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Daily Alpha Update: A Quick Q&A

Posted by Sir Max on January 15, 2014 02:00 PM

Doctor Surlee always says to "Question Everything" -- It seems that you guys really take that advice to heart, because you have literally questioned me of everything that could ever be questioned. Good news: I've answered them! At least, some of them.

I was recently interviewed for a news article about Toontown Rewritten, and I figured that I would take today to show you some of the questions I answered considering many of you have the same ones. Attached at the bottom here is the raw interview for those of you who are interested to read. It gives you a bit more in-depth look of development of Toontown Rewritten



1) Who is/are the brains behind the operation?
That’s hard to say, really. There is no one who is necessarily “In charge” of another person. We all do whatever we can to help out with the project. I myself (“Sir Max”) am the one who plans out which updates are going on which dates, if that counts as brains of the operation. We consider Shockley as our lead developer, however everyone is equally important in the team.

2) What’s the origin story behind this initiative? Where did it all begin and how did it come to fruition?
Oof, this is a long one. Toontown Rewritten originally started from a simple post on Reddit. It was the day Disney announced that they were closing the doors to Toontown, and of course as with any game, people were wondering if a private server was going to be made. I honestly cannot tell you who made the post, nor what it said. That post is what started this whole thing, however.

In the post it linked to an IRC chat - “#toontownps”. My friend Jeremy (“Fat McStink”) and I had already been looking into creating a private server, so I figured I would join to see if the others were interested in joining our efforts together. Surprisingly, the main one developing there was a “long lost” friend of mine, so to speak. Him and I had known each other from a Toontown-related website that we were members on a few years back. In the coming week, more and more people joined that IRC. Some knew what they were doing, and some were there to watch.

About two weeks into the project, we pretty much had a team together. The best part of this team is that we all already knew each other from that same website. There was only one person missing from the party: Shockley. TooManySecrets and I sent him an email telling him what we were working on, and soon after he joined. This is where things got a bit complicated.

Thus far, our main focus was to get Toontown back as soon as possible. We didn’t care about anything except for that. This quickly became a problem, however, as our code was very messy and not built to last. Not to mention that the public eye on our project- at that point known as “Toonpulse”- was getting way larger than we wanted. .There was only one thing that we could do to get the project back on track: to kill it We got together in a second channel and began organizing a way to fake our own death. We needed to get away from the public so that we could work on Toonpulse in peace, along with not getting anyone’s hopes up in case the project were to fall through. We all abandoned #toontownps, and Toonpulse was destroyed. We completely scratched our messy code and began a new project in secret: Toontown Rewritten.

The difference between Toonpulse and Toontown Rewritten was that we were no longer trying to restore Disney’s game as quickly as possible. Instead, we were trying to not only restore it, but essentially refurbish it. We wanted this game to be built to last, and that is exactly what we are doing.

3) Where is the office (HQ?) located? Where do you guys operate out of? All over the world! We all operate from our own homes and apartments. All of our communication takes place over an IRC channel, just as it did in the beginning. Maybe sometime we will invest into creating a real-life Toon HQ.

4) Are you super fans? Super-duper fans!

5) How big is your team? How do you guys work together? What does everyone do? Our team consists of somewhere around 16 people. 5 or 6 of those 16 people are developers, then we have our graphic designers, composers, translators (Spoiler alert!), and moral supporters.

Our collaboration process isn’t really all that strict. Since the beginning of alpha, I have had a schedule of which updates need to come out at which time. Sometimes we’ll have these updates done days ahead of time, and sometimes we’ll still be working on them as the update is released. To organize this, I’ll just say something like “Hey, our next Saturday update is going to be racing. Throughout the week we are going to release one course per day.” and then someone will volunteer to work on that. 6) Are you collecting profit? If so, how? If not, why? We aren’t collecting any profits at all. Most of our funds are actually stored in Bitcoin, and come from our own wallets. The reason why we are refusing donations or profits is obvious: This isn’t our original game. Whether it is legal or not, I don’t want to make any money off of Toontown Rewritten. Disney originally owned this game, and they deserve all credit for it. We are doing nothing but volunteering to let Toontown stay open a little while longer.

7) What is the schedule looking like for release of the game to the public?
I can’t really say, to be honest. If you look at it one way, we only have a few small road bumps left to cover. If you look at it another way, we have a mountain of things to do. One thing that we learned within the first week of Toontown Rewritten is to not give release dates until we are absolutely sure that we can tackle them. We have a date when Alpha is going to end, but we don’t have a date when beta will start.

