Virtual Villagers: The Lost Children is in the running for Best Strategy Game of 2007 at the upcoming Zeeby Awards. We chatted with Last Day of Work’s Arthur Humphrey about what makes Virtual Villagers: The Lost Children special and why it deserves to get your vote.

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

Virtual Villagers – The Lost Children marks our first effort in delivering more compelling story in our games. We wanted to plan some seeds of mystery with these abandoned children, and ask some questions while answering others. This reflects a general increasing push here at LDW to deliver solid and compelling story with our sim-oriented games. Sim games tend to be notorious for having weak story and we are really trying to show that the two elements are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

What makes Virtual Villagers – The Lost Children special, and why should people vote for it?

Our family of fans love our games, and we are always appreciative of that. The games are not for everyone, but the people that like them love them. If you like a sim-style game with emergent gameplay and emergent narrative, and games that are hand-crafted with love and not by ‘suits’ looking for a quick buck, then vote for VV2. It is that simple.

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

I was impressed by the continuing convergence of genres into this growing segment of "digital downloads." Casual is becoming a broader and broader term as I noticed that in 2007 some of my favorite "casual games" were not just the latest download from the Big Portals: Rock Band, Puzzle Quest. I played these two, more than I’d care to admit.

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

If we win a Zeeby I will take my shirt off (and possible my pants) and dance around with it like a lunatic. That should pretty much be worth a vote right there.

Any final words for your fans?

Thanks for your continued support. We <3 u all. We are finishing up a small break after the launch of our latest: Virtual Villagers – The Secret City, and have begun our next game so get ready!

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