I am currently attending the Virtual Worlds conference in New York City. It’s quite a fascinating conference, covering full-blown 3D worlds (a la Second Life), browser-based paper doll communities (Stardoll) and everything in between. Flash is well-represented here; if it’s 2D or 2.5D virtual world (i.e. not a full 3D environment), it’s done in Flash, period (no sign of Papervision, Sandy 3D or other Flash-based 3D engines, though).
Today I attended a session introducing Electrotank‘s ElectroServer Universe Platform (they don’t have a section on their website for it yet, it’s that new!). It builds on their successful ElectroServer product, adding things like a high-performance isometric rendering engine, a world editor, and content management systems. It looks very advanced and quite impressive, and would probably give any developer wanting to create a virtual world a solid leg up. I will definitely investigate this platform further should I decide to extend bunnyhero labs in a more persistent-world direction.