With Placescore I made a dream of mine come true: A location based massively multiplayer online game.
Many years ago there was a game called Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 for the first Playstation. One of the play modes was “Graffiti” where the players drove around on their skateboards, listened to punk rock and scored high scores on different objects in the environment by landing tricks on them. The better and more complicated the trick, the higher the score. A color was assigned to every player and the object was painted in the color of the player that landed the best trick on it.
I always thought that this concept needed to be transported to the real world and in 2013 I finally had the right idea for how to put it into practice. Then, in 2014, we (three friends of mine and yours truly) launched Placescore.
The concept was easy: Placescore welcomed the player with a list of the surrounding locations. Every location could be in one of three states: Owned by you, owned by somebody else or neutral. With a tap on one of the locations a match-3 game was started. The game consisted of popping three same-coloured bubbles. For every popped bubble, the player was given a point. The person who scored the most points in a 60 seconds round became the location’s new owner. The... wait for it... "placeholder". Yeah, I know.
It got a lot of people hooked pretty fast. Maybe a bit too fast: soon most frequently visited locations had scores too high to beat. When this happened we added a time-bonus to the game. The player popped one of the time-bonus bubbles and got a few extra seconds game time, which enabled higher scores. The only problem — and we knew that this would be the case — this doesn’t stop the issue from happening. It just decreases the time until all scores seem unbeatable again.
In the end, we tried a few different approaches to solve this problem but failed. With that, after over 150 cumulated days of playtime, more than 10.000 played games and a few thousand active user, we gave Placescore a neat little corner on our graveyard of failed ideas. Sorry, buddy, you were a good one.