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Furcadia is a MMOSG/MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Social Game/ Roleplaying Game) or graphical MUD,[1] set in a fantasy world inhabited by anthropomorphic creatures. The game is based on user-created content, socializing and free-form roleplaying. Furcadia is not entirely In Character; however, the background world ('The Dragonlands') and rule system ('Furre!') exist for those who wish to participate. Furcadia is claimed as the longest continuously running MMO.[2][3]

Gameplay

Characters

The character, or avatar on Furcadia is called a "furre", pronounced "fur", or occasionally "furry". The in-game avatar can be set to one of several species of anthropomorphic animal that Furcadia offers. A furre can be one of three genders: male, female, and unspecified. These genders modify the default portrait, as well as specitags seen in chat.

Customization

Players can customize their avatars by choosing colors from a palette. These colors are shown on both the walkabout and portrait. The walkabout has a basic walking animation with the ability to stand, sit, or lay. There are default portraits for each avatar, however, one may upload a 95x95 custom portrait for a small fee.[4]

Each character can also have a brief description, which can include character details, or external links to websites. Some players choose to link to third-party websites to extend their descriptions beyond the character-limit the standard Furcadia description allows.

Free Species

Furcadia offers ten free species to choose from.

Digos

There are dozens of Digos that you can buy from the Digo Market to support Furcadia's development. You can buy Digos with a monthly subscription, yearly subscription, or even purchase a for-life Digo which will never expire. Furcadia extends a thank you to those who have bought for life digos here.

Mythicals

Mythical Digos can do various effects. The Mythicals are as follows:

  • Dragon, which can blow out dragon breath.
  • Phoenix, which can light up a flame.
  • Unicorn, which can light up a glamorous spark.
  • Kirin, which can summon up a cloud to ride on.
  • Kitterwing, which can be small or large.
  • Gryffe, which can turn into an Eagle.
  • Naga, which can produce a water tunnel.

Wings

There are five different wing types. Wings may attach to any free avatar except Bugge. The Wings are:

  • Tri-Colored, Butterfly, Bat, and Prime wings are currently available.
  • Classic Wings, the first wing type, have been discontinued. Only available for-life.

Ferians

Ferian Digos are more realistic, and walk on four paws. They are as follows:

Avatars

Digos in the Avatar Series have male and female genders. They are as follows:

  • Furlings are "child furres"; they are not allowed in adult maps.
  • Nobles include Feline, Canine, Equine, Rodent, Musteline and Hyooman. They have a more "royal" appearance.

Seasonals

Seasonal Digos are sold during certain times of the year. Seasonals are as follows:

  • Lovebird, a peacock with heart markings, is sold around February.
  • Floxen, a foxen with a flower on it, is sold during the spring.
  • Toasterwing, a flying toaster, is sold as an April Fools joke.
  • Kiwi, Chinchilla, and Woolie are sold during the spring.
  • Werewolf and Bat are sold during the fall.
  • Reindeer and Penguin are brought out for the winter.
  • Toytle, Tusker, Snayle, and Flutterphin are sold during the summer.
  • Fluffs and Floofs were released as an April Fools' Day joke in 2010.
  • Flynx, a bobcat / lynx digo. It has a flower on its back, like the Floxen.

(Digos may be released out of season as specials.)

Player Amounts

As of May 2007, Furcadia has over 70,000 regular players[5] and regularly sees between 4,000 and 4,500 players at peak times, depending on the day of the week. The record number of players on Furcadia at once is 4920 as of January 25, 2007.[6]

Furcadia and the furry fandom

Although Furcadia's anthropomorphic animal characters are related to those of the furry fandom, and the game was inspired in part by FurryMUCK, Furcadia has never been intended as an exclusively 'furry' game. A significant portion of Furcadia's player-base do not identify as 'furries' or have any interest in the furry aspect of the game. Furthermore, players can use hyooman (human) avatars if purchased.[7][8]

Dreams

The primary focus of Furcadia is user-generated content. To this end, the Furcadia game download includes an art editor, a map creating program and a script editor. Users are encouraged to create their own virtual worlds, called Dreams, using these tools. These worlds can be uploaded to the Furcadia server and used for a variety of purposes, examples being role playing, a place to hang out with friends, or a number of other purposes. Dreams remain open to the public area in which they are uploaded, so long as it is inhabited, and, if unoccupied, it is eventually unloaded automatically. Dreams can include the use of audio files in the WMA, Ogg, MOD, S3M, WAV and MIDI (.mid) formats, to name a few.

Dreams take advantage of a relatively user-friendly coding language known as DragonSpeak, or "DS". DragonSpeak allows users to develop interactivity into their dreams, ranging from a simple action like opening a door, to far more complex uses, such as a complete game of chess or laser-tag.

Dream owners are allowed to make and use bots to accomplish things that DragonSpeak cannot, but these are not officially supported by Furcadia.

