Artist interview with creator Abigail Grigg, and that friends thingamajig

Hey Poptropicans! Remember Abigail Grigg?

Abigail is a Poptropica artist who’s designed many of the newer things you see on Poptropica, like the monthly new store items and creatures from Reality TV: Wild Safari. She’s also working on the upcoming Zomberry Island content.

Here on the PHB, we recently featured a Pop Portfolio of her work. (Fun fact: She’s also known by her online name, Zukitz!) Now the Creators are joining in by having recently hosted a Q&A with Abigail, which we’re sharing below, with a few grammatical fixes (you can see the original on the Creators’ Blog).

Q: How long have you worked on Poptropica?

A: This month actually marks my first year working for Poptropica. I was hired as an intern last October and then pulled on for fulltime work this earlier this year. It’s been a big year filled with lots of learning and fun opportunities.

Note: This piece is one of Abigail’s personal artworks, unrelated to Poptropica.

Q: Do you have a favorite Poptropican? How about a favorite Island?

A: I have a lot of love for Amelia. I love adventurous female characters, especially when they’re wearing goggles and aviator gear.

I might be biased but I really love Reality TV 2. Not only is my first island to have worked on, but I have a lot of love for animals and the safari aesthetic. I love running around and seeing all the animals and landscapes, and I was extremely excited when I heard about the idea and what it entailed.

Q: What kind of artwork do you make when you’re not working on Poptropica?

A: My personal artwork is a mixed bag of various styles and ideas, it’s a bit of a mess. I’ve got a webcomic called “King and Lionheart” that I’m constantly working on. I also love creating characters and creatures, so I tend to spew all sorts of new designs when the inspiration strikes. I’m also working on my own personal indie game with a team of colleagues. I have tons of ideas that I like to mess around with, and there isn’t enough time in the world for me to tackle it all. (Editor’s note: You can read “King and Lionheart” on its website, which the Creators’ Blog decided not to link to.)

Q: What’s your advice for young artists who’d like to go pro?

A: Experiment and try new stuff! I spent most of my time in art school trying out various disciplines, softwares, mediums, and styles. It’s through trying out different things did I discover my love for storytelling, game development, and illustration. I went to school wanting to become the next Disney animator only to realize that animation wasn’t my passion, and instead found interest in other mediums. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and get messy with new things, it’s the best way to learn what you’re into and what you don’t want to do.

Want to see more of Abigail’s cool Poptropica designs? Check out her Pop Portfolio here on the PHB!


Also on the Creators’ Blog this past week, Blue Tooth made a little guide for the new friends pages. Here you can see the fun features, new or revamped, in the 2019-redesigned version of Poptropica friends. Newer features include likes, stickers, a message board, and photo board. As Blue Tooth explains:

Despite the new shiny stuff, Poptropicans have been commenting on what’s been lacking with friends ever since the major overhaul it received early this year. Any veteran Poptropican looking at Blue Tooth’s guide, replete with its wittily captioned screenshots, can see what’s missing from before:

  • The ability to add friends by username and see all your friends’ profiles listed. Blue Tooth herself mentions that “no one’s liked my page, yet” (sorry to bring it up, BT)—but if she were to share her username, and if we could add friends by username, you could bet the face of Poptropica’s social media would be lined up with likes. Plus, you can only see about 10 of your friends listed at a time, so even if you had her added, you might not ever find her profile!
  • Where did the Photo Booth go? Recently, the Photo Booth disappeared from its spot on Home Island, which is why BT doesn’t have any pics to show us there. Other players who’ve made photos before, and who saved them on their new profiles, should still have them.
  • Some customization is for members only. Those fun “bunny swag” (and other swag) stickers and colorful background wallpaper? Members only. Non-members only get to change a measly little mood icon beside their name. 😦
  • Which islands have been completed by this player? Calling it the “clout meter,” Blue Tooth’s post does show that the island completion stats are still there, but some Poptropicans miss the old display, where one could scroll through a long collection of medallions and see exactly which ones had been won by the player in question.
  • No more Multiverse. While replaced by the Clubhouse, it’s hard to access if you can’t find the friend whose clubhouse you want to visit.

This could turn into another Pop Petition post, so let’s end it here for now. Blue Tooth assures us that “Friending and the Profile WILL be coming to mobile in the near future,” and that, if you have ideas for what else you’d like to see on the profile page, you should leave a comment on the blog.

