Dofus MMORPG in Flash
Dungis told me about a french MMORPG implemented in Flash, Dofus, a while back. I finally tried it (7 days free) and was quite impressed.
It's an online multi-player game, like Asheron's Call 2, but with a 2D interface for travelling and an isometric 3D interface for combats, like Final Fantasy Advance. The combats are turn based (with a time limit), which makes fight definitely less stressful than AC2's (you have some time to chat).
The interface is pretty good (not too cluttered) and the graphics/animations are nice.
Final Fantasy Advance seemed to have more of a scenario and dialogs, but I only played for 7 days (and reached level 6), so there may be more of that when you start doing quests. The only non-playing characters I've seen so far where craftsmen who can teach you a job (baker, farmer,...).
Although Dofus is a Flash game, it requires an 20MB install and runs locally (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Dofus/lancement.html). That's really weird, as it defeats the purpose of using Flash, imo.
Maybe I haven't played enough, but I got a bit bored by the levelling aspect. The multiplayer part does make the game more fun, but it also makes fights slower since the combat-mode is turn-based.
I'll take this occasion to point out a presentation, A theory of fun (via), and an essay, KidTrade: A Design for an eBay-resistant Virtual Economy (via), both very interesting and related to this topic.
The first one offers the convincing theory that fun derives from exploring new puzzles and combinations that offer patterns that the brain doesn't master yet and needs to discover and learn. This highlights how difficult the task of game developpers is.
The second one advocates that eBay trading of MMORPG game accounts and virtual goods may in fact be avoidable, by choosing the right design.
For example, the presented design that doesn't include any levelling, doesn't have a currency, only supports anonymous trading of goods and one item can only be traded against one item.
I would be curious to see that design implemented, as it seemed quite healthy and educational for children, by emphasizing the qualitative (what you can do) over the quantitative (how many toys and how much could you sell a toy for).
It also links to a post about levelling as a design flaw.
Dungis also sent me a link to a video/demo of the next-gen Flash engine. The perf improvements seem quite impressive and I'm curious to see Saffron in action (it's a text rendering technique supposed to rival with ClearType).
I tried playing it and it is farily well done. However, with all of the flash decompilers out there, I would think that the creators would have not done it in flash?Posted by: xunleashed (January 24, 2006 10:31 AM) ______________________________________
I played this game for the first time today, my initial impression is very good. Easy to play, nice artwork, weapons, jobs, quests, stuff like that, but people were trying to fight me left and right before i figured out how to play. You can always refuse to fight however.Posted by: Karvee (February 12, 2006 11:04 AM)