Some people complain that interleaving the episodes of two different islands dilutes the fun, but think about it: so far, the episodes of individual islands like Survival and Atlantis have had totally different themes and settings. I, for one, am loving this new episodal format and I hope even the haters can learn to embrace it. Poptropi-con, Norse Lands, and Legendary Swords all promise to embody Poptropica's spirit no matter what packaging they come in.
Because Poptropica is Poptropica, and nobody can get enough.
Also, what do you think of Poptrickia's design update? The search bar is next to the nav buttons, and the journal is the new homepage. I think it's more cleaner and helps you find the important stuff fast!
Many of you, especially long-time Poptropicans, are disturbed by the new episodal island format being tested in Survival and Mission Atlantis, and soon to come to PoptropiCon and Arabian Nights. I was horrified at first as well, but it's here to stay, and I'll tell you why that's not such a bad thing.
An island takes skill (minigames, etc.) and it has a story. These are the things that make an island. The thing is, you can memorize a story after the first play through, and then the island holds little for you. Historically, this has been okay, because Poptropica was very story-oriented and an island was like watching a movie: you don't replay it for months, maybe a year.
Then came the Island Restart feature, and the popularity of Poptropica grew, and it needed to be more challenging in order to appeal. But how to do that without sacrificing the story that makes Poptropica? Split it up, of course. Make each goal more and more tangible, and you the player will gladly put up with the toughest of puzzles. They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step -- an exaggeration, but it helps if you can see the steps (a.k.a. have episodes)! Thereby increasing the skill-to-story ratio and replayability without sacrifice. And let's face it, a slow burn increases suspense and delays gratification, as well as removes pressure (if you're trying to make the Players' Map top lists). All makes things more fun in the long run.
According to this Twitter thread, Poptropica will be releasing 6-12 more new episodes this year! We already knew about the last episodes of Survival and Mission Atlantis, not counting Poptropi-con. That leaves 3-9 more episodes this year of completely new island(s)... which leaves some room for another new island, after Poptropi-con, "unexpected tech problems" willing. Arabian Nights, perhaps? We can only wait and watch. And play.
Poptropi-con Exclusive Sneak Peek
Remember Poptrickia's exclusive sneak peek for Survival Island EP4? I showed you scenes, items, and the storyline of the unreleased episode from Poptropica's files. Now, I'm doing it again for Poptropi-con Island! And yes, it's really called that. If you guys like it, I'll continue this series, only available on Poptrickia!
UPDATE: Poptropi-Con has been officially confirmed by the Creators! Click here for the island info page. The first episode is called "Line Forms Here." We were right on! Keep reading to see what it's going to be like.
The Creators haven't yet announced this island, but I think we can pretty much call it confirmed. It's going to be released in episodes, and the first episode will likely come after Survival episode 4 (so that means July 31st). It'll be followed by Mission Atlantis episode 3, then Arabian Nights episode 1. So without further ado, check out the scenes for the first episode (there are only four main scenes, and three ad scenes):
There are only exterior shots so far, so it seems that we spend the whole episode just trying to get in. Here are the items that you can collect in this episode:
Sadly, you do not get to fly the jetpack. Throughout the rest of the episode, you go around asking people for tickets to Poptropi-con while they ask you for favors, such as finding them a jetpack or the Mjolnir, etc. There's going to be a lot of changing costumes in this island! It's such an important part that you're offered to save your look to the Costume Closet if you're a Member before you start. And the Fremulon, by the way, are a (fictional) alien race whose language and customs you have to learn.
Aside from that, Poptropi-con sounds like it has a fun, happy, light atmosphere with minigames and Costumizing gold. A refreshing change from the seriousness of Survival and Mission Atlantis. Just comment if you'd like more info on the storyline!
The Members-only promo items have been revealed as well. Looking at this image, there may be a Pizza Puff costume Members get to wear. Interesting, I guess. Even more interesting: Members will get to print a copy of their own Poptropican on the background of a Poptropi-con themed poster. Confused? Check out the image to the right.
I was also able to get a version of my non-Member Poptropican, too, but it was a bit cut off; click here for proof. This is despite the fact that the item card that gets you this poster is Members-only.
So all that and more is coming to Poptropica next week. What do you think about Poptropi-con Island?
Cool news today! According to my super secret spy sources (cough), the following Poptropica Islands are going to be upgraded to the bigger screen and sound sometime in the future (roughly ordered with the most likely one first):
Truthfully, these are just islands that are planned to be upgraded, but the first 8 have been partially uploaded to Poptropica! They're not playable yet but at least the scenes, sound and music are all there. Items and other important parts seem to be missing though, except for the the first 4, which look nearly done. So it's really only a matter of time. We'll be eagerly waiting on the Creators until then!
