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What Might Have Been: Poptropica’s Concepts in 2006

Hey guys, BT here to talk about an interesting post on the Creators’ Blog, featuring a few words about Poptropica’s history from its founder, Jeff Kinney.

On today’s post, Jeff talked about how Poptropica was originally going to be like before it became the island-hopping adventures we know and love today. It turns out that Poptropica, as a first concept, was going to be just daily missions in single-scene rooms- even with a common room mixed in to it.

If you look at this picture, you’ll see a massive grid of tiny squares to represent these rooms, possibly representing the single-scene rooms you go through… and holy guacamole, that’s a lot of them. Another thing you may notice is that Poptropica’s signature color seemed to be originally yellow, much unlike the well-known light blue color that is currently associated with the game.

Also, there’s the inventory, which is represented by an MP3 player because….. kids like MP3 players? And finally in this picture, you’ll notice a tiny sketch of a map, which details what each room would be (some labeled with question marks, others more certain), such as the Common Room, “Game Show” (huh, the Creators were a bit ahead with the name there), “The Pit“, “Springs and Ladders“, and “Terror Tower“. 

Now before I move on to the next picture, I want to look back at another conceptual Poptropica picture the Creators posted way back in September 2010:

There again is that yellow color. The original Poptropican appearance looked more like one of those kids from one of those cartoon PopTarts ads, and it had the boy, girl, and grade spinners similar to Funbrain’s other games.

Now I’ll go back to the new post. This is the second picture associated with Poptropica’s concept…

Wow, what a difference. O.O This is the Inventory in ’06 Poptropica. There is prominently a piece of paper telling the player a “misson” (Professional spelling, ’06 Creators.) telling to snap a picture of a character from China with blue hair (Hey, Fishy! Have you seen any person with blue hair?) I have no idea what that mission is supposed to be.

Another thing that caught my attention is the “spells” and “gadgets” categories. Wait… our Poptropicans might’ve had the ability to use spells? That’s interesting…

Now before the post ends, Jeff briefly mentions how Poptropica was originally going to be called Poptropolis, stating that the reason why they changed it is because of a competitor that ended up sharing a similar name… and I know exactly who that competitor was.

Nicktropolis.

In case you don’t know, Nicktropolis (today known as NickClub) was a virtual world spawned by the childrens’ TV channel Nickelodeon, well known for Spongebob Squarepants, Fairly OddParents, and the Avatar series, among many other shows.

In January of 2007, 8 months before Poptropica became public, Nicktropolis opened: a Club Penguin-esque virtual world with live chat and minigames (honestly, this game made up a lot of my elementary school childhood – it was even the time I first came up with my “1313cookie” username!).

It was because of this old game that Poptropolis became Poptropica, and instead of just a single-room mission-stravaganza, it is the island-hopping adventures- each island with its own distinct storyline.

To me, it’s pretty interesting to see Poptropica as it could’ve been, and I can tell you right now: I love the game for the way it is, and the choice the Creators made back then to make this game about saving the islands, was the right one.

BT out!

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A Whole New Poptropica Island: Arabian Nights!

Oh I come from a land, from a faraway place
Where the islands freely roam
The oceans are immense and it does get intense
It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home!
A new island emerges, and the joy just surges
‘Specially from young Sarah tonight!
Come on down, stop on by, hop on your blimp and fly
To the brand new Arabian Nights!

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Arabian Niiiiiiiiiights has just been annouuuuuunced!
Oh yes, the logo and the island’s info has just come arouuuuuuuund!
Arabian Niiiiiiiiiights will have three episooooooooodes!
First is How Bazaar!, and robbed from afar, is the Sultan’s abooooooode!

After the forty thieves ransack his city, a desperate sultan has one request: find the thieves’ lair, and bring back his most cherished possession!

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*ahem* Okay, enough with the Disney’s Aladdin references, I have a feeling a lot more will be made in the future by my fellow authors. Ah well, just follow me on my magic carpet and we’ll see what else is on that tour page – which is actually not too much more. The only other things we see are a few scenery images, a picture of 1/40ths of the Forty Thieves clan (seen right), and the desktop wallpaper (which features the entirety 40 thieves, if you count closely enough) and the printable poster, both of which you can see by clicking below.

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So I don’t know about you, but I’m intrigued… What will the gold cards be? When will the trailer release? When will it come out? Only time will tell.

BT out!

Poptropica contributes to a “cool” cause

Hey guys, BT here with a little quickie post.

