In the last post, we had a look at the ‘Day in a life of a Developer’. We hope you guys enjoyed! This time we’re going to be looking into some of the updates and improvements that have been made since then…
The most prominent new feature at least for you guys is that you now get to highlight specific lines of chat you would like the moderator to see. This has been a much-needed feature, which we hope will aid success of moderation process overall. Now when you report, these chosen lines of chat are highlighted so that a moderator can easily spot them. You can see an example of what a moderator will see, below.
Did you send a Valentine’s cards?
This year for Valentine’s Day the Habbo Stories team created some really neat valentines cards for you to send to your friends. They’re a really cool way to interact with your friends, and there were some free options too!
If you haven’t already sent one, pop on over to Habbo Stories and check it out! It’s always really nice to receive some special gift from a friend…
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s HabboTalk!
We’re very happy to announce the introduction of HabboTalk to the Hotel. What is ‘HabboTalk’, you ask? To put simply: It’s the re-invention of group forums. We’ve spent a lot of time working on this, taking feedback from users and it is almost ready to let you start using!
There are a few slight differences, that old school Habbos might remember. For instance, HabboTalk will be completely accessible inside of the client – no need to leave the hotel! How cool is that?
Below are some mock designs of how the feature will look, but remember it may be a little different by the time it hits the hotels. We are hoping to have this out for testing within the week, however as this is a pretty big update this could change.
If you would like to be a beta tester for ‘HabboTalk’ and you are in the .COM hotel, send an email to email@example.com with your Group name and Habbo name. Make the subject “I want to be a betatester for HabboTalk”.
Since the first post on this blog we’ve had lots of requests for there to be some kind of ‘A day in the life of’ blog, discussing some of the steps and stages of development here at Habbo. So today I will be walking you through my average day! We’ll be looking at a small – but mighty – feature that went live last week; When a user reports another Habbo, the reported Habbo will be automatically muted.
So what’s first?
After walking into the office, helping ourselves to a cup of java goodness, and pondering about the exciting things ahead, we sit down and check our emails! Basic, but important. We need to know what’s been happening in all the different Sulake departments before we have a daily dev (development shortname) meeting. At this meeting we discuss any new problems or issues that might be occurring, as well as keep each other updated on our other projects progress.
Once the meeting is over, we can move on to the more interesting stuff! We log into some of back systems, check on how the hotels are doing. We typically tend to check on what’s been deployed recently, what’s still being worked on, and if they’re any new bugs that have been reported.
Below is a little graph showing the number of issues reported in 30 days vs the number of issues fixed in 30 days. Those with a eagle eye will notice there are more resolved than created, this is because we also fixed issues reported more than 30 days ago within these 30 days!
Great.. but I haven’t seen any coding
Before we can start coding we actually need to put in a lot of preparation into a plan for the feature. Even something as seemingly small as automatically muting a user after you report them takes a large amount of pre-planning.
For instance, for this particular feature we first had the user care team contact us and say “Hey guys, we’ve got this idea for an amazing new feature.” Once we have that initial concept, we have a lot more questions to answer before we can proceed; How long will it take? Is it actually possible? Does the feature exist already? Is there a better alternative? Who is going to work on it? …and much much more!
Once we answer all of those, then someone on the Development team starts working on it. S/he develops it locally on their machine – this is where coding gets involved! Then once they are happy with the feature, they test it and then publish the feature on one of our testing hotels. Only Sulake staff have access to these not-so-top-secret testing hotels. Once the feature is live on the test hotels, a number of different staff from different departments will test the feature. We wouldn’t want to publish something that wasn’t the best it could be!
So when does it get onto Habbo?
Well that’s a good question. After a large amount of testing has been done, and any required localizations have been completed, we start preparing the live hotels for the new feature. Typically, this is when a number of different fansites start to pick-up on the new features and will comment and report on them.
Is that it?
Well, not exactly…. There are many smaller stages involved, such as code reviews and documentation, but for the most part this is it! We hope this brief overview will give you a good idea of how feature development work happens in Habbo!
Hello! My name is CrazyAceOne and I’m one of many people working behind the scenes to bring you new furni and fun campaigns. I’m going to try something that’s never been done by Habbo before (at least I don’t think it has). I’m going to share some marketplace stats and insider information to help all my trader friends out there to make better choices.
