Creators' Blog Guest Posts

Interview with Slanted Fish from the Poptropica Creators 🎤🐠

This interview was originally published on the Poptropica Creators’ Blog along with a call to go vote in the 2021 Poppies. Enjoy!

1. How were you first introduced to Poptropica?

My younger brother found Poptropica on Funbrain and introduced it to me. Back then, we would go on Funbrain to read Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid before it became a printed book series!

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

  • Most underrated character: Elf Queen from Twisted Thicket. She doesn’t seem to get mentioned much in the fandom, but her leafy design is absolutely magical, and her storyline very fitting for our modern climate crisis.
  • Most overrated character: Dr. Hare, who might just be the most marketed Pop character (he even had a whole LEGO campaign at one point!). But we love him anyway.

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

It’s hard to pick a favorite scene as there are so many that are visually stunning! But to highlight a few, I love the aesthetics of the Imperial Garden on Red Dragon (especially the cherry blossom trees), and the various interactive puzzles on Nabooti, such as the mancala game and the fox-chicken-cornfeed conundrum.

4. What was your inspiration in creating and furthering the Poptropica Help Blog (PHB)?

I was inspired to create a blog after seeing lots of fan blogs for other online games I enjoyed at the time, especially Club Penguin (rip). I stumbled into a Poptropica focus somewhat accidentally when setting up the site on WordPress: while thinking about the URL, I discovered that poptropica.wordpress.com was untaken, and it felt like too good of an opportunity to pass up. So that was the PHB’s first URL, which illustrates the dearth of Poptropica fan sites at the time, and how we were able to fill that gap on the internet.

What inspired me to keep going was everything else that followed. I was amazed by how quickly the site grew in readership, fueled by all the amazing things Poptropica has been doing, especially in the heart and depth of storytelling through gameplay in its myriads of island adventures. Even as the game changes and people come and go, what I enjoy about the PHB is how it continues to be a space for Poptropicans to share their ideas, fan art, and friendships. If you’re interested, I’ve written more about this on the PHB’s Philosophy page.

Poptropica Creator Dr. Lange’s drawing of the PHB team (2014)

5. How has your PHB career surprised you?

As the previous Q&A touches on, I’ve been surprised by the rapid popularity of the PHB (it reached 1 million views in its first year, and 13 years later, has over 35 million). But I’m not too concerned about the statistics—I’m more interested in cultivating the quality of people’s visits, and to that end it’s been a blessing to hear from so many Poptropicans over the years who’ve enjoyed what the PHB offers.

Another surprise is the creativity and intensity of so many fans’ Pop-inspired passions, which help shape what the PHB brings to the fandom, from personal My Place in Poptropica stories to discoveries of Pop Places IRL. It’s definitely not a one-person operation—credit goes to the many, many Poptropicans who make it all possible!

Banner Day: Let your freak flag fly.

6. What does the Pop community mean to you?

To me, it’s as simple as a gathering of people who enjoy Poptropica. They can be of all ages — some are even in their twenties like me. Poptropica fans are creative (just look at all the fan art, blogs, and videos), clever (we enjoy solving puzzles and finding trivia), and concerned (we support each other and sometimes critique for the good of the game we love). Above all, we’re united in our passion for Pop!

7. From your perspective, how has the community changed over the past 12 years?  

The biggest change I’ve noticed personally is that the kids have gotten older. Though Poptropica has always been aimed at kids, it’s fascinating to see how teens and young adults (myself included) still participate in the fandom, often returning from childhood nostalgia and sticking around for the community and inspired storytelling (perhaps even creating some of their own). Of course, young kids are still around. From my perspective, even children are capable of enjoying Poptropica’s more sophisticated stories, particularly those from the classic islands.

Friendly Folk: All so nice and polite, for a while at least.

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

Poptropica’s many whimsical worlds — from the medieval madness of Astro-Knights to the genie glamor of Arabian Nights — have inspired my art and writing, and widened my appreciation for digital storytelling and cultural connections.

As for the PHB, it has given me a space to write about something I care about, to carefully consider how to express ideas, and help the blog’s staff and guest writers do the same. Having our content read by so many fellow fans is a responsibility, privilege, and a great encouragement to keep building the blessing.

The skills, friendships, and passions developed over many years of playing and creating carry over to other areas of life too. For me, that has included earning my undergrad degree in English and pursuing a career in communications. With all the diversity in Poptropica and its community comes great potential for many more Poptropicans!

