One of the big things that we’re working on for Voodoo Chat is extended customization for individual rooms – specifically, the ability to have room-specific titles, and a room-specific currency.
If you’re a regular user of Voodoo Chat, you know all about titles – they’re what determines the small image and the text on your chatter list panel, and they’re normally awarded on special holidays. The titles of that sort are “global titles” which means they can be worn in any room on Voodoo Chat. One of the exciting features we’re working on is the ability to create a limited number of “Room Titles”, where room owners can define the image and text, and can grant them to the chatters in their room as they see fit. These room titles will be usable only in that specific room – if a user wearing the title goes into a different room, the title will revert back to the standard “Chatter” title that every user has.
Quite soon (sooner than the rest of these plans, that is) the “Chatter” title will actually change for chatters who have “Liked” a given room, becoming a “<room name> VIP” title, with the room’s icon as the title image. This will help differentiate the fans of a facebook page from people who are just browsing. In time, it is likely the image and text for the fan title will be something that can be customized by the page owner.
One of the main reasons the Voodoo Chat in-chat currency system has been delayed, is that we are making a much more (internally) complex currency system that will allow room owners to create their very own currency for their room. Room owners will be able to give their currency a name, and an icon, and be able to create as much or as little of the currency as they see fit. In addition, an HTTP based API will later be available to room owners to allow for site integration of the currency system (automatic creation, removal, and querying of the room currency, using HTTP requests) so that you can automatically give your chatters your room’s currency in response to things they do outside of chat.
The more advanced currency system will also require a “trading” system to allow users to exchange different types of currency.
One limit we expect to have on the room currency system is that only fans of a room’s FB page will be able to own that room’s currency – if you’re not a page’s fan, you won’t be able to receive the room’s currency from your actions or by way of trade. This is primarily to protect against users being tricked into giving away their currency for “fake” currency – this is to say, since Facebook allows more than one page to have the name name and category, it would be possible for users to duplicate a given page and name that page’s currency the same as the real page’s currency. If the real page’s currency were something in demand, they would, in essence, be counterfeiting it, visually. By restricting access to a currency to page fans, this would not be an issue, as the fake page would not be Liked by the same people, and thus, the fake page’s currency would not be something that could be traded to them.
Hopefully these additions will help create a deeper and more involved social experience for each room’s chatters and fans, which is, at the end of the day, the whole point of Voodoo Chat!