MMOs Capability on the DS

Discussion in 'NDS - Emulation and Homebrew' started by Morgawr, Jan 19, 2009.

Jan 19, 2009

MMOs Capability on the DS by Morgawr at 2:19 PM (2,370 Views / 0 Likes) 28 replies

  1. Morgawr
    OP

    Member Morgawr GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    330
    Country:
    Italy
    Hello everyone, a friend and I were talking about this today at school... He kept asking me why it's not possible to realize a MMO(RPG) for the DS and I kept saying that "people on the internet" said the DS doesn't have enough memory or stuff but he kept asking me questions why and I wasn't able to answer them... so I'm asking you this:

    WHY can't the DS run an MMO? What are its limitations? Where does it crash? I mean, there must be something that the DS isn't able to do since everyone is saying that it CAN'T run an MMO on it...


    Also I was wondering, since the other MMORPG from Clintorion is running fine (even though a bit choppy but I'm not blaming the creator, it's awesome!) on a browser through javascript, why it's not possible to port it on a REAL DS? Like making a .nds file and everything...



    ps: I'm talking about client-side mmo(rpg), the server would be obviously located into a pc (or a more powerful machine anyways)...
     


  2. sleight

    Newcomer sleight Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    73
    Country:
    Germany
    Once i asked the same questions on retail nintendo forums but there wasn't any clear answer..

    but I remember that someone said sth about wifi transfer...

    actually it would be possible to make an mmo(Clintorion has proven that)
    but nobody is interested in that job.
    Maple Story was planed for the DS too and it's still not out..

    A MMORPG could work the following way...
    -Graphical ressouces shold be on the cartridge
    -same about calculations
    -wifi is for the interactions

    but it's just a theory
     
  3. Morgawr
    OP

    Member Morgawr GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    330
    Country:
    Italy
    Though maplestory was planned for the DS, it was never intended as a real MMORPG.. it was supposed to be something of the likes of Ragnarok Online DS, which isn't a mmorpg, it just has co-op mode with 3 people max...
     
  4. thedicemaster

    Member thedicemaster GBAtemp Addict

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,412
    Country:
    Netherlands
    it's certainly possible to make an mmorpg for the DS.
    the problem is, the DS can handle only limited wifi communication, and a limited amount of on-screen objects*.
    the reason the browser based mmorpg works is because it's roughly 99% serverside processing, contains at most 5-6 objects*, and is quite slow.

    any commercial mmorpg for the DS would have to constantly send/recieve the locations of all characters on screen, as well as their actions.
    on top of that it would have to process the graphics for all the characters on screen which can be quite a lot on conventional mmorpg's(can lead to easily 100 on some mmorpg's)

    the only way a commercial DS mmorpg would work is a room/dungeon based one like bots or lunia(this is actually already done locally for FFCC and soma bringer)



    *objects isn't the buttons, characters, and obstacles you see in this case, but the amount of actual coded objects which handle your input
    the mini browser mmorpg's main screen consists out of only 1 or 2 objects, an image loaded from the server containing graphics representing the current situation in the game and possibly an object that sends your mouse coordinates to the server whenever you tap somewhere.(some behind-the-scenes objects may exist too to make sure you can login and stay logged in)
     
  5. Morgawr
    OP

    Member Morgawr GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    330
    Country:
    Italy
    I was thinking more on the likes of an MMORPG Maplestoryish styled (as in 2d vertical/horizontal scrolling) with a random generated encounter battle style (a-la final fantasy) for client side battles (outside of the wi-fi environment) where then you just have to send in the results of said actions to the server and await for the response (the battle is all client side, you just ask the server for drops and send in eventual level up - status change modifications)

    Would that be possible?

    What would be more manageable for the DS? A totally client side action with just very few wi-fi communication with the server (just update where characters are, no monsters in the map for the server to handle) or a totally server side calculation (like monsters spawning place, characters interaction and stuff like that) with very few client side management (like.. only graphics and GUI )?
     
  6. Narin

    Former Staff Narin The Cheat Master, kupo!

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,624
    Country:
    United States
    The Nintendo DS has limited processing power due to its low RAM and processors. The Nintendo DS only has 4 Megabytes of RAM and one 67 MHz ARM946E-S and one 33 MHz ARM7TDMI processor. Most if not all cellphones on the market right now have more RAM and better processors than the Nintendo DS. The problem is, the processors handle everything from processing and displaying the pixels and images on both of the screen, processing all the game code and routines the game requires as well as handling and processing the wifi data.

    The problem is, the Nintendo DS is limited to the number of players and objects that can display on the screen, this limitation increases the more resources the game uses such as 3D graphics and the such. Even now with official Nintendo DS games that have up to four players playing together over wifi, theres times you can see noticeable lag from the wifi connection. The Nintendo DS is fairly limited when it comes to wifi speeds, depending on how performance heavy the game is, the Nintendo DS is only capable of10-100 KBs where the average being 5-30 KBs, especially with homebrew.

    Also due to the Nintendo DS's limited hardware and that the game has to compete with with resources from Gameplay and graphics to Wifi, the Nintendo DS tends to have high latency. This can be seen in many Nintendo DS games now with wifi like PSO and such where you may be attacking a monster and another player may be attacking the same monster but they are halfway across the screen due to latency causing the game not handling the player's and creature's positions correctly.

    While an MMO for the Nintendo DS is technically possible, its simply not feasable. At most, you can only have around a handful of people on the screen at a times or the latency gets to the point where you get disconnected from the server. This includes handling players, monsters, server side objects, item drops and so on with each object on the screen that needs to be synchronized between all the players. So all in all, there most likely won't be a MMO for the Nintendo DS.
     
  7. DanTheManMS

    Member DanTheManMS aka Ricochet Otter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    4,325
    Location:
    Georgia
    Country:
    United States
    There's also the sheer difficulty of developing an MMORPG in the first place. Every new game developer immediately wants to jump into making an RPG, but eventually they realize just how much work it is and give up (usually). Adding the online functionality to the mix just makes it that much harder.
     
  8. Morgawr
    OP

    Member Morgawr GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    330
    Country:
    Italy
    but what if I send the information needed just to display the position of other characters from the server to the client (like... just an x and a y variable)... and everything else is handled by the client itself, like as I said fighting random battles on the field (generated from the client) and making that battling character unable to interact with the other wi-fi characters (like it's displayed with a symbol on its head) because he's fighting a CLIENT-SIDE handled battle... and like.. just get small areas of maps (like maplestory for example, or smaller ragnarok online maps) and when a character enters it just downloads its stats and equips and stores them in the ram or something... so it won't need to ask to the server anything again... I know it's a bit confused, but just trying to keep the wi-fi connection at a minimum....
    After all I've played some FPS (CoD-WaW) online with no lag at all in a 2v2 fight... and that takes up more resources from the DS.. but maybe less wi-fi communication..? don't know

    ps: also there could be like chat-reserved areas where people can chat, and not everywhere in the world, since it would lag the packet flow from the server...

    EDIT: DanTheManMS: I know man >.< I'm one of those day-dreamer that want to program an mmorpg but I know how hard it is, I've been working on a (mental) project for quite a while (like 5-6 years) but nothing concrete since I still have lots of way to go before trying to attempt making one... though I just wanted to share my ideas in case some enlightened one tries this out [​IMG]
     
  9. Canonbeat234

    Member Canonbeat234 Redeemed Temper

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,278
    Country:
    Japan
    I agree with Narin as far as what he typed. That's like saying why isn't there a MMORPG for the PSP? What I mean by this, I don't mean going on the internet from the handheld to play an MMORPG. Why isn't there a game that's base on MMORPG for the PSP? Even though the PSP is slightly more powerful than the DS, the sales of the PSP won't increase if some gaming company make a MMORPG for it.
     
  10. Morgawr
    OP

    Member Morgawr GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    330
    Country:
    Italy

    if we want to think that way then yeah, it'd be useless playing an MMORPG on a nintendo DS (since you must be near an access point) since it'd be faster and easier and better with a computer.... but mine was just speculation, I just wanted to know the many reasons why everyone always said mmorpgs are nearly impossible to be played on the DS.. [​IMG]

    and yeah, I agree that Narin basically said a relevant point due to the limitation of the DS...
     
  11. Beware

    Member Beware GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    991
    Country:
    United States
    The answer is VERY simply and has little to nothing to do with the DSs graphical limitations.

    The biggest issues are VERY simple:

    The fact is, the DSs wifi card is mediocre at best. It simply can't handle the kind of speeds that would be required for that sort of thing.

