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FarmVille 2: Crop Circles

[The following text is part of my upcoming master’s thesis on the use of game mechanics in therapy games for children.]

FarmVille by Zynga is probably one of the best known Facebook games to date, both because of players that cannot seem to quit the game and their Facebook friends that are annoyed by the game’s ceaseless stream of pleas for help, designed to suck in even more players. FarmVille 2 has several tightly interwoven game mechanics that manage to keep the player glued to the game. The most important among them are the tight feedback loops, where finishing one task has an immediate effect on the next task at hand; a constant stream of quests that provide temporary “winning” conditions in an otherwise endless game; the possibility of self-expression through decoration, even if severely limited and finally the integration of Facebook friends that “ask for help”, cleverly exploiting social norms that result in players returning to the game again and again.


Game Designer Discovered Pacing!

Over at The Astronauts, someone figured something out. Sometimes, games work even when you’re not shooting things.

Listed below, there are five well known action-adventure games. Think about your favorite, most memorable moments from the single player part of each, then click on the + spoiler button and see if I have managed to guess any of these moments.

What do all these moments have in common?


Cloth Simulation in 3ds Max

[This might only make sense to me – these are very short notes on the presentation Janina held on using cloth simulation in 3ds Max].

The Plane that is supposed to be the cloth needs to get a Cloth modifier. In the modifier properties both the actual cloth as well as the objects the cloth is falling unto have to be added - the later one as a collider. Also, gravity is (unlike blender) not a standard part of the scene and has to be added as a force field. These forces need to be added to the simulation as well.