Posts Tagged ‘ Town

My Town Makes Additions

First off, I’d just like to take a moment to say… I called it. My Town developer Broken Bulb Studios will now be updating their hit town sim twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Just as yours truly predicted. But I don’t want to gloat (too much), so… moving on…

Three new items were added to My Town, earlier today: a Chinese Restaurant, a Large Spanish Home, and several tiles that can be used to form a Stream. All in all, a balanced update. The stream is especially cool – you can configure its twists and turns however you like – the same way roads are constructed.

Broke Bulb, one request, if you’re reading – please add a “new” designation to store items, when you add them! It can be tough to keep track.

UPDATE: This post originally stated that the Modern Mansion was just added, which it was actually the Large Spanish Home. Thanks to Rebecca and Caitlin for pointing out the error.

My Town Adds Statue of Liberty & More

Another Thursday means another round of updates to the rapidly-growing town building title My Town.

It can be tough to tell what’s new and what isn’t (if developer Broken Bulb Studios is reading, add a ‘New’ designation!), but the game’s fan page did single out three new additions: A Pizza Parlor, a parking garage, and a statue of liberty (with a My Town spin put on it, of course). It also sounds like a flower shop and a mansion were also added.

All in all, a pretty big update, this week. If My Town’s weekly item expansions stay this large, Broken Bulb might have to start updating their title twice a week instead of just on Thursdays…

TinyTown Adds Avatar Toggle

I’ve been enjoying newly-launched town-building title TinyTown quite a bit since it launched Feb. 1st. The game is still quite small – just 6,000 daily players, but it’s pixel art style and well-thought-out progression system will likely appeal to a wider audience once it starts to spread virally.

One weirdness about the game is that the player is represented in-game by a giant, (and frankly pretty weird) avatar. Instead of new buildings and decorations being placed on the fly when you click them, you have to wait for your giant avatar to walk over and perform the action for you.

I’ve never understood the point of the avatar, and most comments on the fan page seem to agree. Developer DomiSuto seems to have noticed all the player feedback, at least. Today the company rolled out an avatar toggle function, so weirded out players such as myself can disable the feature. Yay!

My Town Adds Weekly Additions

As astute My Town players have undoubtedly noticed by now, developer Broken Bulb Studios has gotten into the habit of making Thursday their new item day. This week was no exception. Players will find a new Dutch Windmill, Post Office, and Swimming Pool for sale in the in-game shop. Broken Bulb also stated that there were some new decorations for sale as well, but I wasn’t able to spot them.

On an unrelated note, Broken Bulb has been running a very aggressive ad campaign for the game on Facebook, and it seems to be paying off. The game is currently one of the fastest-growing titles across the entire social network! Congrats to Broken Bulb.

They granted Social Game Central our first-ever interview, on January 20th. At that time the game had 307,000 daily players. Today, that the game has more than doubled, with 647,000 daily players.

My Town Adds New Gifts & Items, and Revamps Timer

My Town seems to be falling into a weekly routine, with new updates rolling out on Thursdays. Last week developer Broken Bulb Studios added a handful of new decorations and buildings. This week’s additions are similar. Players that are feeling neighborly can send off new Hot Dog Stand and Lemonade Stand gifts, while players wanting to class up their town can do so with the new black marble and white marble tile decorations.

Last but certainly not least, Broken Bulb also made a very welcome change to My Town’s collections system. Players will now have 12 hours to collect from a building, once it is ready. I don’t know what the time limit was previously, but I do know that it was much stricter. I was constantly returning to my town too late to receive any coins from my buildings. This new 12 hour limit seems like a great compromise.

Images of the new My Town decorations and gifts:

Exclusive: My Town Interview Reveals Big Plans

Social Game Central was lucky enough to sit down with Broken Bulb Studios President (and My Town developer) Jason Moore recently. We covered a wide range of topics, including details on traffic animation, the addition of trophies, and Broken Bulb’s plans to add over 100 new buildings to their rapidly growing title. We also solve the mystery of the “old man” who provides the tutorial voice-over when players first join My Town. Last but certainly not least, Moore gave us a visual sneak peak of one upcoming building.

Social Game Central: For those that aren’t familiar with Broken Bulb or My Town, can you tell us a little about the company, and give us an overview of your biggest game, My Town?

Jason Moore: Broken Bulb Studios is a brand new game studio who’s sole intention is improving the quality and experience of social games. Although the game studio is new, it was founded by a team who has been working exclusively on social network content for over 5 years.

Our biggest game, My Town, was designed with the idea of taking successful “harvesting” games to the next level. Our main goal in My Town is to allow users to express themselves via customization and control over building a town that they feel represents themselves personally. As we continue to build My Town, personal expression is our main goal.

SGC: Where did the idea for My Town come from? How long did Broken Bulb work on the title before flipping the switch?

JM: We wanted to build a harvesting game fit three main criteria. First, we needed it to be familiar. We didn’t want to invent some cool Space Planet World game that players wouldn’t inherently know what to do. Second, we wanted to create something that wasn’t being done in our market yet instead of being like every other developer who simply copies popular genres. The last criteria was that our users could use the game to express themselves. Eventually we landed on My Town and we launched the first Beta version after 3 months of work.

SGC: My Town has taken off like a rocket, and now has 5X the number of players it had a month ago. What about the game is attracting the Facebook community? Do they just love the music, or wise old tutorial giver? Or maybe they’re just lapsed Sim City fans?

