Metaplace Stomps Facebook Grapes in New Social Game My Vineyard

My Vineyard

Metaplace has recently a new social game out on Facebook, called My Vineyard, that takes a more refined approach to virtual farming than many other titles we’ve seen. Like making and drinking fine wine in real life, it may take more time and focus than what some people want — but the aesthetic and social experience could be just what others are looking for.

With a quasi-realistic style identical to their last title, Island Life, players are tasked with the management and care of their own personal vineyard.

Be it red or white wines, players can produce everything from the more commonly known chardonnay to the more expensive rousanne. Basically, players are given a pre-set number of field plots in which to plant their grapes, and after X amount of time they become fully grown. However, the typical steps of watering, bug killing, and so on have been removed in exchange for more wine-making elements.

From here, all the grapes are moved to a platform where they are stomped into juice (which is just a click, unfortunately), and placed into a cask of you choosing and set out to age. After the aging is complete, it’s time to sell.

Taste TestThis is where the game starts to get a bit more interesting, and will likely be the point that gets most people’s attention. For every cask of wine you sell, it will receive a rating from wine testers that will rate it up to 100 and leave you with snide commentary comparing it to things like “butter and grass” (at least that was the quality of our first couple batches). It’s a curious means to create an artificial goal for players, as that ranking appears to be affected by everything from the quality of grapes used, to the container, to even your friends.

Ah, yes. This is where Metaplace incorporates some more creative social features beyond bombarding the user with “invite a friend” messages (a lesson learned from Island Life). When each batch has aged to the proper amount — which will take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days — they can have their friends taste test it. This is by no means a requirement, but the more that “taste” it, the higher rating it will receive. Granted, it’s not any different than any other reward a social game might grant you for inviting friends or posting to your feed, but those rewards are often superfluous décor pieces. In the case of My Vineyard, the reward stems towards that goal of making the best wine; a goal artificially created by the developer by merely nudging the user in that direction, and not explicitly telling them “you need to do this.”

House PartsAs for other social features, the app seems to be built in the same way that Island Life was constructed. Like Island Life, basic social elements include visiting each other’s virtual space and helping out the crops, but My Vineyard also brings back the previous title’s building construction method. Essentially, players can buy a house to decorate their space with, but it requires friends to turn it from a bunch of parts into an actual abode. However, instead of requiring 10 friends as Island Life did, this house requires 30 clicks from your Facebook feed, but only one friend can click a day.

As the biggest and best looking piece of decorum, the house is a socially meaningful structure to have, especially considering that My Vineyard looks to have the same multiplayer elements that Island Life did, such as chat. As such, it looks like players can, once again, literally visit each other’s virtual spaces in a synchronous, virtual world-like environment.

Slow BurnUnfortunately, the game is a bit of a slow burn, with the fastest grapes taking about six hours to grow, so it will be a long while until your vineyard is looking good enough for any sort of virtual party. Also, the usability of the decorating aspect is also a bit frustrating. Examples include not being able to see the object before it’s placed, often not being able to see where it can be placed or not, and having to switch back and forth between tools to move it once it has been placed somewhere.

Of course, these are all merely annoyances, and nothing terribly devastating. Overall, My Vineyard is rather calming, and will probably prove amusing to those who like farming-style games. However, it is likely that its significantly slower pace will detract from that player-base. At the same time, it’s virtual world’esque features could attract a completely different one. With such a mixing and matching of different audiences it is difficult to say how this new title will do. Currently, it sits on a mere 47,000 monthly active users (though it’s only been out a few days), yet Island Life has grown steadily to over 635,000 MAUs. It will be interesting to see if this new app follows that same trend.

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Leave a Reply

22 Responses to “Metaplace Stomps Facebook Grapes in New Social Game My Vineyard”

  1. minerva says:

    i wantet to know way im be blockted for my vine yard,i have island life and had the vine yard idont know way i cant play i love the game
    do you help me ,unblock me please some friends getting mad because they blocked too

    im 55 years old .
    thank you for your help

  2. » My Vineyard on Inside Social Games says:

    [...] Social Games has posted a review of My Vineyard, Metaplace’s latest entry in the social gaming sphere. This is especially exciting for me, [...]

  3. samsfu says:

    errrrr so how are you supposed to rate a wine u cant taste?

    im 16 years old
    thanks XD

  4. revmlbs says:

    Can’t enter my vinyard, it just will not come up all of a sudden. Can you help me?

  5. lone jensen says:

    jeg kan ikke få naboer, kan ikke spøre dem.

  6. lydia holmkvist says:

    de trykker og trykker til mit hus men ingenting sker der det bliver ikke færdig bygget

  7. Joy says:

    Really love the game so far! Relaxing and different in many aspects. I love finding the truffles and hope to find many more little suprizes!

  8. Bonnie Daniel says:

    want to play the game but cannot find it can you help

  9. Tonya says:

    Can you get your house any quicker?

  10. Paulo says:

    We should be able to zoom out more, it is too dificult to play like this. The player interface should be more friendly, game stals wile we are moving around the vineyards, it takes a bit to get from one side to the other. I wonder if you could take this into consideration, thanks.

  11. Ubisoft Makes Wine on Facebook with Vineyard Country says:

    [...] may have been the first wine-based derivative of the farming genre, but now Metaplace My Vineyard has company — [...]

  12. Quote of the Moment: Branching Out | blog says:

    [...] -Metaplace founder Raph Koster explains to Gamasutra how casual and social gaming is branching out through games based around everything from chocolate to wine-making. [...]

  13. Kiwi says:

    The game is easy to play, although it helps to read the forums first to get some ideas.

    House building can be sped up by posting a link in the forums so others can visit your Vineyard and help build. House clicks are only one per person per day, but you can have 100 people visit daily so that’s 100 clicks!

    Vines can be sped up by using boosts – buy a boost with coins to speed up growing time.

  14. shirley O'Connor says:

    any need neighbors?

  15. shirley O'Connor says:

    anyone need neighbors?

  16. jessica mclean-king says:

    hey i need nabours for it plz add me

  17. Mary Stanley says:

    I am so angry I cannot get to my vinyard, I get my cousins all the tieme. I can get to it via heer vinyard but I cannot work on it. I just don’t know what to do any help. I choose my name from her computer and it takes me to her vinyard every time. Just started doing this helppppp

  18. Mary Stanley says:

    sorry I forgot I was using my name. It is my cousin with the problem louisebeaulieu.

  19. Lois Hemme says:

    what you are talking about.

  20. marion parker says:

    just about every game i love on facebook is messed up to the point that you cant get in….i am really angry that i can no longer play my vinyard…could you please tell me why i cannot get into it ?will it be fixed soon or should i just give up on this one too?

  21. Carla McNeil says:

    I use to be able to type it in and play the game?? Won’t work now!!!.

  22. Judy burt says:

    I cannot get on to the game anymore!!!??

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