Thursday, July 26, 2007

OMG a interview with greg!

Its the first ever insider interview here on COCAK and we've got tons of info for the readers. Lets take a look here

FRAGM3NT and I have interviewed the community manager of Kongregate, the mysterious Greg himself!

Question: hey, I was wondering if you would mind if fragm3nt and I created a blog post series where we interview staff about upcoming things and features and what not, that way you dont have a million diffrent people asking you the same question or have to type a reply to several diffrent threads.

Answer: Haha, sure.

Q: sweet, he says hi btw

A: I say hi back.

Q: So for the first one, What is Kongregate's current developmental goal?

A: Well, aside from boring bug fixes, right now, the biggest development goal is getting the metagame out. It was due for release in May at one point...

Q: What kind of things set you back, as far as getting the game out is concerned?

A: Well, I'm not directly involved with the programming, but I don't think there have been any real "setbacks." I think it's more that we underestimated the tremendous amount of work that would be required for every single aspect of the game. The user interface, for example, was in development for months. The challenge cards have a ton of information that's not being displayed at all yet, so it was a big challenge to strike a balance between showing necessary information and not overwhelming the user. We're still trying to figure out an ideal matchmaking system, too.

Q: Have you personally had a chance to try it out?

A: No, not yet. I really want to, but the current version is pretty rough. Instead, I've just compulsively studied the character stats and daydreamed about possible decks. The cards have so many different strengths and weaknesses against each other that I think just the deck-building could be pretty fun.

Q: So on another note, is there going to be any more features implemented in Kongregate i.e a pm system?

A: Yeah, the site itself still has a lot of featured lined up. The PM system is an obvious one we're lacking, along with multiple authors and credits for games. We're still brainstorming possible rewards for points and levels, too.

Q: Sort of like buying things for ones profile in exchange for points/levels?

A: Well, levels won't be traded away, as they'll be based on all-time points earned. But points will be exchanged for something -- whether that's promotional prizes or unlocking features on the site, we haven't quite decided.

Q: sounds interesting, so are there any more improvements to Kongregate that might entice a developer to come to the site, other than money per play of course?

A: We have more APIs coming, mostly for multiplayer features. The other big thing is going to be microtransactions. I know that players' gut reaction to hearing "microtransactions" is going to be "DO NOT WANT," but the reality is that Flash has mostly been used as an entry point for progammers to move on to console games or $20 downloadables in the past. We want to offer developers a way to continue developing in Flash, make a living off it, and keep the full rights to their intellectual property. By developing "premium web games," developers on Kongregate will have the option to charge a few bucks for players to unlock full versions of games. This will be handled through a wallet system on Kongregate. From the player's perspective, this will be like a cheaper, easier way of purchasing a game with quality along the lines of a downloadable. The site itself and the vast majority of games will remain free, though -- the premium web games will be purely supplemental to Kongregate as it is now.

Q: Hmm can't wait, but through that all I found one word that many people want an elaboration on... multiplayer.. does this mean we can look forward to many more multiplayer games on kongregate?

A: Hopefully. Obviously the development of multiplayer games is purely up to developers, but it can be pretty complicated (both technically and logistically) right now, which is why we don't see a ton of them. It's already possible to upload multiplayer games onto Kongregate, but we're developing APIs to make multiplayer a lot easier and more convenient for developers. We're also developing a custom level editor API with which players can create custom levels and share them with others, assuming that the games themselves support this feature. Hopefully developers will take advantage of that one once it's out.

Q: So on the social end of Kongregate, will there ever be contests such as the castlewars tournament that will be more mainstream? also whats going to happen with the facebook app?

A: User-created tournaments are pretty awesome, and I'm happy to offer points for people to give away as prizes (assuming we don't get too many going on at once). If they're popular enough, I could even make news posts about them (does anyone even read those things?). I don't know if I'll ever have time to organize them personally, though -- I already have my hands pretty full with achievements and other stuff. We've definitely not forgotten about the Facebook app, and we plan to add more stuff to it -- like the ability to challenge your friends to games on Facebook, and Facebook news feeds when you beat a friend's score. Possibly even games directly on Facebook, but we're still exploring that.

Q: Alright some more stuff to look forward to, but yes people do read those things, at least, well we do. I'm sure the inclusion of RSS feeds may bump the amount of reads they get. Well Greg its been a nice chat and I think this concludes the first ever COCAK staff interview thank you very much for your time and cooperation.

A: To you as well! The pain has been quite minimal.


Ben said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Emily said...

Greg, you're famous! But get back to the salt mines now you've finished your interview. Ahem, I mean moderating Digg Mark 1.

JudeMaverick said...

Yay! Greg is now famous!

Alex said...

Yes! :D Multiplayer and Microtransactions, my two favorite things of all! :) I'll be looking forward to those.


Anonymous said...

FU Greg

-just for Ben