haypi kingdom

Back in the early days of Windows Phone 7 gaming, online games were few and far between. One game – Haypi Kingdom – made a name for itself by offering an MMO experience in which players could build strongholds and war against each other. Haypi Kingdom was quite buggy though, and eventually the developer stopped supporting it.

Since then, Windows Phone 8 has come along and we can now play genuine MMORPGs like Order & Chaos Online (also lamentably unsupported by its publisher). But that old Haypi Kingdom-style design is still fun and addicting, it turns out. Flare Games (who also made Royal Revolt) have just released its second Windows Phone 8 game: Throne Wars. With beautiful artwork, an easy to learn interface, and lots of player-versus-player battles, Throne Wars might just become the casual MMO to beat.

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Game updates are usually a cause for celebration. They are supposed to add new features, improve existing ones, and fix bugs and glitches. But sometimes, an update introduces new problems or even breaks the game entirely. See the last Crackdown: Project Sunburst patch, for instance. The latest game to receive a bad update, or downdate as I like to think of it, is Haypi Kingdom, the only massively multiplayer online game on Windows Phone. Before we get into what’s gone wrong, let’s look at the release notes.

Haypi Kingdom version 3.0 changelog:

  • Retina display support
  • New buildings in City view: Battlefield and News Center
  • Honor added in General tab
  • Map tab fully redone
  • Oasis and forts now say what city they are associated with
  • Alliance war added. Also added alliance war guide link in Help tab
  • Alliance tab fully redone
  • Alliance rank now based on Alliance Prestige
  • Alliance events now sorted: Three stars for coin donations, two stars for resources and money donations, one star for requests to join, quit, etc.
  • New languages added

Head past the break to learn more about these changes, how the Windows version is semi-broken, and a workaround to make the game playable.

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Since we initially mentioned Haypi Kingdom, the first Massively Multi-player Online game for Windows Phone 7, the game has been updated twice. These updates come as no surprise - MMOs are huge, constantly evolving games. Let's look at what's been added or tweaked. Note that we've edited these a little for clarity and inserted our own comments.

Haypi Kingdom version 2.10.0.0 change log:

  • Enhancement system added: You can improve your current equipment with enhancement stones, which can be attained via hunting, daily gift, competition or purchased from NPC. The enhancements can be made to create additional attribute points to your current equipment, enhancing your prowess on the battlefield.
  • Two new chest types (Gold and Silver) added: These special chests can be gained from war or as daily gifts. They need to be unlocked by coins and there are many alluring surprises in them including coins or valuable treasure. You can also choose to sell the chest to get money.

There's a lot more after the jump...

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Remember when we discussed the debut of Haypi Kingdom, the first MMO for Windows Phone 7? We were surprised to see a free to play game that is supported by microtransactions make it onto Microsoft’s mobile platform. After all, doesn’t Microsoft prohibit microtransactions in Windows Phone 7 games?

Developer Haypi Inc. kindly straightened out the matter for us. As it turns out, microtransactions are indeed forbidden on the platform. That’s why games like The Sims 3 that have lots of optional purchasable content on iPhone don’t offer the same downloadable content on WP7.

So how does Haypi Kingdom manage to sell players in-game coins for real life money? PayPal! You see, coins aren’t purchased through the client itself. When a player decides to make an optional coin purchase, the game launches an external web browser. Purchases are made through PayPal’s site, not the actual game, so Haypi Kingdom isn’t breaking any rules. UPDATE: The workaround has been removed - currently there's no in-game method for purchasing coins.

Haypi Kingdom’s payment model works the same way on Google’s Android platform, where microtransactions are also prohibited. Before coming to Windows Phone 7, Haypi Kingdom had already made a name for itself on Android and iPhone.

To read more on this ground breaking game and the Press Release from Haypi, follow the break.

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While Xbox Live games for Windows Phone 7 continue to remain online-only affairs, that hasn’t stopped indie developers from creating games with online play. Lately we saw Broiled Earth, a competitive artillery game, and now thanks to Haypi Kingdom, Microsoft’s mobile platform has its first MMO (Massively-Multiplayer Online game).

The game's description, according to Haypi Kingdom’s official website:

Haypi Kingdom is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). You will be a general directing an ancient kingdom in a strategic game - boosting resource production, adventuring in extensive wild land, reaping legendary treasures, equipping your troops with advanced abilities and fighting against enemies - with the ultimate goal of becoming the strongest kingdom in the ancient world. Your general can get higher title and more advanced attributes as he joins more and more battles. His attributes will be shared among his troops as well.

You won't play alone. In this massive multiplayer online game you will be able to interact with thousands of players from all over the world in a competition for fame, power, wealth and glory. What's more, there are plenty of possibilities to interact with others - Not only offense and defense, but also trade, alliance, mail system, chat system, etc.

Of special note is Haypi Kingdom’s revenue model. The game is free to play, but players can purchase in-game coins through optional microtransactions.

Coins can be used to speed up upgrades, enhance resource production, buy VIP time to add upgrading slots, buy resource or treasures, call back troops, and enhance your city loyalty immediately, etc. Coins can only [be] purchased with real money at "SHOP". Each player is awarded 30 coins when they first play the game.

Basically, coins allow impatient players to speed up various processes in the game. Smurf Village on iPhone and of course Farmville use similar payment models.

We previously heard from another developer that microtransactions were prohibited on Microsoft's mobile platform, so it’s surprising to see that may not be the case. Micro payments would certainly open up the door for more popular online games to come to WP7.

Gamers who are interested in a social role-playing experience on Windows Phone 7 can get Haypi Kingdom for free here (opens a link to your Zune software) on the Marketplace. We’ll have a full review of the game soon.

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