Scene It?, a DVD board game that tests your movie and general entertainment knowledge, now has it’s own Facebook edition, complete with thoroughly addictive game mechanics and additional upcoming social features that could rival some of the more popular “ville” types of games. The Facebook edition follows versions for three other platforms, which include Xbox, iPhone and of course the original DVD board game.
Whether or not you’ve played any of the other versions of Scene It?, if you enjoy movie trivia quizzes, you’ll probably love the Facebook edition, which started in trials in Nov 2009 and was soft-launched in Mar 2010, which includes a new tournament mode. Other details of the game, made by Screenlife Games, were revealed in a phone interview by the company’s SVP Development, John Hendricks, who in many cases hinted at upcoming features, unable to confirm certain features.
The Facebook edition currently uses Flash, like many other games on this site. While it incorporates puzzles from earlier versions, there are also complete new puzzles with game mechanics created specifically to take advantage of Facebook’s features, with timers and visuals (stills, movie clips pixelized scenes) that both challenge and entertain. (My favorite so far is the Six Degrees puzzle, based on the concept of the same name, also referred to as Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon in entertainment cirlces. This puzzle has you match up stars and costars in multiple films to connect the Six Degrees-based relationship between two actors, for example Will Ferrell and Will Wheaton.)
One very big social feature of Scene It? Facebook edition is asynchronous play. You can challenge friends to quizzes, which they can complete on their own time. Of course, this is a common feature amongst many popular Flash-based games on Facebook, though it was never possible in other editions of Scene It? Asynchronous play allows gaming to be more casual, to fit in with gamers schedules. There is also a tournament mode, which allows you to set up teams and win weekly prizes, including Apple iPods and Macbooks, and copies of the DVD board game edition.
Scene It? offers up both Glitz points and Screenbucks, the latter of which hints at the upcoming “meta game,” as Hendricks put it. You can earn both types of credits by answering quiz questions correctly, as well as buy more. Glitz points and Screenbucks can be purchased using PayPal or Trialpay. Screenbucks can also be purchased with Trialpay, credit cards or the ZONG mobile payment option. You can also earn Screenbucks by complete a variety of offers for Netflix, DVD clubs and more. Screenlife further monetizes Scene It? with sponsorships, movie DVD purchases, extended quiz plans (you can only play 5 quizzes daily), and a Bling shop that sells digital goods such as clothing accessories, homes, pets, vehicles and vacation for your avatar.
The digital goods are a piece of the meta game they’re testing. So if you prefer the FarmVille or Mafia Wars types of games, Screenlife is covering that angle in the future, at least according to hints by Hendricks. You can already pick a “career”, such as actor, writer, director, producer, then outfit your avatar with the aforementioned digital goods. I assume they’re waiting for more players before launching the game. Currently, the Facebook app has ~75,000 MAU (Monthly Active Users), from an original registered 300K testers from Nov 2009 — many of whom offered feedback that resulted in the current features. Additional crowdsourced feedback (which apparently comprises a long backlog of suggestions) will be incorporated into updates, and possibly some entertainment-related partnerships will appear that, shall we say, might give you more details about a movie before you make a purchasing decision?
Having never played the DVD edition, I still found the Facebook edition of Scene It? thoroughly addictive that I had trouble focusing on finishing this article. The iPhone edition ($0.99), which I tested on an iPad was entertaining but not as addictive. I’m waiting with bated breath for the upcoming iPad edition, whichcould easily be passed around as a game “board” in real life amongst a circle of family and friends.