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Game Design Secrets by Wagner James Au

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Forecasting Unlikely Facebook Gaming Trends

Now it’s time to forecast some negative trends that will likely appear in the next year or two.

3D Games on Facebook: Not Likely, Except in a Limited Way

The growing popularity of Unity (which can now be exported to Flash) and interest in HTML5 has encouraged some speculation that we’ll soon see 3D games and rich graphics in Facebook. It’s likely we’ll see some elements of rich 3D graphics integrated into social games in the near future, but it’s also just as likely that it will be a far more limited version of 3D than what most PC and console gamers are accustomed to.

Indeed, Facebook the company is helping drive development of 3D graphics in HTML5.

As of this writing, for example, KIXEYE is working on a 3D Facebook game, which will probably launch some months after this book reaches the shelves. However, KIXEYE’s Paul Preece warns that 3D games on Facebook should probably not require users to control the camera or do anything more complicated than simple view rotation. Adding more 3D features will lengthen the tutorial session, and it’s just not feasible to expect Facebook players to spend 30 minutes learning how to play such a game.

Despite this, Preece believes it’s likely that large game developers will attempt to deploy more 3D games in Facebook because they are accustomed to working with such graphics. However, “[T]he size of the playing population, even on consoles, who know how to control an FPS camera is small.” This ...

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