By Espark on Sun 19 Sep, 2021.

Ai-Mo Times

Sept 19th, 2021

“The only literate tribe deserves the best in information and entertainment.”

Polytopia News

Quetzali Art Contest

On September 2nd, Zoythrus announced an art contest with the Quetzali bird theme and received 14 entries. The announcement only mentioned prizes for first place, so there was some confusion over who would get prizes. It originally stated, “The winner will receive the game on Steam, limited edition stickers, and a month of Nitro!” However, both the 2nd place and 3rd place winners confirmed that Zoythrus offered them Steam keys. The winning art is posted below.

Rare Birbs of the Square, a feild guide

1st place to DraconisArt#7707 with 205 votes

Mezo-American art of a Quetzali bird

2nd place to mokia#4354 with 202 votes

Animated gif of a polytopia hummingbird

3rd place to espark#1612 with 170 votes

Tribe Duels

Round 2 of the Tribe Duels ended September 13th. Polars, Cymanti, Imperius, and Kickoo will advance. Round 3 will begin Sept 20th. As the rounds advanced, less players participated; there were 132 duelists in the first round and 92 in the second.

A rule was also changed. Many players had been complaining about the ‘last-turn-wins’ rule in the event of a 1-1 game tie. The original rule stated, “If two games are done and it's a tie, the person who took the last turn wins the point.”

Nobelium, a duelist, explained why the rule was bad. “If you're down on points in a tiebreaker game, you can just stall until you can ensure you take the last turn without timing out.”

Eis countered, “The intent of the original rule was to prevent people from purposefully dragging games they know they're gonna lose out.”

Nobelium argued, “Isn't [stalling] exactly what this rule encourages? Why is this the rule instead of whoever has the most points on the last turn before the deadline? ...Why would it encourage people to take turns as fast as they can instead of causing them to wait until they can ensure they are last?”

SpitchDuche, one of the duel directors said, “I agree with Nobelium. It’s a terrible rule.” In fact, all the directors agreed with Nobelium’s argument. Many directors had previously argued with the server manager before the duels started that the ‘last-turn-wins’ rule was a bad idea. Later that day, one of the server admins offered to ask if the rule could be changed.

After, it was officially changed on September 17th from “the player who took the last turn wins” to “the player with the highest score wins,” one of the duelists, Ember, said, “I think it's great they changed it, the last turn rule didn't make any sense. Someone could lose by a lot and win [the point] because of it.”

One duel director said, “Glory mode is about points anyway, so [the rule change] makes total sense.”


The following is an excerpt from the Polytopian Interviewer, a weekly podcast with occasional bonus content. You can read the full transcript or listen to the podcast through the RSS feed.

Tntmasta: Welcome to the Polytopian Interviewer, where I interview people on their experiences and views on the Polytopia discord community. I have Innofunni with me today. How are you?

Innofunni: I'm well.

Tntmasta: How did you first get into the Polytopia discord?

Innofunni: I'm pretty sure most of us remember this because Moonrise wasn't too long ago. Before moonrise, when you had to enter someone's code, like that long jumbled stream of letters and numbers. Kind of a headache, to be honest. I would just be going around on the internet, go into Reddit, which I don't use for anything else. I haven't used it since. I just try to find people to play with and I'm like, “There's gotta be a better way.” That’s when I found the Polytopia discord, which was much, much better. I'm very thankful about that.

Tntmasta: Yeah, that's how I first started. I ended up with 80+ people and then when most of them decided to play a random game with me, oh boy. You're in the PolyMasters server. Could you give us an overview of how that works?

Innofunni: PolyMasters is kind of interesting. I’m a lot less involved there than I am on PolyChamps or even PolyLive. I was just handed the invite and they asked me if I wanted to play and I said, “Okay, sure.” So I can only really give my experience what it’s like playing there, which has been mostly filling out spreadsheets. Seems like the games there are taken a lot more seriously than the kinds of casual games or at least the 1v1 I do on main, which makes sense. It's a competitive league. So I lose a lot more there than on a random main game. It's still fun. If you hang in your division chat, you can talk with everyone there. They've gotten divided up so that it isn't like Joyoung versus seven randoms. Then he wins every game. It is set up based on skill level. The better you do, the more you can advance throughout there, season to season.

