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TFR Mobile Reader
  • Posted by Herdy
  • Posted on November 10, 2014, 8:14 am NST

So you remember that old plot, the Faeries' Ruin? Well TNT have decided to re-work the plot comics and release them over a mobile comic reader app known as Madefire. You can read a press release from Jumpstart on Market Wired.

The first chapter is now available for download via the app (actually, it is the first two chapters of the plot condensed into one) for free! (Note: Future chapters will be $0.99 each).

Want plot spoilers? We have a app department for that! If you don't have a mobile device - no fear. Madefire allow you to read comics on their normal website as well.
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There are 74 comments below. Add yours!

neocoladude, November 10, 2014 8:17 AM NST
Why pay for it if it's free online?
stories2btold, November 10, 2014 8:20 AM NST
...So on the list of things that need to be done, this was at the top for them?
herdy - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 8:20 AM NST
Because it has Nox in it, that's why.
In all seriousness though, not much reason
gamer_5_55_555, November 10, 2014 8:22 AM NST
I'm kind of confused too. Why make an app for a comic we already read several years ago?

Or was it the company that approached them and did all the work?
nick - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 8:24 AM NST
Why pay for it if it's free online?
Exactly why this is 100% pointless.
idriya, November 10, 2014 8:24 AM NST
Well, well. So it begins.

I'm guessing this isn't aimed at the current Neopets users so much as it is trying to get the site some more exposure and attract new users. And as far as I'm concerned, more exposure for the site is always a good thing.

But I could be wrong. I don't know much about these types of things.
idriya, November 10, 2014 8:29 AM NST
Which is why it confuses me that people seem to be (somewhat) against this. I thought you all wanted the site to get more exposure.

Or is that just a vocal minority of people, too?
nick - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 8:30 AM NST
Exposure != charging for already free content.
nick - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 8:30 AM NST
If they want to branch out, they should be doing something new... not repeating something very old.
auraichadora, November 10, 2014 8:31 AM NST
I agree, idriya. This could be a way for Neo to get more exposure to a new crowd of people. I like the idea of being able to read the plot comics when I'm offline and trying to keep busy at a doctor's office or something, but paying for it isn't an idea I'm keen about. Either way, I hope it works out for them somehow; TFR is definitely one of my favorite plots and I loved the comic.
idriya, November 10, 2014 8:32 AM NST
People who aren't users on the site don't know it's free.
nick - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 8:34 AM NST
Either way, there's nothing about this comic that draws users into the site. It doesn't even really mention Neopets aside from in the title of the plot, which can easily be missed.
herdy - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 8:34 AM NST
@idriya: It's great exposure, and this chapter is wonderful, but it is what comes next that is the bad part. Charging for content not only still on the site for free, but charging for free Neopets content which doesn't even require an account to view.
herdy - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 8:39 AM NST
I could certainly get behind /new/ content being released in this way though - Return of Nox, perhaps
idriya, November 10, 2014 8:43 AM NST
Well, what's the point of doing apps if you're not going to make any money off of them? Neopets isn't a charity, after all.

Yeah, yeah, NC Mall, blah blah blah. Well, you know what? I think they've been too dependent on the NC Mall for profit; it's almost become a crutch for the site. I'd rather see them branch out into multiple avenues for profit, and while this isn't the most ideal thing they could release, it's a start.

Oh, what's the point? No one ever agrees with me on anything. Ever. :/
nick - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 8:44 AM NST
The app makes me wonder if they're going to pull all the old comics off of the site now.
idriya, November 10, 2014 8:48 AM NST
And anyway, it's not like doing this is affecting the site negatively, unless you're one of those people who believes TNT should be putting 100% of their focus into fixing site glitches.
auraichadora, November 10, 2014 8:55 AM NST
No, I agree with you idriya. It'd be cool if Neo could branch out into new and different things, especially mobile. I mean, I'd love it if Treasure Keepers could return as a mobile game, even if it's an app I'd have to pay for or have in-app purchases. I also agree with the mall being used as a crutch, but I see it for both TNT and its users. So many users want TNT to come up with things into the mall to solve Neo problems like UCs and P3 attaching, both of which would be incredibly unfair if TNT did it IMO.
june_scarlet, November 10, 2014 9:05 AM NST
Things get really interesting when they rerelease Battle For Meridell, which I have never read properly, as the comic is broken.
reconnection, November 10, 2014 9:14 AM NST
I like how people think that everyone that works for Neopets is all working on the exact same thing at the same time.
leo_the_goth, November 10, 2014 9:17 AM NST
At first I thought this was a really great idea. You can either pay to read the whole thing online or make an account and read it for free online, but then herdy pointed out you don't need an account to be able to read it for free online.
If the comic was viewable only to people who have neopets accounts then this would make sense, because if you want to read the comic for free you'd have to make an account which would probably lead to them exploring the site afterwards.
kouza, November 10, 2014 9:22 AM NST
This already feels pretty sour, but I don't think this would be as bad as them charging to read NEW plots exclusive to mobile. If they make Return Of Nox, but you have to pay to be a part of the plot, that's where the fist hits my nose.

