Creators' Blog Guest Posts

Interview with Gentle Dolphin from the Poptropica Creators 🎤🐬

Hello! Welcome to the next part of our series with the Pop Creators interviewing members of the PHB team. Meet Gentle Dolphin!

1. How were you first introduced to Poptropica? 

I first discovered Poptropica back in 2008 (man, am I that old?). I watched my little sister play Poptropica on the family computer one day, and I wanted to play as well. Guess who kept playing the game long after that. 😉

2. Who do you think is the most underrated character? Overrated? 

Poptropica has a large quantity of characters, so some are bound to get lost in the shuffle over time. I have to agree with Purple Paw and say that Captain Ziggs is probably the most underrated Pop character. He gave his life to protect the citizens of Steamworks Island, yet he isn’t talked about much in the community. Even characters like the Elf Queen and the Magistrate get fan art on occasion.

As for the most overrated, I feel like I’m beating a dead horse by saying that Dr. Hare is overrated. He became the face of spinoff minigames, merchandise, and even Poptropica itself! He got so much attention that could have shared with other characters.

3. What are your favorite scenes, aesthetically and to play through? 

I loved visiting the dream worlds in Super Villain Island. They have some of the best scenery and provide interesting insight into some of Pop’s iconic villains. My favorite moment was hopping into the paintings in Black Widow’s dream. Talk about an immersive art experience!

I also want to mention the maze sections in Ghost Story Island. We’ve seen Pop from side-on and top-down perspectives, but this was the only time we could turn around and see every little corner of a location.

4. From your perspective, how have you seen the Poptropica Help Blog (PHB) and community change over time? 

I joined the community sometime in 2017, when Poptropica was searching for ways to survive the death of Flash Player. There was a lot of uncertainty about Pop’s fate during that time, and the community changed along with the game. Older fans either stayed on board or left altogether, and new players joined the community. While the fandom isn’t as active as it once was, there are still dedicated fans creating fan art and crafting theories.

Backspace — the PHB’s “Blank Space” Taylor Swift Parody Music Video — with vocals by Gentle Dolphin! Read about the making of it here.

5. How has your PHB career surprised you? 

First off, being invited to join the PHB was already a big surprise. 😆

In all seriousness, being part of the PHB taught me a lot about working with others online. I learned how to better communicate via text and how to plan online events like our annual Poppies awards. I still make mistakes every now and then, but that means there’s still room to grow.

Designing “Addo B. Flash”, a character for the PHB’s 2020 April Fools prank

6. What inspires you?

I get inspired by many things, from stories to music to real-life experiences. 

7. What does the Pop community mean to you?

The Pop community is full of creative individuals with a shared passion. The PHB’s Community Creations series is a testament to that fact.

“PHB Tribe Reps for the Poptropolis Games” by Gentle Dolphin

8. How have your experiences with the community and Poptropica influenced you IRL? 

You could say that Pop had a notable influence on my interests. Poptropica used to have a Daily Pop page that included comic strips like Peanuts and Big Nate. These comics inspired me to create my very own comics and set me on a creative path. I should probably get back into making comics, now that I think about it.

9. Outside of Poptropica and your PHB involvement, what are you passionate about? 

I’m passionate about art and illustration. I’ve been working on a few projects, whether they be fully independent or with other people. Keep an eye out for them!

“Jersey Devil” by Gentle Dolphin

Favorites

  • IslandGhost Story Island! It has a compelling story and a subdued tone not commonly felt in Pop’s other islands. I definitely want to see this island return in the future.
  • Backstory/Lore: I liked learning about Amelia during her side quest. While it doesn’t reveal any groundbreaking lore, it showcases Amelia’s character via casual conversation and set design. Her little apartment showcases her love of tea, her many adventures, and (of course) her obsession with unicorns. I certainly didn’t expect that last one, but I loved it!
  • Character: Fiona from Ghost Story Island. She is a sweet lady with a tragic history, and she is responsible for some of the island’s most iconic moments.
  • Villain: The Super Power Island crew. They’re a fun collection of villains to fight in a classic superhero setting.
  • Costume: I may be biased when I say “Pumpkin Punk”. 😜🎃

Thanks for the interview, and keep up the good work!

—Gentle Dolphin 🐬

Baron's Airship, Fairy Tale Island

A Remarkably Red Rumpel-ween 🎃😈✨

Greetings, adventurers! Yes, as teased in our previous post, the Baron’s airship just docked on Home Island — unusual timing.

Previously, players were concerned about the Baron’s well-being after she twitched with excitement for a Rumpelstiltskin-inspired collection then suddenly disappeared. Now, the Baron now bears a striking resemblance to Rumpel himself! I guess he couldn’t keep up the charade much longer. Baronstiltskin invites us little adventurers to climb aboard her his airship. Let’s see what awaits us this spooky season!

