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Social Planning in FarmVille
Farmville is one of several games owned and run by Zynga, Inc. For a variety of reasons, it had been almost a year since I last played. The game is designed to encourage interaction between players and to promote inviting added friends to play. If you don’t have a lot of neighbors, you can resign yourself to not being able to complete some types of assignments, or to purchasing Farm Cash using real money. Since during my previous Farmville spree, I had noticed that I was spending an ever-increasing amount of cash on items such as “instant grow”, I was delighted to find that one nice feature that has been added in the last year is the ability to add new Farmville neighbors without adding them as your social media friends. Other new features include an easier interface for receiving and sending gifts, and a set of mini games such as Scratch Off and Spin to Win, which give a chance to win Farmville cash. Players are offered the first play of the day for free, subsequent turns cost FV Cash.
I resolved not to spend real cash this round of play. In order to play without a cash investment, having a just-right number of active neighbors is the key to creating a successful farm. “Just right” may vary for different players, but most agree that a base of 30 to 50 active neighbors makes acquiring items much easier. More than 100 neighbors causes difficulty in visiting and sending gifts. I’m pretty happy with my fourteen neighbors. With my busy schedule, more than twenty would make visiting everyone and sending gifts at the right time just too much of a time investment.
Neighbors can be recruited from your social media friends or located by using the “Get more Neighbors” tool. The goals of your farm are to plant various crops and collect various things. Some of the items can be found when plowing or harvesting. However, many of the items can only be obtained when gifted by a neighbor. To receive items, players need to send items to their Farmville neighbors. They should then receive items in return. Fuel and other nice items are earned by visiting neighbors’ farms and helping out. Admiring the neat things other farmers have done with their farms is part of the fun of playing Farmville. Another way to interact with Farmville neighbors is to start a business, such as a bakery or spa and sell goods that can be purchased by neighbors. The goods are then exchanged for the fuel to run the various farm tools that can make planting and harvesting go faster. The parts for the farm tools are obtained from trading gifts with neighbors!
So any way you slice it, being able to add more neighbors without adding them to your social media friend list definitely enhances gameplay. It just may help me keep my resolve of not spending Real Money to purchase game money to fund my Farmville game play.
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