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James aka Atomic of Pirates Online
By: Charles Rector | Game Data | 2:48am, July 22, 2007
Codemasters Generic UK Eshop Pop up
Following is an interview that was done with the scurvy cutthroat sea dog named James aka Atomic
who runs Pirates Online:

OMGN: Let's start with a self-introduction of yourself.

Hello my name is James and I go by the Username of Atomic. I live in the UK and I’m in my 30’s.

OMGN: Were you fascinated with pirates as a youngster?  If so,
could you provide any details?

Where I live we have a river close to home and I had a boat we found (half sunk and missing)
and we used to row it up and down the river until someone stole it (or the tide took it).
Also small games about being a pirate was also played as I’m guessing most kids play.

OMGN: What was your experience as a gamer before Pirates?

8 years ago (approximately) there was a game called Cashwars. I loved that game
as many other people did until it went up for sale and someone kept all the money
 instead of buying it for a Board of Directors. If Cashwars had gone to a trustworthy
person then I think it would still be online now. Currently I play a game called
 Everquest from Sony online entertainment.

OMGN: Are you the creator of Pirates? If so, what was your inspiration/motivation for
creating the game?

I am the creator of Pirates and Cashwars was the main inspiration for Pirates.

OMGN: Is Pirates based/inspired on any BBS games? If so, which game(s)?

See above question/answer.

OMGN: Why was Pirates created as a browser-based game instead of say, a downloadable program game?

Stick to what you know was my method. ASP has many good points and there is a BOT for
 Pirates for people that want the downloadable type of gameplay.

OMGN: Why was the decision made to create a pirates game when there were already many
 games in that subgenre?

Back 7 years ago when Pirates was created there wasn’t many games out there and I had never
 seen a single one that was a Pirate theme.

OMGN: In what ways has running a game enhanced your gaming enjoyment?

Its more of a hobby I’d say when you create, program, run a game. I don’t really
play other games myself.

OMGN: Running a game is often a labor of love as opposed to being a money maker.
 How active is Pirates's community in helping to promote the game, creating fan sites
for the game, making good suggestions for new features and ways to operate the game
 or other help with the game?

Many of the players contact me via ingame messages or our forum or direct using email or msn
regarding improvements or ideas that may get a chance to be in the game. 1 EX player
(got banned for harassing admins) says he’s cloning Pirates so he can play and have
other people play “his” version. Would that be classed as a fan site? Apart from that
I don’t think anyone has a site about my game. I introduced a forum a few months
 ago for people to talk about Pirates as some people had suggested.

OMGN: How much influence has Pirates had on other games?

I do know that one game was made a few years ago similar to Pirates theme
 from a player who played my game. So it has influenced at least one game.

OMGN: Later this year, two well financed game projects, Pirates of the Burning Sea
and Pirates of the Caribbean Online will become full fledged games.
  How well do you expect to do against this new competition?

I would say games that get released by top companies aren’t in the same league as Pirate
s so I don’t think there will be any impact on my player count.

OMGN: What has the response to Pirates been like?

I’d say Pirates has had a positive response, for example a game that can last 7 years
 and still be online and have new features added to bring back old and new players can’t be wrong.

OMGN: Some say that Pirates is just another browser-based game. How do you respond?

Pirate’s does have some unique features plus it has many features that some games may have
 1 or 2 special features. I’ve not seen myself a game that has a casino with auctions and
tasks/missions all in one game among other features too. So it’s not just another browser-based
game. Also there is a Bot that’s available to use if you haven’t got the time to play manually.

OMGN: There are some who believe that innovation has disappeared from online gaming.

In what ways does Pirates break the mold?

New features are added to the game to keep it fresh and interesting. One example would be
 the Lottery/Casino I added a few months ago. Also the Task system was a big addition to
the game about 6 months ago.

OMGN: How many play Pirates?

Highest on record was 64 players in 1 day. Average is about 10 players online at
 anytime (highest on record was 24) Total active players this round is 114
(round started 15th june).

OMGN: What is the maximum number of players that Pirates can handle?

Good question and if the players don’t all come over night I don’t think there would
 be a max. An example of this would be back 6 years ago the game was hosted
 on a brinkster account so it had a max bandwidth it could use. Within 30 minutes
 it hit the max and it did that for a few days so I moved it to a better server.
 So if the player count gradually increased all I would do is either change the
code or move to a dedicated server, whatever was the problem.

OMGN: What do you think that the future holds for browser-based games?

I was reading an article the other day and it seems like browser-based games are going to get
big and companies like Sony are going to invest in them. So I’d say the future looks good for
 browser-based games.

OMGN: If you could go back in time and start all over, what would you do differently?

Hard question simply because I’m happy with the way the game is.

OMGN: Where do you see Pirates a year from now?

More players and more features

OMGN: Finally, would you like to add anything?

Thank you for the time to play and find questions about Pirates as many of the questions you have asked means you had to actually know what Pirates has to offer.

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