Baron? You look a little green.

While the ship has kept its shape, the surrounding sky is purple and sparkly, like the appearance of Rumpel’s magic. Baronstiltskin is unashamed of their new identity, and Ack has followed suit!

The Cabin of Curiosities is full of surprises this month. Let’s ease ourselves in by checking out the two free winning costumes: Candy Girl by Fast Leopard and Jester by Blue Bones! 🍭🤡

Moving to the right, we see Amelia dangling from the ceiling while Baronstiltskin is eating grapes served by Rumpel-fied Ack. The three are surrounded by a pumpkin couch, candy bags, a jack-o’-lantern lamp, a black cat clock, and a cemetery painting. Despite being an aviator-apprehending antagonist, Rumpel offers all of these Halloween furnishings for the low price of 10 credits each.

Rumpelstiltskin reveals that he possessed the Baron and gave Ack an illusionary makeover. As for why he’s doing this, he alludes to how he became trapped on Fairytale Island then says that he is inviting the Baron’s mother over for tea.

Rumpelstiltskin confirms that the Red Baron has ties to Fairytale Island’s royal family, as shown in new dialogue options presented after completing the Baron’s Crusade quest (Thanks to Dizzy Feather for the screenshots!). Accounts from Rumpel and Fairytale’s prince paint the Baron’s mother, the Red Queen, as a destructive woman obsessed with cats and conquering. Why did the queen trap Rumpelstiltskin in the first place, and how can we fix this mess?

It makes you wonder if all of this was in Fairytale’s original pitch for the Create Your Dream Island contest. The Creators mentioned that the pitch had a full storyline and intrigue, two things that felt missing when Fairytale Island first released. Since then, the sheer amount of quests, clues, and cameos relating to Fairytale Island, Rumpelstiltskin, Amelia, and the Baron seem like they’re leading up to something big.

Will we finally get some answers for last Thanksgiving’s teaser?

I predict that we’ll see a new quest that will tie all of these storylines together. It’s hard to believe that it took almost two years to wrap up Fairytale Island’s story, which is bizarre to say the least. What do you make of all of this? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Thank you for reading, and have a good day!

—Gentle Dolphin 🐬

Glitches, Poptropica Junior

Junior Programmers and Players Wanted, Senior Glitchers Shunted 👶

Hello, Poptropicans young and old! The Pop Creators debuted an extension of the Poptropica brand and are now promoting it across social media. Introducing Poptropica Junior, a new website for “play-based learning” geared to Pre-K and early elementary kids

While Poptropica characters (without line art!) like Amelia and Xavier headline this new site, there’s also plenty of non-Pop content from sister site Funbrain. Pop Jr currently hosts a variety of mini-games, short stories, and coloring pages to preoccupy young players. The videos tab doesn’t work at this point, but let’s hope it gets fixed soon. 

Poptropica Junior website homepage

It seems that the Creators are trying to attract a new generation of Pop players with this website for those in early childhood. It kind of makes sense, with older players aging out of Poptropica, which is celebrating its 15th birthday next month. But what happens if those new players don’t stick around, especially with the current state of the game?

We’ve seen Pop trying to appeal to many demographics with mixed results. From the Steam bundle to Roblox games, this is yet another example of Pop throwing a reel into the pond of potential players. As a simplified version of an already simplified game, will Pop Jr be the gateway for new players, or the straw that breaks the camel’s back?


Meanwhile on the Creators’ Blog, Poptropica is promoting Coolmath Coding, a new Coolmath Games program dedicated to teaching kids how to code Roblox games and Minecraft mods. Check it out if you’re interested in learning game development at your own pace!

While the Creators’ Blog post mentions that you can try the first programming courses for free, the rest of the courses are locked behind a paywall. Pricing varies depending on which membership plan you pick. 


Now for some bad news related to coding. Due to the impending closure of free plans on cloud-hosting site Heroku starting November 28, we may lose access to various unofficial Poptropica glitching tools: the Save Data Converter for Flashpoint, Poptropica Format Loader for Flash-supporting browsers, and Modify a Poptropican for customizing your character. Fortunately, Flashpoint will not be affected. You can still access the oldest islands on Flashpoint, but say goodbye to saving future progress on them. (Thanks to Prof Robin and Oof for the news.)

So let’s make the most of what time we have left with these beloved programs! Finish those classic islands and dress up your Popsona in whatever old, obscure items you can find. Celebrate while you can!

Thank you for reading, and have a good day!

