Thursday, September 1, 2011

"Cityville" Some Thoughts #1

I have been playing Cityville here and there for quite a while now since last year. It is actually the first FB game that I had invested more than five minutes into, so I thought it might be a good game for a little bit of reflection.

I started playing this game when it first came out last year. I was intrigued by the massive amount of players that  started playing on day one and I wanted to see what all the hub bub was about. I thought it took a few days to warm up to it, but it became fun as a kind of competition to see how quickly I could level up compared to my other friends.

It did not take me long to realize the friends I had who were truly dedicated and you could tell were paying some cash into the game. Their city was decorated with some expensive items, and you could tell they were returning to the game frequently.

After playing for a while I tried my best to create a layout to my city that would be somewhat realistic to an actual city, but this was actually a hindrance to your progression in the game. It was quickly discovered that if you removed your roads you could connect your businesses and houses with sidewalks to take advantage of precious real estate. It also made your city look really stupid. It always bothered me to visit other cities to find that they had 20 hamburger joints or identical city buildings right next to each other. The game became less about the aesthetics of a cool city and more about the ease of harvesting easier.

With a little prompting I got my wife into the game as well for a short time. As lame as it sounds, we had a good time talking about our city layout and the things we had done to our cities. It was nice to have somebody who would consistently give you items without feeling like you were spamming them all day. In the end, that is the only way we got ahead.

Eventually I gave up on trying to complete goals because of having to spam people. I was able to find some gaming forums however such as which allowed you to post needed items and allowed you to get things more quickly.

Over time my interest waned. I think what was a big buzz kill for me was when they introduced the police departments to the city where you have to keep feeding your police force with donuts (of which they had an endless appetite). Or you were unable to catch the little criminals who lurked around your city stealing your money. This got super annoying to me as there was never any time off. Feeding your lazy police with donuts was a full time job.

Occasionally I do check into my city to see what is going on and to collect some money. I have a LOT of friends who still play so I will go in and accept their help. Now I just save up money and try to buy some of the larger buildings. Trying to build a nice downtown area, and a slum area, etc... I don't really care about the progression any more.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Deep Realms Day 1

Day 1

I have not played a lot of RPG games. I think the last one I really played a ton of was Dragon Warrior for the NES.

Having just gotten through to level six and through a couple areas of Deep Realms I can say that I really like the story and engaging characters. There seems to be a wide variety of enemies to battle.

The giant mouse battle at the end of the cave level was very amusing.

I’ve only explored the story line, but it looks like there are other things to explore like the castle and arena battles where you are able to fight friends. I will have to check that out later.

So far it is a really fun game.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Monster World Day 7

This post is actually a compilation of the last few days. I was trying to get through a few more goals so that I could get the satisfaction of really understanding the fun of this game. In the end, it just ended up taking way too long to accomplish anything without taking short cut to pay for progress.

Admittedly, I also was stubborn in the spamming and recruitment of friends which limited my ability to get the items necessary to build certain game items. It just feels at times that the requests are relentless and it is to the point where it is almost embarrassing to be bugging people with such high frequency. This is a huge annoyance in all games. I suppose it is a double edged sword because that which bugs is also that which makes it popular.

I would not be completely unwilling to invest money into a FB game, but the more I think about it with regards to this game, it should get some kind of pay off before I am willing to pay. In the end I did not feel any real pay off to this game, nothing unique except for the design. I felt the play space was small and there was only so much you could do with it, to the point where I felt all your design options were somewhat useless. Some of the other games I have played I think I will come back to, but I think I am going to hang up my monster hat with this one. I can see the appeal for some players, but it just wasn't for me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monster World Day 6

Still grinding to complete goals. When it takes several hours for one plant to be ready to harvest, it is going to take forever  to complete these goals and progress. Because I am up to level 14 on Day 5, and higher than my four neighbors, I’m under the impression that they too have given up on the repetitive and time consuming grinding of planting and harvesting goals as well. Yet, with 8 million monthly users it seems there must be something that keeps people coming back.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monster World Day 5

I am getting kind of bored with “plant 50 types of this plant, and harvest 50 types of this plant” that seems to be a never ending theme of the latest set of goals. It takes forever and the tedium is less than fun.

I know fb games require you to ask friends for things, and that is how they attract more people to the game, but it makes me not want to play any more if I have to ask every single person on my friends list for a screw driver ten times over. I guess there is the option of paying, but it would be nice to find a better incentive for drawing people into the game.

Day 4 has been super simple and way too boring. The characters and the animations have lost their luster after the lame goals.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Monster World Day 4

Think I found a bug: I am unable to build the baby bed that I am supposed to and nothing happens when I follow the instructions and place it. That is kind of a bummer. Two major bugs in 3 days isn’t cool.

Today was a full day of just planting crops and harvesting them. The plants I need to harvest to progress in my goals take quite a while to grow, so until they are finished growing I can’t do much.

My other progression goal requires me to either pay Facebook money, or wait another day until I can collect from my friends. I guess the third option is to invite more friends to play, but I am anti spamming. I don’t want to lose friends because they are upset with me spamming them with invites. So I will wait till tomorrow to make head way in this game.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Monster World Day 3

Ok, since I had not fed my helper in several hours he ate up all the plants in my garden. I think that is pretty funny.

I’m feeling pretty tired tonight. The two goals I had to complete tonight required me to visit friends, and since I have already done that and cannot help them again today, I have to wait a few hours for some of my plants to harvest so I can replant them.

That works out well with it being kind of late in the evening. So far this game is pretty amusing.