My Place in Poptropica: Spencer

This is the My Place in Poptropica story of Spencer, a longtime Poptropican who has experimented with many looks, names, blogs, and more while playing his part in our community. See the bottom of this post for details on sending in your own MPIP!

mpip spencer

Hey, Poptropicanos! It’s Spencer! Anyway, considering all of the MPIPs lately, I contemplated submitting my own. I guess you can see how that went considering you’re reading this now! Case in point, here is My Place in Poptropica!

2008 | Spencernator Genesis

I remember this memory vividly compared to all of elementary school, oddly enough. :) It was December 2008, and I was at my cousin’s house for a Christmas party. I was in their basement, petting my cousin Justin’s turtle. Ol’ Tuck didn’t seem to have a huge liking towards me. :P

Justin pulled out his laptop and showed me PopRockica! Which is what I thought it was called for a while. He showed me his account, and I asked if I could make one myself. He spun his laptop towards me and told me to go wild! Using my password for my Webkinz account as the username, Bulldogsrock4 was born.

Originally, he had blue skin, the snake tongue, and that incredibly blonde, short and spiked up hair. Despite my sister’s opinion, I thought Creepy Monster was beautiful.  He had the face only a Spencer could love, I guess. ;)

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His outfit before I made a new account!

2009 | There’s Been an Awakening

I had been an avid Poptropican (beat all 9 islands), and was a very frequent commentor on the PHB. At the time, I had blown through the screen names Creepy Monster, Spencerjamesd, Daedalus, Poptropica Dude, Dewdog, Awesomeman95 and Bulldogsrock4. (Probably more, considering all of that.) Here I was thinking Slanted Fish had many aliases! I finally had beaten Astro-Knights Island! Ah, what a glorious moment it was. Not the next day, not at all. You know when you know something for a long time, like your locker combination, and you just suddenly forget it like that? Whoops. My password completely slipped my mind! I’m pretty sure I was just mixing up a ‘ui’ with an ‘iu’ within my password, but 8 or 9 year old me was frustrated.

Friendly Gamer was created. Well, Freindlygamer1. :D A few weeks later, I got back on Bulldogsrock4. (I forgot how to spell a word within the password, and didn’t think to Google it because I was young and enraged.) I now had a liking towards the name Friendly Gamer over Creepy Monster, so I stuck with it. For my outfit, I kind of stole it from Dynaboa. I changed it up a bit, but if any of you guys remember him, you’d see the “inspiration.”

My routine of beating all the islands and commenting on the Poptropica Help Blog stood. I also created and joined a few cringe-worthy blogs, but they’re either forgotten or long gone. Trust me, they were not worth sharing regardless… Fine, you win. Here was my Twittersome blog I made, and one I joined but never contributed to. There was also a few more, like this one and this one – but for the most part, I was quite inactive on them! I also found this beauty, and I stumbled upon this project called Avapop, before the Avatar Studio. You can see I submitted my Poptropican on there. ;) You might damage some brain tissue reading some of those blogs, especially my posts, so…

Be careful.

More 2009-2012 | Beards and Tears

During 2009, I had my very first moment on the PHB. I was one of the few winners of Codien’s Spray On Beard contest! My heart almost exploded. :O

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Trust me, past Spencer. I was very suprised. I guess Codien liked my idea of a whacky Poptropican! I picked the beard with the long mustache and 4 o’clock shadow. I loved it! Around this time, I discovered the Poptropica Help Chat. I attended heaps of parties and unfortunately traded one too many times. ;(

Before that, I had the chance to become a dummy, and show off my newfound handhelds and rares given to me by Motionman95 in his infamous multiverses and chatrooms.

Friendly Gamer drawn with the beard I was talking about!

Friendly Gamer drawn with the beard I was talking about!

I don’t remember the names of the PHC mods, but one of them had access to M.A.P. Perhaps it was Coderkid, thinking about it?I gave them my password, not even thinking twice, and I obtained the Zeus outfit! It was incredibly rare at the time. Someone thought it was really cool, and ‘traded’ me for it. I lost my account. I asked the person for days on end and they refused! Heartbroken, I actually remember telling my mom about my situation.

I had just got her to buy me a month membership so she was not the happiest mother in the world. She also lectured me about giving away my password and the danger of online chatrooms. Thanks for that, unnamed Xat user. Later, I created something along the lines of DNinjaRocks4, (something like that. I’m not very sure, actually.) and played a lot less. After a few months, I quit. I still lurked the PHB, though! But Friendly Gamer was no more.

Late 2013 and 2014 | Aye, Aye Captain!

“Hello darkness, my old friend. I’ve come to play Poptropica again.”

I caught my sister Jillian playing it! She was facetiming our cousin Julia and they were on Time Tangled Island. Seeing them made me remember just how fun actually playing the game was! CaptainSpencer was made quickly after. I never looked back! (I did actually, later down the road.)

I picked that username not due to Thinknoodles, but because MrSpencer was taken – and I thought Captain sounded rad. (I just go by Spencer now. Not a huge fan of Captain. :P )

Around this time, I started commenting on the PHB with my new WordPress account, and went on Xat frequently. I decided to give blogging a shot. I contacted HPuterpop if he could design my header and logo. He responded in under a day with the best Poptropica graphics I had ever seen. I was ecstatic! Spencer’s Poptropica Cheat Blog was founded sometime in June 2014…

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Andrew and I exchanged a few emails after that. We soon started playing Minecraft and texting on Google Hangouts. He invited me over to the Poptropica Police Network. I quit soon after. I wrote a series on there, and it concluded. Also, I was more into writing about actual Pop updates than roleplaying, which wasn’t my cup of tea. :D

Once my name was out there, I was invited to Icy Fox’s blog, The Poptropica Package, and PAw. Honestly, I put minimal effort in all of those, besides TPP, but my writing still wasn’t the best. Over that time, my Poptropican’s closet and photos became very rare, being one of the first to have many items. I was bombarded with trading offers so many times on the PHC, I left Xat.

I’m fortunate for Red Lizard, Slanted Fish, and others great work on making the glitch community less rare (which I no longer am a part of, but still). Poptropica chatrooms are now a much safer place for everyone. :D

After a few issues within my Poptropican and school/family life, I decided to leave. I left my blog and all the others I was so honored to join. :( It was an impulsive decision, but I later tried to convince myself it was for the best.

It wasn’t.

Late 2015 and Present Day | Blast from the Past!

I came back to doing what I love – providing artwork, theories and posts for the Poptropica community! Slanted Fish has been an absolute doll towards me these past few years, and I’m incredibly grateful for our friendship. She’s even put some of my writing on the PHB a couple of times!

I still play Poptropica, and have been attempting to do so on the daily! A lot of the issues I left for are still unresolved, but why let those very few problems hold me back? :P I’ve been in this game from 2008 to now, and I’m not leaving anytime soon.

My Poptropica blog is now my personal one, Spencerama! Since I’ve come back to the blogging world, I’ve never been happier. <3 (Oh, keep in mind I’ve been playing with themes and logos, and deleted a few posts, so sorry if it’s not a sight for sore eyes.)

Just a side note, as of 1/11/16, I have retrieved my original Bulldogsrock4 account! Despite Friendly Gamer’s rare ninja, Creepy Monster has the white, red, and blue rock star costume, along with the black and white robin hood, and the golden renegade robot! Just thought I’d add to that. :P

To wrap things up, I’d like to thank Slanted Fish, Blake, and Slippery Raptor the most for giving me this place in Poptropica. It wouldn’t have been the same with any of you missing from it. Thank you all for an amazing 7 years! Here is to many more! :D

Well, I guess that concludes My Place in Poptropica, folks! Take the mic, Slanted Fish!

Hope you enjoyed this “My Place in Poptropica” story! Feel free to send in your own (please include a minimum of 550 words, type with good spelling and grammar, divide it into labeled sections, and include your username). Look out for more community MPIPs in the future!

~the PHB.

Pop Pals, Stolen Snapshots, and History Happenings

Hey Poptropicans! What’s popping?

February is here, and that means Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! (As well as spring, if a certain psychic groundhog is to be believed.) Recent Daily Pop sneak peeks indicate that we may soon be getting a Valentine’s Photo Booth with some cool props:

Here on the PHB, we’ve added yet another new page under our Cool Stuff tab: Stolen Snapshots, a puzzle game originally from Slippery Raptor’s Blog! This game tests your Poptropica recognition skills with currently over 25 pictures to guess from, and Slip’s site is always coming up with new ones (plus you can guess his current puzzle for a chance to be in his Hall of Fame!). Check it out!

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In case you missed it, another recent “Cool Stuff” release was a page titled Overview of Poptropica Glitching, where we explore the strangely wonderful world of exploiting Poptropica glitches.

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We also recently released (most of) the results from our 2016 PHB Readers’ Survey, with tons of interactive graphs and charts and analyses for each question! Part 2, featuring comments from the response questions, is on its way – so stay tuned.

Plus, our dear Creator-senpais have even commented on the post! With the exception of Jeff Heim’s comment during the PHB Poppies last summer, that’s a first! We’re very honored and hope they continue to do so. :D All the more reason for PHB lurkers to join the fun in the comments, eh? ;)

creator senpais

Speaking of making PHB history, the History of the PHB page (under the “About” tab) has now been updated to give a summary on the past year of 2015. Check it out!

It’s also been really cool having you guys share your Poptropica projects and more over on our Poptropica Help subreddit, and if you’re not already on it, we would love to have you join the fun! I’ve even got an Ask Me Anything (AMA) thread going on, so if you have any off-topica questions for me at all, that’s a place to get to know me. :D Don’t miss out – sign up and post on our subreddit today!

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Stay popping, Poptropicans!

🐠🐠

My Place in Poptropica: Bony Bones

This is the My Place in Poptropica story of Bony Bones, a Poptropica champion since the beginning and still going strong. See the bottom of this post for details on sending in your own MPIP!

MyPlaceInPoptropica-BonyBones

Since the authors here at the PHB recently created their “My Place in Poptropica” stories, I decided I should try and form one of my own. It’s not extremely exciting or anything, but I still want to tell it. Here it goes…

*clears throat*  *tries to clear throat but breaks into a coughing fit instead*

Beginnings

When I was in first grade, Poptropica was born. My classmates and I enjoyed playing on FunBrain and of course, Poptropica was being advertised on the site. Many of us curious students clicked on the link and discovered Poptropica – my favorite website then and still my favorite website now. I started Poptropica so early that there was no blimp! We just jumped through a little hole and landed in Early Poptropica, though then it had no official name. The only problem was that none of us really knew how to save our game at first, so we made a new character every time we played!

Today, Early Poptropica is regarded as one of the easiest- if not the easiest- island there is, but at the time it was pretty difficult to complete, as my classmates and I had no previous knowledge of Poptropica. It just so happens that I was the first one in my class to discover the golden egg! Though I had accidentally zoomed in on it, it was there none-the-less. Everyone was all excited and staring at my computer screen…but the moment was ruined when we had to go to the next class, and since we didn’t know how to save I would just have to find it again the next time. :(

I can’t remember, but I believe I may have been the first in my class to complete Early Poptropica as well. I do remember that my best friend at the time ended up beating all of the next islands before I did (but he doesn’t even play Poptropica anymore so I guess I won in the end >:) ).

Bony Bones's Current Look & Original Look

Bony Bones’s Current Look vs. Original Look

My Accounts

I eventually figured out how to save my account and created one at my house. I played with this account until Shark Tooth Island was released. Then, something very peculiar happened. When I got to the part where you find the Key Ingredient from the temple, I checked my items once I had retrieved it and noticed that it wasn’t there! :O Now today I would have handled this differently, but at the time, not knowing what else to do, I climbed up onto the pedestal where the Ingredient once sat, stood where the light shown directly on my Poptropican, waited a few moments…and closed the window. I never quite understood what happened next, but as soon as I closed that window, I forgot my Poptropican’s name, username, and password. It was as if that Poptropican was erased from the world. :(

But soon enough, I created a new account that I still use today, playing as the Poptropican known as Bony Bones. (My username is ben1640 if anyone wants to add me.) Only the first two islands were out when I created him, but soon more islands appeared. The map grew, and so did my collection of medallions (I currently have all 57 :D ). I’ve been on Poptropica so long that I watched common features such as the customizer, the store, etc. be added to the game. I even saw Monster Carnival appear, disappear, and reappear on the island map.

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Just for fun, I created a few more Poptropicans as well, by the names of Golden Ice, Scary Speck, and Slippery Typhoon. I forgot Scary’s username, but I still check the others occasionally.

Just Some Other Stuff

Ever since the Poptropica Creators started releasing Top 10 Finisher lists on the Creators’ Blog, I strived to make the list. For so long I never made it…until after the world finisher maps were created. In 2014, I finally placed in the top 10, ranking 10th in the world on Survival: Hook, Line, and Sinker! :D

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I believe that it wasn’t until 2010 that I got Membership, but I have kept it since. I have gladly used the early access to beat new islands on the day they’ve come out (though a few times it has taken longer). :P

I have not done much on the Internet that is Poptropica related other than Poptropica itself. I read a Poptropica FanFic known as “The Chaotic Adventures of Bony Bones,” which just happened to by written by a Poptropican with the same name as me! XD I also have viewed various Wikis, Blogs, etc. for clues about obtaining special items, finding the usernames of the Creators, etc., and I have recently edited some on the Poptropica Wiki as MBBThree.

Oh that’s right, there’s one more website related to Poptropica that I have visited…

The PHB

Before 2015, I probably visited the Poptropica Help Blog less than 5 times, most likely when searching for the things I mentioned above. This year though, I have viewed the PHB a lot more, and have enjoyed everything, from the island news to the 7 Orbs Timeline (really creative idea btw) to PMFMs. I even made it to the PHB’s 8th birthday party for Poptropica this year and was excited to see several of the authors there. Happy birthday, Poptropica!

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Keep up the great work on the PHB, authors!

And that’s My Place in Poptropica.

–Bony Bones

Hope you enjoyed this “My Place in Poptropica” story! Feel free to send in your own (please include a minimum of 550 words, type with good spelling and grammar, divide it into labeled sections, and include your username). Look out for more community MPIPs in the future!

~the PHB.

Jungle mysteries, monkeys, elves, and more!

Hey Poptropicans!

Poptropica’s been a bit quiet lately, and even the Daily Pop has less sneak peeks this month than usual. Still, there are some pretty interesting pics hinting at what’s to come:

That’s quite a bit to take in! Are the monkeys and jungle scenes related, and if so, might they be part of the new tutorial island the Creators are working on? At least we think the hot air balloon is.

Also, looks like a Photo Booth is coming to Mystery of the Map (MotM) Island – presumably with the release of the print version of the graphic novel, expected this March! And what’s with the MotM fort with dodos? Plus, why does the left character in “Terra Firma” look suspiciously similar to an original character design by Poptropica player Bony Hopper?? The mysteries are many.

Check out the PHB’s Daily Pop Sneak Peek Archive for more sneak peeks!

Earlier this week, the Creators also tweeted out these planning sketches from the Twisted Thicket Island files. Check out all those fancy curls and leafy bits. Which elf design is your favorite?

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On a different note, we have a new page on the PHB under the Cool Stuff tab: Overview of Poptropica Glitching! Whether you consider yourself an experienced glitcher or have no idea what that means, this article will give you an overview of what exactly goes on in the underground world of Poptropica glitching for awesome account alterations. Check it out!

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Curious about PHB authors Giant Hawk and Ultimate iPad Expert? Check out the latest Community Celebrities post on Slippery Raptor’s Blog, where fellow PHB author Slip interviews the twin bros on all things Poptropica (plus some questions about their lives offline)! Read it here.

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Also, hang on for the results of the 2016 PHB Readers’ Survey! We were hoping to have the results up by now, but due to delay, they will be coming later this week. :)

Stay popping, Poptropicans! 🐠🐠

My Place in Poptropica: Mad Apper

This is the My Place in Poptropica story of Mad Apper, an avid player of the Poptropica mobile app. See the bottom of this post for details on sending in your own MPIP!

MPIP-MadApper

Skip the intro. Let’s do this.

Are you surprised to see me? Or perhaps you don’t know who I am? Well, that’s what this post is for. Today, I’ve been given the great opportunity to tell you a bit about my past, present, and future in Poptropica history. The dates aren’t precise, but somewhat accurate. I’m Mad Apper, and this is my place in Poptropica.

The Summer of 2014 | The Discovery

I think it was June or July. I was bored, and didn’t have a lot to do. I was 14, at the time, and my older brother told me about Funbrain. I checked it out and played a game. It seemed, well, boring. I think I clicked an ad, category, or something, and BOOM- Poptropica.

Late 2014 to Early 2015 | Community & More Discovery

For the rest of that time, I got a bit into Poptropica. Multiple accounts, even! My current (rarely active) Poptropica account is madapper500, just putting that out there. I read the Poptropica Help Blog, Slippery Raptor’s Blog, and that was it. It was Early 2015 that I downloaded the Poptropica App. I hardly used my online Pop account since then. My computer’s really glitchy. :P

Mid 2015 | PHB Reader Anonymous

First, I was a PHB stalker. Then, eventually a commenter. I gave the PHB one or two tips. Just about ads. On the Poptropica app. That’s it. I eventually began to comment more. At the time, I actually began to comment about random Poptropica thoughts. I’m pretty sure some of you viewers of the PHB do that too. :D

September 2015 | The Pop App Blog & My Pen Name

One day, I was scrolling through Poptropica blogs (PHB, Slippery’s, etc.) and wondered what it would be like to have one of my own. I settled on WordPress and became The Mad Apper. Well, to be honest my real name is Ian. Ian’s Poptropica Blog? No. Since I played the Pop app more than the web version, I settled on the name The Poptropica App Blog [poptropicaapp.wordpress.com] since it seemed unique. Plus, everybody has a different definition of ‘apper’, I dubbed myself The Mad APPer.* No need to hurt your fingers using caps lock.

Around this time, I was fame hungry. A bit of me still is. Fine, I still am. I went around knocking on doors asking for stuff. Could you do my banner? Can I be interviewed? Is Poptropica awesome? Believe it or not, they said yes.

Present & Future | Basically Everything

I was working, and still am working, with several Poptropica blog authors. Everything’s happening. I’m also now the administrator of The MEGA Poptropica Blog [megapoptropicablog.wordpress.com]! I’m with the two talented authors of Mighty Gamer and Popular Wolf. I’m also a somewhat minor part of Mighty Gamer’s Poptropica Blog, known as Explore Collect Compete, which you can find at explorecollectcompete.wordpress.com.

As for the future, I plan to make a Poptropica Blogs app, I have some collaborations planned, some pretty big stuff planned for 2016. I don’t want to ruin the surprise. That’s basically all up to this point. Reality is an illusion! The universe is a hologram! Buy gold! Bye!

Oh yeah, I’d also want to thank the entire PHB staff, Mighty Gamer, Popular Wolf, and many more Poptropicans. I’m a nerdy dude that loves to work with people, is part of three Poptropica blogs, is impressed by the Pop community, and is glad to be part of it.

And that’s my place in Poptropica.

*The Mad Apper is not to be confused with App Girl, The Mad Hatter, or the Apper WordPress theme.

Hope you enjoyed this “My Place in Poptropica” story! Feel free to send in your own (please include a minimum of 550 words, type with good spelling and grammar, divide it into labeled sections, and include your username). Look out for more community MPIPs in the future!

~the PHB.

Greetings from the Poptropica Creators!

Hey Poptropicans! Just last week, I posted an open letter to Poptropica here on the PHB, addressing some improvements Poptropica should make to the game. To the PHB’s surprise, a Poptropica Creator has responded! With her permission, the response has been posted below. Enjoy! :D

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Dear Slanted Fish and Poptropicans everywhere,

On behalf of the Poptropica Creators, greetings!  I love your blog, and I read every post.  After your recent Open Letter, I wanted to personally respond and, hopefully, start a better dialogue with you.

First, an introduction…..  I’m Jen MacLean, and I joined the Family Education Network as the President of the Kids and Games division in November.  More importantly, I’m a lifelong gamer, a Poptropican, and the mom of a Poptropican.  It’s been a whirlwind few months as a new member of the Poptropica team, and one of my biggest priorities has been understanding where Poptropica needs to improve and helping the team build a roadmap to get us there.

So, ‘fess up…..  Have you been hiding in our offices?  Bugging our conference rooms?   You’ve made some great points about how we need to make Poptropica better, and I’m excited to share that many of the ideas you proposed are already in development.

I’m happy to give you a sneak peek at some changes that are coming soon.  In the next few weeks, expect a new and improved experience for first-time players, including a brand new island specifically designed for new players.  It’s a short island, but we’re hoping it will really help new players better understand how to play and what Poptropica is all about.  Though it’s design for new players, I’m sure veterans will get a kick out of it too, so not to worry!

We also understand and agree that we need to improve the Island experience for all Poptropicans!  We want to make it easier to teleport, find help, understand the quest, and identify the next steps in a quest.  We’re not ready to share specific times and releases yet, but  we will keep you posted as we roll out improvements.  We are also looking at ways we can make a Poptropica membership even more valuable; we’ll be updating our membership this Spring.

I’m so glad you brought up the “I’m trapped in a classic island and can’t get out” issue.  We’re working on a fix for that too, so very soon you should be able to leave classic islands from any scene.  Teleporting between scenes is a great idea, but it could end up breaking a lot of the islands; however, it’s something we’ll keep in mind though as we keep finding ways to make the player experience better.

An important part of any game development project is squashing bugs.  We need to get better at fixing the bad bugs and incorporating “good glitches” into the design of the game.  As part of that focus, we’ll be starting a Friends and Family Beta Program this year, and we will be reaching out to you with more details when we’re ready to launch!

Speaking of reaching out, I know it’s been hard to contact us.  I’m excited to introduce Jessica, our Official Poptropica Community Liaison.   Jessica will share information with you on all things Poptropica, including product updates and improvements, and will make sure your comments, questions, and feedback are shared throughout the Poptropica Creators team.  She’ll also help us understand and address some of your ideas and requests, including officializing a Poptropica wiki.

Last, but most importantly, THANK YOU!  Thank you for your wonderful support of Poptropica, for being a great resource for Poptropicans everywhere, and for being such a strong community.  I’m excited to get to know you better and to make Poptropica an even more amazing experience for you.

Wow! It’s the first time a Poptropica Creator has contacted the PHB directly (with the exception of Jeff Heim during the Poppies) – and this response certainly gives us a lot of hope about what’s to come out of Poptropica HQ in the future. A better tutorial, some form of teleportation, doing something about glitches both good and bad, and even the possibility of officializing the Poptropica Wiki are some things Poptropica’s currently working on, and that’s really awesome to hear. :D

A huge shout-out and thanks to Jen MacLean for taking the time to write to us and allowing her letter to be published here! On behalf of the PHB and Poptropica community, we look forward to more interactions with the powers-that-be at Poptropica HQ to make the game and community all the more awesome. We’re honored to have the Creators read the PHB, and we’re excited for what happens next.

What would you like to say to the Creators? Share in the comments below – if this exchange has been any indication, they may well take you up on your suggestions (within reason, of course)!

Stay popping, everyone. ;)

–Slanted Fish 🐠🐠

An Open Letter to Poptropica

popletter

Hey Poptropicans! This is a special post where I, Slanted Fish, have written an open letter addressing some improvements that could be made to Poptropica. As a longtime player and owner of a Poptropica fansite where I see comments from confused players daily, there is much I feel is worth saying here. Discussion is highly encouraged in the comments section. Enjoy!

Dear Poptropica,

On the whole, you are a wonderful, whimsical world, full of adventure and brimming with excitement around every corner. For that, you have garnered a community of loyal fans, eager to pop in and explore, collect, compete. And yet, for the newbie and seasoned veteran alike, there are still some areas that leave something to be desired. That’s what this letter is about. This is what we need.

Part I: Improve Tutorial

When we first arrive on Poptropica, we are greeted by Tutorial (Home) Island, a quick little quest that introduces us to the world of the game. But is it enough? While playing through it can certainly give any new player a handle on some of the basics, there are still some things left unsaid. For example, how did this world come to exist? Some kind of back story would give us a bit more purpose.

What are the main points of Poptropica? We can tell that “saving the world” on this island is important (finding all the medallion shards), but what about the myriad of other features that Poptropica offers, like the Costumizer or meeting friends or the Daily Pop, that are never explicitly explained in the tutorial? For players, they must slowly figure this out on their own, yet going through this info would be of great help to a new player. And finally, what about explaining how to save your account? Some players have reported making a new account every time they played, because they didn’t know the save button even existed! Such a simple yet important step is surely worth bringing to attention. In other words, the tutorial should be more clear about all that Poptropica is.

Part II: Teleportation Within Island

Then we look to actually playing islands. On the old islands (the ones without sound), we had maps that would tell us where we were if we were feeling lost. Newer islands (sound-updated islands, also known as SUIs) have done away with this feature. While maps themselves don’t affect gameplay much, there is something that would make them a lot more helpful: teleportation.

In a lot of island quests, a lot of time is spent walking back and forth between different areas, which feels very tedious after a while. This is especially true when you are stuck in the game and are just going around trying everything you can think of. On newer islands (SUIs), where areas are much bigger, all that walking around is made even worse. On older islands, where there is no blimp button on the menu to take you back to the map, some players have reported getting lost trying to find their way back to the blimp! Vampire’s Curse is one such tricky island where it is difficult to get back. On Astro-Knights, many have also wondered how to get back into space, unaware of the spaceship that waits for them atop the castle of Arturus. It would ease quite a bit of frustration if players could use a map to teleport to areas they had already unlocked on the island. (For example: the exception, Mystery of the Map Island, which does this.)

Part III: Removing Ads

The only issue this teleportation would really affect are the ad streets that sometimes appear in between places. However, all these ad streets are often quite annoying to players who are in the middle of an island quest and only find the ad to be in their way. We can already see ads on Main Street of every island (which are fine and often engaging). But to have extra areas we are forced to pass through for the sole purpose of displaying an ad is simply a disturbance in the Poptropica experience. In addition, the ads that occasionally display on the sidebars are often quite glaring and sometimes unappealing, and its position makes it all too easy to have an accidental click into a separate site right in the middle of our Poptropica-exploring.

It’s understandable that ads bring in money for Poptropica to continue as a business, but while the Main Street ads are done well, the others are a bit of a nuisance. It might be a worthwhile idea to remove the extra ads (those not on Main Street offering prizes) for paying members of Poptropica who are already funding the site with their memberships. Many other places on the web offer this feature (paying to browse with no ads), and this perk would make membership an even more attractive option for players without affecting too much.

Part IV: Thoughts on Membership

Speaking of memberships, it should come as no surprise that Poptropica wants you to buy them – but how can they sell themselves effectively? Considering the target demographic of the game, for many players the struggle is not that they don’t want membership, but rather convincing their parents that it’s worth paying for. Because Poptropica is a computer game and not quite as physically tangible as a toy, some parents do not see it as something of enough value to throw their money at. While Poptropica does a great job flaunting the benefits of membership to kids, they may also want to add some sort of presentation aimed at parents and perhaps even teachers, focusing on educational benefits like reading, learning about different environments, building friendships, and more.

In addition, what about more ways to buy membership? Poptropica used to sell membership game cards at a variety of stores in North America, but for some reason this has become rarer. Perhaps there are complications we do not know about, but if this is something financially feasible, it should still be considered. A physical game card, like a gift card, enforces the idea that Poptropica could be a worthwhile investment for parents’ money. Another idea is to allow PayPal – just another method of electronic payment, but one that is widely used and may well be the only option for someone who for some reason or other doesn’t have a debit or credit card. More ways to buy membership increases the likelihood of more membership purchases.

All that being said, Poptropica would do well to remember that no matter what, many of their players are still not likely to buy a membership. As last summer’s scandal of seven islands becoming members only suggests, many players are here because Poptropica offers a fun-filled, but more importantly (mostly) free, world of adventure. Many kids would simply find something else to entertain them if Poptropica did not remain mostly free. Poptropica should continue to be very careful about how much they give and take away to those who can pay and those who cannot. At least for the most part, they’ve done a good job.

Part V: More Outside Advertising

I would estimate that the number of paying members right now is about a few thousand. This estimate comes from my rankings on various World Champions Player Maps after finishing islands within a day or so of the islands’ release to non-members (suggesting that the majority of finishers before me were members who would have played during early access). I am not sure what this means for Poptropica’s budget, but Poptropica could definitely benefit from more outside advertising. Wherever kids look, Poptropica needs to be waved in their faces – some places to start might be TV ads, cereal boxes, or kids’ online gaming websites (branch out from Funbrain!).

Part VI: Glitchy Gameplay

Another major issue that has been bugging (heh) some players is game glitches (and not the ‘good’ kind, to be explained later). There have been many reports from players, for some reason or other, encountering problems like never getting the safety helmet on Mocktropica that hinders them from completing islands. Although you can contact Poptropica support for help, bug complaints are still somewhat frequent. It has gotten better since the early days of SUIs, but it still has a ways to go.

A game’s smoothness (or lack of it) can make or break the game for some people. However possible, Poptropica needs to be more vigilant about fixing glitchy gameplay (perhaps by expanding their team of developers so that these issues are not so easily overlooked, and more quickly fixed?). We don’t really know all that goes on in Poptropica HQ, but with so many projects on Poptropica’s plate these days (islands, graphic novels, animations, etc), an expanded team of workers might help to speed up the processes of producing content for Poptropicans to enjoy.

Part VII: Do Something About the Uncostumizable

Now to explain “good glitching”: as some Poptropicans are aware, the art of taking advantage of Poptropica glitches to obtain rare, otherwise uncostumizable costume parts has been around for years. Many “glitchers” have made it their hobby to specialize in collecting and trading various different costume parts, particularly in places like the PHC. It has become such a big thing within this part of the Poptropica community that to take this away would leave many Poptropicans with less desire to play the game. In an attempt to make this less exclusive to most players, here at the PHB we’ve released things like the Avatar Studio Gift so that all could enjoy such costumes.

However, there’s something off about having to obtain cool costume parts from a glitch, something that was never intended to be part of the game. The solution is not quite as simple as removing such a glitch – as mentioned, doing so would turn many away from the game – but rather in making it obsolete. Players want those cool costumes, and Poptropica is doing them no favors by making them out of reach without the intervention of glitching. Instead, Poptropica should find a way to make certain “rares” obtainable, yet not as common as the average costumizable garment. They could make challenges such as mini-games with prizes or Store items that would encompass desired items like beards, special eyes, robots, animal parts, and so on.

Part VIII: Hints & Walkthroughs

Finally, Poptropica could seriously benefit from a hint system. When players get stuck on an island quest, what can they do? While some may cleverly turn to the internet for walkthroughs, for others the thought may not even cross their minds. Instead of losing players because they couldn’t figure out what to do next, or what they were even supposed to do in the first place, a hint system could remind them of who they’ve talked to and what the current missions of the island are. It could also offer up vague-to-specific hints about what to do next, so as not to completely spoil the adventure unless the player was absolutely stuck.

