Customization in the age of Haxe (or lack thereof)

Hey Poptropicans, you need look no further for the news—and this time, it’s all about the looks. Let’s pop in.

First, new store items are here! Poptropica actually missed last week, which is the first time that’s happened since they made the store rotations weekly.

The non-costume categories haven’t changed since the last rotation, so only the store’s costumes are pictured above. This week’s items are:

  • Costumes: Lumberjerk (male and female), Boho Chic*, Furry Monster 4 (two different versions)*, Magician (male and female)*, Friendly Face Masks, Mud Pie, Rockstar, Mech Pilot*, Clown, Pig#, Bottle Cap#, Ringmaster*, Cool Boy Plush#, Shark Plush*, Milk Box#
  • Followers: Deer, Dryad, Dolphin*, Mini Astroknight*
  • Powers: Hypno-Powder, (Cinnamon Fire) PopGum, Raven Swarm*, Fireworks*
  • Pranks: Hypno-Powder, Octo Prank, Silly Streams
  • Misc: (Cinnamon Fire) PopGum, Coconut Drink#, Cool Boy Plush#, Shark Plush*, Colorizer*

As is the norm these days, about half of the store stock is for members only. Still, both non-members and members have the chance to snag some great deals with several items at 75 credits (marked with #): the Pig, Bottle Cap, and Milk Box costumes, plus the Cool Boy Plush and Coconut Drink.

Interesting detail: the handheld plushie of the Shark Tooth Island character previously known as Shark Boy before his erasure is not called “Shark Guy” as he later came to be known, but now, the item is simply “Shark Plush” despite not being a shark but rather a dude in a shark suit. 🦈

If you’re playing in Haxe, you may also notice that a couple of NPCs have gotten makeovers! The person in front of the store is now a golden-haired girl, and the lady by the New You building has gotten a glow-up.

(You can see what they used to look like in our post about summer coming to Home Island on Haxe.)

That’s not all that’s new in looks. If you head over to the home page to create a new character with one of the default picks, you’ll be taken to a screen where you can further customize your character before diving into the game.

We’ve seen this orange customization screen before, back before “pick a character” became a thing. And new players can still access it by speaking to Amelia, the girl on the Home Island bridge. But it’s interesting to now have it show up right after picking a default character design, when it seemed the whole point of that was to skip the step of customization from the beginning.

However, when the “pick a character” update first rolled out, players had commented on how it took away from the fun of carefully crafting one’s character right from the get-go. For them, this reversion may be a welcome update. But having both a simplified selection screen and a customization screen seems odd—what about the new player who carefully selects a default character only to realize it could’ve been altered all along? Will this inclusion of both features be temporary?

Speaking of customization, there’s been a startling development: the beloved Costumizer tool—the green shirt button which allows you to “steal” clothing parts from other characters—has disappeared from most areas in Haxe. Will it return, or are the Creators sabotaging the fun in yet another way? We can only hope this is temporary, but it’s hard to tell…

That’s all for this post. Be sure to check out our previous posts to catch up on other Poptropica news, and see you at the Poppies this weekend! 🏆

~slantedfish 🐠

See what’s in store on Pelican Rock 🐦

Hey, Poptropicans! This is Gentle Dolphin bringing the latest Poptropica news.

The Creators have been hard at work moving the game and its many islands to the Haxe platform. There’s been exciting development: Escape from Pelican Rock Island is now playable on Poptropica’s Haxe build!

The island is currently in early access, so only members can play it right now. On the bright side, it’s available to all players on the Flash version of the game. (Thanks to PERCY JACKSON1010 for the tip.)

Looking at the map, the next islands coming to the Haxe build will be Mythology Island, followed by Shrink Ray Island, as we previously reported.

Before you start your prison-break escapades, make sure to stop by Bert’s Basement Gym and check out its common room store with your a-droid-able friend Quippy. If cuteness is a crime, then Quippy is guilty as charged. You’ll find them accompanied by a pelican on their head and dressed in a classic striped prison uniform.

