The gamification of our daily lives is something that we’re seeing more and more of in apps and websites. Checking in on Foursquare gives you badges and lofty titles. Empire Avenue rewards you for your social network interaction. The latest online game, Paris-based Onefeat, takes a slightly different approach, by taking the focus of the game off the screen and into the real world.
Playing Onefeat involves a series of missions which you can choose to complete, by taking a photograph that fits a certain description or criteria. You can create your own missions, encouraging other people to complete them, as well as complete other people’s missions – or in Onefeat lingo, perform a feat.
We caught up with one of Onefeat’s co-founders, Souheil Medaghri who told us a little bit about what inspired them to launch the game.
“We are 3 kids from the East of Paris, friends for a very longtime, who grew up passionate about music, game, business, design, tech, innovation, sociology…kind of a Generation Y cliché. We are just graduating and we were not really happy about joining a big boring company so we decided to check what we could do together to have fun. We are all big Foursquare users and we loved the way it was implementing gaming aspects on everywhere we go, but real life games (SCVNGR/Foursquare) had some limits for us.”
Souheil and his co-founders Arnaud Ferreri and Julien Dao analyzed each limitation that Foursquare gaming imposed and decided to find alternatives to that limitation.
“These games define you based only on where you go, not what you do. Locations are such small parts of our lives compared to all the amazing things people can do everyday. We are missing a big chunk of what real life is. Let’s forget geolocation for a while.
The other limit was in the lack of emotional dimension in a “check-in.” It’s boring, you have no reason to do it and it does not allow you to express yourself in your unique way. We thought we’ve got the right ingredients to create a completely new game based on what people do in real life, using photography as proof, because it is the most emotional, simple and universal way to express the fact that you are doing something with social elements.”
Onefeat, Souheil explains, takes elements from the hottest online trends today – gamification, photo sharing and social media – but takes it off the screen and into the real world.
“There is a strong vision behind Onefeat, it’s ‘You are what you do.’ In your life, you can dream, think about the things you could experiment but in the end, before you die, only what you did counts. We’re simply giving people a way to do more stuff in real life. Our goal is to stop this ‘Exodus to Virtual Worlds’ (Castronova) that is happening with Facebook, Twitter and traditional social games. People are escaping real life in masses because it’s easy to interact online while reality is way better!”
Onefeat is starting an accelerator program in Paris next week at Le Camping, which is will be an ideal opportunity for the team to focus on any major features they will be adding to the game. Souheil tells The Next Web what to expect in the game in the future:
“Our priorities are building great game mechanics and creating a “game layer” (badges, points, items) which will be really engaging and fun. We will then focus on our customer acquisition strategy. The monetization part will come only once we’ve reached decent traction and on that part too, awesome things are planned. One of our other goals is also to win LeWeb ’11 (the biggest European Tech Event) that will be held in Paris in December.”
So how exactly does Onefeat work? From extremely easy missions (take a self portrait), to missions that require a bit of digging at home (find the oldest object in your room) to missions that you have go out and about to complete (shoot a great example of street art), there’s a huge variety of tasks to complete.
The more difficult a mission is, the more points its worth. As you collect points, you move up to the next level. There’s a ton of fun missions to catch up on – which you can browse by category, by week, or by level.
Gaining points doesn’t just come from accepting and completing missions. Onefeat is, after all, a social game and if other users add your photos to their favourites, you’ll gain more points, which will help you get from one level to the next a whole lot quicker. You can also follow other users, leave comments on their photos, and share their photos on Twitter and Facebook.
Of course since Onefeat turns your entire life into a game, it’s only natural that there’s an iPhone and Android app that makes it easy to check out the latest missions, and take photos using your phone.
The Onefeat scoreboard features the people who have the most points, the most likes per feat, and other interesting statistics.
So why play Onefeat? Unlike other online games, Onefeat is an integral part of your life, so rather than simulating an imaginary life, it plugs right into what you might be doing on a daily basis. And because you can play the game using nothing more than your phone, it’s pretty easy to get addicted.
There are also a lot of ways you can use Onefeat as a useful tool. Photographers can use the missions as inspiration to take photos on a daily basis. If you and your friends get into the game, it can be a great way to discover new and interesting things about each other, and it also will encourage you to try new and different things, especially when you have to go out of your way to complete a mission.
Onefeat is currently in private beta, but we’ve got invites for the first 50 readers who sign up using this link. Be sure to come back and let us know what you think of the game!