The most important feature of a social game is a user’s real-world friends list. So when I invite friends to play, or look at the leaderboard, I should be able to see my personal friends in my social network. This is one of the main aspects that make today’s “social games” different than social games of the past. It’s not like today’s social games are the first to use buddy lists and social features, but it used to be such that I was playing against random people that I had met within the game. That’s fun for certain players, but it’s hard to deny that being able to cooperate or compete with a real-world friend is a stronger social experience. This feature is activated by ensuring your game is a Facebook application or uses Facebook Connect, so players can import their real world friends.
Social interaction designers are increasingly acknowledging the role of game mechanics in creating compelling user experiences on all types of social platforms, not just social games. This is a good list to start with.
I build and nurture online communities as CEO of 2020 Social. Read my bio, interview me for a media story, invite me to speak at a conference or ask me how we can help you. E-mail me at [email protected], call me at +91-9999856940, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Slideshare.