Over the past few week, I have "wasted" enough time playing a lot of casual games. These are typically games that have minimum learning curves, run across corporate networks, and can be played while taking short breaks in the middle of work. The paradigm "you rule the game, the game does not rule you" seems to attract many more people into this casual gaming segment.
A good example of this was Duels.com, that lets me visit my portal, issue challenges, and get back to work. The user interface was not great, and I wrote a lot of scripts and hacks to get it running for me. I wrote an automation script to quickly accept all challenge, to display my avatar as a badge, and even read the message RSS on my mobile using twitter.
All said and done, I seem to lose interest in the game, I seem to keep doing the same things over and over again. Issuing duels, selling stuff, trading etc; it is all the same. There was no real aim, no teams and alliances, or any new features coming up quickly. Given the community nature of the game, I presume that letting the community develop the game would be much more fruitful that the developers trying to keep up the pace.
To describe the game, let me give you the background. The player starts in any corner of a planet called earth. The integration with Google maps shows the player the actual location, and people can expand to occupy the entire planet, fighting each other, exploring all the time, etc. I was looking at something like recreating the idea of how humanity settled. I was also looking at possibilities of opening up the API like facebook did, to keep up with the demanding audience.
In short, this is a multiplayer online social networking game !! I am only working on weekends on this, and would love to hear your suggestions and any help that you can offer.