8) Explain the “alpha keys” project.
We decided pretty early on that we wanted the alpha version to be known to the public, unlike most games. Every step of the way, we want the community to be by our side. Even if they are by our side, though, we can’t let them all come in game at once when there is nothing to do but play one simple minigame. Alpha keys were made so that we can let part of the community into Toontown Rewritten without getting a whole busload of people wondering why they can’t ride the trolley, or why the servers keep crashing.

100 alpha keys were given out through forms of contests and developer picks, keeping with the whole “community by our side” theme. It has been almost two months since we gave those keys out, and we have made tons of progress. This past week we tripled the amount of alpha keys and started giving them out through daily contests to let some more of the community in. We’re going to be continuing to do that as more parts of the game are developed throughout the remainder of alpha and beta.

9) What are your feelings towards the Disney Company and their decision to shut down ToonTown? Disney Online has been going through some tough times these past few years, from what I’ve heard. Honestly, I do think that shutting down Toontown was the right thing for them to do, considering they had no intentions of fixing the game. Toontown has been overridden by hackers for over three years now, and the last major update (adding a new area) was in 2008.

Disney shutting down Toontown was a move that I think we all expected, and it was the right move if they weren’t going to fix it. However, I feel that the way they shut it down was very poor. Take a visit to Toontown.com sometime. You’ll see a very broken webpage that no one has bothered to fix. Toontown was supposed to end with trumpets and confetti. Instead, all I see is a black and white page that bears a very similar resemblance to a cog’s typewriter.

11) Do you think Disney is acting like a Cog? By shutting down the game? No, not at all. The way they shut it down? A little bit, but that's business. I suppose that business does make them a cog.

I don’t hold any grudges against Disney, though. Disney is a great company that did what they thought was best, and we can’t do anything to change that. Jesse Schell, the original creator of Toontown, is trying pretty hard to convince Disney to give Toontown a future. I hope that he will succeed. Toontown Rewritten may be fun, but we’re no Disney. If Disney puts effort back into Toontown, they can easily give it the magic that it used to have.

12) How long do you plan to let the game run? As long as we can! We’re all in this for the long run. Like I mentioned above, we are designing Toontown Rewritten to last. I certainly hope that we can squeeze another ten years out of this game.

13) Will you and your team be playing the game? Definitely! We already have our “Toon Trooper” characters to run around and interact with the players, along with anonymous toons that we use to sit back and enjoy the game just like any other player.

14) Are you making any additions to the game from its original form? We have a bunch of plans for future content, along with a whole new story worked out to expand upon the original one and open up to a broader audience. In fact, we’ll be seeing the first set of new content come out before Alpha is over with.


If you have any other questions, feel free to ask them! You can put them on MMO Central Forums, this reddit thread that I stopped by at, or in the comments below. See you later, toons!
Comments on this post are closed.
King Felix Jeeperhopper said on January 15, 2014 02:35 PM
Boy, do I love this game and the progress you guys have made!

Blue Marioh said on January 15, 2014 02:37 PM
I have seen with my own eyes that this game will be a success. Even though I'm currently unable to continue witnessing the progress first-hand, I can still see that this game was most certainly made to last and ready to last another 10, 50, or even 200 years (with a far-off chance of this lasting 5,000 years).

Whiskers said on January 15, 2014 02:46 PM
Thank you guys for taking your own time and money to build up such an amazing world!:) Are you guys going to have another daily alpha give-a-way soon?

Superspeedy Fireball said on January 15, 2014 02:48 PM
Wow, this give us a lot more infromation about TTR's history! ...One question though...Did anybody renember to update the game today?

Moon Berry said on January 15, 2014 03:12 PM
I was thinking of some questions pretty similar to these above over the months, and the knowledge makes me feel more comfortable. :D

Huigberts said on January 15, 2014 03:13 PM
Spoiler alert behind the word translators. So maybe TTR in other languages, I hope in Dutch, then should it be Toontown herschreven. I only hope that we still can play with toons all over the world. I also hope that TTR doesn't have a end. I saw that before beta there comes something totally new. So if we see something like a new area, the beta isn't far away anymore, I hope.

Melody Spacklequack said on January 15, 2014 03:24 PM
Wow. I am a 26 year old woman, and even I am fan-girling at the idea of seeing the "toon troopers" in the game. Perhaps it is because I grew up with this game playing with my little brother and it just feels magical, but I am not the type to fangirl about anything. I am touched that so many people would come together to try to recreate something that means so much to so many people and do it all without profit. Thank you for working on this. I hope to show the game to my son when it is finished and we can both see the toon troopers in the streets. :)

Von said on January 15, 2014 03:31 PM
Hi I have been watching the blog post for a while and I don't see any opportunities to get an alpha key. Am I missing something?

