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Update!

I have been busy-

1) Finally my divorce came through. My advice – dont do it without a pre-nup ! Alimony means all the money.

2) Spending time on Quora after getting bored from LinkedIn, Twitter,Facebook,Google Plus,Tumblr, WordPress

See this answer to-

 What are common misconceptions about startups?

1) we will change the world
2) if we get 1% of a billion people market, we will be rich
3) if we have got funding, most of the job is done
4) lets pay ourselves high salaries since we got funded
5) our idea is awesome and cant be copied, improvised, stolen, replicated
6) startups are painless
7) it is a better life than a corporate career
8) long term vision is important than short term cash burn
9) we will never sell out or exit. never
10) its a great idea to make startups with friend

Say hello to me – http://www.quora.com/Ajay-Ohri/answers

3) Writing freelance articles on APIs for Programmable Web

Why write pro? See point 1)

Recent Articles-

http://blog.programmableweb.com/2012/07/30/predict-the-future-with-google-prediction-api/

http://blog.programmableweb.com/2012/08/01/your-store-in-the-cloud-google-cloud-storage-api/

http://blog.programmableweb.com/2012/07/27/the-romney-vs-obama-api/

4) Writing poetry on http://poemsforkush.com/. It now gets 23000 views a month. I wish I could say my poems were great, but the readers are kind (364 subscribers!) and also Google Image Search is very very kind.

5) Kicking tires with next book ” R for Cloud Computing” and be tuned for another writing announcement

6) Waiting for Paul Kent, VP, SAS Big Data to reply to my emails for interview after HE promised me!! You dont get to 105 interviews without being a bit stubborn!

7) Sighing on politics engulfing my American friends especially with regards to Chic-fil-A and Romney’s gaffes. Now thats what I call a first world problem! Protesting by eating or boycotting chicken sandwiches! In India we had the world’s biggest blackout two days in a row- and no one is attending the Hunger Fast against corruption protests!

8) Watching Olympics! Our glorious nation of 1.2 billion very smart people has managed to win 1 Bronze till today!! Michael Phelps has won more medals and more gold than the whole of  India has since the Olympics Games began!!

9) Consulting to pay the bills. includes writing R code, making presentations. Why consult when I have writing to do? See point 1)

10) Reading New York Times to get insights on Big Data and Analytics. Trust them- they know what they are doing!

Google Plus Gaming vs Facebook Gaming

After a few hiccups, Facebook has gotten the notifications scrolling back and much better than Google Plus. This gives it a cleaner advantage in social gaming interface – even for the same game. and of course many more gamers!

Clearly the games stream is much more efficiently designed in FB, probably because they need to earn some ad revenue- that forces you to think more optimally for space. FB interface is also bug free compared to the constant error in G+ (error changing circle membership- ideally I wanted to create one gaming circle for all gaming friends)

See this  – not just compare the games stream/notifications only

vs

Research on Social Games

Social Gaming is slightly different from arcade gaming, and the heavy duty PSP3, XBox, Wii world of gaming.  Some observations on my research ( ;) ) on social gaming across internet is as follows-

There are mostly 3 types of social games-

1) Quest- Build a town/area/farm to earn in game money or points

2) Fight- fight other people /players /pigs earn in game money or points

3) Puzzle- Stack up, make three of a kind, etc

Most successful social games are a crossover between the above three kinds of social games (so build and fight, or fight and puzzle etc)

In addition most social games have some in game incentives that are peculiar to social networks only. In game incentives are mostly in game cash to build, energy to fight others, or shortcuts in puzzle games. These social gaming incentives are-

1) Some incentive to log in daily/regularly/visit game site more often

2) Some incentive to invite other players on the social network

A characteristic of this domain is blatant me-too, copying and ripping creative ideas (but not the creative itself)  from other social games. In general the successful game which is the early leader gets most of the players but other game studios can and do build up substantial long tail network of players by copying games. Thus there are a huge variety of games.

However there are massive hits like Farmville and Angry Birds, that prove that a single social game well executed can be very valuable and profitable to both itself as well as the primary social network hosting it.

