Interview: My Tribe’s Facebook Migration

My Tribe from Big Fish Games is a unique Facebook gaming experience, for a number of reasons. For one, it was originally a downloadable PC game. It is one of the first console/PC games to successfully make the transition to a social platform.

Another intriguing feature is the game’s realtime nature. What makes My Tribe so addictive is that another event is always just seconds away.

We recently spoke with My Tribe Executive Producer Ryan Clark about making the transition to Facebook, how to solve some of the game’s brain-bending mysteries, and what’s next for the for everyone’s island tribes…

Social Game Central: First off, for those readers that aren’t familiar with My Tribe, can you give us an overview of the series?

Ryan Clark: My Tribe is a tropical island simulation game in which players nurture a tribe of castaways – feeding, clothing, and sheltering their tribespeople while trying to solve the mysteries of their island.

SGC: My Tribe recently introduced a large collection of trophies. Can you tell us a little about this new feature? Although most social games are open-ended, My Tribe is especially so. Was the trophy system introduced to give players more direction?

RC: Some players really enjoy open-ended play with no set goals, while others crave direction. Our trophies system provides this direction for players who desire it, but can be ignored by players who prefer to choose their own path.

SGC: What unusual activities or projects can project can players engage in, besides just advancing enough to travel to a new island? Do you have any ideas for players that don’t know what to try next?

RC: Gemcutting is a high-level technology that allows players to craft extremely powerful gems for their tribe. The technology itself is difficult to research, and once researched, it’s challenging to find the recipes and resources needed to cut new gems. Many players are currently working towards this goal.

Other long-term activities include solving all eight of the game’s mysterious objects and completing the hard and hardest trophies.

SGC: My tribe is unique among social games in that another event is always just around the corner. There is even a timer counting down the next happening in the bottom left corner. Where did the My Tribe team draw its inspiration for this “realtime” game design?

RC: As you’ve noticed, in My Tribe, there’s always something going on. We’ve designed the game to reflect real-life scenarios, incorporating a mix of anticipated and unanticipated events that offer players a balance of predictability and anticipation.

SGC: For many players the most mysterious element of My Tribe is (obviously) the collection of mystery items. Do you have any hints for stumped players?

RC: Try dropping tribespeople on the mysterious objects to receive hints. People of different ages, physical strengths, mental strengths, and skill levels may yield different results!

SGC: Can you give us a sneak peak at any upcoming additions to My Tribe?

RC: We just released a special Mother’s Day feature – if you buy flowers for your mom through My Tribe, you can earn pearls. In terms of sneak peeks, we’re hard at work on new features as we speak. You won’t have to wait long to find out!

SGC: Thanks Ryan!

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  1. What would be great is a reset button, atm any players have to wait, sometimes weeks, for their tribe to all die off, old age, to start again. Perhaps trading in 25 moons to reset might be an idea, that would give time for players to think if they really want to reset of carry on.

    • joshua brackeen
    • May 5th, 2010

    add a giffting system possibly add new mystaries or fun chalanges and twice as many quest could bring some excitment into this game cause im bored and i dont like the fact that i cant start from the begining it relly bites

    • Maurice
    • May 5th, 2010

    I wonder if you ever find a Isle where who is abandoned by others but the science place, wood, food and rock is already build :P

  2. Sooze Knowles :
    What would be great is a reset button, atm any players have to wait, sometimes weeks, for their tribe to all die off, old age, to start again. Perhaps trading in 25 moons to reset might be an idea, that would give time for players to think if they really want to reset of carry on.

    add me please

    • MEE
    • May 6th, 2010

    The “sneak peak at any upcoming additions to My Tribe” Was very disappointing to say the least!!

    The game has so very much more potential, i hope we get it soon :P

    • MEE
    • May 6th, 2010

    The so called “upcoming additions to My Tribe” was a sponsored advertisement, lol. And the items listed to buy with real money in the pearl shop aren’t worth it for the simple fact that it would take away from the small amount of game play currently in the game.

    I do very much like the game, but am waiting for more.

    • Sarah
    • May 9th, 2010

    I think there should be another way to pan around the island, the scroll feature often gets bogged down; maybe using the number keys for different parts on the map would work. And it might be cool to have other buildings to create, ways to increase the tribe without so many of the precious stork feathers, and a way to move the buildings once they’re set down (in case you accidentally misplaced it). These are just some suggestions, I like the game with or without them. I guess I’m just hoping to have more of an architectural/social sims feel to it. Also, my ark is finally built today, but I didn’t know it was make me leave my island. I thought I would be able to use my island as a base and come back after solving mysteries and collecting items elsewhere. I like the island I set up.