This I already don't like, I don't like its attitude, and it bodes dark for the upcoming Neopets Mobile, but if this gives them the idea of making pay plots, I gotta draw the line somewhere.
leo_the_goth, November 10, 2014 9:30 AM NST
@kouza I don't see them going as far as making pay plots, but I do wonder if they're going to hide more content from those without accounts. Doing something like pay plots would cripple (if not outright kill) the site.
I'd also be interested in seeing them make some mobile Neopets games. I never got to play the Treasure Keepers facebook game so I'd like it if they brought that back.
mac - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 9:35 AM NST
If they created and sold brand new comics this way, I would totally buy them!
june_scarlet, November 10, 2014 9:36 AM NST
I just read/watched it, and it's actually kind of fun, there's music with it.
kouza, November 10, 2014 9:42 AM NST

This is the project, they're making stories for Motion Book Stories. Sounds like the book thing they did a while back. I'm what they call "cautiously pessimistic" right now. Because when I think about it, comics with music and sound? That's all I ask for in a plot, really. I gotta ask myself and TNT where the line is between plot and whatever this is. This kinda is plots, and then some.
kic24, November 10, 2014 9:57 AM NST
They indeed say that the first episode is free, and subsequent episodes are 99 cents in that article that kouza referred to. I like the fact that they are going into different directions. I said this before in another post on this site, but I already thought that they might not focus on the site, but rather on the stories in the world of Neopia, and bringing those to tablets or mobile devices. I mean, they are technically the owner of all stories that are taking place in Neopia, so they can do whatever they want with them.
kouza, November 10, 2014 10:13 AM NST
That's what I'm wondering at, Kic24. "The world of Neopia", that canon, that lore, that is Neopets for me. So what they do with it, I'm concerned about. If we reach a point where important things in Neopia happen, and we can't be a part of them without paying, that gives my heart a tummyache.

Those books, Field Guide To Neopia and Grey Faerie Chronicles and New Ghoul Catchers, oddly enough I don't count as plot-grade. Nor the short stories in Neopets Magazine. But if those weren't plots, what is?
skro, November 10, 2014 10:19 AM NST
well...that's weird
jawsch - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 10:21 AM NST
Am I the only one who finds zero interest in this, thinks it's pointless because you can watch this on the website (which you can access from a mobile device), etc.

I seriously don't see how this is going to bring in new users or really be advantageous for Neopets in the least. o_O

Even if they released new comics, I would have zero interest in them and certainly wouldn't pay to read a neopets comic strip.

I just don't see the point or added value this brings at all.
kouza, November 10, 2014 10:29 AM NST
No, Jawsch, Nick and Neocoladude pointed it out too. I'm feeling the same way, that's why it's so sour to me. Charging for what's already free.

But then I think of it as just a cheap way of making Motion Book Stories. This is just to make a Neopets Motion Book Stories line.
idriya, November 10, 2014 10:30 AM NST
So most of you are fine with having the NC Mall be a crutch for the site then? Because that's what it sounds like to me. The NC Mall and Premium should be the only pay features of the site. Everything else, app included, should be free.

If you all are against paying for this, surely you'll be against buying games on mobile. I mean, what's the difference? You don't need an account to play 99% of the games on Neopets just like you don't need an account to read plot comics.
terrie77, November 10, 2014 10:32 AM NST
Completely agree with Jawsch, I'm an older player with no interest at all of doing anything on a cell phone, not into readying comics either. I have to really make myself read the comics of the plots (plot!) that has them. I'm not that excitied for for the neopets app, either, would prefer my larger computer screen.
june_scarlet, November 10, 2014 10:42 AM NST
Stories are like my whole world. I read them, create them. Stories are the reason I've stuck with Neopets for this long.
I don't have a smartphone, I just read the comic on that website. It's almost pointless, but it's been a while since I've read that plot, and it was fun to hear the music.
But what I'm really looking forward to in a plot is a new comic. I hope they deliver.
dave - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 10:50 AM NST
I think this represents an interesting experiment in branching out and doing new things with the Neopets brand. If anything, it's showing that Jumpstart is willing to invest in *new* things, and didn't just purchase the site to let it runs its course and suck up the NC sales while it could.

