When we have relevant hockey news, we'll post it of course, but right now we don't need to jump in and add to the acerbic cacophony of voices yelling suggestive things about each others' mothers.
Onto our first Offseason topic: facebook games.
Believe it or not, at least 2/3 of the CouchTarts play games of some sort. Mina, sadly, plays WoW, while Gray plays Rift, anything in the Zelda franchise, and anything else that a) looks interesting b) she has time for and c) is not super meat boy. The "has time for" criteria tends to weed a lot of things out, but I (Gray), do enjoy sitting down to a nice dungeon crawl when I get a chance. (ok, a nice, relatively short dungeon crawl. I get annoyed when it takes over an hour. I have rupees to get by smashing pots, people!)
Recently, I started, for research purposes only, (no really), "playing" what I shall call "bergville". It's not a game in the traditional sense; you don't play a character (unless you consider yourself a sort of god, in which case, you're weird), there's no real story line or end game to worry about, you don't have quests or missions, and the whole point of it really is "push butan, numbah go up." On the plus side, it's easy, anyone with two function neurons can play it, you can't screw up, you can't lose XP, you can't die, and you basically can't trash stuff on accident. No wondering what you did with that warehouse you decided you didn't have room for, it's still in your inventory even though you bulldozed it. To put it simple it's a game you cannot lose. Therein lies one of it's faults. The other is that it is so ridiculously annoying to play after the first few levels, that it becomes a next to impossible task if you with to accomplish growth while not constantly spamming your timeline with items like "I NEED DONUTS" or "CCCAAAAAKKKKEEEE". Want to grow you community, you need community building which need staff. If you want to pay, that's easy, if not SPAM. So much spam. Some items are available only via other players, thus ensuring that at least some small amount of spam will be sent out regardless of your intentions.
I absolutely HATE FB spam, and this has made it an integral part of game play. You can of course chose to close the spam windows instead of sending them, which I do, but the only way to get some items is via spam. Spam all these people who play and they will give you X! Then again, at least that presented me with more of a challenge them "Pack as much sprawl as you can into a tiny space."
I much prefer games where I have a clear objective, get to stab things, and can run around side questing when then main quest gets boring or keeps kicking my ass. In Rift I often spend my time in public groups running from rift to rift hacking at beasties and generally having a good time while not having to spam someone every two minutes to get some beets. I want to lose myself in the game, and forget I am playing. I don't want to be reminded every time I need something that "THIS IS A GAME. PLEASE TO BE BUYING SOMETHING NOW" I pay my sub, I run around on my little two headed turtle, and I get my rpg on. I run the instance, I fight the rifts, I have the two headed turtle that kind of looks like an ankylosaur. It's me, son, not, click butan, place building, spam friends.
On the plus side, if anyone wants to study successful monetization of a game, this is one to look at. It is monetized beautifully, and the art with which the desire to buy is implanted is quite simply startling. They also have a very friendly art style, with a wide range of appeal, and if you have a bunch of like minded folks playing, I could see how it could be engaging long term. It certainly has an inherent appeal to non gamers in that you can't lose. For people who don't think they can play games, it's perfect. You can't screw up, so you never have to worry about being good. Nothing like the good ego boost of continued success to help push your day along.
In the end, it's an amusing diversion for the first 10 levels or so, then it gets annoying. I think I'll go back to running rifts.