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The Everskies update is the worst thing

that’s probably ever happened.

Parrot is killing his website.

The new layout design
is literally ableist.

They need to listen to the consumers

about what the consumers want.

I’ve never seen such a bad
idea in my entire life.

This is awful.

What is wrong with them?

This is the worst thing
that’s probably ever happened

on the internet to any group of people.

This might be obvious to some of you,

but none of those opinions are mine,

but they are opinions
that are held by members

of the Everskies community in reaction

to the most recent update
announcing the deprecation

of the forum feature on everskies.com.

I do think that is a curious direction

for a forum-based game
to move forward with,

considering that it is the
primary gameplay mechanism

besides doll dress-up.

A lot of people have been asking for me

to share some thoughts
about what’s going on,

so you’re only gonna get that outrage

that came in the first
few seconds of this video.

I’m not gonna be really
presenting content in that tone,

because as I mentioned before,

those are not necessarily my opinions.

I’m not saying that I
support the layout change,

I’m just saying that it
doesn’t really inspire

very much passion in me,

so we’ll be discussing what
changes are being made,

why they’re being made,

and then kind of the community’s reaction,

ways to optimize it, et cetera.

Let’s get into it.

Here’s a general rundown of the scenario,

what’s going on, and who the players are.

Everskies.com is a browser-based
doll dress-up game,

kind of in the style of
MovieStarPlanet or Virtual Popstar.

It was started by the developer
Parrot and his girlfriend.

They were inspired from
the game Virtual Popstar

and they decided to make their own game.

In December of 2020 it
went viral on TikTok.

Since the game launched
in the summer of 2021,

it has had consistently over
5,000 users online at one time.

It has been successful by the measurements

of browser-based virtual pet games,

and specifically the genre
of doll dress-up games.

However, this has been
accompanied by endless drama,

onslaught of accusations
against Parrot, his girlfriend,

and the rest of the
administration and moderator team,

and I’m not saying it’s unfounded,

I’m just saying that there’s
been a consistent amount drama

within the community and
the moderators themselves.

I’ve actually made a video
about it if you would like

to hear a little bit more about the style

that that drama usually takes.

In July of 2021, in response to the nature

of this pervasive drama on the website,

Parrot decided that they will remove

the forum feature from Everskies

and the community will now
basically handle most moderation

through clubs and chatrooms
that are ran by the users.

The site mods will have the final say

on issues that are brought to them.

However, the first line of
defense against the user base

is going to be user-selected
moderators in chatrooms.

This is an incredibly unpopular decision.

This change was accompanied with a update

to the layout of the homepage,

and this is not being received very well.

That’s kind of the understanding
of who the players are

and what the space is and
the nature of the game

and the challenges they’re facing.

For full disclosure, my
relationship with the Everskies team

has been that they reached out to me

at the beginning of their project.

I took an interest to it,

I started monitoring it and communicating

with them frequently.

The communication ceased from their end

at the beginning of 2021,

so I have not heard from them.

They don’t really respond to my emails,

and I mean, that’s fine,

I just want to be upfront with you guys

that I am not in active
communication with them, and I mean,

I wonder why, when I share
images like this in my videos.

As far as I’m concerned,

this update has one central component,

and that is phasing out the forums.

This is basically a forum
game in the sense that

you have an avatar that you dress up

to participate on the forums,

and there is an incentive to
participating in the forums.

There has been a lot of
challenge on Everskies

to moderate effectively.

The user base seems to have the opinion

that the moderators that
are chosen by the developers

are not effective at moderating,

and when people approach me to
make videos about Everskies,

it’s usually about some sort of drama

that happened on the Everskies forums.

To me, the big pain point
that Everskies has faced

has been kind of the wild
nature of their forum.

I’m not surprised to
see this change at all,

considering this is the biggest pain point

on the entire website,

and this is what people talk about

when they talk about Everskies,

is how much of a Wild West the forums are.

The moderator team
moderates the entire forums.

I am not sure if they get paid

or what the compensation schema there is,

but I’m sure that this has just

overwhelmed all conversations

about development and
growth of the website.

This site wasn’t developed

by a team with experience
developing games.

I’m pretty sure that Parrot
is either fresh out school

or still in school while
developing this project.

There was not a large plan,

there were not wireframed layouts,

there were not user experience paths

in the development of this game.

It was more so get it up and running

and we’ll figure it out later,

which is what I believe is going on now.

We are in the figure-it-out-later part,

because it is now later and
it needs to be figured out,

because it is preventing the
site from growing even further.

This is an incredibly unpopular decision.

There were over 800
comments on the thread.

Usually the developers lock the threads

once they kind of have an
overwhelmingly negative reaction.

However, this one was granted

the permission to continue living,

and has over 800 pages of comments,

and I’ve read through them,
lots of them made me laugh.

This is unpopular,

but I definitely
understand the perspective

of the forums are broken

and they could hire 100 moderators,

and that could work,

but what really needs
to happen is they need

to scrap the concept and
figure something out,

because 100 moderators would
be impossible to manage,

and that would be just an indicator

that the entire system is broken.