Dreams run off several file types. ".MAP" files hold the main Dream layout, ".DS" files hold the DragonSpeak code, and ".FOX" (replacing the older ".FSH/.FBJ/.FS2" formats) and PCX files hold patch art for Furcadia. Every aspect of the Furcadia interface can be customized with Furcadia skins. Skins are made with a "marbled.pcx" file that is used for the background, two ".FOX" files (buttons.fox and the customizable dsbtns.fox), a settings file (skin.ini) and several fonts. Fonts can be created using either a cleverly spaced .pcx file, or you can set a .ini file to use a windows font. If you're using WINE, due to the way it handles windows fonts, the .pcx method is the way to go.

While there are several types of dreams that are popular, its users continue to create new things with the tools they are given. Furcadia hosts a variety of roleplaying dreams, ranging from strict-continuity roleplay (in which the dream is its own independent world) to persona play (roleplay that is light and is governed by few rules).[9] Roleplaying dreams also come in a number of different forms, ranging from feral (wild animal) to furre (anthropomorphic animal) to human. Many dreams revolve around fantasy plots and themes, based on popular books, television programs, ancient mythology, or original creations of Furcadia players.

Furcadia itself is basically made up of several dreams, the ones made by its users and the main maps.

Dream standards

Although Furcadia itself is unrated, individual dreams may specify a standard which details what kind of behavior, language, and content may be allowed. Before March 2007, Furcadia used a rating system akin to the MPAA film rating system. Since March 2007, Furcadia uses its own dream standards system which allows users to define exactly what kind of behavior should be allowed on a per-dream basis. The dream standards are based on age groups, ranging from Everyone8+ to Adult Only, with specific behavior, language, and content restrictions. Some main maps—FurN and Hawthorn (previously Haven/New Haven)—immediately block the user from entering the main map if they are not within the specified age group and parental controls are enabled.[10]

Main maps

File:FurcShot2008B.jpg

Furcadia includes a number of "main maps" — that is, public, permanent areas created by game staff. Main maps are always available, and many are included with the initial Furcadia download. The ones directly accessible from the user interface include:

  • Naia Green, intended to be Furcadia's community center. Many Beekin volunteers gather here to help answer user questions.
  • Challenges, a game-oriented area that includes boards for chess, checkers, "pillow wars," and others.
  • Acropolis, an area for out-of-character socializing and dream uploads.
  • Furrabian Nights, a Mature 16+ environment. User-created content follows guidelines set in the new dream standards and is of a mature nature.
  • Hawthorn (replacing Haven), a Mature 16+ environment dream meant for the harsher, more savage side of Furcadia. It employs the same basic layout as Haven did, with darker patching and other content-related changes.
  • Allegria Island, a popular location for dream uploads.
  • Meovanni Village, an area intended for persona play (a form of simplified roleplay).
  • Imaginarium, an area intended for deeper roleplay. Most roleplay-oriented dreams are uploaded here.
  • The Wylde, a main map for Ferians which includes thirteen different biomes with habitats upon which players can upload their dreams.
  • Vinca Nexus, the central hub connecting the rest of the main maps, as well as your destination if your character is ejected from another map or dream.

Other official maps

There are several other official maps that are not accessible directly from the user interface, but are maintained by Dragons Eye Productions and/or have permanent status. The following is an incomplete list of these other official maps:

  • Pineapple Lake Resort, the new welcome dream where new players learn about the game. It replaces the old welcome dream, which is now known as the Welcome Tutorial.
  • Welcome Tutorial, a tutorial area where new players learn about the game.
  • Beekins Aerie, beekins map, beekin classes and meetings held here.
  • Theriopolis, a roleplaying map. Magic here is weak and barely exists.
  • Goldwyn, a roleplaying map. Magic here is more prevalent.
  • Dusk 2 Dawn, a dark, Mature 16+ map.
  • Town Meeting, a temporary dream where an annual "Town Meeting" is held, accessible only to Silver Sponsors.
  • Silver Showcase, a scenic map where Silver Sponsors can upload on special portals, but anyone can visit
  • Zephiroth, a flying island-themed map that only winged players or those summoned by winged players can visit.
  • The five annual festival dreams, Jujinka's Spring Festival, M'Rill's Festival of the Sun, Jemmion's Rameen Festival, Wolf Howl, and Danival's Winter Festival.

Development

First opened to the public on December 16, 1996, Furcadia is developed by Dragon's Eye Productions, Inc (DEP). Its engine was developed in 1994, originally for a preliminary graphical MUD project called DragonSpires, which featured very simplistic real-time combat, and used a DOS-based client limited to the 16 EGA colors. At its public release, Furcadia featured a graphical improvement: art with a 256 color VGA palette. New support for 24-bit non-remappable portraits (the first art to extend beyond 256 colors), and Windows Vista support were implemented in the April 6, 2007 "Kitterwing Edition." On December 16, 2006, Furcadia became the first-ever MMORPG to celebrate ten years of continual service.[2][3]

Furcadia was originally designed and programmed by Dr. Cat (known as Felorin in-game) and Talzhemir. Two additional people have since been credited as part of the creative team for their work: game producer Katie Bazor (known as Emerald Flame), who developed (and still coordinates) the Beekin volunteer staff project, and Aleksi Asikainen (known as Fox, formerly sanctimonious), who created the game's editors and is now involved in coding the client and the server as the game's part-time programmer. Two others that assist with programming are Ryhn and Farrier.[11]

The developers continue to make several minor updates to the code per year. Major updates to the code (such as the addition of new character avatars or improved DragonSpeak commands) occur approximately once per year. As of 2007, the game remains in a public alpha development stage.

The iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch client was released on July 19, 2010.[12] Players cannot enter adult dream standards, due to Apple's conditions on Apps.[citation needed]

Volunteer program

The game is supported by a unique structured volunteer program called the Beekins, who assist players and enforce Furcadia's rules of conduct. As of July 2010, there are approximately 500 volunteers in the beekin program.[13] The Beekin program is divided into several groups based on function:

  • Bugge Hunters, who discover and document bugs in Furcadia's web, DragonSpeak, client and server code. Bugges serve as Furcadia's Technical support.
  • Dream Masons, who provide help with all aspects of dream creation, from map making, patches, and DragonSpeak scripting.
  • Guardians, who enforce Furcadia's rules of conduct, Cironir is the head Guardian.
  • Beekin Helpers, who provide help with various elements of Furcadia's features and software.
  • Dream Pixels, who create new patches for official dreams, and provide help relating to creating custom graphics ("patches") in Furcadia.
  • Web Scribes, who maintain Furcadia's website.
  • Welcomers, who provide help, information, and tours to completely new players.
  • Beekin Mentors, who counsel other Beekins and do one-on-one training. Group Closed permanently as of October 2008.
  • Beekin Teachers, who give training classes to new Beekins, and give refreshers to badged beekins.
  • Beekin Eventers, who run an assortment of fun events for the community to get involved in.

Business model

Downloading and playing Furcadia is free of charge. DEP has publicly stated that Furcadia will remain free of mandatory playing charges. To fund staff and cover the costs of running Furcadia's servers, DEP sells several game-enhancing products, known in the game as Digos, sold in an online store known as the Digo Market (named after an in-game location). Possession of these game enhancements can last anywhere from one day to 'life' (an indefinite amount of time), depending on the product and package one purchases.[14]

These Digos include premium avatars, in-game wings of several types, the ability to upload custom in-game character portraits, in-game roses, and small images, such as cupcakes or even engagement rings, that display in a character's profile (known as Desctags). Additionally, players may purchase 'Silver Sponsorships', which provide a number of game-enhancing abilities and features.[14]

DragonScales are an in-game currency that may be used to purchase Digos. DragonScales may be purchased in the Digo Market, or received in-game as competition prizes or gifts.[15]

Another limitation of the "free" part of furcadia is the size of "Dream" (user-created maps) you have the right to create is limited to 208*200 tiles. You can expand this only after buying the "group package" item at the digomarket

Awards

See also

References

  1. Koster, Raph (1999-10-13). Recent News. Raph Koster's Website. Retrieved on 2010-05-01. “Also, I have to say that I think Furcadia is probably the most successful non-gaming, socially oriented graphical mud I’ve seen.”
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dragon's Eye Productions (2007-12-15). Furcadia Celebrates 10th Anniversary. Multiplayer Online Games Directory. Retrieved on 2009-05-20.
  3. 3.0 3.1 2006 Town Meeting transcript. Dragon's Eye Productions. Retrieved on 2009-05-20.
  4. Personal Portraits, Furcadia website. Dragon's Eye Productions. Retrieved November 26, 2007.
  5. "May 2007 Newsletter", Dragon's Eye Productions, May 5, 2007.
  6. Furcadia.com home page.
  7. Forum post by Furcadia creator Felorin (Dr. Cat) concerning the furry fandom. Retrieved April 27, 2007.
  8. Furcadia 2005 Town Hall meeting notes, quote by Talzhemir regarding FurryMUCK (April 16, 2005, retrieved April 30, 2007)
  9. Roleplaying in Furcadia. Dragon's Eye Productions. Retrieved on 2010-07-28.
  10. Dream Content Standards, Dragon's Eye Productions.
  11. Furcadia credits..
  12. Ayluro, Inc.. Furcadia for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Apple Inc. Retrieved on 2010-07-28.
  13. Beekin Volunteer Listing. Dragon's Eye Productions. Retrieved on 2008-01-19.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Furcadia Digo Market. Dragon's Eye Productions, Infire Business Ventures. Retrieved on 2008-01-19.
  15. DragonScales. Dragon's Eye Productions. Retrieved on 2008-01-19.
  16. Independent Games Festival (2003). 2003 IGF Competition Finalist. Think Services. Retrieved on 2009-05-12.
  17. Harris, Tricia (2003-01-13). Furcadia. GameSpy. Retrieved on 2009-05-12.
  18. 2006 Indie Game of the Year. WarCry (2006). Retrieved on 2009-05-12.
  19. Furcadia 2.7B. Softpedia. Retrieved on 2009-05-12.
  20. Furcadia. AllApp.com. Retrieved on 2009-05-12.

Further reading

External links

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