Oh, and remember those extra-wide ad spaces on the edges of some islands' Main Streets that I made a big fuss about? They are extra-wide because the new islands have a wider screen and now Poptropica is only going to design ads for the bigger screen, so for older islands to be able to show the same ads there will have to be even larger ad spaces on them. But notice, the only island you can see them on are some of the islands in the list above. Which means that those islands are the closest to being upgraded! Makes sense?
The upgraded classics, and even the modern islands, haven't had their own upgraded common rooms. Even though the island has a big screen and sound, the common rooms still use the old Poptropica. But that might be about to change. Looking at the files for the islands above, the common rooms have already been upgraded! Check out the difference in these two images:
The second screenshot has already been uploaded to Poptropica. Soon, maybe all of Spy Island will follow! The theme music for Spy Island was also uncovered a while back; here's the link: http://static.poptropica.com/game/sound/music/Spy_Main_Theme.mp3
Don't click on it, paste it directly into your browser's URL bar; for some reason it won't work otherwise.
Speaking of which, have any of you checked out the new Tribes of Poptropica page? It's got details on all of the 8 Poptropica tribes, plus high-res zoomed-out screenshots of all the tribal common rooms, and much more. There's more coming soon, but you can check it out now.
The Rhinoceros Costume is in the Store now for Members (and the glitch that let non-Members costumize it has been fixed now, sorry!) Anyway, what I'm concerned about is what a rhinoceros is doing in Survival Island.
We know that our "rescuer" from Survival Island 3 is Myron van Buren, the man who caused the plane crash in the wilderness and who we were warned about. Now he's holding us prisoner, presumably in this cabin. He's an avid hunter, as this image of his foyer shows. (Noticeably, he hasn't shot a rhinoceros yet. Are the Creators trying to get us killed?!)
Survival Island episode 4 has not been released yet (that will probably happen on July 10th or 17th), but most of it has been uploaded to Poptropica's servers already. Here's sneak peek at the upcoming episode. It took longer than I'd expected to decode all the files for the episode, but this was worth it! Warning, spoilers ahead! Click "Read More" to the right to continue.
In this post, I share some observations I found on the upgraded Poptropica islands. Nothing too critical, just something for your own critical mind to chew on. You may click on the images to enlarge them. At the end of this exhaustingly long post, I will draw a few objective conclusions--again, not judging. So, without further ado...
Now, I'm not even going to talk about the music and sound effects. There is no debate about how amazing they are. I could write a whole post praising the sound. Which is why I'm not going to talk about it here.
One thing I noticed about the upgraded Poptropica was that the way you walk to a target is different. For example, clicking on the announcer on Poptropolis Games, you follow two different paths:
In the old Poptropica, you just dropped through whatever platform you were on and then met the person. But in the "upgraded" version, you follow the same path you might follow, if you didn't click on him but just went to him "yourself". And his isn't just for clicking on NPCs/objects/items, it works whenever you click the screen to move your Poptropican.
For example, when you jump almost straight up but aim the mouse a little opposite of the way you're facing. On Classic Pop, you would jump and flip at the same time, which is smoother but when you come to think of it, completely crazy. On New Pop, you would flip first, then after a tiny pause do the jump. What do you think? Good thing or bad thing? I think these modifications make the game more realistic.
One more change in the physics of new Poptropica is that you do not slide very much anymore. Stops and landings are more sudden and less smooth. The Creators seem to have added a little bit of friction and made the platforms more "magnetic", but this is robbing us of the charismatic player animations.
Another deal with the animations: when your Poptropican does slide, the animation is sort of disconnected from the scene. Like, if you slide near the edge of a platform on Classic Poptropica, you drop off the platform. On New Poptropica, your feet actually show up past the edge of the platform you're on and you stay on. Unlike the last part, I think the changes in this part make the game less realistic.
And the Ugly.
Why Can't I Jump As Far?
Another persistent little "problem", as many people have found, is that you can't jump as far nor run as fast anymore. Every time you move around, it seems like you don't move as far as you should. I thought this was irritating, too, but I've since discovered the root of the "problem". The illusion: you still jump as far and move as fast in New Poptropica, but the big screen makes it look constricted because it zooms-out the screen. Some proof:
Notice that in both modes, you jump the exact same height.
Like I said in the introduction, I'm not going to judge, nor criticize anything in this post. That's for you to do; take a look at the evidence, then post your opinion in the comments (click here to do that). But it'd be a shame not to end such a long post properly, so...
