Saturday, September 19, 2015

Animal Jam: The Beta Times

Hey buddies, it's Stang!

A long time ago I put up a poll asking if you guys wanted a beta page. The winning choice was "yes" and so I set out to create one. Amid a busy schedule, laziness, and other work, I only managed to cover the creators and the lands.

However, now I've decided to turn it into a special post. Here it is!

Animal Jam: The Beta Times

The Creation

Animal Jam's full name is National Geographic Animal Jam (it was created by National Geographic). It was launched in 2010 by Smart Bomb Interactive, who was in partnership with National Geographic.

Smart Bomb Interactive and National Geographic. 
The beta times were during 2009, when they chose beta players to test it. In May 2010, only then did they release it publicly.

Fast Fact: Animal Jam was designed for five to nine year olds, but many players are older.

Credit to: 
This is what the old login in looks like. The logging in area has changed greatly; from this to the little sidebar, then the new pop-up.

The Den

During Beta days, everyone got the biggest den ever known to Animal Jam.
The Beta den.

(There was only one den.)

It included a huge bridge, a two-story building, and a patio. You can actually see and walk around it at the Beta parties.

Credit to Animal Jam Flash. 
This is part of the house. The ladder brings you upstairs.

Credit to Animal Jam Flash. 
Tan, plain stairs led from the first floor down to a spacious patio.

Credit to Animal Jam Active.
The Lands

The first "starter" lands were Jamaa Township, the Lost Temple of Zios, Serapei Forest and Crystal Sands (which looked very different then).

Here's some pictures which are all from the official Animal Jam wiki.

Jamma Township and the Temple of Zios. 

The Serapei Forest and Crystal Sands. Crystal Sands was originally a plain, flat beach rather than the pirate-themed water park we see now. 

The Items

Items from the Beta days are referred to as "betas". The items that have not come back to stores are usually extremely rare and worth a lot. However, their value has gone down due to the adventures, where you can win them.

Some items from the beta times include the pirate sword, mask (commonly called a tiki), top hat (commonly called a founder), arctic hood, beard,  and the tan carpet.

Some items from that time have rumors or stories about them.

It was rumored that a special item, called Skully, was sold in stores and then removed from everywhere, including player's accounts. It is the cheapest item that was sold in stores and technically the rarest, since none exist anymore.

Another item is Cami's Frog. One Animal Jam worker's daughter who really liked her stuffed animal frog and played Animal Jam as a beta player. Sadly, she got cancer so her parent made Cami's Frog on Animal Jam. (In case you were wondering, she recovered! :D)

Other Stuff

The top bar didn't have that many options as there is now; there's no parties, or adventures. However, they removed two buttons! One was the currency counter: it displayed your gems, diamonds and tickets. Back then, during beta times, there were only gems. The second was the timer, something that parents or really well behaved kids could use to make sure they didn't play too long. (I believe AJHQ removed it because they wanted people to play more.)

There was no summer carnival or daily spin. 

All the items were very 2-D. 

The color palette looked very different. You has less colors and the clothing pop-up did not show your money. There were also less patterns.

Picture credit to the oifficla Animal Jam wiki. 
Many areas have been renovated (like a new photo booth in Club Gecko), and the art has changed.

There were no underwater lands or features.

There were no pets.

The only stores were Jam Mart Furniture and Jam Mart Clothing.

Credit to Animal Jam Goldfish. 
There were no members or non-members; everyone was the same. In fact, there wasn't member or non-member anything; no items, dens, etc. Everyone had a gold name tag.

There were only wolves, bunnies and rabbits.

Animal Jam shamans (or alphas, as they are called now), would walk around and talk to you.

What It Was Like

I was a beta tester. Unfortunately, it was really boring then because you couldn't even trade so I quit. Later I got even more bored so I decided to retry it and I loved it.

Anyway, life in AJ Beta was really calm. There wasn't too much to do at the time (there were far fewer games, lands and people), people were generally kind, and you couldn't trade.

However, it all went uphill from there! :)

Anyway, thanks for reading! Share to support, comment any feedback or suggestions, and jam on! Bye!


P. S. Please check out my latest Scratch project here!

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