Akoha: Is that all?

Last week, we got our first true glimpse into the über-secret world of Akoha (formerly Project Ojibwe, aka Austin Hill’s new project), after they presented the project at TechCrunch50.

I find myself feeling for Akoha something similar to what I felt about Standout Jobs when it launched in public beta: disappointed.

Not heartbroken. Not “wtf this is crap,” but more a feeling of “a team of computer programmers spent months in super-secret hiding for this?”

Added to that was the fact that both did a lot of talking about supporting the local community, but when it came to actually launching, they both took off for the other side of the border.

Based on the presentation, the comic on the website and Roberto Rocha’s article, Akoha is some sort of game where you buy cards and have to do what the cards say. And then you go online and tell everyone you did what the cards say. And then you feel good.

Mark MacLeod points out some of the issues Akoha will have to deal with, like marketing, user retention and monetization. I’ll also add authentication: How do we know that someone’s claim to have done something is true?

But the biggest problem, I think, will be keeping a critical mass that goes beyond the fad. People will be interested, at first, but without that Facebook-like regular activity and new information, I can see people using Akoha less and less until the playing cards start collecting dust at the back of the closet.

But then, maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. TechCrunch liked it, as did Scoble. So maybe it is the next big thing.

3 thoughts on “Akoha: Is that all?

  1. Ausitn Hill

    Hi Steve,

    The current release of Akoha is just a starting point for our team and community of players. Like any newborn we’ll need to take some time to grow into our potential, which will probably involve a few bumps and bruises along the way. We’ve gotten invaluable feedback and some great critiques from our players on how we can make Akoha a better experience for them. (The reviews have been pretty good so far, but our support queue is packed with great suggestions)

    Mark MacLeod did a great analysis of a few of our challenges we’ll have to address as we grow (My own list of issues to deal with run’s a lot longer, but he hit on many good ones).

    I’m sorry that our stealth period led you to believe we were working on a cold-fusion device that included a time machine in the back seat. Maybe once we finish figuring out how to make a game that makes the world a better place work, scale and continue to be engaging for our players we’ll try to tackle that :)

    The rules of TechCrunch50 did require us to be stealth and not disclose the project, but we did in fact launch locally in Montreal to the Montreal technology community before launching in California. We did a private launch to 300 friends in the Montreal tech community which was the first time it was shown publicly. This not only allowed us to show it to the community that supports us, but also provided us with essential feedback & high priority bug lists that we were able to work on prior to the beta launch at TechCrunch.

    The support of the Montreal community who attended our Montreal launch was crucial as we made our way to California as they drove a ton of interest to Akoha through twitter & blogs. It was great we could introduce the project & team to our the local community first.

    -Austin

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