Game Development Reference
Figure 4-2: Customized FarmVille farm
It's this vision in their heads that keeps players returning to the game on a regular basis. This kind of aspir-
ation is applicable to many varieties of games with a building mechanic. For example, in the hardcore strategy
game Backyard Monsters by KIXEYE, it's immediately made clear to the players that their long-term aspiration
is to create the most badass and impregnable base fortress possible.
CROSSREF You can find out more on Backyard Monsters in Chapter 5.
To take another example, consider Draw Something. The long-term aspiration of that game might not seem
obvious, since individual play sessions are brief and disconnected. The long-term aspiration of Draw Something
is to become more creative and entertaining, and to be acknowledged by friends and loved ones for that.
Similar to how Flickr's user community fosters the desire to improve the quality of photos they share with
each other, Draw Something encourages players to become better or funnier doodlers, so that their drawings
will be shared and Liked by others more. (No wonder the game is so huge.)
Encourage Viral Growth by Encouraging Valuable
Most Facebook games include a feature that allows players to share game content with Facebook friends
through an update posted to their wall. In theory, these updates should encourage viral growth—as a player's
friends see these updates, they should become interested enough to install the game. However, not all varieties
of sharing are equal.