Anyway, that’s all for this post! Leave your thoughts, questions, and suggestions in the comments, enter your Poptropica Halloween costume into our contest if you haven’t yet, and we’ll see you next time.

Stay friendly, Poptropicans! ✌️

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PHB Pop-over Special: Black-ish

Hey Poptropicans—if you’re a fan of the ABC sitcom Black-ish, you’ll enjoy this special “Pop-over”: our term for a Poptropica crossover, in which we take characters from another universe and create them on Poptropica.

Though the tech changes since our last Pop-over have rendered most of these characters not fully viewable from the Avatar Studio or your friends list, they’re still not too complicated to recreate. From left to right, here’s how you can dress like the Johnsons on Poptropica:

  • Grandma Ruby: Her outfit is fully created from the “create new character” screen. See her live on the Avatar Studio with the username RubyBlackish (for the others below, replace “Ruby” in the username with the character’s name — this may help for customizing via MAP).
  • Zoey: Get the hair and hoodie from the Tie-Dye Hoodie in the store.
  • Bow: The romper comes from the Fruity Cutie in the store.
  • Junior: Everything can be assembled from the “create new character” screen.
  • Dre: Snag the hoodie from the Warm Vibes costume in the store, and the jeans with the nice chain from inside the New You building on Home Island.
  • Jack: Everything can be assembled from the “create new character” screen.
  • Diane: Find the hair and t-shirt on the Galaxy Girl in the store. Get the glasses from New You on Home Island. The fun skirt comes from the “create new character” screen.
  • Grandpa Earl: Clothes are from the “create new character” screen, while the glasses can be grabbed inside New You.

Black-ish is a TV comedy about an upper middle class black American family living the so-called “American dream.” The generally lighthearted show revolves around the family’s lives, with some exploration into sociopolitics and the culturally assimilated “black-ish-ness” of the characters. Rated TV-PG.

Hope you enjoyed this Black-ish x Poptropica crossover! Have you seen the show? What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments!

~/🐠

Want to see more? Check out our other Pop-overs and browse our Costume database for more Poptropica costumes to inspire your own outfits!

Haunted Home Island with spooky store goodies

Oh hallo…weenever expected spooky season to be upon us so soon!

Coming just at the close of September and only a couple weeks after its previous fall makeover, Home Island has been redecorated once again, this time with Halloween charm. Check it out:

A deep blue-green night sky envelops the island, which is glowing green from its windows, plus covered in jack-o-lanterns, floating candles, and other fun decor. Even the duckie got dolled up as Dr. Hare! You can also smash pumpkins and catch a slimy candy apple from the local witch, all in good fun.


As you might’ve seen, the store has also joined in on the Halloween party! This update includes four new costumes, one follower, and a prank.

Hop on over to get your very own:

  • Ghastly Pumpkin Follower
  • Dance-a-corn Costume (tap space bar to dance)
  • Fairytale Costume (tap space bar to read)
  • Headlessman Costume (tap space bar to twirl)
  • Inflatable Rex Costume
  • Witch’s Brew (pranktap space bar to throw the potion, which turns the nearest character’s head into a fish, rat, or frog)

Joy of joys, each one of these items is available to all players—no membership required!

With Halloween approaching, that means it’s almost time for an annual PHB tradition: the Halloween Costume Contest! We’ll have more details for you in October, but with Poptropica already on the festivities, it’s not too early to start thinking about your Halloween outfit… 🎃🦕✨

Enjoy the goodies, Poptropicans!

Artist interview with creator Jonathan Trimble, and reason to tremble?

Hey Poptropicans! Heard of Jonathan Trimble?

Jonathan is a Poptropica artist who’s designed tons of cool stuff you may have seen in the game. We featured a Pop Portfolio of his work on the PHB last year, which you should definitely check out!

Anyway, this week on the Creators’ Blog, in addition to a new obnoxiously-placed Poptropica/ad video that now plays on the bottom corner of the screen with no option to be removed, we’re treated to a special post: an artist interview with Jonathan Trimble! It’s short and sweet, so we’ve shared it below, but you can also view the original on the Creators’ Blog. Here it is:

Meet Jonathan, one of our awesome artists busy with designing new characters and worlds in Poptropica! We call him JT around HQ. He took some time to do a few Q’s and A’s just for you!

