[MUD-Dev] SMOG - small multiuser online game

Frank Crowell frankc at maddog.com
Tue Jan 27 01:10:05 CET 2004

[note SMOG is not a ready-to-be-delivered product, but a concept]

Seems that every year a few small teams take on the challenge of
building another MMOG.  And most projects either move along at a
snail pace or stop around the 40% complete stage.  Even First Person
Shooters (FPS) take money and time.  MMOG have the added burden of
once they are built, they have to be hosted and supported.

SMOG is the unMMOG or the garagegame version of virtual worlds.  The
system is small and complete.  Includes a networked 3D client, but
the server is scaled for DSL reality and that means 1-32 users,
mostly likely about 12.

I have been toying with the SMOG concept the past few months because
I work at a mobile company and has access to PDAs and cell phones.
Originally I was fascinated with the idea of stacking Sharp PDAs
(Linux-based) and building MMOGs out of these PDAs ("mud bricks").
Some university had done a similar project using PS2 or some other
game machines.  But the little Sharp boxes with their network cards
are much more expensive than a cheap PC.  Anyway each "mud brick"
would have one CPU and one zone server and some sort of node server
and some fixed number of network connections.  A PC can be used to
simulate the cluster of 8 or 16 bricks.

SMOG will get its kick start by using an existing 3D game engine and
it-doesn't-suck-that-much network technology. The intent is to build
as little as possible - not as easy as I think it is. The Core
language is C/C++ and the secondary and scripting language is
Python.  The 3D engine choices are Crystalspace, Nebula, Torque, or

I am thinking big-scale for the SMOG release, some game that spans
100,000 systems and has at least one million users online.  The
network performance is going to be fairly bad, so naturally it
should be PVP with permadeath.


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