Three of the four items—Prisoner Costume, Pet Bird Follower, and Escapee Dr. Hare—were originally made to promote Escape from Pelican Rock’s release, but the Handcuff Toss is new! Equip it and press the spacebar to throw your handcuffs in the air like you just don’t care.

handcuff toss

Are you guys excited to return to the near-impenetrable walls of Pelican Rock? If you need help at any point during your stay, check out our Escape From Pelican Rock guide for tips, tricks, and trivia.

Common rooms aren’t the only stores receiving updates. The three other in-game stores received some updates as well.

This week’s Poptropica store lineup is mostly the same as last week’s, but a few items were swapped. In costumes, Dangerous Waters and Mech Pilot have been replaced with Clown and Fierce Lion*. Also, the creepy Zombify ability was swapped with the lovely Love Potion* in the pranks section.

The Pet Barn also boasts a lineup of new and old accessories for your precious pets. Our returning items this time around are Sorcerer Hat*, Flower Headband, Black Pointed Bangs, Round Glasses, Hero Mask, Grey Beard, Zomberry Eyes, Yellow Dead Eyes, Cute Blue Eyes*, and Big Brown Eyes*. We also have five new items: Reading Glasses, Green Cloak, Fairy Wings, Bat Wings, and Bandana.

Finally, the clubhouse store has a new array of familiar furniture and wallpapers. This time around, the decor store features 21 items, 12 of which are members-only.

Don’t forget that the Poppies 2020 nomination round ends tonight, so make sure to fill out our survey and let us know who/what you feel deserves to win an award. Maybe you want to nominate some of the new pet items for Best Pet Accessory, or your favorite furniture items for Best Clubhouse Decor. Get nominating before time runs out!

Thank you for reading, and have a good day!

—Gentle Dolphin 🐬

Between the shifting cracks on Haxe

Hey Poptropicans, how’s it hanging? With Poptropica’s post-Flash developments, things have been changing on Haxe, but if you’re not a new player, you might not have noticed because they’re designed for newbies. And if you are a new player, well, you might not be aware of what’s different!

At least one eagle-eyed player, though, has been keeping track: PHB reader Perfect Fish reported some developments seen in Poptropica’s Haxe build over the past week. Last Monday, for example, new players would get a tutorial pop-up screen explaining the basics of the game’s mechanics:

That’s now gone, though, along with this character naming screen we’ve seen before in Flash (albeit in different colors) and more recently in Haxe. Perfect Fish says he was able to keep his customized pre-scripted name (“Lucky Jumper”) on Haxe in this short-lived experiment that could’ve freed us from the names assigned to pre-made characters. Will it ever return?

While the naming option didn’t stay long — perhaps the Creators are still fine-tuning it? — the second step of character customization does remain, and new players can find it by talking to Amelia (that’s the girl by the blimp) on Home Island and saying, “Customize how I look!”

By the way, notice that new pop-up in the lower right corner nudging you to create an account? Looks like the Creators are putting a lot of energy into showing the ropes to new players.

Anyway, after you choose that customization option with Amelia—and remember, it only shows up for newbies—you’ll be greeted with this “Choose Your Style” screen. We’ve seen this appearance editor screen before too, back in 2019, although it used to show up before you even made it to Home Island.

With all these subtle changes on Haxe, it seems the Creators are still trying to figure out the best way forward when it comes to the new player’s experience on this new platform, and it’s possible different features will keep moving around as the Creators keep experimenting.

What suggestions do you have for the future of character customization and newbie tutorials? Leave them in the comments below — maybe they’ll inspire the Poptropica Creators!


Classic Islands are back, but not forever

Hey, Poptropicans! From the (temporary) return of classic islands (!!) to hot new summer items, there’s a lot to cover in this post. Let’s get started.

Players have been requesting the return of the classic, old school islands since they vanished from the map last July. Although there’s a backdoor way to access them, the popular demand ever since their disappearance has always been to officially reinstate them into the game itself. And now, they’re back!

