Farm Frenzy is in the running for Best Action & Arcade Game and Best Casual Game of 2007 at the upcoming Zeeby Awards. We chatted with Kirill Plotnikov, producer at Alawar, about what makes Farm Frenzy special and why it deserves to get your vote.

Please give us some insight or a few fun facts about the development of Farm Frenzy.

During one of my regular business trips to Minsk, Belorussia, I met with a development team that was taking their first steps toward the casual gaming space. Their background included one simple casual game that hadn’t been released yet and a whole bunch of ideas about how to create a casual gaming masterpiece. As usual, the creation of this masterwork was in doubt, as they didn’t have the money to make it. But thanks to their talent, their ambition and several Mochito cocktails, the guys from Melesta persuaded me to promise them financing of the project — having shown me only a two-page business plan.

The main reason I agreed, on behalf of Alawar, to finance the game was the personal factor. Alexey Meleshkevich, the leader of the young Byelorussian team, had a tremendous amount of experience in the casual gaming space, as he’d worked for a successful casual game developer. Six months of intense work turned the two-page plan on its head, and what fans are playing today bears little resemblance to the initial concept. But we don’t regret that. Farm Frenzy turned to be much better than the concept, and the Mochito cocktail became the symbol of our successful partnership. In March, Farm Frenzy was dubbed Best Casual Game of the Year at KRI 2008, the largest Russian event dedicated to computer games.

What makes Farm Frenzy special and why should people vote for it?

We love all of the farming games coming out, but we feel the one thing that makes Farm Frenzy stand out in a crowded pasture is the fun factor. We didn’t set out to realistically simulate any aspect of the agricultural process. Rather, we wanted to give players a game with a sense of humor and outrageous challenges. We wanted them to be growing grass and raising ducks and drawing water and collecting eggs and fighting off bears — all at the same time! And we wanted the graphics to look great while they were doing all of that. I think we pulled it off pretty well.

If you win a Zeeby, how do you plan to celebrate (aside from going to Disney World, of course)?

If we win the Zeeby for Farm Frenzy, we’ll probably toss down a few Mochito cocktails in celebration and then start work on the next Farm Frenzy game! (By the time you read this, Farm Frenzy 2 will either be out or very close to release.)

Any final words for your fans?

After Farm Frenzy, agricultural games became something of genre unto themselves. Alawar alone recently published Virtual Farm and Sunshine Acres to meet the demand. But most of all, we deeply appreciate the devotion of our fans and the input of the players who helped us create Farm Frenzy and our other agricultural games. We’re having a good time them and will continue to do so as long as people are playing them.

Click here to vote for you favorite casual games of 2007.