Fafe said on January 15, 2014 04:13 PM
I am so happy you answered all our questions I'm so so happy that we will be a toon again soon hey that rhymes heehee anyway this big universe is kinda cool made as clay and stuff but I want to be a toon again dont you know how that feels oh well I hope you are finished soon!

Cool domino fuzzy foot said on January 15, 2014 05:11 PM
Yay can't wait to get an alpha key and play! I hope I can win a contest and get one. If I do not well... I will just have to wait. I have very excited about this coming together!!!

Super Toon said on January 15, 2014 05:12 PM
Im a Super-Duper-Fan and I wish I could play! :(

Fancy Pedalmuffin/Snowflake said on January 15, 2014 05:13 PM
Will you be adding black cats, and will they ONLY be on Halloween?

Rainbow Berry said on January 15, 2014 05:22 PM
This is really helpful! Thanks a million! I am really thankful that you guys are letting us be toontastic toons again. I can't wait to throw a pie or two, once more!

Kelly said on January 15, 2014 06:05 PM
Wow!! Sounds like alot of work each day! U guys are doing a AMAZING job with it, i just cant wait for ToontownRewritten to come out. YAY!

Raven Toppensplat said on January 15, 2014 06:43 PM
I am SO HAPPY your adding new content I can NOT express how happy I am about this I hope you add a final boss but then you wont be able to add new story after idk you guys are the BEST

Clover Hulagrooven said on January 15, 2014 06:48 PM
Wow you guys are great! I can't believe how far you guys have gotten in a short amount of time!

Ugly Wacky Snorkelburger said on January 15, 2014 07:17 PM
I think you guys are doing a fine job! But I am wondering why are the progressing updates becoming delayed that will get us closer to public release?? The last major update was the play grounds finishing construction.

P. C. said on January 15, 2014 07:26 PM
Sir Max, one of my favorite things about you is that you are always on the bright side. You aren't angry at Disney, like I was, and so many others. Then you made me realize, Disney didn't really have much of a choice, they did what they had to do to keep on going. Thank you for writing a majority of these updates, and to those who wrote the others, and of course, a huge thanks to everyone who is working to get ToonTown Rewritten up and running. You have made the lives of so many children, teenagers, and adults. I can't thank you enough for this.

Jadrien said on January 15, 2014 07:46 PM
Thank you for doing this and keeping the game going! I was there and remember that reddit thread. You guys are handling this very well and I cannot wait until I can play Toontown again!

Solar said on January 15, 2014 08:44 PM
I went to go look at the toontown page and guess what? it isnt even existent anymore. it literally just redirects to disneys page. kinda sad really.

Bubberducky said on January 15, 2014 09:48 PM
I've got a question. How did you guys end up so cool? Was it something you were born with? Did you have to work at it? Was it magic? Science? Well, whatever it is, keep it up.

Little Domino said on January 15, 2014 10:37 PM
Sweet! I'm glad ttr is getting some deserved public appreciation!

midnight1888 said on January 15, 2014 10:49 PM
Thank you !! For whatever the reason that inspired you and the Staff to keep Toon Town Alive I am so thankful !! I loved Toon Town so much. I'vd played Toon Town ever since 2003 i think. it was Alpha when i started. I lived in that community so long. I am lost now.

Deputy Poppy Nickelhopper said on January 16, 2014 04:01 AM
This is why i like you guys so much. you helped us keep the toontown spirit alive. Thank you.

Angel Cat said on January 16, 2014 08:11 AM
Thanks for posting the answers to these questions! :D Alot of these questions match some that I've been wanting to ask for a long time, especially about your additions to the game. Good luck on the game and take your time. Rewrite on!

Clover said on January 16, 2014 08:43 AM
Wow, thanks for the helpful answers! The interview was really fun to read. Cant wait to play the game!

UnKnownForTheWin said on January 16, 2014 10:05 AM
I don't believe 100 keys were given out. I only saw ONE contest, and there wasn't 100 winners.. And you NEVER let out any other notice of other contests.. And heres a question for you? Why aren't you replying to your questions being asked via email? That is a 'Disney-Move'. If you are trying to keep TTR running, I suggest a good support team. If you don't have one, don't set up an email yet, please. THANKS! UnKnownForTheWin (Code-named: UnKnownFTW)

princess pancake crunchy sprinkles said on January 16, 2014 10:17 AM
Thanks you for doing this!! :) I have been a huge fan since it first came out, and I am very appreciative that you are working so hard to make this a new and improved game, that will be fun for years to come :) thanks!!!