New Poptropica uses a totally different engine, which is not fully compatible with Classic Poptropica. The physics is different and generally more realistic. However, the animations and smoothness and style that gave Classic Poptropica its charisma are a little bit diminished. Even so, the story and plot and all the abstract elements are as charming as ever. Happy playing! And make sure to post your opinion in the comments!
School's starting again now (ugh!) so I may not be able to post as often. But you can still count on me to have something great for you at least twice a week. Nice Hawk out!
In The Last Hours of 2013
Well, it's 12:00 noon on December 31st (in California at least)(when I started typing this). That means we've got half a day until the Earth turns the final 180 degrees of 2013. So, let's try to keep this year alive for future generations. What happened, they may ask, in Poptropica in 2013? And this is the answer...
First of all, let's get the bad news of of the way first with some statistical information. This year, the Creators only released four new islands--FOUR. That's a record, all-time low. In 2012 and 2011 they released 8 per year (counting Legendary Swords in 2011). In 2010 the count is relatively low, five. Do you notice something? Until 2013, the amount of new islands a year was going up; now it's suddenly half as much as last year.
New islands of 2013
The reason for this is probably the release Poptropica 2013, with the bigger screen, sound, and glitches galore. (now, I'm not hating on the new Poptropica, I'm just sayin', this is where the lag is coming from). This will probably continue into 2014 as the Creators keep getting their time wasted by making bugfixes. (Did you know, I never filed a bug report for any Poptropica island, EVER, until Beta Carotene). That said, you can help us all by reporting one now: click here to do that.
Another source of slowness coming from Poptropica 2013 is that the Creators seem to be spending more time on turning old islands that were perfectly fun by themselves, like Time Tangled, Spy, and 24 Carrot, into the new Poptropica. And another thing that will make new islands come slower next year is the Dream Islands Contest, which is presumably still being reviewed. Okay, that's the bad-news part of this post out of the way now.
The Good News
Now, there's a lot to say here as well! Let's start small. One of the shocking things that the Creators revealed is that they still have Monster Carnival on their mind. They showed us the notebook page to the left, made interesting posts on the Creators' blog, showed vague but exciting pictures on the Daily Pop, and teased us in a few videos. (Try adding the friend "MonsterCarnival2012". Interestingly, this is one of the only Poptropica usernames that shows different names in your friend list and in the Avatar Studio). However, we did finally get closure on the topic in Mocktropica:
I guess that's the end of that.
Another fun thing was Poptropica's sixth birthday in September. That day, I suddenly realized what a huge amount of time I have spent on this wonderful game. Four years, and it never gets old. (...please wait as the author suddenly takes off for Astro-Knights...)
"Poptropica 2013" is the name I chose to give to the "improved" Poptropica islands; other blogs may use another name, as the Creators haven't formalized one yet.
One of the worst parts of this year was also the best: the new and improved Poptropica engine, Poptropica 2013, which is capable of soundtracks and an HD display. Though many do not agree with the nature of the new game, it is the future, and I for one am willing to accept it. And it has made a few cool things possible, like the return of Poptropolis Games this same year!
New Year's Resolutions
As per tradition, I shall now outline my goals for Poptrickia this coming year:
So, waste no time in telling me: what new feature would you like to see on Poptrickia in 2014? You can get some ideas from other popular Poptropica blogs, and I'll see what I can do to make your dreams come true. (Also, I will try not to construe my thoughts into bad rhyme for you).
Now, I'm off to try to get one last-minute Poptropica goal done this year: collecting the last 11 photos.
This turned out being an extremely long post because of what heppens to me when I'm presented with so much Daily Pop information at once: ramble mode. Please stay with me; I believe there is some serious sneak peeks to be gained from reading to the end of this lengthy post.
Come on, everybody, we all knew that Poptropolis Games was never really gone forever! Or at least we hoped that it would return sometime earlier than a hundred years. And it looks like we're getting our wish, only, it's not going to be the same as the last time we saw it. (By the way, I still have an account with a Poptropican on Poptropolis Games. I'm going to use it to spy on new developments on the above-ground version of that island, and I'll know if something happens.) The big news: We're going to visit Poptropolis Games. Underwater.
How do I know this, you ask? If only people actually bothered to check the Daily Pop from time to time, I wouldn't need to have a blog here... but that's another story. What do you say to this?!
I'd say that's the head of one of the statues from the Main Street of Poptropolis Games, with some of the ruins in the background, on an underwater-reef theme. Also, there seems to be some other important part to the story idea of this island that gives it some more promise of action: you appear to be competing with the seven other Poptropica tribes to find some sort of treasure from the underwater Poptropolis Games. What makes me think this?
