I’ve been researching the various options and my current preference is fairly straightforward: I serve plain HTML pages to the player, with no code in the pages, just standard HTML. I believe that I can provide all the interaction necessary with straightforward HTML input devices. This means that the server-side Java will be accepting simple inputs, processing them, and outputting new HTML pages.
The one catch in all this is that my system must be scalable. It must be able to support multiple players. I don’t know how to do that just now; I’m studying it. It appears that I shall have to plunge full-wise into Remote Method Invocation and Servlets. But this at least offers me a path that will lessen my dependence upon others.
As part of this, I am now inclined to eliminate the facial animations of the characters. I MAY settle for static images of combinations of character + emotional expression; I’m not sure of this yet. Perhaps it could be handled as something that I provide if and only if I obtain sufficient funding.