Hey there all you Clammers. Having fun in your lil Comic Con Event for Quahog? I know I am. Well, it is bout time to step away from that Con and go back a lil bit to the San Diego Comic Con. Where I had the Amazing chance to sit down and pick the brains of two Amazing guys. Matt and Mike of TinyCo. Here is the overall Q&A that we had. Hope you enjoy.
First up, some questions from YOU, our amazing readers.
1. The framework for the game is fantastic – it runs really smoothly, but wondering if there is a bug on iOS where sometimes, the screen just flings when you tap. Sometimes, I’m tapping on something and the screen shifts to another area.
2. Is there any chance we might see some American Dad characters cross-over? Wished the nerds were Toshi, Barry and Steve (I thought they looked a like from afar). Would DEFINITELY spend clams if I could have Roger and his disguises wandering around my town.
3. Are there certain elements in the game which are not intended for freemium players to get? i.e. is it realistic to be able to get the 80K+ blam prizes if you’re not going to spend clams? I’m totally ok if that’s the case, I’d just like to know ahead of time so I can temper my expectations.
1. Thank you for the kind words! I’ll pass them along to the Griffin team – they’re the ones working on the backbone of our games and making sure they can ship on iOS and Android as close together as possible. The game client team also works incredibly hard to make sure it runs smoothly. You’d be amazed at how much they obsess over doobers, zoom levels and loading times.
As for the issue, we have that listed in our system as “screen freaks out when you tap it.” The thing is, we can’t reliably reproduce it. The key to fixing a bug is finding a “repro case,” which is when you can reproduce an error internally. Think of it like in a movie when you finally isolate the antibody to an infectious disease, letting you begin work on a cure. The thing is, we haven’t been able to reproduce the flinging screen in a reliable manner. Since it’s a minor usability issue, more nuisance than frustration, it gets bumped.
That said, if you are able to do it on command, we’d be very interested in your magic trick.
2. Maybe 🙂 Would you like them?
3. We do have content that is only accessible by clams, which we believe plays an important role on the whole system. The onus is on us to provide ample free content to delight all players, as well as premium content for those who enjoy it. They’re both important sides of the game that appeal to many different types of players.
We are learning more about how to present an event so that it feels satisfying and fun even if some rewards are very difficult for free players. I’d love to hear more of y’all’s thoughts on this. How does Comic Con feel compared to Adventure?
bfelczer : My question for Matt and Co: Has there been any thought into posting leaderboards in-game when it comes to special events, like the recent Full Moon or current CC event? I’d love to see how I rank among others in terms of score.
We heavily explored leaderboards in Spellstorm, our recent card battling game. We learned that leaderboards are a powerful way to encourage competition (or coopertition). We’ve definitely thought about it, though we haven’t devoted resources to exploring it. Would you like a leaderboard?
While it may not look like it on the surface, Spellstorm contains many features that eventually found their way to Family Guy. It was the first game where we experimented with “Events” as a way to make content releases more interactive and interesting. Before that, mobile social games relied mostly on “theme weeks.” An event takes those themes and expands on them with tiered rewards, narrative, and game mechanics.
Why are bigger and better event currency dropping items released later on during the event, instead of when it starts so players can view all of the options before making a purchase?
Events last a long time, which means we need ways to keep them interesting for their entirety. If we showed everything in the first week, then by Week Four it would be quite dull.
There’s a secondary reason, too: items released can act as a release valve if a specific part of the economy needs tuning. We don’t like changing payouts on items for any reason – everyone benefits when items are stable and nerfs are rare. If part of the event is blocking way more players than we expected, then we can release an item to help unblock it.
Can you please pass along to TinyCo that I have been unable to get in on this event since right after it started, I have been locked out of the game completely. I just get the loading screen over and over and then before it can load the game it crashes out. I tap again to repeat the process and have done this for hours but still no luck. It had been doing this before but usually after a few attempts like 6-7 it would load the game back up, but now nothing. I didn’t get Rupert as a result of it, and now I can’t make any progress on this event because of it. This is all extremely infuriating as this is the only game I play at the moment on my device and until this point I had gotten everything I needed but now I’m behind and can’t catch up at all. Thanks.
Sorry AJ 😦 I hope by this point you’re back in game. If not, I really appreciate that you’re still reading, and we’ll work to get you back in.Loading errors were our top priority for the past several releases, and each had some success. If you’re still crashing, please comment to this post and we’ll see what we can do.(Disclaimer: we don’t want to turn FGA’s comments into a support desk. Please do write in to our Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org for specific issues.)
@FamGuyAddicts Are there any plans to lower the unlock requirements for characters as more are added?
Maybe. We’ll tackle that when we get there. We like the current progression and how it guides players from district to district. There’s also a lot of quest dependencies with where the characters unlock – moving them around becomes a big reworking of the game.
Never say never, though. I’d be interested in who you think should be moved around.
@FamGuyAddicts I’m taking a chance and asking my question here: are there plans for a non-Facebook social aspect? (To visit other towns)
Yes 🙂 this is far and away our top request. No ETA yet, and it might be a while – but we understand players want more ways to connect with their friends.
And now for some overall questions that we have seen pop up all over the place.
A few reasons. Weekends are peak times for mobile games – tons of people play while they’re out and about. An update on Friday is better than an update on Tuesday. Sometimes we have an important deadline for launching content. (For instance, if we announced it to players.)
Generally, though, it’s because weekend updates drive the game, and so getting them out before the weekend hits becomes very important.
And many times, it’s simply because there’s a ton of content to get done, implemented and tested – and the amount of content has gone up with each event.
Family Guy Addicts
If a game shuts down after winning a prize…then player returns to game to see it is gone and not winnable again… why is TinyCo unable to place that item in the game?
1) The Community team actually doesn’t have the ability to add this without doing a manual save game edit, which is both risky and time consuming. We understand that lost items can be very frustrating, but because it isn’t verifiable, can happen repeatedly, involves a risky and time consuming fix, and is tied to unrelated crashes, it quickly becomes unsustainable to credit manually.
2) Because of the underlying bug, even if we DID credit, we would then train the community to write back every time an item got devoured by a crash, taking significant Support resources away from other issues.
Here, the most helpful thing we can do is report to the team that it’s happening and work with them on a change. The community was HUGELY helpful in this, providing ample descriptions of their frustration, which we relayed straight to the team.
In a world of unlimited resources we could tackle all bugs and usability issues with equal tenacity. Cases like the lost items issue are why we’re very fortunate to have such an engaged, active community – you help us determine the places where a small change to the code makes a huge impact. That feedback led directly to the change to item drops.
So there you have it. A great Q&A that made me feel quite privileged and humbled to be a part of. Again, MANY Thanks go out to Mike and especially Matt for being so open and upfront about TinyCo. Also for being so amazing when it comes to listening with open minds to the community. Not to mention responding back in such a professional manner of which I have not seen the likes of yet. Not from ANY gaming company out there. These guys have definitely set the bar high and are setting a great example of how I personally feel a gaming company should be in today’s world.