The Scruffs is in the running for Best Hidden Object & Adventure Game and Best Game of 2007 at the upcoming Zeeby Awards. We chatted with the game’s writer and producer, Fazila Khan, about what makes The Scruffs special and why it deserves to get your vote.

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

The Scruffs was totally a labor of love for us. At the time, most hidden object games out there were spooky, mysterious and had very little in terms of story and characters. So, we just thought: let’s make a game that’s funny and feel-good, with a compelling story, characters one can relate to and actually give them a reason to be messy!

That’s how The Scruffs was born. All through development we were completely focused on giving the player a really fun game, with top-notch production values. We also had our JK Rowling moments, in that the entire story, dialogues, storyboard and cut-scene direction was written in various coffee shops in London (yes, we are now official coffee connoisseurs).

What makes The Scruffs special, and why should people vote for it?

I think what makes The Scruffs so special is that it was developed by a very small team (6 of us), each armed with different skills and sitting in different parts of the world. As a woman and an avid gamer, I had a good handle on what hidden object fans (a majority of them being women) were looking for. So, we worked hard and paid great attention to detail, constantly tweaking the story, game design and graphics because our gamers deserve only more, not less. With all the really good hidden object games coming out, we just wanted to stand out. I think in some small way, we managed to do it.

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

Gosh! There were so many. But, the ones that stand out are Build-a-Lot for its refreshing and compelling game play. Then there’s Azada for sheer puzzle packed fun and Mortimer Beckett for bringing a very cool twist to the hidden object genre.

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

If The Scruffs wins a Zeeby, I think a beach vacation for the team may be in order… but Disneyland is a great idea, considering I’ve never been!

Any final words for your fans?

When The Scruffs was near completion, all of us knew we had something special on our hands. I don’t think any of us had imagined that The Scruffs would be as well received by the casual gaming community, as it was. It really humbled us. For that, we’re truly grateful to all those of you who downloaded the game and took a chance in continuing to help The Scruffs save their house after that crucial 60 minute mark.

To be nominated for the Best Casual Game of 2007 and the Best Hidden Object and Adventure Game of 2007 is indeed a great honor and an achievement in itself. Cheers to all those of you who voted for The Scruffs, and as Grandpa Scruff would say: “Great gob-smacking lobsters – we did it!”

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