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|Release date(s)|| Horseland: |
1 September 2006
|System requirements||Web browser with Adobe Flash Player plugin. Adobe Shockwave (optional)|
|Input methods||Keyboard, Mouse|
Horseland an online community that simulates the breeding and raising of horses and dogs. Begun in 1994 in the United States, Horseland has now grown to have more than 6 million users who play from all over the world. Most of the players are girls from age 10 to 22, although a number of adults play the game. In September 2006, an animated cartoon series based on the web site was launched in the United States.
Horseland grew out of a webpage dedicated to horses that launched in 1994. The original website featured bulletin boards and forums where members discussed their love of horses and participated in horse-themed role playing games. A system of gameplay soon developed, and Horseland LLC launched the Horseland game shortly afterwards. The Horseland game features the ability to create, own and train virtual horses that players can care for and compete in online shows. As the popularity of the game grew, the interest in Horseland spawned a new Junior Version, and later, a series of cartoons and short novels. In 2006, Horseland LLC partnered with DIC Entertainment to produce a cartoon TG4 based on the website.
On October 28, 2008 Horseland released a revamped website that includes an interactive 3D world with customizable horses and avatars. A new store sells clothing and tack for the avatars. A 3D interactive world was introduced that allows players to ride their horses and chat with other people. There are new interactive 3D jumping shows. Alongside these changes, Horseland introduced micro-transaction pay model through Horseland "Coins" which they sell through a variety of pay options. Horseland also offers a "Premium Membership" which unlocks exclusive features in the game. 
Horseland Junior Game
The Horseland Jr. game was launched on September 1, 2006. This game features characters from the Horseland cartoon. It's a very simplified version of Horseland World and is suitable for kids younger than 13 years old. Graphics are simple and colorful, appealing to the younger audience. 
The Junior game is a Flash based game similar to the World game in that players can create and interact with a virtual horse. Horseland Jr. lets you select a horse (choosing from characters you'll also find in the Horseland cartoon series), pick the horse's name and the player name. Players can visit their horse in its stall, and care for it in a variety of ways (shown in the image on the right). The horse needs to be fed daily, exercised regularly, seen by a veterinarian and farrier, and fitted with tack.
There are simple jumping shows that players can enter for fun. During the holidays, Horseland releases themed shows (e.g. Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc). There is a leaderboard showing the scores of the last 10 people who entered the show.
In December 2008 the "Trail Ride" was introduced. This gives players the ability to actually ride their horse around scenes from the Horseland cartoon and interact with other players, including making friends and chatting restricted to an option of phrases. (shown in the image on the right). Horseland Jr. players can upgrade to the Horseland World game with parental permission.
The Horseland Jr. game was closed in February 2009. Players under 13 are now given a "Junior" account in the main Horseland game. Junior accounts are COPPA Compliant. They can't send or receive private messages, and can't chat.
The original game on the Horseland website was re-named from "Horseland" to "Horseland World" on September 1, 2006 when the Jr. game was launched. It was re-named "Horseland" in February 2009 when the Jr. game was closed. In the Horseland game, players buy and sell horses, find good stables to board their horses at, find a fair trainer, chat with friends, and participate in horse shows.
There was some controversy among the players after the October 28, 2008 changes. The change in currency from HLD to HLC was one of them. The value of 1 HLC is different from the value of one old HLD, so prices across the game were changed to reflect the new value. Horseland also removed the ability for Basic Players (free-accounts) to get free money. Players now earn money by playing casual games.
When signing up for an account, each player makes an avatar that represents them in the game. In the "World" players ride their horses around and talk with other players. (World is shown in the image on the right)
The "Horseland Outfitters" shop sells tack and clothing to customize player and horse avatars. Players may add multiple items to their cart and buy them all at once.
Horseland is an escalating system of gameplay, where players strive to earn as many points as possible, both for their player account as well as their individual horses. Players earn points through the training of their horses or dogs. A single player can own many animals of varying breeds and descriptions. While there is no single point goal for their animals, the players are restricted by the trainable lifespan of their horses and dogs. While a horse or a dog can only participate in show training for a period of time, it can participate in ticket training its whole life. When an animal becomes too old for show training, it is offered the option of retirement. Most players do not retire their animals, as it creates "broken lines" where the horses' or dogs' records are wiped off the Horseland database and cannot be found again. However, horses can pass a portion of their earned points to their offspring if they breed before reaching retirement age, and thus an evolving system of gameplay continues through the lineage of the animals that players foster and maintain.
There are 2 types of shows: Jumping Shows and Automatic Shows. Jumping Shows were added to the game in October 2008. Every player can start one show a week. The Jumping shows are flash based and interactive. A player literally maneuvers her horse around a jumping course using the arrow keys and space bar. She receives the points immediately after she finishes her course. The owner of a jumping show designs the courses using different jumps and obstacles to design the classes in her show. The Automatic Shows are not interactive. In Automatic Shows, a player puts her horse on the list for a particular show then, over night, the winners of the show are randomly picked and points awarded.
