Demeter's newest brainstorm is Onyx Online, a free tool which allows app developers to add a slew of "social media" features to iPhone games, like leaderboards, achievements, forums, and the like. Onyx would also allow gamers to not only compare their scores with other players, but actually see what other games said players are participating in…and, hopefully, encourage them to add said new games to their skill set. Argues Demeter:
iPhone. If there is a social
aspect it's an island. If these users are playing Trism, they're
playing Trism; it's an island. How does that tie into
other puzzle games? If players are still connected to a larger whole
then they're more likely to keep playing other games."
Noble intentions, indeed — but there's also a layer of CYA buried in there. Despite the explosive growth of the App Store, Demeter has found business slowing down for himself and other indie coders, as their work gets buried under an avalanche of new and/or inconsequential releases. His fear is that before long, only the big developers like Sega will survive. In Demeter's eyes, the social-networking aspect of Onyx would
benefit developers, because by connecting the games in one network, the
developers would essentially be sharing each other's customers, leading to growth. He's even gone so far as to declare that adopting Onyx will "save the App store."