Twenty Cool

A startup called Social Games Ventures tried to merge dating with casual social games. The game was launched on Facebook spring of 2012.

A startup called Social Games Ventures tried to merge dating with casual social games. The game was launched on Facebook spring of 2012.

The concept

The game was about sending compliments to other people. The idea was that the compliment would be the first step towards a possible romance. Players could later get to know each other better via an internal messaging system.

In retrospect

I think this game launched a few years too late. The concept resembles the "Hot or Not" concept where you browse photos and mark them as either Hot or Not. This was "Hot or Not" but without the "Not". Concepts like these tend to fade away pretty quickly. They lack the depth to make them interesting. If we had launched in say 2007, this might have gotten viral more easily.

During the development of Twenty Cool, Facebook changed the rules for wall posting so that we were forced to make changes to the concept. Making a game so dependant on how a certain platform works is obviously not a good idea. Facebook's constant changes to how apps can post to a user's timeline is also something that limits the virality of such concepts.

Making a free to play game is hard. There are a whole lot of factors to consider, and you have to review them all for every decision you make. But I believe that at the heart of any free to play game lies a good and fun game. No matter how you monetize, measure stickiness and virality, and market the game. It all comes down to the game itself. It won't sell if it's bad.

Needless to say, Social Games Ventures went belly-up. It's a shame because they had a good team and the spirit was high.

Twenty Cool

Technicalities

We used Adobe Flash for front-end, Amazon Web Services for back-end and Jenkins for automated building. Jenkins is really nice tool!

I wrote a proof of concept for a JavaScript framework for simplifying the communication between a game, a social network and a statistics service. It was made so that we wouldn't have to make changes in the game itself every time Facebook makes changes in their API. I've described the framework in an article called JavaScript framework for social games.

The team

Christian Tellefsen
Lead developer, back-end, front-end
Andreas Bromirski
Programmer, back-end
Stian Dahlslett
Designer
Thorbjørn Olsen
Game director
Rolf Grøttjord
CEO
Beate Våje
Producer
Thomas Viktil
Programmer, front-end