I understand scrapping the entire concept,

because Everskies’ forum is broken.

The second big change that
accompanies this update

is the change to the homepage layout.

Functionally, this probably will affect me

much more than the forum feature,

as I don’t really go on the forums,

but every time I load the
website I go to the homepage,

so that is kind of frustrating.

There are different comments
like the layout update

is ableist because of
its reliance on text,

and also the fact that it’s
kind of hard to understand

what all these text bubbles are doing.

My response to that is poor design

tends to bother lots of people

and is hard to interpret
by all sorts of people,

including the neurodivergent ones,

and I do believe that this
layout is not optimized.

Parrot said that there is an algorithm

that is going to generate
which posts show for you,

kind of like a newsfeed.

Some of the criticisms that I appreciate

and that I agree with

are about the fact that
on the Everskies homepage

people would prefer to see widgets

related to new clothing in the shops,

or a full-body shot of their avatar,

as their avatar is the
thing that they’re really

coming on to interact
with in some instances,

and this has to do with
different play styles.

Some people are here primarily

for communication and the community,

while other people are here

for the creative outlet
of dressing up their doll,

and this overhaul of the layout assumes

that one of those is more
important than the other.

I don’t necessarily have much to say

about this layout versus the old layout

and which one was designed
better or more intentionally.

From my perspective,

this new one actually
might be more intentional.

I was present and saw some
of the conversations going on

about the original layout
when it was wireframed,

and it seemed just kind of

a figure-it-out-later
type of circumstance,

and as mentioned before,

we’re in that later part

of the let’s-figure-it-out-later

So, I’m not surprised to
see an iteration here,

and my hopes are that since
we are seeing iterations

that we will continue seeing iterations

and that it won’t stay this
kind of jumbled overload forever

and that we’ll see more widgets

or more customizability on the homepage.

One of the curious pieces
of feedback that I’m seeing

is that this is killing the website

and that traffic is
dropping off completely.

I understand why this
conclusion would be reached.

Usually the website has
about 7,000 users online,

and immediately following the update,

it crashed to around 3,000 users,

and right now it’s
sitting in the mid-5000s

on a regular basis.

Compared to other games that I follow

and I track the usership numbers,

this isn’t exactly what
I would call a disaster.

I’ve seen much bigger drop-offs as far as

percentage of usership week over week,

and to me, this doesn’t raise
any really big red flags.

It’s just kind of the fallout
of a standard site update

that touches major parts of the site.

This happens all the time
on these sorts of games,

but the bigger frustration
is when they never change,

when they absolutely never address issues,

and I would much rather see
there be a temporary drop-off

in usership while the
moderators try to fix

an overwhelming problem than to just have

that overwhelming problem
persist over years.

That’s under the assumption
that this is a good faith update

and iteration to optimize the game flow

and the frustrations that users have.

This very well could not be
part of a series of updates,

and updates can stagnate
forever after this point,

but I can’t live in that what-if.

I can only really base
judgments based off of what

has already happened and what
I’ve seen on other websites.

So, I do anticipate that we will see

some rebound in that number.

There are a lot of glitches
on the website right now.

I imagine a lot of people
just need to step away

from the computer and cool off,

which is what we’re seeing right now

and why that number has dropped.

Once we see some of those bugs smooth out,

I think that we can anticipate

that that number of users
online is gonna rebound,

and then the next time there’s a big,

sweeping change to
optimize what’s going on

that we’ll see a similar
tiny drop-off in users.

But 5,000 users?

That is still a lot of users

and more than enough to
keep the site up and going.

I mean, Dappervolk is somehow doing it

with 300 users online at one time,

so certainly Everskies can do it too.

I want to thank everybody who commented

on my Everskies blog post
where I was soliciting feedback

for context on understanding these changes

and how they affected you.

Thank you, everybody, for responding.

I didn’t really pull
from those in this video,

but they definitely
informed my understanding

of the situation and gave me context.

So, thank you very much for doing that.

I really appreciate everybody’s input.

As a final note, there was
an interesting perspective

that I wanted to highlight
and acknowledge in this video

in a particular part,

because I think I kind of hinted at it,

but I don’t think I really jumped into it,

which is that by removing
the forum’s information,

we’ll be able to be disseminated
rapidly by the admins,

because the admins can
still distribute content.

However, it hinders
communication between players,

so if the players dislike something

that the admins or developers do,

they cannot spread that
information as rapidly,

because the community is
now in different silos

instead of in one uniform location,

and I did want to make sure
that I was acknowledging

that perspective in this video,

because I do believe that
that is one of the reasons

why this change is being made,

to hinder the quick spread of
information between players

and give that power
unilaterally to the developers.

Anyways, I don’t want to
be too much of a downer.

I’m really curious to see
what kind of iterations

they make on this model, if it lasts.

Who knows?

Maybe they can’t handle
losing 2,000 concurrent users

and that is a big problem to
them and we do see changes.

I’m curious to see what happens.

I know a lot of you guys are upset,

so go ahead and leave some comments.

Let me know what you’re thinking,

and regardless, thank you for watching.

I appreciate you, and have a good day.





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