Poptropica has also somewhat recently started making its own walkthroughs, with videos and blog posts from Captain Crawfish. However, these currently only cater to some of the newer islands, which means that players still sometimes look elsewhere for guides. That’s a good thing for the PHB, of course, but it could still be better. Even with all the promotion on Poptropica’s own site, there is a noticeable disparity between the amount of views on official Crawfish walkthrough videos versus those of popular player Thinknoodles. While Poptropica’s walkthroughs have been decent, many players have shown preference for the likes of Thinknoodles and, not to brag, the PHB. The point is, fans of the game are able to produce good Poptropica help to fellow fans, and – though this may be a bit far-fetched – perhaps Poptropica might like to use this to their advantage by enlisting our help with creating such help resources.

We have suggested that Poptropica can help us with helping them through hopefully officializing a Poptropica Wiki, starting with providing high-quality images (although we can obtain them ourselves, Poptropica should already have them and it would be much easier if they shared them there). Officializing and promoting the guides of a fansite such as the PHB would also allow for more help to reach more Poptropicans who might otherwise be unaware of the tools available.

Anyway, that concludes this long letter of suggestions. You made it to the end! Thanks for reading!

Stay popping,

–Slanted Fish 🐠🐠
Poptropica Help Blogger

P.S. Please continue this discussion in the comments! Your thoughts matter! :)

My Place in Poptropica: Darth Lizard

This is the My Place in Poptropica story of Darth Lizard, a longtime Poptropican with a passion for Poptropica glitching. See the bottom of this post for details on sending in your own MPIP!

MPIP-DarthLizard

Invisible Axe & Wimpy Kid

It was 3rd grade and we were in the computer lab. I was talking to a friend when he told me about Poptropica. Curious, I began playing. I loved it from the start! It was something I’d never seen.

I found it from a site called Funbrain. That was where I also found my love for Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It grew on me, like a fungus. I couldn’t stop playing. The first known island I beat was Spy Island, and everything about that island stuck to me. Director D, B.A.D, everything. Macguy19 was born. Invisible Axe had clawed his way through into the world.

Glitch Discovery, PHB, & Membership

Some time has passed, round the time of Vampire’s Curse, idk when, and I had found a sliver of glitches, the glitch allowed me to get the member items as a non member. I decided to learn more about this bug. That was also the time I started following the PHB. I just swiftly stalked the blog, popping in every few weeks to read the latest posts.

Time continues to pass, and then I get membership. That was also around the 5th birthday of Poptropica, so that’s when I got everything membership could buy. I learned of the bonus quests, and how you get rewards from it. I loved the bonus quests, and that’s what made islands cool for me.

I continued playing well into the end of the old island era. It was a hot summer day, I was at a gathering with some people to celebrate 5th grade and all that. I return home and learn Virus Hunter Island is out. It was the crowning achievement of Poptropica, and I went along with it. I learned then that I made a good choice.

Becoming a Glitcher: Darth Lizard

More time passes and then I learn of the seedy underworld that the Poptropica glitches have left on me. I had spent time on the PHC, trying to learn more. I wanted to know.

Then, someone told me of the Avatar Studio Glitch (ASG) for the SUIs. The glitch allowed me to gain clothing that was otherwise unavalible. This was around Monster Carnival SUI. I was astonished. I had never known such. It made me want to learn about the world of glitches. That dream is dead, alas…

I had also came up with an alias based off my backup, called Red Lizard. I came up with the name “Darth Lizard” as both my WordPress name and the name I refer to when in Poptropican discussions. Darth Lizard had become a cross between Darth Sidious, my fav Sith, and Red Lizard, the name of my backup Poptropican.

I never served much purpose strolling through the blogs and through the game. I had dreams of being on the PHB, but I stuck with my goal of playing and beating islands. I wanted to be like my idol, Thinknoodles. He inspired me to pull through and beat an island. He was also pretty funny and one of the coolest YouTubers ever.

Epilogue

After that, I continued playing Poptropica through and through, even today I never had a thought of quitting. It’s a fun game, and you should play it too!

And without the aid of… well I don’t wanna say names here, let’s just call him Creeper, I may have not played or even discovered Poptropica. That’s my story, of my place in Poptropica.

Hope you enjoyed this “My Place in Poptropica” story! Feel free to send in your own (please include a minimum of 550 words, type with good spelling and grammar, divide it into labeled sections, and include your username). Look out for more community MPIPs in the future!

~the PHB.

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