FarmVille is a real-time farm simulation  game developed by Zynga, available as an application on the social-networking website Facebook. The game allows members of Facebook to manage a virtual farm by planting, growing and harvesting virtual crops and trees, and raising livestock. Since its launch in June 2009, FarmVille has become the most popular game application on Facebook, with over 82.4 million active users and over 23.9 million Facebook application fans in May 2010. The total FarmVille users are over 20% of the users of Facebook and over 1% of the population of the world.

Upon beginning a farm, the player first creates a customizable avatar.The game is based around the «market,» where seeds, trees, animals, buildings, decorations, vehicles, and more land can be purchased using «farm coins», the generic money of FarmVille, (Farm Coins are earned by selling crops) or «farm cash» (which the player earns at a rate of one dollar per experience level). A player can choose to buy FarmVille coins or cash from Zynga. The player plants seeds, which grow into crops, which can be harvested to earn farm coins. Animals and trees can be purchased and harvested for profit. The player earns experience points (XP) by purchasing items, and plowing, planting and harvesting. Earning XP increases the player’s level, unlocking more items. Most items can be bought with farm coins, although some (e.g., certain decorations) must be purchased with farm cash.

Each plot of land costs 15 farm coins to plow. Seeds cost from 10 to 400 farm coins. Each crop sells for a set price that is greater than the price paid for the seed. The ratio of seed cost to coin yield for crops varies based on harvest time and initial seed cost. For example, raspberries, with a two hour growth time, cost 20 coins and yield 46 coins per plot, a ratio of 2.3:1 (excluding the plowing charges). Watermelons, with a four day growth time, cost 130 coins and yield 348 coins, a ratio of 2.68:1. Depending on the plant, growth time varies from two hours (raspberries) to four days (artichokes, watermelons, yellow melons). If a crop is not harvested within twice the growth time, it will wilt and must be plowed under, and planted again, unless the unwither feature is applied. For example, pumpkins will grow in 8 hours. If the pumpkins are not harvested within 16 hours of planting, they will begin to wither and die. The player will not be able to harvest them for farm coins or XP, unless the unwither feature is applied.
As a player progresses, he or she can expand the farm (for a payment of farm cash or farm coins) to get more room for farming, animals, and decorations.
Like most Zynga games, FarmVille leverages the social networking aspect of Facebook. Along with their own farm, players can invite their friends to join and be neighbors. Acquiring neighbors has benefits in gameplay — not only can one earn money and experience (by visiting and helping on neighboring farms), but with eight or more neighbors, a player can expand their farm. Gifts (such as trees, animals, and decorations) can be sent to both confirmed neighbors and any other Facebook friends even if they do not use the application. The Gifts received from neighbors usually have relatively expensive buy prices in the market, so getting gifts from friends is one of the best ways to get relatively expensive items at zero cost. Many of the items available as gifts for friends are not available in the FarmVille market. This includes many themed decorations.

Some interesting facts

Sources: wikipedia, Zynga, Farmvillefreak

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