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!