Porting a Classic MMORPG from PC to Mobile
Keywords studio Wizcorp provides a full range of game development services, including Unreal development, console porting and proprietary engines and tools. But it was its experience specifically with porting to mobile that made Wizcorp the answer when Ankama Games was seeking a partner to bring their flagship game Dofus to mobile.
Numerous hurdles would have to be cleared in porting Dofus to an entirely new platform while losing none of the scale, variety and playability of the original. Built in Adobe Flash, the original game could not be transferred directly, with the consequences that server communication protocols would need to be fully adapted to fit the mobile ecosystem and that the PC-centric UI/UX would need to be refitted to adapt fluidly to a number of different screen sizes.
After a period of intense research and assessment, the team at Wizcorp arrived at a solution they knew would deliver everything the client needed – and more.
The first step was to develop an entirely bespoke toolchain that would enable the transpilation of Dofus from Flash to HTML5, with the resulting code then loaded through a native Web view on the target device. Not only would this allow for rapid and incremental development on both PC and mobile, but since Flash was nearing obsolescence, it would also be a more future-proof approach. An additional benefit was the streamlining of releases: most game features could be released without having to go through Apple or Google Play’s certification, since nearly all features were dynamically loaded through the Web view, allowing for multiple patch releases per week.
This involved a further challenge, however, necessitating the conversion of the game’s custom networking protocols for the Web. To this end, a high-performance, real-time proxy was developed, allowing Wizcorp to deliver rich 60fps WebGL graphics while avoiding any risk to the original servers.
As each UI component was developed, it was reviewed and optimised, first for tablet and subsequently for mobile devices, resulting in a rigorously tested, UX-centric solution in which the client could have complete confidence.
Wizcorp’s best-in-class collaborative processes allowed Ankama to delegate technical control of their flagship project secure in the knowledge that the integrity of the IP would remain uncompromised. Not only that, but the custom technical stack Wizcorp developed provided a foundation for the game’s future, ensuring that it was fully updatable with no requirement for redeployments to mobile app stores.
With an audience of over 40 million worldwide, the Dofus port was a project with the highest of stakes, but the real-world results speak for themselves. Upwards of 560,000 players worldwide have given the mobile game an enthusiastic thumbs-up, and so impressed were Ankama with Wizcorp’s work that they subsequently entrusted us with the long-term maintenance of the entire game and its eco-system.