Blog Post #92 – November 20, 2018

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Hello Pogoians,

Welcome to blog number 92 of the Pogo Insider. I really want you all to be having a great day and lots of fun this week. Are you all looking forward to Thanksgiving? I hope you can have a nice, festive holiday surrounded by friends and family.

Here are two more Poppit! Party costumes that’ll be coming your way in an upcoming release. What do you think – do these costumes look like they might be fun? I hope you’re just as excited about the new costumes as we are.

 

We’re unveiling a special new Badge series for you soon to follow up on the Scrapbook Collection: Fairyland Badges! When Tony, one of the Pogo artists, showed me this badge art I knew I had to include it in an upcoming Pogo Insider. It’s beautiful and I hope you feel the same. Here’s what Tony had to say about the creation of this beauty of a badge:

“In the first of this new series of Fairy themed Badges, we decided to give it some autumn flavor. Why wouldn’t a fairy try to surf on a falling leaf? They’re small, and light as a feather. We tried to render the colors in the same style as the classic fairy illustrations you see in books and paintings. We will be exploring all styles of fairy art and all species of fairy for this series, so each Badge is unique. We hope you enjoy them.”

Welcome to the Construction Zone! Here is where you will find the latest on game updates. What is currently “under construction” on Pogo? As often as I can, I’ll sit down with the Pogo team and get the latest info on which games are being worked on and what’s coming. I will always post more details when I have them available. Please understand updates are subject to change.

Please understand that unless an announcement comes directly from EA and/or Pogo, we cannot endorse it as true. All games and updates reported here in the Construction Zone have been given the “go ahead” and are on track to come out. Anything else that is reported is speculation right now.

Upcoming events

Black Friday and Cyber Monday – More sales and events are up on deck!

The 25 Days of Pogo will kick off December 1st and it really is so much bigger than ever before.

Holiday Badge Marathon is slated for early December.

Single Game Marathon for Jet Set Solitaire is slated to take place later in December.

December’s Game of the Month will be….Quinn’s Aquarium!

Game Updates

Turbo 21, Jet Set Solitaire, Aces Up, Phlinx II, and Poppit! Party – A screen has been added to the game that will load after the loading screen. This is in advance of a future Chrome update where sound would not be auto-enabled if this screen wasn’t put into place. In addition, we’ve updated the new game button and the settings/pause menu was removed. You will be able to now do this in the actual game. Please note the changes via these delightful Aces Up photos:

 

Phlinx II – A renovation of Phlinx II will begin in the new year. Due to this, we will not be launching year 3. More information will be provided as the date gets closer.

Jewel Academy – New levels slated for January

Jet Set Solitaire – We’re making several special updates for you in this game! First, a special limited-time Holiday Destination Pack will be available from December 18 – January 18.  We’re also changing the way locations are shown in the game to make it a little easier to navigate. Soon, we’ll be dividing releases into packs (sort of like suitcases!) so you don’t see everything in one long map screen.

 

New Games

Cross Country Adventure – This is available today!

Claire Hart Classic – Slated for December. With Claire Hart Classic, all of the episodes that you have purchased in the Flash version of Claire Hart: Soul Searcher will be owned by you in Claire Hart Classic! Click here for more information. The original Claire Hart: Soul Searcher will go down for a few days before CH Classic is released. We will provide you with more information once that becomes available.

Mahjong Safari HD – Slated for December

First Class Solitaire HD – Slated for December

Slated for early 2019 – Word Search Daily HD, Rainy Day Spider Solitaire HD, Mahjong Garden HD, and more!

Known Issues

Tri-Peaks Solitaire HD – Players reported the game was slow and buggy. The Pogo team was alerted to this, investigated the issue with technical information players reported and were able to fix the issue with a release on November 8. Please remember, if you are experiencing technical issues, you must run the compatibility scan and copy/paste the information as the team needs this in order to investigate. In order to help you, we need to know as much information about your operating system and computer as we can; unfortunately, if we don’t have information about your computer gathered from a compatibility scan, it’s not possible for us to provide more direct assistance.

Jet Set Solitaire and Turbo 21 – While playing on Safari, some players may be experiencing the sound going away if they navigate away from the game’s browser tab. This has been fixed with last night’s update.

 

Website updates

Next Mini Mall release – Our holiday release will be hitting the Mini Mall on December 6! This release will feature lots of Christmas-themed items and re-releases, and many items will be on sale.

Pogo Bowl – The elves will be arriving in Pogo Bowl on December 1!