Fish Face: These ocean-dwellers are getting animated.

Favorites

  • Costume: Fish kimono from Red Dragon
  • Island: Shark Tooth
  • Backstory/Lore: How islands appear in the world of Poptropica through a central spot in the sea called the Nexus, as described in Poptropica graphic novel #4: The End of Time.
  • Hero: Max McGullicutty from Survival
  • Villain: Scheherazade

Thank you, Poptropica Creators, for hosting this interview with me (and for calling the PHB “the leading fan-run Poptropica blog” in the original post 😁). Keep on popping on, Poptropicans! ✌️

~Slanted Fish 🐟🐡🐠💙

PHB Specials, Web Development

A Lifetime of Headers, Part II

Hey Poptropicans! Slanted Fish here.

As we celebrate the PHB’s upcoming 9-year anniversary with the Poppies this month, I thought it’d be interesting to look back on how far we’ve come in a visual way: our lifetime of site headers.

About 8 years ago, then-PHB “graphics guy” Codien released a post reminiscing all the headers that had gone up on the PHB over the life of the blog, many of them designed by himself. He has since moved on to other things, but the PHB has continued his practice of adorning the top of the site with a graphic that tells who we are.

This post is here to commemorate the many designs we’ve had since his post, and as it’s been 8 years, there are many! Most were designed by me, with some graphic assets from Poptropica mixed into most. Other contributors have also been credited on their respective headers. Hover over each image for captions, click to see in full-size, and enjoy!

Well, there you have it! PHB’s headers from 2009 onwards. Don’t forget to catch Part I here, which in addition to Codien’s brilliant designs, includes my awkward attempts at a header from when I first created the blog in 2008.

How many of them were you around to see? Which ones did you like most? Do you feel like the designs have improved over the years? (I personally do.) Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments!

Thanks for sticking with the PHB. Here’s to many more years.

Keep on popping,

~/🐠

Contests, PHB Parties

Recap: PHB Tribal Tournament 2016!

tribe closing recap

Hey Poptropic-athletes! After a month of solid competition, the Poptropica Help Blog’s first ever Tribal Tournament has now come to a close. Thanks to the tons of Poptropicans who cheered, dressed up, and got involved in one way or another – we hope you had fun!

At the Closing Ceremony, we announced on the PHC the winners of the Tribal Tournament, breaking it down by each category. You can also see a collage of some party pictures above. But don’t worry if you missed it – we’ll be recapping them here as well! Since we’ve broken it down, you’ll need to get to the bottom of this post to see the overall winners.

tribe honor

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Medal Marathon

The first contest we announced was the Medal Marathon, which ran throughout the month, and all one had to do was play Poptropolis Games and show us the resulting scoreboard to earn points! As many times as one could! Higher results earned more points (1st place = 8 points, 2nd place = 7, etc).

Here are the standings for the Medal Marathon:

  1. Seraphim – 1284
  2. Wildfire – 931
  3. Yellowjackets – 902
  4. Pathfinders – 816
  5. Nanobots – 645
  6. Black Flags – 167
  7. Flying Squid – 113
  8. Nightcrawlers – 23

Congratulations to the Seraphim for flying high and proving their merit in medallions!

medal win tribe

Artistic Athletes

For the Artistic Athletes round, we asked you guys to create and send us your best Poptropica art in a number of categories: visual art, written work, fashion, and Realms.

The PHB tribe reps then went through their respective tribes’ entries and picked one for each category, then brought them to the rest of the PHB team to vote, with each rep not voting on their own tribe’s entries to eliminate bias. After our deliberating, we’re ready to present our top selections for each tribe!

To calculate points, the PHB team ranked each chosen piece for every category, except for ones from their own tribe. From there, the placement numbers (first place, second, etc.) were added up and then divided by the number of placements that had been given to form an average.

Then the average scores were ranked within each category from lowest to highest, as lower amounts meant it had received higher placement ranks in the judging. From there, each category awarded points based on the final placements: 80 points for first place, 70 for second, and so on down the line.

You can see the overall placements for the Artistic Athletes after all the art categories below.

Visual Art

Click to view each image at full size.

Congrats to all tribes for participating in this category!

