A new piece of software could transform the iPhone into a much more adept gaming device.

The new software is a tool called Onyx Online and is free. Onyx Online was developed by Steve Demeter, the same developer who created the popular and profitable Trism for the iPhone. Game makers and developers who choose to embed Onyx in their creation get a host of social networking features already added. Just a few of which include leaderboards, achievements and forums. What’s more is that iPhone owners playing Onyx Online embedded games would be able to view each other’s profiles, compare scores and see what games everyone else is playing. Onyx Online allows players to find each other and even challenge each other to duels! Demeter explains:

“Right now games don’t introduce the social aspect at all on the iPhone,” Demeter said in a phone interview. “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.”

Unfortunately, Demeter says the extreme growth of Apple’s App store and all the software that has cluttered it is hurting business for independent coders like himself, and subsequently the consumer. Demeter thinks if this continues consumers will see only small amounts of high quality games from independent developers, as they’ll have been mostly replaced with titles from large companies like Sega.

Demeter claims that Onyx Online will “save the App Store.” He is calling for independent game developers to sign up to use his code with the hopes that the social-networking aspect of Onyx would benefit developers by connecting the games in one network and allowing the developers to essentially be sharing each other’s customers, which he hopes will lead to growth.

I think this is pretty cool…playing games by yourself is not nearly as fun as when you are playing/interacting with a group of people.

You can check out more by reading Demeter’s blog @ http://demiforce.blogspot.com/

[tags] iphone, iphone games, iphone apps, social network, social networking, apple, development [/tags]