Mister Fluffy Dynoteeth said on January 16, 2014 11:38 AM
Wow that's some amazing information! Thanks for sharing it! By the way, I don't believe I've met this Doctor Surlee fellow. Who is he?

nice bear said on January 16, 2014 12:20 PM
you guys are doing a great job i hope to see all of my friends very soon and i will see you all in ttr soon :)

Lady Kippy said on January 16, 2014 01:44 PM
My son, aka. Lady Kippy, has been playing toontown since he was four. I cannot tell you how excited he was when he found toontown rewritten! I hope you'll get beta up and running soon so he can play again! Thanks from a mom-fan!

Pinky Twinkleswirl said on January 16, 2014 02:47 PM
Glad to hear there will be new additions :) I just want to request one thing: gag limits. I think there should still be ubers, but not 25 or so laff toons going through factories and then the vp with only level 3 gags.

Bluestar said on January 16, 2014 03:01 PM
What's with the translators? Is one of you from a different country/continent? That would be cool! :) I really am glad that you people are trying to bring it back. Honestly, I'd rather the wait for an amazing game than a few days for only a piece of it. That would taunt me too much XD If there is some way that the other toons and I can help, I know I'm always willing to help bring Toontown back to life. :) Bluestar :)

Clover Dizzybee said on January 16, 2014 03:15 PM
I love you guys! This newsletter makes me feel like I'm part of your inner circle and I really enjoy reading the daily (or not so daily, lol) updates! :)

Jake said on January 16, 2014 04:21 PM
Man! I'm so excited! It's like Christmas morning excitement! Thank you guys SO much for what your doing your making a lot of people happy with TTR. Please keep up the good work.

Alvin Dandyzap said on January 16, 2014 05:49 PM
How did you feel when you knew you could bring Toontown back to life, making it "Rewritten" for everybody?

Queen Trixie Twinkletoes said on January 16, 2014 06:21 PM
I only have one short question. I understand that you guys said that you do not have a release date, but do you plan to release toontown rewritten this year? Thank you.

Squeaker said on January 17, 2014 08:43 AM
Wow, I have great confidence in you guys. I bet you can run this for another 10 years and that would be great! I only known Toontown for 3 years and played it for 1 year. You guys made a great decision about making a whole new story.

Rainbow Sparklepop said on January 17, 2014 09:41 AM
Hi! I just wanted to know if there was anyway i could talk to the toontown rewritten guys. I have some ideas when it opens, and I would absolutely love to share them with you guys. I know that you are busy, and I am so thankful that you are making this, but I would love to tell you my ideas. P.S. They are just suggestions and I would understand totally if you couldn't do them. Thanks so much- Rainbow :)

Mariogld said on January 17, 2014 12:52 PM
I've played since it first opened and I couldn't be happier you all are doing this! (I'm currently 18) This brings me such joy and hope! My current boyfriend ( my high school sweetheart) and I used to play together almost every night. We made twin ducks and would do anything to have them back! Keep up the good work! <3

Popcorne said on January 17, 2014 08:43 PM
I cannot wait for public release (( or beta if you have a contest of some sort for closed beta keys )) I trust that the team will make this 10x better than the original due to being in the community and having all the inspiration. TTR Has a bright future ahead of it!!!

Captain Ricky Dandypow said on January 18, 2014 02:53 AM
I am so glad to have found out about what's going on here. I originally started Toontown back in 2008, with my son who was 4 and I had to help him read the signs and toon "dialogue". I got seriously hooked and long after he lost interest and moved on to other games and other things, I was still clocking cogs and rescuing buildings. I was so bummed when Disney pulled the plug I felt like a close friend had died suddenly. The work you are doing here will now make it possible to have my Toons and my Toon friends back again. My son was the one who showed me this site and what you were doing, I can hardly wait to play again.

Awsome said on January 18, 2014 12:24 PM
Thank you! I really loved Toontown and I almost finished the game, so I am very glad to have Toontown Rewritten. One question though, will it look like the original game and can we use our old Toon names?

Dippy Wildsprinkles said on January 19, 2014 08:47 AM
Thanks so much for doing this!! My friend Daffy and I miss our friends.