There are, of course, ways to do this wrong--but I'm glad they started out with content that already exists so that they can try out this Madefire app without investing resources in creating a completely new story that flops due to Madefire ending up being py. I imagine we'll see new content in due time.
pikachu315111, November 10, 2014 10:59 AM NST
... Okay...

Well if TNT is paying attention to comics, can they please fix some of them that have been broken for a few years?

But as everyone else said, why pay for something that's free online? Why not create original stories? Or maybe take a story from the Neopedia or maybe even from one of their thousands of book items and expand upon it?

But if this means that TNT might start doing new plots then sure, it's odd but if it gets something we want... (they just better not start charging us on the site. Besides this could be a way to attract people to the site I guess).
burning_shadows_79, November 10, 2014 11:11 AM NST
The two things that keep me on Neopets are the lore of Neopia and my attachment to my pets. I absolutely loved the Faeries' Ruin plot, and indeed all the plots I've taken part in, because they give character and history to the Neopets site.

But even so, why charge a fee to view the plot comic on an app, when the website itself is free and you can already view the comic there, even without an account?
Charging money for brand new material (a kind of Neopets Magazine for mobile devices, that requires a subscription or offers in-app purchases to unlock new content) would have made perfect sense, but this... it just seems fundamentally wrong.
burning_shadows_79, November 10, 2014 11:17 AM NST
I can see the value of branching out, from a business perspective. This had to happen one day, with mobile devices being the latest thing.

I just can't see why they'd create paid content that echoes free content on the site, when they could have taken the old Battle for Meridell comic (which can't be viewed on the Neopets site any more) and used that for the app instead...
kic24, November 10, 2014 11:24 AM NST
It seems at first maybe counter intuitive, but if you think about it... Take an old comic, make it more fancy (add music, include more frames per chapter), and sell it. Sure they are free to read somewhere, but if you don't know about that, and just want to read a nice story on your madefire app that you already owned, and you come accross this story and like it... And maybe they come to neopets and see that the rest is freely available... They either sell the story or find a new member of neopets (or at least interested person, since you do not need an account to read the comic). Both seem good options to me. It's not like regular comics are never rereleased. There are several comics, also the paper ones, that are rereleased after a few years, possibly with new art or something, but sometimes just the way they are, even though you can read them for free in the waiting toom of the doctor.
idriya, November 10, 2014 11:31 AM NST
Perhaps it's as Dave says. They might be testing this out with existing content before adding original stories because it's less of a risk. It's possible they want to upload all of the plot comics to this Madefire app before delving into original content.

And if all it is is original short stories like what was in the Neopets magazine or those Neopets books that Kouza mentioned, then I don't see the harm in this. As long as we don't have to start paying for actual plot comics, which I highly doubt will happen because I'm sure TNT knows that would spark major outrage on the site.
kouza, November 10, 2014 11:32 AM NST
If this is for people who don't play the site but still wanna read Neopets stories like Kic says, that's somehow more understandable for me.
labpartnerincrime - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 11:35 AM NST
Why pay for it if it's free online?

This is how a lot of things are. But that doesn't stop me from having books that are comic compilations (XKCD), blog posts simply published into chapters (Ask a Manager), or having other books based on sites (Lifehacker, Learn Python The Hard Way, etc).

I see this app as a convenience for people who want to have the comics themselves, and a way for new users to stumble upon the Neopets lore.

But what do I know; I didn't know the site existed until the very end of Faeries Ruin
john3637881, November 10, 2014 11:45 AM NST
I know a lot of you are angry because they probably spent a lot of time on this, but look at it this way: After this and the new Neopet, they can probably finally start working on the junk we've wanted for some time - the Battledome, Keyquest, and stuff.
burning_shadows_79, November 10, 2014 11:50 AM NST
Something just occurred to me.
If you go back and reread the Faeries' Ruin comic, there are some gaping holes in the story which are only understood if you do the activities...

Maybe the plot activities (in some form or other) will be available as part of the storyline on the app?
Otherwise, the buyers won't understand what the Skeith Guard means by the "ice cream room", or how Xandra's magic got the heroes out of the Wraiths' caves.
Then it'd be worth the money - for the nostalgia of doing the plot steps again, or the chance to enjoy them if you missed the original plot.
burning_shadows_79, November 10, 2014 11:53 AM NST
I'd love it if they made old plot activities available on a mobile app. I missed the Tale of Woe, and I'd love to have a go at some of those plot steps if they ever get rebuilt for single players on mobile devices... even if I have to fork out a few bucks for the privilege.
idriya, November 10, 2014 11:55 AM NST
There's no guarantee of that, John, and don't forget that not everyone on TNT is working on the same thing all the time. For all we know, some of them are still working on glitches.

