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Faerie's Hope

Development and Beta

Unlike many Neopets initiatives, users were able to get small glimpses of the game as it was developed and user feedback was collected.

Early Development

First Survey

The first sign of work on a potential "match-3" style game came in August 2020 when Jumpstart sent out a survey asking for user opinions on different tile options based on iconic Petpets.

Want to offer some feedback on game design concept art? Take this Survey!

From New Features, August 28, 2020

   


The three tilesets survey respondents were asked to choose between, and their inspiration

NetDragon 1H2020 Investor Report

The same day that the first survey went out, at their first-half 2020 report to investors, NetDragon (the parent company of JumpStart) included "Neopets Match-3" as one of several initiatives in their "new game launch strategy" for the Neopets IP.


The strategy included both released initiatives (Neopets.com; Island Builders) and unreleased initiatives (Match-3; Neopets TV; Neopets Mobile)

NetDragon 2020 Year-End Investor Report

Several months later, at their 2020 year-end report to investors on March 25, 2021, NetDragon announced their plans to release a "Neopets Match-3" game with a tentative launch of Q4 2021.


NetDragon first announced their match-3 plans in March 2021, alongside Island Builders

Second Survey

In July 2021, almost one year after the first survey, TNT shared a second survey. This survey included questions relating to gaming habits & interests, gaming systems, and feelings on match-3 style games.

Heads up Neopians, we want to hear from you! Click here to fill out a quick survey about your Neopets experience. Share your thoughts and suggestions today to help us make Neopia the very best it can be!

From New Features, July 23, 2021

NetDragon 1H2021 Investor Report

At their first-half 2021 report to investors on August 26, 2021, NetDragon shared a very brief preview of the game alongside developing games from their other IPs.


The preview featured early artwork of a costumed Shimmy

Facebook Page Launch

On December 8, 2021, a Facebook page titled "Movie Town Match" was created for the game. However, the page was not announced anywhere and did not gather any followers until after the start of the closed beta, where it was linked to in-app.


The original Facebook profile picture featured a highly-stylized Shimmy


The original Facebook cover photo featured holiday decorations, a well-furnished studio, a Neopets fountain, and Lania!

Closed Beta

On January 5, 2021, the JumpStart Games Facebook page began running two different ads with a form embedded to sign up for the closed beta test of the game. Ad transparency information from Facebook showed that JumpStart targeted people who were 18+, in the United States, and demonstrated interest in puzzle games or other popular match-3 apps.

 
One ad featured the player faerie, while the other featured Jelena

On January 8, 2022, information on participating in the beta was sent out to all users who had filled out the form in one of the ads. All participants were invited to both iOS beta via TestFlight and Android beta via the Google Play store.


An excerpt of the TestFlight invite

The Google Play store included the following description of the game:

If there is a thing that carries happy childhood memories, it must include Neopets - a virtual pet game running across Europe and America for 21 years.

Based on stories of Neopets, Neopia Studio Match3 is a match-3 game that brings you to a fantastic world, where you can run your Neopia Studio, experience wonderful dreamland, and solve match-3 puzzles. Let’s grow together with adorable Neopets and fix their special inner worlds!

Game Features:
1. Unique Match-3 Levels: Thousands of levels and fascinating puzzles like collecting Pixie Bottles and completing Portraits, making the matching more interesting!
2. Dreamland: Get immersed in healing stories and explore special inner worlds to bring happiness back!
3. Adorable Neopets: Those familiar characters are back for a fresh start. Beat match-3 levels to collect them!
4. Pet Appearances: Tons of impressive options for you to customize your pet’s appearance!
5. 3D Levels: The distinctive 3D levels will give you a totally different Match-3 experience!

If you have any problems or suggestions, please contact us by sending an email to support@neopets.com

The game was available for playtesting immediately. The closed beta included 200 studio levels, 50 Dreamworld levels, the first 4 stages of Neopia Studio, and the Lonely Dance story of the Dreamworld.