In the Creators’ ongoing trend of catching on to what is hot (or should I say cold) on the Internet, they are showing support for the ALS Association by creating not one, not two, not three, but four #IceBucketChallenge images. One of them, on the Creators’ blog, was an image of Oliver and Jorge of Poptropica comic fame taking the ice water with stride — or as much stride as Jorge can show.

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These next few images are exclusively on the Twitter page, and it took a less… erm… conventional route as the Creators’ official tweeter decided to have a certain mighty Mythology god (and a few of his villain buddies) take the challenge in the way only they can.

This ice challenge (or should I say “hail and rain challenge”) image makes me wonder if the Zeus avatar pic the tweeter bears isn’t just random choice, but instead is this Creator’s Popsona, like there are Captain Crawfish and Black Widow on the Creators’ blog. (Although Black Widow & Dr. Hare do make an appearance here as well.) And from the images here, I predict that Creator is likely in the visuals department somewhere since he/she threw this together and all…

So have you done the ice bucket challenge yet? How was it?

BT out with this quick post!

First Arabian Nights Daily Pops… and a new DS game?

Hey guys, BT here with a few updates from the Poptropica universe.

Somewhere right now in South Carolina, our CYDI winner Sarah must be squealing in delight, because the first two Daily Pops obviously for her winning island, Arabian Nights Island, have surfaced:

Desert and… desert station. This is really an obvious Arabian Nights Daily Pop – which leaves me to wonder if this island’s episodes are gonna criss-cross PoptropiCon’s episodes, just like Survival and Mission Atlantis.

Now anyways, if you’ve looked at the Creator’s Blog recently, you’ll notice that they changed their side format… again. Of course we have our two apps, the books, the shirts, and the video games links all snug next to each othe—

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Wait…what is that picture next to the Video Games link? That doesn’t look familiar… It doesn’t look like the original Poptropica Adventures cover…

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Yet I can kinda see the Ubisoft logo on the new cover….

It looks to me like there’s gonna be a Poptropica Adventures 2!!

But wait… when I look closer… I see two words… For some strange reason, it reminded me of the Forgotten Islands app… Yet I see pictures of the red ninja, the Aztec warrior, that pirate from Forgotten Islands and…I can’t tell who’s the last one.

What’s going on here?? I have no clue. After all, not an ounce of this is mentioned on the videogame page itself…

BT out with this puzzlement….

Oh, and don’t forget to check out HP’s post about PoptropiCon’s…er… officialness. Yay!

Survival Ep. 4 extras, Myron Van Buren exposed, and Mission Atlantis Ep. 3 name + description

Hey guys, BT here. Now I know all of you are anticipating playing either Mission Atlantis: Fortress of the Deep or Survival: Distress Signal later today, but I have news on both episodic islands.

First of all, there are two new extras for Survival (a printable poster and desktop wallpaper) in celebration of Cabin Fever, the fourth episode. These two extras, especially the desktop wallpaper, reveal the appearance of our much-talked about seeming antagonist of Survival, Myron Van Buren.

Now this looks like a face of someone you can trust.

myronvanburenTotally.

Why aren’t you trusting him yet???

Anyhow, next up we now have a description for Episode 3 (presumably the last episode) of Mission Atlantis with an… interesting yet vague description.

Episode 3: Out of the Blue – You’re on the verge of the greatest discovery in human history — but an ancient intelligence has other plans.

…ancient intelligence? Well… that explains the techy stuff seen on the Daily Pops lately… but… I’m kinda lost. Why do I have the feeling it’s the same ancient intelligence that was discovered back in Lunar Colony? Maybe I’m rethinking from HP’s post way back when…

Ah well. I’m just curious, that’s all. Especially now that I know what Myron Van Buren looks like, I can anticipate Cabin Fever in peace.

…oh, I’m excited for “Fortress of the Deep” and “Out of the Blue” also.

BT out!

And so on Thursday, there will be a new episode of Missio- Survival?

Was I the only one expecting there to be a new Mission Atlantis episode this month? Because of that puffer fish costume the Creators randomly released?

Well, it turns out that Survival: Distress Signal, will be releasing for members this Thursday, June 5th! This probably means that the previous episode, Hook, Line and Sinker, will likely be released on that date too for nonmembers.

In case you don’t know or remember, here’s the description for Distress Signal:

A broken radio. A chance for rescue. Send a distress call if you can, but beware of who might be listening!

