Community Creations: June 2020

community-creations-logo

Hello once again everyone! Spotted Dragon here bringing you the June recap for Community Creations! June’s theme was Monochromatic (and the featured work is not in any particular order). Be sure to check out all the featured artists!

No clue what’s going on? Go see our intro post.

Top 5 Picks

Fruit Series Part 1: Orange by MissEligon

Kicking off our feature set with a bright orange color scheme! Though we usually think of pink when we picture the villainous Dr. Hare, I’m sure the color of carrots is close to his heart as well. But more on the theme of fruit here, this piece really pops! The angled limbs of the character paired with the geometric patterns of the background make for a sharp scene. I love the flat coloring and smooth line art. Really impressive composition! Find her DeviantArt here.

Yellow Star Music by AdventurersNHunters

What a fun yellow color scheme! The poses of these characters, along with their expressions, are very dynamic. That, along with the curved musical notes and bubbly background create a strong sense of movement in the scene. Just looking at it, I almost want to get up and dance! The connotation of the color certainly works well with the theme too! Find her DeviantArt here.

Blue Joe by thehypercutter

Blue seems like an perfect match to our friend Joe from Zomberry island, huh? Too perfect not to be paired! And after an experience like the blueberry zombie apocalypse, who can really blame Joe from still having worries? With the color scheme and character expression, this piece displays clear emotion. Makes me feel… blue? Excuse the pun, but great work! Find her DeviantArt here.

Chat on the Rooftop by BlazingAngel123

Ooooh, I am in love with this indigo color scheme! The blue/purple tones match the night sky very well, creating a deep and rich atmosphere. The expressions of the characters look effortless, bringing a sense of casual/natural emotion to the scene. The lineart is super smooth too. Well made! Find her DeviantArt here.

Monochromatic Moreau by Midnightoilstudios

Pink color schemes (and Moreau in particular) seem to be a fan favorite this month, but rightly so, looking at the wonderful submissions we received! The pink tones definitely match the character’s aesthetic, and the shading here is super soft. I love the eyes of this art style especially. Moreau is looking fantastic! Find her DeviantArt here.


Honorable Mentions

Hey, we almost made a full rainbow with the submissions this month! I loved seeing how creative you guys could get with color. And on that note, Happy Pride month to all! Though 2020 has been a crazy year, I hope everyone was able to enjoy pride. ❤


July: How do I Participate?

Community Creations is a cool series for anyone in the Poptropica community to join in on. To sum up what it’s about, it’s basically a chance to show off your artwork, creepy fan-fics, Pop clubhouses, costumes, and anything else that pops into your mind.

If we really like the piece you submit, we will feature it here on the PHB! As long as it relates to that month’s theme. So what is July’s theme? July’s theme is…

Classic Islands

With Flash Player coming to an end, the fate of Poptropica Islands is a bit uncertain these days. Will we ever get to see our favorite classics return to the map, or will we only be able to revisit them in our memories and through backdoor access? Are member the only few that will get to experience these adventures one last time as we transition to Haxe? Either way, perhaps now is a time to celebrate these islands yet again through our artwork and other creative pursuits!

So what islands are considered classics? Well, that’s pretty much any non-sound updated island (included 24 Carrot, despite its renovation). But the further back, the better! Early Poptropica, Time Tangled, Spy, Super Power, and other old-school experiences deserve the spotlight this month, so be sure to share your best work with us!

Having one giant adventure!
  • Comment below with a link to whatever you’ve created OR share it with me (SydVC aka Spotted Dragon) on DeviantArtTwitter, or Discord.
  • Results: I will feature 5 of the submissions as well as 3 honorable mentions.
  • Limitations: Nothing NSFW, and make sure you relate to the theme.
  • Due Date: I will take any entries before the end of this month. Submit as many things as you’d like!

I will be sure to let you know I have seen your creation. While quality counts, I’m mainly looking for something to simply catch my eye, so don’t be afraid to join in!

So what are you waiting for? Go make something awesome!

~SD

SUI’s will stay, old school islands maybe someday

Hey Poptropicans, it’s time for another check-in on the post-Flash future.

