All Transform 2021 sessions are available on demand now. Look now.
Now you no longer have to complain about annoying Zoom calls. Instead, you can play Zoom’s first game, Live Game Night Poker, courtesy of developer FlowPlay.
Seattle-based FlowPlay created the game Texas Hold ‘Em as a new app integrated with Zoom Meetings. The video app is available on Zoom App Marketplace for those who are still stuck in long distance communications, which I think is most of us.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a Boss Key, where you can play it in the middle of an important meeting while the boss is giving a speech. As the world strives for a return to normalcy, some changes in the pandemic era are here to stay. As many organizations embrace a hybrid workforce for the foreseeable future, HR and IT teams are tasked with virtually creating and sustaining a corporate culture.
Live Game Night Poker takes advantage of video technology to provide as close a connection as possible in person, allowing up to 10 colleagues of a host to play together in a head-to-head match. You play for fun, because it offers no way to bet for real money in the game, said Derrick Morton, CEO of FlowPlay, in an interview with GamesBeat. But you can do things like pay money for avatars and other types of digital items in games.
“We built a video poker game last summer in response to COVID,” Morton said. “But it was a bit difficult because it was meant for personal groups, where you invite your friends. We were struggling to figure out how to create an audience for this. Then we showed it to Zoom, and they thought it would be a perfect fit.
Ross Mayfield, product manager for Zoom Apps & Integrations, said in a statement that FlowPlay’s poker game offers a new way for people to connect through gameplay.
“You can upgrade these avatars and buy (virtual) drinks for the table,” Morton said. “It’s not about making money up front. We are making a lot of money. What we really want to do is create a large following for this type of product. “
The potential is good as 300 million monthly active users worldwide use Zoom. Morton said his company has more games to come.
Live Game Night Poker for Zoom is available for free today on the Zoom App Marketplace. To play, all you need to do is install the game from the Zoom App Marketplace and start a Zoom meeting as you normally would. Once in the meeting, you can launch the game from the Zoom Apps tab at the bottom of the meeting window. The meeting host will be able to configure the game options. Once the host has set up the game, meeting participants will be taken directly to the poker room and the game can begin.
The Zoom applications built into the product allow a seamless experience for using your favorite applications in Zoom, before, during and after a meeting. The idea is to use them to increase the productivity of meetings with applications for file sharing, project management, whiteboard, etc. Zoom apps inspire collaboration and drive engagement by enabling meeting attendees to run in real time and get the most out of meetings.
“I still don’t think everyone is comfortable enough with just going back to normal,” Morton said.
Morton said the process started late last year and it took around 90 days to create the game.
“I think it’s a platform that’s going to have legs,” Morton said. “We have all become quite comfortable with Zoom. Obviously we’re pooping it and say not another Zoom meeting. But to get together with people you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise, it’s a great way to bring people together. Especially if it is a group of friends or relatives. It’s another way to connect people.
You can see real players on their video screens. The avatars that match them are seated at the table, so you can see the faces, talk to people, and hear their laughter. That means you can read the faces to see if anyone is bluffing, Morton said. This allows for a better experience than a lot of poker apps on the market.
“There aren’t that many real-time video poker games out there,” Morton said. “And a lot of other games you play with strangers.”
FlowPlay has a platform for casual and sports betting games, virtual worlds and social occasions. Developer, operator and publisher, FlowPlay serves both consumers and businesses with free online and mobile gaming experiences. FlowPlay games include OurWorld, Vegas World, Casino World, and 7 Seas Casino. Over 75 million people have played these games since 2006. FlowPlay investors include Intel Capital and the creators of Skype. FlowPlay has 65 employees. I think they’re going to be pretty busy making Zoom games.
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