TheJach.com

Jach's personal blog

(Largely containing a mind-dump to myselves: past, present, and future)
Current favorite quote: "Supposedly smart people are weirdly ignorant of Bayes' Rule." William B Vogt, 2010

Furcadia is Dead

Furcadia is dead. And it's been dead for a long time, at least 4 years. Look at their statistics on the front page. This game has been around since the start of 1997. I spent at least 3 years in it. It helped improve my writing and imagination, it helped me meet my best friend and others I still talk to frequently, it was a nice, creative form of entertainment that ascended beyond mere point-and-click first-person-shooters.

And yet:
135162 characters connected this month
Max players ever: 4640

I'm going to make a lot of assumptions and guesses, based on things I've heard, read, and experienced. I wouldn't put 95% certainty on any of them but I'd be surprised if I was really far off the mark. This is why I classified this post as a rant and blog fodder.

Let's start with DEP's (Dragon's Eye Productions, the company/people behind Furcadia) business model (I may occasionally regress to a 'your' in this post, meant for DEP).

Business Model and Decisions



Cost



Let's do a simple cost-analysis of Furcadia, without going into hard numbers. (It is an analysis after all.)

The primary expense, above all else, is the cost to run the servers. I'm pretty sure this has been stated by the creators numerous times, and I know they all have jobs outside the company because the company doesn't let them live an American lifestyle by itself. The primary concern, then, should be optimizing for server cost.

Just what are they doing that makes it expensive to handle a mere 4000 people at at time, max? I'd be scared to look at their server architecture. If you're incompetent in this area, which it seems like it from the outside, hire a specialist to rewrite it from scratch, making use of Amazon or another elastic server provider so you can scale. (If only 1000 people are on, you don't need the resources that 4000 users might need.) The money spent on the specialist will pay for itself in server cost savings over not a very long time.

Consider P2P. The server issue is simple: data. (Though that doesn't make it easy.) There are two main things Furcadia needs to keep track of.

The first is per-client data, such as username, and various statistics. Much of this can be readable by anyone, some should remain private. Some should be writable by the user, some writable only by Furcadia's server. This set of data is fairly small it shouldn't be expensive in storage space or bandwidth.

The second is dream data. Here we have an impossible problem, in a certain sense. By default, all dream data is public. Most dream creators are happy just to have someone visit, let alone stay around. However there are always those desperately afraid of others taking their artwork or their DS and using them on their own projects, possibly even making money from it! DEP has chosen to cater to these people (probably because DEP's mindset is artist-based and artists typically get uppity about copyright), but it's an impossible problem. You can do all the fancy data encryption you want; at the end of the day, art is going to be displayed on the screen, and programmers can extract it. There are things you can do to make it harder for a programmer to extract the data: e.g. using a binary format instead of, say, JSON. Note though that screen scraping is the maximal difficulty you can achieve; you can't make it harder on the programmer than just grabbing the art off the screen as it's rendered. Programs have always existed to do this, and programs that not only do that but also make sense of the data are always improving and are quite sophisticated these days.

So this idea of hiding your data you're going to reveal in some form eventually is a fool's errand. The client is not secure and cannot be made secure. Accepting this, suddenly you can consider P2P, as just one example. Instead of forcing every user to download the dream from the official repository, let the user download it from people already in the dream (or who have visited the dream and are online) instead or in addition. This can make a huge dent in the required bandwidth of Furcadia servers. There are some security concerns but they're mostly trivial, the most controversial one is IP revealing which is why P2P sharing should be a default install option with the ability to turn it off at install time and any other time. There are also lots of free data-serving sources you could use as mirrors. The community can help a lot in this regard, too. Allow people to register their servers as dedicated mirrors of all public data, you don't even need P2P.

Furcadia's recent updates have been pumping out a lot of new artwork. This is good as it boosts choices in the Digo Market for in-game items, but at least double the work currently spent on art/design should be spent on programming. (In other companies the reverse is true, I don't mean to imply programmers are at the top always.)

Startup Failure



This is a great example of a failed startup that hasn't admitted it yet. Failing isn't a bad thing in a startup unless you can't admit it. The faster you fail, the faster you can move on to the next thing that may go big. 14 years is far too long. If you haven't made a lot of money from a project within 14 years, you're just not going to. Move on. Do the old project on the side if you have to or want to, but don't make it a major focus. It's just not profitable.

Furthermore, many startups avoid traps of angel funding by funding themselves. This can happen if you have rich founders, but it can also happen by "leveraging" (aka whoring) you and your company out to third parties, acting as contractors or consultants. You can easily make $1800 per day in the software world. In 14 years, I'm sure there is something DEP can offer other companies from its experience and acquired expertise in terms of art, programming, management, writing, or something else. If not, that's pretty depressing.

The Market



Furcadia caters to all ages. This is both good and bad. The good is that all can find something they enjoy, and the young can interact with the old in meaningful ways instead of common authoritarian ways most young people have. I think I was 14 or 15 when I entered the Furc world, and I interacted with 16 year olds, 19 year olds, 25 year olds. Possibly some even older people as well. Public school creates boundaries between age groups making such interactions very hard for both sides.

The bad are controlling parents, inevitable child predators, and age queries. It's impossible to verify someone's age without resorting to visiting them in person and carbon dating them. (Well, not carbon dating, but you get the idea.) Even a social security number is just that: a number. You don't know that its corresponding human is the same human who gave you the number. You don't know if the age record is correct. You don't know if the human lied when they said they were born Jan 1, 1993. Be like so many other companies and have an "official" policy of requiring 13+ year olds. Be like the porn sites that mention the 18 or older warning somewhere for "explicit content" but don't require a yes/no enter/exit action. If you want to advertise to kids and have parental-like controls, fine, that can be a worthwhile goal, but it shouldn't come at the expense of the user interface.