Honestly, we have like eight people there and most of it is just being people @ing each other saying, “Hey, you forgot about this rule,” or “GG,” or something like that. It's still very competitive. It's nice in that aspect, but you're not going to be talking about games there. Which is kind of why I like the team aspect of something like PolyChampions.

Tntmasta: PolyLive kind of has a similar premise. They have people match up though, most likely not the same way of two people that are pretty competitive, pretty similar, but it's a live game.

Innofunni: I really like the live aspect. I guess that's not the reason I do poorly. That's completely my fault. I mean, I didn't even do poor live. On most of the games I've played for PolyMasters this season. Just the live aspect, decision making and an event out of it. I like that a lot. It's fun to commentate those games. One of my favorite games that I've played was actually on there too. Maybe you'll get into that later though. They’re kind of similar but different in a lot of ways that favor PolyLive just because of the players that they get in there, the way that you can see them making decisions, the stuff you hear from game analysts, other commentators. I feel like you're really paying attention there and just tuning in a lot. Without even really playing it, you become a lot better player.

As a commentator myself, it's nice. It's a very casual kind of thing. I just got to get the right mix of just meming and joking around with actually talking about the game. Because some of the early games already tried to only talk about the game, you will just be left with dead silence for a while because there's absolutely nothing to say. Especially with the Quetzali mirror, that happened all the time early on. It would be like they're moving their defenders forward. One player has more cities and there's only so many times you can state that in a new way. So it's just nice to interact with the people watching live on the discord or like with your co commentator.

As for my refereeing, that's not really a thing. I do have the rules still, but that's just because they needed a referee for one game and I volunteered to do it. Ever since then I've not needed to be a referee so I haven't.

Tntmasta: Yeah, they stuck me with a lot of roles originally. I'm like, “I can't do all these things.”

Innofunni: Yeah, it looked like they were kind of desperate for people to get everything operational and functioning. And it is a really labor intensive thing. But it's also been, working out very well. We’ll follow people that they've got there. Maybe a little aggressive, but it certainly paid off. I'm really a big fan of what PolyLive is right now.

Tntmasta: I'm impressed with how well it's been doing so far. Because their original goal was to be able to make quality YouTube content and that's a lot of work.

Innofunni: Yeah.

Tntmasta: They’re still working on that, as far as I know. So you'll be participating in the upcoming season, then?

Innofunni: Yes. I don't know why I signed up honestly, because I have a lot more fun just commentating than actually playing. I guess I have to, before they start questioning me and my authority. The worst thing that can happen to you as a commentator, you just say something and then like, the entire chat just turns against you.

Tntmasta: I haven't commented a lot, but I've never had that problem because I've never had an audience that interacted with me pointing out those problems. Kind of a sidetrack. I did a YouTube video of me versus myself and I was the commentator. I was commentating it live. And almost nobody was in the chat, which is understandable. So I didn't really have anyone correcting me. The funny part is I would have to correct myself then and go, “Oh, wait, Nope, that's incorrect.” So yeah, commentating is tricky, but also fun.

Tntmasta: For the main server you’re in the Tiny Tournament Two. Would you call yourself a big tournament lover or just something you wanted to try because it's in main?

Innofunni: No, I am not a tournament lover. In fact, every time I've thought about how I joined there, I've regretted it because I've had no reason to. I don't know why I'm doing all these. I don't know why I'm in PolyMasters, why I’m in PolyLive (the tournament aspect. I love being a commentator there. Literally no downsides. I mean, aside from the time investment, I guess). I don't know why I'm in the tiny tournament. And I'm probably going to sign up for the bullet tournament as well.

Tntmasta: Last question. What's your favorite part of the Polytopia discord?

Innofunni: I spend most of my time in the team game channels. Yeah, I guess I'd have to say that just hopping in there, if someone's posted something in there, I'm on it. I like it very much. Big fan. It's unfortunate that there's just not enough space to archive all the game channels on main. Honestly, even if there was, a lot of that stuff would be kind of boring to look over. I don't know about anyone else. I can only speak for myself here, but even though they've got the season games archived on Craw, there's not a chance I'm looking over those. That's incredibly boring.