These are the amounts of points earned by each tribe for the category of Visual Art:

  1. Seraphim – 80
  2. Wildfire – 70
  3. Black Flags – 60
  4. Pathfinders – 50
  5. Nanobots – 40
  6. Nightcrawlers – 30
  7. Flying Squid – 20
  8. Yellowjackets – 10

Written Work (Fan Fictions)

  1. Poptropolis Games by Bony Bones (Flying Squid) – click here to read. (+80 points)
  2. The New Tribe by Happy Lobster (Seraphim) – click here to read. (+70 points)
  3. Hurdles by Wanderesa/White Ice (Wildfire) – click here to read. (+60 points)
  4. Chant by Shaky Skunk (Nanobots) – click here to read. (+50 points)

No written work entry received from Black Flags, Nanobots, Nightcrawlers, Pathfinders, and Yellowjackets.

Fashion (Costumes)

Click to view each image at full size.

No fashion entry received from Nightcrawlers.

These are the amounts of points earned by each tribe for the category of Fashion:

  1. Wildfire – 80
  2. Seraphim – 70
  3. Yellowjackets – 60
  4. Flying Squid – 50
  5. Black Flags – 40 (tied for 5th)
  6. Nanobots – 40 (tied for 5th)
  7. Pathfinders – 40 (tied for 5th)

Realms

Click to view each image at full size.

No Realms entry received from Nightcrawlers, Pathfinders, and Wildfire.

These are the amounts of points earned by each tribe for the category of Realms:

  1. Nanobots – 80
  2. Black Flags – 70
  3. Flying Squid – 60
  4. Seraphim – 50
  5. Yellowjackets – 40

Honorable Mentions

These entries did not influence the voting process, but we thought they were too good not to be shown here! A few of them are from PHB authors, who did not enter unless their tribe did not make an entry. Click to view full images.

Plus, the Seraphim tribe had so many entries you can check them out in this imgur album.

Placements

These are the amounts of points earned by each tribe for every art category combined:

  1. Seraphim – 270 (80 + 70 + 70 + 50)
  2. *Flying Squid – 210 (20 + 80 + 50 + 60)
  3. *Nanobots – 210 (40 + 50 + 40 + 80)
  4. Black Flags – 170 (60 + 0 + 40 + 70)
  5. Wildfire – 150 (70 + 0 + 80 + 0)
  6. Yellowjackets – 110 (10 + 0 + 60 + 40)
  7. Pathfinders – 90 (50 + 0 + 40 + 0)
  8. Nightcrawlers – 30 (30 + 0 + 0 + 0)

*Flying Squid and Nanobots are tied for second overall in Artistic Athletes.

Congratulations to the Seraphim for their championship in the field of artistic endeavor!

Tribal Thinkers

In the Tribal Thinkers round, we set out some brain-bending puzzles to test your Poptropica knowledge, with trivia questions and Stolen Snapshot challenges abound. Check out how your tribe fared below!

Placements

  1. Pathfinders – 245
  2. Seraphim – 180
  3. Wildfire – 175
  4. Flying Squid – 170 (tied for 4th)
  5. Yellowjackets – 170 (tied for 4th)
  6. Nanobots – 170 (tied for 4th)
  7. Black Flags – 130
  8. Nightcrawlers – 0

Congratulations to the Pathfinders for finding the path to the most answers!

thinkers tribe win

Answers

Now for the answers to each question! How many did you get right?

Questions about Poptropica (5 points each)

