BBGDev: Is Ninja Wars the first BBG that you have developed?
John: Offically NinjaWars is the first web game I have developed. The orginal concept game I started never got very far (Theme of Evil)
BBGDev: How long have you been developing Ninja Wars?
John: I've been developing Ninja Wars since since about mid Feburary.
BBGDev: What is the main concept behind Ninja Wars? What are the main goals of the game?
John: Currently the goal in Ninja Wars to fight for the highest rank, by defeating all the other players, using magic, attacks, and a bit of cleverness.
BBGDev: What was the inspiration behind Nina Wars?
John: After playing such games as Territories 3069 and New Age, I had decided I wanted to write my first real web game. I didn't see many other games based on ninjas short of SamuraiWar. I also have an obsession with all things martial art related.
BBGDev: How long do you think it will take until you are happy to go "gold" with Ninja Wars?
John: I'm heading back into college soon, so I'm sure it will take me longer than expected. I'm hoping perhaps in the next few months with a little help.
BBGDev: What future plans do you have for Ninja Wars? What features are you intending to add?
John: Time permitting I'd love to really add weapons, level management, more magic abilties, and come up with more ways for players to interact (clan mode, possibly for 1.0)
BBGDev: Do you have any other people on your development team?
John: As of today I am still solo, but i've been contact in a few artists, marketters and php developers. Any help from those categories would be greatly appreciated.
BBGDev: Are you finding being an indie developer rewarding?
John: Well its not finanically rewarding yet, heh. On the other hand I am very proud of my work, and seeing people login and play with the system does make me feel I've done a great job.
BBGDev: What databases and languages are you using to develop Ninja Wars?
John: Ninja Wars is made entirely in PHP/MySQL. This is mostly because PHP seems to run well everywhere and both are free, and I'm on a budget.
BBGDev: What other tools (graphics packages, etc) do you use?
John: For NinjaWars all the current work, is in PNG (this might change when I get a new artist), as far as tools go I use Zoner (vector graphics) and a few others but mostly these are on DirectX games I've written. Can I plug my other work? https://www.cosmic-soldier.tk
BBGDev: What other games (video games/bbg's) have influenced your work?
John: Though not directly related, I did play a lot of Tenchu 3 during the development of Ninja Wars. I'm also a big fan of any Star Trek or tactics related game. ( Final Fantasy Tactics, Ogre Battle, Tactics Core, Fallout Tactics, Dynasty Tactics etc....)
BBGDev: What mistakes, if any, have you made in developing Ninja Wars?
John: Lots of typos, not having $ in my variables, forgetting to move a page, mostly little things. Its hard to remember now that the project is so large to catch every detail.
BBGDev: What is your current job?
John: Currently I work for my self doing online contract work though various compaines(software, web, network, secuirty).
BBGDev: Are there any times when you look back and wish you'd chosen a different career?
John: Sometimes I had wish I had gone into a different industry, but I've been a coder since birth it's all I really know. Been on computers since I was 11. Before that all I did was martial arts.
BBGDev: How did you learn programming? self taught? college? courses? books? etc.
John: Most of my skills are self taught. I did go to college, and i'm about to go again to get my second degree. Overall up to this point I've learned a lot doing both.
BBGDev: What do you think is the best way to learn programing?
John: Self teaching is proablly the best way. If you can't get through a simple program on your own , coding massive projects would just be a hassle.
BBGDev: Have you developed any MUD's?
John: I have not developed any MUDs, but I do remember Legend of the Red Dragon back in the BBS days, now that was a MUD.
BBGDev: Have you developed any non BBG (traditional?) games?
John: I have a few on the https://www.cssgames.tk site. These are my more DirectX based games I make.
BBGDev: When did you start being interested in computers? gaming?
John: For computers I was proablly around 10 or 11, games about the same. Anyone remember Battletech the old CGA(4-color) game. I think that was one of my firsts.
BBGDev: What pointers would you give to someone wanting to start out in game development?
John: Map out your ideas clearly, either on the computer or paper. There's nothing worse then having to re-code something because it was not well organized.
BBGDev: What pointers would you give to someone wanting to start their own BBG? Would you recommend it?
John: The biggest advice I could give on BBG's is get a lot of dedicated people to do each section. Trying to do every aspect of it alone can be very time consuming and can slow down game development.
BBGDev: Do you think that developing BBG's is worth the time and effort?
John: I admit at first BBG's didn't look like they would be a good gaming medium, but there is a dedicated community out there of BBG gamers and that makes it all worthwhile.
BBGDev: What is the best bbg you've ever played? (not including Ninja Wars of course ;) )
John: Territories 3069. Just seems to look and feel so nice, very well structured, and seamless. I'd give Xenocide3001 a runner up spot.
BBGDev: Do you currently play any other BBG's?
John: I do play a little bit of Territories, New Age, Xenocide, and usually what ever catches my eyes by the title.
BBGDev: Do you think the current range of BBG's are challenging enough?
John: Yes, many of these games are a lot more challenging, especially the ones that have been around a few years.
BBGDev: Do you think the current range of bbg's are graphically too simple?
John: I would say yes. Most BBG's do not have an abundance of graphics, but then without animations, flash, BBG's tend to rely more on your mind for pictorial representations. I guess the best advantage is low bandwidth for modem users.
BBGDev: What do you look for in a bbg that you want to play?
John: Details, lots of details, I want something so addictive it draws me in, and consumes my time.
BBGDev: Are there any BBG's you've played recently that you've thought "wow! this will be big!"?
John: Very many, a few I mentioned earlier but too many to even count ;)
BBGDev: What do you think the main attraction is with bbg's in general? A community?
John: I'm still fairly new at this but I would say its got a strong community behind it. You really have to have followers to make it in BBG world. Also I would say browser games are a bit easier to manage, they dont require you crazily clicking on the screen or for you to forego working. Good if you have a few minutes in a long work day to put in a few turns.
BBGDev: Have you had to deal with abusive players? if so, how did you handle it?
John: I have not had a single abusive player yet, but Ninja Wars is still in its infancy.
BBGDev: Do you find playing BBG's or developing them, more rewarding?
John: Developing Ninja Wars has been a great challenge to me, but I get the real entertainment from people enjoying my work. It gives a feeling of satisfaction.
BBGDev: What would you say is the best reason to play BBG's?
John: No software to download, play at leisure, you get fragged, and your boss won't yell about the bandwidth your machine is taking up ;