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Why is Zynga bad, but Tiny Tower good?

12-14-2011, 11:16 PM
#1
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 44
Why is Zynga bad, but Tiny Tower good?

I see in these forums(and many others) the bad mouthing of apps that use IAP, especially the heavily metric driven games like those that Zynga pushes out. However, Tiny Tower seems to be loved by many and was recently named Apple's Game of the Year. Having played my fair share of Farmville, Mafiawars, and their knockoffs to try to understand the genre I fired up Tiny Tower and found it to be quite similar.

I know the developers have stated they don't use in-depth analytics to "farm" their customers, and that testing is done internally without IAP's enabled to make sure the game is fun without them. Is this the main reason why Tiny Tower isn't subjected to the criticism other IAP laden games receive, or is there something else going on that I'm missing? If this is the case then is the only reason Tiny Tower is a good game, and something like Tap Fish is bad is because one collects detailed analytics to make more money?
12-14-2011, 11:47 PM
#2
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Here
Posts: 1,399
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhspaybar View Post
I see in these forums(and many others) the bad mouthing of apps that use IAP, especially the heavily metric driven games like those that Zynga pushes out. However, Tiny Tower seems to be loved by many and was recently named Apple's Game of the Year. Having played my fair share of Farmville, Mafiawars, and their knockoffs to try to understand the genre I fired up Tiny Tower and found it to be quite similar.

I know the developers have stated they don't use in-depth analytics to "farm" their customers, and that testing is done internally without IAP's enabled to make sure the game is fun without them. Is this the main reason why Tiny Tower isn't subjected to the criticism other IAP laden games receive, or is there something else going on that I'm missing? If this is the case then is the only reason Tiny Tower is a good game, and something like Tap Fish is bad is because one collects detailed analytics to make more money?
It's because in Tiny Tower the IAP doesn't feel forced, as if you could play the game all the way through and never need it. In games like Farmville, you often hit a pay wall or a "you'll never give this unless you buy X amount of____". Personally I didn't love Tiny Tower too much, but it did feel above and beyond the farmville and etc. freemium games.

I don't want a signature.

12-15-2011, 08:07 AM
#3
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1,674
well every country has its own game of the year.. here in germany contre jour won that spot , followed by gesundheit! ...

as for bad and good.. i would not put out much faith into the opinions of people who paint zynga as bad.. pretty much every successful company has fans and haters..

i assume tiny tower got a good perception on this (more hardcore forum) due to its cute & retro style graphics, and the soft and friendly nag freemium way they went..

i havent played any zynga game yet..nor do i really plan to since browser games are not my cup of tea.. but it all ends up about perception of ethic..
the way a game tried to earn money.. there are companies who are more agressive in their design and some who arent..

zynga has tons of customers who apparently like what they offer.. so i would not paint any of them "bad"
12-15-2011, 03:38 PM
#4
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Now in Rome, but how longer?
Posts: 46
Sorry, Tiny Tower is good?
It is one of the most grind-oriented games ever made, and that for me it's not good.
And I can tell because I "played" it quite a lot, I got like 30 floors... it is addictive, for sure.

Personally, I loved the graphics and the general mood to it. But the gameplay... ...

Ciro Continisio
Tiny Colossus

Just released UFHO2 for the iPad | TA thread
12-15-2011, 03:46 PM
#5
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Now in Rome, but how longer?
Posts: 46
And by the way, I never, EVER, do in-app purchases of that kind. In fact, I didn't buy a single point of what's-its-name, in Tiny Tower.

The only in-app purchase I did was maps for Fieldrunners, but Fieldrunners is an AWESOME game of its own which received many free updates before starting with IAP, so I bought the maps almost as a thank you to the commitment of the devs!

Ciro Continisio
Tiny Colossus

Just released UFHO2 for the iPad | TA thread
12-18-2011, 03:09 PM
#6
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Olympia, Washington, U.S.A
Posts: 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by CiroContinisio View Post
And by the way, I never, EVER, do in-app purchases of that kind. In fact, I didn't buy a single point of what's-its-name, in Tiny Tower.

The only in-app purchase I did was maps for Fieldrunners, but Fieldrunners is an AWESOME game of its own which received many free updates before starting with IAP, so I bought the maps almost as a thank you to the commitment of the devs!
The premium money in Tiny Tower is Tower Bux. I never buy the IAPs. In Tiny Tower, you don't need to, cause the awesome creators made a way to get them by Fully stocking floors,Playing "find the bitizen, and, sometimes, when you Deliver a bitizen to a floor (it happens most when you land almost exactly on the target floor). Also, placing a Bitizen in a Dream job nets you two Tower Bux.

Last edited by Dawnstar; 12-18-2011 at 03:15 PM. Reason: Stupid autocorrect. I could kill when it messes up what i'm trying to say. :(
12-18-2011, 03:11 PM
#7
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Olympia, Washington, U.S.A
Posts: 221
BTW, I have the golden elevator (125 Tower Bux). Why it the world is the next elevator 499 Tower Bux????
12-19-2011, 07:38 AM
#8
I believe the difference doesn't come from the balancing at all.

On one side you have the great success story two indie devs making a lot of money with a free game on iPhone.

On the other side you have a huge american worldwide company making billions with free games spamming the biggest social network ever.

This is where one is good and the other is bad. Design-wise, it's almost the same recipe (though Tiny Tower spams less and is less "social network oriented").

If the same two guys had made farmville on facebook they'd be heroes. If Zynga had made Minecraft they'd be heavily criticized for having monetized a game in beta.

Last edited by Emeric; 12-19-2011 at 07:41 AM.