1,160 Posts

An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by Vlania on Sep 21, 14 5:24 PM
Hello forums. We are players of Midnight Castle. Disappointed with our game's updates, we've researched all of the FTP forums and have found that we have problems in common. Being unwilling to live with the problems, we've written the following letter addressed to Big Fish, Elephant, Boomzap and Game Developers. All of the forums with problems are represented but because Midnight Castle and Awakening Kingdoms are the top two FTP games, and probably Big Fish's main concerns, there are specific paragraphs dedicated to them.

We are posting this in all of the affected forums in the hopes that concerned players will either sign by posting in this thread or, ideally, copying and pasting the letter to an email sent to Big Fish Games, Elephant Games, Boomzap Games or your game's developer. Those who are playing games other than MC or AK may delete the dedicated paragraphs. You might also like to write your own letter or add your own thoughts to ours. Either way, we'd like our game developers and publishers to know that we are unhappy and won't support the games without changes. Please, join us.

To send an email to the devs, Google the company name, go to the Support and/or "contact us" link and send your pasted letter. Because we can't paste links to the forums, you'll have to do this yourselves.

Greetings Big Fish, Elephant, Boomzap Games and Game Developers,

We, the dwellers of Big Fish Isle, would like a few words with you. There are many who have contributed and added their thoughts to this letter, and for the most part, opinions seem to be universal.

Over the past few months, we've become sadly disheartened with the updates to our FTP games. We feel, across the forums, that the marathon runners have been sorely neglected in favor of the sprinters of games, across the board. We understand that the quick influx of cash that the sprinters bring in is welcomed by you. On the other hand , the money brought in by the marathon runners will decrease due to our discontent with the balance of the games.

If we understand correctly, your intent for the FTP games was for them to be played long term and continuously developed. In doing that, the marathon runners would supply a steady, constant stream of money, increasing as the game grew more challenging. In addition, those who have reached upper levels would in turn bring in friends to constantly increase the stream of those new players you like to see.

Apparently, you didn't anticipate the storage needed to supply such an endeavor, ie. social networks, individual inventories and, in some games, auctions. As well, you had the unexpected, frequent outcry of the sprinters craving more to do because they finished so quickly. This is unlikely your majority, as many of us have only a limited time to play. Liking the sudden wealth supplied by buying a quick way through, you needed to build more platforms and code more content at a very fast rate to keep ahead of the competitors and the sprinters. This began a vicious cycle. You rushed updates to the door duplicating mushroom code with a few new twists to try and alleviate the pressure.
In doing so, the marathon runners feel that their needs have been neglected. We feel that too much currency and/or resources are being asked for us to continue leveling up while the ratio of payouts, ie. coins, resources, experience, etc., are severely curtailed. Our research shows that this is voiced in almost every FTP forum and has been ongoing for more than one or two updates.
Having been loyal to the games and their forums, true disappointment, as shown in this letter, is causing players to leave the games and forums in record numbers, most of whom just move on silently. Our records show at least two forums have been abandoned due to neglect. We are concerned that our games will follow.

We, respectfully, request of you to code some updates for the marathon runners, as well as the sprinters. Haven't they been appeased enough for now with their demands for fast and faster updates?

What we'd like to see in all of the FTP games, specifically, is:

1) Proportional payouts as the levels increase to help offset the enormous costs of those levels.

2) Drop rates of necessary items to level up increased to a fairer rate.

3) The inventory and currency disappearing glitches fixed.

And in games requiring an energy bar:

4) Better proportioned recharge to energy expended ratios.

We felt that your concern would be more with your two most popular FTP games so the next few paragraphs reference only Midnight Castle and Awakening Kingdoms. Most of the other FTP games are plagued with their own individual problems of which we kept track.

