So, I sat down the other night with man in the Green Hoodie. Our very own, Butchie Gweyno. We mostly talked about the history of this place we all know and love.. or at least, are obsessed with and addicted too.
Betwyn Mawr: So tell me Butchie, when did you start this world for us, and why?
The game has been around since January 2005, so just over 12 years now. I was 14, there were a couple of similar games which were popular in school at the time. I already had an interest in web development so I decided to create my own browser game, mostly learning as I went along.
BM: How/why did you use the name Butchie Gwenyo?
The name was based on the family dog, his name was Butch.
BM: What was the most memorable request you ever had and why? What request do you get the most?
Uhhh I don't really have a memorable request, sorry! Nothing really stands out, I've dealt with many thousands of Help Requests over the years and these days deal with around 30/day, so I tend to fire through them as quickly as possible. You do get the odd crazy person but nothing stands out.
Usually just questions about how different things work, followed up by complaints about other players.
Interestingly many people don't use Help Requests and prefer to take guesses at how things work. We've seen loads of myths over the years, e.g. "if you're in prison when your bank robbery completes, it fails" (not true). So if anyone has a question about the game, just ask!
BM: What did you spend the first money you made from Credits on?
Server costs! The cost of running the game was a struggle as a teenager with no funds, in the first few months the server would frequently overload causing the game to go offline. That's when I started asking for donations, before later deciding to offer credits to support the overall running and development of the game long term.
BM: Have you ever thought of making a different style of game?
Yup, in the past there has been a few.
Before GN was "Road Rage" which wasn't successful.
I made a game called "Criminal Force" which was somewhat successful at its peak, it has since been passed onto someone else.
I also worked for many years on a game called Theme Park Manager. This was really different to Gangster Nation in that it was quite visual, being based around a map of your theme park. However this was shelved a couple of years ago because it was just too big of a project for two people to tackle and we had other things to get on with in our lives!
No plans to make any further games in future, just ensure Gangster Nation continues to be the best text based gangster game out there :-)
BM: What have you been doing lately?
Working on Top Secret GN projects for the new round.
BM: Any inside info you'd like to share on the upcoming changes?
There's going to be a new style of Vehicle Theft to address various problems with the existing one. This is actually fully developed right now and ready to go into BETA soon. This will run alongside the existing Vehicle Theft until players have had a chance to test it out fully, we've gathered feedback and made any changes necessary.
There are also plans for Driving Training and Race Track features (car racing is one of the top requests) hopefully to follow shortly after the new Vehicle Theft. There may be some other changes before the new round too such as adding the fixed success chance / payout to Delivery Heist, this has been successful in removing the confusion around Bank Robberies.
BM: Thank you for your time Butchie, is there anything you want the playing community to know?
Stating the obvious: if it wasn't for the community, there wouldn't be a GN. It's all about the community, so thanks to EVERYONE who plays and I'm just really glad you're all still enjoying Gangster Nation 12 years on from its original creation!