2/14/2008 Ron Hornbaker & Steve Sorochak launched the “GoPokey!” FaceBook application. You could own one puppy, which became hungry & thirsty. You watered it & fed it “bones.” There was no bonding bar, so members freely looked after each other’s pets. Bones could be gifted to other players who were caring for your pet. Each pup had a “sweet spot” on its tummy which, when you found it, was recorded in its program. There were few backgrounds and decorations. Paying for membership gave you access to other backgrounds that free players couldn’t have.The game tended to be slower, freezing up from time to time. Media comment: “This Facebook application has already received over 10,000 reviews, averaging 4.7 out of 5 stars and has over 19,000 Pokey fans! Even though this application was just launched on February 14, it is one of the fastest growing applications on Facebook with over 1.8 million active users…” [From:Enfotainer 2/11/08]
12/22/08 FooPets.com launched & replaced the GoPokey app with FooPets on Facebook. No more Pokey pups! Member objections were numerous and loud! So…
12/26/08 Dr. Ron posted “Dear Pokey users, We screwed up & we’re working hard to make it right…” Pokeys were returned, but so as not to “perpetuate the problem of non-improvable puppies” were no longer available for adoption, and had to be bought from other members. From that point on the only way to get a Pokey was to buy one bred by another member. Pokeys on abandoned pages reverted to Shelter ownership, were converted to FooPets & were neutered at 4 months old. The term “Legacy Pokey” refers to a 1st. Gen. Pokey who has not been Foo-ized, and sometimes to a 1st. Gen. Pokey which has been Foo-ized but has a low pet number & photographic proof that it was once a Pokey. The original Pokey breeds are: Yellow Lab, Black Lab, Chocolate Lab, German Shepherd, Yorkie, Chihuahua & Rottweiler. Theoretically, Yorkies and Chis adopted after GoPokey! changed to FooPets should have been the Foo version, but it seems thatf this was not really the case. The Pokey versions of those two breeds were still being released accidentally as premium pets by Foo after the changeover. ALL Yorkies were changed to Foo on Saturday March 21st 2009. (Most likely any fotos of the pets before then will be “Pokey.”) Chihuahuas were similarly “glitch-fixed” so that all became Foo on June 5th, 2009. [After JaeH79 from “What is a Legacy?” Additions by Corinelle]
The order in which the FooCats were introduced was this: Tuxedo, Black Mix, Pepper Tabby, Orange Mix, Maine Coon, Siamese, Long Haired Silver Tabby, Cream Persian, Calico, Bengal, Russian Blue, Himalayan, White Cat, Abyssinian & Nebelung.
2/10 in February 2010 there was a “shelter purge.” Most pets in there at that time were not simply deleted. Their data was corrupted so that they could not be brought back. (In that purge, family members were spared, so that family trees worked.) “Flora”:http://www.foopets.com/pet/4811120 is the first surviving true Foo. The very last large GoPokey! dog is “Sir Stephen”:http://www.foopets.com/pet/4811092 (He was a Pokey until taken to the Shelter & Foo-ized.)
3/10 Super Savers became ClubFoo. Paying members received 50 bonus FooDollars every thirty days, & a 5 FooDollar allowance every day they logged onto their page. Other bennies: “Exclusive Rare Gift” made for Club members every thirty days, InstaCare, and the option in Preferences to hide the Friends Scroller & the Activity Feed on the Play page. Paying members were given access to a new ClubFoo Forum where Admins would listen to members’ ideas for more ClubFoo features. They also got the ClubFoo Member Shield on their Profile page, early access to Beta features on the site, and the option to buy newly released pets one day before non-paying members.
8/10 That month FooMojo changed to Rivet Games & Jesse Janisov, Playdom’s ex-Product VP was appointed the new CEO. The company relocated its headquarters to San Francisco.
4/7/11 Foo announced that all non-club accounts would be frozen on April 26th, simultaneously disabled gifting from those accounts to players with active ClubFoo accounts.At the exact same time,management deleted millions of FooPets with the push of a button.That purge was not selective, & family trees were affected. But fortunately the programmers had left the pet data intact so, when the purge was reversed that decision on May 17th, all those purged pets re-appeared at the Adoption Center.
4/20/11 Rivet Games, (formerly FooMojo) the web/mobile/social game developer and publisher led by former Playdom executive Jesse Janisov, completed a second round of funding to finance projects in development. Mr Janisov’s vision is to “deliver core games to core gamers, across a variety of platforms.” The developer (Dr. Ron Hornbaker, FooMojo, 2007) originally specialized in online virtual pets and now the company develops and publishes Web, social, and mobile games. The company hopes to combine its staff’s game development experience with analytics and modern marketing to “change how games are built and delivered.”The company now has 33 employees.