Specific to Midnight Castle, we appreciated the rewriting of the Bow Figurine/Six Paws mushroom quests but what we wanted addressed was the repeated use and cost of needing to craft the same items to enter overused HOS for each quest. We aren't sure if it was faster for you to just oversimplify or what the intention was, but what we wanted was to be sent to many different scenes by the characters, giving us diversification while waiting for scenes to recharge. We don't mind having to do the same scenes a few times in a row but then why not send us to some of the more unused HOS? Doing the same scene 20 - 30 times within a quest is too much.
We weren't asking you to "dumb down" the quests but to make the game more interesting and enjoyable to play. There are many HOS that are practically unused for the quests as we level up and there are many items in those beautiful HOS that could be used and moved around to challenge us, keeping our interest in the game long-term.

There are other problems we've found as well, to wit:

1) Missing item's names in HO scenes

2) Items devalued by 50 - 75% or more, making them nearly worthless to sell for in- game coin.

3) Lack of valuables given by the Crafting Wheel

4) Not allowing opening of zones with diamonds
5) Lowered drop rates of pet food and stamps, imbalance of drop rate of airship items.

Game ideas from the players include:

1) More cohesive storyline

2) More stamps, including Unique, on the Fortune Wheel

3) In- game messaging

4) Ability to gift, more friends daily or, twice daily

5) Show our inventory number on gifting page

6) Remove "Get All" button on the social page

7) More mini- games to supply resources, gold and diamonds ie. Wheel of Stamps, Hit the Hamster in the Skulls, etc.

8) And this thread: http://forums.bigfishgames.com/posts/list/281957.page

supplies more ideas for game development and uses for the gift boxes

For Awakening Kingdoms, we found the following additional problems:

1) Loss of map trophies, coins, experience, quests, etc. because of an update

2) Glitches in quests sending you to the wrong location

3) Glitches in quests requesting the wrong items

4) Glitches taking the wrong items from player's inventories

Recent updates for Awakening Kingdoms have included the following:
1) Bank rates increased by 50%
2) Experience required to level-up quadrupled.
3) Change to Fungus Hut game payout.
4) Drop rates have improved, but this has been offset with quests asking for ridiculously high amounts of items causing 20-30 and sometimes more visits to the same HOS to obtain the correct amount of a particular item.

Many of the problems we have listed above are being felt across the FTP games, not just Midnight Castle and Awakening Kingdoms.
We are keenly aware, as marathon runners, that it takes money to keep developing and offering these games. We feel it is only right to support the developers and publishers by making bank purchases AT A FAIR RATE, as we realize these games do cost a lot to develop and keep running. In return, we are requesting a balance be created between the needs of the developers and publishers and the needs of ALL of the players.
Those of us who have been with you long term, some from the very first, are not in a rush for updates. Please, take more time to code a quality update using our research's findings. Maybe then we can move from thrown together mushroom coded updates that use a Gordian Knot of tangled, expensive quests attempting to slow us down and, instead, move back to the interesting, challenging variety of HOS which we once enjoyed playing immensely.
We have found that many younger, newer players play for a short time until the playing gets more difficult and then move on to the next game to repeat the process, taking that infusion of money with them, while your loyal, dedicated players are the ones who will spend more money steadily when enjoying themselves in a well-designed game, and thus bring in more of the new players, ie. friends, family, co-workers, etc..
Thank you for taking the time to read this and consider our thoughts.


The long term players of Big Fish Games

2,847 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by susiewastaken on Sep 21, 14 6:16 PM


Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by tigress1_2u on Sep 21, 14 6:39 PM
Well put and said General Call to arms !!!!
I hope that they listen to our cries and do what is right by us long time players, even the newer ones! Bring back the enjoyment to the game(s).


1,227 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by HoosierAmy on Sep 21, 14 6:41 PM
Hello fellow fishies, I am not a player of Midnight Castle, but am for alot of the other games this encompasses. I just wanted to stop by and say I support the solidarity across the forums for doing this. I've sent in my (revised per game) tickets to CS and Game Dev's. Keep fighting the good fight...

