Have you ever played a traditional social game (a Ville of any kind) and felt that, well, it’s not really that social?
Be it for the lack of real time interaction, be it for the heavily mechanical feeling of their game loop, the real social experience never feels complete in even the most popular and best designed social games.
On the other hand, full-blown MMOs (from World of Warcraft to Runes of Magic to myriad others) allow for real-time communication, a true multiplayer experience, complex interactions and even the forging of new friendships.
However, their massive requirements in terms of time, effort, complexity, numbers and itemization strategies, make them… well, some call it a full time job. If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about.
However, MMOs, as well as other well designed multiplayer gaming experiences, can offer – as the much quoted (forgive me if I’ll do the same) Jane McGonigal discovered – an epic meaning, a sense of blissful productivity in achieving something together.
Can Social Games borrow the best part of MMOs (meeting people, epic meaning, the sense of togetherness) and merge them with the quick gameplay, super-low entry barrier and open nature of games such as Sims Social or Empires and Allies?
It would be an achievement in terms of quality and, arguably, a success in terms of longevity and revenue stream.
A marriage made in heaven.
So, how would you make Social Games truly social?