As you may know, the trade value of items are closely linked to the supply and demand of that item in the hotel. For that reason we are careful about the frequency in which we sell items in the catalog. Here are the guidelines we use to help us decide how things should be rotated into the catalog:
- Catalogue Furni – These items are always on sale. We refer to these as permanent lines, but we’ve also heard Habbos call them “Norms”. The purpose of these items is to make sure there is an infinite supply of basic building blocks to make cool rooms. Builders club is based on a similar concept, but with a greater feeling of being limitless. We really want our builders to have the tools they need to make cool rooms!
- Seasonal Campaign Furni – These items enter the shop, typically for a 2 or 3 weeks at a time. Once the campaign has ended we avoid selling them again for 4-12 months in order to leave window for the trade shops and marketplace to build businesses around them. The purpose of these items is mainly to fuel our creative builders with unique stuff and reward those who participate in the festivities. These are also a good opportunity for traders because the supply is somewhat limited. The semi-limited supply allows for some “treasure hunt” style fun for our builder Habbos to find those bits and pieces to perfect a room design.
- Rare Furni – There are many types of rares such as Rare Prizes, Bonus Rares, Campaign Rares and Loyalty Rares. These furni are only available for a limited time and will not be re-released. These are mainly for the collectors and traders out there. Rares are a good opportunity for traders since the supply will not go up and in many cases will go down or consolidate as users collect or use them in designs.
- LTD Rare Furni – A special type of rare, which comes in a limited quantity. We couldn’t exceed the quantity limit if we wanted to! There is also an item number on each LTD making them truly unique.
- Rare Credit Furni – An interesting class of rare. These have an exchange value for credits which make the trading values stable, but since they are sold in limited quantities they are also rare and over time become more rare as some supply is converted back to credits.
- Bonus Rare – A relatively new rare to the Habbo Marketplace, Bonus Rares are acquired for every 120c a Habbo purchases. Bonus Rares are released twice monthly, typically on the 1st and the 15th, and, as with other rares, will never rereleased.
We know furni values are very important to Habbos and so we do our best to maintain a healthy economy. We do this by limiting how often items are available in the catalogue in order to give our traders the opportunity to run shops and use the marketplace. That said, an economy with over 250k Habbos trading every month is clearly not possible to control entirely. Even if we could completely manage all the values, I’m not sure you’d want us to. Its much more fun if things stay market driven.For example, when re-selling a campaign line, we often see comments in forums such as “why are these back on sale, are no prices safe?”. The truth is that there is an item with a very safe and stable trade value – credit furni. The safe and stable price of credit furni allows it to function well as a unit of exchange, but it doesn’t leave much opportunity for profit and that’s not fun. The fluctuating aftermarket values actually allow for opportunities to trade and profit and the market driven forces ensure that those values are relevant to the demand in your local hotel.
As promised, here are some Marketplace Stats you might find interesting…
In 2013 over 1.2 million items were traded in the marketplace with a total trade value of 13 million credits! The amount of items traded in rooms is many times more than this. Below you’ll find the top 10 items traded in marketplace by value (price * quantity) and number of trades.
Tell us what you think. Did you enjoy this post? If you’d like to see more posts and stats like this in the future, please share your comments.
By now you’ve probably read your local article discussing the game center leaving Habbo. We opened the game center in October 2012 for game developers, and boy did we have a big amount of interest!
Regular Habbos and up-and-coming game studios started working hard to polish their games and have them published onto the game center for all you Habbos to play. We’d like to thank all those who took the opportunity to create a game for our Habbos.
This decision has come because ultimately we want to improve our user experience. Plus the graphics of some of the games simply did not fit with Habbo. We want to provide the best service to you guys and we know that keeping in tone with Habbos pixelated graphic style is important, so we’re going to stick to what we know best!
The game center will continue to be operational until March 31st, so if you have credits left to spend in a game, make sure you do before that date. Of course, Habbo Stories will continue to be available after this date. (We’ve got some exciting campaigns coming soon from Habbo Stories!)
So, what’s this number verification thing?
A few of you investigative types have delved into the client, found references to a new number verification feature, and have concerns about the security of your number should you opt to provide it. I’m here to put those concerns to bed.
If a player gives us their number through this service, an SMS containing a verification code will be sent to their phone, then they simply enter this code into the client window. Afterwards we store the number in such a way that means even we don’t know what it is, similar to how passwords are stored.