The Creators’ Blog came out with a (cleverly titled) “State of the Game” address, confirming many of the things we covered in our own similar post last month on “Preserving Poptropica post-Flash”: mainly, that the Creators are working hard to keep Poptropica alive after Flash technology is gone.

This is a screenshot of the HAXE JavaScript build the Creators have been working on since last year, which will be how Poptropica lives on. So far, looking pretty much the same as the actual game!

Here’s a snippet from the “State of the Game” post (our emphasis added):

As many of our older fans know, there were two different Flash engines that previously ran Poptropica. In technical terms, they are called AS2 and AS3. Some members of the community might know them better as Old School and Sound Updated islands. Our main task right now is converting every AS3 island.

We want to emphasize that the Old School islands are still on the table! But the code that built them is so old that they would need to be remade from the ground up if we were to re-insert them into the live game. We’ve seen this rumor quite a bit, so we’d like to put it to bed: They will definitely not be playable when the JavaScript build launches.

Poptropica Creators’ Blog, “State of the Game: Converting from Flash”

Sound updated islands (SUIs / AS3 islands) include Virus Hunter and every island that has followed its release in 2013. You can still play all of them on the current Poptropica. But the Creators still have work to do to make sure they’re all ready for the next iteration of Poptropica, which is being built on JavaScript.

Old school islands (AS2 islands) are every island that preceded Virus Hunter and that did not get an SUI upgrade in subsequent years. As of July 2019, these 30-some islands—which include classics like Astro-Knights and Skullduggery, as the Creators’ Blog laments—are no longer on the map. (For now, though, you can still play them using idk’s Old Island Directory!)

And now, a moment of silence for the fallen:

Early Poptropica
Shark Tooth
Super Power
Spy
Nabooti
Big Nate
Astro-Knights
Counterfeit
Reality TV
Skullduggery
Steamworks
Great Pumpkin
Cryptids
Wild West
Wimpy Wonderland
Red Dragon
Mystery Train
Game Show
Ghost Story
S.O.S.
Vampire’s Curse
Twisted Thicket
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Wimpy Boardwalk
Lunar Colony
Super Villain
Zomberry
Night Watch
Back Lot
Legendary Swords

🙏

Based on the post, it looks like it’s going to be a while before we see those classic islands officially resurface. However, it’s reassuring to hear that they’re still being considered for a return, some distant day… though not when the JavaScript build comes out.

This bit of news about the old school islands may be a downer, but as the Creators remind us, it’s still pretty incredible that Poptropica gets to remain playable even after Flash is no longer supported, especially in a time when “so many browser games from the 2000’s and 2010’s are disappearing.” So thanks back at you, Poptropica Creators, for doing what you gotta do—even when it may not be as exciting as creating new islands.

Plus, the Creators say they’ll be letting players in on open beta testing for the upcoming JavaScript build, which is coming with special rewards for those who try it out. Now that’s something to look forward to!

This quality meme is brought to you by the PHB. Did you know that February’s theme for Community Creations is “Memes”? Send us your dankest!

Keep on popping, Poptropicans. ✌️

Preserving Poptropica post-Flash 💥

Hey, Poptropicans—welcome to 2020. As you may have heard, this year will bring about the end of Adobe Flash, the engine that much of Poptropica runs on. The implications are huge for this game, and we’ve already seen it affecting 30 of the oldest islands and many more features.

Here on the PHB, we’ve mentioned the Flash issue here and there, but now we’re taking the opportunity to make a whole post hashing out what’s happening, what it means, and where it’s all going. So let’s get started!

1. Where are the old islands?

In July 2019, Poptropica removed 30 islands from the map. They were all considered “old school islands”: Poptropica’s earliest islands, created and released from 2007–2013, which were built using ActionScript 2 (AS2), a programming language primarily used for the Adobe Flash Player platform.

The good news is, you can still play the old school islands using the Old Island Directory created by the glitcher idk. Although they’re currently inaccessible from the game itself, it’s possible that the old islands will return. Poptropica’s reason for taking them down, for the time being, was because they were “causing a lot of problems for players.”

2. Poptropica’s Promises

On the first day of the new year, Poptropica posted the following on Instagram: “2020 is going to great [sic] — a non-Flash version of the game, new islands, the return of some old islands, and so much more!!!” (Our emphasis added.) So, there’s hope yet that the old islands will return—but as the Instagram post indicates, it may not be all of them.

