We managed to get a hold of Mike to do a Q&A about GN!
Q: What inspired you to make GN?
A: I created Gangster Nation after seeing people play similar games in school. I was getting into web development at the time so this seemed like a fun project to work on.
Q: How old were you when you made it?
A: I was 14 at the time. I created the game around 2004-2005 and it went online January 2005.
Q: When you made GN what vision did you have for it?
A: I don't think I had much vision at all. I was just having fun - learning web development and listening to the feedback early players gave me. In fact at one point in early 2005 I essentially copied and pasted the design of a similar online game (one of the few still standing today!) before quickly realising that was a lame thing to do.
Q: How do you feel about GN nowadays?
A: I love GN as always. I think the game is better than ever. Some people talk about the "good old days" - I think it's only natural to feel nostalgic about past times, especially given how many years some people have played the game but that doesn't mean the game hasn't advanced. The game is more unique and fun than ever in my honest opinion, there are various 'features within features' these days such as prison busting streaks. I love the fact that there's now a full featured mobile version too, it's interesting to see desktop usage decline each month while mobile usage increases - there's definitely more work due to make the mobile experience better though.
Q: Do you have any other games you've made?
A: Before Gangster Nation I had a little project called "Road Rage UK", a daft name but I wanted to create a game around the idea of street racing (The Fast and the Furious inspired). After Gangster Nation there was Criminal Force which had a bit of interest and was re-released a few times before the last version was passed to a new owner (a Gangster Nation player in fact). Other than that, there was a game called Theme Park Manager - this was in development for many years (off and on) but unfortunately never came to fruition. So today, and for the foreseeable future, it's just Gangster Nation!
Q: Any spoilers for new features?
A: No spoilers. I don't usually share info on future updates these days incase plans change, I don't want to disappoint anyone ? Hoping to have time for a good sprint on updates soon!
Q: Any other comments?
A: I'd just like to say a big THANKS to the community for making Gangster Nation a fun and vibrant place to be! The game wouldn't be here without the community and I know loads of you have been around for many years too which is awesome ?