Facebook Game Developer Faces Unimaginable Degrees Of Anguish and Torment

Terence McGhee, former software developer, believes that not enough games on Facebook are created for hardcore gamers. With that being said, his mission is to develop more games that appeal to those gamers who are looking for a challenge, "A game must have a certain degree of challenge. It must reward good decision-making and punish poor decision-making." Space Force Fleet Commander, McGhee's solution, attempts to bring gaming back to traditional gamers instead of ordinary people.

Terence McGhee, former software developer, believes that not enough games on Facebook are created for hardcore gamers. With that being said, his mission is to develop more games that appeal to those gamers who are looking for a challenge, “A game must have a certain degree of challenge. It must reward good decision-making and punish poor decision-making.” Space Force Fleet Commander, McGhee’s solution, attempts to bring gaming back to traditional gamers instead of ordinary people.

Imagine yourself being the commander of your very own fleet of starships. As commander, you have the power to battle against other leaders and the Xgurg – an alien menace. As you win battles you gain experience, skill points, and ship credits, which then allows you to buy better and more powerful starships. Negotiation is not an option with the Xgurg; they are not interested in peace or coexistence. Don’t worry though, they only seek a certain human substance, which can only be obtained through painful measures. If you think the pain will end shortly because of your average lifespan, think again. The Xgurg posses advanced biological knowledge to keep humans alive for hundreds of years while being subjugated to unimaginable degrees of anguish and torment.

McGhee explains that his approach to gaming is the exact opposite of what Nintendo is doing with its Wii console, “Make it easy for everyone to succeed and more people will be interested in the product”. His comparison to Nintendo’s Wii, in my opinion, is an excellent way to look at social gaming in the market today. If you take a look at games like FarmVille or CityVille, gamers are not penalized for making wrong decisions. In fact, it seems as though any competent person could effectively learn how to play these games.

Should gaming companies create games for the majority of the market or should traditional gamers take priority? This divide in the gaming world is becoming more apparent to developers, “I’m all for more people enjoying the games and the platforms, but I don’t really want my gaming experience ‘watered-down’, so that more people can feel a sense of accomplishment,” McGhee expressed. However, gaming giants like Nintendo and Zynga have taken a different approach to gaming, which leads me to my final comment.

Space Force Fleet Commander generates around 1,400 monthly active users to date. Even though this number is very low compared to CityVille‘s 100.8 million MAU, does it necessarily matter? As I stated in my article regarding development strategies, PopCap has the same mentality towards gaming as McGhee. Sure development companies like Zynga have the market right now, but what about in the future?

My suggestion is that businesses who specialize in social gaming should be diverse. As of now, the market looks as though it wants games for the average gamer. However, the future market may be different. If it does branch out, developers need to be able to adapt to these changes. Specializing in one type of game is not the answer to the solution.

CJ Arlotta covers the world of social gaming for development firms as well as the average consumer. Currently, he is accumulating more knowledge of the international gaming market to follow and understand what global developers may need to compete with already striving markets.