Edit on Saturday, February 17th, 2018: As of version 1.2.0, the quarry help, event creature catching success rates, and, to a degree, animal requests have been addressed. Hoping to see more improvements in the future!
I’m going to assume there’s more than one person involved when it came to designing the user interface and experience. It just boggles my mind that the following was given a pass by the designers and the folks that QC’d the app:
Sending Shovelstrike Quarry help requests to each friend individually. I literally have to spend 2 – 3 minutes everyday going through my list of 20 or so active players to ask for assistance. Did Nintendo honestly think players were going to just stop at 5 people? Maybe we would if we knew who would reliably send help every single time but as far as I know, that information isn’t shown.
No categories for flower trade.
Some moron on staff decided it was a good idea to just lump everything onto one page and have everyone scroll for an eternity to look for the item they want to trade. To add insult to injury, the focus will jump back to the top of the list after the transaction is done. =____= Here’s what it looks like in action:
Look at this madness. Heaven forbid you want to buy multiples of an item at once; the list jumps back to the top after a transaction. 9_9
Constantly needing to re-initiate conversations with animals
I realize that this is something from the main Animal Crossing games, but in those ones, you rarely had a need to speak to them multiple times in a row. In Pocket Camp, however, you’re trying to fulfill their 3 requests so why in all hell do I have to keep tapping on the animal over and over if I have everything they need? Why not just leave the dialogue topic menu open and let me close it myself if I have to go and get the items needed?
Abysmally low success rates of catching butterflies during Rover’s event
I guess Nintendo made it nigh difficult to catch butterflies in hopes that players would spend leaf tickets (a.k.a premium currency) to get Lloid to catch them. If anyone did, it was most likely the whales and they’ll spend on anything to “win”.
Useless “cutscene” of a Re-Tail delivery
Unless you have severely short-term memory, you are most likely NOT going to forget what completed item you just tapped on in the Crafting menu so why show your character receiving it? It may just last a few seconds but it’s completely and wholly pointless. I’ve sent in a request to have an option to turn off the scene added. Who knows if it’ll ever happen?
The Market Box
You can only see a preview of the first 4 items, you HAVE to go to the user’s camp to see the rest or buy anything, and you can’t collect all the Bells you made from multiple sales at once. It seems like the people involved in making the Market Box was thinking about the most inconvenient and roundabout way of using the damn thing.
Aside from the above, Nintendo also introduced the whole gardening bit without giving a thought of making life easy for everyone when it came to accessing other players’ gardens and identifying when a friend’s flowers needed watering.
They’ve addressed these two issues in recent updates, and they’ve released a notice not so long ago stating that they’ll be making changes to some things I’ve pointed out above. It continues to amaze me how common sense escapes everyone that’s involved with making Pocket Camp.
Something I hope to see is a re-balance on animal requests since I run into situations where all 4 animals would ask for multiples of the same fruit, fish, or bugs.
I get that they want us to make use of the Market Boxes and/or stay in the game/log in a few times over the course of a 3-hour cycle to collect the necessary quantities. But realistically, that probably doesn’t happen often for anyone playing. And along with Boxes being annoying to access, a lot of players simply put in rare items so good luck finding the squids or monarch butterflies all the animals are simultaneously wishing for.
As for fruits, I’d use the fertilizer more often but that would require spending leaf tickets to replenish them so nuts to that.
Incidentally, if you’re finding certain things rubbing you the wrong way in Pocket Camp, be sure to let Nintendo know! You can access the feedback form from the game’s menu under More. Tap Misc. and then Customer Support. From there, choose Feedback. The rest should be self-explanatory.
Whoops. I meant to come up with something before September ended but forgot. The silly thing is that I always have a lot to write about! However, they always end up as snippets on Twitter.
I probably mentioned it before, but one of the biggest deterrents in writing a blog post is that I feel the need to think up a theme or two and then write a few paragraphs based on that/those. Composing a blog post takes up a good part of the day too.
With Twitter, on the other hand, I can just toss up anything at the spur of the moment without worry that it has to be some sort of short prose. I like that sort of freedom.
Anyway, let’s talk about the pesky event lucky bag draw from Com2uS’ free-to-play mobile game, Tiny Farm, and how using it can get expensive.
Once again, I will explain why I take issue to the latter:
The developer only has one thing in mind: A 5-star or perfect rating means better visibility in search results in the application’s store which ups the chances of it being downloaded. It doesn’t matter if the app is not right at the top of the results. The chances are many users LOOK for 4 or 5-star ones as it gives the impression that it’s a good product. .
