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The (Near) future of Poptropica: “State of the Game” Analysis

Yoooooo it’s me again, not even 24 hours after my first blog post. “sHiNy, DoN’t YoU hAvE aNyThInG bEtTeR tO dO I ThOuGhT yOu WeRe A bUsY mAn In CoLlEgE?!?!!!??” Ok first off: no. Second of all: yes I’m in college, but as of my schedule right now I have too much time on my hands and usually when that happens I sit alone in my dorm room staring into the darkness of space while everyone else is in a place called outside hanging out with their friends and having fun. I mean, c’mon, doing that first part is hard enough, but having friends??? That’s like a mastery skill level on it’s own. Every time I try and talk to someone, I hear myself and think “bruh, that’s how I sound like?” You know that meme where it goes “how you think your voice sounds” and it shows a picture of Spongebob looking all fancy and then it goes “how your voice sounds on camera” and then it shows Spongebob looking all savage in a caveman outfit? THAT’S how I always feel when I talk. Then you put social anxiety and the lack of having something interesting to say into the mix, now THAT’S a recipe for disaster.

Ok I’m getting a little off topic, lets get into the actual post.

On February 6th the Poptropica creators created a blog post titled State of the Game: Converting from Flash on the creator’s blog, giving Poptropica and its inhabitants a much needed update on the status of the new engine the game will be running in: HAXE JavaScript. Now I don’t speak COMPUTER so I don’t know what that means, but I know its a good thing cause as we all know the development support and distribution of Flash Player will cease sometime this year, and Poptropica still runs on it, forcing them to continue to develop their game on a new engine.

But doing this is a monumental task. Poptropica’s development team is small and, as indicated on the blog post, they have been working hard since the last year to make this possible.

Development on Poptropica has been slow for the last couple of years, very especially in terms of islands being released, and the lack of new content. In it’s glory days (2010-2012) Poptropica got around eight islands released in one year (2012), but as the game’s popularity dwindled with time (and, in theory, Poptropica’s team getting smaller), this number would decrease: 6 islands in 2013, 5 in 2014, 4 in 2015 (excluding home island), and then suddenly, only 1 in 2016, (probably) due to the development of Poptropica Worlds. Worlds saw 3 islands in 2017 while original was basically left on hold. 2 islands in 2018 (1 worlds, 1 from original which was… not much of an island), and finally 2019… 1 new island (which was also alright)… And Worlds… suddenly nowhere to be found?…

This recent lack in development is likely to be explained by Poptropica transferring their game on the JavaScript engine. So what new things can we expect to come from Poptropica in the near future? Well, I’m afraid not much…

As I’ve said before, transferring the game to a new engine is not an easy task, and I’d imagine that most of their output/development power is being poured there. So will there be any new islands in the near future? Well, based on what’s being said… No. They will likely still be releasing little things like members gifts, updating the store and maybe other small stuff along the way, but nothing too big so that it will not slow development on the new engine. Sure, we got Reality TV: Wild Safari last year, but if you look at it from a distance, it didn’t really offer much. There was a lack of a story, only had one scene in which you could freely explore, and it was no challenge whatsoever (you get the island medallion regardless if you win the show or not). I’m not saying it’s a bad island, just that it didn’t offer us much; however, this is understandable since the Poptropica developers likely had their priorities somewhere else (the new game engine) and I really appreciate and, quite frankly, am surprised, that they released a new island among all this cause it shows to me that they are still here and are still caring for the game.

Anyway, I came back to Poptropica fairly recently and right away, I noticed something was off…

awww yeah, back at it again in Poptropica! Its been, what, almost eight months? let’s go back into Early Poptropica to check my inventory in the old, but more organized, AS2 format real quick! hmmmm… wait a minute… something’s not right…

Our favorite OG, old school, AS2, islands have gone MISSING. Allegedly some players were having problems with it so they took it out, but after discovering and using a Poptropica glitcher known as idk‘s Old Island Directory, I never encountered any problems, but I suspect it was because of the weird inventory glitch where you couldn’t access your store items that they couldn’t fix, but I wasn’t there right before they took it out so I don’t know maybe it was something else.

The creators emphasized in their blog post that the old islands will not be playable once the game is released in its new engine. They will also not likely be seen again in the near future as they will need to start from scratch if they are going to make a return (which I’d imagine would take quite a bit of time), so for now, RIP everyone’s childhood. I suspect it will take longer due to the fact that they probably have plans to release new islands as a priority over remastering the old school ones cause we haven’t had any new islands with an actual story for a while now; the last time being Greek Sea Odyssey which is in Poptropica Worlds which sets me up for my next point…

Could Poptropica Worlds return? To my knowledge the developers have largely been silent on this matter, but if I am correct, Poptropica Worlds was taken away from the Poptropica.com site last year for unknown reasons, but the game is still running and is still available if you perform a simple google search for it. So what’s going on here? I have a theory. Maybe Worlds’ development was put on a halt after the team set out to put Original on a new engine, and it was taken down from their website after realizing the lack of development Worlds will be receiving. So sometime after Original gets its new engine, they might give Worlds a comeback. Remember that’s just a theory A GA– But let’s not get too optimistic; I don’t want to get anyones hopes up. What I can say for sure is that until Poptropica gives word, the future of Worlds is left uncertain

Anyways the blog post announced that there will also be an open beta for the new engine presumably later this year which I think is great news. Based on the wording, it looks like they are quite proud of what they have so far which is usually a good sign, so good on them! It seems like Poptropica will survive the flashpocalypse after all. Here’s to the future of Poptropica 🙌

So my fellow Poptropicans don’t forget to stay fresh and go CRAZY out there (not too crazy, though!), but most of all: keep on shining!

This is your friendly neighborhood bird signing off,

Peace

– Shiny Bird 🦅

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Published by Shiny Bird

i'm shiny, and a bird

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