Features

Sponsored feature: Why Origin8 chose OpenFeint for Car Mania

OS 3.0, Push challenges and cross-selling

Sponsored feature: Why Origin8 chose OpenFeint for Car Mania
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The choice of social networking technology is a decision many iPhone developers are currently grappling with.

In the first of a series of sponsored features, Jason Austin-Gallichan from UK-studio Origin8 explains why it chose the OpenFeint platform for most recently released title, Car Mania.

Pocket Gamer: Why are social networking features important for iPhone games?

Jason Austin-Gallichan: As a developer we're constantly looking for ways to promote awareness of our products and the social network provided by OpenFeint is a great way of achieving this. The chat rooms are useful too: players discussing game strategy and scores is great for replayability and continued interest in our games.

Why did you choose OpenFeint for Car Mania?

Previous to OpenFeint, we were using our own online high score system and basic Facebook Connect. We were implementing support for OS 3.0 features, whereas OpenFeint provided us with what we needed so it made perfect sense to move over.

The cross-selling [between players] is also an important factor. As OpenFeint becomes more and more popular, this will be a huge benefit to us and all the developers on the network.

How easy was the integration process?

It was surprisingly easy and straightforward. It just took a few hours to add high scores and achievements in Car Mania.

Are you planning any specific updates to improve the stickiness of Car Mania?

Yes, we are planning a series of free updates over the coming weeks including new maps and game modes. We have loads of great ideas ready to roll. We are also very reactive to what we read in forums and reviews, and will be including many improvements based on some of these suggestions.

Do you expect to include OpenFeint in your future iPhone games?

Definitely. Plus as we update our games, we will be including any new features and updates included with OpenFeint that suit the game. For example, we're already introducing the upcoming 3.0 Push challenge feature.

What features would you like to see in future OpenFeint releases?

Specifically for Car Mania, I would like a more detailed high score feature. In Car Mania's high scores we have extra information including time, number of happy drivers etc. It would be great for the OpenFeint high scores to reflect this.

Also it would be good to have other high score sort options. i.e. by location so you can see your ranking in your city. A percentage option could be fun too. For example 'Your score is better than 74% of players'.

Thanks to Jason for his time

You can check out more about Origin8 and its game on its website.

OpenFeint is freely available for developers at OpenFeint.com. For daily squawks, follow its Twitter feed.

Jon Jordan
Jon Jordan
A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at PG.biz which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.