Beta Testing was the testing period where Animal Jam Headquarters allowed the general public to test out their newly-created game. It initially started sometime before May 2010 as a "Closed Beta" in which the game was tested by a limited group of players and public signup was not yet available, as evidenced by private feedback pages that appeared as early as March 27, 2010. The open beta started later in the year sometime before July 2010 with the first public sign-in page appearing sometime around May 21, 2010. The open beta allowed anyone to test out the game without restriction until September 9, 2010, when the game was officially released. As the Beta Testing represented an early phase for the game, the features that were available were very limited, but all Jammers had access to the same features.
There were only four land areas in the entire game during Beta Testing - Jamaa Township, Lost Temple of Zios, Sarepia Forest, and Crystal Sands. Scattered around the lands were little leaf buttons that would present plant trivia in a pop-up when clicked.
Jamaa Township was the primary land where Jammers first entered. There were paths leading to Lost Temple of Zios across a bridge on the right and to Sarepia Forest along a path on the top right. The town center had a spiral-decorated path with a round board for Jammer Central that changed style multiple times throughout testing. The top left of this land has a dark blue statue of Mira picking up her right foot and spreading her wings. This land area contained the only two shops in the entire game, Jam Mart Clothing on the left and Jam Mart Furniture on the right. The other rooms in this area were the Medical Center at the bottom left, Club Geoz at the bottom right, and the Pillow Room just below Jam Mart Clothing. This land also included the mini-game River Race toward the bottom of the area.
Jam Mart Clothing
Jam Mart Clothing was a castle-like building that contained a small room in the top left of Jamaa Township. This room displayed various clothing items for sale and it also included a Recycling machine. Before July 2010, this room was actually located at the bottom right of Jamaa Township and its interior layout was flipped so that the entrance was on the left instead of the right.
Jam Mart Furniture
Jam Mart Furniture was a small house in the top right of Jamaa Township. It contained a small room that displayed various furniture goods for sale and also included a Recycling machine.
Club Geoz was a small dance club themed room in the bottom right of Jamaa Township. It featured dance floors and a DJ booth. Near the entrance were two arcade machines for Spider Zapper and Phantom Fighter. In the early stages of Beta Testing, it was located in a different area of Jamaa Township and the interior was flipped horizontally such that the exit was on the right side, but this changed sometime after June 2010.
The Pillow Room was a small lounge themed room located along the bottom left of Jamaa Township. It only contained pillows and decorative pots as a type of hang out room for buddies.
The Medical Center was a small hospital themed room located at the very bottom left of Jamaa Township. It contained decorations that made it seem like a storage room for a hospital. This was later relocated to Kimbara Outback, due to the release of Sol Arcade.
The Lost Temple of Zios
The Lost Temple of Zios was a dark jungle environment. It had paths leading to Jamaa Township on the left side, Crystal Sands on the bottom right side, and Sarepia Forest on the top right side. The center of the jungle featured a Monkey Statue with the Temple of Trivia game off to the right at the base of an elephant statue. The statue was replaced by the statue of Zios, shortly after Beta Testing ended. On the far left side, there was a temple entrance that was boarded off next to a small stream. To the top right, there was another temple structure with a door leading to the Chamber of Knowledge. Just right of this doorway was a smaller structure that had covered windows and no doorways.
Chamber of Knowledge
The Chamber of Knowledge, originally called the Chamber of Mysteries, was a long, narrow room full of mysterious items and books. This first room featured small tables with film reels on them and a doorway on the far right side. The next level was another long room filled with ancient relics, mysterious symbols, and iconography of the Alphas as well as the guardian spirits Zios and Mira. This second room featured the Gem Ball game near the entrance and interactive candles along the walls.
Sarepia, later renamed to Sarepia Forest, was a dense forest land with giant, redwood-like trees that were connected by a wooden catwalk-like structure. The forest floor had a campfire in the center and a patch of giant mushrooms off to the right. In the top left of the catwalk, there was a small, round hut with a straw-like roof that was locked and could not be entered. Just above and to the right of this hut was the Wind Rider game. On the top right, there was another hut that led to the Theater Lobby. There was a steep metallic slide on the bottom right side of the wooden platforms that led back down to the forest floor.
The Theater Lobby was a large round room that was mostly empty. Its exterior featured a wide film-reel sign that was surrounded by lights above the doorway. Off to the left of the interior was the doorway leading back out to Sarepia Forest. Along the top left wall was a concessions stand with a sign above it that read "Snacks" in brown letters. The stand included the Popcorn Machine game. To the right side of the room was a doorway leading into Sarepia Theater.
Sarepia Theater was a small room with a large screen on the wall that played various short clips about nature and animals. The room was initially bright when first entered, but the lights would immediately dim as the movie clip started. The floor of this room had two Small Tables along with an assortment of pillows. Off to the right side of the room was a cabinet with a sign that read "Movies" above it. There were only a handful of movies to choose from.
Crystal Sands was a sandy, tropical beach with thick jungle, sharp cliffs, and a volcano in the background. On the left side was a large tiki-style house that had a large wooden pineapple sign along the top. Entering this house would lead to Captain Melville's Juice Hut. Just below the hut was the Overflow game along the shoreline and just to the right, there was a sand castle with a little red flag on the top. There was also a totem statue in the background and tiger face-shaped caves, which may be a reference to Sir Gilbert, the tiger alpha, due to Crystal Sands being his guardian land. Crystal Sands kept this look until July 2011.
Captain Melville's Juice Hut
During Beta Testing, there was only one den available to all players. The den opened with a large bridge that connected to a two-story den and had a ladder connecting to the upper floor. It also had a basement, which was connected to the main floor by a stone staircase. The bridge outside would lead back to Jamaa Township. Players could position their purchased den items around the den as well as optionally activate a purchased flooring and a purchased wallpaper that would change the pattern for all of the floors and walls respectively. Players could own only up to 100 den items and there were only 38 den items to choose from along with 10 flooring choices and 10 wallpaper options.
