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Game Design Secrets by Wagner James Au

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Forecasting Future (Likely) Facebook Gaming Trends

Unsurprisingly, Zynga purchased OMGPOP days after this “most popular” milestone was reached.

The success of Draw Something also illustrates how rapidly trends can appear from unexpected places. With that understanding in mind, the following sections sketch the likely trends that Facebook developers should pay close attention to.

Cross-Platform and Mobile Connectivity—Especially Facebook Connect

In its IPO filing in early 2012, Facebook reported a surprising stat: 50 percent of its traffic now comes from mobile devices. Game designers have not devoted much creative energy to this user behavior, with most Facebook games mainly or exclusively developed to play on the web version of Facebook. This will change very soon, and designers should immediately begin thinking about how their upcoming Facebook games can fully leverage mobile devices, including tablets (see Figure 6-1). Doing this also gives players the freedom to play their favorite games across multiple devices, each of them tailored to their particular platform.

Figure 6-1: OMGPOP/Zynga’s Draw Something in iTunes’ App Store

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An early sign of this trend was Spring 2012’s breakout success, Draw Something. Although it’s primarily played on smartphones and tablets, players of OMGPOP’s game are counted as Facebook gamers due to the app’s use of Facebook Connect (in both ...

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