Q: What was your favorite thing to work on in Poptropica?

A: Designing and animating the monkeys on Monkey Wrench Island!

Q: Who’s your favorite Poptropican? Favorite Island?

A: My favorite Poptropican is Amelia on Home Island because she’s so helpful. My favorite Island is a classic! Skullduggery! I miss it so.

Q: What kind of artwork do you make when you’re not working on Poptropica?

A: I like taking photos and drawing fantastic lands, making ceramic sculptures and designing logos– I can’t ever seem to make up my mind.

Q: What’s your advice for young artists who’d like to go pro?

A: Draw every day and never stop. Good days or bad, make sure you draw something, anything! The practice will pay off more than you could ever know!


In other news, the fall update on Home Island that came last week to mobile is now on the online version, too, so enjoy the orange leaves! 🍂

Last week, Blue Tooth also hit us with a Flashback Friday featuring the spooky horrors of running away from zombies on Zomberry Island. The post adds, somewhat ominously, “if you haven’t had the chance to experience the purple plague, you might be able to get a taste soon…!”

Since Blue Tooth also brings up Halloween coming up next month in the blog post about fall, and Zomberry has a clear creepy theme going, perhaps the Creators are planning a spine-tingling, bone-trembling surprise for us coming up? We’ll have to wait and see… 👀👻

Stay alive, Poptropicans.

The Chronicles of Shiny Bird: Part 4 of 4

This is the final segment of a four-part extended “My Place in Poptropica” guest post series by ShinyB1rd. Catch up on parts one, two, and three here. Enjoy!

The Great Decay

Another glorious year has passed, and the ever-so-beloved Shiny Bird continues to restore harmony across Poptropica, along with the mysterious stranger who goes by the alias Mighty Sky… In other news… The Booted Bandit of Pelican Rock was reportedly caught by Shiny Bird after a series of unusual events…

Channel 7 Pop News, 1st day of year 3 of the Gilded Age

I entered 2016 optimistic considering we were just coming out of the Gilded Age. In the beginning of the year, I still went by my usual routine with Poptropica: log on every day and cause mayhem in the Early Poptroica common rooms. However, as the weeks went on, I began to realize that Poptropica hadn’t posted anything on the Creators’ Blog for some time… Strange… Even when they did post, it wasn’t anything that interesting (to me). I was looking for new content, but there hadn’t been anything new for a while… By the end of January, I was beginning to question the future of the game.

In the midst of February, Monkey Wrench Island came out. Even though it was short and intended for new players, I found it to be quite enjoyable, fun, and entertaining. Other than this, however, February wasn’t all that better than the previous month. The Creators’ Blog was becoming stale and new content was scarce… What’s going on here? I wondered.

Months had passed and nothing interesting was coming out of Poptropica. Sure, there were a few prizes here and there, but nothing really worthwhile to me. I was beginning to play less and less, to the point where I only checked in on Poptropica once a week — not even logging onto my account, but just looking at the Creator’s Blog to see if they had come out with something new.

In April, the news of some “new Poptropica” came about. I initially had mixed feelings for it, but I wanted to stick with an open mind — after all, they just announced it, so I’d have to wait and see before I could rightfully judge.

Desolate

…the best word I can use to describe the period between 2016–mid-2018… I logged on very little, as there was little to do. Nothing had me excited. Even the launch of the overdue Poptropica Worlds was a disappointment for me.

To make matters worse, late 2017-2018 was also a period where I entered a state of deep depression (admittedly, it still persists to this day, but it is not as bad as it was during this time), hence my online activity was becoming quite scarce.

Ignition

October of 2018 came around, and I still didn’t played Poptropica as much as I once did. I was in my senior year in high school and was beginning to drift my attention away from the game and more into school. As October dragged on, however, a thought randomly popped into my head: the annual Halloween costume contest on the PHB!

Lately, I had been checking in with the PHB, as it was the only place that was coming out with cool and interesting things about Poptropica. Meanwhile, the game itself seemed to have been abandoned by its creators.

Anyway, once I remembered the annual contest, I wanted to participate. So I checked the PHB, and sure enough, they were hosting another contest. I read through the post and—OH MY PRETZEL STICKS, THEY’RE GIVING AWAY FREE MEMBERSHIP?????!

