Furcadia

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Website
Name: Furcadia
Owner/Maintainer: Dragon's Eye Productions, Catnip Studios
Dates: Dec 16, 1996-
Type: MMORPG, text-based roleplay
Fandom: Furry
URL: https://cms.furcadia.com/
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Furcadia is a multiplayer online role playing game for furries and one of the oldest MMORPGs that exists. Its graphics remain rather dated and similar to when it was first created in 1996 (called a Graphical MUD[1]), and its gameplay consists mostly of text-based roleplay. It is considered one of the largest furry communities online with over 70,000 registered users. [2]

History

Original Website

It started with a "grandiose vision" by Dr. Cat in 1985.[3] Then, before Furcadia, he created DragonSpires in 1994. DragonSpires was the very first online MUD.[2] After its success the game developed into what we know as Furcadia today. Furcadia was developed under Dragon's Eye Productions, then later Catnip Studios.

Furcadia was finally created in 1996 by Dr. Cat (Felorin) and Talzhemir, making Furcadia one of the oldest online communities for furries. The first capture of the original website (bga.com/furcadia, or realtime.net/furcadia), which was advertised in the signature of Dr.Cat's alt.fan.furry account[4] was from Dec 5, 1998.[5] From the 1998 capture the homepage reads:

FURCADIA!

is the magical world where the Beasts have learned to walk upon two legs and speak.

FURCADIA! is the multiplayer online game with 3D rendered animated graphics, magnificent music, whimsical games, a friendly atmosphere, and an exciting setting for roleplay and adventure. F U R C A D I A !

Let your imagination soar...

Talzhemir's Treasure Trove contains a lot of information on how the game ran in 1999, and possibly older.[6] The Treasure Trove includes things like the FAQ, the "four things we do in Furciada," information on early guild formation, and more. Textual maps, lore, and lists of "cities" are included on the "Official Furcadia History" page, which are some things no longer included in Furcadia at all.[7]

2000 Onwards

Some highlights from the 2000s onwards as listed on WikiFur are as follows: 2000, several updates come to Furcadia, 2006, Furcadia's 10 year anniversary, 2010, Furcadia wins the Guinness World Record for being the oldest running MMORPG, 2016, Furcadia gets a graphics update with The Second Dreaming. Wikifur, Archived version

At its release it had a 256 color VGA palette. The Kitterwing Edition update of 2007 added support for 24-bit avatars. Originally furcadia was supported mostly by the creators working jobs in real life, however they quickly went on to making specialized avatars and in game currency that were bought with real money. In 2010 an iOS app was created, however this is no longer available. Then, in 2012, Furcadia launched a Kickstarter[8] to update the game. The game was finally updated in 2016 under "The Second Dreaming Part 1" update, which added 32-bit graphics and a myriad of other UI updates, such as the change in the character creator.

Community

The community's largest two places for hang out are the website's forum[9] and the game itself. One should note that no new threads nor replies have been made in the forum since 2018, and the threads that were once there have been removed due to an age cut off. The only forum posts available to read are posts pinned by admins. Both the forum and the game are mainly text based, though the game has the added bonus of pixelated avatars and worlds to explore. The community tends to be very friendly, and even has an official group of volunteers (called Beekins) for helping those who ask for it.

Not every player in Furcadia is a furry. In fact, there are some special avatars designed as humans, though one would need to buy them from the Digo market. A Digo is just an official avatar created by the Furcadia team, usually for real currency. Avatars can also be designed nude, but only in the dreams marked as 18+. Just as there are plenty of spaces for safe, family friendly roleplay, there are also Furcadia communities designed for more mature roleplay, namely the official map Furrabian Nights.

When it comes to player made content, one can download hundreds of game assets totally for free. Users are usually very welcoming and open about sharing the things they've made for the game, it's unusual to find user content that require money. However, this is not the same with portraits. Users will take commissions for portraits in the same way one would commission an avatar on any other site.

Contests and Events

Furcadia has hosted several contests and events over its lifespan. Some events labeled as "contests" by the Furcadia team aren't actually contests, as they would offer no prize nor would they judge entries. This can be seen with the 2017 May Day coloring "contest," which players could color in lines and post the finished product with a special hashtag. There was no apparent reward for winning.[10] A contest that did have a reward was the Deck the Homes contest, where players had to show the team how they decorated their real live homes for the holidays. The reward was "wrapping paper," a decorative item that could only be used if the player gifted someone else a digo (i.e. spent money).[11]

Dreams and Roleplay

Worlds inside of Furcadia are called "Dreams." Inside of the original Furcadia maps one will find little 1x1 tiles with a circle and name hovering over them, indicating a user-made dream. Dreams can be placed within dreams endlessly. To populate the dream with graphics, such as avatars, furniture, or floors/walls, pre-made assets or user-made assets (called patches) are utilized. Then, in order to script events (such as the spawn point, music being played when touching an object, or even the automation of weather) one would use a Furcadia script editor that uses a script called Dragon Speak.

