Back to the Drawing Board

A few months ago, we wrote a post about family-focused social gaming, which has reinvented the classic “family game night” by creating a way for long-distance family members to have fun together. This sense of connectivity – no matter what the distance – is an idea that inspires us and, these days, entertains us like no other. If you’re like us, you’ve probably been spending way too much time recently hunched over your iPhone playing Draw Something, a multiplayer game from OMGPOP (which, by the way, was just bought by Zynga for no small sum). Draw Something, like online family gaming, brings people together through an interactive, back-and-forth style format. And, we must say, it is positively addicting!

What has really drawn our attention though is the fact that Draw Something takes a very simple game mechanic – essentially, Pictionary – and turns it into an app. It’s a straightforward idea, but is one that has produced brilliant results. They’ve turned a timeless game, once played around the coffee table à la family game night, into an awesome app you can play anywhere, with anyone, at any time.  By leveraging benefits unique to virtual play — such as an asynchronous nature of gameplay and the ability to have multiple games going on at once (much like Words with Friends) — a simple concept is transformed into an amazingly viral app. As game developers, we at CloudKid tend to think a lot about game mechanics and social connectivity, and we love the idea of web games and apps that get people in dialogue with each other. We regard the social component of game design as a huge imperative, and the success of Draw Something makes it clear that traditional game mechanics with an interactive twist are on the rise.

Which makes us think… At CloudKid, we recently had our very own family game night, with such classics as Dixit and Bananagrams bringing out our competitive sides. Dixit has already jumped onboard and created an iOS app, and we wouldn’t be surprised if other gaming companies soon follow suit and venture into the virtual world. Who knows,  maybe our next family game night will inspire us to build a new social app!