segunda-feira, 5 de outubro de 2015

Why we need to pay attention to Farm Heroes (or any other game from King.com)

I’m a hardcore gamer. I love Bloodborne’s challenges. I’m very excited to complete Batman: Arkhan Knight with 100% of the missions. I really like to die and try again the experience of Dark Souls.

On the other hand, I’m a casual gamer too. I think – for a work in game design and gaming studies – it’s essential to explore both worlds (and the intersection between them).

I’ve played a lot of mobile games the last three years for two reasons: 1) they’re extremely fun; 2) most of the time I’m far from my videogames. So, I downloaded lots of games in my iPhone/iPad. There are many good ideas, interfaces and mechanics, but I want to focus on the games from King.com. Yeah, you certainly know one or two games from them; Candy Crush is an icon from this publisher.



However, I intend to talk about another game in this post: Farm Heroes Saga. Farm Heroes has some important points to think (and rethink) game design: 1) the core mechanics is simple (you need to join three pieces of a kind to eliminate them from the interface and earn points); 2) the simple mechanics evolves with new characters (you start with fruits and vegetables, but after some time there’re animals, fireworks and many other powers); 3) There’s a social model embedded in Farm Heroes that create a community inside the gaming universe, where players can share lives and special powers; 4) There’s a business model in the game and you can spend real money to buy powers, lives, gold bars and special features (very similar to all King.com games); 5) Finally: it’s free, fun, colorful and has a friendly interface.

The ideas from this game remind me the words of Juul (2010) in the book A casual revolution. Check the video with the gameplay:



The conclusion is: King.com creates a complete model of casual games with very integrated social, business and fun aspects. Every game replicates the same model with a new skin. With great number of games, their chances of profit increase a lot.

I celebrate King.com’s work in the casual gaming industry.



Reference:

JUUL, Jesper. A casual revolution. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2010.

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