Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
adoption of PCs and helped build an entire software development indus-
try. By extension, the initiative and effort to create a standard is a beneficial
pursuit, even if that standard does not end up being adopted. The failure of a
particular standard to gain ground should not be taken as an indictment of the
notion of a standard. Betamax may have lost out to VHS, or HD-DVD to Blu-ray,
but the videotape and the high-density DVD markets benefitted greatly from
the presence of a standard and the early competition to establish that standard
forced.
Other social networks, such as hi5, have adopted a policy of “if you can't
beat 'em, join 'em” and allow for users to log in using their Facebook creden-
tials. This practice clearly makes life easier on users and removes the friction
associated with creating and maintaining several different accounts. It also
suggests a willingness of these smaller social networks to serve as an adjust
to Facebook, providing an experience that seeks not to compete but instead
to augment the juggernaut's presence. So even in cases in which no common
development platform exists, social networks and social application developers
can make use of shared services (like the Facebook login described) to simplify
their work and to enhance the experience for users.
6.7 Using Social Networks to Extend Traditional
Games
Over the last few years, it became the norm for almost every AAA product
released to make some use of social media. In the simplest cases, this use
amounted to little more than a Facebook page allowing for some direct market-
ing to people who informed Facebook that they “liked” the product. Because
Facebook (and other social media) tends to be very free with information about
their users, marketers have jumped on the bandwagon and often find that they
can get better metrics and a clearer picture of their target audience through
Facebook than they can through traditional venues such as dedicated websites.
But many games have taken a cautious step further down the rabbit hole,
building social media hooks into their console, mobile, or PC products, seek-
ing to leverage the power of external social media sites in an effort to help their
decidedly nonsocial games benefit from the increased adoption and stickiness
that social media appears to yield. Let's look at a few examples of products that
have pursued this route—and found success as a result.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves , the seminal third-person action game from
Santa Monica studio Naughty Dog, was one of the first console products to put
out Twitter updates about in-game events. In Uncharted 2 , you play the role of
Drake, an Indiana Jones-type swashbuckling explorer who collects treasures and
shoots baddies in a variety of exotic locations. Following up on the success of
the eponymous Uncharted: Drake's Fortune , the game achieves superb character-
to-environment interaction and was eagerly awaited by fans and the press alike.
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