My Tribe

At Tobold’s suggestion, I have been trying My Tribe on Facebook. It appears to be a worse version of the standalone game, with time sinks that you can pay to avoid and an incentive to leave the window open so you can click things more often. I’m not sure what it is meant to add to the three Virtual Villagers games that preceded it, beyond the chance to cash in on Facebook a bit. You can show your friends your village, so if you think people will go look at your highly skilled villager or well-built island, there is that.

Am I missing something? After trying a bunch of Facebook games this past month, I purged most of them last weekend, and I struggle for any good rationalization of time in this game as “investment” rather than “sunk cost.”

: Zubon

6 thoughts on “My Tribe”

  1. The trouble with facebook games (aside from the fact that they’re on facebook) is that it’s really hard to sit down and get any kind of satisfying ‘session’ out of them. I don’t mean that they need to occupy you for hours at a time, I play other web games that don’t, but the facebook ones I have tried tend to feel more like household chores than games.

    It’s like doing the washing up. You know the problem with washing up? You do it, and then in a few hours time you have to do it all over again! Facebook games are like that, for me. Except for scrabble which you actually could play with your friends and was fun.

    I think the ones I have most enjoyed have been the story based social games like D&D tiny adventures and Echo Bazaar.

  2. Facebook games are “something to do” while you wait for one of your old high school friends (that you never talked to since graduation) to update their status.

    If you have something better to do, they are not for you.

  3. We need to ask ourselves, what does a typical social gamer’s game session look like? I suspect it contains quite a few games, but divided up into 5 or 10 minute blocks of time per game, often adding up to a similar amount of time an MMO player would devote to their game. We as MMO gamers tend to think of games in a monolithic sense — we spend our time in (mostly) one game, but often doing different activities within that game.

    What if playing the AH was it’s own game, with it’s own logo? Each daily quest was it’s own game, with it’s own interface? Each raid boss was it’s own game, with it’s own subset of your friends you played it with?

    I submit that social games and large MMORPG’s have more in common than we give credit for. The difference is that we instictively look at something like WoW as “one game” and then try to compare it to a social game like Farmville as “one game”, with obviously one-sided results.

    Farmville, Island Life, etc etc, are all minigames in he “World of Facebook” if you will. When viewed in that context, I think you’ll find more common ground between MMO gamers and social gamers than previously thought.

  4. I’ve not really “gotten” Facebook, but then I’m not interested in reconnecting with people I don’t talk to any more, that’s why I don’t talk with them. That said, I do enjoy Twitter for connecting with other gamers and bloggers and there’s a game called Echo Bazaar that loosely uses Twitter. It’s pretty hard to describe, but it’s been very fun, at least when it’s not experiencing performance issues (it’s been a bit of a victim of its own success).

  5. Bhagpuss – the performance issues are very sporadic and I haven’t noticed any pattern, but I’ve found it works to keep open in a window while I’m processing email or reading through my RSS feeds. Not an ideal solution, but hopefully they’ll get their issues worked out.

  6. I just thought I ought to point out that My Tribe is not by the same people that have done the Virtual Villagers games (4 of them now).

    Virtual Villagers (1-4) are done by Last Day of Work (, whereas My Tribe is done by Grubby Games, I beleive (and this FB/online version is being backed by Big Fish Games).

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