Most Facebook games take months to develop and tend to duplicate much of the functionality seen in other games on the platform. However, IdleWorship is in a league of its own thanks to the two year development process.
Last week we met with Idle Games Chairman Rick Thompson (formerly Co-Founder of Playdom) and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Hyman to check out the company’s newest application.
IdleWorship is a polytheistic God game which enables players to oversee a world of characters called mudlings.
The most significant component of this game which sets it apart from others is the massive investment in original creative.
The creative aspects consist of handdrawn cell animation, something that no Facebook game we know of has taken the time to complete so far.
But why invest so much in a Facebook game? Isn’t the platform known for quick development times and simple game play? So far, yes. As Rick Thompson emphasized, “The biggest game on Facebook has been gaming Facebook.” He hopes that Idle Games can contribute to changing that.
In addition to the hand drawn cel animation, IdleWorship users can play in a completely unsharded universe which means that there is synchronous game play among all users. Idle Games has also developed a number of patents related to their unsharded universe including the system which provides a dramatic shift from the traditional Facebook “social bar” (pictured below).
As most users have noticed, the game bar is great at emphasizing the fact that you have no other friends who are playing games with you.
Idle Worship avoids this via a new (patented) system which balances which of your friends you engage with the most in the game as well as other users who you aren’t connected to that you have similarities with (both in game play and demographically).
The company also sparks engagement between users by giving each individual the opportunity to perform benevolent and malevolent acts on other users’ islands.
Probably the most interesting thing is something called the “flick of despair,” which is a hand that emerges from the sky and flicks a mudling from one island to another.
That act then generates engagement between the user who’s island the mudling was flicked from and the island that the mudling landed on.
It serves as an interesting way to introduce non-connected users to each other. The flick is not random, however. Instead, it uses an algorithm comparable to e-Harmony or other dating systems that involve multiple variables.
After sitting down with Rick Thompson and Jeff Hyman, the most significant thing that I took away was how ambitious the company is. So far Idle Games has hired over 45 employees in the past 20 months and says they can’t hire people quickly enough (and that’s why they are becoming more public about the company).
With more than $4 million in funding from Rick so far, and a downtown San Francisco office, Idle Games is hoping to become one of the leading Facebook game developers.
If they’re able to pull it off, they’ll have successfully illustrated that there is indeed room for new entrants. The last game developer to be able to pull that off was German game developer, Wooga. However, there have been few big hits from any other independent game developers. With the massive investment in IdleWorship, we think the company has a solid chance of having a hit on their hands.
If you want to learn more about the company and IdleWorship, check out the video below and head on over to the company’s website.