A world of opportunity for the expansion on Toontown Online opened when its doors closed.
5. Private Servers
The original Toontown Online (TTO) had one dedicated team that developed content and managed the code on the game. Having one team means all effort will be routed according to that team’s missions and ethos.
When different teams work on different projects with different goals but the same basic play interface, players get to experience alternate universes of play. Promising upcoming servers include Toontown Worldwide, Toontown Infinite, Toontown House, Toontown Universe, and of course: Toontown Rewritten (TTR).
4. New Content
Besides accessories and minor fixes, little improvement was done to the Toontown game in its later years. This was noted by the player community and was a cause for resentment towards Disney and their moderation of the franchise.
Private servers have the opportunity to release new content that the community actually wants. TTR even has a suggestion forum where players can suggest improvements or changes they would like to see. Popular suggestions include new colors for Create-A-Toon and implementing features already available in the Toontown code that were never utilized by TTO.
Moderators and administrators on private servers can make changes as they see fit. The game has been out for longer than 10 years, after all. Texture artists Juneh and Ziggy previewed magnet graphic updates for the lure gag to Ziggy’s tumblr.
3. Plot-Driven Gameplay
Playing through ToonTasks and paying attention to the nuances of phrases by NPCs best represented the story line of TTO. Over the years, the TTO staff did not add on to the plot and it stagnated.
Private servers with fresh ideas can breathe new storylines into the game.
The events of TTR’s election day are now well known. The establishment of a standard of cut scene creativity in TTR raises the bar for all other private servers. But it does more than just that; it gave hope to the entire toon community. We could see a type of creative game play and story telling that we’ve never seen before.
2. Fragmentation of Interest
Groups with similar interests and goal will migrate to the private server that best facilitates their needs. Servers can nichify for a specific audience or type of player, making their mission and content more specific.
Not all players have the same goals or interests. With multiple servers, there’s more of a chance for finding what you want.
Do you want to play on a server that best records what TTO was like in its heyday? There may be a private server for that. Do you want to play on a server with primarily older players? There may be a server for that.
1. Concentration of Fan Community
Shortly after TTO closed, the fan community grew in breadth of their discussion of the loss of the game. My blog absolutely blew up with communication between players desperate for a way to get back to the game. Shortly after, the communication waned.
As private servers started sharing more information, the community that remained became more vocal. I witnessed the Toontown subreddit grow in subscribers and threads. The Toontown tags on tumblr are active with community discussion.
It’s possible that TTO shutting down gave a tighter sense of community to the players that weren’t ready to let go. I have no doubt that it is now stronger and is gaining clout in the virtual gaming community.
It’s possible that as the private servers open their doors to players, the community is going to grow from just those missing TTO to those who never played TTO.