But there seems to be another island on the horizon, which might even come before the revived Poptropolis Games. It seems to be an island... about Poptropica. And it also has something to do with glitches. There are three different images where you see messed-up objects from Poptropica:
Yes, you're saying, but what makes you think the next island is about Poptropica? Patience!
I bring your attention to a few mention-worthy points: this is the first time currency in Poptropica has ever actually had anything to do with Poptropica. They've all been doubloons, or drachmas, or just plain gold nuggets. This signifies a very obvious change. All the others are pretty easy to decode, with the exception of two. The office has a caption saying: "Not the magical wonderland you were expecting, eh?". Now, we know from the Graycom tablet that this island is about creating an island. And we know that the Creators create the islands, so the office picture must be a Creator's office. We know something about those from some pictures on the Creators Blog. And I don't know if this is just me, but does anybody else think that the red spheres in the brown rock with the crowd in the background look like Game Show Island? I wonder what that could mean.
Also, have you noticed that in the picture with the stone blimp, at the far right yu can see an unfinished version of the barbed-wire fence you can see in the mountain-scape in the second-to-last image? This makes you think that the fence in the first image was left unfinished on purpose, so that you, the player, could come and fix it. This, and the caption on the mountain-scape image ("If you build it, they will play."), emphasize that there is a big creative part, with the player actually building a Poptropica island. And that "creativity" part leads us to a deeper part of this island...
I never much liked poetry, but I have to admit that this is looking extremely interesting. I know this is part of Poptropica Island because the characters in the last image are wearing shirts with the Poptropica "P" and the caption on that image is "DRONES - Replaceable parts. Cogs in the machine." which makes me think of the first image, with Hopes and Dreams in the trash can. I have some crazy idea that this is all in a dairy factory, because of the "the machine" part of the caption of the last image and the fact that the milk truck in the image above is not only next to a factory, but has the same type of mountains in the background as the other images from the same island. *deep breath*. That's it, friends. I think I've exhausted enough thinking for one day. But before I leave... if you look in the Sneak Peeks you'll find pictures of an active volcano, with people actually doing some sort of race in it. And where there are volcanoes rising above the surface of the ocean, there are coral reefs and islands... suffice it to say that Poptropolis Games 2 will have some games after all. Whew! And if you'll excuse me, I'll take a break and listen to Kalimba.
Happy Birthday Poptropica!!!
This year's prizes... get 'em while they're good!
Today is September 14th. And you know what that means... Poptropica's fifth birthday! That's right, our favorite online video game has lasted for five whole turns around the sun. And it's time to celebrate! Poptropicans now have the chance to receive the free color-changing birthday balloon in the store, and to win a limited-edition Poptropica costume of a birthday cake with a '5' candle on it!
The limited-edition costume can be obtained like so: walk into any multiplayer room and you'll find it filled with multicolored balloons. Look for any balloon with a big number '5' on it and click on it to get the costume! It was very hard last year, but today I went into the Soda Pop Shop in Early Poptropica and I found the balloon on my first try. Nice, eh? And now on to some other news...
Yesterday was Roald Dahl Day, the birthday of the author Roald Dahl, the author of some great classics like The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In fact, as a present to us all for Roald Dahl Day, the Creators have announced the next island early... it's based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, just like I predicted! We'll have to wait a bit for the details... presumably after Super Villain island. Stay tuned, and in the meantime you can click on the picture of the cover of the book to the right to buy it on Amazon. Tidbit: the book was published 1964 and is still a popular book today. Isn't that interesting.
The Creators just announced Poptropica's 4th birthday!!! FINALLY!!! It's coming September. You may be thinking, fine, whatever, but guess what? You now have the chance to PURCHASE SHRINK SHOT AND THE PREPARE FOR IMPACT sumo game! YEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!! I bet you don't believe me... rub your eyes and dash over to the store NOW!!! But that's not all. No way...
As September goes along, the Creators are going to re-release popular, discontinued costumes to Members!!! I finally got the Renegade Robot and the Mech Pilot! And remember the third birthday??? Well, they're doing a rerun of the balloons mess in Multiplayer Rooms! Lucky Poptropicans will be able to get the free 4th birthday prize above! Since all the rooms are being jammed right now, I recommend the Arcade on Early Poptropica. See the fourth birthday page for the rest!
Okay now, I'll shut up this post before I explode! This is possibly the greatest news to ever happen this year on my blog! Oh, and don't forget to check out my Shrink Shot and Prepare for Impact tips!
Oh yes I did. I beat Shark Boy's score of a freaking 2176800 in Shrink Shot!!! I'm at least 300 thousand ahead! I cannot believe it! I beat a Creator! Looks like I am a Poptropica master.
Shark Boy's Score
Ha! AWESOME!!! The proof is up there.
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