Furcadia's target audience is tiny. The entire furry community isn't that big. (As a simple argument, consider how many [fantastic] Star Fox games there are compared to Megaman, Mario, Zelda, Sonic...) They recently added human avatars but they're simply not going to expand past the furry market as long as they call themselves Furcadia. (Of course I mean furry in the most generic sense here, it may even be as general as simply animal likers--I don't consider myself a furry though I do like Star Fox and anthromorphic-esque creatures, yet I would still be in the target market.)

Because of the tiny market, there's a tiny maximum pool of people to monetize. Other software, like video games on Steam, unite both the young and old--not for any meaningful experience, they're just shooting each other. But it's a huge market, involved in a multi-billion dollar industry. Find out how much FurAffinity makes and how much Nintendo has made off Star Fox (and other groups off other furryish games like Sly Cooper) and you may get an idea of how large this market can get. I don't imagine it's very high.

Niche markets can still be very profitable and interesting. Look up patio11's Bingo Card business. But it's a problem you should recognize and account for at all times.

Sources of income



This is the second biggest pressure point of making money from Furcadia, next to server costs. A blunt point: in-game virtual content does not work, as a rule. Valve is the exception. You are not Valve, and you do not own Team Fortress 2.

Furcadia doesn't embrace external markets like Valve does. Furcadia could enforce that clients can only trade items if they pay DEP real money (for in-game content, say minimum of $5), in the same way Valve does with Team Fortress 2. Right now you can trade anything with other users (there may be certain fees for certain things but in general it's usually free).

Furcadia can add hats. If Furcadia wants to have a chance at profiting off in-game virtual art, they need to follow Valve's example.

The Game



Players



Let's look at those stats I posted again.

135162 characters connected this month
Max players ever: 4640

Notice they talk about characters and players. There's no limit to the number of accounts a particular unique player can have. Furcadia has an artificial limit by limiting how many usernames can map to a single email address, but in the days of free email and the fact that Gmail lets you add arbitrary dots and/or a suffix of '+whatever' to your email, and still sends it to you, this arbitrary limit is meaningless and just a hassle for users. It should be removed.

Given that many people have "alt" accounts, it seems reasonable (though perhaps not conservative) that the connected characters figure converted to individual connected players is at least an order of magnitude lower. Only Furc knows. I wonder why they won't say. (Of course, it's possibly their terminology here is just conflicting and both mean unique users but that still seems odd given there's only 30 days in a month, and an average 1000 users per day is only 30,000.)

As far as the actual players go, Furcadia naturally suffers the 4chan problem of having lots of immature people around due to letting everyone in. Free ranges die just as easily as walled gardens--though in the former case they can live in zombie-form as 4chan does. Ask some Furc people who've been around for a long time, they'll tend to say they miss the old golden days when there was lots of RP happening. Now it's mostly just become a visual IRC chatroom host with some pseudo-games like races within different dreams. Has anyone monetized IRC? (Yes.)

Gameplay



Furcadia isn't a game, per se. It's visual chat. There have been minigames created within individual dreams, and some of them are even fun (and you can always recreate board games), but the medium itself is not a game. This puts limits on what's possible.

Scripting



DragonScript sucks. PhoenixScript as a DB sucks. I imagine it's nice for newbies, because they are both simple and easy for what they do, but a more powerful option should exist for those who know better. Second Life has a fully featured scripting language (which is basically just a variant on C++). Actual programmers will make amazing, awesome things if you give them the tools to do so. DragonScript lacks the fundamental concept of a function: without that, nothing can be done. (All you need are functions, the rest of computer science falls out naturally as an extension of Lambda Calculus.)

Suggestions for a future



I've interspersed some suggestions above, here are a few others to the creators, should they happen to read this someday.

Open Source It



Under the Apache License. Hosted on GitHub. Both client and server.

I know I'm not the first to make this suggestion, I'm likely not going to be the last. As I recall one initial rationalization against open source was use of the LZW compression algorithm. Ignoring my stance on whether a software patent, let alone an algorithm patent, a mathematical equation patent, a frikkin fits in a few lines of unobfuscated code patent, this is all moot since it's been expired for quite some time. If there are any other pieces DEP is not legally allowed to open up, those should be the very first things being worked on, not any new features, and the interface (which is not patentable) should be opened up so that open source contributors can speed the process of creating a replacement.

The other main reason not to open source is it destroys their business model because people then have no incentive to buy in-game assets if they can just modify their own clients to always show them, or connect to non-official servers to show them. But... um. Well. How do I put this... Furcadia players have been using their own assets since the start of Furcadia, in dreams, which is where most players hang out, not on the main map. DEP's business model was already questionable, as I explained above.

I think if a single person forked Furc on github with the intention of extending it, DEP would be incredibly lucky. I wouldn't be that person. I would think it'd be pretty cool to have a 3D first/third person of Furc though with a dream creator that makes Second Life's look primitive.

Look and feel



The game and its website and the idea are firmly stuck back in 1995, two years before the game was released. It needs a new, slick look. Hire a really young designer. Rewrite the website in Ruby on Rails or Node.js or Python with Flask or PHP 5.4, with a frontend making lots of JS use with jquery et al.

Conclusion



Furcadia is Dead. The best suggestion is to just abandon it and do something completely new and at least 20% cooler. I can always rant some more but this has taken enough of my attention. But please if you agree/disagree post in the comments and I'd be happy to continue a discussion/debate and even be corrected on the assumptions I've made here.


Posted on 2011-10-14 by Jach

Tags: business, fodder, furcadia, philosophy, rant

Permalink: https://www.thejach.com/view/id/210

Trackback URL: https://www.thejach.com/view/2011/10/furcadia_is_dead

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Anonymous 18 October 2011 12:11:39 PM A lot of your assumptions are incorrect.
Jach 18 October 2011 07:53:53 PM Thank you for your extremely insightful comment Anon.

