Friday, July 31, 2009

Farmers Anonymous

I've recently been sucked in by the Facebook application Farmville. Why, you ask? As I look back in time (I'm not using that phrase because I subscribe to the podcast of "Borrowed Time" by Keith Hughes on iTunes,, and, I can't think of a really good reason, other than peer pressure from friends and family. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that is always a good reason to do something. The picture comes to mind of a little boy looking up at his mother and she is asking him, "If Jimmy jumped off a cliff would you do that too?" But I digress. I tend to avoid these applications because the moment you start them, your inbox fills with gifts from everyone, even people who aren't your "neighbors".

Neighbors are another thing that doesn't make sense to me. Why, do you need more neighbors before you can expand the size of your farm? Typically, the more neighbors you have the harder it is to expand. You can't just pick up their belongings and say, "Sorry, you gotta move because my farm is getting bigger" and take over their land. That would have a serious ripple affect throughout the entire town. Maybe you should start with too many neighbors and you need to find ways to get them to sell you their farm so you can expand. Makes more sense to me.

One time-consuming aspect of this game is the economics. I spend way too much time analyzing each new crop I can grow. I determine net profit per day for each item to determine if will grow my money fast enough to either buy a
barn, or expand my farm further. For example, you purchase seeds for peppers for 70 coins per square, it costs 15 coins to plow a square of soil, and they are harvested in 1 day for 162 coins. That give me a net gain of 77 coins per day. Whereas you purchase seeds for cotton for 75 coins per square, it still costs 15 coins to plow a square of soil, and they are harvested in 3 days for 207 coins. That only net me 39 coins per day. Get the picture.

The hardest part for me is caused by my Monk-like tendencies. If you've seen the TV show, you're probably chuckling or even laughing out loud at this point. I need to keep each type of animal not only in a group together, but separated from the other types by a fence. The animals need to be in neat and even rows, and evenly distributed between the fence sections. I keep each type of tree arranged similarly, but without fences (who ever heard of fencing in trees, I know they don't get up and walk around..psshhh). I try to keep the plowed land in the exact center of the farm, in a square with four equal sides (of course), and don't plant more than one type of crop at a time. Then it gets tricky....


They don't expand the farm evenly on all sides. That would make the most sense. Noooo, they have to jam the existing farm into a corner and only expand the space on two sides. Now I have to spend my precious time moving everything around. Again, if you have seen Monk...I have to.

Anyway, here is a snapshot of getting everything arranged after the last expansion. I trying hard to not think about how the crops are growing at different rates and that there is too much open area near the bottom. Guess I just need to head to my inbox, accept some gifts, and carefully place them on my farm.

If you ever see me post a wish list for farm gifts, please understand...I need to keep the rows even!!!