Horseland players can train their animals by "Show Training" or "Ticket Training." Show Training involves players entering their horses or dogs in shows where points are awarded the next day. As their animals gain points, the user will also gain "Player Points," which are equal to the number of points the animal gains. However, with every show, the animal's health bar decreases, limiting the number of shows a horse or dog can enter.
The other method, Ticket Training, is through the use of tickets that Premium players can purchase at the online store. One training ticket gives a horse or dog 30 points, without it affecting the animal's health. These tickets may be used on a player's own animals, or the player may choose to sell it as a service to other players. As it is a player-operated service, ticket prices can fluctuate depending on the seller. Horse tickets were removed from the game in October 2008, and re-introduced in January 2009.
Some players offer a service referred to as "point training". What they will do is train your horse/dog using one of the above methods to "x" amount of points for "x" amount of money. Generally, hiring other players to do such a thing will be more expensive than doing so personally.
Breeding is an important part of the Horseland World game, through which a player can extend the capability of an animal to earn more points by passing a portion of the points earned by ancestors on to their offspring, giving that foal a higher starting point level.
Players can choose to breed among their own horses or with horses owned by others. The owners of the stallions control the breeding by having the option to accept or reject a "breed request" by another player. Mares can be bred once every 21 days, and stallions every 2 days (both from the age of 3 until the age of 21).
Breeding is tracked by the game, listing all ancestors of a horse still in play. Once retired, however, the information for that horse (name, age, points etc.) is lost and the offspring of that horse will lose that portion of their lineage and have what is referred to as a "broken line". Most players become very attentive to the tracking of blood-lines, so they often choose to not retire their horses. 
Different Types of Bloodlines
Crossbreeds (aka CB) are two different breeds that were bred together.
Overbred (aka OB) means that the horse/dog has had over 6 offspring.
Inbred (aka IN) means that one horse/dog is in the pedigree more than once.
Broken-Lined (aka BL) means that the horse/dog's parents,grandparents, great grandparents,etc,cannot be found.
A horse that is either inbred, overbred, or both, is generally frowned upon by the few players that did not quit when the changes were made in late 2008.
The economic system in Horseland evolved into an free, open market by players, originally beginning with the buying and selling of horses and items included by the Horseland game system, and eventually including services offered by the players themselves, such as home page design and artwork.
Players use "Coins" to buy most things in the game. Coins can earned by playing mini-games, or purchased for real money. Horseland also offers a "Premium Membership". Premium Players are given a weekly income of 3,500 Coins and access to exclusive features like forum avatars & signatures, featured listing in search results, dog training tickets, themed jumping shows, and the previously standard 100 classes/show. 
Though the game itself requires players to purchase automated services, such as veterinary visits to maintain the health of their animals, elective services, such as the boarding of animals in privately owned stables and kennels, are handled by the players themselves.
Horseland allows players to dictate the price of their services and creates a natural division of labor, as some players elect to specialize their gameplay, by being "trainers" or "boarders', for example. The ability of open discussion on the Horseland Forum pages lends itself to players looking for and advertising services offered for players by players, and fosters a fluctuating open market.
Horseland as a social network
In addition to being a simulation game, Horseland also has many attributes of a social network. A great deal of Horseland's social network centers around user-generated content. Each player has a homepage that s/he can alter with HTML or CSS. Players often create and "sell" design codes for homepages, turning the code over to other players in exchange for coins. Photographs and illustrations for horses and dogs are also exchanged between players.
Players can communicate with each other through over 10 flash-based chat rooms, in-game messages, forums and the flash-based 3D world. An additional feature of the game are lists of "Friends" which highlight each friend's last status or activity in the game. Some players enjoy sending digital cards (sometimes called "Love/Luff Cards") to their friends (the occasion for this can vary, from birthdays to holidays).
Unofficial clubs are popular. Players create their own clubs through creating a new account. (Note: this is different from the official Horseland Clubs.) These clubs are run in a similar way to a "official" Horseland Club: they hold contests, gather members, create logos (called "club cards"), and propagate campaigns.
Players can also run in Horseland "Official" sponsored clubs. Becoming the "President" of a club allows a players to control animals that are accepted and rejected from the club. The "President" sets their own registry for the club for their term, each term lasts for one month. Players campaign to become "President" by TV'ing (trading votes) with other premium players. Often players hold voting contests in hopes of luring other players to help them gain enough votes to win in the club. Players can also "buy" votes off of other players who do not want to trade their votes.
- ↑ Hand Over The Controller, Girl Gamers Say
- ↑ Horseland
- ↑ DIC ENTERTAINMENT DEBUTS BRAND NEW ANIMATED TELEVISION SERIES, HORSELAND
- ↑ Horseland Offers New Virtual World Experience
- ↑ Horseland.com - Website Review
- ↑ Horselandhelp.co.uk
- ↑ Premium Membership Details
- ↑ Social Networking Social Networking Sites for Young Children