Another thing I didn't really get into was Steve Yegge's Google rant applying here. Furcadia never made itself a platform, though it still has potential given the nature of people making dreams in it.
Anonymous 19 October 2011 02:43:51 AM Sorry.
Anonymous 12 March 2012 03:35:42 PM It's 'stuck in 1995' because they try to cater to those who can't afford a better computer. That's one of the good things about it. It's a fun game for those who play it, and it's entertainment, without having to spend money on upgrades.
Jach 12 March 2012 03:58:03 PM That's a decent point, Anon. I used to have a philosophy of supporting 800x600 resolutions because that's what I had until 2005 or so. Then 1080p came along and killed everything. If this was still 2007 even, I'd be more inclined to believe you that they're allowed to suck because computers in general sucked.

Nevertheless, let's remember that Half Life came out in 1998. Assume for a moment that it required a state-of-the-art computer from that time (it didn't). Such a computer would have been obsolete within 2-4 years minimum. 1998 was 14 years ago. I know people who still use computers that are 10 years old, I don't know any that are 14 years old. I bet if Furcadia did a survey, maybe 10 people out of their few thousand unique users are using a computer 10 years old.

That they actually invested time and energy into an iPhone client suggests they realize their users aren't dirt poor third-world citizens with 56k and 10 year old computers.

Of course Furc has its positive sides otherwise no one would use it, but I don't think that post-2007 "being backwards-compatible with computers from 1995" is a positive. (Can the newest client still run on a Windows 95 machine? I'd be interested in knowing.)
Anonymous 10 April 2012 08:29:40 AM Star Fox and furres aren't relatable. One flies an Arwing to save the solar system, the other yiffs in suits.
Why Anonymous? 20 April 2012 01:41:30 AM The way you sugar-coat Valve here is enough to give anyone diabetes. Team Fortress 2 went free-to-play because no one was buying it anymore. The ones who played it already had it and the ones who didn't play it had no interest in it, or were banned from it. All the F2P model did was another cash sink for Valve to make a profit off of it at the expense of the existing community. Now TF2 is a joke to the founding members and just a casual "look at my hat" experience to everyone else.

Valve's example would do nothing but piss off the Furcadia community. And hats are stupid already. No one notices them anymore in TF2 other than the player. Those who do do it for the "me me me" attention. What Furcadia (aka Beklin) needs to do is invest more into in-game/client avatars. That would instantly boost their sales and not kill off their "independent" art market.
Darkneo 02 September 2012 03:06:51 PM I think your point is interesting. And to add, if RP'yrs could indeed create their own avatars like Second-life maybe it would be interesting. I don't mean eccentric 3D stuff, but to be able to have your avatar look like YOUR Avatar and not a local pre-programmed one you buy in the Dingo Store.

As for people who can afford less dynamic machines is becoming less so, 64 bit machines are abundant now, and even some 32 bit machines can still handle Furc. But I must admit I would like to see a higher resolution map for those that have higher end machines.

As for TF2; they just developed an add on called Mann vs. Machine. Hell, I might go back to play this one and even buy it. :)

Just say'n.
Asteria 17 October 2012 11:22:02 PM Personally, I don't think Furcadia is dying or dead, but that's only from my experiences. For me, I have plenty of friends and we not only chat, but RP at least once a week as well. Granted, Furcadia itself is in a way crashing the market, selling digos and such for EXTREMELY cheap prices outside of holidays, decreasing the worth of the existing digos that people paid full-price for, and making it easier to buy items and such in-game than from the market. They aren't getting as much money from that as they should be, and it may cause problems in the future.

But socially, the game doesn't seem dead. I've only been here since about a year or so before the whisper update, but it doesn't seem anything has changed in that aspect. In fact, it seems more active - that is up to the player's standards (who they're willing to befriend and put up with).

I think a good venture would be for Furcadia to use a system similar to that of portrait uploads for personal avatars. Bam, you could sell avatar spaces on the market and empty ones in-game, the art market would boom with commissions, Furcadia would get money from new sales (since lots of people wouldn't be selling their spaces at first, but rather using them), and more people would play because of the added creativity opportunity. It would serve a similar function as digos, so these spaces would have to be a little bit more expensive as the portrait spaces, but if a person was trying to basically play a digo avatar without paying full price then, like portraits, it could simply be rejected.

Overall, Furcadia is a good game (at least I think so), but has lots of room for improvement.
Anonymous 11 November 2012 02:18:01 AM Furcadia has recently announced that they will be doing a Kickstarter project to bring in needed funds for updating the game. One thing they have planned is to create a web interface so that users no longer will be required to install their client software.

You can find more info on their goals, what they plan to do, and what rewards contributors will get on their forum.
Jach 13 November 2012 12:30:01 PM I'd like to see vector graphics and what the community could do with them.

That's good to hear there are still active RP groups.

http://pastebin.com/s6GxPqxV is apparently their working pitch, the kickstarter page has yet to be made. That's an interesting approach for funding, certainly in the year since I made this post Kickstarter has shown itself to be a useful platform to raise money on. Some of the things (like a web client) are nice to hear about, others not so much. (Not even a mention of expanding beyond declarative programming with DS.) It could give them the push they need to pivot into being a financially successful company, we'll see.

