Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tiny Tower of Terror


Today I became the man.

Not 'a man'. Becoming 'a' man seems to involve standing up to bullies, getting into a fight or getting laid. (And if eighties movies have taught me anything it's that all three of these things will happen in succession, although hopefully not involving the same person.)

No. Today I became 'The Man'. 

Day One

I downloaded 'Tiny Towers' to my phone. A simple little "skinner box" game that makes you the landlord, owner and manager of a tower filled with various apartments and stores. The basic game mechanics didn't take long to come to grips with and I established that I could simply fill out my flats with tiny 'bitizens' and then put them to work in the Pizzeria (Pepper Only) and the Laundromat (Lintastic) that were mine, all mine.

I spied on their Facebook updates. 'So happy to be working at Pepper Only' stated one bitizen. I felt a glow in my heart. 'I don't want to go into Lintastic today' exclaimed another. 


Why? Doesn't he enjoy the service industry? Well, No. In fact he had a little number that stated 'service - 4' and 'creative - 9'. Ah HA! He wants a job in a creative industry. No problem. I saved up the money and added another floor. A boutique micro-brewery for soda. (Pop Scene)

'I can't believe I get to work at Pop Scene' read the bitbook post.


Another satisfied customer… Well, Not the customer… but satisfied none-the-less.

Day Two

It's become slightly harder to juggle the employees. I'm sorry Joanne Meyer. I'm going to have to take you out of that creative job and pop you into food prep... for a while. It's only temporary. You won't have a sad face for long. 

I check BitBook fully expecting complaints.

Nothing.

Soon I have more employees with better skills. Ruby Flores. A perfect 9 in two fields. And suddenly I'm left with a choice. I need to fire an under-achiever. I like you, Jo Evans (2 4 4 2 6), but you just don't have an enthusiasm for the job. I'm going to have to let you go. 

I expect tears. I expect anger.

I check BitBook.

Nothing. 

Jo Evans paces back and forth in her apartment like nothing happened.

Day Three

My apartments started filling up. I bought a new one but now it's taking hours to build. I need my guys to have a '9' in at least one field. If only I could free up a space in the flats for someone new. 

A button labelled 'Evict' sits like a quiet elephant in the room. Jo is unemployed. She's an under-achiever. 'She just doesn't fit here' I rationalise as a quietly press the button. A few minutes later someone new arrives. Their scores are even worse. I don't even have time to bond with 'Sean Black' as he goes sailing into the darkness.

I check BitBook.

Sean's single update states how much he likes his new room-mate.

Not for long, Sean. Not for long.

The next roommate's dream job is to work at Pop Scene. Allen Castro is so happy to work at a micro-brewery that I get bonuses. His BitBook update is ecstatic. It was worth to pain of getting rid of the chaff. Now someone who deserves it has a job they love. His smiley face beams.

Day Four

Only got one speciality? Sorry Armando Tucker. I've found someone else who can do the same job to the same quality, but in a pinch, I can move them over to the Fortune Teller (Palm Me Off) or the Book Store (Leather Bound). Armando doesn't even leave a BitBook goodbye. No one does. I can only assume security make sure the passwords are changed.

You'd think they'd have more important concerns.

Soon my apartments are filled with people in their dream jobs. If your dream job doesn't exist in this building it's an immediate eviction for you. Sorry. Shouldn't have set your standards so high. If your dream job was to work at Pirate Pizza we could have talked. (I needed to find these bitizens easily and demeaning pirate costumes seemed the cheapest way to go. It inspired a full brand make-over)

The Volley Ball Courts are full of happy workers, all of whom grew up knowing that they wanted, more than anything, to work at Volliver's.

F. Price moves in. His dream job is also to work at Volliver's. I pause. In order to claim the 2 Bux bonus I need to free up a space at Volliver's to allow F. Price to start work. A simple eviction later and F. Price is hard at work. 2 extra Bux sit in 
my account.

Somewhere Leslie Wheeler wanders the streets. She wasn't bad at her job. She was excellent. She literally could not have been better. It was her dream job… and now it's gone.

All for 2 Bux.

I check BitBook but she said nothing before she left.


Today I am the man.

Damn the man.

Damn him to hell.
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