Gaming

Gamers, Fix LFG Time Suck With LFGer

It’s 7:45pm. I just got home from work.

I put my leftover spaghetti in the microwave and head to my closet-size bedroom to grab my laptop (disclaimer: I live in NYC where you’re lucky if you can get a 100-square-foot bedroom). I curl up on the couch outside my room with my laptop in hand and surf away to find players for a raid in The Secret World.

Tick tock…tick tock.

And so it goes, two hours later, I’m frustrated by the time wasted surfing the net filling out LFG requests on multiple forums, I give up. Netflix seems like a more productive use of my time…

Finding people to play with is hard. I’m lucky if I can match with a few good people to run a raid. I just moved to New York, and while I have friends from work and a few acquaintances, I don’t have the community of gamer friends like I did in college.

Yes, there are tons of ways to find people to game with – Meetups, online forums, Reddit, etc. I’ve tried a lot of these methods. I’ve even been to a few Meetups in New York but was disappointed by the low turnout. I’m also a member of a community that helps match gamers, but it’s not an ideal way to find people to play with. If I put in time and have a bit of luck, I’ll maybe find a person or two. But who has that kind of time?

I realize I’m not alone. Finding people to play with for games that don’t even have internal matchmaking systems is especially challenging. That’s why my team members at SWARM decided to build LFGer – a mobile app that helps gamers connect with players in real-time, for any game on any system.

We gathered together one weekend, wrote some code and created a prototype. We chose to name our app LFGer for those familiar with the term LFG (“looking for group”). Basically, we’ve created an LFG app to make your life easier.

We want our app to resonate with gamers who share our frustration, and the name speaks to our mission: helping gamers looking for gamers.

The visual style is a bit retro – this was intentional. We wanted it to appeal to the mature gamer. The style is reminiscent of early gaming consoles, like ColecoVision (any 80s babies reading this?). Plus, the UI is simple and it gets the job done.

We believe there’s a huge need for something like this.

But I get it – you may be doubtful. Some of you may be shaking your head, thinking: “not another LFG app to fragment the gaming community.”

Skeptics, I understand where you’re coming from. But think about Destiny. DestinyLFG.com and DestinyLFG.net – two rival Destiny LFG sites – have been hugely successful. Both sites wouldn’t have prospered if it wasn’t for lousy in-game mechanics. There was a strong need for a centralized LFG tool and adoption took hold because of it.

Thing is, there are a number of other popular and less known multiplayer games with poor matchmaking mechanisms. This is why we need one tool to accommodate all multiplayer games. We build LFGer for that exact purpose: to find players for any game on any system. That’s right – Rust, Bloodborne, The Secret World, Minecraft, League of Legends, whatever you like.

No Man’s Sky: Fears and Hopes

We realize the success of our app is dependent on you. We want to see LFGer grow into something awesome, which is only possible if we get others to join us.

So, let’s get together!

Check out the beta version in the app store. Play around with it. Post your LFGs or simply chat with people using in-app messaging. LFGer was made by gamers for gamers, so we want to hear your ideas on design, functionality, anything. As more gamers join LFGer, we’ll continue to expand the capabilities of the platform.

If you have any questions, comments or simply want to chat, don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected] – I’m all ears, always.

Your support and feedback mean a lot to us.

This post was written by Melanie, a Junior Associate at SWARM – a digital product studio in New York City (they build apps and talk a lot about tech). As a non-techie among a team of engineers and designers, she spends her time ferociously catching up on industry news and learning from some of the smartest, curious, and passionate people she’s met. On the weekends, you can find her running loops around Central Park or binge watching Fargo, which she claims to be one the best AMC shows yet. Oh, and her all-time favorite old-school video game series is RollerCoaster Tycoon.

You can follow her on Facebook.

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