– social software

Are Social Games Evil ?

A few weeks ago I had gone to a networking event in Mt View and met up with a lot of entrepreneurs and likewise hacker oriented people. I also bumped into a friend of mines that I had met up in earlier networking events. He had taken a job at one of the big social game publishers since we had last talked.

I enjoy following the innovation being built on top of social networking platforms like facebook, twitter etc. So, I asked him how it felt to be working for one of these game publishers. He said it was a fun and a busy job, since they have to constantly innovate to keep up with the user’s engagement and also come up with the strategies to monetize them. And he also described a little bit more about the user behavior, demographics etc. However, he made a statement that stood out of all this conversation. He mentioned that he does not feel good about wasting people’s time since most of the social games are built around user engagement and trying to keep them playing for hours.

I think he is right to some extent that these games encourage a lot of unproductive hours for the users. However, you could also look at it from the flip side that these games provide entertainment, happiness etc along with the ability to socialize with other players in the game. As a kid I remember playing Super Mario Brothers and other video games for hours and hours. Could I have been productive doing other things ? Yes. Do I regret playing Mario Brothers for hours and hours back in the days ? No.

In conclusion, I feel the game developer should make his game as engaging as possible and provide them with value like entertainment, social interactivity with fellow users. However, the user’s should be smart enough to know when to pull the plug and do other activities in their life as well. What do you guys feel ? I would love to hear your commentaries.


July 5, 2010 Posted by | facebook application, game | , , , , | Leave a comment

Announcement: Kick-off meeting – iPhone Intensive(May 20, 2009)

Plug And Play Tech Center
 is sponsoring an iPhone Intensive meetup for Developers on May 20th, 2009. 


Monday May 20th 


440 N Wolfe Rd
Sunnyvale, CA 94085


6:00-7:00pm Arrive &amp and socialize 
7:00-8:00pm Intro to native iPhone App Programming – Julio Barros 
8:00-8:15pm Break 
8:15-8:45pm Using the iPhone as a Prototyping Platform – Bob Free 
8:45-9:15pm Next Generation iPhone Game Development – Travis Hopkins

Hope to see you all there.

Registration($10 for Refreshments): Click Here

May 18, 2009 Posted by | Announcement, game, iphone application, mobile application | , , , | 1 Comment

Treasure Hunt powered by Cell Phones

treasure-islandThere is a new service to set up treasure hunts and guide the hunters in real time . It’s called Cellguided, and as the name suggests it uses cell phone technology to guide the participants with clues, and hints towards the final goal. Rajiv Aggarwal, the brain behind this service, mentioned that it’s fairly simple to setup a hunt. All you need to do is go to the website and pick your city, that brings up a Map (powered by Google Maps) of the area. You  then pick the start and end points for your hunt with clues  on the map. It also creates a code for the treasure hunt, that the participants can punch into their cell phone device after  dialing into a  phone number provided by Cellguided to authenticate and get directions and clues. The answers to the mystery/hunt are also sent using the cell phone device. The service also keeps track of the time to see which participant is the winner in the race to finish the treasure hunt and keep it exciting and competitive.

The service does not require the user to have an expensive GPS aware device, so any phone with dialing capabilities will be able to participate in the game.  Rajiv mentioned that the service will be available free, and he initially wants to gauge user interest and  seek traction. His monetization strategy in the future will revolve around Corporate Team Building Events and Museums to create Treasure Hunts to promote and make it exciting for Kids to visit them.

Check Out the demo video below

March 4, 2009 Posted by | game, mobile application, web application | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Square Master

Square Master is a game developed for iPhone by Dan Bourque. I had the opportunity to watch the live demo of the application by the Dan.

The goal of the game is to basically move the blue square to the bottom center of the screen in minimum moves. The game has difficulty levels upto 126, meaning the solution need at the least 126 moves to move the square to the correct spot. He also mentioned that it has about 50000 different scenarios, so every time you play the game it would feel different.

It also has built in hints to help you figure out the next move and comes in three different skins paper(pictures on left), classic and glass.

The game was launched around September of this year with an average of 20 downloads/day for the paid 99 cent  version. It currently has a solid 5 Star rating.

I don’t own an iphone yet, but it’s something I would defnitely love to have at my fingertips during a commute or travel.

November 14, 2008 Posted by | game, iphone application, mobile application | , , , , | Leave a comment