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App of the Month: Draw Something (Review)

Game: Draw Something
Developer: OMGPOP
Rating: 5 out 5 stars
Price: Free, $.99 for the ad-free version

The world’s hottest game lets users express themselves creatively while competing with friends in a Pictionary-like game challenge. Draw Something is a wildly popular app created by OMGPOP. That company, now owned by Zynga, was recently paid a whopping $180 million for the game.


Take a guess what this Draw Something player is sketching. (Don’t worry, we’ve provided an answer below…)

Draw Something’s popularity is still on the rise – it’s already become a top app in the Apple Store – but the app, which began life as a PC game called Draw My Thing, has already hooked millions of would-be artists worldwide.

Artfully Done
Draw Something’s interface is super simple: a sketch area, color palette, pen and eraser are provided for the budding artist. Players then use their finger (or stylus) to draw a picture that represents the word their opponent is trying to guess. (Phrases like “prom,” “slam dunk” and “firewood” aren’t as easy to guess as you might think.) When the player is finished with his drawing, it’s then sent to their opponent. In turn, the opponent attempts to guess what is being drawn using a small selection of letters.

Points are awarded for correct answers, while wrong answers can cost players “turns.” Points translate into credits that can be used to buy “art supplies,” like new brushes or colors. Aside from the game itself, Draw Something fans are also using the program as a means for self expression, unleashing their inner Van Gogh with complex works of user art.


Examples of art created with Draw Something include a high-flying salute to NBA legend Michael Jordan.

Players can have multiple games going simultaneously, which comes in handy if you’re waiting for a player to guess one of your drawings. One drawback (pun intended) is that players can also write out words…which comes in handy for players who can’t sketch but who happen to enjoy cheating.

Drawn to Apps?
Some insiders have claimed Draw Something may be the fastest growing original mobile game ever – and point to the fact that an astounding 50 million users have downloaded the app in only 50 days. Not only that, but Draw Something has even dethroned the massively popular Angry Birds game as the most popular download in current circulation.

Cool games like Draw Something all share one characteristic: they each begin with people inspired to create something new and outstanding. Opportunities to gain practical app-development experience, such as the iPhone Game Development summer camp and the App Development for iPhone and iPad summer camp, are a smart way to start learning how to make the next Draw Something.

Answer: Bathtub

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments

MMOG Trends: Subscriptions are Out, Micropayments are In

It’s something that Apple has known for some time: In increasing numbers, consumers are more willing to pay for digital objects in incremental payments rather than shell out large sums for subscriptions.

Take, for example, MMOGs (massively multi-player online games). A report on MMOG trends by IHS Inc. released this past week revealed games that have adopted micropayment systems for virtual items have fared well against games that are only offered in subscription form, and those same games with micropayment systems are expected to do much better in the years ahead.


Micropayments will represent almost half the revenue for online games in 2015. 

Game Changer
Online games like Facebook’s Farmville have helped publisher Zynga bank more than $830 milion from microtransactions in 2010 (that according to the San Francisco company’s SEC filing in anticipation of going public later this year). On the console gaming front, Xbox Live and Nintendo have already adopted micropayment strategies.

It’s no surprise, really. Gamers buy virtual items as a short cut to empowering their character instead of spending hours grinding away on a quest. Smart game publishers like Zynga also realize that users typically spend more (in some cases, hundreds of dollars) buying virtual goods, than signing up for a $10 to $15 a month subscription fee. Gamers’ tastes are fickle; why commit to a game when you can hop into (and hop onto) something else a few months later?


Zynga recently promoted its games with convenience-store chain 7-Eleven.

Subscriptions and revenue for online games like World of Warcraft dipped in 2010 and are expected to fall more over the next few years. IHS senior analyst Piers Harding-Rolls called it, “an inflection point for the industry.” Microtransactions in general are a hot topic for both current and future online and video game developers. Revenues for 2010 micropayments totalled $1.13 billion. That’s a 24 percent increase from 2009 when micropayments made up $909 million in revenue. And those dollars really add up. As a former U.S. Senator was once quoted during budget negotiations: “A billion here. A billion there. Pretty soon, you’re talking real money.”

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posted by DMA Jordan in 3D Game Development,News Blog and have Comment (1)