Tokens – As many Pogoians may be aware of at this point, the current token system will be replaced with a new award system. As stated in a May 2018 blog, I, and the rest of the Pogo team, know this is a point of contention with some players. For those of you for whom tokens provide a way to project status and achievement over time, we hear you and we understand your aversion to losing this status.

Tokens in the current Flash and Java games will remain and will not be removed. Thank you for your understanding. Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming system for Challenges. As I noted in the “Coming Up” section above, we’ll be showing you more information about this starting in December so that you can all get a sneak peek of exactly what the new reward system has in store!

 

Safari 12 and Java – Please click here to read more about Safari’s latest update.

Java 11 and Internet Explorer 11 – Please click here to read more about Java’s latest update and what that means for Internet Explorer 11.

Pogo recommendations and specifications for your computer – The specs have been updated as of August 14, 2018.  These are the recommended specifications for playing Pogo games smoothly; please click here in order to find out more about these recommendations to help ensure that Pogo games run more smoothly on your computer.

Chat – An Insider question was answered in the last Pogo Insider regarding chat. To read it, please click here and then scroll down to the Insider Question section.

 

Coming Up in the Insider Blog:

This is a new little section I’m adding to let you know more about some site features and beyond that we’ll be tackling in upcoming editions of the Pogo Insider Blog.

December: Sneak Peek into new Challenge-based Reward System

January: Deeper look into Challenge-based Reward System

 

 

Pogo Q&A with Pogo Rachael about Claire Hart Classic

Pogo Llama: As many of you have heard, Claire Hart Classic will be available on Pogo on December X. Pogo Rachael dropped by the Pogo Insider studios to chat with me about the original Claire Hart: Secret in the Shadows and what fun will be had for Claire Hart Classic. Hi Pogo Rachael. I’m really happy to have you here in the Pogo Insider studios to talk about Claire Hart Classic. How long has Claire Hart been a part of your life?

Pogo Rachael: Over five years now! It’s funny how quickly time passes. It feels like it was just yesterday when I began working on Claire Hart: Soul Searcher. Now all of this time has passed both for me at Pogo and just in the game itself. Working on Claire Hart Classic has been an interesting challenge, but also a fun trip down memory lane for me.

Pogo Llama: What were the early days like in Claire Hart? What’s the first storyline you remember writing?

Pogo Rachael: The very first story that I wrote for Claire Hart was a Valentine’s Day episode; it’s one that takes place at a science center and involves a penguin. I think I always write sort of unusual romance stories since I wouldn’t call myself a particularly “romantic” person (the last Valentine’s Day special for Claire Hart: Soul Searcher featuring Will and Lavender is way more my style of romance, I think!).  I actually just started working on the first Valentine’s Day episode for Claire Hart: Secret in the Shadows and I’m having fun with it; I won’t spoil it but it’s moving forward on something I’ve been trying to set up in the game for a while.

Before I began working on Claire Hart, there had been two other writers for the game. I had to spend a lot of time making sure that I could write about the characters and make them my own, and I feel that I succeeded on that front since they all more or less do feel like “my own” characters these days when I write for Claire Hart: Secret in the Shadows. I’m very attached to the game and have all sorts of backstories in my mind that I haven’t even had time to write out in episodes yet!

I have one sort of funny story I wanted to share that I’ve never told anyone before, but I think Claire fans may get a kick out of it. When I first began writing Claire Hart, I was given a sort of list of things I could/couldn’t write about for the game that was informally generated by a team of people involved with the game before me. Most of the list wasn’t surprising and made sense; things like ‘don’t make any stories really gory or too spooky’ or ‘don’t make the stories too long.’ One thing on the list was really peculiar to me, though. It was: “don’t have Troy and Claire get married.” I think I can trace where that idea came from. I bet a lot of Pogo players are familiar with an old TV series called Moonlighting, right? Lots of folks joke that the show wasn’t “as good” when the leads became romantically involved. I think that was the idea, even if Troy and Claire were “together” already.  Maybe they were worried that it would interfere with romantic tension or chemistry, or maybe they wanted to reserve room for a love triangle plot later on – a plot I’d never personally write, because I would never want to put Claire and Troy in a serious love triangle storyline as that would feel wrong to me. Well, if you play the game, you can see about how long I held out on that one!  I used to get weekly requests from players to have them get married! But it’s been really interesting over the years to try different things with the game and see how they all work out. Sometimes I’ll make a story decision that I’ll hear about from players a lot and I’ll think ‘whoa, I better not do that again’ or ‘hey, they liked that! I’ll try more of that type of story.’ I feel like I can generally anticipate the sort of responses players will have to stories or characters or art, but our community can be rather full of surprises, right? That’s what makes it interesting. I really like looking over feedback and using that to help inform stories that I write.