Developers use the bullshit excuse that a 5-star rating will better motivate their team. If you actually valued user feedback, you’d be asking for critiques without tossing in the specific rating suggestion and incentive (or bribe as I like to refer to it as) to review. .
EVERYONE WANTS FREE STUFF — especially when it’s premium currency so of course most people will bite. Developers know this and they also know that they’ll fall for the following point. .
Users do what they’re asked to despite how they actually feel about the game.
PRO TIP: I’m unsure how it is with Android apps but with iOS, you don’t NEED to even rate or write a review to get a gift/bribe. Simply tap on the prompt box and allow the device to automatically switch to the app’s store page. Once there, don’t do anything! Just immediately go back to the app. .
I believe this can also be applied to sharing on Twitter or other social services where you can just cancel the post and still receive the review incentive.
I leave 1-star reviews for companies that practices this sort of shit and call them out. I actually received a reply from one for a game I like playing which stated that players are free to give whatever rating they feel appropriate.
Well, gee. No shit. But as that example screenshot I provided showed, people a) rate 5-stars because they are told to, and b) believe giving a full rating is the only way to get the gift.
I’m not saying developers should outright stop asking for reviews and ratings or giving incentives. I’m only wishing they’d stop being dishonest and deceitful with the review prompts. Users will, in all likelihood, give the full rating and write positive comments if they’re happy with what they’re using. I think that should motivate the team more than all the blind & thoughtless 5-stars.
In 2013, Com2uS, the game’s developer, introduced the Heroic Animals. They’re the fifth and final animal needed to complete a regular (re: not event-specific) collection. Unfortunately, even after 4 years, only 14 out of the 60 collections waiting for a Heroic type can be completed.
For some reason, there are also these impossible achievements that no one can fulfill because the requisite fifth animal doesn’t exist:
Perhaps they’ll eventually be doable but it would be nice if they could remove these in the meantime. 😛
I believe Com2uS didn’t consider the bigger picture when they created the Heroic Animals since, unlike the typical ones that just roam around the map or fill speech balloons popping up above their heads with inane statements, they possess skills that can usually help gameplay aspects such as allowing animals to instantly level up or increasing the chances of successfully obtaining a higher tier animal through breeding.
Inserting a bit of a tangent here: There’s one oddity among the Heroic types. The Heroic Bearded Pig, also known as The Crazy Doctor, can actually harm crop efficiency by tacking on a negative percentage value to crops causing the player to lose out on profit and experience. Thankfully, its skill effect can be cancelled before any damage can be done. However, this would mean that the player wasted Hearts on the Heroic Bearded Pig for nothing. 😐
It could be my luck but I do end up with the negative result more often than the positive one. Unless you have Hearts to spare, I advise against gambling on this nutty pig.
Here’s an image of it, by the way. 😀
Anyway, new Heroic Animals used to come out on a consistent basis, but it’s not surprising that this stopped a few years ago. After all, it takes time to think up useful abilities that will keep the game in balance. Still, this lull feels rather lengthy. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt since they did eventually come up with third dog for the Dog collection years after the first and second ones. (It’ll probably take another couple of years before the Talking Dog shows up. :P)
In the interim, Com2uS has opted to keep churning out new limited time and event-based collections with increasingly insidious money-making ways.
Update on April 30th, 2017: As of version 4.6.0, there are far more ways to obtain Village Points than what’s listed below. Please refer to the “Village Point” button on the screen that shows Weekly Village and Individual Daily Goals for a list, or the new FAQ accessed through the Notice/News section in-game.
It’s been a long time since I’ve written about Tiny Farm. I tweet about it now and then though, especially when I have screenshots to post. 😀
There’s really not much to talk about since most things are straightforward, but there’s something I noticed in the village I was previously a part of — it seemed like some members didn’t know how to accumulate Village Scores.
In that village, we never made the Weekly Village Goal. There was only about 7 or so members and I think 2 of them weren’t around most of the time. Active members would have had to come up with about 1,000 points each and I don’t think anyone ever got past 600. The majority didn’t even complete the Individual Daily Goal.
In contrast, the current village I’m in blows past the weekly goal with ease since most members meet the their daily goals.
So what are the ways to build up Village Score points? The question mark next to the Weekly Village Goal header in the image above provides a breakdown. Otherwise, a general list can be found in the Village FAQ that can be accessed through the Notice button.
Here’s the screencap of the details found in the Village FAQ: