Arcade you not, big things are coming to the app!

Update: The Arcade (and more) is officially coming this Thursday!

appupdate

Bad puns aside, Poptropicans, something big is indeed coming to the Poptropica app, and it isn’t just the mobile version of Shrink Ray Island that Captain Crawfish mentioned. The Creators’ Blog will be announcing “a few huge new features” in the coming days, but thanks to a peek in the files from HPuterpop, we have seen one thing coming… a Multiplayer Arcade!

Check out those retro-style old-school arcade machines for the multiplayer games that have been around for years – Sky Dive, Star Link, and more. (Will we get to play them single-player?) Admire that high ceiling. Maybe even jump into one of those ball pits!

As you may have seen from the last screenshot, the Multiplayer Arcade will be to the right of the “Home” Island on the mobile app (the landing space that currently only exists on the app, not online). This marks the first update for multiplayer functionality for the app, and if Captain Crawfish is to be believed, this feature may be rolling out as early as this week!

By the way, hope you’re enjoying the new site header, featuring all eight of the current PHB staff! Plus, don’t forget to send something in for The POPCORN magazine. Stay popping, Poptropicans. :D

P-Con Ep. 3 (Reign of Omegon) out for all!

Hey Poptropicans! Quick post to let everyone know that PoptropiCon Island, Episode 3: Reign of Omegon is now available online for all players. Check out our PoptropiCon Island Guide if you need a walkthrough, and our PoptropiCon trivia page for all other extras! :)

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And when you’ve defeated Omegon, don’t forget to check where you placed on the World Champions Map. May the Mighty Action Force be with you, Poptropicans. ;)

P-Con Ep. 3 for all April 16th, Popstorms, & Working on the Wiki!

Hey Poptropicans! First of all, a reminder that PoptropiCon Ep. 3: Reign of Omegon releases to everyone this coming Thursday, April 16th. This final episode had quite some celebration here last week as the subject of our April Fool’s prank. Plus, check out our Behind-the-Scenes post for some sneak peeks, or Sam’s review for an overview!

There hasn’t been a whole lot of other official news besides Mystery of the Map pages, of which you can read the entire collection thus far on our Comics page. And, if you’ve been keeping up on our Twitter timeline (via the sidebar or by following us on Twitter), you may have seen a few new Popstorms, which are posted from Master Mime’s Pinterest.

Anyway, with the current blogging stalemate, the big thing in the Poptropica community right now is the ongoing community project we’ve mentioned here a few times already as being a new-ish partner site of the Poptropica Help Network, the Poptropica Wiki.

PoptropicaWikiLogoAnyone and everyone is welcome to create a Wikia account and get editing – writing up information, inserting pictures, and more. (Protip: If the ads bother you, just get AdBlock for your browser.)

So, how can you help?

We’re looking to create informative pages for each and every character, itemisland (and to a lesser extent, scene – an area of an island). You can find a page simply by using the search bar at the top of the wiki, and if the page does not exist, you can create it!

From there, you can add in information that you think would be relevant and informative (including pictures), or perhaps fix up bad grammar if you spot any. Wiki editing comes with its own markup (notation you can use to produce various effects like bolding or linking to another page) – here’s a quick guide to a few basics that may help.

The Poptropica Wiki currently has 700+ articles, and we invite the community to join us in creating more. Have fun editing, and see you on the wiki! :)

PHB Sunday Special: Villain Origin Stories

villain origin stories

Welcome to another PHB Special! “Villain Origin Stories” is a work of fiction based on certain Poptropica villains, and it was sent in by reader Persephone2117. Enjoy!

One October twentieth, in the dead of night, there was a young Poptropican girl born. The island? Art Island. You say there isn’t an Art Island? There was, and there still is, but you know it as Counterfeit. The reason? The girl.

The girl’s name was Penelope Anansi Webster, and she was, well… different. She didn’t like to play with dolls, or dance, or any of the nice things little girls usually like. Instead, she would sit and draw pictures on whatever she could reach. This habit aggravated her parents to no end, even though Penelope was quite good. Eventually, they got so fed up with her that when she was six, they just left her outside one day and didn’t let her back in. Penelope was not in the least bothered by this, since she knew exactly where she wanted to go.

The museum guard didn’t even notice the skinny little kid sneaking in through the window.

[Read more…]

Interview with MotM illustrator & bite-sized blogging

Hey Poptropicans! Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock for quite some time now, you may have noticed that a Mystery of the Map Island (based on the Poptropica graphic novel) is in the works. Check out Slippery’s post below (and our Daily Pop archive) for more details!

Anyway, the Creators finally decided to post something other than Mystery of the Map pages on their blog: an interview with its illustrator, Kory Merritt! (Btw, you can read the entire volume – even unreleased pages – on our Comics page!) Here it is:

Captain Crawfish: How did you get involved in illustrating Mystery of the Map? 

Kory Merritt: The Poptropica Creators originally hired me to illustrate the Poptropica comic strip. After a little while they asked me to try some graphic novel page samples, which led to me working on “Mystery of the Map” with author Max “Galactic Hot Dogs” Brallier.

CC: What are the challenges of adapting Poptropica’s art style from an online game to a graphic novel? What are the joys? 

KM: Poptropica has a very distinct style. I’m actually an art teacher by day and didn’t have much freelance experience, so working for Poptropica was the first time I had to draw someone else’s characters. It took a little while to get the hang of it – the Poptropica design might seem simple at times, but there are little details that can make or break the characters. Fortunately, the Poptropica Creators were very patient and helped guide me along. I’m pretty happy with the results, for I think the illustrations resemble the standard Poptropican model, but at the same time have a hand-drawn, comic-type feel.

CC: What’s your process for illustrating the book?

KM: I’m old-fashioned enough to still use pen and paper for the most part, but for “Mystery of the Map” I also used digital color and made corrections in Photoshop.

CC: Who’s your favorite MotM character to draw?

KM: The Vikings! It’s fun to draw angry faces.

CC: What other projects have you worked on that Poptropicans might like to know about?

KM: I draw some of my own stories, mostly just for fun. One of them is on FunBrain, and some are on GoComics.com. It seems I will also have my own illustrated book coming out later this year, published by Andrews McMeel.

CC: So as you know, I’m a Crawfish. Anyway, I know it can be difficult to resist my succulent flavor, but thank you so much for not nomming on me during this interview. It’s been great talking with you––

KM: Who said anything about not nomming you?? I was just waiting for the right moment to sink my teeth! (leans closer and pulls out a fork and knife) Mmmm….

Okay, that last part may or may not have actually happened… hehehe. >:D

–––

We also have some other news regarding the future of the PHB…

Twitter timeline: bite-sized blogging

You may have noticed the Twitter timeline we recently added to the sidebar. For a while now, Poptropica has been using Twitter as a means to get out a lot of bite-sized extras: Popstorms, unreliable release dates, Remarkable Realms, and so on.

It’s difficult for us blog authors to keep up with all of this on this site, so if it is something trivial, we will simply retweet it instead of blogging about it. If you don’t use Twitter, you’ll still be able to see the retweets on the timeline in the sidebar, and if you do use Twitter, give us a follow! :)

This gives us more time and energy to focus on creating other posts: bigger news (like island releases), theories, reviews, etc. We may not always post about every ad (unless it’s a big one) on the blog, but we’ll still keep you posted on smaller updates via the Twitter timeline.

Poptropica Help Network changes

With our recent merge with the Poptropica Wiki, we are excited to bring you an ongoing community project where we would like to document all the items, characters, scenes, etc. on Poptropica. If you’ve ever wanted to be a PHB author, well, this is the next best thing, as you’d be working on a project of ours alongside other Poptropicans. Anyone is able to edit, and we welcome you to join us in reading and maintaining this large database: there’s lots to be done!

key ingredient wikiWe’re also considering changing our web url/name for a few reasons to unify all the sites in our network (blog, wiki, chat, twitter, forum, etc). The name we want to go with is Poptropedia, and here’s the reasoning behind it:

  • It combines “Poptropica” and “encyclopedia”: the wiki is like an encyclopedia, and plus, the title of “Help Blog” doesn’t fully define what’s on the PHB – it has much more than a blog, and all those extras (guides and whatnot) are like pages of an encyclopedia. A knowledgebase.
  • “Poptropica Help Network” fits the PHB’s url – poptropicahelp.net, but the name is long, and a .com tends to be more memorable. At this time, we own the alternative domain as well.
  • Possible con: It has no abbreviation. However, this will probably be less confusing in the long run. Poptropica Help Network can be shortened to PHN, but when we tried using the PHN in the past, it never really caught on as the focus was always on the blog (“PHB”). But if we’re combining blog and wiki (and more) under a name that fits all, it’ll be easier to remember this way. When people say Poptropedia, they’ll mean what is now the PHB, and the wiki is an extension of it where we allow people to edit/maintain an ongoing database of info.
  • Link changes: If the blog (well, WordPress site) changes its url (unfortunately Wikia doesn’t usually allow custom domains), poptropicahelp.net will still redirect to (what is currently) the PHB to minimize confusion. Wiki will hold trivia, which anyone can edit, while guides and trivia can still be found here.
  • Wiki editors (or will-be-editors: as mentioned above, everyone is welcome to help!) – this means more emphasis on a project you can be a part of. We also have a forum on the wiki, so if you’d like to join a Poptropica forum, that’s all the more reason to sign up for an account on the wiki.

To summarize: less confusion, more unity, looks cleaner. :)

It’s understandably a big change, and will take some getting used to. There’s a poll on the sidebar where you can cast your vote, so let us know what you think! Thanks for reading. ;)

(P)interesting ads: Home ‘Oh’ follower & more

Hey Poptropicans! On Main Streets of SUIs like Time Tangled, you can find an ad for the upcoming Dreamworks movie Home. Watching the trailer awards you a follower of the alien character “Oh” from the film (who has the voice of Sheldon Cooper!). (thanks for the tip, Cuddly Knuckle)

home ad

Over on the Poptropica mobile app, there’s also an ad for Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb! In the mini-game, all you have to do is keep running right and jumping over museum artifacts to avoid the suddenly-alive triceratops skeleton. Once you’ve carried the tablet to safety, you’ll be awarded a Dexter Rider and costume (Cleopatra for girls, Sir Lancelot for boys).

That’s not the only app update – Survival Ep. 5 (“Escape!”) is now free on iOS! That means that they’ve now gotten rid of all in-app purchases, and every downloadable island is now free.

By the way, thanks to the Poptropica Creators’ official Pinterest for the Night at the Museum pics above! We’ve mentioned this social media venture before, but since then, Master Mime (Jon Pitcher) has really taken off with the whole Pinterest movement, from pinning St. Patrick’s Day signs in the Poptropica font to linking to the PHB’s Comics page (where you can read Mystery of the Map in its entirety!).

So spread the word: follow Poptropica on Pinterest! :D

pitcher pinterest

Plus, check out this behind-the-scenes early art for Arabian Nights, Episode 3 – another shot of the “unimpressed teenage daughter” princess with her “clueless dad” the sultan. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to read BT’s theory, because word is that even the illustrator of this piece confirms it’s “dead on” with the island’s story!

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Stay tuned to the PHB for what’s popping in Poptropica! :)

MotM p. 17-21, book publication plans, & Realms videos!

Hey Poptropicans – pages 17–21 of Mystery of the Map are here, which you can read below. To stay up-to-date with the series, you can read every page on Poptropica’s official graphic novel site area!

Speaking of the graphic novel, Poptropica has big plans for this origin story: they’re looking into publishing it as a 12-book series, with two being published per year. Wow, that’s ambitious!

On a different note, here are a couple of Realms recently tweeted by Poptropica (with this note: “from the curious…to the upside down!”):

But that’s not all! They’ve also added a few new Realms-related videos to the Inside Poptropica playlist on their YouTube channel, which you can view below (Captain Crawfish explores Spotted Beetle’s caravan, Dr. Lange builds Ashworld Tower and also a Pyramid):

For tips on this Minecraft-like feature, check out our Poptropica Realms Guide!

In other news, the Dressgate costume of last weekend has worn out its stay, so to speak, and is no longer available. Hope you had fun with the obviously black-and-blue dress while it was here. ;)

Reign of #Dressgate: black + blue, or white + gold??

The dress is everywhere – and now it’s on Poptropica too. o_O

If you log in now, you’ll automatically get a limited edition Dressgate item – which isn’t actually a dress, but it does reference the striped garment that has recently taken over the internet in a costume that comes in two variants: white + gold, or blue + black. (By the way, it’s the latter!)

Anyway, what color did you see the dress as? Feel free to vehemently defend your position (or question your vision) in the comments section. ;)

In other news, the Poptropica Creators have also released a bunch of freebies over on the PoptropiCon tour page for the upcoming third and final episode: Reign of Omegon.

There’s a henchbot paper craft, screensaver (a Poptropica first!), and also a desktop wallpaper featuring the fearful Omegon himself. You can also find links to these on the PHB’s PoptropiCon trivia page.

Stay awesome, Poptropicans. :D

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