All the latest information on the newest glitches and crashes making your game a little more entertaining, along with articles about how to do various semi-game related things to help you or your neighbours.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Tree Fort Building Guide

Growing up means more responsibility, extra trust, later bedtimes and... a whopping great Tree Fort? I think I must have missed that bit...

Well, we always want to do the best for our kids, so I guess that means making one!

As usual, the Fort is what we'd expect, a four step build and the usual mix of requests, crafting and those ever so lovely homestead drops... so lets see what we'll need!

Stage One

15 Lag Bolts - Tin Forge
10 Branch Trimmers - Direct Request
12 Mitre Saws - Wall Post
10 Pressure Treated Nails - Iron Forge
12 Sturdy Climbing Ropes - Direct Request
15 Steam Drills - Wall Post

Stage Two

15 Composite Boards - Oak Tree (7 or 12 Chop)
15 Copper Spyglasses - Wall Post
9 Tree Stairs - Crafted
14 Tree Glue - Marshmallow
15 Knee Brackets - Direct Request
9  Hanging Foundations - Crafted

Each Stair requires 4 Pressure Treated Planks (Granny's Ovens) and 8 Stair Stringers (Wall Post)

Each Foundation requires 6 Steel Cables (Steel Forges) and 6 Cement Beams (Direct Request)

Stage Three

25 Pine Shingles - Pine Tree (5 or 8 Chop)
18 Tree Fort Stoves - Wall Post
9 Tree Fort Roofs - Crafted
16 Thatching - Fountain Grass
16 Huntin' Slingshots - Direct Request
10 Tree Fort Walls - Crafted

Each Roof requires 7 Sturdy Rafters (Wood Lathes) and 8 10x12 Foot Planks (Direct Request)

Each Wall requires 4 Long Nails (Spirit Cactus), 10 Framing Hammers (Wall Post) and 4 Treated Sidings (Direct Request)

Stage Four

25 S'mores Kits - Direct Request
16 Rope Bridges - Wall Post
12 Tree Fort Elevators - Crafted
18 Candy Stashes - Candy Corn
20 Jesse James Posters - Wall Post
12 Emergency Escape Poles - Crafted

Each Elevator requires 6 Used Ropes (Poison Ivy), 9 Brass Pulleys (Wall Post) and 5 Elevator Platforms (Direct Request)

Each Pole requires 9 Tightened Bases (Recycle Bin), 9 Slick Poles (Direct Request) and 5 Circular Holes (Wall Post)

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Bess' Baby Building Guide

Oh boy, babies are hard work!

Thankfully for us, Bess is only having the one but it's still going to need us to work a standard four step build to get her the nursery she wants, along with all the accoutrements you need for a sprog... oh, and also Doc a quick refresher course in midwifery...

Take special note of the Fun Cribs, used in stages 3 AND 4 so if you have anything else left in stage 3 hold off on crafting the final one so you can keep asking for the next stage!

Stage One

10 Bibs - Geese
9 Bottles - Direct Request
10 Baby Blue Pacifiers - Wall Post
12 Burp Cloths - Ginger
12 Soft Stuffed Bears - Direct Request
12 Shakey Rattles - Wall Post

Stage Two

18 Talcum Powder - Vanilla Orchid
16 Cloth Diapers - Wall Post
8 Changing Tables - Crafted
14 Rash Cream - Lilac
12 Pins - Direct Request
9 Diaper Pails - Crafted

Each Table requires 4 Changing Pads (Potatoes) and 8 Wooden Organisers (Wall Post)

Each Pail requires 6 Deep Buckets (Iron Forges) 8 Sealin' Lids (Direct Request)

Stage Three

18 Soothin' Teas - Festive Cinnamon
12 Udder Support - Wall Post
9 Fun Cribs - Crafted
20 Soft Cushions - Sheep
18 Warm Towels - Direct Request
10 Relaxing Cushions - Crafted

Each Fun Crib requires 6 Baby Bedding (Goat), 8 Crib Frames (Direct Request) and 4 Country Mobiles (Wall Post)

Each Cushion requires 6 Fleece Blankets (Silk), 8 Feathery Stuffing (Wall Post) and 4 Sleepy Pillows (Direct Request)

Stage Four

15 Baby Books - Direct Request
16 Nite Lights - Wall Post
12 Baby Rockers - Crafted
18 Crawlin' Rugs - Turf
20 Soft Blankets - Wall Post
12 Fun Cribs - Crafted

Each Baby Rocker requires 9 Hangin' Chains (Steel Forge), 9 Hard Planks (Wall Post) and 6 Legless Chairs (Direct Request)

Each Fun Crib requires 6 Baby Bedding (Goat), 8 Crib Frames (Direct Request) and 4 Country Mobiles (Wall Post)

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Statehood Building Guide

Building a State infrastructure is a tricky business but if we're going to do it, we're going to do it right!

