Occam’s Razor and Longevity in McVideogame

Earlier this semester I became a little addicted to playing McVideogame and trying to figure out how to last the longest as you can’t really win the game.

It got to the point where I rewarded myself for doing homework by playing McVideogame. I was trying a variety of options, seeing which combination helped me keep the business running for the longest. And I think I was pretty successful.

Twitter record of previous McVideogame successes
Twitter record of previous McVideogame successes

But I started to wonder if anyone had found a proven method for doing well at this game. I ended up running across this article, which has you do a very small amount of things and then just let the game run without doing anything else. You have two pastures with one cow each, a pasture of soy, you inject steroids in the fodder, you have one burger maker and one cashier, and you corrupt the politician. That’s it. It seems like it wouldn’t work, but oddly enough it was a pretty successful approach.

I’ve unofficially dubbed it the Occam’s Razor approach as it’s the simplest set-up of any of the ones that I’ve tried.

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 8.59.13 PM
Pasture Set-up

One of the most surprising outcomes was that I was actually earning money and the guys in suits weren’t jumping and yelling at me to do more. They seemed perfectly content for a very long time. Normally, no matter what I did they would always be demanding more. It was interesting that the time I chose to do so little was when they were the most satisfied.

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 9.01.22 PM
The suits are happy

Best of all, I just let this game run in the background while I did other things. While it didn’t beat my best (2026), it came pretty close (2024) for doing so much less than I usually do while playing the game.

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 9.19.13 PM
Game ended in November 2024

This makes me wonder if maybe there are other games that we are over-thinking. As players, we can spend a lot of time figuring out what strategies work best for us in various games. I know that when I play the sims, I have chains of actions for my sims to do that seem the most efficient. I wonder if there are more combat oriented games that could benefit from an Occam’s Razor approach?

Or maybe this approach is specific to McVideogame and is part of the rhetoric surrounding it. Maybe success isn’t about a multitude of well strategized corruptions, but about a few choice corruptions in the beginning to get things rolling. Maybe bigger isn’t better–you don’t need oodles of pastures in use or lots of cashiers. Maybe you don’t need to do a lot of promotional stuff and can just let the people come in good time.

I don’t know if this Occam’s Razor approach gives us any more answers as much as it does questions, but I think that also just shows how McVideogame is more complex than how it initially appears to be.

 

  1 comment for “Occam’s Razor and Longevity in McVideogame

  1. noahdking
    July 24, 2015 at 11:39 am

    What an intriguing article and what an appropriate title. While more complex and time intensive methods may ultimately get you further, a simpler method that uses only the most basic resources will reach a similar end with a fraction of the effort. I wasn’t quite as taken with this game, but it’s not really my style anyways. You’re article added a fantastic question, and I started to think about it, does the Occam’s Razor approach apply to other genres of game? RPG, FPS, platformers, etc.? I didn’t personally apply it but I think the Occam’s Razor method is likely the underlying technique for any speedrun of any game, whether or not the players know this or have given their technique a formal name doesn’t matter, the fundamental principle of a speedrun is, what is the fastest, easiest, most effective way to beat this game in as little time as possible. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the “Twitch plays…” technique which takes in to account so many different routes simultaneously that it takes an unreasonably long amount of time to finish the game, despite the fact that they both have the same end result.

Leave a Reply

css.php