The first month after Ravenwood Fair's release saw a massive number of articles about the game on all social gaming sites and many others such as VentureBeat/GamesBeat. The game brought a different feel to Facebook games with a happy tone, storybook-style graphics, and vibrant sound effects and an amazing soundtrack by Aaron Walz.
Ravenwood Fair captured 4 million players in its first month. Over the course of 6 months, the game would expand to worldwide social networks and monetize through Social Gold instead of just Facebook Credits. Facebook's audience was half the player base with 12 million players. The CEO of Lolapps, Arjun Sethi, had an infographic put together that he displayed at various conferences to show how how Ravenwood Fair was expanding the boundaries of Facebook games.
All these numbers were indicative of the power of the game's design and that players really enjoyed the game, not that they were being successfully tricked into playing something they found out they don't like later (after monetizing). The design is what kept players coming back to Ravenwood Fair every day.
During Ravenwood Fair's first 6 months, I designed the way the game should be expanded over the coming months. I devised a 3 month cycle:
- Every 2 weeks we will release new quests and items in the store that support those quests
- Every 2 months we will release a new game system that overlays the existing game
- Every 6 months we will release a major expansion to the game
The first 6 months went according to schedule with many seasonal content releases coming out every 2 weeks: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (2 releases), New Year's, Valentine's Day. The system releases were handled well and players loved them, especially the Heart Homes (collecting hearts to buy a house you can put a friend in; they will pay you rent).