Hi guys! As Valentine’s Day draws nearer we’ve seen lots of romantic items appearing across all of our games – from the sweet Valentine’s Day theme gifts you can send your fellow culinary friends in Restaurant City to the beautiful romantic Victorian set available in Country Story, I got in touch with Vivienne Bearman at Playfish HQ to find out what she and her team have got in store for Pet Society fans.
Hi Vivienne. Thanks for taking some time out of your busy day to chat with me and our readers! Would you let our fans know what you do here at Playfish?
Sure! Hi guys – I’m the product manager for Pet Society which means I keep an eye on what players are doing in the game, as well as listen to their suggestions and feedback and use it to make the game better for our players.
Cool! But for those who haven’t played Pet Society yet, would you give people a quick description of what the game is about?
Pet Society is a game you can play on social networks like Facebook and MySpace. It’s a casual game where you create an animated pet of your choice to take care of. But there is just so much more to it than that – and that is what makes it special. Pet Society is designed so that you can play with your friends and family. For instance, you can visit your friends’ pets at their houses or send them really cute gifts. There are tons of items to collect, whether you want them for yourself or to give to your friends. You can also go fishing with your pet and collect all sorts of weird and wonderful fish, or become a pro-athlete at the Stadium and win lots of coins and achievements. There’s just so much to do I could spend all day telling you about it. Though it’s a very casual game, I have to admit I’m a little addicted and spend as much time as I can on there!
That sounds fun! You mentioned there are lots of things to collect. What new things do our players have to look forward to as we get closer to Valentine’s Day?
Naturally, we’ve released a really fun and romantic Valentine’s Day theme in Pet Society. You can start collecting the new items from all the various stores in the game but also you can give that special someone a gift that won’t open until February 14th. We’re hoping people will receive lots of presents to open on Valentine’s Day! My current favourite items are the beautiful Romantic Castle Terrace and the Romantic Castle Staircase that you can get from the Luxury store. I can’t wait to get my hands on them! I hope someone sends me something, haha…
On the Valentine’s theme, I noticed that the Pet Society Fan Page recently announced a competition, too – can you tell me a little bit about it now?
Well, we’ve asked our fans to show us what their pet’s perfect Valentine would look like by submitting pictures to the competition page. The game is really great for giving our players the creative space to express themselves and we’ve been getting loads of really fantastic entries. I can’t wait for the winners to be announced. We’ll be taking entries until Sunday 14th February at midnight GMT and winners will be announced on Friday 19th February. The best entry will be rewarded with 500 Playfish Cash and a personalised gift for your Pet Society pet, as well.
Excellent. This month has been very busy for Pet Society! You’ve also released a brand new game feature, is that right?
Yeah! I’m really excited about this particular new release. The recent new feature lets your Pet Society pet have their own pet – we’ve called them Petlings! Players can go to the Garden store and buy either a kitten or a puppy for their pet. We’re planning on releasing more Petlings in the future so we hope the fans will definitely be watching this space for more news on that. On an unrelated note, I just wanted to mention that we’ve also increased the number of ways players can earn bonus coins – from playing the daily lottery to walking around town to collect coins that drop from trees. So, yeah, we’re constantly improving the game.
So many new features! How do you come up with these ideas and keep the game feeling fresh?
I count myself very lucky to be working with such an amazing team. Our artists have a fantastic feel for who our players are and what they want. We also have very dedicated coders and developers for the game. We all work passionately to bring something new and exciting to our fans every week. The Pet Society themes are sometimes tied to fun festivals around the world and we also pay attention to what people are saying on the Pet Society forum. In fact, we asked our players what they wanted to see in the game toward the end of last year and we’re now using that feedback to help us plan out the next few big item themes. The Pet Society team are really friendly and we all get along really well together. I think this really shows through in the game, both in the cute graphics and the happy themes we come out with.
What would you say you’re the most pleased with so far?
I just love that we’ve created a game that lets friends and family play together. And it’s such a quick game to get into – it’s not challenging but there are lots of things to do if you put the time in – if you want to, of course! I really love that I can visit a pet’s home and just check out how creatively the owner has used the items we created for them. We’ve seen some really sophisticated designs and themes appearing and it’s so wonderful to see our players finding a form of expression through Pet Society.
And dare I ask which of the Playfish games is your favourite?
All of our games are beautiful – everyone at Playfish really puts their hearts and minds into them and I know we’ll continue to make them better for our players. So even though I naturally spend a lot of time on Pet Society, I really do love all of our games!
And finally, Vivienne, any last comments?
Definitely! A shout out to our fans! We’re always interested to hear what players want from the game and the best way to tell us is through the Pet Society forum. We are often running surveys there which players can get involved in if they want, and someone from Playfish is online there 24/7 to listen to players ideas and concerns!
Thanks, Vivienne – and I’m sure we’re all looking forward to more fun releases on Pet Society!