Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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“Fellowship of Game Parties” App in Beta and Live

To many regular GDC attendees, the Facebook group “The Fellowship of GDC Parties” is their bible to after-hours events at GDC year over year. In that group, users post up about GDC-focused or game conference-related events and parties they discover, or discuss relevant event-related attendance, planning or ex post facto topics. In fact, some of the members create events of their own to share with the community of like-minded fun-lovers. Now, at over 5,600 members (and rising every day), this diverse group has needed to go back to the trough at Facebook to catch up on the latest updates around Q1, just before GDC.

As a supplement to the Fellowship group, group founder and game developer, Oded Sharon, has created an Android and web-based app (iOS version yet to come) for GDC party check-ins and ratings, suitably entitled with the “Fellowship of Game Parties” moniker. He describes the purpose of the app as “Yelp + foursquare for game developer parties.” Sharon adds, “I want to give game developers attending conferences where there are a lot of parties an opportunity to get an answer to the question I keep asking myself , ‘where’s the best party, like…right now?’ The answer is subjective, as certain folks prefer a quiet mingling atmosphere and some like wild dancing with all sort of entertainment. This app is suppose to help get that answer, in real time, during the conference, using the power of crowd-sourcing.”

“You can add a new party, check in to an existing party. When checking in, you can rate the party with a few characteristics, such as Food, Bar, Noise, Venue, etc,” says Sharon, describing the app’s current functionality.

In the future, Sharon would like to add push notifications and alerts from friends who check in to parties or comment or reply to comments; real-time social interactions, a party map; more collaboration with the party organizers, which might include check-in promotions; and party route planning, down to route-mapping and allocating time to each event and on-the-fly adjustment to the map if an event is at capacity.

The current app is many upgrades from that sort of functionality, which is why Oded Sharon hopes to gain help from the community in developing what has so far been a solo side project. “I am building this in Unity3d + NGUI + Parse. I probably could use better UI and (and would work with) people who know how to do some platform integration.”

Eagle-eyed observers might note that the app’s title, which covers “game parties” is different from the Facebook group’s name, which covers GDC parties from the title onward. This reflects the app developer’s vision that the app might extend beyond just the GDC conference: “This app might be suitable for parties and conferences in general and not just GDC. (It) might be leading to something bigger, “including sponsorship, corporate branding, or even outside investment into the project.

For GDC attendees interested in checking out the current beta iteration of the “Fellowship of Game Parties” app for either Android or web, visit this site as a starting point.


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