What is a F.A.Q.?
It means frequently asked questions. It’s a single webpage that I can direct people to for detailed answers to common questions. I also have one for my BBS games here which I sold to another company.
I’ll update it to modify and add questions as needed. (last updated 8/17/2020)
Why did you sell Growtopia in 2017?
I can only speak for myself for all of these answers, but after four years Growtopia had gotten too big. Too many players, not something I’d ever consider a problem before it happened.
While we were able to hire great customer support folks, it was still only Hamumu and myself developing and running the game.
We were stretched too thin. When you’re taking money for a product, you have a responsibility.
The legal responsibility grows proportionally to your player count and how much they’re spending. Too much cash was being spent for us to claim ignorance if something went wrong.
What if a backup failed? What if we screwed up on COPPA compliance? The excuse of “hey, we’re just two people” wouldn’t cut it anymore.
The pressure builds. After four years of running Growtopia I started to have regular nightmares, usually involving backups failing during a rollback or other server problems.
In the end, selling the game meant it could continue to see new features and grow, without us having to become bosses and have employees and all that, things we never wanted.
We got to use the profit from the sale to remain small and happy indies that can work on what we want, when we want.
In my experience that’s extremely rare you get a chance like that so I feel really lucky it worked out.
Would you ever come and work on the game as a real dev?
No. Assuming I was ever asked, I couldn’t accept the job.
Working on an MMO is not something you can do part time, you have to eat and breath it and get woken up by alarms at 3 AM when something breaks.
My life has changed now, less stress and very different kinds of challenges including running a cafe and hotel with Akiko. (Hotel? Well, er, it’s only one (amazing) room, but we are officially licensed as both a restaurant and hotel)
Growtopia is being ruined!
Ok, that’s not really a question but it’s something people say to me sometimes, especially when the server is down.
People tend to remember the positives of history rather than the negatives. But if you go back to the forums there was no time after the first year we ran the game there were not “Growtopia is ruined and dying now” threads being made.
The life of this kind of game is all about change – breaking, fixing, adding, and very little removing.
The bigger the change or addition, the greater the risk. The more systems piled on top of each other it is increasingly challenging it is to keep it all running smoothly. I have a lot of sympathy for the developers as I know their pain. :)
I hope they succeed and the game runs forever but there isn’t really any kind of comment I can make on this kind of thing, especially since I don’t play much or know what the issues are.
If the game isn’t for you, try something else for a while, it’s perfectly normal and ok to get tired of a game and bounce around.
I was banned for no reason, please help me by contacting Ubisoft
Sorry I can’t. I don’t have access to the logs or support system, I’m the wrong person to ask.
It would be really awkward if I was trying to do any kind of modding while not actually on the support team!
You need to go through the normal Growtopia help channel here.
Do you still play GT? Can you sign my board? Take a selfie with me in the game?
This is kind of complicated to answer. Currently my @Seth account remains completely locked (even from me) unless I specifically ask for it to be unlocked for a period. I like it this way.
The reasons for this are: security (it’s VERY bad if this account gets hacked), performance (if people see I’m online, they ALL msg me at once, can cause problems), and also something I call “the rumor wildfire” – sometimes a rumor starts that a hacker is using my account and mods and support gets flooded with emails about this emergency – so it’s important that they know in advance when I’ll be online.
So in the end, I almost never ask that my account be unlocked because it’s a hassle for everybody and I don’t want to cause any trouble. (Ubisoft has been very cool about it, but I still feel bad)
I tried using another account but.. Mehhh, it’s just not the same.
It’s pretty rare that I login these days for anything other than P.A.W. for reasons stated above.
However, if I’m online in the game I will make every effort to accommodate those kinds of requests, I use /rgo a lot.
Note: One of the conditions of the sale was nobody would ever pretend to be us, so if you ever see @Seth or @Hamumu talking to you, it’s really us!
