In September 2009, the Widget Factory became the Sweets Factory. No more in-click-out with pay in hand, Zynga decided to make players earn their Factory pay. The Baking of Sweets/Desserts was to go on inside the Sweets Factory and pay would be earned on results/profit.
The sweets factory baking for pay concept sounds like a fun one and I wish I had been a player back then in 2009.
Inside the factory were16 ovens – all ready for players to start baking on as you can see from the screenshot below.
The idea of the game was to select a recipe to buy, cook it, remove it from the oven (before it burnt) then pay for the finished product plus a crew bonus was received. The oven then had to be cleaned before they used it to make another item. Cleaning the oven also cost coins.
Here is the tool bar that was for use in the Sweets Factory – it has all the controls the players needed to work within the factory on it.
The arrow icon was to turn off the other controls when just walking around the factory I am told. The yellow rectangle next to it is the cleaning cloth that was for cleaning the ovens. The blue mitten was for removing hot baked items from the oven, the recipe book was for the player to select and purchase a recipe.
Here is what the player saw when clicking on the recipe book:
As you can see, each recipe shows a cost and a cooking time, a selling price plus a crew bonus (the crew bonus was a bonus received that was multiplyed by the number of crew members you had – up to a maximum of 50 members). Before baking, you had to take into consideration the cost of the recipe which also had a further 10YoCoins taken off for the cleaning of the oven and the hours taken against the selling price (including bonus) to make sure that you were making a profit and not a loss. Also – matching the previous Factory pay in time hours or as a daily income.
There was one big problem, you had to be back in good time to remove your baked items from the oven within a specific amount of time or disaster would strike. The items would burn and your money would literally go up in smoke. Being able to keep an eye on your currently baking items was a necessity, quite a disadvantage for players that were not home in the daytime due to work, or had busy lives even.
The oven would show a timer whilst baking which allowed those who were home or in reach of a computer to check the progress of their baking item and prevent burning. It would also show what was inside the oven but only until cooking time were over.
Burnt ovens give no profit – infact they cause a loss of all of the recipe money per oven and they all need cleaning before re-use at 10 YoCoins per oven. Not good YoBuinsess practice to burn your baking. The screenshots below show burning in progress and a lot of cleaning ahead.
For those with enough time to spare to concentrate fully on the cooking of items and to watch over or work out their cooking plus burning time properley, I imagine there was good money to be made, however, there was the fact that this money previously was there for the asking and no effort had to be put in to the taking of it which angered some players, some did not want to have to do anything for this money and especially not something that took so much effort. There was also the players that couldn’t commit so much time to the baking that were at a disadvantage (although I have read on a blog that the burning time was the same as the cooking time – for example one item that takes 4 hours to cook will burn in another 4 hours), so I am sure that with thought and planning, this could have been worked around commitments. Obviously baked items would have been burnt by all at one time or another due to unexpected happenings, but the same is with the factory as we have it now – we can’t always get the hotdogs, or many people don’t like too or don’t try anymore to get them, so therefore, we miss out on the factory bonus anyway.
There was also the problem of items being spoiled by issues out of the players control which was a problem at one time or another, once, mass bake-spoiling was marked by the occasion of all that were affected receiving a YoCoin bonus from Zynga.
At the end of September, Zynga added a further bonus to the Sweets Factory. for players that baked an item perfectly and in time, they were to be awarded with a coin bonus and also the opportunity to take part in a bake-off. They did this by posting on the home page for friends to click to give them votes.
For those players that clicked to vote, they would receive coins, full energy and 1 friendship point so well worth the effort of clicking to vote for friends.
Sadly, in true YoVille fashion, as the complaints mounted and dislike of the Sweets Factory and unrest amongst the players grew, the protests began. Players protested outside the Factory, some wearing the familiar barrel costumes, this went on for quite some time making it difficult for other players to get in, never mind the lag caused. A petition was even launched to support the cause. Some publications reported that over 50,000 players joined the protest.
News of the protests spread like wildfire and even hit many online publications that were not YoVille related. Finally at the end of December 2009 Zynga agreed to scrap the Sweet Factory and return it to the Widget Factory like it had been previously. Hence the sign inside the Factory above the door which now says ‘Grand Re-opening’:
Not everyone disliked the Sweet Factory even though there was the problem of burnt items, I believe also at some point new features were added to the Sweet Factory to make life easier such as auto-clean for the ovens to cut down on the amount of clicking needed (clicking it seems is what annoyed some players, they didn’t want to have to do so much clicking). I for one would have loved to have been in YoVille at the time of the Sweets Factory but I would have been saddend by its demise.
Were you a player at the time of the YoVille Sweets Factory? Or would you have liked to have been? What are your views on the Sweets Factory if you were a player at that time? We would love to hear your thoughts, please share them in the comments box below.
With special thanks to YoVillian M (wordpress), YoVille Wiki and the YoVille.com forums for information and use of photographs.