Hey Poptropicans, I’d like to introduce you to some new friends…
(Thanks to PHB reader Perfect Fish for the tip.)
Wild Fire, who shares a name with a Poptropolis Games tribe, is rocking a big puff of orange hair. Beside him is Pink Crush, with the pink ponytail. Then there’s Got Game, who’s got a big afro and a big smile, and Old School, who’s dancing with a tuft of swishy purple hair over their eyes.
Cool Slice is out here flexing a snazzy plaid overshirt, and Girl Power is just staring defiantly, daring you to challenge her. Finally, there’s Fast Ride with the shades, and happy-go-lucky Love Star with the slight blush.
PHB reader Perfect Fish also reported seeing the URL change depending on the character picked, like so: poptropica.com/haxe/master-minified-200421-1657/?npc_name=FastRide (and “FastRide” is replaceable with any of the other aforementioned names, no spaces). You can also enter these URLs in your web browser to go directly to playing with certain characters.
And by the way, you might find that the “pick a character” screen now dominates the Poptropica.com homepage. (For me, it showed up on one web browser but not another.) Goodbye, “play for free” button!
All these bizarre yet seemingly permanent names, and now the added poses on these stock characters and URL integration, raises the question: are these pre-named, pre-designed characters here to stay?
On that idea, we’re ambivalent. Despite all the swagger these characters carry, this new feature takes away a key aspect of making a Poptropican one’s own: the naming. At the same time, though, it is convenient (especially for new players) to just be able to pick and play, and once you’re in the game, you’ll have options to customize your character the way you like it.
Since Poptropica on HAXE doesn’t have the friends feature yet, and Flash is making the Avatar Studio obsolete, we may be entering a time where Poptropicans’ names are inconsequential. But for us nostalgic older players, picking the perfect name for our Poptropicans among a list of strange but familiar nouns and adjectives was part of the fun. And if the names are going to show up anywhere (like the friends feature, if it comes to HAXE), having only a handful of possible names is going to be a little awkward.
Right now, if you want to create a character with more freedom in the naming process, there are a couple of options. You can try the Custom Name Genie from our Glitching page, which lets you make a character with just about any name you like. Or you can create one on Poptropica Worlds, which still lets you pick from a randomized list like old times. (Update: There’s a third option—you can still pick a name on the mobile app.)
That’s the latest in Poptropica’s post-Flash development. Share your thoughts in the comments—about your favorite HAXE character, the story behind your Poptropican’s name, or your conspiracy theory on why Poptropica seems to be foregoing player names. Or just petition to bring them back.
Till next time, keep on popping on, Poptropicans!
The pre designed characters remind me of Moshi Monsters. (Of course, I haven’t actually played it, so it maybe different)
I hope that we will still be able to name our Poptropicans though
Oh yeah, Poptropica Worlds. Remember when that was a thing? 👀😐
Thanks again, Perfect Fish! Just added the bit about the mobile app option to the post. 🙂
I dislike that they are playing into tired stereotypes. Pop used to be fresh and random and open to whatever you wanted.
Like, why can’t the girl be “Got Game” she might be a real jock, y’know? Why can’t the guy with the afro be “Girl Power” – maybe that’s what he really believes in.
This used to be a game where you could show up to the scary island dressed like a hot dog and it made a cool new sense. Now it’s just playing into bad cliches and stereotypes about race, gender and other silly stuff. And pushing it onto kids instead of letting them make their own way, look, style.
That’s an interesting point. There was something charming about the randomized character that you’d be given during the old character creation process, which you could change both during the creation process and after.
Now they’re trying to simplify it so the customization comes later. So, you can still dress up however you like, but it’s no longer part of step one. And this new direction may appear to bring simplicity, but other new players might want to mull over their character before committing to one.
Costumizing is the one thing Pop does that is unique and innovative. And it was established in the old creation process right from the start how it works: the character is made of parts and those parts can change easily and without any barriers, assumption, nor expectations.
Now, it was replaced with scripted characters that come loaded with assumptions but more importantly: made by somebody else and somebody else’s ideas about people.
Pop is becoming increasingly stale and generic and I don’t see why. There was nothing wrong whatsoever with the previous process. In fact, adding more parts to the random mix means if a player wanted to they could make any of the new fixed characters. That way, if there really is something truly good and compelling about them, a player can decide that – but also, the rest of the possibilities are available too! The only thing this new system does is reduce options and what the game can do and has done. Of alllllll the things buggy, frustrating and wrong with Pop, the costumizing system was not one of them. It was liberating.