Framework Merchant Empires :: End-User FAQ


This information is for end-users that are looking for the latest and greatest in online gaming. If you are a developer, you may be more interested in the Developer FAQ instead.

Where can I sign up and play?
This is not actually a game that you can play, yet. This is a back-end for which developers can write their own front-end from.

Whoa, whoa. I'm not a coder, I just want to play...
Me too! We have something in common. In fact, I can't WAIT to play a game created using this framework. The unfortunate thing is that one does not yet exist. There is some work being done on a client (game, for this case) and it's actually coming along nicely, but they don't expect a release until second quarter of 2007.

So I wasted my time reading two paragraphs for nothing?
Depends on how you look at it. If you came here just to find a game that you can unzip on your XP Home box and ploop it out on the world with 256k upstream, then yes you will be disappointed. On the other hand, if you have to write an MLA-format essay on some obscure coding issue, then my class for handling hex navigation will knock some socks off.

Ok ok, but what can I do to speed along the game development?
Well, you can design a solid trade or combat system that a developer can hopefully turn into a plugin. Not only will you contribute towards the project, but you'll get credit for the work when everything goes well (usually equates to "blame" in the gaming world).

Do you have some tips for a design paper?
Yep! Open up your favorite word processor and make yourself three files. The first file will have a list of one-sentence rules, numbered from 1.0 to 99999.99999, but basically just in the form category.topic. Write yourself a bunch of rules that a trade OR combat system would have to follow:

    1.1 You cannot shoot noobies in protected solar systems.
    1.2 Noobies can shoot other noobies anywhere.
    4.1 Using an atrocious weapon gives you negative honor points.

In your second file, copy the rules down and add one-two paragraphs to each one explaining why you want to do it that way, or what other rules should be referenced, or what exceptions are made. The important thing in paper two is that a person should know exactly what your rule means by the time they finish reading your flesh out.

On paper three, copy the rules down and leave blank spaces for implementation notes. Zip the whole thing up and find yourself a coder. Be ready for an immediate rejection followed by 5-20 revisions before your paper becomes a model.

DO NOT be afraid to include pictures (paintbrush rocks) of how stuff works and reference them from paper 2. Good luck!

Sounds like alot of work...
That's the thing about producing a damn good game to play. There is alot of work involved. As much code as I have written in the last 15 years, my "that's alot of work" sympathy has been long exhausted. The opposite of lots of work is lots of effort followed by small bits of achievement.

This faq will be continued as soon as I get some more FAQs in my inbox.