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Dued1 Reignites the Oven at Work at a Pizza Place

September 18, 2014

by JacksSmirkingRevenge


We’ve written about Work at a Pizza Place before, but we decided to revisit the game after its recent meteoric rise from moderately popular to a super-smash-hit ROBLOX title. Why? Dued1 dramatically revamped his long-running fan favorite with a slew of updates that have since turned it into the most popular game on ROBLOX, even hosting more than 12,000 concurrent players in the last week — a mark that would land it in the top 25 games on Steam. We had to get a hold of the 22-year-old college student and ROBLOX developer to hear his story. He had already figured out how to make a popular game. How did he make it even bigger? 

Lighting updates make WAAP look so much better.

Lighting and skybox updates give WAAPP a fresh look and new sense of atmosphere.

“I noticed earlier on that people were having trouble learning how to play my game,” he tells me during our interview. “The game just wasn’t making a solid impression on new players. Players that stuck around always ended up enjoying the experience, so I figured I needed to get rid of that [first-time player] barrier completely.”

He goes on to explain that, prior to this revamp, he had never “polished” a game and doing so was a new and exciting experience. He discovered that paying attention to all the small details is the absolute key to polishing. You can see this in the new version of Work at a Pizza Place when you first join the game. Rather than plunking you directly into the game, Dued1 lets you cycle between the different locations and playable roles, and spectate people who are already playing. Once you join the game and assume a role, it’s much easier to perform the tasks associated with it — dynamic and responsive arrows provide clear direction, and tweaks to the gameplay make it much easier to carry out actions.

Paying attention to all the small details is the absolute key to polishing.

On top of that, you can now add a backyard to your house. There are new sound effects. New vehicles. A massive beach. New GUI interfaces. A greater variance in seasons. New furniture. And everything comes together to just work. It’s since become the top earning and top visited place on ROBLOX, again.

You can actually watch people do the job you'd like to take when you first enter!

You can actually watch people do the job you’d like to take when you first enter!

“I paid more attention to detail than I ever have before,” he says. “The foundation of the game was solid, but now it’s much more polished. I spent a ton of time perfecting the lighting and the skyboxes, for example.”

His last example is glaringly obvious when you play the game, and it adds a variance that feels refreshing. Not only does the time of day and night change, but the seasons change as well. Expect snow, orange and brown leaves, glaring heat and blinding sun — different shades of time as the day progresses.

“I wanted to make the outside look beautiful, and the inside (the factory) to be run down and industrial,” he tells me.

It’s never been easier to make, distribute, package, or deliver pizza in a 3D game — and you can see that in the game as players are actually doing their jobs and working cooperatively to run a pizza place and make money. Dued1 has been using the Developer Exchange program to benefit from his success and supplement his education, and as motivation to keep updating his title.

“If it wasn’t for DevEx I wouldn’t have motivation to make all these updates,” he tells me. “I’ve always wanted to add furniture to the Pizza Place but I didn’t because it would simply take months to do. I wouldn’t spend more than two weeks on a feature until DevEx came out.”

If it wasn’t for DevEx I wouldn’t have motivation to make all these updates. -Dued1

We often say one of the purposes of DevEx is to encourage higher-quality content. Well, there you have it.

He goes on to tell me that he’s currently entering his fourth year of college, where he’s working toward a major in computer science. In fact, much of our interview was conducted between his class sessions — his hectic schedule made scheduling more challenging than normal. And even as busy as he is, updating his ROBLOX title has become a pivotal priority.

This is the kind of story we love to tell — Dued1 is thriving, pursuing a degree, and making a living off of building ROBLOX games. It’s yet another example of just how far ROBLOX game developers can go.