Blast from the Past, Creators' Blog Guest Posts, Home Island, Monkey Wrench Island

A history of Home Island and mystery (and return) of Monkey Wrench 🐵🏠

Hey Poptropicans! You’re familiar with Home Island, the perennial launchpad of your Poptropica adventures (and home to a brand new store interior!), but are you aware of its storied past?

An early iteration of Home Island in 2016. Yes, before DJ Saturday Nite was whitewashed, she dyed her hair blonde. Welcome to Poptropica.

This week on the Poptropica Creators’ Blog, guest writer Invisible Ring lays out a history of Home Island and how it connects to the disappearance of Monkey Wrench Island, released in 2016 as a tutorial for first-time players. Her main theory is that, as Home Island kept changing with seasonal makeovers, the connection to Monkey Wrench must have gotten cut off. “How could Amelia land her airplane on Home Island if Home Island won’t stay still?

Monumental: You finally made a monkey out of me.

Ring also gives a shout-out to “Monkey Wrench posts on the PHB” which inspired her to contact the Pop Creators about bringing the island back. (One such post: Purple Paw’s Pop Petition: Bring Monkey Wrench back.) In response, the Creators have confirmed a return for Monkey Wrench, although no dates are set yet.

As for Home Island’s history, in addition to Ring’s guest post, the PHB has captured its evolving stories over the years as well. Before 2015, there was no Home Island — when you logged in, you’d find yourself wherever you last left off on whatever island you were on. Since its release (back when it was briefly known as Hub Island), it’s gone through a lot of cosmetic and functional changes in the past five years.

Did you know that in the first Home Island, you had to find a wrench for Amelia Earhart and medallion shards for an explorer, which was later disbanded into the separate islands of Snagglemast and Monkey Wrench? Anyway, we went through our archives and pieced together some pics from over the years! Do you remember these scenes?

Enjoyed the throwback? There’s much more in the PHB archives!

Anyway, how do you feel about Home Island? What changes do you want to see on it, or have you had enough of its constant facelifts? Do you miss Monkey Wrench, or is Snagglemast superior? Share your thoughts in the comments, and pop on, Poptropicans! ✌️

~🐠

Creators, Creators' Blog Guest Posts, Fairy Tale Island

Interview with the Poptropica Creators: the creative process of making a game 🎤✏️

Hey Poptropicans, it’s Slanted Fish here with a behind-the-scenes look at the Poptropica Creators’ creative process! 👀✏️

Operating System: When technology meets talent, anything is possible.

About a month ago, I sent the Pop Creators several interview questions, and this week, the questions were answered! You can catch the full interview on the Creators’ Blog as well as below, along with some additional notes (in italics) here in the PHB edition:

Where do you get your ideas from?

We get a lot of ideas when we’re together talking about our favorite things. That inspires a lot of creative fun ideas. Pets came from the idea that almost everyone on the Poptropica Creators team [h]as pets and the types of pets varies from dogs to cats to rabbits and more.

We also get a lot of ideas from players. Poptropica players are always sharing super cool stuff that they want to see in the game. We get awesome fan mail and see people’s ideas on social media too.

(PHB’s note: We share ideas from the community here on the PHB as well — check out our Pop Petitions for things we want to see in the game!)

What does the process of making something on Poptropica look like from start to finish, whether it’s an item, island, or character?

We’ll use the new store we’re working on as an example! First, everyone on the team does research. We go through player feedback on what people have and haven’t liked about the Poptropica store over the years. We also look at other stores, including stores IRL. Then we start to concept what we want the store to be like. We have to come up with designs that will be easy to use both on your computer and on mobile.

After the sketches are done, some of the artists will start to design the actual scene with color and place items, so we get an idea of how big it needs to be. Once everyone feels like it has what it needs, it goes to the developers.

The developers are the ones who bring the whole thing to life. They code the entire experience and that’s the first time any of the Poptropica Creators can actually play what they’ve designed! We just did our first play-through of the new store and were psyched with how it’s come along.

Everything we make requires the whole team and takes a lot of time. It’s totally worth it though!

(PHB’s note: Check out these sneak peeks for the upcoming interior of the store! Also, it’s cool to hear about how different parts of the team work together to create the game’s designs.)

Can you share some snapshots of what you’re working on?

Here [are] some more sneak peeks [for] the new Fairy Tale Island!

(PHB’s note: Nice pics! We’ve also shared more sneak peeks of Fairy Tale Island on this blog. Stay tuned to the PHB for the latest news on this upcoming adventure! Also, thoughts on this new hands-on-hips pose?)