Roleplay is mainly done inside of user made dreams. Because each dream has its own theme, universe, and set of avatars, the options for what one can roleplay as is extremly varied. There are dreams for African animals, junkyard dogs, Pokémon, home building, dragons, schools, bars, and many more. Each dream has its own culture and history; some have had very long life spans while others have not lasted long. This is because the upkeep of a dream requires the owner to re-upload the dream every day, or else the dream will disappear from the map to make room for others. However, one may buy a silver package with Furcadia to keep the dream uploaded longer. If the owner of a dream no longer has time to log into Furcadia regularly, nor has anyone to pass the dream on to, the dream will ultimately vanish from the face of the game, along with all of its assets, history, and world building. In the heyday of Furcadia there were dozens upon dozens of well known and popular dreams on the official map Allegria Island, but many have faded into obscurity as Furcadia's active user base as dwindled. Many user made dreams have been lost, though the Furcadia Archival Society has made attempts to preserve the files of dreams, it only contains a portion of what once was. Outside of directly archiving the files, finding screenshots and videos are the best ways to preserve the art and roleplay of a dream.

An example of a dream that once had a thriving roleplay community but has been wiped almost completely from the internet due to time is "The Suricate," a Meerkat Manor roleplay dream. Upon searching for this dream online one will find only vague, one-off references to it. Furcadia player Cyris asked in 2011 "if the owner of that dream is out there anywhere, and if so, give me a hollar (sic) on Saheeli or Kiden. I'd like to chat about getting it reuploaded again."[12] There are no screenshots of this dream anywhere, though thanks to a long-abandoned Youtube channel by a kid named MitchtheCoolMeerkat a small collection of The Suricate videos exist.[13] There are also a few videos of a dream that was inspired by The Suricate, created due to the dream having gone down sometime in 2010 or 2011.[14] The description of the dream, which can be read in the beginning of the video, says:

Welcome to TS,v2!The dream was based off of The Suracid.Aka Waffle, a sad meerkat who was tired of rPing a NONagressive rabbit decided she wanted TS to bad, and her old friends to re group! :) the commands, say !commands More bolt holes comeing (sic) soon. Please, Enjoy the newest fan dream ofTS.The uploaded is normaly (sic) all ways going to be AFF,so, whisper Waffle. Thank you, have fun! - Aka Waffle

Some dreams also have forums, such as A Rabbit Life's forum, Archived version or the Outland's forum, Archived version. Forums like these are often relatively old, having been made around the same time as the dreams. In Outland's case this would have been around 2008.

Practices

Upon entering a user made dream one may see a title card; this is a stationary object often with text that lists some terms of service or rules. Players must click "agree" or "disagree," and clicking disagree will auto-kick the player from the dream. While the title card is present players can still move and interact with the dream, as this card is just an object that appears to mask the player's screen.

Dreams function efficiently using a list of commands. Commands are specific keywords that are entered into the chat bar which result in either text appearing in the chatbox or something happening in the dream. To keep normal words from affecting the commands, dream creators will place a special character in front of them. The most common character is an explanation mark, but commands can be anything. For example, a dream creator may code their dragon speak in a way which entering !rules makes a list of rules appear in the individual's chatbox, or by entering !dig a burrow may spawn in front of the player's avatar.

Some dreams are more strict than others, specifically regarding colors and when a player is allowed to be out of character. For example, one of the rules of the "Outlands" dream is as follows: "Ensure your character is 'IC Ready'. This means that you have read these rules and are entering the IC area ready to role play. Your character meets the colour, species and size rules and you're all set to go." Many feral dreams take up a similar rule set and disallow unnatural colors.

Rules on the use of "alts," or alternate accounts, varies across dreams. Alts are generally allowed and sometimes encouraged (as with A Rabbit's Life encouragement of using alts to play baby characters), but alts have also been the cause of drama. In the case of a player being a nuisance to others, using alt accounts has been a way for disliked or players otherwise banned from dreams to continue bothering other players. The best practice with an alt is to use it while letting others know it is an alt. When a player hides the fact they are using an alt it becomes akin to a sock puppet.

