In March 2012, Marvel comics launched its Social Media game, ‘Avengers Alliance’ on Facebook. It already has thousands of active users globally, clicking and punching.
With our love for X-Men, The Fantastic 4 and yes, Tony Stark, we played the game for a week and came out with the following learnings:-
1. Start Simple: Entry should be easy
Any Facebook user can easily start playing the game by just clicking through few options. A simple street-fighter-like gameplay gives you the arcade feel. You are basically a S.H.I.E.L.D agent in the game and you can recruit from the entire list of Marvel superheroes to team up with. You can choose from a male or female avatar. Basic modifications in your avatar are possible.
What’s amazing is the PVP (player versus player) option of this game that never fails to instantly pit you against a fellow Facebook user, playing the game from some other part of the world. You can take part in the tournament to improve your ranking or just practice. In the normal mission mode you can see your Facebook friends who are playing and compare scores. You can also send a distress call to a friend who is online to help you in your mission.
3: Identify the drive: Use it
Our love for comic books and super heroes drives us to keep recruiting, training, and fighting the villains and the simplicity of the game makes it all the more addictive.
4. Think in circles: Gamify
The game algorithm works on the categorization of heroes and villains into 5 categories: Bruiser, Scrapper, Blaster, Tactician and Infiltrator. Each of which has some strength and weakness over the other. So choose your team wisely.
5. Storytelling Works: Develop layers and think ahead
It has quite a large number of mission storylines and even a special operations mode. You can send out your agents to acquire points, deploy them to gain information and even research the materials gathered on the flight deck. With the introduction of a new character every once in a while, the storyline is constantly growing layers. The latest addition is Hank Pym (Ant Man). All credits to Marvel for bringing out Hank on to Facebook just before Iron Man 3 which is rumored to have a post credit scene involving Ant Man. The movie debut of Ant Man is expected in 2015. Now that’s thinking ahead!
6. Incentivize: Customer seeks Delight
The game has a steady reward and incentive mechanism built-in. We get reward points in the form of silver coins, gold bars, S.H.I.E.L.D points and Avengers command points, depending upon the type of task. All this, you can use to acquire supplies from the store and replenish your energy or armory.
7. Give it free: but not forever
Lastly, the game makes you buy points in order to progress. Although, a special offer may mean you just have to put in your credit card number to get 10 gold bars without getting charged, it just tells you that it’s not all for free, not for ever.
Note: Now, we doubt we will pay for the additional features of the game but we are seriously tempted to…