What kind of stories do you hope to tell?

We love unique stories with a fun twist. Elements of surprise are always super fun too. When we’re brainstorming new ideas or choosing winners for the Dream Island Contest, we’re looking for things that we think we would love to read as a book. If it would make a good book, then it would make a great island!

(PHB’s note: Interesting. We love a good book too, but a Poptropica island is not a book — wouldn’t it be cool to explore more on the affordances of Poptropica’s platform? Interactivity, non-linear storytelling, social interaction, and more are all possibilities with digital storytelling that you would not find with a book. Still, there are certain elements that make up a good story no matter the medium, and we always look forward to what stories will be told through Poptropica!)

How do you gather player feedback and how does it influence the game?

Players share their feedback in a lot of different places, from actual mail to videos online. There is always a lot of feedback and it ranges from super fun ideas to questions about why we’ve made changes to Poptropica. When we get a lot of the same feedback from different players it can definitely influence what we do. For example, there have been a lot of requests for more ways to customize your character now that New You is gone. We’re already incorporating that into the new features we’re working on. 

(PHB’s note: Why is New You gone, anyway? BTW, if you have feedback for the Creators, you can send them through their submission form!)

What advice do you have for young creatives who want to work on a game like Poptropica one day?

If you’re passionate about making games, start learning no matter what age you are. One of the newest developers on the Poptropica Creators team started learning how to code when they were 12, and that was before there were so many amazing online courses! Always be open to learning new things and be willing to put in the hard work and dedication to become really good at it. Sometimes starting something new can feel hard, but with practice, anyone can become great!


That’s the end of the interview! Thank you, Poptropica Creators, for taking the time to answer these questions and give Poptropicans everywhere some insight into the game’s inner (and outer) workings. It’s hard work building this space to be quality fun, but well worth it! 💙

What are your thoughts on the Q&A? What questions do you have for the Pop Creators? Share them in the comments here, and/or on the original guest post on their blog, and they may be addressed in the future!

~🐠

Creators' Blog Guest Posts, Paradise Island, Pets, Poptropica Store, Video of the Week

What Airways is really, and Billie ✈👩‍🎤

Hey Poptropicans! In this post: the secrets of Poptropica Airways (aka Paradise Island), Billie Eilish, and a store update. Let’s pop right in.

Fans have been wondering about a sneak peek of Poptropica Airways posted by the Creators back in August. Although we’ve covered what became of it here on the PHB, the Creators themselves never mentioned it again — until now. In an interview with Poptropica guest blogger Invisible Ring, they finally put some questions to rest!

The main question, of course, is “What is Poptropica Airways?” To that, they answered that it was basically an experiment to help decide what features to develop on Poptropica.

Poptropica Airways, also known as Paradise Island, was a beta experience we created to understand what features players today would like to see in Poptropica. It allowed us to test a new experience for entering the game, news messages, plus daily tasks and rewards. These tests allow us to quickly see what new players are interested in so we know if new features would be a good fit in Poptropica. The news system from Poptropica Airways has already made it into the main game and more features are on their way!

Poptropica Creators’ Blog

Hmm, wonder what other features from Airways/Paradise Island they’ll try to implement into the game? Early perceptions of Paradise were not too favorable, with some players considering it to be an inferior copy of Animal Crossing. Paradise doesn’t seem to be available anymore, but you can read all about it on the PHB!

They go on to say that it’s separate from Poptropica Worlds, is not a new story-focused island, but rather “a new type of Home Island,” is not a station for accessing special islands, and will definitely not be replacing the iconic yellow blimp. You can read the full interview on the Creators’ Blog, and catch up with Invisible Ring on our Discord server, the PHC!


Also on the Creators’ Blog is a fresh Video of the Week! This time, it’s a quick clip from TikTok user @tony_torres38 drawing singer Billie Eilish as a Poptropica character. Looks just like her with the iconic neon green, doesn’t it? View the vid on the official blog!


Last but not least, the store’s been rearranged! Not much is new from before, but the Swan Ballerina and Little Demon costumes were added to the mix. Plus, check out all the fun items in the pet store as well. 🐶

That’s it for this post! Thanks for popping by, and see you in the next one. Stay awesome, Poptropicans. ✌️

~🐠

Creators' Blog Guest Posts, Video of the Week

The PHB meets Popsonas and videos on the official Poptropica blog!