JM: I think there are many reasons why My Town’s popularity is taking off. First and foremost I would be lying if I didn’t give credit to the fact that this is a game developed using every avenue Facebook allows to interconnect and grow the game organically through their channels. But more importantly, the game is fun and expressive. No matter how many users you can acquire, the question is always how many can you keep. That’s where we succeed and we believe it’s due to our player-centric mindset where our game players come first, second, and third.

SGC: Speaking of the old-man tutorial voice, I have to ask, who in the office provided it, and how did you all first discover his talents? Do you force him to answer the phones? Inquiring minds want to know!

JM: Haha, funny enough I personally did the voice over for the Mayor. I wanted to make sure our game stood out right when people signed up to play. I guess it’s not often that the co-founder and President does the “acting” in a game, but it’s also not often that the co-founder and President of a game studio went to college for “Acting / Directing.”

SGC: Right now, the more serious My Town players have unlocked all the game’s buildings. Are there plans for more high-level content? Can you give us an example of what that content might be?

JM: The plans are endless! We have so much in development it’s mind boggling. We will have over 100 new buildings added in the game by the end of the year. We are working on building famous structures and landmarks of the world.

SGC: The two icons in the upper right of My Town have been “Coming Soon” for a while now. Can you tell us about them? I’m assuming the trophy is going to be an achievements/accomplishments system… what types of things will players earn trophies for?

JM: Yes, the top two icons have been coming soon for a while, but the wait is almost over. Next week we will be launching our Trophies system and achievements will come shortly after that. One of the most exciting things about this system is that it will reward and entice users to build unique and meaningful towns. You won’t simply be able to mass build the one item that makes the most money to get ahead in the game and we believe this will make self expression much more prevalent.

(Question submitted by My Town fan) Are you considering adding animation (like moving cars or people)?

JM: We are already working on adding traffic and animation into the game. The two features we get asked for the most are traffic on the streets and a full-screen option. They are both currently being developed and should be seen within a month.

SGC: I’m enjoying My Town, but one criticism I have is that the game is really not too different from farming games, with players “harvesting” buildings instead of crops. Is there any desire to add elements like requiring power plants, or requiring buildings to be connected to roads? Or is this all part of the game’s balance between accessibility and complexity?

JM: We definitely will never require a normal structure to how you build your town. We want people to build their towns however they want to. That being said, the Trophies and more specifically Achievements system will completely remove the one dimensional harvesting feel. We’re very excited for this launch.

SGC: Finally, if I ask very very nicely, will you give us a sneak-peak at an upcoming My Town addition?
JM: Yes, I’ve included the image of an upcoming building. This will probably be released next Thursday, Jan 28th:

(click image for full-size)

Facebook My Town Luxury Hotel

I’d like to thank Jason so much for taking the time to speak with us. Keep your browser pointed to Social Game Central for all the latest on My Town and all your other favorite Facebook games.

My Town Weekly Item Additions

Thursday = My Town new item day! This week we have the addition of an Airport, a Tall Grass decoration, and what developer Broken Bulb Studios called “a huge water feature.” Are they referring to the medium lake? I’m not 100% sure whether that decoration was in the game or not, prior to today.

The Airport is costs 20 $TC (about $5), and looks pretty snazzy, if you ask me:

The Tall Grass isn’t the most exciting decoration, but it should certainly help those town planners going for a more rural feel:

I snapped a pic of the Medium Pond as well, if that was the “huge water feature” they mentioned:

Up & Coming: SuperCity

I’ve been enjoying city building title SuperCity from Russian newcomer innoWate for over a week, now. It looks like city simulations might be another hot social genre in 2010, and hopefully SuperCity will be able to ride that wave to at least a modest level of success. But its slower pace and less forgiving gameplay all but ensure the game won’t lead the pack. Yet it is precisely these elements that attract me to the game.

The game works more-or-less like you’re probably imagining. Played from a traditional Sim City camera perspective, players build studio apartments (and later condos, later still castles), as well as shops, schools, power stations, etc. Each of these structures takes anywhere from 2 hours to over 24 hours to construct. Players can then return to their city every 4-8 hours and collect the rent money that has accumulated.

I say the game is unforgiving and slow for a couple of reasons. The amount of rent collected is a low enough percentage of the total building price that you won’t recoup your investment in that building until you’ve collected several times. Additionally, players don’t have the ability to move buildings. If you decide you want to re-arrange, you are required demolish that building (and pay the demolish fee no less), losing that investment.

I’m making it sound un-appealing, but it really isn’t. The slowed-down pace means two things:

1) Every new building you construct is a victory. You’re building a CITY here… not planting a Farm. Saving for a new power plant SHOULD be a big deal. It makes everything feel more like a true construction project.
2) Actual city planning becomes important. You need to have a rough outline of what will go where, since additions are semi-permanent.

Basically, if you come across someone’s SuperCity stuffed with high-end estates and mega malls, this is a more significant achievement than someone’s decked out farm or pet house. The slower pace appeals to me, but will it appeal to the masses?

SuperCity launched Dec. 25th with 8,000 daily players. As of today there are 15,300 daily players. So, this is still a quite small title. The entire experience is still a little rough around the edges – Awards, Gifts, and other features are still listed as “coming soon.” But give it a shot. It’s one of my current “play daily” titles. And there aren’t many of those.

My Town Offers Double TownCash

My Town ( a game we’ll be writing more about soon) is currently running a half-off sale on their in-game currency TownCash. Or they’re offering double the TownCash per purchase, if you’re more of a glass half full kind of person. I guess social game developers were just feeling generous today. Free Mafia Wars cash. New Zoo World cash rewards. Now this.

If you’re one of the growing number of My Town players be sure to take advantage of this offer by clicking here, while you still can. Although something tells me these sorts of virtual currency sales are going to be more and more common as the year progresses…