How to Make a Facebook Game: Just Add 'Wars'


When it comes to naming their games, Facebook developers are prone to imitation. Many of them take their cue from Zynga, who is known for its 'villes -- the big three of which are FarmVille, FrontierVille, and CityVille. But before those three, the word Zynga seemed to love most was "Wars". Poking fun at this unoriginal naming convention, Kris Naudus, a logophile on Wordnik, created a list of actual Facebook games called "How to Make a Facebook Game". She jokingly sums up the process, thusly:

Wordnik: Lampbane: How to Make a Facebook game
Wordnik: Lampbane: How to Make a Facebook game

Many of Zynga's games that end in "Wars" have long been abandoned. You can find disgruntled users still demanding the revival of Dragon Wars, for example. Other discontinued titles are Fashion Wars, Space Wars, Dope Wars, and Gang Wars (which you can tell once existed by the "add me" Facebook groups it left in its wake). But Mafia Wars and Vampire Wars are still going strong. So far, Zynga makes up 7 out of the 51 games on Naudus' list. I've looked into many of the others, and they're all active or were once active Facebook games. The one exception being Mustache Wars, an app which sends photos of mustaches to your friends without any pretensions towards gamehood.