I was sort of playing (more like fiddling around) with the facebook app “(Lil) Green Patch”. I thought it was badly written.
You can send flowers to your friends for free, but only a sertain amount every something-hours. Then you can go around to your friends patches with accepted flosers on them and take care of them. This costs (game)money and will earn you game money. If you don’t take care of the flowers… NOTHING happens!
Silly! It should always be like at least three steps! Like; you do something to gain a currency of some kind (money/experience/whatever), and then use that currency to do a third, wich helps you do the first.
More steps could be good, but I have a feeling that three is a magic number.
Game developers, this is an important rule! Otherwise, the player will start thinking too much about why the game is being played.
In the case of the green patch it would be easily solved. Sending flowers cost money, taking care of other peoples flowers earns you money, and the more flowers you have the more it will cost you to take care of them. Sounds hard to get a grip on? Good! You are not supposed to get a grip on the game dynamics right away. Strategys should take some effort to make…