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The History of the NewHome Fountain

“If everyone knows about it, write it down.”

Pop quiz: does NewHome have a fountain?

If you're the sort of player who spends a lot of their Island time roleplaying, then you likely answered 'yes'. Hell, even if you're just passing through, you might be inclined to agree. Seeing characters chatting around the fountain in town square is quite common for NH's Story channel. But here's the thing: not a single line of text in the outpost mentions a fountain.

So where did the idea come from?

Like a lot of things in Improbable Island's history, we don't know. The origin may not be interesting. Maybe someone was misremembering some other fountain. Maybe someone built one. Or maybe someone out there decided that they'd rather quite like it if there was a fountain in their Story scene, and everyone there that day rolled with it. Whatever the case, here we are, years later, still talking to each other around that damn fountain.

“Gee, Wiki Editor,” you might be thinking. “That sure was a non-story. Why are you bringing it up?” Shut up, I'm getting there.

Every now and again the site will experience a sudden burst of new players. These new players have likely never interacted with a player who knows about the fountain, and so they'll act like there isn't a fountain. These players aren't wrong to do so, because from a purist's standpoint there is no fountain. This mysterious, sometimes-real sometimes-not water fixture was eventually added as a landmark in the alternate outpost system… but only for the people who know about it. One specific tile remains empty until someone says “fountain” in the story channel and then- poof! There it is! And there it's always been.

The NewHome Fountain exists if you know about it, and it doesn't if you don't, and both interpretations are correct. And while the fountain is1)the only bit of improvised player continuity to have been outlined in the code, it's far from the only island fixture that both exists-yet-doesn't.

There was a time when everyone knew who Horatio was without needing to look at this wiki. There was a time where players accepted there was a cafe in the Common Ground manned by a Typo Gremlin named Cookie. There may have been a cocoa stand on the Failboat for a while, just as there may have been a giant murderous ice cream machine back in the days of the pilot. These bits of continuity aren't used as often nowadays, and this editor likely wouldn't know about any of them if it weren't for the ramblings posted on the old wiki.

So - if you enjoy your time here, and you want to share it with others, you are invited to write it down. Don't assume people will know about it forever. Sneak your in-jokes into outpost pages. Write whatever the hell you want about monsters. Dump your story logs in appropriate namespaces. That's what this wiki's for.

If it matters to you, chances are it matters to someone else too.

meta/history/fountain.txt · Last modified: 2024/01/29 07:07 by clarissadunst