However, we've gone too long without any new content, so perhaps it's time we got some.
penguinqwert - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 12:10 PM NST
I think this is good.

Let's face it. The Neopets brand has been dead for years. No fast-food promos, no plush merchandise, no video games, no trading cards... absolutely nothing in terms of outside exposure for a number of years now.

This represents the first chance at exposure of the site in a long, long time. I'm under the impression TFR is just a first example. There will probably be original content at some point on this app. There are certainly ways this could be underwhelming, but let's see where these efforts lead. It's hopefully just the first shot of many at redemption.
pikachu315111, November 10, 2014 12:41 PM NST
@ burning_shadows_79:
Good point, being the comics are connected to the puzzle steps not having those can leave you confused. Hey, maybe if they included the puzzle step along with the comics that could be worth it! I know a few players have been asking for that and maybe this would justify them doing that.

Also, maybe throwing in a few codes. I mean, what better way to get more people to join then by giving them codes they need an account to redeem? Oh, and also gives existing players a reason to buy it.
john3637881, November 10, 2014 12:44 PM NST
@idriya: True, I know that all the staff doesn't work on the same things at once. But you can imagine it took a lot of programmers and artists a huge amount of time to make the new Neopet work, and another group a little less time to make this Faeries' Ruin comic.
meercatristonhopets3, November 10, 2014 1:35 PM NST
I like it!
And to be honest, I was pretty convinced they would close the site real soon, this makes me think otherwise.

And for the people who don't understand,
a) The Faerie's Ruin is a wildly popular plot and generally well-received.
b) The artwork is mostly completed already, they only needed minor adjustments for the moving book part (like the animation and the fun music and sound effects), so it's not as expensive as creating a whole other story + art that may or may not suck
c) I see this as a test - if it works well and people buy the comic, they'll make more of it; if the reception is not as good as they expect, they either s the idea for future plots being made in this new format as well [or they might close the site]
d) This is another way to support the site, so if you already have Premium and buy NC stuff and still want to keep the site growing, you can buy the chapters. (and at least to me, I'd rather spend my money on the comics than NC clothin
meercatristonhopets3, November 10, 2014 1:37 PM NST
my post got cut off and I'm using Firefox without my add-on that saves text_area content ;_;

not gonna retype, but basically I just concluded saying I'm happy they seem to be investing in actual stories and I hope they're already working on a new, original one
azienskieth, November 10, 2014 2:04 PM NST
1: Charge for free comics
2: ???
3: Profit
burning_shadows_79, November 10, 2014 2:23 PM NST
There is a major problem with this approach to getting more exposure for the Neopets site.

If people do buy the comic chapters on the app, then visit the site and realise that they could have read the comic for free, they'll realise that they've been had. It won't make a very good impression.

That is, unless the plot steps are re-released as part of the deal... or (as Pikachu mentioned) there are bonus prize codes included with the purchase.

In short, this is almost certain to be a dismal failure unless there's more to it than just the comic...
ryoko, November 10, 2014 2:32 PM NST
So are they going to add new material to the Faerie Ruin's comics for Madefire? The story is a little choppy if you just read it as is... (because the plot steps in between added to the story)
ryoko, November 10, 2014 2:38 PM NST
And I just saw "burning_shadows_79" post... Doh! XP
vincent7577, November 10, 2014 2:57 PM NST
I'm not reading through all these comics, but I think this is a sample comic, and then they'll start releasing new comics possibly on there
twibon, November 10, 2014 3:02 PM NST
This is actually common practice in the comics world. Webcomic creators do this ALL THE TIME after their comic has picked up some traction and they've built up enough pages to print/release a decent sized book for sale. In some cases they'll take the comic down (mostly when someone had a plan to finish a comic then release it as a book), but more commonly (mostly with ongoing comics), the webcomic will stay online while paid versions are simultaneously available. I imagine the latter is what will happen with this comic.