This new feature comes hand in hand with some upcoming changes we’re making to new user registration – we’re not going to force anybody to give us their number and we’re certainly not looking to spam your phones! After the SMS verification, you won’t receive another SMS from us.
On the plus side, being able to verify numbers is a good thing! If we can verify that an account is authentic, then we can offer that account better prices and exclusive deals! There’s even something for you old schoolers.. what was that thing’s name.. the R-O-M?
This year at Sulake, we have decided to take a slightly different approach to the digital design and production for Habbo. We have a growing team of designers and we have chosen to split them into 2 teams; Team Serenity and Team Savant. Both teams have a balance of newer, and older, designers and will alternate campaign design throughout this year.
We hope you enjoy getting to know our designers – Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for regular ‘Designer’ blog posts, that will include updates about upcoming campaigns and awesome sneak previews and polls!
Hiyas! My name’s Jenny and I go by the name ‘Kuyit’ in the hotel. I’m one of the many designers at Sulake and I’m part of the Serenity design team. I love all things geeky and cute, and sometimes that reflects into my work when I go into creative mode. I hope to do my very best to bring you new and exciting designs! :) - Kuyit
Hello! I’m Caroline (AKA Sparkaro in the hotels) and I’m a graphic designer for Habbo/Sulake. I’ve always loved to draw, and in recent years have become very interested in creating digital art – including, of course, pixel art! I also like to create 2D animations. Apart from the arty stuff, I enjoy watching movies and TV shows, (mostly of the science fiction & fantasy genre) reading and listening to music :) - Sparkaro
Hi! My name is James aka MrCroissant and I’m a designer. My hobbies and interests include sketching, pixel art, digital painting, illustration, collecting vinyl, video games and going on nights out with friends. I’m always open for feedback and ideas from Habbos. See you around the Hotel! ~ MrCroissant
Greetings to all! My name is Kelly and I’m a graphic designer for Habbo. I’ve drawn since I could hold a pencil and I’ve never wanted to do anything else. I am an animator and comic designer at heart but pixel’s are super fun to work with and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of making cool stuff for you all. I also love gaming. Whether it’s retro style arcade games or your modern day rpg shoot-em-up with rocket launchers, I love them all. Story is what drives me and I hope to bring all of these things I love to Habbo! - Elementary_Kage
Hi my name is Patrick, I have been working for Habbo Hotel since November last year. My background is in freelance illustration and animation. My preferred art software is Photoshop. I have been interested in pixel art since I was a lad – when all the best games were made with pixels.” – HungrySparrow
A New Year, brings a new blog! We decided to kick off 2014 by bringing this blog back to life to give you a look ‘Behind the Pixels’. We’re not going to be talking about local Habbo events or updates, instead we’ll be trying to focus on updates that are global and relevant to all of our users! Excitied? You should be. You can expect a bi-weekly update related to game development, frequent campaign updates from our designers, as well as a monthly update discussing the Habbo Economy.
A look at least year…
As many of you know, 2013 was a pretty busy year for us. We had an overhaul of our entire client interface, based on user feedback. We also introduced Builders Club, Free Flow Chat,
Walking 2.0, and lots of new features to Pocket Habbo. In addition we created a whopping 549 pieces of furniture and 922 new badges – which now means there are over 8000 badges in Habbo.
We know there have been a few hiccups with these updates and changes, but it is because of your continued feedback that we’re able to react and make positive changes to your Habbo experience – Keep it coming!
Over the next few weeks, we have some pretty awesome stuff coming to you guys. On top of the exciting quests and events that your local managers are coordinating, we’ve got a brand new range of furni coming. This new furni is something that will finally give room builders the tools they need to make the most of their rooms.
We ran a poll at the beginning of the New Year asking you various questions, focusing around the different categories you all would like added to Builders Club. We received huge number of responses, and here are the global results of that poll. Interesting, hey?
This will be talked about in more detail in the monthly economy update, but we have to be very careful with what we put into the Builders Club Warehouse. We know trading is an important part of Habbo for many of you and we don’t want to ruin that. We currently have over 650 furni in there, but we certainly can see where everyone agree on what they would like to see more of, and will be looking into which of those furni could be added to the warehouse. In addition to the furni updates for Builders Club, we are working hard on adding alternative payment options and are happy to announce that we will soon be releasing an SMS option for Builders Club!