The build in the Statehood mission is a standard four stepper, with all the usual mix of items.

One thing to note is that there is a common item between builds 3 and 4, so leave those until last during build 3 so you can keep collecting/asking!

Stage One

12 Rock Picks - Rocks
10 Scaffolding - Direct Request
8 Construction Crew - Wall Post
10 Blastin' Sticks - Silver Forge
10 Climbing Gear - Direct Request
12 Sculpting Crew - Wall Post

Stage Two

15 Rehab Weights - Popcorn Kettle
12 Massage Chairs - Wall Post
9 Swimmin' Tubs - Crafted
12 Pain Snacks - Catnip
15 Small Stretchers - Direct Request
8 Fixin' Tables - Crafted

Each Tub requires 4 Old Washtubs (Tin Forge) and 8 Paddle Wheels (Wall Post)

Each Table requires 6 Relaxin' Pads (Birds of Paradise) and 8 Rectangular Tables (Direct Request)

Stage Three

25 Pink Tickets - Sheep
16 Parking Meters - Wall Post
8 Street Blockers - Crafted
14 Stoppin' Whistles - Steel Forge
12 Walk Only Signs - Direct Request
10 Free Parkin' Spots - Crafted

Each Blocker requires 6 Solid Logs (Turf) and 8 Wagon Snaggers (Direct Request)

Each Spot requires 6 Can's of White Paint (Goat), 9 Painted Lines (Wall Post) and 5 Tyin' Posts (Direct Request)

Stage Four

15 Slow Down Signs - Direct Request
18 Warnin' Tickets - Wall Post
12 Free Parkin' Spots - Crafted
18 Street Names - Recycle Bins
16 Ridin' Instructions - Wall Post
12 Direction Dividers - Crafted

Each Spot requires 6 Can's of White Paint (Goat), 9 Painted Lines (Wall Post) and 5 Tyin' Posts (Direct Request)

Each Divider requires 6 Grass Squares (Fountain Grass), 9 Brick Trim (Direct Request) and 4 Stay Right Arrows (Wall Post)

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Varmint Technical Academy Building Guide

Universities take a lot of work, and building up one, even just to train Varmints, is going to work, although this week the Building is 25% less than normal being just a three step build!

Even though it's only three stages it's still the same mix of items that we're going to need, Wall Posts, Direct Requests, Crafting and, of course, homestead drops!

So, lets take a look at what we'll need!

Stage One

10 Dorm Food - Cotton Candy
16 Orientation Itinerary - Direct Request
8 Bunk Beds - Crafted
10 Freshman 15 - Cheesemaker
10 Welcome Packets - Wall Post
15 Itchy Blankets - Wall Posts

Each Bunk Bed requires 3 Unsturdy Ladders (Oak Tree) and 4 Pairs of Mattresses (Wall Post)

Stage Two

20 Giant Chalkboards - Direct Request
20 Overpriced Texbooks - Wall Post
9 Professor's Offices - Crafted
20 Spiral Notebook - Cranberries
25 Teacher's Aids - Direct Request
18 Varmint Curriculums - Wall Posts

Each Office requires 6 Ancient Notes (Spider Flowers), 12 Stacks of Unread Books (Wall Post) and 8 Irregular Office Hours (Direct Request)

Stage Three

18 Customised Toolsets - Steel Forges
25 Final Exams - Wall Posts
12 Chemistry Sets - Crafted
25 Passing Grades - Sheep
18 Tiny Trumpets - Direct Request
12 Final Projects - Crafted

Each Set requires 6 Cracked Beakers (Glass Forge), 9 Graduated Cylinders (Wall Post) and 7 Sketchy Chemicals (Direct Request)

Each Project requires 8 Caffeine (Compost Pile), 8 University Library Cards (Direct Request) and 5 Plagiarism (Wall Post)

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Blank Posts - Workarounds

UPDATE: There are now two workarounds.

