Facebook is looking to build up some competition with what most gamers would call 'casual games'. The newly released platform called Gameroom is built similarly to Valve's Steam, a video game hub that has a digital market, community hub, and even a workshop for custom mods. Of course, Facebook's alternative is lacking on all of these features compared to the modern Steam according to Engadget.
It has a similar sleek design to draw users in with recommended games and Created with the Unity developer toolset, Gameroom is attempting to start small with 200mb games. Most of which were on Facebook previously. These smaller games often have an emphasis on social features and the website's own economy to purchase in-game content.
Upon opening the Gameroom client and signing in with your Facebook account (automatically for those that have it enabled), users are greeted with a slew of games for them to explore. In the center of the interface is the market with Recommended Games, genres, and themes. To the left, users will be able to select their own previously played games and navigate with the search bar. Hovering over the game icons let you click the "Play Now" button.
In true social media fashion, the Facebook games open up with a chat that will let you play with other current players. However, our testing reveals that most of the users are link spammers. The feature leaves a lot of room for improvement but can stand out as unique if done correctly. After all, not everyone on Facebook has a few hundred friends to spare.
What was more curious was exactly how the game's open up. Depending on the game, some would open up as programs with content to download and others would pop up with a browser as it would if the user was playing through Facebook itself.
If you'd like to try out Facebook Gameroom, you can download the Windows 7 (and up) client from its page. Unity developers are also being encouraged to embrace the new platform with a video tutorial and documentation that will help them develop games for the client.
Is this the beginning Facebook's aspirations to dive into virtual gaming? Or do you feel that it is the dusty remains of a neat idea? Let us know your thoughts on the Facebook Gameroom in the comments below.