Terminology

  • Dream- The maps players can play in.
  • Dragonspeak- The "code" used to create dreams.
  • Dragonscales- or DS. Dragonscales are the in-game currency that must be bought with real money.
  • Digos- Special avatars that have to be bought with real money.
  • Alt- Not exclusive to Furcadia, an alt is an alternate account a player may use. Isn't necessarily the same as a sockpuppet unless the player is trying to hide the fact they are using an Alt. Alt accounts are an important part of Furcadia's culture.
  • Twink- Similar to a troll or a newbie/noob. These are usually roleplayers who have bad manners.
  • Wolfspeak- Not exclusive to Furcadia, but still used. Wolfspeak is a way of speaking in roleplay that was created by animal roleplayers, namely wolf roleplayers. This includes replacing the word "male" with "brute" and "female" with "fae."
  • AFF- Away from Furcadia, an alternate version of the online phrase AFK, or Away from keyboard.
  • BaH or BAH- Build a home. This is a type of dream in Furcadia where players can claim houses, campsites, apartments, or burrows, and then decorate them.
  • Desc and Desctag- Desc is short for description, and desctags are little graphics within a description. The description is a blurb of text (usually a character bio) that appears when you click a character or name.
  • Ferians- Quadrupedal furries, usually in reference to quad digos.
  • Locals- In dreams an extra set of playable avatars may be set. These are called locals, and players usually change into them by saying a command, such a !local1.
  • Para RP- Short for paragraph roleplay, the opposite of script roleplay.
  • Script RP- Roleplay consisting of mostly single lines of text, or every short text. May even be mostly dialogue. Best for fast RP.
  • Port- short for portrait, the avatar that shows when you click a character or name.

Dream Screenshots

Comments and Discussion

Before making edits to this article, I'd like to find some consensus here on the Talk page. Can Furcadia really be considered a MMORPG? I don't think it qualifies as such. It has no game mechanics of its own, let alone RPG mechanics. It seems more like a platform, where social games can be interacted with, rather than an actual game in its own right.
Raven-14 on Wikipedia's Furcadia talk page, Archived version
One way to help avoid trouble in your dream is to have checks and balances set up to limit both yourself and your staff from abusing power. Everyone has a bad day, everyone has their buttons. Set up a council. If something is making you upset, delegate the responsibility of dealing it to someone else who isn't upset at it. This goes for IC AND OOC power. Be firm, be fair, follow your own rules, keep your cool and you'll do fine.
Youlanda, Archived version, giving advice on running dreams
My in-game character for four years was named “Kitsune-kun”—clearly the decision of a preteen version of myself who wanted to sound cool. Everyday, I would log-in, see if any of my friends were online, and send them a direct message—or “whisper”—asking if they wanted to hang out. From there, we might chat or go on a little adventure and check out whatever new Dreams were uploaded while we were away. There would be times where I’d get an unwanted message asking if I wanted to do sexual roleplay, and I would politely refuse. At the time, I was only vaguely familiar with the furry fandom and not completely aware of the norms and culture—but whatever “yiffing” was definitely didn’t seem like something I was interested in. Roleplay, both sexual and not, was a huge part of the Furcadia scene, but you weren’t forced to participate if you didn’t want to.
Blake P: Dreaming on the Untamed Net, Archived version
I quit. I used to be addicted to Furc years ago when it had just recently came out... met a lot of great friends and people in general, made some money off commissions... and after a few years, the ratio of decent people to jerks kinda got flipped... When I checked back last year, it was near impossible to find a RP community that wasn't so elitist that you couldn't join or full of people that are only interested in yiffing or speaking like this: "ohai i r a cat wif blue tail n green feet. i kill you wif mah magnum nao." It's sad, but I miss old furc. :(
Reiyano on why they quit Furcadia, Archived version

Links and Resources

Archives

Meta and Further Reading

References

  1. ^ Graphical MUD, Wikipedia. (Accessed 12/19/19) (Archived 8/20/2020)
  2. ^ a b Furcadia, Wikifur. (Accessed 12/17/19) (Archived 8/20/2020)
  3. ^ The Game Archaeologist Furcadia, Massivelyop. Aug 2017 (Accessed 12/19/19) (Archived 8/20/2020)
  4. ^ Xydexx rec's "Threat of Violence?" Judge for yourself, alt.fan.furry Apr 28, 1999. (Accessed 10/8/2020)
  5. ^ Furcadia, Realtime.net/furcadia. Dec 5, 1998 (Accessed 10/8/2020)
  6. ^ Talzhemir's Treasure Trove, Feb 2, 1999 (Accessed 10/8/2020)
  7. ^ Official Furcadia History, Furcadia. Feb 25, 1999 (Accessed 10/8/2020)
  8. ^ Furcadia The Second Dreaming, Kickstarter. (Accessed 12/19/19) (Archived 8/20/2020)
  9. ^ Furcadia Community Forums, Furcadia Forums. (Accessed 12/19/19) (Archived 8/20/2020)
  10. ^ May Day Coloring Contest and Events, Furcadia. May 1, 2017 (Accessed 6/6/2020) (Archived 8/20/2020)
  11. ^ Deck the Homes & Holiday Cards, Furcaida. Dec 10, 2017 (Accessed 6/6/2020) (Archived 8/20/2020)
  12. ^ The Suricate {an Old Dream I Used to frequent), Furcadia Forums. May 26, 2011 (Accessed 6/15/2020) (Archived 8/20/2020)
  13. ^ Random Meerkat Fun, Youtube. Circa 2009 (accessed 6/15/2020) (Archived 8/20/2020)
  14. ^ Cryptid:Too cool (Furcadia meerkat AMV), YouTube. Circa 2011 (Accessed 6/15/2020) (Archived 8/20/2020)