Let's talk leaderboards! So after releasing Refuge Sea we got a ton of players asking us "who is #1?" and "Am I better than my friend?" and "By how many points did I beat Timmy?" as well as "Seriously I hate Timmy, did I beat him?"
I'm not much of a competitive player myself. I prefer playing games for the experience of it, so it was surprising to see such overwhelming feedback requesting the same thing - leaderboards. With so much consistent feedback by the community, we had to abide.
Originally we thought of re-using either Facebook or Google's API for leaderboards but found a problem - they were designed for a single game at a time in mind, and not many as is our case. This means each time a player wanted to save their score to the leaderboard they had to grant permission per game. This was simply an unacceptable UX pattern. We looked at a few other options, but none of them fit all our requirements. This was mostly due to the fact that we're building a Microgame portal, with numerous games available over the same set of services.
So we bit the bullet and build our own leaderboard system. Right now we have 2 leaderboards, global and friends. Global displays the top players in the world for any game. Friends only displays the top friends you have that also played the same Microgame. A friend is considered someone with whom you're friends with on Facebook. So on the example below, my good friends BulgarianOgre and Paulo beat me.
Did I say I'm not competitive? I'm super competitive. I'm in no longer in speaking terms with both BulgarianOgre and Paulo. They can go to hell. Winnie and DarkTyger are cool though.
Happy friendship ending gaming experiences!
- D.Waters and the Blue Salt Team