Pet Society World

Adventures in Pet Society

A Chance to Provide Pet Society with Feedback August 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Pet Society Girl @ 11:59 am
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Hey everyone!

There’s a new topic at the Playfish Forums today called “The Listening Thread” and a Playfish employee has asked for player feedback.  I spent my lunch hour writing up and posting my feedback on Pet Society.  It’s great to have an opportunity to provide feedback on a game that I’ve played for over two years, especially since I’ve felt like Playfish hasn’t listened to its players as well as it could.

Here’s your chance to provide any comments, complaints and feedback on Pet Society.  Let’s hope they really listen!

By the way, I post as Pet.Society.World over there. Feel free to add me as a friend if you’re a reader and member over there. 😀

 

Playfish Hotel City Cash Coin Promotion April 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Pet Society Girl @ 10:28 pm
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Now that the Playfish Hotel City cash coin promotion is over, how many cash coins did you earn? Have you decided what you’ll but with the cash coins? Are you still interested in playing Hotel City now that the promotion’s over?

I managed to reach level 10 just before the deadline, so I earned 6 cash coins. I’m not really sure what to buy with them in Pet Society. I just visited the cash shop (boutique) and looked around for what I could afford, and nothing seemed particularly interesting. I didn’t realize that all the cash coin items were so expensive. I feel like I just wasted my time playing Hotel City for cash coins that won’t go very far at all. I’m not really interested in playing Hotel City, so I deleted the game tonight. None of my friends started playing it at all, and I’d rather spend my time on Pet Society.

What are your thoughts on the promotion?

 

Playfish Cash Promotion April 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Pet Society Girl @ 12:32 pm
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Many have mentioned that Playfish is promoting its latest game, Hotel City, with a Playfish Cash Promotion.

The full details on the promotion are here, but these are the highlights:
“• Install Hotel City and complete the tutorial to earn 2 Playfish Cash!
• Play Hotel City and reach level 10 to earn another 4 Playfish Cash!
• Play Hotel City and reach level 25 to earn yet another 4 Playfish Cash!”

Since Playfish cash is used across all Playfish games, you can play Hotel City to earn a maximum of Playfish Cash to use in any Playfish game, including Pet Society. This may be a good option for players who don’t spend real money on Playfish Cash in Pet Society.

 

Pet Society Beta in Perpetuity March 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Pet Society Girl @ 10:42 pm
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Pet Society is nearly 19 months old and still a “beta” game.  Beta is a testing phase for developers to gather feedback and put final touches on the game before its official release.

I’m curious, do you think  Pet Society is a beta game?

Do you think Pet Society’s “beta” label is an excuse for frequent mistakes, errors and changes?  How do you feel about the label?

Personally, I wonder about the “beta” label.  If I’ve been playing the game for this long and it’s not fully finished, then will it ever be officially released?

 

Electronic Arts Buys Playfish November 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Pet Society Girl @ 2:38 am
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One of the big Playfish news events that happened just before I left for Turkey was that Electronic Arts (EA) purchased Playfish on November 9, 2009.  I’d posted about the growing rumors of the acquisition back on October 24th. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to post about the news of the purchase before my flight.

According to the press release Playfish posted, “EA has acquired Playfish for approximately US$275 million in cash and approximately US$25 million in equity retention arrangements. In addition, the sellers are entitled to additional variable cash consideration, up to a maximum of US$100 million, contingent upon the achievement of certain performance milestones through December 31, 2011.”

What do you think this means for Pet Society players?  Will Playfish games like Pet Society stay the same?  Will they improve?  Will there be an even greater focus on making money?

 

Playfish vs. Apple September 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Pet Society Girl @ 4:43 pm
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There’s an interesting recent article on Virtual Goods News with Playfish’s CEO Kristian Segerstrale.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“This week Playfish CEO Kristian Segerstrale stated that the iPhone was not yet a mature platform for social games that use microtransactions as part of gameplay when compared to social networks like Facebook and MySpace. Segerstrale blames this on the “monopolistic distribution environment” common to all mobile games and exemplified by the App Store. He states that this environment is “hostile to growth.”

“The first iteration of how Apple allows you to do micro-transactions is restrictive in terms of how you define what you’re selling. In Pet Society, for example, we might launch 20 or 30 new virtual items every week. That’s just not feasible on the App Store,” said Segerstrale.

Elaborating on the problems with mobile social gaming, Segerstrale considers it problematic that players can only buy from one source (the App Store) that offers only “shallow” discovery and a “limited” business model. With online social games, Segerstrale notes that developers and publishers are free to “try out anything you want.””

Here’s the full article: http://www.virtualgoodsnews.com/2009/08/playfish-.html

I translate all the jargon-coated insults to mean that Segerstrale is making lots more money on Facebook and MySpace, so he won’t be bothering with the App Store.

