The Farmville Discovery: Mastery Billboards
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 23rd Feb 2012
Welcome to this edition of The Farmville Discovery, an ongoing series of articles covering events and noteworthy additions to Zynga's social networking based Facebook game Farmville. Today's article is about the new Mastery Sign Billboards recently added to the world of Farmville in a move by the developers to continue the effort to de-clutter the game.
If you are not familiar with the Facebook-based farming simulation and social app called Farmville, it is in a nutshell a highly simplified simulation for the gentleman (and gentlewoman) farmer that presents an overtly pleasant and very clean farming experience with an emphasis upon social play. Gamers who play Farmville are encouraged to plant crops, raise and harvest animals, complete mini-games and puzzles within their farming world, and collect a wide variety of special items and decorations, both as a single-player pursuit and through the complimentary multi-player side of the game.
Designed to be played in bite-sized chunks, Farmville is almost certainly one of the more popular games on the Facebook network for daily play while at work -- which explains why many major corporations have adopted official "Farmville Policies" and frown upon its play. And why many players feel that playing the game -- from work -- adds to the thrill of play. With the majority of gamers playing in compressed sessions it is common for each session to be oriented towards accomplishing specific goals, and to help players to better attain those goals The Farmville Discovery was created here at GU to provide the sort of detailed and helpful information that gamers need to maximize their accomplishments, expand their general game knowledge, and squeeze as much fun out of the process as can be had!
A Move towards Focused Content
Part of the tradition for Farmville is the regular addition of new and special content -- often taking the form of animals, objects, and buildings -- most of which in some meaningful way interact with other items or existing feature content within the game to add to the challenge and the fun for players. Over the course of the past few years this new content has built to the point that it became necessary for the development team to begin creating objects that serve as repositories for some of the objects in order to focus their presence in the game into predictable, small-footprint, manageable spaces.
The first game-wide application for the solution for object over-crowding was the Stables and Nursery, though admittedly those objects served the added function of permitting players to both breed and raise younger animals to their adult form. The addition of the Stables allowed gamers to concentrate a large number of horses into a relatively compact space, and when a Stallion is present (either by taking advantage of the random event of a Stallion visit to the farm, or through the player obtaining their own Stallion through an event or by purchase) the concentration of mares in the Stables permits the player an opportunity to breed new horses and then raise them. The Nursery served a similar function in that it provided a place to concentrate the large number of baby animals (horses and cows for the most part) into one easy to manage location where they have the chance to grow into their adult forms, though breeding of cows largely takes place in the Dairy Barns (which also serve as an expandable concentrating structure).