Since the very first Nintendo Link Cable, it’s been understood by the tycoons of video gaming that gamers love to share their experiences with their friends.
The PlayStation Network and XBox Live experiences created vivid digital communities for users of their consoles, but one Vancouver gaming expert has put his mind to creating a completely agnostic platform for gamers to share their stories and opinions. Clayton Correia—or L3monade, as he’s known on the platform—launched Dpadd a week ago, and despite little fanfare, the site’s gotten hundreds of active users already. Not a bad audience for a one-man show.
The core concept for Dpadd was just the provision of an online gaming journal: a platform for sharing everything that gamers play, want to play, and have played before, to explore their opinions about the games that they loved. The designing and development of Dpadd began in January of this year. This is a side project for him; most of his time is spent as the lead designer at Chimp.net, where he’s worked for the past two-and-a-half years.
The mechanics fall somewhere between the literary portal Goodreads and the fitness gamifier Fitocracy. Users mark which games they are currently playing, add titles to their wishlist, and create archives of games that they’ve already completed. Users can join via Steam, Facebook, Twitter, or email. The platform was ideally launched, timing wise—the site’s a hotbed for discussion of Grand Theft Auto V and the newest Pokémon titles.
The site’s not unprecedented, but Clayton’s dedicated to keeping Dpadd ahead of its rivals.
“The biggest competition is Raptor," he told Techvibes. "But on Raptor, there’s a lot of repeat stuff, you’ve got your friend playing this, this, and this; how do I avoid that, and have people post what they’re actually doing? I want to have some place where people can discuss gaming, and not just blast messages into people.”
Still, with social media increasingly built into the consoles themselves, some might wonder as to the need for a site like Dpadd. Regardless of the need, there’s definitely a demand. There were the first few hundred signups within 24 hours, with 2,500 status updates posted on the very first day. It helps that this is a platform that recognizes the prevalence of mobile gaming; Android and iOS titles are given their due.
The version of Dpadd that’s currently online is Dpadd at its most rudimentary. A reputation system is on the way, as is a way to import contacts directly from your social networks into the platform. Correia’s main goal, he says with a sparkling eye, is to "make Dpadd sticky."
The gamification of gaming is not a new thing; the trophies and achievements that have become a ubiquitous aspect of 21st century gaming have been around for years. But Dpadd would bring a meta-game to the hobby, one that’s sure to entertain and engage future users.
“I want it to be completely platform agnostic; a place where anyone can talk about games. Steam has a lot of features that are here--communication, updates, seeing what people are playing, but someone like me who plays on Steam and Xbox and mobile, it’s going to need something different. If users walk away with any understanding of Dpadd, I want them to use it as a place to discuss the games that are important to you with the people who are important to you.”
There’s a fair amount of competition, but in the arena for best gaming congregator, it’s very much still anybody’s game.