pugpharm 2 logoPugpharm hopes to take social networking games to the next level with Snoget, an online game that requires you to find people with interests similar to your own. The site has a closed beta test going on with a limited number of players now and will slowly add users and features in the coming weeks.

pugpharmIn Snoget, you can only win the game by collaborating and communicating with people of like interests. The aim of the game is to help you extend your network to people who are of interest to you. While Twitter and Facebook games help you connect with other people, this one helps you discover people who have similar hobbies, favorite brands, or collectible interests.

The aim is to feed your desire to collect, communicate, collaborate and customize. It does so in a dynamic way, not on a turn-by-turn basis as with most social games on Facebook, said Steve Bocska, chief executive and founder (pictured).

“We are truly making gaming social,” Bocska said. “We think people are looking for something different.”

pugpharm 3Bocska got the idea five years ago while watching his wife play the Nintendo game Animal Crossing. But it took a while to refine the idea and pull the funding together for the company.

Snoget requires you to participate in interest-based challenges, and it rewards you for making new social connections. You hunt out and attach your identity to virtual objects that represents thousands of interests, beliefs, attitudes, preferences and items. The game checks your compatibility with other people and shows you what you and other people have collected in terms of virtual objects. The game is web-based and uses Flash 10 animations.

In the beta test now, the company has basic virtual object items working. It will add more social features in the coming weeks. In the future, the company plans to expand the game to the iPhone, Android-based phones, as well as Facebook and MySpace. In the meantime, Pugpharm is staying busy introducing hundreds of new virtual items each week. The company has quietly launched an open beta in the past couple of weeks.

Snoget is free. But players can purchase premium features and abilities. The game will also generate revenue through in-game events, item sponsorships, and referral fees and commissions from players who choose to follow links from in-game items to third-party online vendors.

Pugpharm is based in Vancouver, Canada, and was founded in 2008. The company received funding from the Canadian government’s National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program. It also got funding from Telefilm’s Canada New Media Fund, another government entity.

Bocska is a veteran of game companies including Radical/Vivendi, Electronic Arts’ BlackBox division, Disney Interactive and Hothead Games. Pugpharm has seven full-time employees. The company is not currently seeking funding.