Juddster, was the co-owner of Cyopets.com, and Frank was the owner. Cyopets was shut down in late 2008 or early 2009, and was being developed back in 2007.
This interview was done when Cyopets was still around.
Hello Juddster, everyone knows you around the industry as "Juddster" and the co-owner of Cyopets.com, could you tell us more about yourself?
My real name is Andrew and juddster came from a nickname that all of my friends randomly decided to make up for me.
1: How old were you when you started developing Cyopets?
I was 19 when I started developing Cyopets and I am now 20 andstill building it up as strong as possible.
2: What makes Cyopets different from the "other" virtual pet games out today?
Cyopets is different from the "other" virtual pet games out today because we are keeping our user count low in order to get what all the users want in the virtual pet community. As well as we have added unique twists which I have yet to see on other pet sites (i.e. pets dying from starvation instead of just saying their status is dying).
3: How long have you been a php programmer?
I have been programming in PHP for just less than a year now (started in January of this year) but despite my lack of experience in coding in PHP I have over 7 years of programming in about 7 other languages (so well versed in the programming industry).
4: What should we expect from Cyopets in the future?
Expect many twists from Cyopets in the future (first one started with not being able to select the gender of your pet and then not being able to pound your pet was the next and so on). I am currently playing around with an engine that I have never seen used before for a battle system so look forward for that (I don't know how long it will take to develop though).
5: Where do you see Cyopets in 5 years from now?
I see Cyopets (hopefully) as a fairly successful virtual pet site with stuff that everyone can relate to and suits everyone's specific desires for what is in a pet site.
6: What made you come up with the idea of "cyopets"?
Actually, I didn't come up with the idea, I was recruited by the owner and asked to apply for the programming role and then it all kind of unraveled from there.
7: Do you handle all the hiring and firing of new staff members?
I put in requests to hire/fire staff members which can be overruled by Frank and then we talk among the higher level staff and come up with a decision, but most of the hiring of the coders (haven't hired any yet) always have to go through me directly.
8: If you could tell an upcoming virtual pet site owner one thing, what would it be and why?
Stick with one coder, as long as they are good they will produce code that interacts well with the other aspects of the site and the coding style will all be the same and it will just generally be easier to understand. Oh ya, and comment your code because nobody is perfect and you will forget stuff!
9: If you could change one thing about Cyopets, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about Cyopets I would have to say I would prefer to have fewer members at the present time because with a large number of members if one thing goes down they may harass you for hours on end on it.
10: If you could change the virtual pet industry in one way, how would you do it?
I would try to make the staff members more accessible and get them to treat every member with the respect they deserve and attempt to eliminate the auto-responses that soem sites have generated because they have too many members to deal with.
11: Did the idea of creating Cyopets come from the biggest virtual pet site on the web, also; known to most users as "Neopets.com"?
I personally have no idea where the idea came from as I said I was recruited and got accepted.
12: How old is Cyopets now? When did development begin on Cyopets?
Cyopets will be a year old in January I believe (I wasn't there for the entire time when it was just an idea).
13: Can you tell us one thing about yourself that most people don't know?
Hmm...one thing that most people don't know...well most people on Cyopets don't know that I am a huge Star Trek fan and I'm proud of it!
14: What inspired you to create Cyopets?
I started creating Cyopets in order to boost my PHP skills and now I find myself addicted to adding more and more to it.
15: Did you come up with the concept of Cyopets?
I would love to say that I came up with the idea of Cyopets but that would be a lie. I came in around March of this year and started coding so some of them have been but most were already discussed and approved before I arrived.
16: If a ton of users decided to scam, and cheat, Cyopets, what steps would be taken to ensure to the security of the Cyopets' users?
We would start by warning (5 warnings = ban)/banning the users based on their offense as well as possibly punish them by removing the 'bonuses' that they got from the scam/cheat. Then I would find out where/how this cheat/scam came to start to see if it was an actual abuse of a glitch or what not and then deal with it from there.
17: How many servers does Cyopets currently run on?
Currently we are not on a dedicated server but I was informed yesterday that as of next month we will be moving to one. Therefore to answer your question, one.
18: Could you tell us one thing about Frank?
About Frank...hmm...he loves interacting with everyone in order to keep people happy...basically a really friendly guy!
19: How many artists does Cyopets currently have?
We currently have around 9 artists but some are more active than others and so we are in the midst of eliminating inactive staff members.
20: Thanks for the interview. As a final question, tell us something that has proven to you as a life long lesson that you've learnt from Cyopets.
No matter what you do, if you put your mind to it you can do it! Proven through my lack of experience with PHP before starting and now the users love what I'm making.
@judda @Xylene @TheWizard @Gabby