Social network system - part 2

Hello kids,
Oh my dear! Nearly one week without any new post on my blog! Finalizing the game takes me so much time, that I’ve completely forgot to write some fresh news here. But don’t worry, I’m fine and Gelex is really close to finish. It could be like two weeks or little bit more and it’s gonna be done.

I would like to continue with the topic about “social network systems”. As I’ve already said, they are fine, quite easy to implement (as far as I know) and they offer a lot of functions. But these positive information you can find easily on their web sites. What you can’t find so easily is – what’s wrong with these systems. Like:

- Visual customization – you must stay with the design and visual style they have done, even if it’s completely different from visual style of your game

- They don’t guarantee you anything – now it’s free, but if they decide to change it, you can’t do anything about it. Or if they decide to put advertisement into it. Or if they go bankrupt or something and close this service. Part of your game simply depends on somebody else and you can’t really control it.

- Too much functions – when I’ve seen OpenFeint for the first time as a user (in game StickWars) I was so confused. I just wanted to put my high score online! It’s like – you wanna buy small car for shopping and going around the city, and they give you spaceship :) I don’t need that.

- Useless functions that make it even more confusing – like that chat function. It has no reason for that game (StickWars) and it was kind of confusing (at least for me) to enter a room and find other people to chat with.

For me all these negative things I’ve mentioned are just small problems. Sometimes you can even avoid or solve them. In some systems the visual style can be changed, if they put advertisement into the system, you can switch and implement another one; some systems offer you possibility to make them as simple as possible with just one function. So, there is a way, how to deal with all these problems. But there is one thing that I really hate; it is in all social networking systems and you can’t avoid it anyhow.

It is registration process and the need of making some account. For example: you as a user play you favorite game and you’ve just made a huge score and wanna impress the world with it. So you click “submit” button to put it online. But hey, there is a login screen! You don’t have any account like that, so you spend next five, ten, maybe even more minutes registering – filling all those forms, confirming that the email you’ve entered is valid (so you probably need to turn on you computer and check the email), waiting for activation and so on. Just because you simply wanted to put your score online.

Maybe it’s a banal thing, but for me it really matters. I don’t want to bother players. If I’m playing a game I wanna have fun, not to be bothered. Like in the game Flight Control. I really love it and I admire authors. There is online system that is exactly what I’m talking about. You wanna put your score online? No problem, just click submit, enter your name/nick and it is done. In few seconds! And if you want to control your score from PC, to have an icon and other features, you can register and make account. But only if you want, if not – the system can deal with it anyway.

But for my bad their online system is not for public. So I had to invent my own system. It’s already implemented in Gelex and it’s working great – that means the way I wanted :) Next time I will write more about it and what features it brings to players. Thank you for reading.

Bye bye,
Granny Marie

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