Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
We had an "art night" a couple days ago and everyone in the family painted a custom Funkey! (well, I ended up painting three) Below you can see the three I did (Invader Zim, GIR, and Creepy) the ones my family made, and a few older ones I had made for those who haven't seen them before.
See the gallery of my custom Funkeys...
See the gallery of my family's custom Funkeys...
They're all cute, but I just LOVE my wife's first stab at it! It's the one with the flowers on its head... :)
Labels: Custom Funkeys
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Just a quick heads-up... The limited edition (12,000 made) Target exclusive Dream State Very Rare 4 Pack with the foil card inside is now available on the Target.com website for the same $25.99 at in the stores. Here are a few images... :)
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Hidden Realm Names Bomble and Singe or Yeti and Kali
I know this is causing a lot of confusion so I thought I’d give this a little attention. When any toy line is being conceived, character names tend to be in flux many times far longer than they should be. This could be simply because of creative decisions being prolonged or at time it is a legal issue with trademarks.
During the pre-production phase, many names are considered “working names”, which is basically a way to identify something when its name is not final. We saw a case of a working name getting printed on the first round of U.B.Funkeys starter kit packaging. The character we’ve all come to know as Dot was originally printed as Spot.
Many times, game files also get named using working names or generic terms because development of the software must move forward even if the final names or characters, games, places, and so on are not finalized.
With all that said, let’s get on to the subject at hand. The working names of the four Hidden Realm Funkeys were Kali, Yeti, Yang, and Raj. Their names were not finalized until late in the process because in this case, game files were named this way, stores were getting pre-sales information using those names, and even the first version of the Codex was downloaded with those names in place.
But the final names that were decided on by the design team were Singe, Bomble, Yang, and Raj. The biggest piece of evidence that this decision was made late in the process is the fact that even the first round of packaging for Singe and Bomble say Kali and Yeti on them. This was a mistake, and will likely be corrected for the second run of the figures. The Codex has been updated to reflect the correct names and the storyline “movies” within the game use the correct names as well.
Because of all the mistakes with these names, I’m sure it will be confusing for a while, but this is straight from Funk-E. The names are Singe, Bomble, Yang, and Raj.
Funkeystown and Funkiki Island Adventure Pack Funkeys Added to Characters Page
We've finally gotten around to adding the Adventure Pack characters pages. This includes Henchmen, Master Lox, Mayor Sayso, Funkiki Natives, Jerry Pearl, and the Pineapple King...
A big thanks goes out to Webley3, who typed up the bios for us both for these six pages as well as the Hidden Realm character pages we got up yesterday!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Hidden Realm Bomble, Raj, Singe, and Yang Added to Character Page
Monday, December 22, 2008
Don't Panic! - Comments on the Funkey Trunk Update
There has been some grumbling and a level of discontent revolving around Funkeys 4.5 Funkey Trunk, the latest update to the U.B.Funkeys game, and I’d like to try and clear up a few misconceptions that are causing most of it.
To help out, we sent some questions along to our contacts close to the development team. Here are the responses. Keep in mind that these answers, while informative, cannot be taken as official responses like in the "Ask Funk-E" section since they did not go through all the normal channels.
Q: Is the purchased loot applied to only the account logged in or to all accounts on the computer similar to a bonus code? (This was sent before this was confirmed by some of the forum members)
A: Currently it’s a per account basis. The problem is that we cannot detect that 2 different accounts come from the same computer.
Note: This is followed up on and commented on more below…
Q: When will additional Familiars be available?
A: They will be rolling out in the next few weeks...the Familiars will never catch up to the physical Funkeys in regards to series. This is done so that they don’t compete directly with the figures. The series 1 figures are getting harder to find, so the Familiars for series 1 will be available....as we progress, Familiars will be added in a 1 to 2 series behind roll-out. Again, this reinforces the idea that in order to get the new content, you need the figures, but new users just coming in can catch up on older content if they can’t find the figures
Q: Will there be other ways to purchase loot, like through the website using unique Funkey name, or in stores like through a card purchase (like with Neopets).
A: The plan is to roll out gift-cards next year, and provide for other purchasing options...we are learning as we go, so bear with us....
Q: Will there eventually be ways to earn loot within the game as well?
A: I imagine that we will be implementing ways to earn loot; we have to gauge the overall response first.
Q: Why has Master Lox been so busy since the 4.5 update? Many are having issues trying to purchase loot and those who have loot are at time not able to spend it.
It was communicated that they are well aware of these outages and will get things fixed as soon as possible.
Also, while I can’t share the communications in their entirety, I wanted everyone to see a few snippets to help reinforce the fact that the folks working on the game are trying to make a better game in response to past feedback and not deliberately trying to just make more money off the fans.
"...I think its being a bit misunderstood. It is never the intention to make player's buy digital stuff in order to progress the game....all the Funkey trunk stuff is there if you want it, but won’t hurt if you don’t want it...like I said, the intention is to give the users who can’t find Funkeys the ability to get familiars....in addition, the games in Angus's lab are to reward those people who decide to get both a Funkey and a Familiar..."
"...the system is still being tweaked, and we’re eager to get feedback from the community. I just want to make sure that everyone knows the intention is not to squeeze extra cash out of the users..."
We had some discussion about the Familiars not having the same functionality as the real Funkeys (such as coins and trophies and such) and while the current functionality IS what was planned, the team is listening to the conversations going on in the forums and are considering what (if any) changes should be made to that.
And finally (for now) there’s the “per account” problem that many have raised regarding this update being a very expensive proposition for those with multiple users in the same house. (There are six in mine!) The answer above was that they couldn’t determine what accounts were on the same computer. They are working on ideas now. I had further communication with them about this and here are a few snippets from that...
