Ze Frank Games’s first social game project, Star.me, is now in closed beta. Ze Frank Games is a start-up formed last year by eccentric creator Ze Frank, with $500,000 in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Betaworks, Lerer Ventures, Founder Collective, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Ron Conway. The game is based around the idea of positive reinforcement, with the only in-game activity consisting of giving stars to other players. By giving stars, players unlock more elaborate stars to give.
Right now Star.Me is not monetizing, instead focusing on gaining users. Each player has a Star.me profile that holds all of the virtual items given them by other players. The profiles can integrate a user’s Facebook, Twitter, and email profiles. Right now the tests are attempting to figure out how many stars a single page can hold and other user interface improvements. Ze Frank himself likens the game to a Hallmark card or other conversation starter that makes certain things easier to say.