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Diamond Dash: It's Groundhog Day … Again

[The following text is part of my upcoming master’s thesis on the use of game mechanics in therapy games for children. This is just a rough first draft, and I gladly welcome all critique and suggestions – be it on a content level or regarding my use of language. As part of my master’s thesis I am analysing already existing games that are commonly known to be addictive. A lot of those games are Facebook games.]

Diamond Dash by Wooga superficially looks like a matching tile game similar to Candy Crush Saga or Bejeweled, but works slightly different. Diamond Dash lacks some of the refined features of its competitors. When compared to Candy Crush Saga, Diamond Dash seems a bit rough around the edges, both art-wise as well as in the use of game mechanics. While Candy Crush Saga tries to cater to as many player types as possible, Diamond Dash mostly attracts agile, quickly reacting players that like to compete with their friends. Still, the classic Facebook game mechanics are implemented, mainly that one one hand, Facebook games usually provide strong motivations to do certain things but on the other hand directly prevent players to actually do those things – unless, of course, the players pay or bug their friends about it.

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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.

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Pissing People Off

… is, apparently, something Tale of Tales are rather good at. Robert Yang has a neat timeline of the current events. And it is not the first time they make people angry.

Of course, you can debate the value of their provocations, you can debate their contribution to game culture –

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These Will Be Golden Times

I guess my plan is not so bad after all. At least this article at GameLife proves my point perfectly: first learn all the important stuff about producing a game at a big studio, probably failing miserably a few times along the way – and then actually founding your own little studio to produce the games you really want to do – just as Jamie Cheng (Shank), Jake Kazdal (Skulls of the Shogun) and Sean Murray (Joe Danger) did.

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New Book by Cory Doctorow: For The Win

There is a new book by Cory Doctorow, and it’s about games.

In the virtual future, you must organize to survive

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