Beta beard after 3 days

Say welcome to the beard

Our latest project at Social Game Universe has been extremely exciting.  Excited because we are innovating and creating something totally unique and fun in a social game.  I look forward to announcing what this project is, in the meantime, I will talk about this growth I now have on my face.

Unfortunately I was blessed with unusually fast growing facial hair.  As you can see in the picture, that is only after 3 days.  You can only imagine what it is now at 6 days.  If  you cannot imagine it, pay attention to future posts.

As much as I hate this beard, it is my commitment to the project and the team behind it.  This thing is irritating, itchy and I can’t stop getting food pieces stuck in it! I want to get this shaved off fast, any delays will result in my irritation increasing.

Needless to say, the date is set and I will do anything within my capabilities to ensure no delays!

Scaling – boy I’ve matured

Sometimes I like to think of the past as a good example of how much I have learned.  Scaling is a particular domain that I have learned a lot over the past year.  2 years ago, I had always assumed that scaling merely consisted of upgrading servers.  The concept of putting servers together to work side by side was baffling to me.

I do like to poke some fun at my past, only because today I am proud of my accomplishments, proud to say I have scaled a product that can easily handle hundreds of thousands / millions of users with a very small pool of servers.

However, the point of this post is not so much to poke fun at myself, but to teach some of the places I have made mistakes and how to get around them.  Of course, without giving some of my secrets or the key to making extremely responsive APIs, like igapi.

Continue reading…

Evolution of Facebook Apps

I must admit, building Facebook apps is certainly not what I had envisioned I would be doing some 5-10 years ago.  What surprises me even more is how much such a platform has evolved. Nowadays, it seems that you need a degree in social behavior, be a marketing genius, along with a PHD in software engineering.  Nothing is as easy as it was, but I do like challenges.

Back when the platform just came out, I could bang an app out within a day, send some invites to friends and put links up on various websites, next thing you know I had thousands of people in my app.  One at it’s peak reaching 800,000 Daily Active Users.  Whatever happened to those days?  I miss them!   Getting those kinds of numbers on new apps will likely run you a few hundreds of thousands of dollars.   It is a shame, because now the smaller guys have absolutely no chance to compete with the bigger guys.

The complexities and the level of detail required to make a game or app function are also astonishing. Thankfully for me, I grew up with the platform and consider myself to know many of the dos and don’ts (there are a lot).  Apps and Games that you want to be successful require the love one mother would give to any child (Happy Mother’s Day Mom).   You want success?  Well you need to focus on user messaging, social behavior, providing value to your content and giving continuity to your game.  Don’t try to silo those 4, because there is a LOT of overlap between them. Continue reading…

igapi is getting a lot of press

More and more, igapi is getting press.  Earlier this month, Canadian Innovation Exchange has nomiated Social Game Universe as one of Canada’s most innovative companies, with igapi.

The Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) revealed the final slate of nominees that will compete to be included among Canada’s Hottest Innovation Companies. The annual awards are handed out in three categories: Information and communication technologies, clean technology and digital media. A total of 25 companies received nominations this year.

“Congratulations to all our nominees for showing the best Canada has to offer the world,” said Rick Nathan, co-chair of the Canadian Innovation Exchange.

Each of the finalists will make a live presentation in front of a panel consisting of leaders from major corporations, entrepreneurs and investors. Winners will be announced at the Canadian Innovation Exchange, due to take place on December 7 at the MaRS Discover Centre in Toronto.

http://business.financialpost.com/2010/11/08/fp-tech-desk-cix-announces-nominees-for-canadas-hottest-innovation-companies/

igapi was recently showcased on IGN as the first playable cross-promotion toolbar:

TORONTO, Canada – Social Game Universe, pioneers of the concept of inter-connected social games, today announced the launch of the Inter-Game API (IGAPI), a solution for game developers to drive traffic by letting users “play” through a cross-promotion bar.

IGAPI uses the power of the social graph to let players interact with their friends across games and apps without leaving the game they are currently playing. Rather than seeing a typical banner ad or cross promotion, players see IGAPI “Action Cards” that they can play on their friends in other apps. Action Cards can vary from the simple (e.g., “Give film to your friend Nathon to help him grow his studio in Hollywood Tycoon”) to the more zany and bizarre (e.g., “Release a horde of zombies on your friend Jen’s horror set!”). IGAPI’s actions are limited only by the imagination and creativity of the developers looking to attract attention to their games.

http://pc.ign.com/articles/113/1132968p1.html