Accordingly the leading game studios are Zynga, Electronic Arts and (yes) Microsoft while Google has been mostly a investor in these.

A good website for studying data about social games is http://www.appdata.com/ while a sister website for studying developments is  http://www.insidesocialgames.com/

As you can see below Appdata is a formidable data gatherer here (though I find the top App – Static HTML as both puzzling and a sign of un corrected automated data gathering),

but I expect more competition in this very lucrative segment.

 

 

New game on Google Plus- Triple Town by Spry Fox

The latest game on Google Plus is Triple Town, by Spry Fox http://www.spryfox.com/, makers of Steambirds survival.

Spry Fox is made by two ex Microsofties Daniel Cook and Dave E. , and they already have hit games on their hands but true to their name, they use all platforms including Flash.

Triple Town has a slightly classic smoothed font/icon look for a build build game with cute animals. Detailed review as follows soon!

The game is a play on Tic Tac To, and uses a combination of tricks to keep you hooked, from smoooth iconery,cute bears, ninja bears,coins that buy you goodies. Basically 3 consecutive grass make a bush, 3 consecutive Bush make a Tree, 3 trees make a house, 3 houses make a church, trap bears and they turn into gravestones and 3 gravestones turn into– you get the idea. Use bots to clear space, crystals to make wild cards, and store and retrieve things from storehouse. Ninja bear teleports!

 

 

 

 

Mafia Wars 2 -The review of the new game on G+

Mafia Wars2 tries to be Steve Jobs working on a PC. It substitutes storyline for fancier graphics, smoother icons and design, and the numeric fun of piling up scores is almost gone. Did you mention social gaming- there are hardly any incentives for “social” part of the game. It looks like a gaudy Vegas twist to a beloved franchise.

Leave sequels to the boys in Hollywood, Pincuss/Zynga- You will need to be much more original to create the next blockbuster. Of course given the size of Zynga’s captive addict-base, the game will be a hit. But it will be a hit more like Transformers 3 , than likes of Blade Hunter or Terminator 2.

May we suggest another NEW game , than rebooting the squeezed lemon juice of a beloved and now departed friend-chise.

ps The song is irritating too. and the skimpy clad players are insulting.

 

Zynga Mafia Wars 2 on Google Plus

The latest game on Google Plus is a clone of one of the most important games in social gaming history- Mafia Wars 2. Early days and a more detailed review to follow- but there has been a design paradigm change in terms of icons, fonts and storyline. Will this capture the gamers attention- time will tell?

Global Warfare on Google Plus

Global Warfare is one of the latest games on Google Plus. There are lots of similarities between this game and Evony at http://evony.com

Global Warfare is made by Kabam https://www.kabam.com/games/global-warfare which is making a total of 3 games for Google Plus (out of 18) and it has Google Ventures as a strategic investor as well (and a member on the board). Google is clearly wanting to bet on online gaming with its earlier strategic investment in Zynga as well. It also acquired http://www.labpixies.com/  (which makes the game Sudoko Puzzles and Flood It but it has more games in reserve as can be seen at https://market.android.com/search?q=labpixies, so clearly G+ is being selective on Games directory at https://plus.google.com/games/directory)

With these gaming companies and others like http://www.digitalchocolate.com/about/ and http://www.rovio.com/index.php?page=company and http://www.popcap.com/ – well they are all there on G+

is gaming the ace in hand in G+ plans for Facebook- time will tell.

Evony of course was a very good game, as it was also very similar (allegedly) to Civilization, and though its advertising campaign of semi clad characters draws flak, it got the worlds attention and recall. While Evony was situated in medieval world,  Global Warfare is a modern warfare equivalent.

Features in Global Warfare-

  • Alliances,
  • multiple player online gaming,
  • social sharing and rewards,
  • in game purchases,
  •  persistent world

Some drawbacks-

  • Slight clutter in gaming space (and lack of nice fonts!)
  • Lack of help forums (or easy availability)
  • Lack of in game search for searching or navigating alliances
Overall- a nice addition to the G+ family of games

 

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