2,821 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by eastendteddy on Sep 21, 14 6:49 PM
As always Vlania very well said and it speaks from the heart of all that play MC some as I from day one.
I did play AK but when I saw that is was going in the same direction as MC I left or should I say ran away from it I have enough heartache with MC but the hope our game will be fixed.
Thank you Vlania for doing this for us all.
Your loyal Col/Capt in *The Call To Arms*

1,160 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by Vlania on Sep 21, 14 7:23 PM
Thanks Cap and Tigress. Much love.

Edited on 09/22/2014 at 10:05:16 AM PST

2,712 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by NoFishToday on Sep 21, 14 8:08 PM
Thanks Vlania. I am very pleased with the result of our new "Call to Arms" and all of those who so selflessly contributed their time, thoughts, and research, and a special thank you to you for spearheading the "call". I'm behind you 100%.


Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by Arizona63Tucson on Sep 21, 14 8:11 PM
I have tried to e-mail Elephant Games but I keep getting told that my e-mail is not installed correctly . So , I would like to be add to this letter .


1,160 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by Vlania on Sep 21, 14 8:16 PM
A very special thanks to my "ladies", without your research, writing skills, ideas and ability to organize my jumbled thoughts, this would have been a lame endeavor at best. <curtsy>

224 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by derbyteam on Sep 21, 14 8:17 PM
I agree with you 100%. The devs of MC also made Found and if some of you other players have seen they do give more than one drop item at a time so WHY does MC only give one drop item, even AK gives more than one even on riddle mode which is my least favorite. I do know the airship does help with extra coins and every now and then you get food or stamps but there still needs to be more if the crafting keeps going up. At this point in the game if I finish I finish if don't so be it the fun is gone I feel like its a job I hate to go to

4,210 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by rosiebvt on Sep 21, 14 8:18 PM
Thorough, concise, well stated. Absolutely accurate, as far as I'm concerned as a player of both featured games. Please, Big Fish and Elephant, those of us long time players are begging for a chance to fall in love with this game again. We aren't asking for the world, just enough to know you're listening and care about your fan base. These suggestions are being made to keep the marathoners going, because we're the ones who will keep the game going. You can't keep customers waiting indefinitely on the hope of something better.

1,584 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by apollogold on Sep 21, 14 8:39 PM
Thank you Vlania. This letter definitely says it all. I have been playing MC from the beginning and now it has become a chore just to keep going. I also feel that there is definitely not enough "pay out" as the game moves forward. It is becoming too expensive and boring, which is a shame as I love everything about the game itself, especially the graphics. As for myself...I would prefer to have fewer up-dates and have the developers concentrate on fixing the glitches in the game.
Up until three months ago, I also played AK... Until I started having problems up-dating the game and when everything started going up I decided it wasn't worth all the problems to get it to install correctly so I quit. I am hoping that MC doesn't follow in AK's footsteps... If it does I'll be forced to quit this game as well. It is becoming too expensive to advance.

apollogold aka Shadow in the castle.

2,175 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by AnnaDownes01 on Sep 21, 14 8:44 PM
Thank you Vlania,

Well constructed and well said.

I joined MC in January and have, like many others, endured the Level 18 lockout and the Bow Figurine, though not to the extent of several of our pioneers, who have since left. I would like to continue on as long as possible.

I played AK but found it even more disheartening than MC and left before the big blow up there.

I also play ARTAD, where an update is awaited. This game has an energy bar and at my currently max energy level it takes well over 24 hrs to fill up again. The amount of energy to be expended in each city varies from 40 to over 200, which does not give playing time per session unless you spend a large amount in game coinage.

I have added this as I feel it also needs to be addressed by the devs.


139 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by newmangame on Sep 21, 14 9:19 PM
We agree.