Workaround One

Please note, to make this Workaround work you need to use Adblock Plus.

Until Facebook manages to solve the blank posts issue there IS a workaround you can use to make sure you still get your items with a secondary link, with some input from a member, Debbi.

PART ONE - This only needs to be done once

Step 1) Install Adblock Plus.

Step 2) Open the options by right clicking on the Adblock icon then select the "Add Your Own Filters" tab.

Step 3) include this filter EXACTLY:

That text has to be added exactly, especially the capital M in the middle. PLEASE NOTE: there are no gaps in the filter, it is all one "word".

PART TWO - This needs to be done for each post

Step 1) Go to post and get to the Facebook preview popup.

Step 2) Right click the blue text title, and select copy link.

Step 3) Click in the comment window and paste that link in, then post.

Step 4) If the post works fine, it's just a second link. If the post is BLANK, that link will still be clickable and get you your stuff!

Workaround Two

Step 1) Get to the Facebook window posting stage.

Step 2) Right Click and select Reload Frame.

Step 3) If it looks normal, post it. If it's blank, repeat step 1.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Blank Posts - All the info we have...

[Please Note: We will attempt to update this post when we know anything new.]

UPDATE 3: 13/08/14 - They're still pushing, the second workaround that's come to light pretty much blows any suggestion it might be Zynga out the water so at least we can all finally get down to actually kicking Facebook.

Last I heard one of the top guys in the team was going to be discussing things in person with the department in Z that deals with Facebook when he was in San Fran if things hadn't improved, which they obviously haven't. That's on top of the fact the devs themselves have been pushing their side of things with that part of FB.

On top of that there was talk of being able to possibly circumvent that section of Facebook or access it in a different way, although that might mean a fairly intensive platform alteration.

Obviously we can use the fix-it bandaid on the Zynga Support side of things but all that does is give them numbers to give to FB, we can also use the "Report a Problem" bit in Facebook itself although I don't know how useful it'll be.

It is trouble, it is annoying and it has been going on far too long, but I guess the problem is while a few games are having it (it's not just PT) it's a small percentage, and while PT having issues is huge for the team and big for Zynga as a whole, it's just one of thousands of apps for Facebook.

UPDATE 2: 07/08/14 -
PLEASE NOTE: We have a workaround HERE if you use Adblock Plus.

UPDATE: 07/08/14 - Just a small update. Zynga are still pushing FB for a fix, the general cause has been tracked down on FB's end but now the problem is having to find the cause for that cause... Think of it like having a broken nose, you may know someone hit you, but you still need to find out who... and why.

Zynga are also looking if there's any technical things on their end that would bypass the section of Facebook that is causing the problem. It may not be feasible however, we have to remember whole sections of the game rely on fitting in to Facebook's framework.

It is not being forgotten, it will not continue indefinitely, and right now the team at PT are nearing simply invading FB HQ with some pitchforks and torches and staging a coup... which if it happens, we'll be sure to get pictures...

I know what's most frustrating about game issues might be when you're feeling like you do0n't know what's going on or aren't really in the loop regarding it.

So, with blank posts being such an issue we thought it might be good to collect all the information we know into one post, to give you as much data as we can. Some of this might be techy, but we'll look to make the whole explanation as simple as possible.


This is a simple enough point as I'm sure we've all experienced them by now. Some game posts, when published are showing up minus the box of game info containing the clickable stuff.

That's the part we all know.


When it happens varies wildly, it's not specific posts all the time, it's not certain times of day, it does appear worse if you hurry through posting but even that doesn't tally up elsewhere, including with what appears to be the issue. This is truly a random variable.


OK, so now we get down to brass tacks... why is this even happening?

The simple answer is... Facebook is forgetting it's a game post and instead it's posting as a status, breaking it.

If you're nerdy like me you can even see it clear in front of your face in the page code. Each post on our timeline comes with a series of little identifiers, and one of those tells the site what type of post it is. A healthy post is labelled as a "PlatformAppUserActionUnit" or in other words, a game post. A broken post is a "StatusMessageUnit" or, in short, a status.

