testaments to that.

You might also want to check this out:
http://www.jmonkeyengine.com/forum/index.php?topic=13126.0

A big Thank You for the kind and detailed replies!



We're now confident jME is our best choice :slight_smile:  



As for the project being complex, well… we're first aiming for a proof of concept but I reckon there's no need to change engines after poc is done, if jME can handle our funky ideas



Regards,



/R.


why do you want to create an MMO?, it costs lots and lots of money to get an mmo into any kind of working state!

danielrhodea said:

why do you want to create an MMO?, it costs lots and lots of money to get an mmo into any kind of working state!
Believe me, I've had my share of rants about this topic too, on this forum and others. Bottom line is, you're much more likely to start an argument than change any one's mind. At least by adopting a proof-of-concept approach, they leave themselves open to many options. Once the POC is done, they'll have a fair idea of the kind of scope they're really talking about here, at which point they can either take some of their code and all of their new-found knowledge and start anew, they could drastically down-scope, they stick with it and pitch to a publisher to acquire the necessary manpower, or another of many more options.
danielrhodea said:

why do you want to create an MMO?, it costs lots and lots of money to get an mmo into any kind of working state!


First thing that comes to my mind is 'challenge'. Second would be 'seeing our idea come to life'.

As erlend put it, once the poc is done, we'll have a clearer view - or overview - about where we're standing and where to go next. Being our first project, we're not constrained by any outside shareholders and thus we're free to explore this strange new territory called game development :)