In many social groups, friends will play the same games. This takes these games beyond being a separate form of entertainment for the individual. They become a community pastime. Designing for this social factor generates a greater interest in this collective sphere, and the game has the potential to become more pervasive in the players’ lives.
One way to design for this social aspect is by giving these players the ability to see the scores of their friends. With this addition, there is an extra level of competition to the game. Each player now wants to be the best on some level. This bonus level of social competition between friends has the potential to draw out the game’s popularity and monetary success.
Candy Crush Saga
One example of this competitive design element can be found in Candy Crush Saga. Each player generates a numerical score throughout the play of a level. Upon the completion of that level, they then have the ability to see how their score measures up against their friends’ on social media. In addition to beating the level, there is another level of success when they surpass their friends.
Xbox One Achievement Display
While not a game specifically, the Xbox One dashboard utilizes the idea of leaderboards on a much larger scale than just a specific game. By broadening the scope of the score game wide achievement scores, they incite friendly competition that encourages play over multiple titles and play styles.
Geometry Wars 3 (iPhone)
Geometry Wars 3 (iPhone): Geometry Wars 3 gives players the option of linking their Facebook accounts and is a good example of the above. As can be seen in the screenshot, the level selection screen has images of people in a player’s friends list and the level description also shows their scores in comparison to the players.