A fan-made Poptropica map with most of the islands, created by idk.

We’re not sure which ones are coming back and which ones might not make it, nor do we know why, but perhaps there’s only so much they can work with. Still, in addition to directly playing them via the Old Island Directory, you can also relive their memories with the PHB’s collection of Island Guides.

3. What does it mean that Flash is going away?

Adobe Flash Player was an instrumental engine for a lot of the early internet, particularly for games, video, and animations. Poptropica is among the many websites that used Flash, just like other popular game sites of the 2000s and 2010s, like Club Penguin and Neopets. For those of us who’ve grown up playing these games, losing Flash is not just saying goodbye to outdated technology, but watching whole worlds from our childhoods crumble away. RIP. 😢

And yet, Flash is going away simply because tech has evolved for the better—modern web browsers have adapted to HTML5, and the end of Flash also means better security and battery life. So, if Poptropica is to continue, they’ll need to keep up with the tech and move off of Flash… which is what they’ve been working on for the past few years, even though this has meant fewer islands and more cosmetic changes—and yes, even the seemingly odd creation of Poptropica Worlds, built with Unity and launched in 2017.

Newer islands, which have a larger screen and ambient music, were built with ActionScript 3 (AS3), which is more compatible with current desktop standards as well as the rise of mobile applications. We started calling these islands SUIs, which stands for Sound-Updated Islands.

In 2013, Poptropica launched a beta version of 24 Carrot as an SUI called BETA Carrotene, and after fixing up some bugs, they were ready to roll out Virus Hunter, the first official SUI. From then on, all islands were released as SUIs, and sometimes the Creators even went back and re-made a former island, like Time Tangled or Mythology, into an SUI. Unlike older islands, these newer SUIs are able to survive without Flash, which is why islands now come as SUIs.

4. Poptropica’s Progress

Poptropica Worlds was intended to be Poptropica’s solution to the post-Flash dilemma, but for some reason, things didn’t quite pan out. By 2019, it wasn’t being updated anymore and was even actively hidden from the homepage. Instead, many of Worlds’ standout features have since been integrated into the original Poptropica, like device syncing and player clubhouses.

Poptropica even wrote in their recap of 2019 that many of that year’s updates were “a really important part of the conversion process for getting the game off of Flash” suggesting that their post-Flash solution will focus not on Worlds, but on the original Poptropica. Some more of these updates over the past year include a new layout for friends and the store, SUI-ified common rooms, and plus, who could forget the adorable pets?

However, the shiny new things are eclipsed by the loss of many beloved classic features that may or may not be compatible with the future of technology—such as the old school islands.

We’ve also lost a lot of old costumes and items, mostly from the store, though some are gradually coming back through each new monthly rotation of store items. We’ve lost friend features like the ability to add by username, viewing medallions, and even the Multiverse (and tribe!) party rooms. Island photos were replaced by Photo Booth pics, but even the Photo Booth is currently down, with no word on when it may return.

Still, if Poptropica’s previous statements are worth their salt, perhaps there’s still hope yet for a brighter Poptropica post-Flash…

5. Poptropica’s Future

As Poptropica has stated here and there, they are working on porting the game over to newer technology, so that it can live on even after the plug is pulled on Flash. Poptropica Original is here to stay, continuing its legacy both in the web browser and now on mobile devices.

We’re likely to see at least some of the old islands return, based on Poptropica’s Instagram post mentioned above. And they’ve mentioned working on “new islands” as well, including, most recently, the announcement that Zomberry Island will be back—with a new level!

Also, though Poptropica hasn’t confirmed anything specific, perhaps we can still hold out some hope for the return of some of the beloved features we’ve lost, or at least see them morph into viable alternatives.

After all, even Realms disappeared for over a year before it finally returned in late 2018. Meanwhile, Multiverse may be gone, but now we have player clubhouses (introduced in late 2018) to meet up with friends. While they’ve still got some work to do to really make clubhouses as big of a hit as Multiverse was (namely, being able to easily find specific friends whose houses you want to pop into), it’s a promising start to a new era for Poptropica.

Whatever happens, we’ll be here to watch it all go down.

With cautious optimism,

—the PHB 💙