The Dirt Farmer spends countless hours every day listening to FV Players complain about their game. We try to find the issues before you do and try to get a solution to you as soon as we can. It's very easy to find the small bugs and glitches but I've decided it's may be time to look at the bigger picture, to explore why there seems to be such a rift between 'We the Players' and 'the Zynga Developers'.
What I think I may have discovered might just sum up this game's psychology as a whole.
First let's look at We the Players. We are "collectors" in nature. We collect foals, trees, sheep. But, what really drives the players in Farmville is their desire to SHARE. We just gotta have that new tree first so we can make 50 of them and SHARE them with our friends. We just gotta buy that new Stallion so we can make foals for our friends. We spend hours collecting love potions to make those rare sheep for our friend... 'WE the PLAYERS' love to share.
Now let's look at Zynga and explore the exact polar opposite.
When we think of Zynga the first word we think of is GREED. They price test us for the biggest price tag they can place on an item to sell it. They place item in special packages for farm cash that unsuspecting players could achieve for free. The company as a whole seems to be driven by GREED and SHOW.
So we have SHARING vs. GREED. How can a group of people driven by GREED keep creating features for a game loved by people who are driven by SHARING.
Now let's look at We the Players who "mentor" other players. The Gurus, Fan Page Owners and Mega Players who go out of their way to educate and inform all their friends on bugs and glitches in the game. The effort and detail to professionalism displayed by sites such as FV Rant Radio, The Faux Farmer, FV Nation, FV Freak, FV Feed, The Farmer's Daughter and too many more to list. All surpass in detail and effort those of the game developers itself. Again we see a distinct polar opposite between We the Players and Zynga.
So let's call this QUALITY vs. LACK of QUALITY. Again complete opposites.
I wondered why there was such a contrast of behavior between We the Players and Zynga. Then I started thinking about the people who work in the gaming industry. Mostly young tech driven folks. I would guess outwardly liberal with strong views on doing what's "right". Unfortunately this generation is prone to lapses in quality due to a distinct lack of "life experience" from way too many hours spent starring at a computer screen. You are not born with a strong work ethic. It is developed through your real life experiences. They most likely developed a great deal of their social graces from playing World of Warcraft and Call of Duty. This leads to the development of an inbred adversarial psychosis where they tend to see their friends and even clients as a confrontation and not as "neighbors". This may explain why things just happen to not work right. Subliminally they are "sticking it" to us.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not going to bash Zynga this whole article. They are, collectively, very creative. The graphics and features are very impressive. It's sad that the work they put into the creative aspect of the game just eclipses the effort put into making the game work.
I've not only been thinking PROBLEM. That's not in my nature. I also have to think SOLUTION.
For WE the PLAYERS I have a very simple solution. Play YOUR game YOUR way. It's as simple as that. Don't let Zynga dictate the way you play. If you don't want to do the Quests then DON'T. If you don't want to buy Farm Cash then DON'T. If you don't want to play 12 hours a day then DON'T. Also don't harass players who do want to play at a more rapid level. Let them play their game their way as well.
For Zynga. I have a harsh reality for you. Your Developers are Generation TECH. They want instant success and instant gratification for as little work as possible. The 50 Million players that have left the game because it never works right are just like the Zynga Developers. They left due to the fact that they could not stand all the bugs and meltdowns. They wanted instant gratification and were delivered a product that doesn't work. You are however left with 30 Million of We the Players who DO NOT think like you do. WE the PLAYERS endure and we fight because we know how hard life is. We'd like instant success but we know that the journey is just as challenging. In other words...Your own "nature" has shed the people who are most like You the Zynga and left you with people who are your exact opposite...WE the PLAYERS It's time for you to adapt and possibly not only save the 30 Million but bring back 50 Million more.
What I would do. Hire a strict well organized professional in charge of the Development Suite. Preferably someone with a military background. I'd go with a Marine. Their Tech Skills are not nearly as important as their work ethic and standards of detail. This would be the END ALL GET IT DONE position in charge of making sure the "logistics" of the game worked. The Bugs need to be identified and fixed. New features need to be tested in REAL TIME to assure they actually work once released. From the outrageous size difference in the foals to items we need for quests that do not work. These are simple make-a-list plan-your-work-work-your-plan measure-twice-cut-once details that everyone knows. I personally don't want the guy in charge of fixing the gift box issue (That's been broke for more than 18 months) hanging out with his dog at the Sundae Bar at work all day. I've seen those stories of SUCCESSFUL companies with tons of freebie employee perks. Those companies have products that actually run well. You need someone to organize, focus and drive all that creativity and tech savvy into a "well oiled" machine. With your pending IPO. If you think this isn't what potential investors are looking at...You're in for a damn surprise, Bubba