The only available animals were the Tiger, Wolf, Bunny, Monkey, Koala, and Panda. These animals could be customized with primary and secondary colors, eye shapes and colors, and pattern styles and colors; however, the color palettes each consisted of only a five wide, four tall grid of twenty colors. The animals could also be decorated with clothing accessories that were purchased separately. There were only twenty-six head items, five neck items, seven body items, four leg items, and one tail item to choose from. However, the tail item was removed from the game towards the end of Beta Testing.
Jammers could travel around the lands by clicking where the animal should try to go. Jammers could also perform certain actions such as hopping, dancing, playing, and sleeping, which would cause their animal to continuously perform the said action in an endless loop. Jammers could interact with other players by clicking on their Names to reveal their Player Cards.
Player Cards were the primary way of interacting with other players during the Beta Testing. They could be viewed by clicking another player's avatar name or by clicking one of their Buddies' names in their Buddy List. The player card during this time could be used to send a buddy request, visit the other player's den, send Jam-A-Grams to the other player, block a player, report a player, or view a player's animals.
The top left of the game interface had a row of six icons for Jam-A-Grams, the Buddy List, the Jamaa Journal, a greyed-out trophy icon for Achievements (which was not yet implemented), a greyed out book icon for the Journey Book (which was not yet implemented), and a stack of Gems to just show how many Gems the player had currently. The top right of the interface displayed the name of the current room or area, an alarm clock icon for the Play Timer, and a sheriff's badge icon for reporting other players.
Across the bottom of the screen was a wooden panel that acted as the primary interface. The left side included the Change Your Look button above the player's username, the Switch Animals button, the animal action button, the Emoticons button and the predefined chat button with the chat textbox in the middle. The right side included the My Den button, the volume toggle button, and the Jamaa World button.
Jam-A-Grams were images that Jammers could send to one another with one of many predefined messages attached. Item gifts could also be attached to the message for the other player.
The Buddy List was simply a list of the player's current Buddies. It displayed a green dot next to buddies that were online and a grey dot next to those that were offline. Online buddies additional showed the avatar name of the animal that they were currently using. The player could click the buddy names to view their Player Cards, but there were no other options available.
The Jamaa Journal started during Beta Testing with the first release being on July 8, 2010. A new volume of the journal was released every week on Thursday.
The Play Timer alarm clock acted as a parental control feature. It allowed a parent or guardian to specify a time limit for a child's time on the game.
Change Your Look
The Change Your Look menu allowed the player to view their clothing inventory and select items to wear. Below the item inventory was a large "Sort By" button that allowed the player to rearrange the item list by certain types. This menu also allowed the player to customize their animal's colors, pattern, and eyes, but there were only 20 color options available for each. The center of the menu had a basic preview of the animal with a large "Clear" button that would remove the changes.
Games were introduced sometime before July 8, 2010, as their controller icons can be seen in the earliest screenshots before the Jamaa Journal was introduced. These were basically short activities that players could do alone or with other Jammers, depending on the game, for fun and/or to earn Gems. Some games did not reward Gems for playing them, such as The Claw, which rewarded various den items and actually cost Gems, as well as the Smoothie Machine and the Popcorn Machine, which rewarded temporary Holdable Icons of smoothies and popcorn respectively. To play these games, Jammers had to travel to the correct area and then find the floating game icon. Initially, there were very few games to choose from, but more games were introduced towards the end of Beta Testing.
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|Temple of Trivia|
During the Beta Testing, there were only two shops, Jam Mart Clothing and Jam Mart Furniture. Items sold in these shops at the time have been nicknamed "beta" since they were released during the Beta Testing. These items could be purchased by any players provided that they had enough Gems to buy them. All of the clothing items had multiple color varieties for sale, but the den items each had only one color variety. There were a total of 100 items available in all.
Jam Mart Clothing
Jam Mart Furniture - Den Items
Jam Mart Furniture - Flooring
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|Blue Shag Carpet|
|Yellow Diner Tiles|
Jam Mart Furniture - Wallpaper
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|Blue Star Walls|
|Dust Striped Walls|
|Pink Argyle Walls|
|Pink Forest Walls|
|Pink Striped Walls|
|Wavy Pink Walls|
Recycling was introduced during Beta Testing sometime before August 5, 2010, as advertised on Jamaa Journal Volume 5. It was featured as a machine located in the shops where Jammers could trade back unused items in exchange for some Gems. The number of Gems received was less than the original cost to purchase the item from the shop. Once an item was recycled, it could not be retrieved without buying it again and there was no confirmation window to prevent Jammers from accidentally recycling the wrong item.
A vast majority of the features that are now commonplace in Animal Jam were not available during Beta Testing. Some of those unavailable features include but are not limited to the following:
- Daily Spin & Member Spin
- Jammer Wall
- Journey Book
- Monthly Member Gifts
- Rare Item Monday
- The Daily Explorer
- During the Beta Testing, it was possible to have "mate" as the animal's third name. This was later removed for potentially inappropriate content.
- All of the original animals (except for the wolf) had large googly eyes in their original default appearance.
- During the early stages of the Beta Testing, animals performing the "sleep" action would keep their eyes open instead of closing them.
- Beta accounts may still wear beta clothing that is now members-only. For example, a nonmember beta player can still wear their Wings or Spartan Helmet if they bought them during the beta testing, but if the player takes those items off, they cannot put it back on unless they buy a Membership.
- At the end of the Beta Testing, all active participants received one free month of Membership.