THAT WAS THEN: A MEMBER LOOKS AT FOOPETS CHANGES
In case you werent here to see the good old days, and you want to know why so many people miss the Old Foo that youll hear about, the Play screen was about half the size it is now. (All the backgrounds were smaller, to fit that screen.) That screen was more convenient and much faster, and worked well with Pokey breeds. (They werent half as glitchy as they are now on wide screen.) The Care History was on the right side of the screen & you could scroll down and see the most recent care, with the care bars above it. Late in 2009, Bonding bars & badges were brought in, and under that there was a combined food & water button, plus the main controls like the ones we have now. There was no Friends list at the bottom. The Foo Adoption page was on a separate tab (and much more fun!) The scenes page was a tab on your profile.
The Super Saver Club (paying membership)changed to ClubFoo around April 2010. “Karma” (rank counters) became “Star Points.”
Bonding Badges, ClubFoo Shield & organization tools were added to the Member Profile page, took away user sales page, and added arrows to the pet profile pics so we could reorganize the order of the pets on the Profile & Play page.
The Fooniverse: Foo changed Heart Park to Halloween Park and Holiday Park. (Those changes took place in 2009 and they only happened once.) The Fashion Shows were discontinued.
The layout changed a number of times. The oldest Pokey background was light gray. At one time there was a light blue background with the icons for each page on Foo, with the light blue background. Then there was a mainly blue & green theme, and then electric pink & blue with several accent colors, and then alternative colors were put on: cool colors—pale blue, green & purple—were added at the request of members who said that the bright pink+blue colors hurt their eyes or gave them headaches. [After SuperDogs from: “The Difference Between Foo, 2009 & Foo Today”]
THESE ARE SOME CONTROVERSIAL CHANGES IN THE GAME
1. The minimum price for pets was increased from 20 to 45FooDollars.
2. “FooTax” on page-sales items increased from 10% to 50%…then within a few days it was reduced to 25%.
3. FooDollars disappeared from the Daily Spinner.
4. “FooGem Fridays”—the opportunity to buy pets from the Shelter on Fridays for FGs instead of FDs—was discontinued without warning, in the middle of a Friday.
5. Pokey breeding was disabled.
6. No more pictures of any description were permitted in the Forums.(A word of explanation: many children & teens in the Foo community earned a modest amount of extra FGs & FDs by designing “Blingees” “GlitterGraphics” or other items such as picture frames & avatars to sell to other members. These little businesses, which had an element of creativity to them, were decimated.) However, Foo was uneasy about copyright violations, so all pictures, including personal photographs & FooPet fotos were excluded.
7. FooFashion Shows were discontinued. This was done because some of the members were “stuffing the ballot boxes” for one another. This was considered to be a scam to get extra FooDollars.
8. Foo released a great number of Ultrastat pets from the Shelter artificially raising the average stats of almost all the existing pet breeds.Members watched 5/5 & 4/5 Green stat pets that they had payed dearly for drop, over a matter of weeks to 2/5 & 0/5.
9. Then, for no apparent reason, stat limits of pet breeds were raised.Then on March 11, 2011, in response to widespread member dismay, FooPets promised that the pet stats—i.e. the stat colors the pets were born with—would not fluctuate either upward or downward after birth. In other words, whatever anyone else bred would have no further effect on stats at all…and this effectively killed selective breeding to improve the overall stats of a breed.
10. The price for boarding pets increased from 200 FooGems to 800 FooGems per pet.
11. Cost for 6 months of Flea treatment increased from 1000 to 20,000 FooGems, and then dropped back to 2,500 FooGems.
12. Parental controls over members under the age of 13 were increased. Children needed written parental permission to enable friend requests, gifting and messageing, and to give them access to most of the forums.
13. Outside links of any kind were prohibited from being shown anywhere on FooPets. This included links to photo storage sites and even links to visitor counters. This rule is not widely known, and violations still appear all over the place!
14. There had been an opportunity to “earn a free pet” with 30 days of pet care in the Adoption Center. After many people had spent hours & hours on this…suddenly on February 8,2010, no more free pets for new members.
15. New members could not join, or even “try out” FooPets without joining ClubFoo. And stern warnings were given about “sharing accounts.”
16. The price of food suddenly increased from 600 FooGems to 3,000 FooGems for 80 servings…then dropped back to 700 FooGems.