This simple description brings a chill up my spine. Beware, beware, beware! It’s always beware! Not “acknowledge”. Not “know that maybe”. “Beware”. This and the revelation of Cabin Fever’s, the next episode after Distress Signal, description is making me worried that my Van Buren/Zaroff theory is coming true. I’m scared of him now. Scared of Myron Van Buren.

Motto: Strength rejoices in the challenge.

Motto: Strength rejoices in the challenge.

BT out with this quick update!

PS: In regards to the post where I was complaining about Poptropica not working for me, it turns out that Internet Explorer was just being mean to Poptropica for some reason. I’m now using Google Chrome and it’s working fine now! ^_^ Thank you guys so much for your help!

Guess who’s having login problems.

Update: I’m playing it on an alternate computer ;)

Wonderful, lucky old me. So when I first came on Poptropica, everything seemed normal. I know that Hook, Line and Sinker is gonna come out today, I figured I’d just go closer to the blimp- I was in the Control Room on Super Villain Island. However, as soon as I got out, there was an error image on my screen where the gameplay screen once was.Then, a pop-up talking about add-ons appeared on the top left of my screen. Unsure of what it meant, I closed it.

So I refreshed the Poptropica home page and I tried to log in. However, this screen keeps popping up:

This infamous Poptropican Blue Screen of Death. I checked and double checked to make sure that my settings complied with the instructions on the error message, and it did. I tried logging in again and again, yet it wouldn’t go. I even tried rebooting my laptop but it is still not working. I even deleted the cookies on my laptop. But still.

If you guys have any suggestions, let me know- I have no clue why Poptropica decided to be mean to me TODAY of all days.

A look ahead: who is Van Buren?

._. What? No, I don’t mean the 8th president of the United States, Martin Van Buren, thank you very much.

I’m talking about Poptropica’s upcoming character for Survival, Van Buren, his household, and a prediction as to what may be coming up in this island.

Okay, let’s start by looking at some Daily Pops…

Tuck in: Time for a long night’s sleep.

Hail to the Chef: Cleaver? I hardly know her!

Welcome Home: We’re rolling out the red carpet for you.

Log Files: Always be sure to keep a back-up.

Fish Story: But this one is actually true.

Motto: Strength rejoices in the challenge.

Hot Stove: Let’s not put this adventure on the back burner.

Chop Chop: Get to the choppah!

There are a few more Daily Pops, but these are the major ones. From these, I can determine the following:

Van Buren seems to be a big game hunter who just so happened to take residence in the same woods that you and your blimp crashed on. He seems to be pretty talented at his sport. He’s even rich to have a cook with him and own a nice log cabin and all.

However, I have the strangest comparison that’ll not give this character a good name:

Van Buren kinda reminds me of General Zaroff.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Who the heck is General Zaroff? Well, he was a rich and essentric Cossack hunter who took up residence on the island another hunter named Rainsford ended up washing up on in the 1924 short story, “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell. Zaroff has a bulky servant named Ivan as well. Zaroff shows Rainsford his achievements in the hunting buisness, but lends him on with a dark secret: he had grown bored of hunting ordinary animals and decided to go bigger, to hunt the most dangerous game that comes to his island, and the only animal that can reason: humans.

He offers Rainsford to join him in his hunting, but he refuses. Zaroff tells him of the game he plays with whoever comes to this island, where the victims have to go around and gather supplies, and most importantly, not get killed by Zaroff, Ivan, or his hounds. Rainsford, desperate to get out of this island, makes a deal with Zaroff: He will be the next person to take part in Zaroff’s game for three days. If he wins, Zaroff lets him go, and if he dies… well, he dies. If you want to read it, here’s the full story.

I noticed that both Zaroff and Van Buren have a stocky-looking servant- Van Buren with that chef and Zaroff with Ivan. They’re both well-accomplished hunters. Although I doubt Van Buren would follow Zaroff’s man-hunting ways since this is a kid’s game, it doesn’t stop him from having the ability to be villainous in another way… (although I have no idea why the heck the stand-in looks like a corpse in the “Hot Stove” Daily Pop).

We know well of the binoculars that spied on us at the end of Crash Landing. We know well that the Distress Signal’s description warns to “beware of who might be listening”. Well, no matter what Van Buren’s goal is, I have a feeling it won’t be good. Besides, sleeping with a dagger underneath your pillow sounds rather uncomfortable.

BT out…

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