Hey Poptropicans, it’s Slanted Fish! 🐠 If you’ve been checking the Poptropica Creators’ Blog lately, you may have seen my first guest post shared there this week. And if it’s your first time here, perhaps because of that post: welcome! Here on the PHB, we’re all about Poptropica. 😄

Introducing myself on the official Pop blog through my Popsona — read it here!

You can see the post for yourself over on the official Pop blog, but it’s basically about creating your own Popsona, or Poptropica persona for your game character. It’s a fun activity that’s been part of the fandom for years, and you can find even more Popsonas from the PHB team here.

Of course, the PHB is a big part of Slanted Fish’s Popsona story, so I had to include it in there as well — and am grateful that the Creators included a link here, to the “Poptropica fan publication known as the Poptropica Help Blog.” Still, the PHB is bigger than just my story — it includes all of you who read it and follow along with us! 📰🏝

Speaking of Pop blogging, don’t miss out on the other fantastic guest posts from this week! Purple Paw (a fellow PHB writer) blogged about what makes Poptropica special to her, while BraveSky waxed poetic about the game’s many adventures. And if you’re feeling inspired, you can also share your musings about Poptropica here on the PHB! ✏


In other news straight from the Creators’ Blog, the Video of the Week series continues with a two-part walkthrough of Timmy Failure Island by Siblings Ahoy! Check out part 1 below and part 2 on the Pop blog:

By the way, the PHB has walkthroughs for every island listed on our Island Help page! Each of our guides comes with video and written walkthroughs, as well as other fun stuff like the lowdown on Quippy’s store items, trivia, album photos from the old days of Pop, and more.


That’s it for this update! Share with us in the comments: What’s your Popsona story? What do you want to read about next on the Creators’ Blog? And any theories as to why Timmy Failure so brazenly walks around without pants??

Be sure to check out the posts below to know what else is happening in the Poptropica fandom, from Island Flash-backs spotlighting the classic islands from the Flash days to free membership giveaways! At the PHB, we’re always busy cooking up ideas inspired by Poptropica. 🌤

🌟 Keep on popping on, Poptropicans! 🌟

Creators' Blog Guest Posts, Membership, Poptropica Store, Social Media

Hearty items and love, to and from fans 💝

Hello, Poptropicans! Gentle Dolphin here with our first pieces Poptropica news in February. Today, we’ll be seeing new items for players and features of fan works. Let’s take a look!

February has a new pack of member gifts all themed around love. Active members will receive the following items: the Lifted in Love power, which makes NPCs float; the Love Bomb, which explodes in a flurry of hearts; and the Love Rocket Scooter, which allows you to zip around in sweet style. How lovely! ❤️


The store now features cozy winter fashion, Valentine’s goodies, and other miscellaneous items! We also got seven new items: Space Bounty Hunter, Slice of Pizza Tees, King and Queen Hoodies, Baby Alicorn Follower, L.E.D. Me, Valentine Minefield, and Heart Bubble Wand. Two of these items remind me of some shows I heard of, but my little brain can’t figure out what they are. 🤔

With so many hearty items around, you’re bound to fall in love with something!

Think I’ll name my new baby alicorn “Cool Whip.”

Two days ago, Poptropica featured a bunch of fan content ranging from art to writing. Poptropica’s latest Instagram story showcased a whopping ten art posts from seven different artists! We have art featuring iconic Pop villains, locations, and community members (including the PHB’s resident jokers).


Last but certainly not least, two new guest posts have appeared on the Creators’ Blog! Monday’s post was from none other than the PHB’s own Purple Paw, who details some of Poptropica’s greatest strengths, such as storytelling and visual design. You can read her full post on the Creators’ Blog as well as some of her other posts here on the PHB!

The second guest post comes from BraveSky, a Poptropica veteran (13 years is as old as the game itself!). She wrote a sonnet based on memories from the distant past, referencing classic bits of the game like breaking out of a box (the old account creation process) and hypnotic fried dough (Monster Carnival). The final couplet wraps it up beautifully:

Who says Poptropica is too different; is that truly so?

Ever stop to realize we have again rooms, shoes, pets, my beautiful afro?

BraveSky

If you’re at least 13 years old and want to join the blogging bandwagon, then you can apply to be a guest writer for the Creators’ Blog. But whether or not you meet those arbitrary age requirements, you can still guest write for the Poptropica Help Blog! Details are explained in our Write for the PHB page.

Thank you for reading, and have a good day!

—Gentle Dolphin 🐬