Game Development Reference
These crops grow, ripen, and eventually wither even when you're not actively
playing the game, meaning that you have to check in and harvest them on
a real-time schedule. You can also purchase trees and animals, and periodi-
cally collect coins from them without worrying as much about keeping to a
strict play schedule. We tell you about these money-generating items in more
detail in Chapter 3 and Chapter 6.
You decorate your farm
FarmVille currency isn't just good for generating more FarmVille currency —
it's also good for buying decorations that make your farm uniquely yours.
These decorations don't serve any functional gameplay purpose, but many
farmers lose hours of their lives choosing and arranging the game's hundreds
of in-game decorating options to their particular tastes. Think of this portion
of the game as a virtual, farm-themed doll house, with an ever-expanding
selection of accessories waiting to fill it up.
You help your neighbors (and they help you)
As a social game, FarmVille is partially focused on helping fellow players,
known in the game as neighbors. FarmVille neighbors are a subset of your
Facebook friends, so although all your FarmVille neighbors are Facebook
friends, not all your Facebook friends are necessarily FarmVille neighbors.
You can help your neighbors by sending them free gifts or by visiting their
farms and performing some basic farming tasks daily. After you've been play-
ing for a while, you'll also be qualified to work with neighbors on co-op mis-
sions (as discussed in Chapter 12) and buy crafted goods from the Farmers
Market (as discussed in Chapter 7). Of course, your neighbors can do all
these things for you as well, forming a big, reciprocal cycle of good will.
It's not all sunshine and happiness, though — some players can get pretty
competitive about FarmVille, working hard to make their farms that much
more spectacular than those of their neighbors. Chapter 4 discusses interact-
ing with neighbors in much more detail.
You upgrade your farm (and yourself)
As you perform various actions and buy various in-game items in FarmVille,
you earn experience points (XP) to denote your progress. Earning enough expe-
rience points grants you a new level , which often comes with the ability to buy
new items or access new purchasable items, as discussed in Chapter 8.