A few weeks ago, I was working on setting up another webpage as a portfolio and jokingly made Holden Page a project. I then shared over on Friendfeed that Holden was now a personal project, which turned into a thread filled with Pokemon jokes. This is when I started thinking about how cool it would be if you actually could collect your friends in a game.
So with that idea I decided to lay out a few structures and ideas rather rapidly on what would be interesting. I’ve decided not to follow through with any of the aspects at this time and figured I’d make them public record. Obviously, the ideas are pretty closely related conceptually, they will be presented as such, but they may be applicable elsewhere. I’m just going to write it up as a bit of a package deal.
- Connect to one or more networks to gather friends
- Convert your friends into a set of useable gaming aspects
- Random occurrence of friends or competitors
- Should be able to collect, compete, or trade friends with others
- Maintain a list of friends that will be commonly used
Connect to networks
Allow the user to import their Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ friends into the game. Personally, I thought Twitter would make a better base for the game, but it’s possible that both Facebook and Google+ would make better networks to connect with since they both have gaming platforms built in. There isn’t really anything novel here.
Convert you friends
This was the main idea that I thought could be used in an interesting manner, which also lent itself to Twitter quite well. Take the username of said friend and create a hash from it, doesn’t have to be unique. Use this hash to create parameters befitting your usage (e.g. Taking the Pokemon/RPG aspect, using the hash to determine HP ATK/DEF SPD S.ATK/S.DEF, and they’re various growth rates at level up.) In addition to or in lieu of the hash, you could also try to determine a type by analyzing the friend’s recent content and create a type for that user. This would be more advanced, but doable.
This is where I had issues, not so much the occurrences, but how the encounter’s would be handled. I couldn’t come up with any reasonable interaction for this portion of the game. The few very weak ideas I had were using recent content as a competitive method or creating a set of abilities from the hash.
Trade, Collect, or Compete with Friends
These tools are what I find interesting. By encapsulating these concepts into a game, you make sharing friends an aspect that would be a hopefully rewarding experience. This would hopefully increase serendipitous encounters with people you may not have encountered before, but also allow you to reward people for their interaction with you. I’m in love with this, honestly and hope to either come up with a decent way to manage it, or hopefully someone who sees this would.
This would be the parallel to your team of Pokemon. The differences would be that it could be possibly generated by those people you interact with most, or people you most want to reward with experience. Experience could be tracked individually(only for the user) or by aggregate(for the friend id). This would allow for possible global ranking based on usage, which would be an interesting concept, compared to our current systems of trying to track and analyze social value.
Random Ideas Related
- Items that can modify elements of the game, such as leveling up or accessing certain areas.
- Add minigames for users to play, possible advertising location.
- Allow users to send out and view network updates from in-game.
- Instead of using network relationships, maybe use websites, or resources
Like I said, I’m not interested in following through with the concept at this time so go ahead and use them. If anyone would like to discuss them in a more in-depth fashion you can leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also I have to thank World of Higlet for getting this started, and had she not given me a nudge those many days ago I wouldn’t have thought about half of this. In thanks I’d like to give a shout out to her current web-series, “Mind My Brains, Darling!“.