At this year’s Social Gaming Summit, Zynga’s VP of Product Development and Farmville Lead Designer Mark Skaggs talked about the ‘appointment-driven game mechanic’, where players play their games on a schedule. He discusses the effect of changing the rate of growth of certain crops and creating products for players that only play at work, Monday to Friday. Farmville is the most popular social game ever made, so if you are interested in what made it special, check out the video after the jump.
Mark talks about the alternative universe and its rules, where plants take a few hours to fully grow, and how they analyze player play patterns to determine what types of crops to build. The design decisions were really created to reflect people’s lifestyles, and the timing of the crops reflected the way people were playing before sleeping and then waking up to harvest. He also talks about how players that play on Friday need a 3 day crop to harvest on Monday.