What's that, Furcadia?



by on Jun.09, 2008, under Beekins, Dragons Eye Productions, Dragonspeak, News, Phoenix Speak, Roleplay

Yeah, I haven’t posted in a while, but that’s because I’ve been busy doing IRL things. Like working.

I do have something to tell you all about though, and it’s pretty neat.

The Scribes haven’t been idly sitting around with their thumbs in their ears, waiting for someone to kick them into action. Apparently, with Emerald Flame at the head, they’ve been developing several new pages for the Furcadia Website aimed at helping new (and old) players get more out of the game. Here’s a brief list of what they’ve been working on:

A new series of Help Pages, including instructions on how to get help.

A glossary of terms.

A press page, (for press releases, I would imagine.)

A Dragon’s Eye Productions Page. (About the company itself.)

A page about chatting in Furcadia.

A page about Roleplaying.

A page about creating new things for Furcadia, possibly including tutorials.

A page about places you can explore and possible things you might find therein.

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Bribery ~ Guardian style.

by on Feb.27, 2008, under Beekins, Contributors, Mredria

So, I was paid to write this article by a guardian. Mredria, specifically. She gave me money so that I’d write a new article, so here goes.

Who’re the guardians, and what do they do?

We’ll start by leaving DEP staff members out of it. They get enough press coverage here. #SD

The top two guardians serving Furcadia are Kamose and Pwwka. They’re your heads. They help to take care of all the other little problems inside the guardian group. They handle lots of problems inside the Guardian Structure; schedule meetings, classes, etc.

Then you’ve got your elders. I’m not really sure what they do, except that they’ve got, you know, experience.

Then you have your boring run-of-the-mill guardian. They’ve got blue badges. We walk on them because they have no real authority.

(If you believe that, you probably shouldn’t be reading this article.)

In reality, Guardians do a lot for the community; Procyon, (I did an article on him once,) regularly clears out the spammers that harass me when I sit in Naia. They help out groups/guilds with chartered spots; they deal with the ultra-taboo words that Furcadia has, and they’re there to keep kids out of FurN.

Oh, and this article totally was written because I was paid to write it, and not because "My other self", Pwwka, is a guardian. Or because I have Guardian Friends. (Like Mredria and Shayde En’Kiar.)

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The Beekins

by on Feb.13, 2008, under Artists, Artwork, Beekins, Contributors, Dragons Eye Productions, Location, Mredria, Naia Green, News

Beekins are Furcadia’s volunteer group. Their (volunteer) job is to help the players of Furcadia out when they’ve got questions, bugs, or just need a helping hand.

One of the big problems with the Beekin Group, however, is that most people don’t know which group does what, and who should be handling what kinds of situations.

Even inside the Beekins it isn’t always obvious what a person should and should not do, so consider this a review of the program and a cheat-sheet.

Helpers – Generally knowledgeable about most everything on Furcadia, they can give general help to just about everyone about everything. Their downside is that a lot of them don’t know specifics. When you type, “Help <whatever>” in Furcadia, you’re sent directly to the Helpers Channel. You can also find helpers in the Naia Green Help Center; they’re the only ones allowed to help there. (I’m pretty sure you can’t actually sit there on the pillows unless you’re a helper anyway.)

Teachers – They teach our Beekins; their interaction with the public doesn’t actually extend very far, and they don’t answer questions. Generally, you need to be in another beekin group to join up with the teachers, so any time you interact with a teacher, you’re probably also interacting with another kind of Beekin.

Mentors – These beekins are all about talkin’ things over with other beekins. If you’re a beekin and you’ve got something you want to talk about, these are the guys to turn to.

Pixels – These guys do a lot of the artwork you see in festival dreams and on the Furcadia website. They’re the little fairy-furres that hang out on the Dream Channel and give out snarky comments to you if your pixel-art is shameful. Or, alternatively, they give out a helpful hand and teach you how to shade that portrait better. To be a pixel, you have to be good at art. Good to someone else’s standards, by the way, not your own. Sorry.

Masons – These guys help you out with dreams. That’s anything from patches to maps, DS to PS, anything and everything you do in a dream is their domain. (Unless they’re being cranky and claiming that their badge means they don’t have to help, which never happens in the Masons!) Anywho, if you’re lookin’ for help with somethin’ dream related, these’re the guys to go to.

Bugges – These guys make Furcadia break. A lot. That’s what they do when they’re not trying to avoid being squished. (Sometimes they do it while they’re being squished, just for giggles.) Found a bug? Think Furcadia’s broken? These are the guys to talk to. Unfortunately they can’t help you out much if you don’t give them clear instructions on what you did to make Furcadia break, so make sure you pay attention and can repeat the break that you’ve done.

Guardians – Power hungry sociopaths! No, not really. What they are is a small-ish group of volunteers who do a lot of work to resolve player-created conflicts. They’re not ‘ban happy’ as a lot of people predict, and they’re (mostly) easy-goin’ people. They do have their bad days though when pestering them and asking them to be your girlfriend will annoy them. (It’s true, it will.)

Remember, beekins are there to make your life easier, so don’t harass the hell out of them. It annoys them and makes them want to beat you across the face with a rubber mallet. (Or worse.)

Edit: Oops, I forgot the welcomers. (And believe me, I’ve been hearing about it!) Welcomers are the people who say, “Howdy!” whenever you enter Furcadia. They used to be the most popular group, (because everyone was allowed to join.) but now, that’s not the case anymore, though! However, if you need to be shown where a main map is, or shown around one, these are the furres you’ll want to talk to.

