Furcadia is a MMOSG/MMOTRPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Social Game/Text Roleplaying Game) or graphical MUD, 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 massively multiplayer online game.
- See also: Avatars
This 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.
Player numbers Edit
As of May 2007, Furcadia has over 70,000 regular players 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.
Furcadia and the furry fandom Edit
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 playerbase do not identify as 'furries' or have any interest in the furry aspect of the game.
- See also: Dreams
The primary focus of Furcadia is user-created content. To this end, the Furcadia game download includes an art editor and a map creating program. 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, such as roleplaying, structured gaming, or places to socialize Out of Character.
Furcadia itself is made up of several Dreams, the ones made by its users, and the main maps.
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.
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.
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. An iPhone client was briefly available, but have been subsequently pulled from the App Store.
Volunteer program Edit
- See also: Beekin 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 January 2008, there are approximately 700 volunteers in the beekin program. 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.
- Helpers, who provide help with various elements of Furcadia's features and software.
- Pixels, who create new patches for official dreams, and provide help relating to creating custom graphics ("patches") in Furcadia.
- Scribes, who maintain Furcadia's website.
- Welcomers, who provide help, information, and tours to completely new players.
- Mentors, who counsel other Beekins and do one-on-one training. Disbanded as of October 2008.
- Teachers, who give training classes to new Beekins, and give refreshers to badged beekins.
- Eventers, who run an assortment of fun events for the community to get involved in.
Business model Edit
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 purchased.
Available 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.
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.
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