Sunday, March 8, 2009

Smallworlds application in Facebook

Smallworlds has progressed well over the past many months. It is not surprising that Smallworlds is now on Facebook (see article), since Smallworlds has always gave the impression that it is an applications that is highly mashable. It seems that other than Facebook, Smallworlds is also on Bebo (see article).

The user created missions, and generally missions based play (picture above) has given Smallworlds a more unique element based compared to other social networking applications. Yet with individual rooms and tokens to decorate the rooms, Smallworlds retains enough social networking flavour that will be attractive to the casual gamers.

Recently I played their featured mission, 'Break Out 1' (pictures above and below) that described a mad scientist who captured users for experiments. The user is supposed to get out of the moon base with the help of a fellow prisoner. It is relatively easy, except for the initial part where a user needs to find that room with a 'Trooper' poster and search for an item. The crucial element is that the user must first receive this part of the 'quest' in the correct room, i.e. if the mission box told you that your room is in area B, do not go to area C to get the quest. After finding the correct room, the user can proceed to the room with the 'Trooper' poster.

There are other quests that require simpler actions to complete. For example there is this 'classroom maths quest' where the user just needs to provide correct answer to the maths questions. At the end of the 15 questions, just /clap, and the quest is done.

As of February 2009, Smallworlds has about 300,000 users, and 65% of these users are female. A similar proportion of the users created content to share with other users. An example of such user generated content is the 'Arcade game machines' found littered in Smallworlds, where a 'game' with the game of Smallworlds could be played and progress saved.

This user figure is healthy but still pales in comparison with giants like the Wtorld of Warcraft. Nonetheless, with a reported Average Revenue Per User of US$1.40, and a progressive looking development team, Smallworlds is likely to go far in the virtual world arena.

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