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Lothus Marque

by on Nov.25, 2007, under Artists, Artwork, Beekins, News, Third Party Software

I sat down with Lothus Marque, today. (Literally. He sat on the edge of his bed!)

The direct and strict purpose of the conversation was to get an interview for What’s That, Furcadia?, so you all would have something to read.

We’d originally sat down to talk about his latest project, (The Furcadia Portrait Previewer) The best laid plans, however, don’t always go to plan.

The first thing to come to mind out of Lothus’s many projects was one of the first that became widely used: Patch Fusion.

Patch Fusion is a tool used for combining two or more patches together in any given sequence so that a Dream weaver doesn’t have to do them all by hand. The tool was originally designed when Lothus’s friends were having problems with the original Patch Merger. (By Graphite.)
That, combined with the fact that it was nearly impossible to find. Lothus found it in an esoteric Yahoo News Group, originally, and handed it around to his friends before making his own.
Of course, it helped that he was bored and looking for a project to do at the time.

For a moment, here, I thought about forging ahead into the information on The Furcadia Portrait Previewer, but I got sidetracked by the Draconic Magician.

For those of you unaware, the Draconic Magician is a simple tool that uses pre-made scripts to provide DS lines of a complex nature for dreams, without having to work out the DS themselves. It allows for simple integration, and that’s why it has become popular.
This, like others, was made because Lothus was looking for a project to work on in his spare time. The catalyst for this project was the rash of recent bits of similar software showing up. They had interfaces that made them hard for him to use, and he didn’t like the fact that they were over a megabyte, (sometimes 3 or 4 megabytes) and they didn’t offer any kind of customization. The customization, more than anything, spurned him forward. The DS wizard can be updated and modified to work, even if Lothus himself decides to later abandon the project.

Lothus actually was the person who helped me get used to Furnarchy back when I started Furcadia, (four years ago,) and has been an active part of the Furnarchy creation process, (in the form of Modules, insofar as Furnarchy 3 was concerned, and scripts, insofar as Furnarchy 2 is concerned.)
This was yet another example of Lothus wanting to give back to the community somewhat. He also says he was suckered in by the idea of adding on to existing software as a user and not a straight out developer.
The fact that he wanted a few features that other developers didn’t provide was just an additional spur to drive him onward.

We were swimming deep in memories at this point, which is when the FurController. This handy little device, (brought about due to boredom and the urge to have a dancing troupe of Borg bother a friend,) allows you to control multiple different characters at a time. That’s pretty much all there was to it, and the dance troupe has since left to other realms hereafter unknown.

All this talk about the past got us involved in some simple talk about what all we’d been doing on Furcadia, and why we’d stuck around.
Many of you may not know, but Lothus and I are both Beekins. (I’m a Mason, he’s a Helper and a Teacher.) We’ve both been active in the helper program for over a year. (Him, just a tad longer than me.)
He joined up because he was wanting the tools and resources provided by the Help program to help a wider variety of people than the occasional question/answer that he popped off with when asked by friends. His motivation, however, was purely selfish. He likes the feeling of knowing he helped someone. How crazy is that?

The DS Decompiler, (ooh, we had begun dancing back toward the Furcadia Portrait Previewer!) was made on the fly one afternoon after he’d done something kinda stupid.
He’d accidentally deleted his dream, and didn’t have any other copies of it (at that stage, at least,) saved elsewhere.
After looking around for a while, (and not really finding an up-to-date program,) Lothus made one of his own. It takes the DS file sent to the folder, (only those that are unencrypted,) and turns them back in to DS lines so that they’re easy to read and ready to use.
He warns everyone that they should only do so with permission, though. It’s rude to steal someone elses hard work, just because they didn’t encrypt their dreams.

We got to talking about what was next on his list of projects, and he said that he’s going to update Beeker soon, and the scripts-controlling module that he said he would do on the Heroin Puppy forums. Also, his bot, M.E.R.C. is still in need of completion.
The Bot is going to be another example of Lothus’s ideology that extension post-creation should be left up to the users, insomuch as possible.

Finally, we talked about The Furcadia Portrait Previewer. It was a project that was dropped into his lap by a portrait artist who wanted to let people try her ports out in their colors before they bought it. The hardest part, or so he claimed, was getting the color tables for the pallet swapping.
He finally managed to get it done for her, and has been polishing it regularly since then. He’s going to, soon, offer it up for sale to Portrait Artists who want to use it on their websites.
It’s going to go for $25USD, which includes a complete install and integration into the current website design. If you’re not interested in that, you can buy the package itself for $15USD.

To check out Lothus’s website, click here.
If you’d like to check out the portrait re-mapper, you can look here.

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by on Sep.13, 2007, under Beekins, News

News came to our attention about the Scribes when Emerald Flame made the following announcement in response to a query about when, if ever, the scribes applications will re-open.


Yep, we are currently redoing the the backend of the Furcadia pages and setting up a new interface for how Scribes will modify pages. Then we will open up the Scribes again. Those who currently have badges are helping to do the set up. 🙂 The main thing we will be looking for in new Scribes are ones who are good writer that can write html as well. We will also want a few who can make new style sheets and maybe one or two for webart and design.


Obviously this means that the current scribes have been hard at work getting this system of ‘backend changes’ ready for new scribes to come in and take over.


Currently, this is falling on the shoulders of Farrier, Rei-Jin, Daiktana, Narnia, Youlanda, and Creative, in that order from top-to-bottom.


More on this story as it develops.

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