Are you annoyed that every tweet or video you make has Growtopia related comments and questions on it?
The truth is I’m really not. It’s proof that we made a big impact in people’s lives. I hope nobody forgets our work on old school GT and I appreciate those players because without them I’d likely still be sweating over contract work instead of enjoying the freedom I do now.
I do feel bad if someone I replied to on Twitter gets a lot of GT related stuff they didn’t want though (they probably don’t even know what GT is!), and if I reply it makes it worse, so just tweeting at me (or emailing) directly is the best way to go for a GT related question that isn’t answered here.
Will you give me DLs and make me a mod so I can stop casinos?
No I can’t. I’m not a GT mod or dev anymore, I’m just a player like you.
By the way, my own kid would DEFINITELY ask developers of Fortnite for vbucks and skins before even saying hello, so I totally understand why younger players ask me that question. I can’t ever actually say yes though.
Will you make another MMO?
No plans right now.
Can you try to buy back Growtopia?
No, I mean, even if it was for sale and I could afford it, I don’t want to run it again for the reasons mentioned above.
Maybe in twenty years ask me again though. :)
Will you be in GT during Player Appreciation Week 2020, whenever that is?
Yep, I’ll be there and using /rgo like a madman so feel free to msg me if you see me!
When will <insert thing> be fixed or <insert thing> be added?
Sorry, I don’t know the answers to that kind of thing.
If I see the @Seth account online, is that you?
In most cases yes, but keep in mind this account may be logged on for maintenance reasons by GT staff. (To stop small locks from decaying, for example)
How were the original mods chosen?
Some were carried over because they were trusted mods in my other game Tanked, some were hand picked by me. In later days they were probably mostly suggestions from existing mods or chosen by Solorian. I can’t remember Hamumu ever picking a mod but maybe I’m forgetting.
Why don’t you wear clothes
Bodies need to breathe! Oh you mean in the game? I had the look (the cape, etc) early on and it just sort of stuck.
Oh, you know what, it was originally for a kind of super-hero alter ego I would use called “Heroman” who would run around punishing scammers but maybe I got tired of changing the clothes and just left it on. That’s why the item’s name is “Heroman Cape”.
Technical questions about servers: Were they run in RAID?
Yes, Growtopia’s server used custom picked super fast PCIe SSD raid arrays. Of course I can’t speak to the current technology state or challenges, only what we were using in 2017 and earlier.
How much did you sell GT for?
Er, I avoid answering this because it might fall within an NDA I signed, not sure. However, I’m pretty sure the number is just sitting there in the Ubisoft 2017 public financials so you might be able to figure it out.
Where did you get the music and sound effects?
Both Hamumu and I used a lot of sounds (and music) from our older games as well as new ones. (Some licensed, some created by us) As for music, Cory Mollenhour was commissioned to do the main Growtopia soundtrack. When characters talk it’s usually Hamumu’s voice.
Is there any update you regretted making? Or wish you could change how it worked entirely?
Not really, but I was worried about the vending machine update. I knew it would fundamentally change the game and giant vending machine worlds would replace “trade worlds” where people communicated more. In the end I guess it did, but it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
I was against a global market method of buying/selling items for the same reasons. (that’s a feature that never made it in)
What did Hammu do after and do you still talk?
He’s still making great games, go play Robot Wants It All, it’s packed full of Hamumu-humor goodness.
Yes we still talk occasionally. Well, if text counts as talking, but that’s how we always communicated, we never liked meetings or phone calls!
How’s Cosmo doing, does he still play Growtopia?
He doesn’t play these days but there was a time when he and his friends from school were addicted. That’s never happened with any of my other games.
Over the years “Little cute sweet Cosmo” changed into “studies too much math genius teenager Cosmo” who is great in a different way but I’ll never forget this little guy:
Even more stuff to read
If you got this far, why not go all the way and read this stuff too:
Two guys made an MMO – The Growtopia postmortem (2013)