How to make an Io game

What is the .io all about?

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These multiplayer games are simple and accessible.

I'm sure you know a lot of gameswhose name ends in ".io". But what does it mean?

It all started with the browser game "agar.io", which was very popular a few years ago. The players control a cell that eats as much as possible in order to grow and has to be careful not to be eaten itself. The trick was that behind every cell there was a real person somewhere in the world.

“I was looking for a way to depict cell growth,” explains developer Matheus Valadares and explains how he came up with the brilliant idea when he saw a wobbly cell mass under the microscope. "I thought these circles looked really cool and that I should make a game out of them."

Behind every cell in "agar.io" there is a real person who tries to shut down everyone else.

Within a few months, "agar.io" found a huge fan base, which inspired other developers to develop their own games based on the basic idea of ​​Valadares. Like "agar.io", these games usually have simple rules, intuitive controls and a very clear goal.

With his next game, Valadares continued the trend that he had started with "agar.io": gripping multiplayer games with simple graphics. “Diep.io” is a kind of tank battle with a minimalist setting, which Valadares said it only took two to three weeks to develop.

Success in the game changes the game and player strategy, which is typical of the .io concept. "The more success you have, the more attractive you are as a target," says Valadares. In "agar.io" - and other games inspired by it - you get bigger and stronger the longer you survive. This also makes it more worthwhile for your opponents to destroy you.

In "slither.io", one of the first .io games after "agar.io", you maneuver a snake, which becomes more and more difficult as the animal grows and grows. In "hexar.io" you have to frame as many hexagons as possible in order to enlarge your color area.

The more success you have, the more attractive you are as a target.

Matheus Valadares, creator of agar.io

“Crash of Cars”, a multiplayer game that came to the App Store in 2017, is also basically an .io game. It expands the basic concept with a setting with beautiful graphics and turns it into a visual experience without being unfaithful to the .io concept.

"Crash of Cars" is a prime example of the ultimate .io game.

How does it feel to kick off a hype?

“I was surprised myself that multiplayer casual games like this one became such a hit. When I started, I would never have dreamed that a simple game would delight millions of fans and become number 1, ”admits Matheus Valadares.

And what about the name of the game that started it all?

“Agar is used as a culture medium for cell cultures,” he explains. "And .io was the name of the domain I used for the browser game because it was easier to register a short name like this."