Posts Tagged "Social Games"

What Developers Can Learn from Minecraft

What Developers Can Learn from Minecraft

In an age of gaming where studios spend millions crafting a title and then have to fire half the staff because the resulting game didn’t sell a billion copies three seconds after its release, it’s refreshing to see a title like Minecraft garner so much praise and joy. Minecraft is a Java-based sandbox-adventure game that offers its players the joys of construction, creation, and monster-besting for a mere $13. It looks a little primitive with its blocky...

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How Can Zynga Expand Its Horizons?

How Can Zynga Expand Its Horizons?

It looks like Zynga’s getting a little tired of milking cows, and looking to find ways to do the same with new video game franchises. The creator behind the FarmVille Facebook phenomenon is opening a new studio in L.A. in hopes of mining the vein of digital talent that resides in the area. After all, rumor has it that this new Zynga studio won’t be improving on the nuances of FarmVille; instead, it will roll whole new ideas and products that may well be...

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Can Games Be an Effective Teaching Aid?

Can Games Be an Effective Teaching Aid?

You might have to dig back in your memory a ways before you realize it, but if you grew up with video games, it’s very likely they influenced your schooling and education. Sure, we can recall thinking about games through those long, boring hours in class, but those thoughts weren’t necessarily segregated from the “useful” stuff we learned from eight until three every weekday. Likewise, all of us tackled at least one creative writing...

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Facebook vs. Console Games: Who Wins?

Facebook vs. Console Games: Who Wins?

Who plays Facebook games? As the kids say in the schoolyard, your mom. Also, maybe your uncle, your grandfather, your aunt and siblings too And truthfully, if you sneak in a sampling of FarmVille in between bites of your sandwich at lunch, what’s the harm? The popularity of Facebook games isn’t in question, and neither is the addictive nature of some of its most famous offerings. But the likes of FrontierVille, Texas Holdem Poker and Mafia Wars were...

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Social Games: Why Designers Keep Defecting

Social Games: Why Designers Keep Defecting

Last June, I traveled to the new Zynga office near Baltimore and interviewed Brian Reynolds for a GamePro  feature. Interviews can be a little nerve-wracking for the writer conducting the one-on-one, but more often than not, the rule your mom taught you about bears applies to game developers too: They’re more scared of you than you are of them. Reynolds, however, was just the most cheerful and accommodating person I could ever have asked to interview. Which...

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