Are you building a mobile game right now? If you are there are a lot of things you should consider before you release. Aside from your basic game play there are key features that you need in your game to make it to the top of the charts.
To get users to keep coming back to your app, it has to go viral. Meaning it should receive as much word of mouth through the social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Your app must leverage these networks by allowing the users who love your game the most to tell all of their friends, who tell their friends, etc…
Here’s how to integrate Social Networks into your game.
1. Share on Facebook & Twitter
Most of you are probably doing this already but it is the most important. The iOS 6 SDK easily allows you to share anything you want via Facebook and Twitter using the Social Framework. Use these APIs at the end of each game so users can share their score and when acquire an achievement. Let your users brag about how well they are doing in your game, then their friends will see it and want to get your game since their friend likes it so much.
2. Login to your App using Facebook
To do this, download the Facebook iOS SDK and follow their tutorial on Adding the Login UI Control to your app. This is important because once users are logged into your app their friends will know that they are playing your game.
3. Facebook Leaderboards
If users log into your app using the Facebook API you can use this authentication to query who of their friends have also used your app. With this information you can setup a web service to store each of the users scores then display a leaderboard of only their friends so they can compete directly against each other. For more information on how to integrate a Facebook Leaderboard, iCodeBlog wrote this great article, Creating an Online Leaderboard For Your Games.
4. Challenge Your Friends
You always need new users playing your game, what better way to get new players then by having your existing users invite them. Add a way for users to contact their friends (via email, SMS, iMessage or Facebook Message). Incentivize this by rewarding your user for each friend they contact. Give them a bonus amount of coins or a special social achievement.
5. Send a Bonus
Sometimes users need help to progress farther in a game. They may want more money or a special power or even unlock the next level but they can’t do it on their own. Allow your users to send a bonus to their friends that are playing the game. If you’ve implemented the Facebook Login above then you’ll know who of their Facebook friends are playing the game. Present a list of these friends to your user and allow them to select who they want to help out. The next time the friend opens your game show them that they’ve received a bonus from their friend, they’ll be happy they did and maybe next time they’ll send a bonus.
Implementing even some of the strategies above will help the social play of your game. The more you implement the more your users will come back. Take a look how other games have integrated some of these features into their apps to further understand their value.