Trivia Adventure from Austin-based Steel Penny Games is a new Facebook game featuring elements of role-playing, quiz and board games. It launched in the first week of January for early testing by new players, and has been gradually picking up steam as users discover its intriguing blend of genres.
Trivia Adventure is primarily a role-playing game. Players design a character of either gender, name them, choose a character class to enjoy an initial bonus to one of their statistics and are then thrown into a short tutorial introducing them to the game’s basic rules.
The majority of the player’s time in Trivia Adventure is spent exploring dungeons and wilderness areas. Movement around these areas is handled in a board game-like manner. Players draw one of three cards, each of which shows how many spaces they can move. It’s possible to spend soft currency to reveal all three cards if there’s a specific space the player wants to try and land on — for example, one which holds treasure, which can take the form of either items or soft currency.
On certain spaces, the player is required to engage in combat. This is handled in a turn-based manner, with the player usually attacking first. Upon clicking the “Attack” button, a trivia question pops up on screen. Answering the question correctly gives the player a bonus to the damage they inflict on the enemy they are fighting, while answering incorrectly still allows the player to inflict damage, but also means they receive a greater amount of injury from their opponent.
All actions, whether they are movement or attacking, cost Momentum, the game’s version of energy. Momentum completely refills upon gaining a level, and also gradually tops up over time. Players can also receive Momentum bonuses by sharing their activities to their Facebook walls — there are benefits for friends also playing the game here, too, as players can share questions to their walls, with experience bonuses on offer to those who answer correctly.
Social features for the game include the aforementioned sharing mechanic along with the usual facility to send gifts to friends. A competitive element is also added, as each player’s run through a dungeon is scored according to how much they explored, how much loot they found, questions they answered correctly and streaks of correct answers. Leaderboards are displayed upon each dungeon delve, and players can replay past areas to improve their score.
For Steel Penny Games, whose development background has primarily been in contract work for a number of console developers, social gaming development proved to be a challenge.
“The move to social games was something that proved us wrong,” explains Jeff Everett from the company. “We played the occasional Facebook game in what spare time we had and thought we could do something fun real fast. As it turns out, web development and social games in general have a whole new set of problems we had to solve. Of course, that also meant we had a lot of mistakes to make and learn from before we could get our first game playable!”
The game’s monetization is primarily handled through the sale of hard currency, here known as Steel Pennies. These can be purchased with Facebook Credits and then used to top up Momentum; add soft currency; refill health; purchase premium items from stores; and add benefits to the character, including additional inventory slots or companion pets. Facebook Credits can be bought directly or earned via offer wall.
Trivia Adventure has showed slow but steady growth since its launch in mid-January. The game has already received several updates to improve gameplay, but the developer has plenty of new content in mind for the future.
“We have a pipeline of new locations, enemies, items and questions ready to release as they become finalized,” says Everett. “We plan to continue adding the new content over time, as we monitor our metrics and determine the time of things players enjoy the most. Our game technology allows for us to easily localize not only the game elements, but our questions as well. Since we could not just use the same questions [many of which are U.S.-centric] in other regions of the world, those questions will need to be written with that territory in mind.”
You can follow Trivia Adventure’s progress with AppData, our traffic tracking application for social games and developers.