Buy the Facebook ticket, take the causal ride

Facebook’s power to reach out to millions of casual gamers, as evidence from Farmville and Mafia Wars, is something that has started to attract high-profile developers and publishers. EA have announced that they’ll be bringing their football franchise FIFA onto Facebook and Capcom, hot on their heels of their recent announcement of focusing more on online games and digital distribution, have confirmed that they are working on a Facebook game that could possibly see release next March.

With many Indie developers contemplating to leave Facebook due to “the decision to eliminate the spammy notifications automatically generated by games and the move toward a unified virtual currency called "Facebook Credits," which would replace Zynga-specific currency like Farm Coins and generate a 30 percent cut for Facebook...”, a social gaming vacuum could be made, with many casual gamers needing something that will be worthy of their free time.

That’s where Train2Game students could take advantage.

Even releasing a “beta” version of a game would be a good step in getting their projects some exposure and gaining valuable feedback. For those who are confused by the word “beta” is pretty much a phase where a game is finished, but still contains bugs, patches as well as features not fully implemented or tweaked.

Games light Galoop (flash version) and Light the Skies would fit perfectly on Facebook, with their pick up and play type of gameplay capable of grabbing and holding people’s attention. In both games case the challenge to rack up points while trying to “stay alive” could potentially give them game “one more go” flavour, something the famous puzzler Tetris manage to do very well.

In fact, I would say that all Train2Game students should try and get at least one game available on Facebook (and perhaps to a lesser extent, MySpace) in the next few years once they graduate, since it would support their portfolio in terms of including commercial games and also get their names known to the UK video game industry.