 

Backlash Against the Pet Society Cash Shop May 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Pet Society Girl @ 12:49 pm
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The Playfish forum’s Pet Society Cash Shop comment topic exploded with anger, frustration and unhappiness for the past day. Check out the thousands of comments!

Personally, I’m very insulted with the new addition. Being able to win more hurdle races, walk through town faster, do your visits faster, and walk through and receive more coins from the trees are all ways to save time, increase the game speed, and make more money in the game. People have posted requesting variations of these features for months, but now only those who pay will benefit. There have been plenty of topics saying “visits take too long,” “There should be more coins in the trees,” and “hurdle races are unfair.”

I guess that’s how beta game development works? The developers experiment on you, watching your comments and suggestions, and then they use your ideas to cash in. Meanwhile, the true fan, who was devoted to helping the game and coming up with ideas never necessarily benefits at all. It feels like backstabbing when you contribute to the generation of ideas of your own volition, completely uncredited, and you are excluded from the fruits of the success. Forum members are being asked to pay for ideas they came up with the improve the game.

Now we know that Playfish does listen, but their priority is not to make all players happy; instead, Playfish’s goal in listening to us has been to make money. This new shop makes that perfectly clear.

Watching how this has all played out makes me far less likely to share suggestions for game improvements. What if I post a good idea, and it’s just used to benefit the pay-only players? Why should I bother to help improve the game, particularly if I don’t feel I am benefiting from the relationship anymore?

So many members feel that Playfish has played us, treating us as though we are braindead dunces, undeserving of respect. I appreciate straightforwardness and above all honestly. It would have been easy to make an announcement that the exciting new store was a cash only shop for paying users.

It’s quite simple to see why everyone is so unhappy.

 

New Pet Society Add Coins Button May 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Pet Society Girl @ 4:36 am
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Tonight, I logged into Pet Society to play for a bit while relaxing and watching Letterman.   I noticed a new, ugly, green button crying out “+Add coins” in the top left corner.  It’s not like I don’t know where the bank is, and there are posters in the stores trying to convince me to buy coins.  Along with the add coins button is a new green “invite” button below the playing screen.  It’s pretty redundant since there’s a blue invite button on the left of the screen too.  The buttons are getting distracting and irritating, and they make me less and less likely to ever buy coins. Spending real money to buy fake things in a game is just not appealing.

Playfish is probably doing an experiment on us to see where they get more clicks from by adding the new “invite” and “add coins” buttons, so maybe if no one clicks the new green buttons, they will just go away. *crossed fingers*

Pet Society Add Coins

Pet Society New Buttons

 

Diversity in Pet Society April 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Pet Society Girl @ 11:24 pm
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Back in February, Pet Society released three acrylic prints for our pets to buy and decorate their homes with:

The characters were all cute, but they were all white characters.  Since pet society is a diverse game filled with pets of all colors and species, it made no sense to have these paintings as my pet’s decorating choices.  Personally, I have been troubled by these imbalances in Playfish games, not only in terms of cartoon character coloring, but also because of the severe gender imbalance.

Let’s examine the list of achievable brain types in “Who Has The Biggest Brain?” Of the nine brain types with human qualities from Neanderthal to Cyborg (below), 100% of the characters are white, and 100% are male. Does this look unbalanced?

Now, let’s examine the list of achievable brain types in “Word Challenge” Of the 28 brain representations (below), 96% are white and 4% (the pro wrestler) are non-white. Of course, the pro wrestler may also just be white with a tan, which would mean 100% of the characters are white. In terms of gender, we’ll exclude the infant (although it is wearing blue, its gender is not clear) and the hermit. Of the 26 remaining characters, 23% are female, and 77% are male. Does this seem balanced?

Lastly, let’s examine the list of achievable ranking types in “Geo Challenge” (shown below). There are 34 representations that can be analyzed (we’ll exclude the agoraphobe, since he/she is covered up). Of the 34 characters, 100% are white. In terms of gender, 9% are female (hotel receptionist, cabin crew, and adventurer, notice all three are in the lowest three ranking tiers) and 91% are male. Does this seem balanced?

To me, none of these statistics are balanced. They don’t represent me or the world I live in. I don’t believe they represent the diverse group of Playfish game players or the members of this forum.

Playfish’s golf game is an improvement over their previous games, allowing players to choose the appearance of our characters.

Happily, Pet Society showed another sign that the Playfish artists and developers are listening, although they don’t necessarily respond on their forums to commentary from players.  Previously, forum members suggested having real art and pictures of pets as alternatives. This week, a lovely “Pet Lisa” painting (a pet version of daVinci’s Mona Lisa) was introduced on the heals the recently introduced “OMG painting” (a pet version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream).

Wonderful changes Pet Society!  Thanks for listening!

I hope Playfish will continue to consider diversity in the future, in terms of their characters. There’s no reason minorities and women should be excluded from these cartoon representations. This may seem inconsequential to many, but it can be damaging to never see someone who looks like you be depicted as a intelligent, capable and talented, even in a game.