Another interesting factoid:
135162 characters connected this month
Max players ever: 4640

Looks like they don't actually update this information. That's somewhat disturbing.
Vincent 27 November 2012 03:01:54 AM I actually noticed that, too, about the statistics of players. But you can just go in the game itself and hit ctrl + w and have it pop up more accurate stats, that tell you actually how many players have been on today and "this session" (or since Furc's servers were last restarted). Beyond that? I specifically asked in Beekin meetings if they planned on releasing gendered starter avatars with the next update, and they said "It's something that you can vote on!" Which says to me that they don't plan on doing it unless you pay to vote for it, despite people screaming for gendered starter avis for years now in the forums. :\ I'll be at least happier if they update the avis and provide 32 bit colour. I'm so sick of the limited colour options. Why the hell would you give more options for hair and badges than you would for clothing? Seriously, DEP?
Cornelius 24 December 2012 01:09:49 AM Maybe it needs a good kick to get it started again and some rich innovation.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1810822448/furcadia-the-second-dreaming

Perhaps this might do the trick.
Haven 06 January 2013 08:13:34 AM I agree, Furcadia is dying...if not dead. I used to love this game in it's younger years. I poured a lot of money into the game as well, buying digos, port spaces and art. As I got older I saw that nothing in the game really changed other then new digos being made. Also, have to say the new digos are just so lazily made. Who the hell wants to be a pillow with eyes?

Also the game itself looks so childish. The defaults are nasty looking as well. (I know the kickstarter is suppose to change that but still took WAY to long)

I also think the Kickstarter is a way to beg players for money...and I hate the way the new setup looks. It's just so bad...it's like how much time did they take on it? Looks so rushed and messy. *rantrantrant*

Worst thing is their customer service SUCKS. Another reason I hardly ever log on anymore. Bought a lifer Dragon (at full price) never got it. Took the money from my paypal and all that. Filled out a ticket a month later I get a reply coming up with some bulls*it reason. Still never got my god damn dargon. Now my friend is having the same problem with his S.S. Keeping charging the paypal for renewel but yet he is without his SS.
Anonymous 08 February 2013 04:06:20 AM To be honest, reading this depressed me.
I started playing Furcadia when I was about 13(I'm now almost 21) and things just went downhill. Regarding the role play community, there's nothing to even ask for anymore. No one logs on anymore, everything's just dead.

My apologies for not giving a decently elaborate speech on the matter, but I never did statistics or research on the reasons why it's been going downhill so fast. I'm one of the random users of the program, and it's sad.
Jach 08 February 2013 08:00:58 AM Here's some more sugarcoating of Valve:



Their design philosophy is deep and compelling.

Furcadia's kickstarter ended with $100k from 877 people, with minimal contributions falling into these buckets: [dollar amount, number of backers]

([5 106] [10 43] [20 70] [25 40] [30 71] [40 11] [50 30] [75 323] [100 10] [150 66] [200 5] [250 50] [300 4] [400 4] [500 0] [600 5] [750 1] [1000 15] [2000 0] [3000 4])

The $75-$99 range got the most backers, I think that's interesting.
Amberblood 07 April 2013 12:59:42 PM The thing is that I use to go to Furcadia to ROLEPLAY, not do mindless OOC chatter and bantering.

So many people in Furc that just take up band with and space sitting around and doing, well nothing! I don't get the idea of spending money just to have fancy avatars, heavy loaded descriptions and just sit around and spam the whole place with idleness or random banter?

For a while I was in a dream that many story lines and role play depth took place. It was like writing a book while living it!

After a few years the dream owner got tired of Furc support being anything but helpful. The whole place was getting spammed by OOC idiots, yiffers and self righteous sit around and do nothing OOC'ers.

I wonder if a new "map" will make it better?

I doubt it.
Anonymous 27 April 2013 03:45:49 AM I dislike Furcadia now. The people who have money to spare get all this cool shit. (Like customer avatars) It shows the new players or players who dont have 1000 to toss at a greedy company 'Oh look, you'll never be able to have something as cool as that!' And they say they're trying to bring new people in? I call BS! They play favorites and drop to their knees to the people dumb enough to give them a shitton of money.
Shaun Dreclin 21 May 2013 05:02:10 PM DEP is hardly a greedy company. They're doing what they can to keep the game running and the kickstarter is letting them bring on more staff to do the updates we've been asking for for years.

Furcadia is "dead" compared to what it used to be, but I think a resurrection is around the corner. The web client will bring in a ton of new players who wouldn't want to download a program to play a social game.
Indigocloud 04 August 2013 11:35:17 AM It has turned into a big commercial for artists now, maybe that is Okay to an extent. But you see a cool dream and enter it and all you see like Amberblood stated people OOC'ing all over the place and no RP. The dream has a format, story line and rules. But NOTHING is going on? Players and not players anymore, this is like a chat room indeed with fancy avatars and port pictures.

Maybe outside the dreams in the main areas is like fine but to build a whole dream with a format and do nothing in it? WTH?

And when I click on a desc it's all -commission me-, -port artist-, -dream weaver-, -alt maker-, -this is not an IC dream- (yet you make it look like one?) huh!? A lot of work to do and just sit around...sigh I don't get it.
Neogreen 26 December 2013 11:56:31 AM Well they just started it on Xmas. And I am surprised' in a disappointing way. All this talk of a better graphic format and "web-based" furcadia. Huh? Where? It is still in a little window in a pixlated now crowded maps and areas! WTH people!? Ether I misunderstood or they misled us. Is it running on a a web-based system for better operation? I dunno' jut dunno!?
Anonymous 19 April 2014 10:48:15 PM Apologies in advance for the really run-on sentences and outbursts of thought:

I intensely loath how they defend the prices for those "digos" by saying what basically wittles down to "it's YOUR donation to US!" (...said no commercial business ever).
It's been 14 years and so far the only progress we've seen in terms of graphics, barring digos, are new default portraits. I doubt they'll actually get anywhere with that kickstarter since the original creators of this "game" have unofficial left and don't actually work on it anymore, leaving Emerald Flame of all people running the place (I still believe she does fuckall, since she doesn't code and her actual art are like children's drawings, and her interaction with players is....abrasive). I question the leadership of a woman in her 50's who calls her team "Team Catnip".

