A history of Emerald Activities

Every once and a while someone asks me about how I ended up playing and building online dolls… so here you go ūüėČ

Somewhere around a decade ago, my parents bought our first family computer (a long story for another time, lol). Within a few months we had the internet as well, and I stumbled onto a “get your own free website” type add from Geocities. I was thrilled, and shortly there after I was the proud owner of “The Emerald Empress’ Dungeon”. It wasn’t anything too exciting, just a collection of my artwork, craft ideas, free printable¬†paper dolls, and clip art I had done.

snowmen_01

Magic Maker Snowmen

A few years after that I found my first doll builder site. I loved it, and they had a function where you could submit a collection of .gifs and then they would add it to the site as another doll. I opened ms paint as fast as I could click, and built a snowman¬†with clothing and appropriate props. Then I returned to the site only to find that their upload function didn’t work. Since I now had a doll, I had to find out how they did it so I searched around and after a few weeks I had a working java script drag and drop style doll. I fell in love with the whole idea and over the next few years added several more.

My site was still super small, I got maybe 500 visitors a year, but people would send me dolls they made or thank me for the crafts so I was pretty happy. I eventually bought a domain name and hosting for myself. Occasionally I would look for places to list or submit my site, which eventually brought me to http://dressupgames.com/. I submitted my site, and was absolutely shocked at the number of visitors it sent me. My family refreshed my page so they could watch the counter. Within a day or so I had exceeded my monthly bandwidth and had to go find better hosting.

Magic Maker Castle

Magic Maker Castle

Now with significantly more motivation, I continued my labour of love and added more dolls. I didn’t want to just do the same dolls as many of the sites did, I wanted content that I would like to play with. So I build dragons, cat people, castles,¬†ladies and lords, etc… (The links just lead to the old makers.)

About three years ago now, I met a wonderful man online and he decided to win me over by building me a save button for my doll maker. It worked, but I think he got a bit more than he bargained for (and I got a free coder for life, lol). We gave my site a face lift, removed a lot of my old content and focused more on the dolls colouring books.  He helped me move all of the Magic Makers over to a new flash format. Now I draw them in vector form, and the pieces can be rotated, recoloured, re sized, and layered. We also added a forum, which has allowed our users to give us a lot of input over the past year or so.

Magic Maker Horse

Magic Maker Horse

Promoting¬†our site, visiting sites our users recommended to me, and a love of creative games has led me to many other wonderful sites online. That is why I decided that I would start this blog as well, not that I really needed something else to maintain ;). I have spend as much time playing with our makers and the doll makers on other people’s sites as I have building new content, lol, and now I can share them with you ūüôā

We¬†have just started¬†another site face lift and more massive improvements to the makers and games. We are really excited about it, and I will add updates here as we finish them. If there is anything you have ever really wanted to see in a doll maker or colouring book, then please let me know. You can leave a comment here, or stop by the forum,¬†http://www.emeraldactivities.com/forum/, and post your ideas to “Activity Requests” or “Website Feedback”

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Published in: on August 12, 2009 at 8:20 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Weeee!


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