The dragons stole me from ToonTown, magazines and infographics. Now I’m just thinking of all of those things through a dragon lens.
Flight Rising is a thing
Let me start off by explaining Flight Rising. It is a virtual pet game that was funded through kickstarter. The initial goal was to raise $3,500. Instead, it raised $38,557. As a result, this game is one of the most polished and the slickest engineered virtual pet games I’ve ever played.
I’m a serial virtual pet owner. Neopets has been a recurring theme in my life for the last ten years, and I’m fine with it. Recently, all my Neopets friends jumped ship to Flight Rising. Through some social engineering, I got access to a Flight Rising account.
The thing that makes Flight Rising special is the breeding aspect. Lots of games have breeding these days (Pok’e’mon for example), but I enjoy the way Flight Rising does it the most.
Each dragon has three colors and three genes. When it mates with another dragon, the offspring have a chance of lining anywhere on the color spectrum between the two parents and have a chance of receiving their genetics. Different genes cost different amounts to impose onto a dragon, but their offspring get the genes for free.
For population control purposes, dragons can only breed once every 20 days or so. The amount of time differs per breed. Additionally, different species are more rare and are less likely to result from a pairing with a different species of dragon. Running the statistics on different matches is good, clean fun.
User accounts have “lairs” where the dragons “live”. If you wanted to see how many dragons or what kind of dragons someone owns, you would go through their dragon lair. Because you can arrange your lair, sell and purchase dragons and decorate their dragons, the lair becomes a kind of showcase. People meticulously order their lairs for the general public to see. To get public feedback, users can request other users to review their lairs.
I’m a communications person. I’m running a text-based blog. I don’t care for playing hours of games each day to earn virtual treasure to spend on my virtual pets. So, the natural evolution here is for me to give lair reviews.
This is a medium that like the game, is new. Standards exist and beg attention, but I can still pave a unique way for my voice to get heard. My lair and hatching efforts are going under the “Platinum BBs Hatchery” brand. The mission of my account is to breed platinum dragons with multiple, visually appealing genes.
My lair reviews
I’ve only done one successfully, and so I’m still developing the standard I will use. The goal is to introduce something positive to the community that highlights personal accomplishments while not being overly fluffy. If I can introduce someone to some gentle, yet firm criticism that will help them grow, mission accomplished. At the same time, I want it to sound humorous and effortless in an internet ironic way.
If you have a sense of humor and some free time, I recommend you read through this blog. The writer’s voice is so strong and engaging. I cannot read it without seething with envy (over her effortless chiq writing style) and doubling over with laughter from her crazy amazing wit. If I could bring some of that style into my life, I think I could reach a lot of people.
So, I wrote up a lair review tonight as a writing warm-up exercise. It’s here. Because the post is SO long, I’m not going to put it all here, but I will explain what’s going on. An overview, if you will.
First is my header, to clarify who this is and what’s going on. That shameless blog plug is to see if I can drive any viewers here. We’ll see how that works out. I’ve seen some very visually engaging headers, so I am going to work on this.
The cool thing about playing virtual games is you get to see the new standard for the tech community. The users are the people who will be entering the graphic design workforce in the next 5-10 years, and they are crazy talented. If you can’t even design a good logo for something fun, like a dragon hatchery, how can you ever be trusted with a business image? Flight rising is the kind of thing people learn HTML and CSS for.
I feel like it goes without saying that I’m going to try and conquer infographics wherever I go. And that doesn’t stop in my casual life. When doing lair reviews, you are presented with lots of numbers. There are different lair sizes, different kinds of dragons, different genes: all kinds of numbers to play with! I think this could be a neat way to distinguish myself from other lair reviewers.
Benefits of using an infographic:
- The user may never think of their dragons as statistics, this can make them challenge why their ratios are as they are.
- The user is flattered by the time and effort spent in making the infographic.
- I get to practice making infographics.
- While collecting data I get to familiarize myself more with the lair, making the written review easier.
- I can compile this information over time with other reviews to learn about the state of social flight rising users and their lairs.
- The user can save this file to their computer and can have it for a long time, even after they leave tumblr, flight rising, or lose contact with me.
I would like to integrate more infographics into my lair reviews. I currently use bulleted lists to explain the pro’s and con’s of each dragon.
I’m glad the user enjoyed my first real lair review, because it was hecka long. In the future, I need to shorten it, a lot. I want people to actually read them. I’ve seen some users review each individual dragon as a different post, I might try that.
There will be a lot more to be said about Flight Rising when I do more lair reviews, so stay tuned to hear about that!