Farm Town

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For other uses, see Farm Town (disambiguation).
Farm Town
Farm Town.png
Screenshot of gameplay
Developer(s) Slashkey
Platform(s) Facebook, Myspace
Release date(s) 2009

Farm Town is a free, Flash-based browser multiplayer simulation game for the social network platforms Facebook and Myspace. It is social media[1] developed by software company Slashkey in early 2009.[2] The game version number is undisclosed; however, updates have been made available every few months[3] and the current (as of May 2014) online version has 525 levels but is still labeled as beta phase.[4]

Overview[edit]

In 2009, 11 servers were required to support the web traffic, and the game experienced a period of growth in which another one or two servers were added each week. All the growth has come from player invitations and word of mouth; the company has done no marketing.[5]

Application[edit]

Farm Town was initially sent out in February 2009 to a few select members of the Facebook community in order to “iron out the bugs.” The game was finally added to the Facebook Application Directory in June 2009 and debuted as the fourth most popular game on Facebook.[5] Despite its lack of complexity and advanced features compared to standalone MMORPGs, its availability through successful social networks allowed it to attract 14 million registered users as of July 27, 2009.[6][7] The following day, Farm Town was cited as the most popular application on Facebook with growth of nearly 300,000 new users per day.[8] According to Jerome Paradis, each monthly application user is worth from $1 to $2 in revenue to an online game that is successful. Based on millions of users, the application should be very profitable for developer Slashkey.[5] To play Farm Town on Facebook or MySpace, you must log onto the social network site first.

Gameplay[edit]

Each user creates a personal avatar and receives a tract of land with five plots planted with potatoes in various stages of maturity and one plot plowed but unplanted. Farm layout (including buildings, decorations, field layout, etc.) is the responsibility of the farmer. The farmer then begins the basic activities of plowing, planting and harvesting crops.[2]

The game encourages cooperation with other players. For example, it costs half the price per plowing to hire workers to assist with plowing and harvesting; on the contrary, the farmer actually gets a 25% bonus for having someone else do the work. Players can also establish a buddy list which indicates when friends are online and enables messaging. Harvesting and storing crops earns more than harvesting and selling immediately. In Farm Town, animals won't leave their farm if they aren't fenced; they don’t have to be fed and never damage crops. Trees bear fruit that never spoils. As the player accumulates experience and coins, they rise to higher levels which reveal more options, permitting the purchase of more land, improvements and buildings. As of May, 2014, there are 525 levels.

The game developers periodically add new crops and items to purchase, keeping the game interesting.[2] As of May, 2014, a player may have up to 22 farms. The maximum farm size is 38X38 on farms 1-22.

Facilities[edit]

Facilities are available as items for purchase. These facilities take various produced items and turn them into manufactured goods (before this, harvested items were simply sold at the marketplace). Additionally, some of these manufactured goods can then be used at secondary facilities to make more products. This process produces products that are more profitable than simply selling the raw materials, but it takes more time. Once a production flow is established, the profits are more noticeable. For example, harvested olives can be taken to an oil factory and turned into olive oil. Then, this oil and harvested potatoes can be taken to a snack factory to make potato chips.

Other facilities offer services rather than products (such as the music conservatory, modern school, bed and breakfast, and sports arena). These facilities are stocked with finished products from different facilities.

Production of products and services can be sped up by posting requests for help by neighbors. Separate requests are needed for the production facilities and the service facilities. When neighbors work a facility, they receive products and experience points.

Fishing[edit]

Farm Town players now have the ability to fish at their farm and earn profit. Players can fish in their sea coasts, rivers, ponds, or lakes and sell the caught fish at the marketplace, or use the fish at the sushi restaurant or seafood restaurant (two of Farm Town's facilities) to earn even more profit. Players can also hire others to fish at their farms, or use a fishing boat to catch all the fish in a body of water at one time.

Map[edit]

The Map icon on the Farm Town toolbar displays six subsequent icons as destinations: the Marketplace (Work and Hire), where players go to hire other players and be hired, the Marketplace (Sell and Trade), where players buy and sell to each other, The Inn (Socialize), a place to meet new people, the Realtor office, where the available options to increase farm size are displayed, the Bank, and the fuel station.

Malware attack[edit]

In 2010, there were reports of a malvertising attack on the Farm Town game. During the game a message or advert would show saying one needed to purchase an Anti-Virus program and run a scan on the user's computer. This led to users giving out personal information and credit card details leading to bank theft. Users are advised not to click on the link and are asked to update and scan their computer with a trusted Anti-Virus program.[9][10][11]

Forums[edit]

Facebook has a forum devoted to Farm Town[12] and several moderated forums are provided for the game by developer Slashkey. There is a forum to help new players ask questions, a forum that identifies "Known Issues, Glitches & Bugs", one for support, Farm town News & Announcements, Feedback & Suggestions, a Social forum, and a non-English forum.[13] In addition, there are a number of unofficial Farm Town forums.

Farm Town Guru also has a forum community alongside all of their Guides & Tips.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Truitt, Gary: [1] Hoosier Ag Today, May 25, 2009-Virtual Farming, A New Tool To Teach Consumers
  2. ^ a b c [2] Slashkey website, About Farm Town
  3. ^ [3] Slashkey website, Farm Town forum
  4. ^ [4] Facebook website, Farm Town Application
  5. ^ a b c Paradis, Jerome: [5] Paradivision, May 6, 2009, "Farm Town: an Under-the-Radar Facebook Social Gaming Success Story in the Making"
  6. ^ [6] AppData, Independent, Accurate Application Metrics and Trends, Facebook Farm Town
  7. ^ [7] Facebook page statistics, Monthly active users, as of July 2009
  8. ^ O'Neill, Nick: [8] All Facebook website, July 28, 2009-Largest Facebook Game FarmTown Goes Down, Run For The Hills!
  9. ^ [9]
  10. ^ : [10]
  11. ^ [11]
  12. ^ [12] Facebook, Farm Town forum
  13. ^ [13] Slashkey website, Farm Town forums

External links[edit]