Ask any working professional — you’ve got to start somewhere. As I author this blog post, I remember being 15, getting paid in cash to repair mountain bikes at a small shop in my hometown, while my friends worked as dishwashers at IHOP or pizza makers at the local Pizza Hut. It’s sort of a right of passage — working that first job and learning the value of a hard day’s work for garbage pay.
Work at a Pizza Place by Dued1 replicates this experience, but in a way that is far more fun and unpredictable (and rewarding). It takes place in a small fictional town, populated only with houses of employees and a massive pizza factory, where you can perform numerous tasks to bring the pizza to the people and, of course, earn cash.
The in-game currency can then be used to purchase awesome upgrades to your house — the longer you play, the larger your house becomes, and you can populate it with more and more aesthetic additions like furniture, new floors and cabinets, and custom windows. This game has become a mainstay at the top of the Games page, and has been played over 16 million times. Since WaaPP creator Dued1 will also be at the Kansas City Maker Faire next weekend, we thought now would be a great time to have a chat with the developer.
“The idea for the game came to me when I was working as a grocery store bagger. Being a bag boy showed me the concept of an assembly line — someone would put the food on the shelf, then someone would scan the food, then the bagger gets the food in a bag,” he recalls. “I wanted to recreate that in a game.”
Dued1 went ahead and did just that. In Work at a Pizza Place you can do virtually every job you can imagine within the realm of a pizza profession — work the register and help NPC customers, work in an assembly line as a cook receiving orders and making them correctly, or become a delivery boy and drive boxed pizzas around the neighborhood. When everyone is working their particular job the game is extremely polished and organized. When everyone isn’t doing their job the game is insane, but still fun for different reasons. It’s about a 50/50 split joining this game. You could join a game with an organized workforce, or a game of players running amok wreaking havoc, crashing pizza cars into homes, driving material delivery trucks off cliffs, and breaking machines selling soda.
Dued1 prefers organization, and attributes the structured nature of the gameplay to the game’s huge popularity.
“I had no idea when I made Work at a Pizza Place that people were going to like it so much,” he recalls. “I learned that people love to socialize and work towards a common goal with other people — I think that’s why the game is successful. Everyone has to work together to be successful.”
“I also think adding the ability to let players express themselves through designing their very own house helps too,” he continues. “I knew I had something special when I didn’t update the game for one and a half years, and still had 200 players in the game pretty much at all times.”
Dued1 has resumed updating the game, and will be using the Maker Faire in Kansas City on the weekend of June 28th to showcase new furniture he’s building for the game. He’s going to spend his time in our booth showing off Work at a Pizza Place to a broad community of eager and curious builders and makers. He’s planning on adding a rating system that will allow players to vote on and rate other houses. He’s also utilizing DevEx to pay off his college loans — as a third-year student, he’s almost finished paying for his education.
“I can’t wait to finish paying it off, my mind will be at ease,” he says with a laugh.
What started as a passion project exploded into one of ROBLOX’s biggest and most visited games ever. Just goes to show that you never know what will happen when you unleash your creation to a (sorry for the pun) hungry community of gamers looking for unique experiences. There is no Pizza Simulator out there. It’s not a play on any other game. It’s an original, whacky, unique game experience, fueled by sugar, pepperoni, and ROBLOX. Can I have your order please?