There is a war raging in New York City to determine which of the five boroughs is the most tech savvy, restaurant-hopping, museum-going, nightclub-VIP clan. Over 100,000 battles have been recorded among the more than 3,000 players of World of Fourcraft, which turns the Big Apple into a giant game of Risk, in which each check-in represents an attack or defense. Today the service is rolling out a bunch of new features with its first update since it was created at General Assembly’s Game Hack Day.
“It seems like Foursquare is more focused on creating a loyalty card and has avoided diving too deep into gamifying their service,” says Ricky Robinett, one of Fourcraft’s founders. “They have such an incredible API that it was really simple to build a complex strategy game in a short, 48-hour hackathon.”
Not surprisingly, Manhattan and Brooklyn have the most active armies and the greatest number of conflicts, with the warriors of Williamsburg currently holding the lead. Brooklyn controls the most territory, with six percent of other boroughs and a commanding 84 percent of its own turf under its control, including large sections of the Bronx annexed by their troops. Queens is the second biggest landholder, followed by Manhattan, the Bronx and everyone’s favorite underdog, Staten Island. The new version released today allows users to track the ownerships stats from a map key on Fourcraft’s website and when users are logged in from their mobile. A nifty FAQ is now up at the main website and users can see their victories tweeted out in real time from @wofbattles.
“We haven’t abandoned gaming at all, the leaderboard got a big overhaul a few months back and we are still rolling out new badges regularly,” Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley said in an email. “But the point of Foursquare was never to build an amazing game, it was to build an amazing experience around discovering things in the real world, one that used game mechanics as a way to encourage people to explore. We love and encourage people to build on our API. Some of the most innovative things that have been done with Foursquare data are built off the API, heatmaps, dating services, deal finders, recommendation engines, all working off our data. When devs do decide to focus on doubling down and expanding some of our ‘life as a game’ spin, we love seeing where the ideas go and how users respond and engage with them.”
The World of Fourcraft founding team is: