Interview: Pepeshka from Booze Quest

Booze Quest was the winner of the Browser-Based Game Zone PBBG contest, and one of the prizes that Building Browsergames put up for the winner was an interview. I got in touch with Pepeshka, the developer of Booze Quest, and managed to ask a few questions:

  1. What first got you into browsergame/PBBG development?

    I’ve been interested in game development as far back as I can remember; it’s been the only career that I’ve ever considered, to be honest. All of my projects in the past have been small, but now I wanted to write something which could reach a wider audience. When you consider technologies for delivering a multiplayer game, browser-based games shine. Everyone has a web browser, there’s no downloading required, the tools are powerful and the process is well established.

  2. What made you choose ASP.Net as a platform for Booze Quest?

    I chose ASP.NET because I have experience in C#, which is the codebehind language I use for my pages. I’m also a big C# fan; I think object-oriented languages speed the development process and result in more stable code. I understand that the newer versions of PHP are OO, but I was already going to have to learn HTML, MSSQL etc. to produce this game so I decided not to add PHP on top of everything else.

  3. What was your most significant challenge?

    Time, easily. Time was a huge weight on my back the whole time – I had two months, during which I had to produce projects for school and survive finals. It was tough to find the hours to squeeze into the project, and I ended up having to make some hard cuts before the deadline.

  4. What was the least significant challenge?

    My game uses a tile-based system for drawing the player’s bar and letting him or her interact with it. Coming into the project I had no idea how I was going to implement that in HTML, but the first system I tried worked beautifully. I never had to scrap any code, and the entire system was done in a few days.

  5. What did you spend too much time on?

    Art ate a surprising amount of time. I also used much more time than I thought I would on bugs – both finding and fixing them. Finally, I didn’t do my homework on hosting policies, and ended up surprised when all my database code broke after purchasing a shared hosting account – that was two solid, depressing days of rewriting code.

  6. How much are you paying for Booze Quest?

    Well, I use shared hosting, which runs about $12 a month if you throw in the domain name and all. I don’t mind footing the bill at this point.

  7. With a time constraint on the development of your game, was there anything you meant to build but had to cut to finish on time?

    Plenty, in fact entire portions of the game play had to be scrapped. Initially, I wanted to make each player’s bar two-story – a bar on the first level and an inn on the second level. Adventurers would rent the bedrooms overnight and provide a secondary source of income for the player. I was about a month away from the deadline when I realized there was no way I was going to be able to write the code and draw all the bedrooms for an inn before the deadline, so out it went. To be honest, once I yanked the inn I realized it was just unnecessary complication and probably didn’t need to be in the game in the first place; I have no plans to implement it in the future.

    What hurt was cutting the player-versus-player combat system before the deadline. Booze Quest is intended to be a player versus player oriented game, and it was a really hard call to not include PvP by the contest deadline.

  8. What are your thoughts on the fact that Booze Quest won the PBBG contest? Were you surprised?

    I had a cautious optimism after viewing the other entries in the contest. Tygras had some phenomenal art, Cubicle Battles was unique and made me laugh and Pirates Glory had some awesome game play elements – really all the other entries were top notch. I’m very pleased that I won, but I’m more thrilled that the contest succeeded in getting some awesome new games out on the internet. (I was also secretly rooting for Cubicle Battles. Shhh, don’t tell anybody.)

  9. What plans do you have for booze quest, going into the future?

    I intend to continue actively developing Booze Quest! I’m working on a patch for the more serious issues my players have been bringing to my attention, and then I’m on to getting PvP into the game. Booze Quest will stay my active side project for some time to come.

  10. Do you have anything to say to budding browsergame developers?

    For all game developers, I’d say “write down every idea that comes to mind, no matter how silly”. Booze Quest spent about six months as a half-page of scrawl before I fleshed it out for the competition. You never know which of your ideas will mature.

If you want to try out Booze Quest, you can visit http://npcrpg.info.

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Luke is the primary editor of Building Browsergames, and has written a large portion of the articles that you read here. He generally has no idea what to say when asked to write about himself in the third person.

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Monday, January 26th, 2009 interview
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Building Browsergames is a blog about browsergames(also known as PBBG's). It's geared towards the beginner to intermediate developer who has an interest in building their own browsergame.

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