I froze, fantasizing about the endless possibilities of a free membership… the exclusive stuff I could get from the store…  the bonus quests I could gain access to at the end of each island… the clout I would get from the glowing membership status that would appear at the top left corner of the screen next to my battle rank every time someone hovers their mouse over me. I could hear myself laughing in the common rooms at everyone else as I’d spam the spacebar with the exclusive Poptropolis Games Discus in my hands, freezing them, and forcing them to their knees and beg for mercy. “FEAR ME, NONS!” I would shout.

But in order for all that to happen, I must take action… I’m now a man on a mission. Immediately, I went to work. I logged onto Poptropica filled with new determination, a feeling I hadn’t felt in years…

A New Hope

He sat there, staring back at the computer screen, proud of his creation. But would it be enough to take the prize home? Hours of effort put in, even creating a little poem about it just for safe measure… But could it all have been in vain? Only time would tell.

He had wanted to be a part of this particular community for a long time, but he never knew where to start. Deep inside, he was more afraid than anything. This is my best shot at it, he thought. He’d spent hours writing just one comment, consistently erasing it and polishing it in an effort to make a good first impression…

When the midnight hour struck, he settled down and hovered his mouse over the button that read “post.” Deep breath. Closed his eyes, and, in a whisper: here goes nothing… He lifted his finger… and pressed down…

*Click*

…The End.


A Final Word

You’ve reached the end. Yaaaay! Now, a few words: I can hear some of you saying, “ShInY, hOw DaRe YoU EnD In A cLiFfHaNgEr! ThAt’s, LiKe, BaSiCaLlY A CrImE — dId YoU wIn ThE cOnTeSt???” Yes, I did!

I won, got my membership, and enslaved every innocent soul in every common room spamming the Poptropolis Discus for hours on end got back to playing Poptropica more frequently. I even slithered my way into involvement in the PHB… well, kinda. So far, the only things I’ve really done around here is hang out in the comments section on each blog post and post my opinions on things, maybe referencing a meme or two… and that’s really it.

Later, I discovered the PHB Discord server. I joined, but never really said anything, lol. Mainly because I’m… well… kinda scared to be honest (as I mentioned in my author’s note at the beginning, I am a little socially awkward, hehe).

Anyway, when the summer (of 2019) hit, I decided to take a break from Poptropica, as well as refrain from posting comments on the PHB, in order to focus on college. (Believe me when I say it: college hit me hard, like, for me it’s basically the equivalent of being run over by a bus.) Still, I might come back and try to be even more involved in this community, though probably not until I get myself adjusted to college. We’ll see how it goes.

Well, I hope you liked my little story, despite the length. (I was originally gonna try to keep it shorter, but I’m just kinda used to writing long and didn’t want this to be any different, so I ditched that idea, lol.)

My fellow Poptropicans, don’t forget to stay fresh, and go crazy out there (not too crazy, though!). Most of all: keep on shining!

This is your friendly neighborhood bird signing off. Peace.

– Shiny Bird 🦅


Hope you enjoyed the final part of this “My Place in Poptropica” story!

If you haven’t already, we invite you to send in your own (and they don’t have to be as long as this one!). Please include your username and a minimum of 500 words, typed with good spelling and grammar, and divided into labeled sections. If you send in your story, we will continue to post new community MPIPs!

Interested in writing for the PHB under a different Pop-topic? Take a look at our Write for the PHB page for ideas, guidelines, and more. We’d love to hear from you!

~the Poptropica Help Blog

The Chronicles of Shiny Bird: Part 3 of 4

This is part three of a four-part extended “My Place in Poptropica” guest post series by ShinyB1rd. Catch up on part one and part two here. Enjoy!

…He will rise!

It wasn’t long before the second coming of Shiny Bird. After so much time had passed, Poptropica and its many islands had been flushed into chaos. It was bound to happen, but without a hero, who would restore peace across Poptropica? With no hero in sight, Poptropica was doomed forever.

Until. Out of nowhere. Reports of sightings of a man with a familiar face, seen traveling in a yellow blimp. The news spread like wildfire. “Could it be?…” All of Poptropica wondered. The old remembered a time of peace and prosperity, and the young were praying for a brighter future. But no one knew for sure if the sightings were true. It could all just be false rumors for all they knew… They could only hope…

Just days after the completion of Poptropolis Games Island, I logged back into Poptropica. It was inevitable. After catching a glimpse of all the new islands and content, it had been on the back of my mind for days, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Plus, my previous history with the game further fueled the fire. I hopped onto the yellow blimp, loaded the map, and set off to fresh horizons…

The Gilded Age

…With the return of our beloved champion of Poptropica, Shiny Bird, along with his dedication, works of love and restoration… Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure to officially announce to all citizens of Poptropica that peace has been restored! … May these lands prosper for another glorious age!

