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FarmVille

                   
FarmVille
FarmVille logo.png
Developer(s) Zynga
Platform(s) Adobe Flash, iOS, HTML5
Release date(s) Facebook (Friday 19 June 2009)[1]
iOS (Wednesday 23 June 2010)
HTML5 (Thursday 13 October 2011)
Genre(s) Simulation, RPG
Mode(s) Single-player with multiplayer interaction
Media/distribution Web browser
System requirements

For computers:
Web browser, Flash, HTTP cookies

FarmVille is a farming simulation social network game developed by Zynga in 2009. It is similar to Happy Farm,[2] Farm Town,[3][4] and video games such as the Harvest Moon series.[5] Gameplay involving various aspects of farm management such as plowing land, planting, growing and harvesting crops, harvesting trees and bushes, and raising livestock.[6]

It is available as an Adobe Flash application via the social-networking website Facebook and Microsoft's MSN Games,[7] and as an app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The game is a freemium game, meaning there is no cost to play but players have the option of purchasing premium content. It was once the most popular Facebook game, however recently has seen a decline in popularity. As of September 2011, FarmVille is the third most popular Facebook game, behind CityVille and The Sims Social.[8]

Contents

  Gameplay

Upon beginning a farm, the player first creates a customizable avatar which may be changed at any point.[9]

  One player's customized farm.

The player begins with an empty farm and a fixed starting amount of "farm coins", the primary currency in the game. Players also earn XP (experience points) for performing certain actions in the game such as plowing land or buying items. At certain XP benchmarks, the player's level rises. As the player obtains more items and progresses through levels, crops and animals become available to them via the "market" where items can be purchased using either farm coins or "farm cash". Farm cash is earned by leveling up or completing offers, or purchased for real money.

  Crops

The main way a player earns farm coins is through harvesting of crops or visiting their neighbors. The player does this by paying coins for plowing a unit of land and for planting crops, such as tomatoes on it, finally harvesting them after a certain amount of time has elapsed. The amount of time it takes for a crop to mature, and how much money a crop yields when harvested, is dependent on the crop planted and is noted on its entry in the "market" dialog.[10] They will wither, or they will be of no use when a crop-specific amount of time has elapsed, the amount of time being equal to 2 times the amount of time taken to grow the crop (for example, crops which take 8 hours to grow will wither after 2.5×8=20 hours). However, a player can use farm cash to purchase an "unwither" to rejuvenate the crops or can use a biplane with "instant grow" to cause crops to be immediately available for harvest. Although the biplane can be purchased with coins, this special feature is only available for farm cash. As a player levels up more, crops with a higher payoff and economy will become available. Sometimes a crop will need a permit that costs FC in order to be planted.

A player may also buy or receive from friends livestock and trees or bushes, such as cherry trees or chickens, which do not wither but instead become ready for harvest for preset amounts of money a set amount of time from their last harvest. Trees and livestock cannot die.

  Social interaction

Like most Zynga games, FarmVille incorporates the social networking aspect of Facebook into many areas of gameplay. Recently FarmVille has allowed players to add neighbours that are not Facebook friends, thus allowing the player to have many neighbours at hand. Player invite friends or other players that are not Facebook friends to be their neighbors, allowing them to perform five actions on each other's farms per day by "visiting" it. Neighbours may also send gifts and supplies to each other, complete specialized tasks together for rewards, and join "co-ops" - joint efforts to grow a certain amount of certain crops. Gifts are sent as mystery gifts with expensive, but random items, special deliveries with building supplies, or by choosing a particular item to send. They cost the sending user nothing. For FarmVille's 2nd birthday, a series of different mystery gifts were added to the Gifts Page.

  Decorations

Decorations can be purchased in the market for coins or cash or can be sent in the form of free gifts. Decorations include many items like buildings, hay bales, fences, nutcrackers, gnomes, flags, topiaries, etc. There are sometimes limited edition items depending on the theme such as a Valentine's Day theme, Halloween theme, winter theme, etc. Decorations also give experience points (XP) depending on the cost. During the summer, Zynga releases an event called "The 7 Days Of Summer", where they re-release a different theme every 24 hours.

  Expansions

  "GagaVille" promotion for Lady GaGa's album "Born This Way".

There are several additional farms the player can visit that have been added over the game's lifetime: English Countryside, Lighthouse Cove, Winter Wonderland, and Hawaiian Paradise, and most recently Jade Falls.

