As I wrote earlier, Dawn of Daria and, in essence, Oxeye Game Studio have a past in an online role-playing game called Whispers in Akarra. The game was never completed – it barely reached alpha stage – but the editors and server were released to the public and a number of shards were started. Several years have passed since then, and I think it’s time to add the server’s source code to the list of available tools…
What is Whispers in Akarra?
Whispers in Akarra, or WiA for short, is a 2D online role-playing game in a persistent world, for Windows. The client uses Direct3D, DirectInput, DirectSound and DirectPlay (for network communcation). Since the game was developed in 2002, everything is DirectX version 8.
The server is hard-coded to support up to 128 client connections at the same time. This value is easily edited, but I haven’t tried the server’s performance with that many people. While the game was still active, the number of connected players peaked at around 100, and that seemed to work fine for most people.
Here are some screenshots from the game:
I don’t read books, give me the feature list!
- 2D online RPG
- Chat-friendly GUI
- Combat, experience, levels, attribute points, abilities, skills etc
- Items, horses, paper-dolling
- Spells and item effects
- Fellowships and guilds
- Free PvP areas, guild wars, and PK rules for other areas
- Overworld areas with day and night, and ever-dark caves
- NPCs, shops, “item storage” and quests (including “Kill 10 rats”! Wicked!)
What resources are available?
Except the server source code, the following tools and applications are available:
- The Akarra Client, required to play the game.
- The Area Editor, used to create new maps and regions.
- A number of Server Editors, used to create monsters, items, spells/effects, quests, skills and NPC chat scripts.
- A tool to pack client graphics, called the “texture builder“.
- A pre-built binary of the Akarra Server. This file also contains all the items, monsters, quests etc of the latest release of WiA.
- And, of course, the Akarra Server Source.
Where can I get help?
Oh, that’s the catch! Not from me or Oxeye, that’s for sure. But there is a lot of information floating around, and an Akarra shard community is going to be organized around www.akarra.net. Until it has started for real, you can peek through a couple of threads in the old Oxeye forums:
- How to use the Area Editor: http://www.oxeye.se/forums/viewtopic.php?t=108
- A list of admin commands: http://www.oxeye.se/forums/viewtopic.php?t=88
- Some notes about the texture builder: http://www.oxeye.se/forums/viewtopic.php?t=120
- How to create admin accounts: http://www.oxeye.se/forums/viewtopic.php?t=87
In any case, I recommend you visist www.akarra.net for latest community views.
A final question… where’s the other source?
I may release the source code for the client and the tools later. First of all I want to see how much work it is for me to release the server, and what kind of reaction it gets. Secondly, the server source is the part of the code which is best organized. The client source is a mess (GUI code ftw), and the tools were developed with Borland C++ Builder. It was inexpensive and useful when I got it, but is no longer supported by Borland and probably difficult to come by these days. Even if I released the source for the tools, I’d recommend you to rewrite them from scratch in a more modern environment.
In any case, I hope you find the project entertaining or maybe educational. It was created with tears and blood, but also a lot of joy and extreme geekiness, and deserves a better place than on an old backup CD.