And yeah, they really should cater to their audience which seems to consist of furries, artists, Rpers, and the friends of such people. Apart from a "dice system" I've never actually seen being used, I think they at least some sort of system to find other roleplayers. Something as simple as encouraging people to put the words "Roleplayer" in their descriptions and having a search function for that <:/

They've finally updated Digo Market, but not the main website which probably shows what they care about the most. I'm satisfied, but barely. This sort of thing should've happened years ago, and modern websites these days are still miles ahead in terms of aesthetics, which is pretty important for a game like this because it still lacks that 'something' that makes it look professional (and therefore worth respecting).

About the iPhone app thing, I wonder why they stopped it? It's not like it was unfinished. Though, I bet Apple didn't want to associate with Furcadia, lol.
I just think the original creators just won't let it die.
Anonymous 06 May 2014 09:46:52 PM Honestly, I keep waiting and waiting for this update to happen. It really freakin' needs it!
An ETA, some kind of time-frame. ANYTHING!
Anonymous 19 May 2014 02:57:18 PM I agree with the notion that targeting a broader audience would invite more people to play, and hopefully improve the status of the RP community, albeit I wouldn't know how it could be executed without changing the name or blatantly announcing that Furc will get its shit together and stop catering to the fussy niche people. There are many people who would love to play as more humanized characters in Furcadia's format, and it would give people a lot more incentive to make a non-furre dream without worrying about there being few visitors. Adding human avatars helps a little but not much, would have been a much better idea when roleplaying was at its peak, before the waves of newfriends, greedy merchants and other OOCers made themselves comfortable.
Anonymous 26 June 2014 05:31:43 PM It looks dead. It seems within two years, according to the ingame client, their regular userbase as dropped more than half of what it used to be. There is literally nothing anymore, you'll be lucky if you come across something worthwhile there.

It's no surprise; with their unsustainable, thoughtless business model combined with their lack of a dedicated team that wants to make the game good instead of trying to make the most money, it is no surprise it is nearly dead.

Even on their most recent backing project only 2201 people have donated. The best part, this is supposedly the second part of their original kickstarter fundraiser, meaning they STILL haven't started on the update. They've literally made half a million dollars by waving around new character rewards. This speaks a lot about the capacity of the people that still dish out ridiculous amounts of money for appearance upgrades in what is essentially an IRC room with a virtual interface.

The update isn't coming. They've lost even more players since the second portion of their fundraiser; I can tell you right now that I am not exactly sure they are going to go through with the update at this point. It has been nearly two years since it was supposedly originally funded. One has to wonder why they keep needing more and more and more money, despite being fully funded again and again. Either they do not have their books straight, or they are milking what is left of their idiot fanbase before going offline.

What a shame. To think that people actually think this place is THRIVING, what a laugh.

It's dying, if not dead. There is no update coming. Anyone with half a brain can see what is going on.
Gerolkae 15 August 2014 12:24:41 PM Furcadia is Updating.. the last client update made possible for new stuff to come out... The Website is taking a massive renovation with new look
Anonymous 07 December 2014 04:36:25 PM Gerolkae, you're a hanger-on to DEP and thus your opinion has no weight here. I too play Furcadia and know that there's likely to be no update. It's been two years since that Kickstarter and what does Furcadia have to show for it? The same thing that's always been around: outdated and ugly graphics from the 90s and a poorly optimized client.

I HAVE paid for the web client beta and you know what? It's absolute shit. It's the exact same client except online, incredibly slow, and glitchy as all hell.

What I've seen over the years I've been in Furc is that a)Emerald Flame is pretty much completely useless in the grand scheme of things and b)Felorin is wrapped around her finger like a finger puppet made of nylon. What I haven't seen is where the bloody hell $240k went. Where is the schedule for Second Dreaming?
Zed 07 April 2015 11:13:37 AM I just sorta stumbled on this rant and read a few of the comments and have a few myself. I recently met Cironir and actually asked him about the Dark Dreaming stuff. I can't remember my exact question, but it was along the lines of this whole problem. He talked about hiring programmers and the like to create the whole new 32-bit package and so on and so forth and more or less asked me if I knew how much this stuff would cost. (He also told me they had devoted fans who work for free)

And I couldn't say I did

But it got me thinking. There are indie games being made all the time with less of a budget than what furc's kickstarter provided, not to mention all the funds that people are constantly dumping into the digo market. And those no budget indie games make things with graphics better than a super nintendo, which is Furcadia's Dark Dreaming goal.

I also learned that the various creators and founders of furc all share a house here in Texas. Kinda a vacation spot and HQ for everyone. Also where their mail goes, I believe. But it seems like a big waste of money when they could just get a P.O. box or some such thing.

Furthermore, wouldn't all these new avatars they are creating become obsolete in the new 32-bit version of the game?

I don't claim to know anything about anything. These are just some thoughts I had.
Catling 12 June 2015 11:44:06 PM Yes, your true... although, one problem you stated:
"They need to abandon.." Excuse me, No thank you, some people play this "game" everyday. They met many friends on it. They put their MONEY in this! So, pretty much, your saying that we all pretty much just wasted our money and time on this? No. Even if it's dead, it still entertaining, as the players there still keep it fun. Also, one of the admins on the Forums said they will keep it up for a long time, closing is not scheduled at all, right now.
Anonymous 22 June 2015 04:07:39 PM Just wait for Anthro Esoterica to come out. In two weeks they've gotten close to basic feature-parity with typical online RP 'games' like Furcadia and text-driven MU* servers, plus have other features possible for players, like raytrace/raycasting, vector drawing, pixel glide movement instead of full tile movement, file transfers, private messaging system, global ignore system that literally removes that person from ever showing in your client. They can't even stand in a doorway to block your path - you ghost right through them.

And they're not going to charge jack from what I hear.
Anonymous 23 August 2015 06:25:43 PM Furc's pretty much in it's twilight year(s) now.

