Diner Dash: Hometown Hero is in the running for Best Time Management Game and Best Game of 2007 at the upcoming Zeeby Awards. We chatted with Producer Solveig Pederson of PlayFirst about what makes Diner Dash: Hometown Hero special and why it deserves to get your vote.

Can you give us insights or fun facts about the development of this game?

One of the really fun (and long!) development stages was building the multiplayer functionality — everyone at PlayFirst finally got to see how we all stacked up against each other! And the community on the Playfirst forums was so excited about the multi-player feature, it made the long hours worthwhile.

What makes Diner Dash: Hometown Hero special, and why should people vote for it?

Diner Dash: Hometown Hero is both a classic, fantastic Diner Dash game, where players learn more about Flo and put their Dash skills to the test; and it’s one of the most powerfully innovative casual games ever released. The game offers multiplayer mode, customizable diners and waiters, and micro-transactions that allow you to upgrade and modify your game. With Diner Dash: Hometown Hero, you can explore and express yourself in an endlessly expandable version of Flo’s world.

Besides your own game, of course, what other games impressed you in 2007?

It’s a great slate of Zeeby nominees this year, including our own Dream Chronicles and Chocolatier. I really enjoyed the adventure game, The Blackwell Legacy, and now its developer, Wadjet Eye Games, is working with PlayFirst on a new title. Watch out, 2008 Zeebys!

If you win a Zeeby, how do you plan to celebrate (aside for going to Disneyworld, of course)?

Wait, no Disneyworld?

If Diner Dash: Hometown Hero wins we’ll set aside time for PlayFirst employees to play with the fans. We’d love to celebrate together. We’d also invite all of our partners who worked with us, including Bon Art, Nikitova, Charles Hailstones, David Winn, and Somatone Interactive Audio.

Any final words for your fans?

First, thanks to our fans who continue to support Diner Dash, Flo’s adventures, and the burgeoning Dinertown universe. We really appreciate all the time these players have spent creating a vibrant community around our games. Every single person here at PlayFirst and our partners truly contributed to this game — as does every fan who plays it.

Voting for the Zeebys runs from now until July 5. Click here to vote for you favorite casual games of 2007.