Social gaming juggernaut Zynga will flip the switch later today on The Pioneer Trail, a new social adventure game within FrontierVille.
Unlike all of Zynga’s previous games, Pioneer Trail is a linear adventure with a set beginning and end. Users outfit a wagon and traverse not one, but three different maps with their own unique set of missions and achievements. It also places an emphasis on a storyline where users get to choose their own adventure.
FrontierVille general manager John Osvald explained to Mashable that Zynga wanted to use different social gaming mechanics for this extension of the FrontierVille franchise. In FarmVille, Empires & Allies and Zynga’s other social games, gameplay improves as users add more friends as neighbors or allies. In Pioneer Trail, that concept is discarded. Instead, the game only lets users travel the trail with three of their closest friends, which Zynga hopes will result in more intimate gameplay.
For users who can’t find three friends to join them in Pioneer Trail, Zynga will soon roll out a feature for matching them with existing players. Users can also add computer characters to their team, though the game will progress slower without having friends constantly playing. Osvald says that the typical game will take approximately three weeks to complete, although one set of power users were able to beat the game in 36 hours.
The game features a journey through three separate maps: Beaver Valley, High Plains and Avalanche Pass. Each area has an expansive map that is five times the size of any previous Zynga game, and each one has distinct art. Trekking through each area requires cutting down trees, acquiring Trail Points and helping people along the way. Each friend is given a distinct skill set (doctor, hunter, etc.), all of which are essential to surviving the trail without succumbing to illness or a broken wagon.
Once a team completes the game and reaches Fort Courage (the game’s finish line), users can transfer the prize tickets and resources they earn to their FrontierVille town. Users are scored on how well they played the game (based on the decisions they made, how efficiently they traveled the trail, etc). If users aren’t satisfied with their score, they have the option to travel the trail again. Users can spend the points they earned on previous Pioneer Trail trips on bigger wagons and more resources, making the game easier to complete the second or third time around.
Zynga has been experimenting with new types of game mechanics as its highly anticipated IPO approaches. Although the company’s revenue is booming and has been profitable since 2010, it hasn’t been able to surpass 236 million active users in the past 12 months. The company is hoping that new games like Pioneer Trail will help the company attract those new users.
Source :- http://mashable.com
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- Zynga Launches Pioneer Trail Expansion for FrontierVille Today, Migrates Base Game to New App ID (insidesocialgames.com)
- FrontierVille Sequel Pioneer Trail Gets Zynga a Little Closer to Making Hardcore Games, Limits Friends [Pioneer Trail] (kotaku.com)
- FrontierVille’s Pioneer Trail: We’re not on the homestead anymore (games.com)
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