They've begun pumping out smaller digos literally every other week (all created by free labor/volunteers, mind you). Meanwhile most of the digos from the Kickstarter vote page remain unreleased. They promised to create the digos that got the most votes... but have only made the smallest ones with the least votes! NOTHING has been said about the previously reached reward tier functions. The web-login portal remains in development hell. The mobile app forum's last post was from a year ago claiming that it would be released 'very soon'.

The only things that gets updated anymore on the website is the Digomarket. There's brand new butler art on the market of a shitty, embarrassing quality- apparently they got another highschool 'volunteer' artist instead of hiring any of the fantastic professional artists who still play.

Promises keep getting skirted around. Newsletters were published maybe twice this year (formerly it was a monthly publication) with a few pretty pictures and nothing of substance. From this page (http://www.furcadia.com/seconddreaming/goals) about 2-3 of the goals have actually made it client-side.

There's a half dozen threads on the forums demanding to know where the $250,000 they raised has gone and why we stopped getting newsletters and updates about the future of the game. People are worried that the money was mis-spent since the team apparently bought a VERY expensive house in a very expensive neighborhood despite their meager wages. Nearly every one of the concern threads have a post or two from Gar, Felorin, and/or Cironir saying essentially 'Everything is fine! The game is fine! The Kickstater money is being spent wisely! Everything will be released soon!' followed by some smiling emojis.

I honestly loved this game but it's pretty clear that the creators have given up. They refuse to spend on advertising, or hiring competent coders and artists and just pressure their volunteers to make more $20-$100 avatars nobody asked for. Every few months they show a blurry screenshot or an ambiguous video to prove the Second Dreaming is still being worked on.

They probably used the KS donations to fund that crazy mini-mansion in the desert.

We were conned.
Anonymous 15 October 2015 04:35:33 PM I haven't played Furc in years. The downfall started in 2008 or 2009 to be honest. I heard it is still dead. I am not going back even though i was on this chat game for 8-10 years. If they really cared about the game they would up the graphics and get with the times. I actually would not be surprised if the game shut down in 5 years or less. Once they finally realize that no one cares about the game anymore, they will probably be like oh! what happened to furc? But by then it will be too late.

I am sad that it went this way but alot of the users have grown up. I've been playing this game since I was 7/8 years old and I think I stopped playing around 13-14-15 years old. I am 21 now and while I'll miss the game as it used to be, I foresee a shutdown. They did kickstarter for their own benefit and not the game. Sad, but true.
Anonymous 15 October 2015 04:52:26 PM Anthro Esoterica is almost completed! I got to goof around and it's shaping up to be better than Furc. Everything from tile to pixel-based movement, claim a plot of land, make your own spot, you can even make your own world and link it to AE's world so players can transfer back and forth between them, creating a huge web of networked properties. The language and syntax for the BYOND engine is far easier to learn, as well. The BYOND client even comes with all of the tools you need to make your own custom avatars/icons/sprites/world/code. The web client even works for the most part!

They're only missing a couple of additional features and they're going to call it ready for initial release.
Me 14 November 2015 12:31:43 PM To be honest, people have tried defending Furcadia with the whole "Its free to play and if you dont like the people, store, or how much everything costs, go away" crap for far too long. People likes their own little niche in Furcadia, and now that its been consumed with foul mouthed, non-persona play, OCC advertising 'art' type furries, people have just gotten sick of pointing out the flaws to the developers and sought better venues.

When the staff and control for Furcadia does nothing to censor or distribute obvious adult content and the potential (Which does always happen) for minors to engage in sexually explicit acts with adults, not only is there a problem, but the solve for it and those not having a comfortable environment tend to vacate.

Thats what has progressively happened.

Facts: Dated graphics, game play, pedophilia, verbal abuse, bad management, expensive cosmetics, no control over the population, lack of rules and leaders, piss poor tools for creative input, interaction limited to people that mostly have mental instabilities, anti-social fundamentals apply to most people, a good many people are afk and idling so a player count is unavailable.

I could go on for a while about the many flaws and reasons Furcadia will continue to decline, but ultimately the player base has a good deal to do with the issue at hand. The current population are the sort that dont get along well with others and yet actively seek interaction with those around them. A group of people with a desperate cry for help that will only bite the hand that feeds them regardless of the situation.

Personally, I dont even know how the place stayed afloat this many years.

Also, I really dont think server costs are an issue when I can host over 50k people on my Desktop alone. Furcadia has no bandwidth intensive programing and therefor doesnt require a massive output. They have and always have run on a 3.5 Megabite (25MBit or 25000kbs) connection which is more than capable of hosting in MODERN GAMES up to 100 players or more. (ARK: Survival Evolved). You could easily support 5000+ in Furcadia. Stop playing the "Server cost" card, because Im fairly sure the server was bought and paied for years ago.
Anonymous 14 November 2015 03:55:04 PM "Furcadia has no bandwidth intensive programing and therefor doesnt require a massive output."

Not entirely true. The problem with allowing people to build their own dreams is that many people have no clue how to program, and thus keep certain code snippets running either client-side or server-side when it should not be, or the code constantly runs instead of being triggered by a check.

I've seen poorly-programmed dreams eat up a solid megabit with just two players present in the world thanks to poor coding practices.

For the rest, well, spot on. :)
Anonymous 18 December 2015 07:01:48 AM "Stop playing the 'Server cost' card, because Im (sic) fairly sure the server was bought and paied (sic) for years ago."

I've mostly just been idly reading this thread, but this one statement is completely incorrect. Just because you bought a house (in full, all debts paid) doesn't mean that you no longer have to pay for it. You have to pay taxes on the land that your house sits on. Not only that, but you have to pay for any utilities that you use (electricity, gas, water, etc.) if you want to be able to cook food or play on the computer. Servers are power hungry machines. Not only that, but they are generally stored within a data center and not within someone's house.

