Hello Everyone in Forum Nokia!
I have been looking around for solutions that could enable MMORPG on J2ME handsets, so I stumbled upon SNAP Mobile.
To me, this platform seems to be very appealing thanks to all its matchmaking features, but I still miss some things that I would like it to cover, and especially:
1) server side AI: it seems that SNAP has no way to control the behaviour of non-playing characters. This can be a limitation since NPCs play a very important role during game sessions, and in fact the first people that will play an online game will find themselves interact mainly with this kind of characters
2) support for guilds, leagues, teams, etc: this is partially already covered by SNAP Mobile, but I have some questions: Could I, as a player, create my own group where only the friends of mine (well, the people I allow) can enroll? Could I, as a publisher, define some set of pre-defined groups (let's call them guilds) where a player can subscribe only if he or she matches some criteria? Is it possible to have the server checking the criteria for a player who is asking for subscription?
3) support for features that can enhance gameplay, such as blogs, could be a plus. Currently I do not understand if SNAP mobile could allow the user to store messages persistently so that a midlet could later tetrieve it and show it as a blog. It would also be nice if the game publisher could also be allowed to have an "official game blog" where players could post comments.
4) Some of the above limitations could be overcomed if the game client could connect also on external servers for specific features, such as blogging. Too bad, in the standard game requirements documentation, it is forbidden to use any unauthorized server other than those provided by SNAP Mobile itself. Does it mean that a game is not allowed to connect to anything else but to the SNAP platform? Then what about the following:
a) other players accessible via bluetooth
b) other players accessible via WiFi (e.g on a local or home network or public hotspot)
c) midlets trying to open the web page of the game developer/publisher/rebrander
d) games trying to download extra features (e.g. additional weapons, new levels, etc.) from the developer web site (which might, for instance, bill the user for what he or she buys)
I would like to know the opinions of the forumists about all this stuff, but of course also those from Nokia people are very well welcomed!
Best Regards to Everybody,
P.S. Maybe I did not tell it, but SNAP Mobile is the only platform around with a so developer-oriented approach (you can get a local SNAP emulator for free, with no strange NDA to sign whatsoever), and you know how important this is when doing platform evaluations.
P.P.S. Feel Free to point out any inaccuracy on this post.