All the different types of post in Facebook have a different way of being put together. A status is "built" one way, a photo another, a game post another way entirely, so as Facebook is posting them as a status, we then lose all the game info that a status not only doesn't have, but CAN'T have, there's nowhere for it to go.

We can see on these two posts the difference, one is a working game post and the other is a broken post, both for the same item, Basic Coordination.

The highlighted stuff on the left are sections that ONLY appear in a game post, so is thrown out by Facebook when it posts a status instead. As you can see the text is still there (even if it is just a full stop) so SOMETHING carried over, just not the bits Facebook thinks it didn't need.

Think of it like packing a suitcase, if you're going to Siberia you probably won't include the bikini, if you're going to the Seychelles you might leave the snowshoes at home.


So, whose IT department need to be rushing around... well, to work that part out we need to look at how posting actually works, it seems simple but it's four steps that are spread between a pair of different companies.

Step 1 - We click the post button in the game.

Step 2 - We then confirm the posting via the popup window.

Step 3 - This then hands over to Facebook and gives us the preview window where we can select privacy and write a comment.

Step 4 - Hopefully posting...

Where these posts are breaking is between step 3 and 4. At step 3 the game has handed over all the info Facebook needs and FB knows what it should look like, it knows it's a game post and everything is hunky dory... but before it reaches step 4, Facebook has lost all of that.

That's not to say everyone isn't working together. We're collecting info, Zynga are collecting info, and then Facebook is getting all that info.

What now?

We keep everything crossed, and keep collecting as much stuff as we can and forwarding on.

We do at least seem to know the very basic level of why it's happening, but now it's a case of why is THAT happening... and that's how it'll get fixed, you keep finding signposts that point you to somewhere else until finally there's no more signposts, just a big "You Are Here" arrow hovering over the main cause.

As you can hopefully imagine reading that, it's not as simple as some may think, it's not one single thing that's a button press or a misplaced comma away from being perfect, so it'll take work, but work IS happening, every day and as a priority.

It WILL get fixed, and hopefully it will be soon.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Dance Hall Building Guide

Fanny's getting her dancing shoes on and bringing the other Frontier ladies with her so you know what that means...

We have to build her a Dance Hall, because she demands the very best!

What it means for us is a standard four step building setup with the usual mix of requests, crafting and, of course a set of Homestead drops to get her Hall up and running.

Stage One

9 Oaken Bars - Oak Trees
10 Foundation Blocks - Direct Request
12 Hall Chandeliers - Wall Post
10 Metal Bar Stools - Compost Piles
10 Tinted Windows - Direct Request
12 Classy Artwork - Wall Post

Stage Two

12 Rouge - Red Clover
12 Petticoats - Wall Post
8 Dance Hall Stage - Crafted
14 False Fingernails - Marshmallow
16 Fancy Garters - Direct Request
8 Dance Hall Floors - Crafted

Each Stage requires 5 Pine Slabs (Pine Trees) and 8 Iron Supports (Wall Post)

Each Floor requires 6 Wood Wax (Worm Nest) and 7 Well Sanded Floors (Direct Request)

Stage Three

21 Red Lipstick - Radish
18 Feathered Fans - Wall Post
9 Feathered Hats - Crafted
16 High Heeled Boots - Hide Prepping Stations
15 Fishnet Stockings - Direct Request
10 Dancing Dresses - Crafted

Each Hat requires 7 Fluffy Feathers (Birds of Paradise) and 8 Felt Caps (Direct Request)

Each Dress requires 6 Metal Ribs (Tin Forge), 10 Shiny Silk (Wall Post) and 5 Dancing Corsets (Direct Request)

Stage Four

16 Travelling Bands - Direct Request
20 Pianola - Wall Post
12 Stage Light Displays - Crafted
18 Red Carpets - Red Pineapple
18 Backup Dancers - Wall Post
12 Orchestra Pits - Crafted

Each Display requires 6 Iron Piping (Silversword), 9 Precise Welding (Wall Post) and 5 Coloured Spotlights (Direct Request)

Each Pit requires 9 Brass Instruments (Brass Forge), 9 Folksy Musicians (Direct Request) and 5 Funky Bassists (Wall Post)