Honestly, I don't think this means much as far as the site is concerned. It's a good means of getting more money for the site and employees, if it proves to be a successful move. It's also good to see they're exploring new avenues thanks to Jumpstart. There are so many new ways to share content online now, and hopefully with Jumpstart at the helm, Neopets will be able to catch up with the rest of the internet.
cat, November 10, 2014 3:22 PM NST
The extra animation and music add a nice touch. But the order of the speech bubbles appearing seems to be backwards a lot of times, with dialog that would make sense said later in a panel being said first. Yeah, I think they'd have to either fill the gaps between the comic with some additional storyline, or better yet a phone version of the puzzles that we had during the actual game. Having permanently released separate game versions of old plots might be a good thing, a lot of newer users complain that they couldn't really experience the great plots of the past, but I'm not sure that's what they're going for here.
nick - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 3:22 PM NST
To all those who are speculating there could be replayable plot steps in the comics: Madefire is not that kind of app. The app is just for playing animated comics like this one. It's not built for games and puzzles and the like.
nick - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 3:23 PM NST
I expect they'll just leave the holes. When I read the one they just put up, it didn't make much sense at the beginning because they left out everything that happened before the plot even began.
nick - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 3:29 PM NST
If people do buy the comic chapters on the app, then visit the site and realise that they could have read the comic for free, they'll realise that they've been had. It won't make a very good impression.
I had this thought as well. That's assuming they even visit the site, though... There's really nothing about the comics that gives the impression there's such a thing as Neopets.com. Unless you're already familiar with the website, the word "Neopets" in the title would be meaningless.

At least with the McDonalds and Burger King promotions, there were codes and bags with the URL pasted all over it. There's nothing to draw people into Neopets from these comics.
terrie77, November 10, 2014 4:18 PM NST
I just watched, listened and read, it was actually quite good. That said, I wouldn't want to part with any real $$ for anymore.
ladala, November 10, 2014 4:30 PM NST
If I bought this comic and later found it was on Neopets for free, I wouldn't feel cheated. The version on the site lacks music, sound effects, and animations, so although it is the same art and story, the paid version has more content. If all of the parts are the same length as the first, I can see this being worth the 99c per page.

Although I'm not into buying this sort of thing, so what do I know?
melinda_kacheek, November 10, 2014 4:30 PM NST
The only good thing about this was the credits page. We now know the names of those who made the comic. That being said, the text were too blurry and there were really nothing new in terms of content. Wonder what they are planning . I would thought that the Spooky Food Eating Contest would be a better draw. It deserves a full comic and with real TV references would have attracted more attention.
scarlet189, November 10, 2014 4:58 PM NST
honestly, i think this was a test to future app related stuff, be it older comics or the actual app itself. perhaps the money part may be due to expenses of making the program or using it alongside madefire and i would expect there would be fees. they're not going to make the whole site unfree people!
its cool they added in music and animation. but do not expect merchandise or new plots to come flying out at us, they are trying their best to keep the site afloat from whatever money they get through paid services on the site. if any of you expect major content to come, i don't think it will be till late next year or even after that we will see plot like stuff.
tnt is going to be very busy the next few months, and i doubt they need whining about something that's not the end of the world. i'm sure they will mention things within the next few NT's about your concerns, so just be patient.
ummy - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 5:04 PM NST
So it does have music and sound?
ummy - JN Staff, November 10, 2014 5:09 PM NST
I wonder if they can legally translate the Neopets magazine comics to flash form, since it's almost like a prequel to RoDS.
lasergu, November 10, 2014 7:02 PM NST
"that old plot"


dillpickles, November 10, 2014 7:22 PM NST
TFR left a great opening for future comic parts at the end of the actual plot: can't you just see the adventures of Hanso and Brynn tracking down artifacts? Or King Altador going searching for the Darkest Faerie statue? Seems to me like those could both be great continuations of the TFR story line!
cat, November 11, 2014 12:02 AM NST
So it does have music and sound?
Yup, the music even changes to suit the mood of the panel and text currently being displayed.
suzierainbow, November 11, 2014 12:32 AM NST
IMHO...I thought the music was cute & animations were lacking. I would not pay for this even if they removed the comic from the site, & I thought it was $.99 a chapter did I misunderstand?

Anyway, this may have been a good test, but I think if the idea was to be given more attention they should have the Comic read allowed to get the kids on the site again. Most of the ppl I meet are all "Growed up!" Those that are on the edge are the ones that have come back at 18-25 to their OLD accounts, like it's a new "College Break in between studies & Classes/Exams a possible new "Fad." for that age group. I rarely run into those below 13 anymore. Hmmmmm!

Hugs, Suzie
cat, November 11, 2014 3:29 AM NST
Yes, it's $.99 a chapter, with the first chapter being free to get people into it. The first chapter of this remade comic seems to follow the first two chapters of the on site comic. If future chapters follow suit the whole thing should be 9 chapters long or about $8 total.
neomikey07, November 11, 2014 4:44 PM NST
Uh... what? Why would they need to do this?
neomikey07, November 11, 2014 4:45 PM NST
Also, I like how this is an "old plot" despite it being TNT's most recent plot.

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