Edited on 09/21/2014 at 11:47:40 PM PST

2,429 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by aussie_Dot on Sep 21, 14 9:37 PM
Thank you Vlania,
I echo the thoughts & words of all the previous writers. Very well written - it explains in clear terms what we, as players of MC (and other games), are experiencing.
I joined Midnight Castle in December 2013. In the January/ Bow Figurine snafu, I ended up losing my game. For 2 months, I waited until I could start again because I had enjoyed the game. In March, I recommenced MC. only to lose it in May when my computer crashed. New computer & I tried again. I still love MC & as you can see, I am here for the long haul. I would truly like to feel that my effort is appreciated by you at BFG & the developers, Elephant Games. Implementing some of the suggestions would feel reward enough.
I, also, play AK & ARTAD but as these games require an energy bar which takes ages to refill. I only play them once a day until the energy bar is empty. There is not enough incentive in these games to spend coins to refill the bar.
I spend 4 hours a day on a machine (delivering medication - in 4 1 hour sessions) and MC not only distracts & entertains me but also helps to keep me positive. Please fix some of the glitches. Reward effort especially in the upper levels because it is to these people (those that have completed these levels) that people, like me, on lower levels rely - for encouragement, for answers, for believing that MC is still a great game.
I have run a successful business in the past so I know you can not keep your customers unless you have a good product. Finding new customers is not only time- consuming but also costly. Old customers give your company a name depending on their experience with you - positive & new customers come to you without the advertising (word of mouth is still the most powerful form of advertising)/ negative & not only do you lose a customer but you lose potential customers as well due to the ripple effect. Think carefully before you implement anything that is likely to create a negative impact.
Dorothy (aka Dot)

565 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by susanlnels on Sep 21, 14 9:37 PM
I play as Suenamie and Suenamie2. I very much agree with this topic!! I have been playing this game since July and ART since early May. I barely spend any time in ART due to the fact of having nothing to do, since the last update was June . I am on level 89 in ART and 29 in MC. I whole heartedly agree with the points made !

48 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by julz1950 on Sep 21, 14 10:48 PM
Hooray! Finally someone took the time to address the problems we all are having in this wonderful game. Thank you, Vlania! You are awesome for saying all this so well, I can't imagine the time you took putting this together.
I lost my last game at level 42 ( computer crash ) and the first thing I noticed was the lack of unique stamps dropping and the amount of them you need to craft many of the items. Fully a third of my 42 friends are asking for pet food and/ or unique stamps, but surprisingly unique stamps over pet food. Just like me. Hopefully the powers will heed this letter and help us continue to enjoy and support MC.

Thanks again for your well spent( hopefully )time.

94 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by laran on Sep 22, 14 12:11 AM
Thanks indeed for all the work done! It must have been a very time consuming (and not always pleasant) job putting all the facts together. Hopefully the Big Bosses of Big Fish etc will finally listen and ACT according to our wishes.


1,615 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by gernespieler on Sep 22, 14 12:12 AM
Thank you very much Vlania and everybody else involved in bringing this letter up , very well done and I agree with everything but would like to add for the BF management and partly also for the management of the various developers of the FTP games:

The negative psychological pressure to pay real money to advance in the game - especially for the long time players - will bring more and more players to leave these games and - as Aussi.dot already stated in her post - this will damage the reputation of not just BF but also the developers. There had been enough posts in this Forum stating that if they leave MC they will also leave BF and never again buy an Elephant game. So, please, BF stop this negative pressure and make the games fun again. In doing so you will realise that more and more people are willing to spend real money as a return of investment

175 Posts

Re:An Urgent Letter to Big Fish Games

[Post New]by sagefever on Sep 22, 14 12:18 AM
Well said ~ I was a newbie but at level 22 but I uninstalled the game. The frustration level overcame the fun for the reasons listed. I play another game here, in which I've played for 413 days. It is interesting, updated,fair and varied. Glad to read that BF and the developers are listening. Holding all in my thoughts... Peace as always and in all ways ~ sage

Edited on 09/23/2014 at 11:03:52 PM PST

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