  Controversy

  Originality

FarmVille has been criticized for being "almost an exact duplicate" of its previously released competitor Farm Town.[11]

  Critical reception

In a December 2010 interview with Gamasutra, game designer Jonathan Blow criticized FarmVille for being designed to create an atmosphere of negativity, requiring an unprecedented commitment to the game, and encouraging users to exploit their friends.[12] In August 2011 a court heard that Adam Hamnett, of Greater Manchester was so desperate to buy virtual animals for his FarmVille account that first he robbed from a blind man, Brian McKenzie, and then murdered Peter Boustead when his friends threatened to report the matter to the police.[13][14]

  Partnerships

FarmVille runs in-game partnerships where users can visit another company's farm and/or buy or receive items with their logo and colors. For example, as of June 9, 2011, users could get free McDonald's hot air balloons, McCafe products, and the ability to visit McDonalds' farm.[15][16][17] Other brand partnerships have included [18] Discover Card, Cascadian Farm,[19] Megamind,[20] Farmers Insurance,[21] Bing,[22] and 7-Eleven.[23] FarmVille also offers engagement advertising where users can interact with a brand in exchange for free farm cash through an ad platform called SVnetwork[24]

  Animated Short

FarmVille released an animated short titled A Very FarmVille Christmas in December 2011.[25]

  Awards

FarmVille won an award at the Game Developer's Conference for the "Best New Social/Online Game" in 2010.[26]

  Further reading

  References

  1. ^ "Zynga's FarmVille Becomes Largest and Fastest Growing Social Game Ever" (Press release). Market Watch. 27 August 2009. http://www.sys-con.com/node/1084929. Retrieved 11 October 11, 2009. 
  2. ^ Kohler, Chris (24 December 2009). "14. Happy Farm (2008)". The 15 Most Influential Games of the Decade. Wired. p. 2. http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2009/12/the-15-most-influential-games-of-the-decade/2/. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Gardner, Jasmine (29 September 2009). "Futurology: FarmVille on Facebook". London Today. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/lifestyle/article-23749479-futurology-farmville-on-facebook.do. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  4. ^ "Zynga Launches "FarmVille". Does it Look Familiar?". All Facebook. 22 June 2009. http://www.allfacebook.com/zynga-farmville-2009-06. Retrieved 3 November 2009. 
  5. ^ Natsume talks Harvest Moon, FarmVille, and learning- Destructoid
  6. ^ "Facebook farmers want India flag". BBC. 9 October 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8298840.stm. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  7. ^ "Farmville Coming To The iPhone In June". TechCrunch. 7 June 2010. http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/07/zyngas-farmville-comes-to-the-iphone-in-june/. Retrieved 7 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Company Town". Los Angeles Times. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2011/09/sims-social-surpasses-farmville-as-second-largest-facebook-game.html. 
  9. ^ "FarmVille Wiki". http://farmville.wikia.com/wiki/Farmer. 
  10. ^ "How long does it take for a crop to wither?". Zynga. 1 October 2009. http://zynga.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/583. Retrieved 28 October 2009. 
  11. ^ Zynga Launches "FarmVille". Does It Look Familiar? Nick O'Neill, June 22, 2009, www.allfacebook.com. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  12. ^ Parkin, Simon (6 December 2010). "Catching up with Jonathan Blow". Gamasutra. p. 3. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/6224/catching_up_with_jonathan_blow.php?page=3. Retrieved 9 December 2010. 
  13. ^ "FarmVille stab killer is locked up for life". The Sun: p. 20. 1 September 2011. 
  14. ^ Jailed: Knife killer who stole to play FarmVille game on Facebook, Chris Osuh, Manchester Evening News, 31 August 2011
  15. ^ McDonalds gets down on the farm with FarmVille for one day only
  16. ^ Bing Advertises On Farmville, Acquires 400,000 Facebook Fans In One Day
  17. ^ Olson, Elizabeth (15 July 2010). "ADVERTISING; For FarmVille Players, a Crop From a Real Organic Farm". The New York Times: p. 3. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/15/business/media/15adco.html. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  18. ^ "Discover Grows A Plot On Farmville With Zynga". http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2011/12/02/discover-grows-a-plot-on-farmville-with-zynga/. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  19. ^ "FarmVille Users Plant 310 Million Virtual Organic Blueberries". http://mashable.com/2010/07/22/farmville-organic-blueberries/. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  20. ^ "FarmVille Megamind promotion is in full bloom for 24 hours only". http://blog.games.com/2010/11/04/farmville-megamind-promotion-is-in-full-bloom/. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  21. ^ "Farmers Insurance Partners with Zynga’s FarmVille, Protects Against Virtual Crop Withering". http://www.insidefacebook.com/2010/10/15/farmers-insurance-zynga%E2%80%99s-farmville/. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  22. ^ "Bing Advertises On Farmville, Acquires 400,000 Facebook Fans In One Day". http://www.allfacebook.com/bing-advertises-on-farmville-acquires-400000-facebook-fans-in-one-day-2010-03/. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  23. ^ "7-11 Starts Selling "FarmVille" Slurpees". http://mashable.com/2010/05/24/farmville-7-11/. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  24. ^ Zynga Grows One Thing Advertisers Want: Mass Reach. Advertising Age. 25 October 2010
  25. ^ Webster, Andrew (9 December 2011). "Zynga releases first FarmVille animated short, A Very FarmVille Christmas". Gamezebo. http://www.gamezebo.com/news/2011/12/09/zynga-releases-first-farmville-animated-short-very-farmville-christmas. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  26. ^ "Game Developers Choice Online Awards Archive 10th Annual GDCA". http://www.gamechoiceawards.com/archive/gdca_10th.html. Retrieved 8 December 2010. 

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