Hacking the freemium model with a Lego robot while the gamer sleeps
If you’ve ever felt freemium city-building games on iOS were a little repetitive, you may want to employ a robot to your aid, like Uli Kilian has done with Lego Technic and an Arduino. He’s set up his game of Jurassic Park Builder so that 11 dinosaurs that you tap regularly for rewards are close to one another, and programmed the arm to tap each of them at their designated timer intervals. For example, one dino offers up rewards every ten minutes, and another every fifteen minutes. By putting his iPad on a series of Lego wheels which move the screen around as needed, and an arm that taps the target areas and can also hold to pan around the park, Uli can have his game collecting resources 24/7.
You know the phrase "I could do this in my sleep"? Uli actually does.
Obviously, this took a fair bit of work for a what amounts to a fairly frivolous reward, but it sure says something about the quality of these games if a robot can do it and be more successful than any human player, right? Be sure to read up on how developers feel about the freemium model for more on the state of mobile gaming in this sometimes controversial sphere.
How much work would you be willing to put into an automated system for freemium city-building, even if it’s just to see how well it works?