Data centers are dust-free, continually cooled, have redundant everything (power, network, cooling, etc.) that costs a lot of money to run 24/7. That cost is then pushed onto those who host their servers within the data center. On top of that, hosting or colocating a server can be more expensive based on the following factors:
A. How much space all the customer servers take up in the rack.
B. How much power the servers use.
C. How much data traffic the servers send and receive,
D. How close the servers are to the backbone of the internet.
E. How old the hosting plan is.
F. What the hosting contract states.

I think that it's quite foolish to assume that hosting a server is cheap or free after you've paid for the hardware.
Anonymous 18 December 2015 07:37:26 AM "Servers are power hungry machines."

Not in this day and age. ULPs at 15w running a few hundred websites at once, a bunch of silly dreams is nothing in comparison to heavier databases.

"Data centers are dust-free"

Not very many I've worked in are dust-free. You get HEPA filtration but I guarantee you human dust is all over the place.

"continually cooled,"

Once everything moves to the newer NUC power consumption will be knocked by roughly 60%. Cooling will no longer be an issue and will subsequently likely be reduced by about 40-45% overall.

"have redundant everything (power, network, cooling, etc.) that costs a lot of money to run 24/7. "

Unless it's an OLD network switch, most don't consume a ton of power in the first place. My old dell monitor eats more power than most 10Gb 48-port switches WITH included power over Ethernet.

"I think that it's quite foolish to assume that hosting a server is cheap or free after you've paid for the hardware."

Capable admins would know how to obtain these things and more wholesale instead of relying upon a retail data center.

The entiretyof Furcadia's current hardware could be handled with one $4,000 machine right now and could handle another TEN of current-size Furcadia. 90 watts max CPU draw.
MikHyou 22 February 2016 03:11:13 PM I have been away for about five years now.

Where did I go?

Secondlife.

Yes I know it has it's issues too but you know what it is better than FurC. FurC has run it's course and is now a 2D banter chat room. Maybe some hardcore FurC's are still there but I went back last year and after five years in SL it was hard on the eyes and the heart too.

Just saying... peace
Anonymous 23 February 2016 03:10:06 PM I ran a so called server from my home for private gaming and clubs. It was in its own little room of my house with dedicated lines.

Using both a window AC and a rather decent Honeywell HEPTA dehydrator unit it was decent. I used a ATX tower case and a portable support cabinet for additional hardware. As for cooling the server in general it was always connected to a duct system to which the hot air was sucked out into an attic reverse blower (mechanics grade) and outside. The power system was a combination of surge strips and relay battery back ups. And I had a monitor line switch installed to augment power in case of a black out using a Honeywell portable electric start generator. Did it cost a bit yes but if you know where to get stuff you will save in the long run. Warehouse, wholesale, clearance, test betas, etc. is better than retail. Eccentric set up for a single person? I guess it was but it worked rather well. People connected though URL protocols address, password and account. Tada!

DEP or who ever runs the show now needs to get into gear and ether catch up or shut down? Hard to say without really any factual information on what they are doing. But if people like me can make a system at home surely DEP can make something far more dynamic and perhaps reach out to others like me for help instead of hording it in their little corner of what ever.

Or as a few have said is Furcadia a past endeavor and its time to move on?
Leonis 29 February 2016 10:33:41 PM I tired to come back after two years and realized I lost my password and my email is no longer used. After three support trouble tickets and NO response I said to hell with it. I gave them as much info as I could to help and nothing, nada. Zip!

Let it die!
Anonymous 15 May 2016 11:45:45 PM The most disappointing thing about Furcadia is that it was part of something that was unprecedented. They started off so early in the day, and now with technology being so far past its limitations now from its beginnings in 1997, they could've been a dominant powerhouse in a market that they could've held as their own. The fact that people have funded them each time they asked for it, is evidence for that. How many companies that run an entire server, come out to ask for money, just to get hundreds of thousands of dollars slapped at them? More than once, even?

Furcadia is laden with AFK people, and people who cry for attention but bite at the hand that feeds them at virtually any cost, on top of that, virtually NO ROLEPLAYERS.

And people defend how DEP/TC have struggled with server costs, and expenses. Really? So the multiple people who spend $350 on Life Dragons and Phoenixes weren't enough? I would not be surprised if they made over a million dollars in sales, just to have all of that money squandered. Virtually no other game could've pulled in so much cash.

In short, honestly... The creators now, are greedy. EF runs most of the show, and she doesn't care. Not as long as they can release a new Digo, someone is going to buy it.

Furcadia is dying due to its own negligence, shameless greed, countless broken promises (I remember hearing promises of the update since 2005), cancerous people, lack of RP in a roleplaying game, the absolute lack of care of its players, and the game's infrastructure as a whole. Not that the creators are going to say anything about it, but if you had a game that yielded a massive amount of money but don't use it towards the game, you did it to yourself.

Furcadia squandered its charm. If they don't update it, they'll keep it the way it is until it dries out on its own for good.
Amumanous 04 June 2016 08:37:16 AM I played Furcadia from 2003 until 2008 and stopped playing after I noticed a heavy decline in role players. RP dreams were surging during most of my time in the community. Played nearly every night after school let out and homework was done.Recently I discovered a few of my log files from back in the day and my nostalgia kicked in. I'd love to relive those golden days at the Broken Sword Inn, Bail's Tavern, or any of those other dreams I frequented, but it all still seems lost. I wasn't aware of the problems people have been having with the Developers but I hope that the second second dreaming happens and brings a resurgence because I really miss playing that game.
Anonymous 06 June 2016 05:07:08 PM They will bleed out the ignorant and the stupid I fear. You think the Furc owners/makers read this stuff and care?
Anonymous 01 October 2016 08:21:18 PM To the person that said Emerald Flame does fuckall.

