Sunday, July 31, 2011

Different Paces for Different Games

Some of my friends, all veterans of Farmville, began to play CityVille recently. Almost immediately, we all committed the same error and this made us angry, frustrated and sometimes even (I suspect) a little resentful of our Neighbours.

In Cityville, the pace of the game appears to be set for the 'casual gamer', some one who logs into Facebook perhaps once each day and visits his/her City to see how things are progressing. It is not Harvest Moon, where one can play for 24 hours to move forward as far as humanly possible using every minute of the real day.

Thus, those gamers who entered into Cityville with Harvest Moon habits find that they quickly run out of energy and run out of Goods, the two fundamental aspects of the game. Furthermore, in attempting to complete and upgrade Building Projects immediately, they find themselves propositioning every one in sight for Materials, searching every Neighbour's Wall and then becoming rather frustrated when they discover that the ability to click on a Neighbour's Wall Post or to request Items individually from Neighbours is strictly circumscribed by the game itself.

There is an old tired adage to the effect that 'the watched Pot never boils' and I think of it often with respect to Cityville. Whenever I become impatient about any single aspect of the game, I try now to step away, to log out... and wait a few hours to see how matters progress in my absence. In many cases, when I return, the task that appeared impossible previously has been made ready for completion in my absence!

Yes, CityVille is a goal-driven game but the Goals have no time limits. Once they appear, they are available for completion at any time. You may be required to complete them before you can become Mayor of your own City, but when new Goals appear, the old Goals not yet completed will be filed away in your CityVille notebook. You can access them at any point in time.

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