Andy's Workshop

Game chat and stories along with some articles probably for the more geeky among us,
all written by me, Andy.

Click here for my Frontierville Addiction Therapy Guide

Saturday 9 April 2011

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life...

Some things in life are bad,
They can really make you mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle,
Don't grumble, give a whistle,
And this'll help things turn out for the best...
- Eric Ide/Monty Python

[WARNING: This post contains rampant positivity, good language and scenes of a happy nature. Reader discretion is advised.]

OK, I've been guilty of a couple of slightly moany posts lately, but I also believe in giving credit as well as criticism where it's due... plus I think we need this.

How much new stuff do you think we've received as we slip along gently towards the 100th day of the year tomorrow, especially considering the biggest complaint by the end of last year was people "being bored"?

Well, I'll tell you and I think you might be surprised at my count, we've had;

148 new missions - 1.5 a DAY give or take
13 new buildings - about 1 a week
2 building upgrades - Storage Shed repeatables and the new Mark II Coops
3 new full NPC characters (Bess, Doc Auburn and Finkerton) plus Jacques.
3 new crops (roses)
7 injured animals plus a pet dog
6 new mystery animals
1 new varmint (Coyote)

You know, that's quite a lot, and as much as some of them haven't gone down smoothly we've seem some truly brilliant additions and it has to be said that percentage-wise there are easily more hits than misses.

It was last night's addition that really sparked me, I looked through the information and thought... you know what? This is a cracker. The News Stand has taken an idea that's been seen in other Zynga games, expanded it, made it relevant to the theme of the game and, at least in my mind, come up with a winner.

It does interaction so much better than any other Facebook game I've played with the little personalised messages (without the annoying message posts of Farmville) and the ability go gift something specific instead of random.

The Blacksmith has also been a classic addition, even with the "blasted internet" problems that plagued it to begin with people were desperate to get their hands on a feeder and harvester, and I can understand why... I love using those tools, I will feed a SINGLE animal with my feeder just to get the extra XP and another nudge to my badge totals.

How about game features not building related features? Bess can be a godsend with her extra help a day, Coyotes (while disliked by some) are well designed and a good answer to a technical problem without becoming too controlling or banning something outright, and I love having a pet dog.

Even the art team need a little bouquet in my view. The forlorn look of the injured deer that tugs the heartstrings of the hardest pioneer, the little oft-overlooked glitter like the eyes peeking out from the curtains in the Detectives Office (something that gives Esta the heebie jeebies so extra points for that), those psychotic looking hunched over coyotes... Whatever we can say about the game it's not that it doesn't look great.

There are glitches and occasional skips, there's a little bit too much begging in missions and there are problems with the Flash player which, contrary to some beliefs, has nothing to do with Frontierville (like blaming a racing driver for crashing when his brakes fail) but sometimes we need to look past that.

When something happens that we don't like it tends to put a dark cloud over the whole of the game. It's fair to say the new canning missions haven't gone down well with some players, but it also needs to be remembered that that's ONE mission thread, and both avoidable and non-time limited.

I'm not going to write soppy little love notes every day about this game, there's still the occasional problem, feature or mission I'm not keen on, but for every Finkertons there's a News Stand, for every popup there's a fun mission.

I've had my own issues with the infamous Canning as any long term reader will know, but I also look at the list of the new features and can easily forgive them a single series of missions I don't like, because I know that the next thing that appears, in this case the News Stand, has a chance of making me realise just why I love this game.

If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing.

And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...


  1. So true Andy...and the song was a nice touch, loved it

  2. Thanks awfully, Andy! That made my day. :)