—Gentle Dolphin 🐬

Baron's Airship, Clubhouse, Fan Art Features, Member Gifts, Store

Cloaked in Mischief: Baron’s Rumpel Return

Hey, Poptropicans! Be on your guard, a suspicious sight has shown up…

The Red Baron has returned, but she seems a bit off this time. Her visible eye is twitching, which she claims is caused by the thrill of adventure.

Her Cabin of Curiosities is chock full of Rumpelstiltskin-branded… things. You’ll find gold statues, a lamp, plushies (including a cursed version of Amelia’s unicorn), and even a Rumpel-fied Dr. Hare costume.

Okay, Baron, what’s with all of this? You deny that something is amiss, and you’re suddenly a big fan of Rumplestiltskin. Look, we know you’re not the most morally upright person, but vouching for Rumpelstiltskin is insane! And why does Ack keep missing his shots, throwing grapes at your convulsing eye? Something’s definitely up. 👁⚫️

At least one thing hasn’t been corrupted by Rumpel’s influence: June’s winning costume, the stellar Star Kid by Busy Bee! 💫 Be sure to grab this free outfit before the Baron — err, Rumpelstiltskin?? — takes off.


Thankfully, Adventure Outfitters’s latest lineup is Rumpel-free. Summer styles are in season for the costume racks! 🌞

On the shop floor to the left, you’ll find the two costumes teased last month. The dark medieval garb is called Cloaked Rogue, and the fuchsia demon is called Demon Mischief. The Creators’ update post doesn’t mention anyone who correctly guessed the names. Meanwhile, on your right, you’ll find plenty of cabana goods for your clubhouse.


Member gifts have also flown in for July! Inspired by our recently rewritten fowl friend Ringmaster Raven, this month’s exclusive spoils are a Crow Cloak, Crow Mask, and Baby Crow Follower. 🦅


Wrapping up this post, enjoy the latest fan art features of curious characters from Poptropica’s Instagram stories!

Anyway, what’s your theory on what’s up with the Red Baron? Baronstiltskin? Are you twitching in excitement at what will unravel? Share in the comments!

Thank you for reading, and have a good day!

—Gentle Dolphin 🐬

Steam Bundle

Mighty Hints Toward AS3 Steam Release 💥💨

After two weeks of island-based riddles, the Pop Creators dropped the thirteenth and final clue for Poptropica’s upcoming Steam bundle! (Visit past hints: 1234567891011, 12)

“Piece together the powers of one mighty hero to defeat this island’s storied villain. But first, you’ll have to play your cards right.”

The island that best fits this description is the episodic epic of PoptropiCon. In Episode 2: Spoiler Alert, the player partakes in the popular Mighty Action Force card game (“play your cards right”). Then, in Episode 3: Reign of Omegon, the player collects the three Mighty Action Force weapons and becomes Alphaon (“mighty hero”) in order to defeat Omegon (“storied villain”).

Now that all of the hints have been given, here are our final guesses for which islands will be featured in this upcoming Steam bundle:

  1. Survival (hint here)
  2. Mythology – classic version (hint here)
  3. Galactic Hot Dogs (hint here)
  4. Mission Atlantis (hint here)
  5. Shrink Ray (hint here)
  6. Poptropolis Games (hint here)
  7. Arabian Nights (hint here)
  8. Time Tangled (hint here)
  9. Monster Carnival – with a twist! (hint here)
  10. Mystery of the Map (hint here)
  11. Virus Hunter (hint here)
  12. Mocktropica (hint here)
  13. PoptropiCon (scroll up!)

Looking at everything so far, our theory about the Steam bundle only including AS3 islands may be true after all. While it’s nice that these islands will be preserved in the upcoming bundle, it’s disappointing that older classics like Astro-Knights and Skullduggery are yet again pushed to the backburner. Maybe they’ll be accessible in a future DLC expansion? Only time will tell.

Now that the hint parade is over, all we can do is wait for news about pricing and release dates. The official Pop Twitter account stated that we should be getting more info within the next 1-2 weeks, so be on the lookout for that!

UPDATE: Yet another tweet indicates that the upcoming Steam islands may be available for Mac. The wording is a bit odd, as it seems to point toward Steam in general rather than Poptropica’s bundle specifically, but we’ll see! 🤞 If it’s true, that makes it more accessible than the Windows-only Flashpoint unofficial access for old Pop islands.

By the way, happy Earth Day from Poptropica! 🌳 You might recall this Twisted Thicket postcard from last year, but sadly, it doesn’t look like this classic island will be among those returning soon.


Anyway, which islands do you think will be present in this Steam bundle? Which islands do you hope make a return in the future? Leave a comment down below!

Thank you for reading, and have a good day!

—Gentle Dolphin 🐬