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Archive for category Social Networking

Z2Live

Z2Live claims to be the first multiplayer gaming platform for iPhone.  The service enables developers to create multiplayer gaming networks over the web without having to code or maintain their own servers.  Built-in support for push notifications allows users to send game invites to friends who aren’t currently playing the game.  In-app purchase support lets developers easily create subscription-based revenue models for the multiplayer service.  There are plenty of other social networking features like voice chat, leaderboards, and achievements.  An integrated analytics solution is also slated for later this year.  Currently developers who want to include multi-player gaming, analytics, and social networking features would have to integrate at least three different SDKs from three different services to get all the features of Z2Live making Z2Live an indespensible tool for mobile game developers.  Watch the video below to see some of the multiplayer gaming features of Z2Live. The demo game Showdown Poker is available now in The App Store.  Z2Live is currently accepting developers who agree to work with them under their NDA.

http://www.z2live.com/

Alternatives:  ByteClub

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ByteClub Platform

ByteClub recently released their multiplayer gaming platform.  It goes way beyond other social gaming high score keepers by allowing developers to create actual in-game 2-player interaction without having to touch server side code.  The platform is built on Amazon EC2 services to meet the needs of even the most demanding apps.  It’s also highly customizable allowing developers to plugin their own external game logic.  Developers can have the ByteClub library running in their game in around ten minutes.  ByteClub’s platform is based on their game Scramboni. Check it out in The App Store to experience what the ByteClub platform is capable of.

The details of ByteClub’s pricing plan haven’t been fully revealed, but they plan to charge a per download fee of a few cents for paid apps.

http://dev.byteclub.com/

Alternatives:  Z2Live

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GeoCade

Geocade claims to be “the world’s first location aware social gaming network for mobile devices.”  Their free service includes high score tables, built-in feedback surveys, and location-aware discussion boards.  Check out the Geocade website for a really cool animated globe featuring high scores reported by Geocade-enabled games from around the world.  Just like developers, Geocade needs to monetize so they insert an ad to the top of their high score table and high score submission views.  The high score tables are basic text views that developers can customize with font types, colors and their own background images.  To experience GeoCade you can try the popular game du jour Paper Toss from Backflip Studios.

http://geocade.com/

Alternatives:  Agon, OpenFeint, ScoreLoop

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OpenFeint

With over 1 million active users and over 1000 registered developers, OpenFeint is the largest social gaming platform for the iPhone.  It’s features include:

  • Facebook/Twitter integration so you can see what your Facebook/Twitter friends are playing
  • Achievements and Leaderboards hosted by OpenFeint
  • In-game one-touch iPurchase
  • and gamer chat rooms (yes, people actually use them!)

Best of all, OpenFeint is completely free for developers.  OpenFeint’s parent company, Aurora Feint, monetizes the platform through the iTunes affiliate program, getting small commissions every time someone makes a purchase from within an OpenFeint enabled game.  OpenFeint also claims one of the shortest platform integration times at only 20 minutes while other social gaming tools can take hours to deploy.  To experience OpenFeint, you can check out one of the myriad of games that take advantage of the platform:  Pocket God, StickWars, StickWars Lite, Sentinel 2, Blocks 2 and many others

http://openfeint.com/

Alternatives:  Agon, GeoCade, ScoreLoop

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ScoreLoop

ScoreLoop is another social networking solution for games.  It arms games with global high score tables, facebook integration, custom avatars, and player challenges.  ScoreLoop is a free tool for developers and they promise to never employ ads.  So how do they make money?  Through their own currency they call ‘coins’.  Players can put ‘coins’ on the line in challenges against other players and win coins in these challenges.  Players can also earn coins buy downloading certain games or buying them with real money.  So is ScoreLoop effectively turning iPhone gaming into a giant casino?  Not exactly.  Since players can’t ‘cash-out’ their coins, it’s not restricted like online casinos are.

ScoreLoop takes ten lines of code and a couple hours to integrate.  On par with the rest of the social networking solutions.  To see ScoreLoop in action, check out their game Bug Landing available for Free in the App Store.  It’s not a particularly fun game.  (It’s actually just Apple’s Crash Landing sample code with new graphics.)  But it does fulfill its purpose of giving the full ScoreLoop Experience.

http://www.scoreloop.com/

Alternatives:  Agon, Geocade, OpenFeint

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Agon Online

Agon is a free social platform for iPhone games featuring high scores, achievements, cross-promotion and Facebook integration.  Players get an Agon account which stores scores and achievments from all Agon enabled games.  Agon claims easy integration in just a few HOURS.  It may sound like a long time compared to the 10 minute setup needed for a simple analytics package, but the extra features and deeper integration takes some time.  Cavalcade Games take is that Agon is the easiest social gaming platform to integrate.

http://developer.agon-online.com/

Alternatices:  OpenFeint, GeoCade, ScoreLoop

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Plus+

Plus+ is ngmoco’s social gaming platform.  The company that brought you Topple, Roland, and Star Defense may soon be opening up their social network to other developers.  It’s currently only integrated on Star Defense.

http://plusplus.com/

Alternatives:  AgonGeocadeOpenFeint, ScoreLoop

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