You hit the nail on the head with that one. She doesn't do much of shit, but she's very self important and thinks she does.

Many people left because of her. Everyone knows it. She has ZERO PR skill (this has been thrown out there many times, and she's fully proven it) and honestly no experience in being any sort of leader or manager.
Anonymous 17 November 2016 02:18:38 AM It is November 2016 - Time to die Furc time to die!
Anonymous 01 January 2017 04:00:28 PM I really miss this game.. frequented it back when I was like 8 or 9, up until I was like, 15. Honestly wished it wouldn't have died out. Many memories were made here and theres a few things that I'll definitely never forget.

Loved the Dog Pound, Dog Adoption Center, The Golden Tether, etc. Also enjoyed Furcadia's little Halloween event. Does anyone remember doing those?
Jach 06 January 2017 02:29:15 AM So, has anyone actually tried the Second Dreaming thing yet?
Anonymous 06 January 2017 02:34:00 AM Yup, and it is quite sub-standard.
Anonymous 30 January 2017 08:20:48 PM I've been playing this... "game" (if we can really call it that, tbh it's little more than multiplayer Notepad with a halfassed graphics system) since 2003. It's been steadily going to shit in the past several years, and yet there are still fangirls that defend it and I suspect will continue to do so to the bitter end.
Everything other people have pointed out is absolutely true: Go to The Golden Tether, go to New Versailles, hell, just go to the FurN main map. Where are the overwhelming majority of the players? In the idling areas, or the OOC areas. In TGT, you can sit in the main hall, be completely surrounded with people, and still not see a single post. In NV, everyone just sits in the OOC area (which is a god-awful echo chamber hugbox filled with hypersensitive special snowflakes who viciously attack you if you say anything they decide to take offense at, no matter how innocuous it may be to normal functioning adults - ESPECIALLY for a dream set in an 18+ area) and occasionally moves to an IC area for RP.
A friend brought up the fact that most of the people playing Furc who still RP, aren't even RPing /on/ Furc. They're doing it via RPR. Cause, y'know. RPR is the new Freewebs - everyone's got one, and if you don't, nobody even gives you a second look. So again - it all goes back to the fact that Furc nowadays is filled with nothing but OOCers and idlers, because the people who actually stay logged on are usually doing something other than playing Furc.
And on the note of idlers... what's with all these people I keep seeing who quite literally idle for entire weeks at a time? Seriously, I can't even tell you how many people I've seen with [AFKhour] counts in the double-digits. I've always looked at those people and wondered, what's the point of even getting on Furc if all you're going to do is constantly AFK for days on end?
And +1 to the "biting the hand that feeds" comments. I've never met so many mentally unstable people who will act like your friend one minute and then turn right around and kick you to the curb the next as I have on Furcadia. The furry community already has a bad reputation as it is, and Furcadia seems to attract the worst of the lot.

Some of the comments I've mentioned above are a couple years old at this point, but they're no less valid in 2017. The player quality and developer quality have not improved any. I've gained a lot of fond memories on Furc over the 14 years I've been on it, but I honestly have no respect left for the game or most of the people on it. I often go several days in a row without ever logging in once and I don't even miss it anymore. I miss what it used to be when I was growing up on it, not what it's turned into.

/rant
Sad Artist 13 February 2017 11:34:09 AM I want to take a moment to thank the OP, and everyone who commented on this thread. No malice intended, as I genuinely feel these players' plights. I am just one of the many Furc-born artists who loved RPing and creating unique pieces of art for my friends and commissioners.

I saw many of my friends get ripped off, as Furcadia stood by and let people steal (screen-cap, copy/paste) original work over and over again. No matter how many times we complained or begged, DEP wouldn't help any of us. Sure, they could 'clear' the stolen space, IF you could provide adequate proof you were indeed the original artist, but it would never stop people from doing it again.

Fast forward to now, when I tried the newest update. What point is there to having new .fox editor or dreamEd if there is no one to enjoy the dream you create? This place has stomped out creativity in exchange for the patronage of affluent imbiciles and the mentally deranged.

It is a shell of what it was, and could have been.
Anonymous 13 February 2017 07:37:48 PM Don't worry, Sad Artist! A new alternative is coming! Something made for a more modern time, including 4K world support, high-res animated avatars, choices of isometric or 3/4 top-down or pseudo 3-D views, and much more flexible engine/language than FurC!
Amumumus 13 February 2017 11:01:37 PM The Etla Isle continuity is still alive and thriving in the Imaginarium. It's a huge map with a detailed and active website. A large player base as well. If anyone still likes to RP on Furc, Etla Isle is the place to go.

http://eileadora.com/
Anonymous 23 March 2017 04:37:17 PM Amumumus............

http://eileadora.com ?

Really!?

I've been there and see no indication of an application that runs maps and or a game like engine. Sounds like click bate for a forum to me.
Amumumus 23 March 2017 11:37:21 PM It is a forum, dummy- a forum that's incredibly active in support of a thriving Furcadia dream.
Anonymous 24 March 2017 04:40:58 AM Shitty ass game with shitty ass support with shitty ass avatars with nothing but losers who do nothing. Sums it up rather well.
Anonymous 19 April 2017 04:56:54 PM I've been logging on the past week or so after a few years away, just because I missed roleplaying and creating stories with people.

Furc's dead. And it makes me sad to see what's left of the place.

There are a handful (maybe five, max) of dreams that have 'active' communities. People are in those dreams but they're not roleplaying. They're AFK, or just sitting there, doing nothing (I count 13 avatars around me in the TGT and not one person is roleplaying).

Does anyone know of an alternative? I just want to roleplay.
Anonymous 19 April 2017 09:26:07 PM "Does anyone know of an alternative? I just want to roleplay."

I'm still working on my much more advanced version of FurC. Most of the stuff is working but now and then engine updates cause some issues between web client and desktop client.
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