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Earlier this week we heard rumblings from the Volcano… then some strange hissing accompanied by some gentler steam… and now, today, suddenly, the Big Kahuna has come to answer some of your recent questions…

WELCOME, Kahuna! First up, we take a question from Tasha about the origins of the game, as well as, well… the Big Kahuna himself: “I’ve always wondered what the frog’s name was on Big barrier reef… (I love when you tap him and his eyes open –  gets me every time, I’ve gotta do it at least two times week – lol). I’d also like to know when the game first came out?”

THE BIG KAHUNA: As it happens, that “frog” is none other than yours truly, Kahuna.

The very, very first version of TriPeaks released on Android in late 2013. That version was pretty different (no levels and no Coins!). The game you play today is based on a re-worked TriPeaks that we first released on Android in January of 2014. We typically celebrate that each year as TriPeaks’ anniversary (each year with its own goofy-looking TriPeaks-themed cake brought into the office. This year we even live-streamed the reveal of the cake on our Facebook page.)

Next up, Laurel T, has this to ask: “I love this game and play daily. I’m curious what your favorite level is? My favorite levels are in Glowing Grotto because I love watching the background, it’s mesmerizing!”

THE BIG KAHUNA: I have a soft spot for Shipwreck Shores and Jellyfish Jamboree in Tiki Seas because playing with the Hold Card opens up a lot of interesting strategies, and it’s fun to try to tap the blowfish that swims by as many times per round as possible (as much to see him “blow up” as to get the Coins). Glowing Grotto *is* beautiful… I think Whale Pod Paradise is as well, and I’m fond of whales in general, so on the occasions where I just feel like playing some levels for the fun of it, I bounce around Tiki Seas. I think our level designs are especially fun there, too.

Thanks for the fun question!

From “fun” to “fiery”, we have this question from Colleen C: “Why is it when you are rated on the Leaderboards, Gold, you are playing against top rated players from the Legend and Diamond leagues? Discovered this boondoggle while trying to recruit new members for my team. Please explain!”

THE BIG KAHUNA: This is a great question. The key thing here is that – even thought they use the same labels – your leaderboard level is separate from your Club League (It’s a bit confusing, but we thought it was better than having two completely separate types of labels). Because of this, it’s not uncommon to be in a certain league on the Red Star Leaderboard and be mixed in with players who are in a much higher level Club League. Players in the higher Club Leagues aren’t usually *trying* to get Red Stars but they collect quite a few along the way of chasing down all those Club Points and Tributes. For the top level Club Players, it can be enough to slot them into Gold on the leaderboard (pretty impressive for not really *trying* for that!).

One of the key reasons we promote the top finishers and “demote” the bottom finishers in each league is so that this is always adjusting week-over-week so you are in a leaderboard level with other players who do similarly to what you’ve been doing lately in terms of Red Stars collected.

And Tasha R is back with a question on gratitude: “I would like to know why “Thanks” is not an automatic part of the game when someone opens a Club Gift. Suggestion: do away with the button, and send “Thanks” regardless to the purchaser! I’ve had it glitch and not even get to see my box content or the option to say thanks. People pay cash for those and the least they can get the full Coin return.”

THE BIG KAHUNA: Thanks for this question, too, Tasha. The glitching on the Club Gift itself is an issue and you should ping our Player Services folks when that happens so we can make sure everyone gets the Gift Box you paid for.

In terms of the Thanks Coins… we intend it to be a nice bonus rather than a guaranteed thing for the buyer of the Gift Box, but I get that it feels like you’re missing out on precious Coins. I’ve heard others describe it as feeling like holding the door open for someone and they don’t say, “Thanks!”. They’re not technically obligated to, but it feels impolite when they don’t. That can create a bit of an awkward dynamic within some Clubs that goes against the spirit of that little feature. I don’t have a good solution off the top of my head, but I do think it’s worth us taking a look at as a team, because I think the Club Gifts are a great feature that build a lot of good will between players in a Club, and that’s something that’s good for everyone.

Next up we have Clara, who questions the motives of the crowds in the Treasure Shrine:  “Why does ‘the crowd’ in the Treasure Shrine cheer when the Medallion drops in one of the Medallion slots? We all HATE the Medallion slots. There is no cheering when it falls into the 2000 slot. If you are not going to get rid of the Medallion slots will you at least take the cheering away?”

THE BIG KAHUNA: Would it help if I told you that originally we were going to have the Medallion slots be a total loss just like it would be if you played the carnival game that inspired the Treasure Shrine? Guessing that doesn’t help much (sorry!), but we do think it’s important for there to be *some* element of risk-reward in Treasure Shrine. Maybe a “drop again” isn’t the best way to do it. I’m a big fan of changing it up, but as many players have noticed, we always have new bugs to fix and things to improve, so we’ll see where this lands.

Now Adrienne has a couple for ya: “I heard there are secret spots for extra Coins within some of the lands. Please tell me how to get them. And, also, why did the Friend Center change? I liked being able to request and receive Coins from my Facebook Friends. What is the benefit of the new Friend Center Coin sharing feature?”

THE BIG KAHUNA: There are a few, and I revealed one of them in one of my other answers (although that one is a little fishy and not *that* hard to find). If I told you the rest they wouldn’t be secrets anymore!

I’m glad you asked about Friend Center, because we’re just getting started on it. I admit that right now it’s pretty basic. You can add Friends and share Coins with them. One change is that you don’t need to go through Facebook anymore. You can make friends with anyone in TriPeaks – no outside account necessary. On top of being able to share Coins, it’s also a good way to keep track of someone fun/awesome you met in your Club (you never know, they or you might leave for another one at some point!) or that you had a fun chase up the leaderboard against (they might make a good Clubmate!)

