Since the phenomenal success of QuizUp, there seems to be a scramble for making similar trivia based games across different App Stores. In this post I’ll introduce the key aspects that make QuizUp popular and how developers can build such a game using AppWarp S2.
There are a couple of key aspects that have made QuizUp successful. First is the wide range and genre of topics that were available from day 1. This is a key reason to the widespread appeal of the game as this offers something to everyone and doesn’t target a specific demographic. Topics (and sub-topics) cover everything such as TV shows, Movies, Music, Sports, History, Science etc. QuizUp launched with about 200 topics and today it has grown to over 500 categories of topics in which players can compete. Having both quality and quantity of content has been vitally important.
The second key to their success is the social aspect of the game. In QuizUp, players don’t just play the game by themselves and then have a leaderboard to check how they stand among others players and their friends. This style of social engagement has been used by a lot of other games as well. The unique social aspect with QuizUp is that there is no single-player mode. Players always play against real people, and beating real people is of course more fun. Deep Facebook integration too has helped the App grow. It doesn’t simply rely on getting visibility by posting user scores and achievements on their facebook wall, something which is a common nuisance in other Apps. Instead it uses the Facebook graph to find relevant opponents for players to play against. So users can play against their friends and can see which categories they are competing in. This helps in the discovery of new categories as well as keeps the user engaged.
Now to develop such a game, one obviously needs to have a database for the questions. While there is a challenge in generating the content, storing it in a database is not technically very challenging. The technical challenge lies in the real-time communication mechanism between the server and clients through which the server keeps the players updated of each others score and status as the game’s ticker progresses.
This communication aspect can be done using AppWarp S2. To illustrate, we have developed a sample trivia game which achieves this by extending the server side components of AppWarp S2. We have also developed the corresponding client application (Windows Phone) using the AppWarp S2 WP client SDK.
The server side component takes care of things such as reading from the database of questions and categories as well as monitoring the users score as they submit their answers. It also keeps the players informed about how far ahead or behind they are compared to their opponent. On the client-side, the app uses the AppWarp S2 WP SDK. It connects to the server and relay to it the user selection of topic and opponent (random and friend). It then joins the relevant game room on the server. Once the game play begins (both users are connected and have joined the same game room), it exchanges the Q & A as well as result data with the server.
Complete details of the sample game, along with source code and an explanation of the AppWarp S2 API usage are explained on our site.
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