Pokémon Online (MMORPG)
Pokémon Online (commonly shortened to POL) is a fan-made free-to-play Pokémon MMORPG. The project is handled by a wide variety of team members, the current leader being Platinum. The aim of the development team is for the MMORPG's implemented concepts to remain true to the original Game Boy series RPGs, while also making it functional as a MMORPG.
Pokémon Online's planned features and functionality aim to match or exceed the most recent releases. Secondary concepts from the Trading Card Game, manga, and anime may also be added. Many of POL's members assist the team by posting suggestions, helping to create sprites and revamp older ones, developing promotional graphics and videos, and more. Members are also given the opportunity to submit applications for staff positions such as Graphics Team, Databaser, Mapper, and Translator. Passed trials are required to attain these positions.
1995 - 2004
POL originated on Bulbagarden and was made by Konidias. This version of POL was being developed with a program called The Games Factory, in a modified style of Nintendo's first and second generation Pokémon games. The game was at its peak during the days of the 'old' Bulbagarden, when suddenly, the project was abandoned completely. At the time, it was rumored that Konidias received a Cease & Desist notification from Nintendo. However, it was simply due to Konidias losing interest in the project.
2005 - 2007
In 2005, POL was resurrected by Haris. Later recruiting Syp3r as a programmer and using Clickteam's Multimedia Fusion, the project became highly successful leading up to and after their Beta 0.6 release. The Pokémon Online forums acquired over 100,000 members and became one of the biggest online Pokémon communities. However, version 0.6 was closed down due to hackers causing the game to be unplayable.
Plans to release 0.7 were announced shortly after version 0.6 was closed down. After several delays, an announcement stated that version 0.7 would be the near-final version and hence delays were occurring to add new features.
After nearly a year, and no release, it was discovered that Syp3r had disappeared and no release was under development. Slowly, Haris also lost interest, missing server bill payments and, eventually, selling the domain and abandoning the project.
2008 - present
In 2008, the project was revived by long-time head designer Platinum. Without a web site or forum community, the profile page of an international online artist community was the project's only development base. After months in the dark, POL was once again brought to public attention after an unofficial forum board was opened to serve as a temporary discussion base for the project. A new programmer named Pandepic was recruited to program the game using C++. Later, a blog was created to compensate for POL's long-gone web site.
POL has since released a brand new official web site, along with a message board and wiki, at http://www.pkmnonline.org.
The Pokémon Online Official Website is where announcements of the MMORPG's updates are posted, information about the project is displayed, contribution opportunities are enlisted, and communication methods are explained. The website is also accompanied by a public message board serving as a discussion and development base, a wiki, a "World Concepts Page" enlisting POL's planned concepts, and a project management system available only to staff members.