The UI has some more exiting changes coming its way too. Those of you with eagle eyes will have noticed the little changes that were made between different hotel builds, but we’re not done just yet! We’re hoping to have the final changes done soon, things like the navigation and friends toolbar is coming close to the final stages. Here’s what we think the final product is going to look like…what do you think?
Next Issue: In the next issue, we’ll also be discussing the upcoming number verification feature, how and why your data is safe and the upcoming Valentines Campaign!
About the Author
Hi, My names Dom and I am developer here at Sulake! You’ll often find me wandering the hotels on the avatar ‘Macklebee’. Every few weeks I will be posting a new ‘Behind the Pixels’ post, talking to you about what’s up and all the exciting stuff coming in the hotel…We will be sharing more than ever before, so make sure to tune in. This is really important to me – I hope you enjoy! I feel strongly that Habbo is a place where creativity can bloom and I really want you to feel as though you’re a part of it.
This blog post was used to coordinate beta testing of Rentable Spaces. As the feature is released now, we though it could be interesting for everyone to see how it went…
Habbo is a social platform. At the very core of our world are Rooms and Chat. We have recently decided to take a look at these features with the goal of unlocking new possibilities for Habbos to interact and have fun. We feel our first step into this challenging area of development went well. We were able to bring new room layouts, stacking tools, and more intuitive navigation. Many more possibilities will follow.
Working on such core features is never easy and we understand that it can be a bit scary when things change. For that reason, we’d like to explain exactly what we’re doing now with the chat and why.
First, let’s define the problem. The chat system currently works by placing one speech bubble on each line and varying length of the bubble based on the amount of text. This works well in situations where the entire room is having a single conversation. However, in many rooms the layout provides various seating areas and hangouts. Habbos often gather in these hangouts to form groups and chat, but their speech winds up as part of the whole room conversation rather than supporting this natural tendency toward small to medium sized groups.
Enter the Free Flow Chat: Non-overlapping bubbles can now pass each other and avatars talking in one position for a longer time get their chat pulled together into a single column. Your group of friends get your own column, while the group next door gets theirs, and the room owner gets to decide how wide these columns are and how fast they scroll up, and design their room accordingly!
Example: If you go to a dedicated area of a large room like a diner with your friends and sit down at a table, you can’t really casually talk without interruption if the room is busy with lots of chat already. We believe room building skills and your avatar’s position should affect the range of possible socializing actions in more intricate ways than just the crude hearing-range implementation Habbo has now. We want to offer the room builders more than just furni to control the atmosphere of their rooms, hence the possibility to also control the way the chat flows.
And now for the apology: The old chat was great in many occasions and should still be available (in pixel perfect form)! We believed the choice of chat style should be made by the owner of the room since it requires users to navigate a bit differently to fully appreciate the benefits. However, chat is such a personal experience that the choice should rest with individuals as well. For this reason, we will be adding an account setting to choose your chat style as well as the alternative to take the room’s default setting.
If you’d like to follow along with the progress, the Free Flow Beta group will be open for everyone to opt-in. A lot of people enjoyed the new model, and we will offer them the possibility to take it to use everywhere in the hotel while we work to emulate the old chat perfectly while still giving you the improvements of the new: Chat history view spanning multiple rooms with time-stamps, instant response to room panning, pointers moving while you walk, fabulous-looking chat styles, and more still to come!
We now have BETA groups for testing the chat in COM, ES, FR, BR and FI. Join your local beta via the following link:
The moment has arrived! Pocket Habbo is now available for your Android phone or tablet. Get it from Google Play store.
This is our first version for the platform and we tested on most modern Android devices, but please provide us with feedback in the comments if you come across any bugs. Note that our minimum supported screen size is 320×480.
In addition to the tablet layouts some other small tweaks were added like searching for new friends like you can do in Habbo Messenger. These changes are also coming for the iOS-version soon.
So grab your phone and start chatting.
Soon habbo.com will get some UI improvements for stacking helper, as well as 1×2 and 2×2 versions. Then we shall finally switch to new walking and stacking code. This is not fully 3-dimentional code yet, as I have to move on to work on other projects. But at least it’ll get us one nice bonus – ability to have proper bridges over non-walkable items without the need for optical illusions.