From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Pokémon World Online, or PWO, is a beta game that was created by Kyrocorp and the first beta release of the game was 27 December 2007. The game is currently utilizing graphics based on the Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen versions of the game, as well as some overlap with Pokémon Emerald version graphics. The game has an online chat area, where it is possible to ask for help or request trades or battles. There is also a Private Messaging system in place.
The original idea behind Pokémon World Online was conceptualized by childhood friends Kyro and Zammbi. Kyro, who also designed and developed Pokémon Battle Arena, decided to develop an online version of the original handheld games he had grown up playing. Asking his friend Zammbi for help with his project, Zammbi became co-founder of PWO. Releasing the first version of their beta client in early January 2008, the two friends saw the birth of the new game prosper. Within a year, the game was receiving 500 connections per day. By the end of the second year this number had nearly doubled.
Soon after, Kyro left Pokémon World Online to work on other projects, leaving Zammbi the sole project lead. In late 2010 Pokémon World Online received a Cease and Desist letter from Nintendo, which caused a 6 month server downtime. Soon after, with Zammbi AWOL, Xanatus and Shane stepped up and created Code Core Entertainment to bring back Pokémon World Online from the ashes.
On November 3 of 2011, PWO's forums switched from IPB to Simple Machines software. Everything was transferred over and nothing was lost. The forums later switched to PhpBB's software.
Pokémon World Online uses C++ for its server coding, and its current client is a hybridization of the Visual Basic and DirectX languages. As the current client is only usable on Windows operating systems (without including selected Macintosh and Linux computers).
Updates to the game are released roughly every 4 months at minimum. It is not uncommon for updates to take up to 6 months or more before release. The previous two major updates that occurred in 2009 changed the client interface and added many additional features, such as the ability for players to block trade requests and a basic following system.
Currently, the development team consists of Xanatus, Shane and Thugie, and the administrator team (currently Bluerise and Jinji) has also helped with server side updates. Shane is partly active and is semi-actively coding. As of mid 2009, Kyro is working on other projects at present. As of 6/30/2011, PWO has a new playerdex dev, under the name of Vetle. On the week of July 12, 2011, a new developer named Zidonuke was added to PWO's team. He would be in charge of coding for the server, client, and official website. His work would eventually be met with great opposition, much to Zidonuke's dismay. Zidonuke has since been let go after a host of drama, with Donar taking place as lead server developer.
The following features are available in PWO:
Features planned for future releases include the Sevii Islands, Hoenn region a fully-developed questing system, and an improved battle engine, among others.
On the 6th August 2012, PWO had two of its biggest updates of the year with trade logging and all moves being updated. The latter update was left as a parting present from Crenel who was switching from the Administrator group to the Journalist group (which is now defunct).
Pokémon World Online is staffed by international volunteers, mainly residing in the UK. Other staff members are from the United States, as well as other parts across the world.
The highest-tier staff members are the Developers (DEVs) and Admins, followed (in order of rank) by the Game Moderators (GMs), Game Editors (GEs), and Community Guides (formerly known as Guides or Moderators) (CG).
Due to a major reorganization that took place in August, all groups including Mappers, Editors and GFX artists were to be counted as staff for the game. During this time Moderators were shortly changed to Greeters before becoming the Guide group, then renamed to Community Guides.
Also recently after a staff reconstruction, GMs were split into two groups. Game moderators and Game editors. GMs working on the moderating aspect, and GEs working on the content aspect. Some GMs have dual responsibilities. Guides, formerly known as moderators, were renamed to Community Guides. Editors were renamed to Journalists, and the Composers group being added in.
The Community Guides play no direct role in the game's development, instead working as Community Support and Greeters for new players. GMs are mainly responsible for moderating the chat and handling scam cases and bans. GEs are responsible for much of the game's map, quest, wild Pokémon (referred to as "spawns"), NPC, and Event content. Admins develop the game's websites and forums, while the Developers focus on the game itself. Many Developers are also Admins.
PWO also has Spriting, Mapping teams, as well as Composers and Artists.
Recently, DEV Shane has left development of PWO to work on his own project.
The Playerdex is a supplementary website that provides PWO's players with access to their Pokémon offline. From the Playerdex, it is possible to add and remove friends, search for other Trainers, release Pokémon and view their stats, and manage guilds. The Playerdex was developed by Fennikusu and is one of the game's greatest resources.
Fennikusu has since left the team, and the game is searching for another web developer.
Other features of the Playerdex range from an offline Pokédex (which is also present in the game) to customizable player profiles reminiscent of Facebook, albeit much simpler.
Scamming is a prevalent problem in Pokémon World Online. A double trade window was introduced for Client version 1.7 that could allow people to double check the trades being made. Protection for membership and tokens trades is still not available in-game. Other problems include trolls and intense, heated guild rivalries.
As of recently, Pokémon World Online has had some trouble with freezing. This is due to the poor server coding that was left over when Kyro left the team. Shane has since installed the new map server, and the majority of map loading problems have been fixed.
On the week of July 12, 2011 PWO got a new developer by the name of Zidonuke. Zidonuke was to code the server, but on the night of July 18, he got fed up with the majority of the community and started deleting the database, Playerdex, forums, and site. As of July 19, Xanatus is working on getting a backup of the server. Also as of July 28, the forums are back up permanently. The old backup of them was lost and could not be recovered. As of today Pokemon World Online is fully back up and running with few issues.