...I agree that this is an issue, and one that we didn't anticipate...
...It is our #1 thing to discuss with the developers...
...due to timing, if we can find a fix, then it probably can’t be instituted until the beginning of next year due to end of year vacations...
...I 100% agree with the users on this issue, and will work to find a solution...
So what does all this mean? Well primarily, that the folks working on the game are working hard to make a great game for all of us to enjoy and the motives are where they should be. There ARE problems right now both technical and with some of the design, but they have acknowledged that fact and will work on fixing things. There will likely never be perfect agreement between them and the players of the game on everything, but I have faith that they are trying hard to make it a great experience for all. Give them some time to work all of this out.
Have a great time!
Virtual Good News Reports on FunkeyTrunk Release
U.B.Funkeys - Press Release About the Funkey Trunk Update
There's a new press release about the Funkey Trunk Update from the Funkeys game. I've noticed it start popping up today here, here, and here so far.
I also have some additional information and opinions to post about this update. I hope to get that up later today...
U.B. Funkeys™ Debuts Funkey Trunk Micro Transactions for Access to Exclusive Game Enhancements
NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 22, 2008) - Radica, a division of Mattel, in conjunction with causal game and software developer Arkadium, today announced the launch of its new Funkey Trunk micro transactions system. As the latest addition to U.B. Funkeys™, a popular interactive game that combines vinyl toy collecting with the world of gaming, Funkey Trunk enhances players' user experience by providing them with the ability to purchase exclusive new add-ons for their virtual world. The new Funkey Trunk is made up of two parts: My Funkey Trunk and Angus' Lab.
In My Funkey Trunk, items called Funkey Familiars and Portal Jammers can be purchased. Funkey Familiars are virtual Funkeys that grant access to the Game Rooms that belong to a specific Funkey, without having to own the physical Funkey first. Players who already own that physical Funkey will receive extra features with a Funkey Familiar. Portal Jammers are items that allow players to pass through any Portal, into any Game Room, or into any game for a one-time preview.
Also introduced in this release is Angus, a new character in the U.B. Funkeys™ world who walks around and can be accessed within every Zone. When clicked on, players are transported to his lab where new items such as mood indicators and animated and interactive items for a player's home base, or Crib, can be found.
"Our teams have created a 'loot' system that allows parents or guardians to securely add funds for their children to spend in the U.B. Funkeys™ virtual world," said Jeff Bruneau, Sr. Marketing Manager for U.B. Funkeys™. "These micro transactions are a fun way to educate children on responsible spending habits, while letting them customize their gaming experience. Because these items are available within the controlled virtual environment, parents can be assured that they will continue to provide fun even past the holiday season and are appropriate for children."
Loot is purchased through a secure online system inside the U.B. Funkeys™ PC game software. Parents can purchase loot easily and the Loot added in the Funkey Trunk does not have an expiration date if not spent. The balance can be tracked by the player though the 'My Loot Balance' area, and a complete list of transactions can be viewed in the 'Transactions' section of all accounts.
Vinyl toy collecting and online virtual gaming are both popular activities among today's young adults and children. This latest enhancement of U.B. Funkeys™ further marries the vinyl figure collecting trend with the world of online casual gaming and delivers an all-new virtual experience filled with fun, exploration and games. The U.B. Funkeys™ Starter Kit, available at major retailers everywhere, includes the U.B. Funkeys™ hub, figure and PC software. Individual Funkeys figures are also available for sale separately.
Mattel, Inc. (NYSE: MAT) (www.mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American Girl®, Radica:® and Tyco® R/C, as well as Fisher-Price® brands, including Little People®, Power Wheels® and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. Mattel is recognized as one of 2008's "100 Best Companies to Work For" by FORTUNE Magazine. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs more than 30,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. Mattel's vision is to be the world's premier toy brands -- today and tomorrow.
Arkadium is the premier game solutions developer for the advergaming and casual game markets. The company's growing archive of over 200 Flash-based and custom game solutions currently reaches millions of people through some of the most popular online destinations and corporate branded Web sites on the Internet. For more information visit http://www.arkadium.com.
Friday, December 19, 2008
UBFunkeys 4.5 - Funkey Trunk Update is Here!
Wow! Hot on the tail of the 4.0 Hidden Realm Update, we now have the version 4.5 release called Funkey Trunk. It's not as big as the last update but still a healthy 70+ MB download so those of you who waited all night for the last one to download on your dial-up account, get ready for another agonizing wait...
I must say that these latest updates show just how much effort the folks at Mattel/Radica are putting in to our beloved game. If you haven't explored the Hidden realm Update yet, you're really missing out on some awesome visuals! The scene with the flying ship that takes you to Hidden realm alone is very impressive.
Reports on the forum are that the Hidden Realm purchases made on eBay and Amazon.com have started to show up and people are starting to play, but so far I've seen no reports of them in real-world stores like Walmart or Target. I'll personally be waiting to find them in the stores, but I'm a cheapskate... :)
I've heard a little about what this new update introduces, but I'll wait for clarity before reporting on it here. Have fun as always and feel free to post back here about what you find! :)
Friday, December 12, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
U.B.Funkeys Version 4.0 Hidden Realm Available Now!
As many have already found out since yesterday evening, the Hidden Realm update is now available for download. Be prepared! It's a hefty 151 MB in size, so if you are on an old dial-up connection, it's gonna take a while...
I have not personally had time to poke around yet, but I'll be sure to do that soon and post some more...
Have fun, and post back here about what you find! :)