For those of you who were around in 2016 when we first introduced Clubs, there wasn’t much to do with them at first, either. However, that changed over time as we introduced Perks, and then Club Quests, and then Weekly Contests… and the list goes on. Friend Center is going to be very similar. We have some really interesting and fun new things up our sleeves that should really unlock new kinds of fun (and new ways to get stuff) in the game, and now you’ll get to do them with Friends in the game that you hand-pick. What’s that old adage? You choose your friends but not your Clubmates! (err… something like that.)

My advice is dive in, get as much out of it as you can but keep your eyes peeled for fun new stuff coming that you’ll be able to do through Friend Center.

Along similar lines, we have Marie with another question about Friend Center: “I understand why you changed the Coin sharing to include those that don’t have Facebook. What I don’t understand, is WHY you changed the system so we can only request 5 at a time and every four hours?”

THE BIG KAHUNA: Congrats on picking the hottest of the hot topics!

First a little “catch up” in case we have some folks reading who aren’t as familiar with how Coin sharing worked prior to Friend Center… For years we’ve had an avid group of players who “maxed out” their Coin sharing – every day – through the old system – which relied exclusively on Facebook friends. It was pretty simple to do so long as you could gather up enough Facebook friends who would reliably share Coins every day. That actually wasn’t easy to do, but once you had it, you had a nice bank of Coins waiting for you each day (with a little friend maintenance over time).

Well.. with the new setup in Friend Center, we’ve not only removed the Facebook Friend thing (you can friend anyone in TriPeaks) we also changed the timing and how frequently (and how many) people you request Coins from. Basically, you can’t request or share to all your friends at once in a day anymore. We know that – for these players – this has eaten into a reliable source of Coins they used to enjoy every day. I just want to say that we hear you, and we’re keeping a close eye on this, but there are good reasons that aren’t so obvious why we did this and so we have no plans to change it back at this point.

I know that’ll be disappointing but just want to be straight with everyone. Good news is, we’re looking to add in new/different ways that should make up the difference (and maybe then some) on an ongoing basis. We’ve actually wanted to address this for some time but wanted to wait until we could then quickly follow up with some things that ultimately will make this better than it was before. Those are in the works now so stay tuned. Really appreciate all the fervor and feedback on this change and on Friend Center. It’s been instrumental for the team in helping shape where we go with it in the future.

Stepping up to the microphone is Yorichie with a question on in-game communication: “Hi Big Kahuna!!! I was wondering if you have any ideas on getting folks to talk/communicate. I’m a leader by default of a very, very closed lipped team. Often I feel I’m talking to thin air, myself or a brick wall. There was one guy on my team that I would converse with, but he left the team. Maybe cause no one else said anything. I don’t know. I do miss Sam and hope he’s doing well.”


Ahem… hey – are going to answer that one?

THE BIG KAHUNA: Huh? Oh – sorry – hehe… couldn’t resist. It’s pretty tough to get a tight-lipped Club to start chatting, in my experience. Some folks just aren’t comfortable with it and others are too busy playing their hearts out to spend time typing out chat messages.

Couple things you can do:

  1. Post in your Club Notes (and in your Motto) that you’re looking for chatty folks! Then people who aren’t inclined to do that as much will be less likely to join up. Over time, you’re likely to get more talkers.
  2. Find/Create a Club that is more chatty. This is tough if you’re really invested in your Club (like I’m sure you are), but it really can add to the fun of playing.

I got a lot of questions this time around to the effect of, “Why did you create Friend Center?” Well, folks like Sam are just one of the reasons. TriPeaks is a game where you can meet and make friends and have fun doing it. With Friend Center, you can add someone like Sam to your Friends List and share Coins, keep in touch, or recruit them back to your Club even if one of you moves on to a different Club. We’re working on a number of additional fun things to do through Friend Center (what you see is just the start) but this is one of my favorite elements of Friend Center that’s not so obvious on first blush.

P.S. – I hope Sam’s doing well, too! Sam, if you’re reading this, find your way back to your old Club and add Yorichie as your friend, will ya?

And finally, Claire, has a burning question on Perks: “To my understanding the level of difficulty of a Perk is related to the amount of Club Points needed to complete it. The harder the Perk, more Club Points needed. But in my Club there are people who believe that it has to do also with the difficulty that we encounter when trying to complete each game. That is, if I play a certain game (any one of ’em – take level 100 for example) and I’m helping with Perk 1 it will be easier to complete it than it would be if I’m helping with Perk 6. Like the game itself would became harder if you are helping with a harder perk. Is this right!?

Thanks for your time Big Kahuna!

THE BIG KAHUNA:  You’re welcome Clare! Thanks for your question.

I could see how folks might believe the levels themselves get harder if you’re helping on a harder Perk, but that’s not the case in our game. That would be like a double-whammy, having to earn a higher number of Club Points and then *also* making the levels you play harder. We want things to be challenging (otherwise it’s boring) but that’s not how we roll.

I will say this, I’ve definitely gone on streaks where I could’ve sworn TriPeaks was out to get me, so I get why people sometimes think we’re up to shenanigans. Our variation of solitaire (based on “Golf Solitaire”) is more forgiving than good old-fashioned Klondike – the version most people play with a deck at their dining room table or on their Windows computer – but the random deal of the cards can still go on runs that can be frustrating. Hang in there, eventually the math will catch up and you’ll get on a good run, too.

Thanks Kahuna! And especially everyone who took the time to write in with questions! Have comments or thoughts you’d like to express? Visit the Solitaire TriPeaks Forum!