Questions by Mohammed Afzal (MageMoa), Onrpg writer
Answered by BJ Low, founder of Fresbo World.
We of Onrpg are the first ones who were able to interview BJ Low, founder and developer of Fresbo World! We have asked him about the game’s features, the reason of creation and the future of Fresbo World.
Fresbo World is a new, unique game which offers players to experience a new world full of mini-games, items and more! In Fresbo World, you will be able to create your own house, buy furnitures and change the floors and walls! You can even customize your own avatar the way you like! Fresbo is the brand new company which has developed Fresbo World. We’ve given them the opportunity to tell us more about their game!
Onrpg: Could you give us a small introduction of yourself and the company?
BJ Low: Hi, my name is BJ Low. I am the co-founder and developer of the virtual world Fresbo World. Our company, Fresbo, is a young startup started 3 years ago. We have 4 founders and we are fresh graduates from college. We wanted to do something different from our peers and decided to start a company that builds virtual world, and Fresbo World is the first game that we built. Recently our company was awarded a cash grant by MDA to further develop Fresbo World.
Onrpg: Do you see Fresbo World as a multiplayer online game (MOG)?
BJ Low: Yes, of course. It is a virtual world that connects different players together under a single environment. Users can chat, make friends, play mini-games and most importantly, unleash their creativity to others by showing off the different structures that they have built. Our daily peak concurrent users ranges from 500-800 users. Our highest peak concurrent users so far is during a rare item giveaway event, where we hit 1100+ online users.
Onrpg: Why do you think Fresbo World is an appealing game?
BJ Low: The most appealing part of Fresbo World, is in its blueprint assembling aspect, whereby users are suppose to trace the blueprint step by step to build the original structure using the broken down small component parts. Also, it is flash-based and can be played conveniently on the browser without any installation or download.
Onrpg: What was the main reason for creating this game?
BJ Low: During my free time, I like to do hobby modeling kits like planes, ships and robots. In those kits, they will give you a paper blueprint and the small component parts, and you are supposed to assemble them all back up to form the final end structure. So therefore, we decided that it will be cool if we can do the same in a virtual world, making friends that have the same interests in building, and showing off your creations to other players in the world, which you cannot do conveniently in real life.
Onrpg: Fresbo World has been called a copy of Habbo Hotel. How do you think about this?
BJ Low: The thing about Habbo Hotel is that it is so successful that anything that is isometric and can be played in a browser is immediately thought of as a copy of Habbo Hotel. Habbo Hotel is primarily a graphical chat room for teenagers to hang out and make friends. It does have a building aspect whereby users are to decorate their own home using furniture. However, Habbo’s furniture are majority “1-piece”, whereby it is not broken into small component parts, leaving little room for customization by the users.
For Fresbo World, what we are doing is that we are focusing very deeply on the building aspect of the game, allowing them to assemble and build structures using small components, leaving a lot of room for customization to create anything within their imagination. Its concept also similar to Lego, whereby first you will follow the blueprint to build what they want you to build, but after that, you will think out of the box, and then break it all up again and build whatever your imagination and creativity takes you to. However, we think that simple bricks like Lego, and other games like Blockland and Roblox is offering is too restrictive, and the final structure will look similar in style. Therefore, for our small components, we have many different kinds of designs suitable for creating different types of design structures.
If you ask me what is the primary difference between the two, I will say Habbo Hotel is a social networking game, while Fresbo World is a building game. They may look the same, but they are not the same.
Onrpg: What unique features does Fresbo World have?
BJ Low: The primary unique feature is the blueprint assembling feature. For instance, we have this Japanese House that is broken up into 109 component small parts. We then package it up and sold all the parts, together with its virtual blueprint as a virtual crate in the game. When unwrapped and placed, the virtual blueprint will show you step by step how to assemble the Japanese House back to its original form. Users will have to trace each step and assemble it. But then, the real fun part kicks in when you start to think out of the box and try to custom build a design of your own, using back the same component parts.
The other unique feature will be the Pass The Bomb multiplayer mini-game. Pass the bomb is a deceptively fun and challenging game that is easy to learn but hard to master. The objective of the game is to take risks shaking the bomb for points while not detonating it. Up to 10 players can take part in each game of bomb passing mayhem.
Onrpg: Which of these features is your favorite one and why so?
BJ Low: My favorite feature will be the blueprint assembling feature, cause that is what I like to do real life too.
Onrpg: When you get into the game, you will notice that there are a lot of Asian players. Is there a reason for this?
BJ Low: Yes there is indeed. We are very popular in Friendster and majority of Friendster users are from Asia, primarily Philippines. Therefore, as you can see, there is an island in Fresbo World specially for the Philippines players so that they can find each other easily.
Our second largest user base is from the U.S, and right now, we are focusing our efforts to further grow our user base in the U.S market.
Onrpg: Fresbo World offers the possibility of paying with in-game earned points and bought credits. Is there a reason why you can’t buy new faces with points?
BJ Low: We have 2 currencies, one is points which you can earn by playing our mini-games, and the other is credits which you have to buy using cash. For the basic furniture, we are allowing the users to buy with points, but for the more premium items, they have to pay using cash. As for the faces, we think that it is a premium feature to be able to change your face and therefore it is only available to the cash users.
Onrpg: What can we expect in 2009 of Fresbo World?
BJ Low: In 2009, we can expect lots other things in Fresbo World. Just last week, we introduced the roller coaster set and users can build and design their own roller coaster circuit and ride in it. In 2 weeks time, we will introduce a new mini-game which is similar to the Bomberman, but a different version whereby it is multiplayer in a 3D isometric environment, where players can move and bomb in the Z-axis direction. Users can also expect more external environments to hangout and meet people.
Besides that, we are also releasing more types of structures to assemble like space shuttle planes, robots, cable cars. Also we are experimenting how to make the structures more interactive, whereby users can ride in it or move it around after it is assembled.
Onrpg: Will there be a lot of new events?
BJ Low: We have live events every week, whereby our community manager ConnieT will go in and host mini-game tournaments for the players. Each week, the theme is different, and prizes are awarded to the winning players. For example, for this week, there will be an event called “Number Kicks”. It is like a football game where the members of each team will be assigned to a certain number. When their numbers will be called out, both players of the same number will compete with each other to score a goal. We already had a lot of live events since it started October of last year and many more to come.
Also, we have contests on going all the time, ranging from designing the best roller coaster to even designing our logo.
Onrpg: Fresbo World has pretty cute graphics with a lot of colors. What kind of players are you targeting?
BJ Low: Basically, we are targeting all ages. As long they have a sense of creativity, likes to build, and want to make lots of friends, then Fresbo World will be a fun game for them.
Currently, our user base is slanted towards the teenagers, females in their twenties, and housewives. In view of that, keeping the community safe, free of adult-content is also our top priority. We have full-time moderators to ban and punish players that violate those rules.
Onrpg: Fresbo is a pretty new company. Are you going to release any other games in the future?
BJ Low: Basically, we still see a lot of room to grow for Fresbo World. We will be focusing all our efforts into Fresbo World. Any new games that we build in the future, will be found inside Fresbo World instead of making it as a separate standalone game.
Onrpg: Thanks for your time and good luck!