Author Topic: Learning lessons from Earth and Beyond  (Read 863 times)


  • Stubborn as a
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Learning lessons from Earth and Beyond
« on: February 21, 2014, 09:31:54 PM »
I have emailed one of the lead developers that created the Earth and Beyond emulator that Little David made mention of in one of his posts.

I have asked if they could share any tips or anything at all that could help us moving forward. I mean lets look at what they did - they got EA to agree to let them run it! Who knows being an optimist maybe we could recruit programmers!

At the very least we could learn some lessons and maybe how to avoid pitfalls and delays.


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Re: Learning lessons from Earth and Beyond
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2014, 01:25:13 PM »
Technically, the E&B Emulator guys did pretty good.  I was overjoyed at the ability to play once more, especially since CoH had just been Shuttered.

  However, I hope that our Dev teams have a much more clear sense of direction.  I stopped playing the emulator because it appeared that the dev team were not clear internally on what exactly they wanted to do.  The players made QoL requests and were told either no, we can't do that, because that isn't how it worked back in the original game; or, we were told no, we can't do that because this isn't the original game anymore.  After awhile, those two responses got old.

  I don't really care if they went one way or the other, though in my opinion, they should move on to create new content and new mechanics, and learn from how it worked before, and not be hog-tied to the vision of the original.

Which brings me to our current projects.  The 3 projects will never, and can never be exactly like the old CoH.  Different code means different feel, and that's ok. Learn from what went before, but create new.  Sure, put in easter-eggs from the original, as it will put a smile on the faces of those players who remember. Just make sure the dev teams have a consistent plan internally.

umm /rant off



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Re: Learning lessons from Earth and Beyond
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2014, 03:49:09 PM »
I recieved a reply from the lead Dev at Earth and Beyond and a basic guide on what they did:

The answer to your question is that we had some data packets which were captured while the game was live, not a lot but several megabytes worth. We spent about a year cracking the encryption on those, this required an effort similar to folding@home / seti@home and other such initiatives of computers to try to crack that. This part sort of occurred separately amongst a lot of die hard fans from ebportal as well as us.
Once that was complete, we had two projects that got started, one based in Java and one in C++ known as 'Net-7' which has been what survived until today. Both made some major advances in the beginning making a single player version of the game, and eventually we were able to move up to a multiplayer version based on those packets and building the necessary structure for the server to support them.
That being said, I'm not going to lie to you, an emulator is a lot of hard work, especially for an MMOG of any kind. You're going to need a team of dedicated programmers who are into reviving your game and are willing to do the work for nothing. I think we did some math not long ago, we've spent 8 years on this, if I took the average salary people would make in the industry and applied it to the amount of time we've spent working, this project would rate about $26MM in total cost, fortunately everyone does it out of love and we don't have to pay those costs.

LUA is a scripting language for events, as to talk technical and give you realistic ideas, I would have had to know a little more about what made CoH tick, and unfortunately, having not played it, I don't.
I would say this though, I often see the phrase "I am not a programmer, but.." when getting new development offers or questions similar to your own in some way. No one is a programmer when they start, if you really love the game, learning a programming language is a small price to pay to make it come back.
I hope that helps your endeavor, but I would say the number of people you need depends on the timeframe you want to get it running and the assets you have going in your favor, such as the data packets we had.

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