The Neopia Studio app icon

Feedback Questionnaire

The beta test version of the app included an opportunity to fill out a questionnaire. The questionnaire button would disappear after submitting, but would reappear if the app was closed and reopened, and so could be submitted any number of times. The questions were:

  1. Have you ever played the webgame Neopets?
  2. In the past 6 months, which genres of games did you often play on mobile/tablet?
  3. Which of the following mobile puzzle games have you played?
  4. What made you want to try Neopia Studio?
  5. Please rate your satisfaction with Neopia Studio.
  6. Please choose the reasons of being satisfied/dissatisfied with Neopia Studio.
  7. How do you like the art style of Neopia Studio?
  8. How do you like the gameplay of scene decoration in Neopia Studio?
  9. How do you like the designs of the Neopets in Neopia Studio?
  10. Which of the following art styles do you prefer?
  11. Do you have any other expectations or suggestions?
  12. What is your gender?
  13. How old are you?
  14. What is your occupation?
  15. In the past 6 months, how much did you spend on mobile games every month?

Android Early Access

On January 22, 2022, an "early access" version was released in the Google Play store. This version was still labelled as a beta, and players were told progress would be cleared prior to the app's actual release. There were no changes or differences between the closed beta version and open access version.

Dear Neofriends,

*This build is for the first data-deleted beta testing of Neopia Studio, we will delete all datas after the testing is over, thanks for your participation and understanding.*

Temporary Downtime

At some point in mid-February 2022, the app ceased working for all users on all platforms. When opening the app, it would crash partway through the loading screen, displaying a message that the device was not connected to the internet. The iOS TestFlight Beta officially expired on March 31, 2022, at which time the app could not even be opened.

Beta Revival

On the morning of April 13, 2022, the early access version of Neopia Studio was removed from the Google Play store. That same day, an overhauled version of the game, rebranded as Faerie's Hope was released to players in the original closed beta group on Android only.


The Faerie's Hope app icon

Starting April 16, 2022, a message was presented to player's on the future of the beta (shown below; all typos are from the original text) when opening the app. Players were unable to proceed to the game after seeing this message.

Important Announcment,

Hi, Dear Neofriends, Firstly thanks for your like and feedbacks to the Faerie's Hope build. But now is the Closed Beta Test, we will shut down the server and delete all datas at 0:00 April 18th (UTC-7). Please don't purchase at game now. Then we will start the Open Beta Test at 19:00 April 20th (UTC-7) on Googleplay and ios Testflight, some additional rewards will sent to all players participated in the Closed Beta Test. Thanks for all your support and we will provide a better game expeirence

Close Server Time: 0:00 April 18th (UTC-7).
Servers: All servers
【Contact Us】
If you encounter any problems in the game, you can also contact us through the following methods. support@neopets.com

On April 19th, 2022, the app returned to TestFlight for all users of the original closed beta test. While the app could be downloaded, players still could not proceed past the message above.

On the morning of April 21st, 2022, the game became accessible again on both iOS and Android. Further, beta test participation was reopened to the public: users could opt in using a link provided in an email message or from the official Neopets Twitter. This sign-up period was only available for an unspecified "limited time." Further, Android access was restricted to Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, UK, and US.

App Name

The exact name has been a bit nebulous; it is possible it has not yet been finalized. During the original version of the game, it had different names in different places:

  • The Facebook page calls it "Movie Studio Match"
  • The TestFlight entry calls it "Neopets Match"
  • The iOS beta app calls it "Neopia Studio Match3"
  • The Android beta app calls it "Neopia Studio (Early Access)"

After the rebranding to Faerie's Hope, different names still persisted:

  • The Facebook page remained "Movie Studio Match"
  • The TestFlight entry remained "Neopets Match"
  • The iOS and Android beta apps both changed to "Neopets Fearies's Hope" (the inverted a/e is presumably a typo)

After Beta

It has not yet been announced how long the beta will last or what will happen once it is over. The iOS TestFlight trial is set to expire on the evening of July 14, 2022, but it is possible a new update could be added in its place before then.

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