Planet Domo is a mission-based adventure game starring Japanese pop culture icon, Domo. The game was developed for Facebook by TheBroth, which also develops Barn Buddy and its Turkish language version, Komşu Çiftlik. Shortly after its late May 2011 debut, Planet Domo hit our top 20 emerging Facebook games list.
The game puts players in the role of Domo, a food-obsessed creature that travels the world searching for a mythical Giant Strawberry Cheesecake. Core gameplay involves spending energy to click on locations that the player can then “harvest” for virtual currency, special items, experience points, slices of cheesecake, and pieces of postcards that eventually unlock more areas for Domo to visit. Planet Domo also features several mini-game types including a jigsaw puzzle simulation and player-versus-player activities like an egg-and-spoon race.
The social features come from gifting and from PvP gameplay. In the PvP matches, the player is pitted against another player’s Domo in an asynchronous simulation represented by an animation. A win or loss depends heavily on what offensive and defensive items a player has available, but players can only view their opponent Domo’s equipment after a match ends. Players are limited in how many PvP matches they can play per session both by a Stamina meter and by Domo’s Hit Points. As the player levels up their Domo, they can spend experience points on Stamina and HP as well as purchasing offensive and defensive items to equip.
Planet Domo monetizes through a standard currency of Coins and uses Facebook Credits as its premium currency. Facebook Credits mainly go toward accelerating gameplay by unlocking locations early and can also be spent on premium items, gameplay boosts and energy refills. Note that certain items in the game are also available in exchange for other types of resources; energy refills, for example, can be bought with slices of cheesecake as well as with Facebook Credits.
An interesting design choice in Planet Domo is “tier 2” gameplay where players replay old levels they’ve already completed for additional experience points. Tier 2 gameplay kicks in at an advanced level where players are not leveling up as quickly, or have unlocked all of the locations Domo can visit. At this point, players can back and replay old levels to receive additional experience points as well as special items to help out in PvP matches. TheBroth hopes that this “grind” gameplay will retain players past the initial 100 or so gameplay sessions it takes to unlock all the launch content currently available in the game.
TheBroth CEO Markus Weichselbaum tells us some of the future features for the game include customization for Domo that will differentiate players’ Domos from one another in PvP. The developer is also working on three new locations and is considering bringing the tale of the mythical cheesecake to an end as it introduces a new story arc to keep things fresh. Planet Domo is also set to start sending player’s in-game birthday cakes to coincide with their real-life birthdays (as they have provided that information to Facebook).
Another planned change for the title is an adjustment to the app authorization requirements Planet Domo request from players when installing the game. At present, the game asks for basic information, email, and birthday date — all fairly standard for social games — and it wants access to player data at any time, which is not a common social game request. The request appears to be putting off some potential players, though apparently not significantly enough to restrict Planet Domo’s early growth. Even so, Weichselbaum tells us that there’s no real reason TheBroth needs access to player data at any time, so the developer plans to remove the request soon.
You can follow Planet Domo’s progress with AppData, our traffic tracking application for social games and developers.