Twitter is a growing platform and there are enough people using it to wonder if there can be games on it.
There are already some games on there and we’ve also made a game called “Tweetpet”. It is a virtual pet game on Twitter.
This series of articles will discuss developing a game on Twitter.
Part I will discuss the design, Part II will discuss the development, and Part III will discuss the release of the game.
In any case, we wanted to do a virtual pet on Twitter and wondered how we would make such a game.
As we worked on the design, we had to figure out how we would let twitter users have a virtual pet on Twitter.
The best idea we could come up with was registering a new twitter account. Players would *follow* the account and then get updates from the account about the status of their pet.
Specifically, we registered “tweetpet” on Twitter (http://twitter.com/tweetpet/) and set it up so that folks could follow the virtual pet.
If they did follow the pet, we would make a special entry in the database table for that user that would keep track of the last time they sent special messages to the tweetpet account. These special messages would consist of “pet” or “clean” or “feed”…and each player would get updates from “tweepet” every few hours communicating the status of the virtual pet.
Every update that “tweetpet” sent to a player would be posted on the player’s public twitter feed for maximum exposure and a way to attract more potential players to follow “tweetpet”
To keep things simple, there would be 3 attributes for the pet:
1) The pet’s hunger level (we would record the last time the player fed their tweetpet and if the pet hasn’t been fed in a while, the player would get a message sent to their twitter feed from the “tweetpet” saying “hungry” …and they would have to send “feed” to the “tweetpet” account to feed the pet.
2) The pet’s cleanliness level (we would record the last time the player cleaned the pet and if the pet didn’t get cleaned in a while, the player would get a message sent to their twitter feed from the “tweetpet” saying “clean me”…and the player would have to send a “clean” message to the “tweepet” account to clean their pet.
3) The pet’s happiness level (we would record the last time the player “pet” their tweetpet and if the pet didn’t get petted in a while, it would be unhappy and the player would get a message sent to their twitter feed from the “tweepet” saying “pet me”…and the player would have to send a “pet” message to the “tweetpet” account to pet their pet.
Every 6 hours, we would check to see if the pet was either fed, pet, or cleaned by the player…and if the pet was not, we would send a message to the player saying the pet needed attention.
The player would communicate with the pet in a simple manner, mainly sending messages consisting of “feed”, “pet”, “clean” to “tweetpet”
To keep things simple, we didn’t display the tweetpet in a visual way. We also did not allow followers to interact with each other in the game.
The next article will discuss the actual implementation of the game