Most social games are played on networks like Facebook or Myspace. In this project, we took our game City of Wonder off of Facebook and put it on its own dedicated ‘destination’ site.
I worked as the user interface designer and interaction designer on this project to put the game we developed, City of Wonder, onto Playdom.com, its own ‘destination’ site for game play.
The importance of developing destination sites is primarily monetary: all other networks take a cut of profits that games make. By removing the network, we remove the financial intermediary, and also dependence upon a social network’s changing Terms of Service. Yet social games are so intimately tied to social networks and to the social graph of an individual that they can be extremely difficult to extract.
To solve this problem, we decided to build a team-based social layer around the game that we were working with, City of Wonder. Players get to choose one of four teams and play the game with teammates, with whom they engage via chat and gifting. The goal of the project is to see if user engagement can be lifted via this team-based model.
I worked with the product lead and product manager to shape the product specification, and then to wireframe the site iteratively and design player interaction models.
The beta version of this game is here — please note that it’s still very beta in nature!
City of Wonder gaming destination site as it appears now: