In 2009, we were honored to interview Powerpets's founder, Tony, and he took the time out to answer a few questions that we had for him.
1: What is Powerpets? What makes it unique?
Powerpets is a virtual pet game that has grown to quite a huge size over the past years.
The unique parts about Powerpets compared to other sites in it's category start with the realistic animals, great storyline which is now being transferred to PPTV and the educational content that backs it up.
On top of that, Powerpets is dedicated to support animal shelters and rescues across the world, both financially and marketing wise.
There are many players on the site who help out new players and assist us with keeping the forums clean. It's taken years to build this group and we're proud to have each of them aboard.
Our economy is very stable and we always work to ensure everything on the site is usable and has some functionality within the game, so players don't end up with a bunch of expensive useless junk in their accounts.
2: How old is Powerpets? How's the traffic?
Powerpets was opened up in June 2002. We've experience a slight slowdown in traffic after 2005 but we've kept on working hard and traffic is picking up again significantly. We're gearing up to make 2010 our best year ever.
3: How old were you when development began on PP?
Seven years younger than we are now
4: How do you feel about your competitors, neopets, subeta and Marapets?
We've noticed a significant increase in complaints about Neopets, and the massive amount of advertising on the site isn't helping. If it wasn't for their huge marketing budget, Neopets would be a thing of the past now.
Marapets, very little content development over the last year and the site is drowning in ads. The actual game seems to be dying fast.
Subeta, by their own admittance, is moving towards becoming an avatar based forum.
So as far as competition in the Virtual Pet World goes, there's other sites we would consider much more worthy competitors. We always like to see people who take pride in what they do and continue to develop better pet games, but too many get lost along the way unfortunately.
5: What has been the journey of PP?[meaning vision]
Our journey at this time is to complete our first storyline, which we are now very close to. For those who have been following, due to events in the past, Powerpets lost their skills and intelligence when the flow of Vitara juice stopped. Now players are on a quest to make their pets regain this.
Outside of the storyline, our goals are to become a major force in the support of Animal shelters and rescues across the globe.
6: What should we expect from PP in the upcoming months?
We have many projects ongoing. Kitchens will be completed, allowing player's pets to cook up new dishes. Houses in general will be expanded.
There are some new areas that we will be introducing.
The Powerpets translation project is plugging ahead and we hope to have Powerpets available in at least three additional languages by the end of the year. With the completion of the storyline, we also hope to shift the focus greatly back onto pets.
We've now also reached a point where we will turn our focus more towards making many areas more appealing and expand on the content rather than functionality.
7: Who are your staff members? Any developers?
TheMetal is the only developer, there are a variety of artists and administrators on many levels who contribute significantly to growing the site.
You can check out our current staff page at [url=http://www.powerpets.com/news/staffpage.asp]our staff page[/b]
8: Who designs PP's pages? Who's the mastermind?
TheMetal, though we have gone through many changes to find a layout that works with containing the massive amount of places one can visit in Powerpets.
9: Why is PP coded in ASP and not php/mysql?
ASP is faster and through our ISP we have much better technical support than we could find for any linux based solution. Through proper hardware and coding solutions, we have the ability to run on 10 to 20% of the hardware cost that other sites of our size require.
On top of that, there are very few *hackers* in our business who are knowledgeable about ASP.
Overall, ASP was just a much better solution for us.
10: What would you like to say to an upcoming pet game owner?
Unless you find a good group of people who are dedicated, and you can afford 8+ hours a day, 7 days a week, to develop your game, you might be better off joining an existing site. While the start of a petsite is always encouraging because everything develops fast, you'll never get away from that schedule if you want to keep up with other sites and are likely required to invest more time after a year due to the increased requirements of implementing more interesting features.
Thank you for the interview, http://www.powerpets.com