Posts Tagged 'zynga'

FrontierVille Net Status 2 Error

Well, it’s finally happened.

The dreaded Net Status (2) Error has been affecting wide sections of the FrontierVille community. I thought I was immune. I thought wrong.

The above screenshot was taken a few minutes ago. Around 8:00 PM EST, I was hit with the error, and haven’t been able to log in since. For all others suffering this same fate, I feel your pain. I have a full energy bar and eggplants to harvest.

If you get hit with the error – take heart. This error is currently the number 1 priority (supposedly) for the FrontierVille team and they are working on a solution. Hopefully it will be fixed by tomorrow. Fingers Crossed.

If you DO get hit, or already have the error, you can and should submit a support ticket by clicking here.


Quick Hit: Playfish Steps Up Its Game

I just finished up planting some sunflowers for the night and I saw this advertisement for Playfish’s My Empire:

Step Up If You Wanna Get Hurt

Whoever wrote the ad has obviously never played FrontierVille because FrontierVille may be many things but easy it is not.

Playfish is a rival Social Gaming company, which was bought out by Electronic Arts last November. My Empire is its latest game, a city-building sim set in Ancient Rome. It starts out fun until you realize that you cannot do anything after a couple of minutes of play – its money system is similar to Treasure Island’s energy system…

…and speaking of Treasure Island, Playfish just released its Treasure Island clone called Pirates Ahoy. I tried it out for a couple minutes but after investing so much time into FrontierVille I really don’t have the resources or patience to play another energy-based game.

Zynga had it coming though, for both PetVille and CafeWorld are clones of what were Playfish’s two biggest titles: Pet Society & Restaurant City. CafeWorld even has eerily similar graphics to Restaurant City. It probably won’t be long before either Playdom or Playfish releases a FrontierVille clone. That’s the way it goes in the wild west world of Social Games!

Quick Hit: New York Times Reviews FrontierVille

Seth Schiesel’s review of FrontierVille appeared in Monday’s edition of The New York Times. You can read the review online here.

Schiesel was critical but fair, and I have to agree with him that at times FrontierVille does seem like a glorified slot machine.

FrontierVille Horseshoes on Sale!

If you didn’t notice yet – Zynga is having a sale on Horseshoes! 20% off all purchases of $40.00 (32 euros) or more.

While the horseshoes tab doesn’t give an exact date for when the Sale ends, I’m assuming it’s going to end Tuesday at 11:59PM EST – which is the same time we lose the Fourth of July Cherry trees.

Now is when the dilemma of spending cash on a Facebook game sets in.

If you know you are going to buy Horseshoes eventually, it might be a good idea to buy them while they’re on sale. Even if you only buy 5$ worth every once in a while, it still would be in your best interest. I haven’t played any other Zynga games, but I have played other Facebook games, and I can tell you from personal experience that I’ve only seen a sale on an in-game-cash-currency ONCE in the past year. So the likelyhood of Horseshoes ever going on sale again is quite low, and if they were, they probably wouldn’t go on sale again until Christmas-time.

It’s the Holiday Bear of Commerce!

Personally, however, I think this is the last time they will be on sale. I think that Zynga wanted to generate some revenue rather quickly, since FrontierVille is so new. I don’t blame them for this – they are a company looking to make money just like Nintendo or Electronic Arts.

But now I’m stricken with indecision! To buy or not to buy…

It reminds me of when Apple had a sale on iPods in Fall 2008. It was on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and at the start of the Great Recession. The internet was abuzz with the news: Apple NEVER has a Sale.

Any of you Pioneers planning on taking advantage of the sale?

Or would you never spend money on a Facebook game?

Same Sex Marriage in FrontierVille

I just can’t quit you, Jack.

Once of the most intriguing aspects of FrontierVille is the ability to get married and raise a family. Players receive the marriage quest right in the beginning, after receiving a letter from their sweetheart who stayed behind in the city. Eventually your sweetheart will come to live with you on the frontier, after you have completed some prerequisite tasks such as building a house and after sending some not-so-subtle hints your way such as baby shoes and a hope chest. There isn’t an official wedding ceremony, this is the old frontier after all, so once your sweetheart comes he or she is here to stay and you can consider yourselves hitched.

Buffalo Betty visits some gay-married pioneers.

This is where the real fun starts, because once your spouse arrives you’re able to customize everything about him/her, including skin tone, hair style, clothing, and gender! That’s right, the game doesn’t limit you to an opposite sex spouse. The game designers have allowed players to create their own same sex marriages in-game.

Other blogs and internet magazines have pointed out that this might have been some oversight on the part of the designers. They cite as an example the fact that  after customizing your spouse and getting married, you have an option to post news of the event to your Facebook wall. The graphic for the event shows a man and wife in full wedding garb.

Personally, I don’t think the game designers would have been so careless (but given the amount of bugs, I may be wrong). Based off of all the press this game received pre & post launch, I’ve gotten the impression that careful planning went into this game, as Zynga was hoping to make it the new family cash cow. Game designer Brian Reynolds has said in several interviews that the main reason the Frontier setting was chosen was because it appealed to both male and female players. He then goes on to explain that, naturally, men were attracted to the aspect of adventure in the old west while women are enticed by the option to raise a family. Because nothing is more rewarding to the ladies than baby-making, right?

The Fabulous Beekman Boys

I think same sex marriage in FrontierVille is great.  FrontierVille is supposed to be a hybrid of simulation and adventure games, and that most famous simulation game, The Sims, had gay marriage in all three versions. This is the first instance I know of where gay marriage is available in a social game. Kudos, Zynga!


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