I have spoken in my previous article Miniville phenomenon, which made me discover my nephew Samuel last January. It's an online game launched there less than a year by Twin Motion (there are 291 days precisely at the time of this article) whose goal is to develop quoted from a shack lost in the campaign until to sprawling megacities extending their asphalt and concrete on several screens. The game has already met with a very great success as more than 1.5 million cities were created so far! A real social phenomenon, therefore, which makes a lot of pub to their designers (proof, I am in the process of making, there).
It's finally all the more surprising that the concept is very simple, there is very little control over a city. Everything is done by assaying carefully 6 ingredients: population, industry, transport, security, the environment and trade. All these ingredients are not available immediately. Initially, you have the possibility of increasing the population, but other actions to unlock as your population grows. Apart from these 6 levers of action, you have no other option to act on the town! It is not possible for instance to place buildings, building roads as you like, finely manage all kinds of resources. Unlike a Sim City, which plays the card of a strategy quite complex, which by itself is enough "elitist" Miniville is actually a game very simple, very concept stripped, and this probably makes success. It is a kind of urban tamagotchi, that we look evolve almost alone, with very little means of action.
An important part of the concept is that it is possible to increase one of the 6 ingredients only once a day, by visiting a Web page 6 for the 6 ingredients on which we want to act . For example, to the city Nexville will utilize the following links:
Increase population: http://nexville.miniville.fr
Increase Industry: http://nexville.miniville.fr/ind
Increasing transport http://nexville.miniville.fr/tra
Increased security: http://nexville.miniville.fr/sec
Increase the environment: http://nexville.miniville.fr/env
Increasing shops: http://nexville.miniville.fr/com
And it is here that designers Miniville were very strong: each city is classified according to its wealth, and the goal of the players is to continuously improve their ranking. Since it is only possible to vote once a day for one of the 6 ingredients of a city, communities of players have been formed to help each other, vote for the other cities to make forward together much faster their stats. Clans are created, very active forums bring together the many addicted to this game, municipal ballots can be exchanged messages on each city, it's very nice. But there is also a dark side, Antiville, which allows you to sign petitions to send missiles into cities when the required number of signatures is reached. In short, the victims are cities in the lead ... And your personal enemies!
Well, here for the scenery. If I speak of Miniville, it is not because I fell in the virtual drugs, contrary to several hundreds of thousands of Internet users who follow daily developments in their cities. And attention, it's not necessarily a game for a kid, because there are players of all ages on forums devoted to Miniville, and even some fathers and great grandmothers!
No, if I am talking about is that I started developing a tool for Nintendo DS, pompously called Miniville DS Manager, which tracks at any time changing your Miniville and those of others to vote daily for a 6 ingredients of a city, to consult with municipal newsletter, send a signature antiville, all this without having to go in front of a computer. The idea is to make all these actions anywhere, whether on the street, at school, at work, in a restaurant, if there is a WiFi connection. The consultation and the various processes were then in a few seconds, without having to wait for a computer starts up, or your little sister (or your grandparents, the coup) loose the PC.
Let me point out that all graphics are the property of Motion Twin (plus a drawing of Matt Groening), I shamelessly ripped from their website, but it was in my opinion retain the same graphic chart so that the players are found.
Why then such a thing, some will wonder? Well this utility is intended for those who want at any time know the state of their city, those who can not leave the eye, which are already addicted. This tool will somehow liberate them, because they will no longer have to remain stuck at home in front of the computer screen. They will be able to highlight, going to see friends, the DS in the pocket their time to tell others how will their city.
But this utility is intended also to those who want to go very fast, know their stats at a glance, easily vote for a list of favourite cities, without any constraints of the computer (to be home, the computer must be available, slow ignition, and so on.).
In short, here's version 0.1 of Miniville DS Manager after a few days of development. It is possible for the moment to consult the stats of a city whatsoever, managing a list of favourite cities to act on the 6 ingredients, to send a signature antiville (hidden feature, you find it). It is not yet possible to see the rankings, the newsletter or municipal map, but it will come in the following versions. A Twin motion that has subsequently launched MyMiniCity, which extends to the whole world. Future releases of Miniville DS Manager will also allow management minicity.