    And also, battery life with wifi on SUCKS. That is the single biggest issue and is the reason a commercial MMORPG will likely never get released on ANY portable console. What's the point of an MMORPG you can only play for a VERY short time?
     
  12. Morgawr
    OP

    Member Morgawr GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    330
    Country:
    Italy
    beware (lol, pun)! I never said commercial.. everyone don't jump to conclusions [​IMG]
     
  13. Beware

    Member Beware GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    991
    Country:
    United States
    My points still stand, regardless of it being commercial or not. I was just making a point to explain why no commercial developer has given it a shot. The same issues exist if it's a homebrew game.
     
  14. Taza

    Member Taza GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Messages:
    257
    Country:
    Finland
    You can make a MMORPG for the DS, there's absolutely nothing stopping you or any developer. The DS would work fine for a MMORPG.

    The problem is that you couldn't make a very complex MMORPG graphically and the latency would be horrible. It'd resemble more the MUDs of the past with tiles than modern MMORPGs.

    tl;dr: It's possible, but not worth it.
     
  15. IzzehO

    Member IzzehO GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    300
    Country:
    Australia
    I still think we need a Playerworlds port. Hell it runs at around 5-6 mb of memory and CPU usage is non existant on my computer. Simple 2D sprites moving in a 16x16 grid (saves alot on the x,y issues).

    The main problem, and I can't believe no one has truly hit it on the head, is that no developer is going to make a game that is primarily (or entirely) multiplayer, as this cuts out 95% of their market (if not more considering people who buy DS games are of the more casual game players)....

    It can be done very easily with a bit of ingenuity. But it won't be for the reason of one simple word, that it all comes back to:

    ---==MONEY==---
     
  16. Morgawr
    OP

    Member Morgawr GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    330
    Country:
    Italy
    exactly.. I completely agree with you.. but with that thought people just start BELIEVING there is no possibility to make a mmorpg on the DS, so everybody stops asking and a whole branch of programming possibilities disappear [​IMG]
     
  17. DanTheManMS

    Member DanTheManMS aka Ricochet Otter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    4,325
    Location:
    Georgia
    Country:
    United States
    Wait what? It's been a while since I used Playerworlds, but I distinctly remember it taking up 100% of my CPU and a good chunk of RAM (>50 MB) when I played it. Now granted, my computer is 5 years old, and perhaps the particular game I was using had memory leaks or used a less efficient version of Playerworlds, but I seriously don't remember it being as lean a program as you're describing.
     
  18. JDandy

    Member JDandy GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Messages:
    299
    Country:
    Netherlands
    Why is it that every now and then someone feels pressed to ask about whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy there are no DS MMO's?
    It's been talked about, and points have been raised. Use the search button.
     
  19. Morgawr
    OP

    Member Morgawr GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    330
    Country:
    Italy
    why is it that whenever somebody asks if it's possible to make an mmo on the DS there are ALWAYS people bashing it saying "NO BAWWING, IT'S NOT POSSIBLE LOL" without any reason at all? That is what I wanted to know, I wasn't complaining or requesting anyone to make an mmorpg, I was just curious because lots of people take it as a fact: You CANNOT make an MMORPG on the DS (though somebody just made it a couple of days ago) and the thing just didn't sound right to me.

    That's why I requested a more detailed description to the DS limitations regarding this matter. I did search and read some other threads but most of them were just people saying "lol I wan make a mmorpg, pls hao do i do it? plssss" and crap like that where only a few posts pointed to a vague explanations of the DS limitation.

    Before complaining on a topic, try to read it and see that this topic isn't full of idiots bawwing but I just wanted to see in detail the different limitations the DS has to face when programming a videogame. Thanks and have a good day.
     
  20. IzzehO

    Member IzzehO GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    300
    Country:
    Australia
    Yeah your right... the initial playerworlds engine was a hunk of junk for that sort of thing. There was a similar engine that was made that I use to play on that was good, but I can't for the life of me remember it's name and that is the one I'm referring to... well.. more just the principle of a 16x16 square sorts of maps and gameplay. They don't have to be counted as full blown objects and when it's only loading it a map at a time it isn't going to break the thing. As for internet I use to play it on dial-up so that is also a non-issue (perhaps not for latency, but I played on US servers from Aus and the lag was bearable for that type of game)
     

Share This Page