  1. When was Poptropica founded? September 2007
  2. What brand of soda does Gamer Guy drink? Valley Rain
  3. What item on Shark Tooth Island isn’t actually needed in the quest? Shark Fin
  4. What is carved on the tree in the Lewis & Clark Expedition on Time Tangled Island? “Clark was here”
  5. What are the names of the B.A.D’s guard dogs on Spy Island? Fang, Slasher, and Fluffy
  6. How much did the Astro-Knights Early Access pass cost? 500 credits
  7. The Tabloid on Reality TV advertises an article about dating who? Black Widow
  8. What Greek letters are on the Drachma coin on Mythology Island? AθE – alpha theta epsilon
  9. What does Sprocket from Steamworks Island want to call his autobiography? I, Robot
  10. For which island did Poptropica first launch its own external website as a promotion for the island and what was the website? Cryptids Island – mewsfoundation.org
  11. Which island’s name is also a possible Poptropica player name? Red Dragon
  12. Which island contains an altered version of the painting American Gothic by Grant Wood? Game Show Island (inside the museum on Main Street)
  13. What does the binary code found on the recycle billboard outside the Game Show Main Street factory translate to? “Robot”
  14. Which island has a common room that has no name, and what is the room? Vampire’s Curse – a barn (also accepted Poptropolis Games room as an answer)
  15. What is the name of the ship in Captain Crawfish’s dream on Super Villain Island? H.M.S Seachicken
  16. Which time period on Time Tangled Island requires an item from another time period to collect the misplaced artifact? Vikings, 831 A.D.
  17. Which island has a character claiming to be from “Time Twisted Island”? Shark Tooth
  18. Where did Dr. Spyglass, from Spy Island, use to work? PASE
  19. Who was the Ice Arrow, seen in Astro-Knights, crafted by? Rime the Wizard
  20. In the trash bin on Mocktropica Island, what is the name of Zeus’s tree character? Spruce

Questions about the PHB team (5 points each)

  1. What is Brave Tomato’s favorite island? Mythology
  2. What was Slanted Fish’s first Poptropica account? Scary Tomato
  3. Spotted Dragon made a fansite about Poptropica and _? Adventure Time
  4. How did Slippery Raptor discover Poptropica? A magazine called K-Zone
  5. Which island did Ultimate iPad Expert play first? Super Power
  6. Who is HPuterpop’s character designed to resemble? His dad (a younger version)
  7. What was the name of Koi (Spencer)’s second Poptropica account? Friendly Gamer
  8. What place did Ylimegirl win on the Reality TV Island Champions Map? 4th place

Bonus question (10 points): What’s the name of Skinny Moon’s puppy? Toby

Stolen Snapshots (10 points each)

These were the Stolen Snapshot challenges given by Slippery Raptor in the Tribal Thinkers round. Below, you’ll find the answers for where each snapshot can be found in-game.

  1. SOS Island
  2. Lunar Colony
  3. Arabian Nights Episode 2
  4. Wild West
  5. Poptropolis Games
  6. Game Show
  7. Counterfeit
  8. Ghost Story
  9. Poptropolis Games
  10. Mythology

Shout-out to Creepy Goose of the Pathfinders tribe for getting all of them right! 🌟

Overall Standings

And the winner is…

Well, to keep the suspense going, we’re going to work from the bottom. In 8th place, we have – lean and mean, but not too keen – the Nightcrawlers! Better seize the day next time, ‘Crawlers.

nightcrawlers

Waving their mighty dark banner above the sea where the squids dwell, in 7th place we have the Black Flags! Arrr, at least they weren’t dead last.

black flags

Swimming in at 6th place are the Flying Squid, who, for a small tribe, still played a decent share in the tournament! Not bad, Squiddies. Just keep swimming!

flyingsquid

Who’s won 5th place? According to our heavy data-crunching calculations, it’s the Nanobots! At least their processing power got a workout.

nanobots

Following their GPS, the Pathfinders have found their way to 4th place. A fine finish to their journey, and nobody got lost on the way!

pathfinders

Swarming in at 3rd place, we have the Yellowjackets, with not even a little sting in their pride. These buzzers were pretty close to the sweet taste of victory with winning the bronze!

yellowjackets

The intensity is heating up for 2nd place – and it’s Wildfire who nabbed the silver! Feel the burn, because this team isn’t going to be extinguished without a fight. And the crowd goes… WILD!

wildfire

Which leaves, in 1st placeSeraphim! Congratulations to our champions who reign from on high! (cue angelic choir) Spread those wings proudly, because the glory is yours! Gold jerseys get the gold!

seraphim

Thanks to Slippery Raptor for these awesome animated tribe gifs!

Here’s a look at the overall standings for each tribe, with the total amount of points won:

  1. Seraphim – 1734 (1284 + 270 + 180)
  2. Wildfire – 1256 (931 + 150 + 175)
  3. Yellowjackets – 1182 (902 + 110 + 170)
  4. Pathfinders – 1151 (816 + 90 + 245)
  5. Nanobots – 1025 (645 + 210 + 170)
  6. Flying Squid – 493 (113 + 210 + 170)
  7. Black Flags – 467 (167 + 170 + 130)
  8. Nightcrawlers – 53 (23 + 30 + 0)

overall seraphim

Before we wrap up, there’s one more award we want to give out… the Most Valuable Player!