Pogo Llama: We released Claire Hart: Secret in the Shadows in April so I’m curious why the move for Claire Hart: Soul Searcher to become HTML5?

Pogo Rachael: As you know, we’re in the process of changing a lot of our games from Java or Flash to HTML5 to make sure everyone can still play them. That was a special concern for us with Claire Hart: Soul Searcher. Having the game continue in Claire Hart: Secret in the Shadows with the possibility of the original game going away just didn’t seem right to us; we wanted to make sure that folks could still go back in and enjoy the old episodes anytime they like and, if they’re interested in the story itself, go back in and take a second glance at things as there are several story “threads” that are continued in the new game from the old. To me, Claire Hart is just as much a part of Pogo as Word Whomp and Poppit!, so it was really important that the game remain playable even after Flash goes away.

Pogo Llama: What do you think players will like the most about Claire Hart Classic?

Pogo Rachael: Our motto as we worked on this game was that we wanted this to be as true to the original as possible. We didn’t want to change the artwork in any way that would be unexpected to players; to me, the art for that game stands the test of time! The changes we did make to the game were largely to make things a little easier to navigate; for example, we took the episode selection screen we use for Claire Hart: Secret in the Shadows and applied it to Claire Hart Classic, so it should be more straightforward for you as you look through the episodes. The interface within the game is almost exactly the same, but with just a few tiny changes. I know players will be asking this, so I’ll also mention that the way in which power-ups work in Claire Hart: Soul Searcher has been carried over to Claire Hart Classic, too! Claire Hart: Soul Searcher and Claire Hart: Secret in the Shadows had slightly different power-ups available, but again, as our motto was “be true to the original,” we kept the power-ups the same way that they have been for you.

Pogo Llama: Will players be able to play the episodes they’ve already purchased from the Flash version?

Pogo Rachael: Absolutely. Any episode that you’ve purchased previously will carry over to the new version. You will not need to re-buy any episodes and additionally, any episode that was free to Club Pogo Members before will be free to them now. If you completed episodes, that progress should carry over, too (a good way to be sure you completed an episode? Check your Badge Album for your Episode Completion Badges). Your power-up purchases will also carry over. The only thing that won’t carry over to the new game is if you’ve only completed some of an episode; if you completed some but not all of an episode, when Claire Hart Classic releases you will need to start over again to complete it. That’s why I’m reminding any players who have partially completed episodes now to go back in and double-check and finish them up.

Pogo Llama: Thank you so much for coming by and talking about Claire Hart Classic with us. If players have more questions about this conversion, can they leave a message in the comments below?

Pogo Rachael: Please do! I’m happy to answer your questions about the conversion, Claire Hart Classic in general, or Claire Hart: Secret in the Shadows. I also wanted to mention that, while I can’t always respond to everyone, I do check our Pogo Forums often and am always happy to receive any feedback or comments from you there. It’s nice to be able to connect so directly with players.

 

Every week I answer a non-technical question related to Pogo. We get lots of questions every week, so I try to focus on common themes or the same question coming from different folks. Please ask your non-technical related question in the comments section of the blog.

(For technical issues, please go to Pogo’s Help Page.)
Q. I have a tech issue. Help me. 

A. This is a reminder I cannot answer technical issues here in the blog. If you are having problems loading a game or gaining access to your account, please contact Customer Support. Please believe me when I say I would like to help each and every one of you with whatever issues you may be experiencing on Pogo. I understand it’s very frustrating to not be able to play a game and be a part of something I so enjoy. There are a few reasons I’m unable to help with technical issues and one of those reasons is I am only one person and I do receive a lot of help requests. Another reason I’m unable to help out with technical issues is due to privacy and security. When working with Customer Support, they are able to verify certain things and so when any Pogo-issues arises that you may need help with, please contact Pogo/EA customer support. You can do so by clicking on this link right here.
Please also remember that Pogo/EA will never charge money for customer support. Please beware of fake Pogo help sites. Click here to read more on that.

 

Folks, I will not be having comments turned on this week and the next Pogo Insider (December 4). This is because I will be away and unable to answer the comments. The comments will return with the December 18th blog.  Thank you so much for your understanding.

Have a fabulous day and a wonderful next few weeks of fun here in Pogoland.

Please remember that you matter.

Cheers,

Pogo Llama

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NOTE: Comments may take some time to be approved. Those which are off-topic or counterproductive to fostering a positive environment will not be posted. Thanks for reading the Pogo Insider!

If you’re having troubles loading or getting into a Pogo game, please go to Pogo’s Help Page. Unfortunately, I am unable to help out with any technical questions via the blog. Thank you!

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