Tntmasta: But it's a part of history.

Innofunni: I know. And I see people talking about the black market for archives and stuff, how teams will trade archives. And I'm like, “Are you kidding me? People actually want to look at this stuff?”

Tntmasta: Teams create archives? I didn't know that.

Innofunni: Illegally, illegally.

Tntmasta: Ah.

Innofunni: Like someone's planning on transferring. They hate the team. Illegal archive stealing. Screenshot everything. I don't think it's a very big thing, but I have heard it happen a few times.

Tntmasta: That's all the questions I had.

Innofunni: Cool. Thank you for having me. Zebasi is the best tribe in the game. See ya.

Tntmasta: Bye.

Read or listen to the rest of the interview in the Friendly Polytopia server.

Quetzali Lore

By Cuttlersan

You’re standing in a wide clearing in the middle of a lush jungle. The sky above you is cloudy, promising rain. It rains often here, in the Quetzali rainforest. The trees on the edge of the clearing have tan trunks stretching up to a thick, bushy canopy of leaves. You can hear birds rustling their feathers and chattering around you in the jungle. In the distance, behind the trees, terraced mountainsides jut out of the rainforest, snow capped at the peaks. The clearing ahead of you is full of Qorn (that’s spelled with a Q). It’s a bright yellow plant based on corn, which was first cultivated by mesoamerican civilizations. The Quetzali enjoy drinking Qorn juice, served in a traditional corn juice jar.

A nearby stalk of Qorn looks like it’s been recently disturbed; the cob is partially eaten and red soil stands out against the dark green grass in clumps at the base of the plant, inadvertently kicked up by a Qui-Qui bird.

Qui-Qui birds are large, reddish-brown, flightless birds with leering eyes, pointed beaks, and a distinctive feather crest on their heads, consisting of two fans of feathers on either side of the head that resemble horns, and a ridge of feathers running down the center of the skull that looks like a mohawk. A good size comparison for them would be ostriches, which are large enough to be ridden (although that shouldn’t be attempted). Despite their formidable appearance, Qui-Qui birds are actually quite easy to befriend, being rather lovable creatures that enjoy a good snuggle. They’re so friendly that the Quetzali have little difficulty hunting them, which has made them so popular that they appear as the main ingredient in Qui-Qualum, the Quetzali’s most popular dish.

The Quetzali value the Qui-Qui as more than a meal, finding a special kinship with them seeing as both are gender-less, egg-laying bipeds. They have such a respect for the avian inhabitants of the Quetzali jungles that they worship the bird gods of their native red soil and wear headdresses shaped like the head of the Qui-Qui bird, ultimately seeking to live in harmony with nature. The Quetzali are also known to use the Qui-Qui birds as intimidating mounts, and are commonly seen riding around on them. They live in cities made of mostly red clay blocks and golden blocks, with accents on certain structures made from green clay blocks. The architecture is very angular, favoring sharp edges and terraced domes.

The Quetzali themselves are based on Mesoamerican civilizations, taking inspiration from societies such as the Olmec, Toltecs, Mayans, and Aztecs, and their name closely resembles that of the Quetzal bird, which is native to Central America, and Quetzalcoatl, an Aztec god. The Quetzali leader is called the All-Feather, and they reign until they die or decide to resign. When an All-Feather dies or resigns, a successor is chosen through the Tichitelxi Ceremony, where Quetzali children come forth holding food out in their hands, hoping the bird gods will favor them, signified by a shimmer of light shining from the Pillar of Ixquezal at the Temple of Ixte’wop in the Quetzali capital. The chosen becomes the next All-Feather, set to lead their people onward to greatness or ruin, hopefully the former.

Mute Ban Column

There were no public mutes or bans this week, only Meep, an admin, banning Cathy, a mod, presumably as a joke.


Thanks to all our contributors: Espark, Noru, Tintin, Cuttlersan, and Tmas. A big thanks to Artemis for setting up the website for the newspaper. Also, thank you to our faithful readers for encouraging the paper to continue.

If you want to submit a piece to the newspaper—art, news article, opinion piece, puzzle, etc.—let us know in #article-suggestions.

Keep up, Ai-Mo!