Emerald Activities Update!

We finally did our big site overhaul at Emerald Activities!

We gave the whole site a shiny new look, we made a twitter account and we build a Facebook page. The following lists some of our new features.

As part of that update we would like to introduce you to three of our new mascot characters. Emerald, the dragon, will be your general guide around the site. Feldspar, the gryphon, has tips and information over on our games pages. Finally, Amber, the phoenix, is helping out in the crafts section. At any time you can click these mascots to go to our help page.

Each registered member now has an improved personal gallery, a treasure hoard and access to a basic, restricted private messaging system. The treasure hoard holds loot members unlock by completing various tasks. Each item in their hoard is an actual piece that can be used in all Magic Makers.

We have introduced a new currency called “Emeralds”. Our members can spend these emeralds in the Market on hundreds of new pieces that can be used in either classic or modern Magic Makers. Emeralds can be earned by building and submitting images to the galleries, participating in contests and challenges and unlocking certain treasures. If you would like to help support our site, Emeralds can also be purchased through PayPal in our Market.

Our Magic Makers have been upgraded and now award Emeralds. The modern and classic makers have new tools that allow free skewing, scaling and rotation. The modern makers also have secondary colour and pattern support.

Users under 13 years of age can now make restricted accounts, this will allow them to have personal galleries but only restricted use of the forum. For full site access they will need parental permission.

We  will be updating the colouring books and adding easter colouring some time in the next week or two. I also plan to do another review, this one of Doll Divine, so stay tuned!

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”

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