17. The Role Play Forum was eliminated overnight. This was done because of repeated violations there of the rules against obscenity & violence on the site.
18. “Limited Edition Collectors Items” were offered for sale through the Showcase scenes [Christmas, 2010]
19. A childish new color set of bright pink & blue came in, along with the elimination of the Scene, Game & Forum tabs. [After member complaints & a vote was taken in the forum, some of the brightness was reduced. Here’s the thread if you’re curious /topics/show/2102395?forum_id=6
20. ClubFooers no longer received their Premium Gift or the ability to “tune out” Live Feed. They found themselves nudged toward the Play scene. This made scene design almost impossible for a whole group of members who had a difficult time working from the Play scene even without the additional unwanted material streaming under it.
21.The number of Star Points for pet care was lowered.
22. 50% FooTax on item page sales…which was then reduced to 25%.
23. Page sales of items were discontinued. [Personal note: This was when I decided not to renew my membership.]
24. Pet sales between members were discontinued. Pets could only be bought & sold through the Adoption Center. This eliminated variable pricing, but enabled any member to immediately sell any pet.
25. FooMart changes: Items could be sold back to Foo for 50% of their original FooMart price. Daily new items were discontinued, and member artist submissions & commissions were discontinued.
26, Pets were bought from & sold to the Adoption Center for standard rates based on stats.
27. FooClub Members were disabled from gifting non-members. Litter licenses were disabled from being gifted under any circumstances to anyone.
28. Members suddenly discovered that they could only do pet care for those on their official Friends list. They could not “foster” the abandoned pets of non-members from long ago.
29. The PetSamaritan—formerly the FooSamaritan—took over care of the abandoned pets, which were never allowed to be taken in by the Shelter & thus be made available for adoption.They wouldn’t go to the Shelter—but no one could return them to play, either. Members who had been watching “family members” of their pets had to give up on ever being able to adopt them.
30. The perquisite for spaying or neutering a pet dropped from 20,000fg/sp to 200fg/sp.
31. After being told that Mart items would be reduced in price, Foo decided to rotate a few items through the mart every week or so, and almost all of the items were now sold for FooDollars. In general there are fewer items & higher prices.
[The basis for this list came from Eat-A-Peach. I’ve made several additions.]
In the 1960s Jack Brehm noted that when free behaviors or privileges are suddenly limited or taken away, we have a strong emotional response which he called “psychological reactance.” This is what I’ve noticed happening here repeatedly. Instead of looking forward to site improvements, repeatedly stunned gamers began dreading changes. Many past changes had been put in place without warning overnight, in many cases, with glitches & all. The switch from small screen to the Beta wide screen actually made the pet Play screen inaccessible to people with certain platforms. Management often claimed that these changes were “fixes” but many gamers came to view them as punitive restrictions leveled on all the membership for the behavior of scammers. Did these “fixes” stop scamming & “profiteering”? No. At the present time, members are demanding payment for finding links in the AC and are expecting high-FooDollar valued gifts from buyers before making their pets available for sale for the lower prices in the Adoption Center. If management wants this stopped, the only option is, sad to say, to discontinue all Gifting; that is, to take the last remaining property-exchange option away from the gamers & make everything flow through the hands of management. No, this hasn’t happened yet…but it may. There’s been an effort to make this site perfectly child safe, and as the result of this, Foo has turned it from a lively economics game to a small children’s web toy. Many have noted that Foo now seems more like “Animal Hoarding 101” instead of being the model of responsible pet ownership that Dr. Ron envisioned. I, for one, am sorry to see the game take this direction.
— Helden Kline, 6/27/11 (very missed!)
Had to repost , for more useful things visit her page XOX
Xtra links I have found
1. JUST RELEASED: Site redesign, FooGems, and more.
2. FooPets will become subscription-only on April 26
1. No foo studio
2. Trading for pets prices has quadrupled (10k limit but that does not always even apply)
3. Kitty/Puppy mills fill Foopets more every day (80 percent ditched in AC for FD)
4. "Common pets are ditched for “rare” pets (rare’s are most important now)
5. Kids flood the site, adults are hard to come by. (most have left)
6. Respect flew right out the window
7. Lost stats are found daily now
8. User submitted art is back
9. Forum threads archived (old ones deleted)
10. No new pets again (no artist to make them, no talks of even getting one in the future)
11. 1 Clubfoo Item a month is back for 1 fg
12. The ammount of kids that are on here during “school” hours has sky rocketed!
(how they learn anything, no clue!)
I am sure there is more but that is all for now….xo