Transcript of Poptropica-wide televised special announcement, Year 0 of the Gilded Age

I was just wrapping up the final island: Mocktropica. A couple months had passed, and I was just about to complete all of the islands (thus far) once again. Somehow, I managed to beat the crap out of a giant robot by throwing a bunch of coins at it (spoiler? oh, too late, hehe).

Now that I’m done with everything every single island, you might be thinking “OH NO HE’S GONNA QUIT AGAIN—” Wrong. I didn’t. You see, as I was exploring new islands, I discovered this hot new thing called “common rooms.”

“BuT sHiNy,” I hear you say, “CoMmOn RoOmS hAvE BeEn A tHiNg SiNcE LiKe FoReVeR. wHaT dO yOu MeAn YoU jUsT dIsCoVeReD tHeM???”

Nonono you don’t understand, I knew they were a thing when I originally played Poptropica, but I never knew what they actually were (back then, I had a sucky internet connection that couldn’t even load up common rooms). Look: It was pretty revolutionary for me when I found out you could meet other players who share the same passion for the game (cuz let’s be real, in 2013, you weren’t gonna find anyone irl who still played or admitted that they played Poptropica).

With this new discovery, I headed to the common rooms. I settled over at the Soda Pop Shop on Early Poptropica, which was the most popular common room at the time.

As time pressed on, I continued to hang around the Early Poptropica common room, and completed new islands as they were released to the public. In the common rooms, I made a few friends, competed with some rivals, and strived to master all the head-to-head games (except for Sudoku, cuz 1) who the heck plays Sudoku? lol, and 2) I could never figure that game out… I had a little brain back then, plz don’t make fun of me, have mercy).

Of all the games though, I was most proficient at Hoops. I loved it because it was quick and intense, especially when matched up with other fierce competitors. I grew a hatred for Sky Dive, mainly because every single person asked to play Sky Dive and I eventually grew tired of it since I wanted to play other head-to-head games, but it seemed no one really wanted to play anything else.

Somewhere around this time, I also discovered the PHB. It’s not anything too exciting of a story, but one day I was just casually looking for something that had all-things Poptropica and voila! There it was: the PHB, in all its glory! I spent hours exploring this site and discovered cool things I never knew about the game.

At the same time, I realized that there existed a little community who loved the game as much as I do, and who do cool things inspired by it. The PHB was my first taste of a fandom. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but it did motivate me to continue playing the game knowing that there are people who actively express their love for Poptropica.

Something else worth mentioning is that I also created two new Poptropica characters. After a while, I sort of got tired of playing with Shiny Bird, so to combat my boredom I set off to try creating new characters. The first was Golden Rider: the fallen champion of Poptropica from an alternate universe.

“Shiny,” I hear you say. “Why do you say fallen champion?” Well, it’s a long story. In short, I had plans for her, but somewhere down the line, I was messing around with ASGs and suddenly she became a he and I didn’t know how to change it back. I got so mad that I quit playing for a while, and abandoned her entirely.

But I eventually came back to create a new girl character, where I originally planned for her to be an exact copy of Golden Rider so I could, in a sense, continue where I left off. Lo and behold, the mythical Mighty Sky was born. As time went on, I abandoned my original plan for her to be an exact copy of Golden Rider and set off to construct a unique identity for Mighty Sky. She became my favorite character, and I mainly played on that account for the rest of Poptropica’s peak years, what I call the Gilded Age…


Hope you enjoyed part three of this “My Place in Poptropica” story! Stay tuned for the final part of the Chronicles of Shiny Bird, coming soon to the PHB.

If you haven’t already, we invite you to send in your own (and they don’t have to be as long as this one!). Please include your username and a minimum of 500 words, typed with good spelling and grammar, and divided into labeled sections. If you send in your story, we will continue to post new community MPIPs!

Interested in writing for the PHB under a different Pop-topic? Take a look at our Write for the PHB page for ideas, guidelines, and more. We’d love to hear from you!

~the Poptropica Help Blog