    • Cyndra Clay
    • May 9th, 2010

    I think that we need the zooming out and in for my wrists are hurting trying to move the place around! as well as the full screen! And agree to many on here! TY

    • Lynette Pelley
    • May 10th, 2010

    how can i make my game screen a full screen instead of the small portion you see when you play the game?

    • joylene love
    • May 12th, 2010

    I love the game but like many others would love either full screen or at least an easier way to pan in and out. I also read where once you leave your original Island you cant go back, now that really sucks and I doubt now that I will bother building the ark. I havent finished all the things I want to on the island Im on.

    • Ewan
    • May 17th, 2010

    A trading option would be great, so that you could trade unwanted gems or resources for other things of a similar value, or even with friends?

    • Geri
    • May 21st, 2010

    i don’t want to just leave this island i’ve worked so hard on… can’t you all make it so we san come back… for supplies or just some people move.. and come back… move things between islands.. I really love this game and the gifting thing is a great idea.. makes your friends really your friends…in a gaming sorta way.. wish the workers I put on a task would finnish it before they just walk away and daydream.. i guess that does happen in real… thanks for the game and hope some of these great suggestions from this link will show up on MY TRIBE soon. happy gaming!!!

    • Geri
    • May 21st, 2010

    the Paning issue bugs me… it gets stuck ..drives me nuts!!lol

    • Geri
    • May 21st, 2010

    @Cyndra Clay i totally agree!!

  3. it would be useful if you could go to another island where you fined a cast away because some of my tripe are getting too old

    • shell
    • May 28th, 2010

    Be great if My tribe Facebook could make potions have a wich doctor and be able to trade with other islands, sail too and trade with other tribes just like in real life. So many other things they could do with it.

    • Judi
    • May 31st, 2010

    The tribes people need more to do! After everything is built and upgraded they are left standing around feeling grumpy because they are bored. For that matter, I’m bored too. No enough to do on this game. Updates in the form of ads?? COME ON! Improve the game without forcing ads on us! My people need more to build, flowers to plant, pots to stir…. anything to make the game less boring!

    • Jason
    • June 1st, 2010

    It would be nice if you could set a priority to the tribe members tasks. For instance, if you have someone gathering wood and constructing, you could have them finish construction before they gather wood, instead of walking back and forth doing a little here then a little there then back again. I like the game but like everything there is always room for improvement.

    • Carol
    • June 2nd, 2010

    I would like to see new mysteries soon. It is getting boring now. Solved all.

    • Debbie Head
    • June 4th, 2010

    You know what would be really great if the Facebook version went to truly full screen when you click on the icon. I downloaded the pc version and love the (true) full screen!

    • Misty
    • June 8th, 2010

    I have to agree with some of the other users who have mentioned the issue with moving around the island. I hate the way I have to click and drag the island to view other parts. I’m constantly catching myself trying to ‘zoom’ in and out like with other games. It would be awesome to just be able to move the mouse and have the view change and to have the ability to zoom in and out.

    I also agree that being able to move a building once it’s been built would be an awesome addition to MyTribe. The same for rocks, trees, and even the Food Hut and fire that’s on your island when you first start. I would like to have mine centered so that I can build my village around it. So having the option to move all of these elements would really help you make the island your own.

    I can see MyTribe growing into an amazingly fun game over time. I hope the developers stick with it and give us all a reason to stick with this game for a long time.

    • kelly
    • June 10th, 2010

    would love to be able to build more things, like a barn for animals that might have washed up on shore from a wrecked ship that we could scavenge for items. Build a raft for fishing, make fishing nets, a place to hang our catch of the day. Make a hammock and such. Gather coconuts, need more to do. Would like to get more than the same old gems and tattered clothing from the darn crates. I think this game has a possibility to do so much but just hasn’t reached that potential yet. Some of the prices in the pearl shop are way out of line. Need more friends so I can get more stork feathers to enlarge my tribe.

    • krystal
    • June 18th, 2010

    i dont think we should have to pay for a game that is free to play.we need more things to explore more things to do

    • Barb
    • June 21st, 2010

    As many of the above people have said, there just isn’t enough to do in this game, waiting for moondust and stardust to fall and people to level up after all is upgraded is very boring. I have the original game from BFG, some of the items that are in the original game make it much more fun, like potions, additional buildings, and less emphasis on clothing. Enlarging your tribe is way to cumbersome, to go from 16 to 17 is 25 stork feathers, your tribe could all die of old age before you reached this population number if you didn’t make sure you got a fountain of youth on your first island, my oldest member is 159 and I still have days away from getting another member in stork feathers. Another item that is irritating is the washed up crates, the spin all to frequently gets the same item time after time. I could get some more of my friends to play and speed it up but it is not worth it, play the orginal version and forget this one.

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