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!



Creator Q&A: PHC Discord Edition

Heyyo Poptropicans, it’s Ultimate iPad Expert here. Today, I was simply minding my business on the Poptropica Help Chat (PHC), chatting here and there with the community.

And then suddenly, she appeared… At around 1:20pm EST, the one and only Skinny Moon (Poptropica’s social media manager) decided to drop in to the PHC and chat some with the community. We thought it would be a good idea to compile this little impromptu Q&A session in a post for you guys, and so, without further ado, here it is!

qa sm

Tall Cactus: Any news about the New Poptropica?
Skinny Moon: Nothing I can say yet. Trust me, when I have news, you guys will know!

Slanted Fish: Any behind the scenes info? 😄
Skinny Moon: Ummmmmm… well…. hmmmmmm…. 😉

Tall Cactus: When will you have news? lol
Skinny Moon: I know you guys are starved for info, but I don’t have the go-ahead to give any out. 🙁 We are SUPER busy working on both the current Poptropica and new Poptropica!

Slanted Fish: Any info about the contest winner’s call with Jeff Kinney?
Skinny Moon: The call got SUPER delayed because of a ton of things – health problems, business trips, etc. – and I just got access to the video recently. It’s on my list of to-dos to watch it and figure out if it needs editing before posting on YT!

Slanted Fish: Any news about officiation of the wiki/other sites?
Skinny Moon: Wiki also on my to-do list!

Slanted Fish: Would you guys be able to update the Daily Pop at least with some old pictures of the creative process and such, since you can’t share anything new at the moment?
Skinny Moon: I asked about posting older stuff on the Daily Pop and we’re going to look into it!

idk: Is the new membership page mobile-friendly? That’s what it looks like.
Skinny Moon: Yes, new membership page is mobile friendly

Tall Cactus: When do you think New Pop will be released, at least? And will there be a new island on the current pop?
Skinny Moon: New Pop scheduled to be released late this year and there will be new islands (plural!) on it!

Ylimegirl: Are we still going to be able to play the old Poptropica islands with the new Poptropica?
Skinny Moon: The old Pop won’t just disappear when the new Pop debuts, so you’ll still be able to play old islands there.

Slanted Fish: Are all the current islands going to be on the new Pop, with the new art style?
Skinny Moon: Can’t yet talk about on specifics regarding current islands and New Pop. We’re super busy working on new features for both the current Poptropica and making the New Poptropica. I know you guys are used to bunches of islands coming out each year and this year isn’t typical. But trust me, we have SO MUCH awesome coming your way!

Perfect Sky: I think I’m the only one wondering if there will every be new popgum….
Mad Apper:  Every new PopGum? Even Island-Flavored? What am I saying? Yep. New PopGum to go with every island.
Skinny Moon: Oooooh, I like the idea of new PopGum for every island!

Ripley: Wait aren’t you the one who runs the FB page?? I’m Lizzy, that chick you roasted in January. ^w^
Skinny Moon: Hi! Nice to see you! All you PHC people – if you’re on Facebook, come say hi there, too – like Lizzy!

Tall Cactus: So, will there be a new island on the current Pop?
Skinny Moon: I can’t comment on potential new islands. Sorry! 😦

Criaha: What’s your personal favorite island?
Skinny Moon: Hmmmmmm… that’s tough… I like MOTM a lot.

Slanted Fish: If it’s okay to ask, how is Poptropica doing financially? There have been a few rumors in both directions, but they’re mostly speculation.
Skinny Moon: Poptropica is doing great!

idk: Since the new Poptropica is being built in Unity, have there been any changes within Poptropica’s development team? Any new creators because of this change?
Skinny Moon: Our Creators are loving working with Unity. I’ve seen some awesome early animation – I wish I could show you!

CraftyPoptropiqueen: Is Binary Bard ever gonna come back? ;w;
idk: E. Vile come back, please. 😢
Criaha: Wait, I don’t want to sound annoying, but will ringmaster raven come back? O3O
idk: Dr. Cumulo Nimbus gets no attention either.
Tall Cactus: What about Black Widow?
Skinny Moon: I will let the Creators know you all want to see the villains come back!

Brave Tomato: How’d you get the community contact job? ^^
Skinny Moon: I’ve been working for the company since January 2015 and was hired to manage the GHD blog and social. That went well, so they gave me Poptropica. And then that went well, so they gave me everything social media-related under the StoryArc Media umbrella – though right now I’m pretty Poptropica-focused.

Tall Cactus: Is there gonna be a Pop TV Show?
Skinny Moon: Though we’d LOVE a Pop TV show, that’s not something in the immediate future…

Angry Tomato: Any new islands?
Skinny Moon: All I can say about new Islands is there will be new islands in the New Poptropica!

Criaha: I was just wondering, will you ever have LGBT characters?
Skinny Moon: Excellent question. I don’t think I can officially say anything about this yet, but trust me when I say allowing full customization of a player’s character is something we’re discussing for the New Poptropica.

MissEligon: I have a question, I feel like this might be something to hide until later, but will we ever hear more about the infamous for villains?
Skinny Moon: Hmmmm… TBD… 😉


Quite the interesting Q&A session, despite being an unexpected visit. It really was a fun time, and we’re hoping Skinny Moon will stop by more often! 😀

Jessica also showed off her 5-month-old puppy, Toby, while on the chat, so I gotta add that in here. 😛


If you’re not already part of the PHC community, we would love for you to join. It’s a friendly place where you’ll get to hang out with lots of Poptropicans, including PHB authors, other Poptropica bloggers and artists, and as you just saw, even the occasional Creator! Find out more on our Chat page!

Meme King out. 👑

• Ultimate iPad Expert •