Social Games though the Lens of Farmville

Game Development, Gaming 1 Comment

Farmville Graph

Don’t worry, I’ll finish my GDC stories soon enough.

But for now, I want to talk about “Social Gaming.” I find the phenomenon fascinating, especially since GDC was so heavily focused on the topic. Half the talks I went to involved social gaming talks and of course how much money they are making. And how large their audiences are. And how much bigger they will be in the future.

Hard to ignore. So, I started playing Farmville. I’ve been playing it for over a month now. I had stopped playing Mafia Wars a while back after getting my mother of all people hooked on it, so I figured it’d basically be the same deal.

Much to my surprise, it wasn’t. Farmville feels more SimCity than flash game. Cute graphics, sense of progression and economy, whats not to like?

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GDC2010: A Wonderful Blur, Part 4.

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The near perfect cadence of a woman’s heels down a wood floor of a long hallway.

Of course, I start waking up. It’s hard not to notice the cacophony. I start to wonder, this it Tom’s sister? Or maybe her roommate? But her roommate doesn’t know a stranger is sleeping on her couch. I decide to keep very still and not startle her.

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GDC2010: A Wonderful Blur, Part 3.

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Friday was a blur.

I wake up in no condition to walk amongst the general public. Talk at 9? Skippable. What is important today is talking to people about game design. I decide to sleep in as much as I can.

I get up around 10, hit the shower and head to the Moscone center for some food. Being a creature of habit, I end up at the exact same place as the day before (some small food vendor within the conference center). Looking at and listening to people is tough at this point. The world around me is happening but I have no influence over it. I’m buying a sandwich and tea, fishing for my wallet all without thinking. Just going through the motions, everything is fuzzy and fast.

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