Even several years after, with lots more experience in client/server design, I still think the design of this system is pretty cool :o). It's a bit overgeneric perhaps, more targeted towards programmers and the nerd-type gamers that are more interested in flexibility and extensibility than cool graphics and action. Also major redesigns would be necessary for scalability. But I certainly hope to be able pick this up again in the future, or perhaps a new project with along the same lines! Open source this time.
So... you have been warned. All the info below is history. Don't trust they "last updated" info on the pages - it always shows the current date for some reason. And the demo is a bit buggy due to browser evolution... it DID work better in 1998!
Oh yeah, here's a link to the internal pages, with some of the last design discussions and documentation. These pages were not publicly available before, but since the project isn't active I don't see any reason to be secretive.
This project is now alive and kicking, after a slow period of about eigtht months. This site is being revamped (Shane the gate creeper has been working hard), and will be even more revamped soon when I get my hands on it... hehehe.
Anyway, we are integrating the action, skills, and properties systems, which should provide a very generic, skillbased system. Hard to describe without getting into details, you will see. We are starting to get the combat system on it's feet, have cleaned out some client/server communication bugs that slowed things down, are making some more interesting AI-examples for the demo world, are implementing an anatomy system. That is just a few of the things we are working on right now...
I am merging a more updated version now, after that I will fix the demo, finally! Now that we have a server, we should be able to have a running online demo as well, and not just a standalone world where you run around alone.
Disclaimer - many of these design ideas are not invented by me alone - many of them are the result of long, intensive email discussions with Jukka V Heinonen (warning - his homepage is in Finnish), and some of the event propagation stuff is directly inspired by the Java AWT event delegation model, as well as the JavaBeans architecture.
Note - all documents & designs below are copyright (c) their authors.
If I keep the design secret it will be hard to find people to do this work. Also, I welcome comments on the design. Do you see any risks? Have we overlooked something? Or perhaps you have an idea on how to improve some part of the design? Get in touch. I want this to be an open system where people from the "outside" can create other worlds, like perhaps a science-fiction world...
It's also a matter of pride. I feel the documents above show that this project is serious, and that we are really trying to make general system for icon-based internet roleplaying games.
Some people have asked if I'm not afraid that people will steal the idea if I publish the internal design. Well, frankly, it's a risk I'm willing to take. If you like this idea and are capable enough to steal it by reading the design documents and implementing it, why don't you join the project instead and save yourself the trouble of copying it :o)
If you have any questions or comments, contact me: