Game Development Reference
subscription. A number of MMOs are now appearing with lower
subscription fees, to entice users who may decide that they won
t miss a
couple of dollars a month. Many users are also looking for games that
t require as much time and effort as a full-priced MMO, where they
can just log in for an hour every so often and have some fun without
worrying about spending lots of money each month on a game they are
not playing much.
n Micro transactions: Some games have subscriptions and micro transac-
tions, but a growing number of MMOs are being released free to play
with the ability to earn revenue from the micro transaction method.
Micro transactions give the game player the ability to pay a small
amount of money for a particular in-game item or advantage. An exam-
ple of this is in the PlayStation Home community system, where you can
pay for furniture, clothing, and even buildings for your in-game avatar.
Other games sell items such as more inventory or bank space to store
more in-game items or other beneficial items, including spell scrolls and
potions. The games can be played without purchasing the items, but are
enhanced when players do buy them.
n Donations : If you are making an MMO for fun or to show off your
game design skills, it is likely that you will not charge any fees for the
MMO. You are probably making a game in your spare time; you might
want to have some help in paying for any server equipment or other
small-scale costs. If you are working on a game that you are not going to
charge people for, a good way of helping finance your game is through
donations. You can add a simple link on your website asking for dona-
tions to help pay for the development of the game. The amount of
money you make from such donations won
t be much, but might help
pay something toward your ongoing costs.
Servers and Clients
To create an MMO, you will need two types of technology. The first is a client
PC. This could be a PC running Windows Vista or Windows 7, for example.
This is where the MMO software is installed and contains things such as
graphics that the players will see and the GUI (Graphic User Interface) that the