The Creators have been listening, and this week they finally decided to bring back the classic islands. Though the team is still busy porting the islands to the Haxe Javascript build of Poptropica, they figured they would let us play the old islands while Flash is still available. To get started, find Early Poptropica Island on your map in Poptropica. Either the Flash or Haxe version will do…

…But as you can see, there is one major catch: it’s for members only. (Non-members, fear not: we’ll get to how you can join in on the fun, too.)

If you are a member, though, you’ll get a screen inviting you into Early Poptropica Island. Clicking “Play” will redirect you to the old Flash login page, where you’ll need to enter your login again to be brought to Early Pop.

From there, you can hop onto the blimp to travel across the various classic islands, as pictured earlier in this post. (And if you need them, we’ve still got guides for every island.) Keep in mind, however, that since this is old technology (Action Script 2), these islands can sometimes be buggy.

Why members only? Reddit user theodoor03 reached out to Poptropica support to ask this question, and shared the following response he received: in short, “Because of the islands’ age, they require a good deal of extra maintenance per player. [Poptropica] simply would not be able to support every player trying to access them right now.”

If you’re a non-member, don’t worry. You can still play the classic islands with the aforementioned backdoor method, which is to use idk’s Old Island Directory (also listed on our Glitching page). There are just a few more steps you’ll have to follow compared with before Poptropica’s members-only update, which are all outlined in the notes of the teleporter tool.

Happy exploring—while you can! Since Flash will be gone at the end of 2020, there’s only about half a year left before these islands are no longer playable, membership or not. Make the most of this moment!

Some players have reported seeing a new cinematic trailer video for Poptropica when logging into the Haxe build. The 30-second clip animates a sea of familiar islands, from iconic ones like Mythology and Arabian Nights (where Scheherezade is summoning… herself?) to classic ones like Twisted Thicket and Zomberry Island. You can watch the epic video here.

Could this be reassurance that some of these older islands will return in the future after Flash? (Hopefully for all players, too.)

Another week, another store update! Here’s what’s in on the first week of June. In total, we have 21 items in stock, 9 of which are for members only. Most notably, the Graduate costume is free for all! (And while you’re flapping about in these robes, take a moment to read the PHB’s 2020 commencement address as a note of encouragement for all Poptropicans!)

This week’s costumes are: Graduate, Spring Fling, Unicorn Girl*, Clover Kid, Lilac Star, Hiker Cutie*, and Wild Child*. (Lilac Star and Clover Kid are relatively cheap at 75 credits.) For followers, we have the Deer*, Chick, F.R.E.D. (from Galactic Hot Dogs), and Classic Pack*. Just two powers this week: Snow Fall and Flower Planting*. In pranks, there’s Hypno-Powder*, Silly Streams, Squirrel Prank*, and Bunny Wand. Finally, in miscellaneous: Marshmallow Roaster, Hiking Shoes, Classic PopGum*, and Balloons. (* = members only)

According to the Home Island billboard, store items will continue to rotate weekly, just as they have for the past couple of months. Huzzah!

And finally — it’s not only a new week but a new month, which means member gifts! June kicks off summer in the northern hemisphere, so the three flavors of Popsicles are quite fitting here. Members can also throw it back to 2015 with the Hover Scooter and Drone Flying Follower.

Like its real-life counterpart, the Hover Scooter (also known as a hoverboard) doesn’t actually hover, but simply glides, as shown in the gif below. Your Poptropican also suddenly puts on shoes to ride it.

The Hover Scooter and other June member gifts in action.

That’s it for this post! Share your thoughts in the comments—what islands do you want to see return in post-Flash Poptropica? what stands out to you in the new cinematic trailer? why is Poptropica bringing back a dead trend?—and we’ll see you next time. Stay safe, Poptropicans. ✊

Gentle Dolphin contributed reporting to this post. Thanks also to Purple Claw (former PHB staff) for tipping us off on several news items.