This Poptropican pulled more than his weight in the Tribal Tournament, making up the majority of the Pathfinders’ tribe’s score and bringing more spirit on their PHC tribe channel than the PHB rep of the team. According to this player’s profile, he’s played through the Poptropolis Games almost sixty times!

So from all of us at the PHB… Lucky Joker, you da real MVP.

mvp tribe luckyjoker

Shout-outs also to Messy Thunder of Seraphim and Perfect Sky of Yellowjackets for also playing a ton of Poptropolis Games enough to rival LJ’s score – however, it was Lucky Joker who carried his team even when no one else did. Congrats to all three!

Well, that concludes the first ever Poptropica Help Blog Tribal Tournament! We hope you had fun competing and participating in our various competitions, cheering on your tribe, and enjoying the tribal colors on the PHC (Poptropica Help Chat)!

Remember, the PHC on Discord is always open for Poptropicans of all ages to hang out and have fun in a safely moderated chat environment, and you’ll often see PHB staff around too. We hope you’ll stick around and get to know this great community!

tribepop

🏅 faster, higher, stronger 🏅

– the Poptropica Help Blog team –

PHB Parties

PHB’s Summer Kickoff Party 2016: You’re All Invited!

phbsummer16

Hey, Poptropicans! What time is it?!

SUMMER TIME!! (Yes, High School Musical reference fully intended.)

Oh, and the PHB recently reached 25 million hits! That’s two reasons to celebrate! And that means… we’re hosting a party! The party will be held at the PHC, a place for Poptropicans to talk, share Multiverse codes, and just have a good time!

If you’re not familiar with the PHC, it’s the PHB’s official chat hangout, and it stands for Poptropica Help Chat. Anyone is welcome to come and chat at any time, even when there isn’t a party going on. You can access it anytime at the link discord.me/thePHC, and we highly encourage you to make a Discord account – it’s easy and free! You might even meet a Poptropica Creator!

It’s important to note that the PHC is a kid-friendly chat, with certain guidelines in place. You can find these under the #tutorial text channel, where you’ll also find other things like formatting help, a channel guide, and more! Our party will most likely take place in the #main channel, but feel free to explore the other channels as well! Since moving away from Xat a while back, this will be our first PHC party on Discord, and we hope it’s a good one!

This year’s summer solstice is Monday, June 20, 2016 at 6:34pm EST, so if you come a little early, you can join us in counting down to the summer kickoff! From there, the festivities could go on for a few hours, so feel free to come and go as your schedule permits.

Anyway, you’re all invited, and here are the details for the event:

  • WHO: Everyone is welcome to come and talk to other Poptropicans and PHB staff!
  • WHAT: Chatting on the PHC (Discord) with other Poptropicans
  • WHEN: Monday, June 20, 2016 at 6:30pm Eastern (that’s 5:30pm Central, 4:30pm Mountain, 3:30pm Pacific Time – for all other time zones, please check a time-zone converter to find out what time that is in your area!) You are welcome to join in earlier or later as well.
  • WHERE: The PHC! Click here to get to the PHB’s official chat.
  • WHY: We’re celebrating the PHB’s milestone of 25 million hits as well as the official start of summer beginning with the solstice on June 20, 2016 at 6:34pm EST!

If you have any questions about the party, ask in the comments and we’ll answer you as best as we can! To get an idea of what to look forward to, check out our past PHB party recaps!

Well, see you there, Poptropicans! Don’t miss out on the fun. 😀

summertime

–the PHB team

PHB Specials

PHB Sunday Special: Poptropica Doodle!

It’s tiiiime for another PHB special! You may have seen my Poptropican in the header or sidebar, but have you seen her doodled? ‘Cause I’ve got a speed drawing video of exactly that right here…

I started out with a rough sketch, traced it in black, and under that layer I colored it in – all that took about 50 minutes, but it’s been condensed into less than 3 for the video. Digital artwork was done by me on Sketchbook Express using a pen tablet. Also, if you’re interested, the PHB has a guide called How to Draw a Poptropican under the Cool Stuff tab.

For more Poptropica videos, please check out the PHB’s YouTube channel, the PHV (Poptropica Help Videos)! The user is MyPoptropicaHelp.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the video! 🙂