Network middleware developer Zona is showing Ghouls 'N Ghosts Online at its booth at the Game Developers Conference taking place this week in San Jose, California. The online game is being developed by Game Factory, a Taiwan-based studio that got the green light to use the Ghouls 'N Ghost license in November. Game Factory used a combination of Renderware's graphics engine and Zona's scaleable networking code to get a version of the game up and running in six weeks on the three platforms: the Xbox, the PC, and the PlayStation 2.
We saw the Xbox and PC versions of the game running, and while it's obviously very early in development, Ghouls 'N Ghosts Online will clearly be a much more action-oriented massively multiplayer game than the experienced-based RPGs that currently dominate the persistent online game market. We watched a 3D Arthur run around a town consisting of small, simplistic houses, jumping and swinging his sword. To demonstrate the network code, a couple of other players joined in, all depicted as Arthur.
The demo didn't include any enemies to fight or give much indication of the gameplay. A Zona representative mentioned that while the design is still in flux and won't revolve around simply gaining experience points, Game Factory is looking at ways of letting players develop increasing powers over the course of their experience with the game. There was no mention of specific character classes, but not all players will be running around in Arthur's characteristic suit of full-plate armor.
Game Factory is aiming to complete Ghouls 'N Ghosts Online for the Xbox, PS2, and PC late this year. The versions could technically be made to play together, but the current realities of online gaming will likely keep that from happening. We'll have more details on the game as they become available. In the meantime, check out this footage of the Xbox version.