Customisation Spotlight: Can You Be a Star?
There’s a hot new contest in Neopia. The Customisation Spotlight, where all Neopians have a chance to vote for your pet, depending on how it has been customised.
There seems to be, however, a bit of a divide as to what makes a good customised pet. Many of the entrants to the very first contest were simply poor, plain coloured pets dressed in nothing but potato sacks, and in some cases wearing nothing at all save for a starry background. So what makes a decently customised pet?
Background: This may seem counter-intuitive when you’re deciding how you’re going to get your pet to look his or her best, but this is a very important consideration. Let’s say you have a Kougra who loves archaeology; a Lost Desert or maybe even Geraptiku background would suit him very well. These are, however, NC Mall items and some people will rate pets with any NC Mall item on them lower than pets with no NC Mall items at all.
A good background is also hugely important if you have a pet that is a colour that cannot wear clothes, such as a Baby, Mutant or a ‘Grandfathered’ painted pet. Baby pets suit the Games Room background well as the bright colours and nice patterns on the walls and floor look very much like a fun place for a baby to be. Mutants would do well with a spooky or dark background, so something like the Haunted Woods background from the NC Mall would suit them very well (but keep in mind the point I made about NC Mall items and how they may affect your pet’s votes above). If you don’t fancy using Neocash, how about the Moon and Stars Background from Mystical Surroundings? This background is fairly dark in colour and most Mutant pets love nothing more than sneaking around in the dark.
A background for a Grandfathered painted pet is a more difficult choice as it depends on what colour the pet is. Faerie pet do well in the Neogarden background and the Shenkuu River background, as do snooty Royal pets.
Clothing: This is the most important element of customisation (at least for pets that are able to wear them). Almost every Neopian that I spoke to agreed that just slapping a potato sack or Blechy hat (or sometimes both) onto your pet won’t get their votes, no matter how nice the background.
Pet-specific clothing seems to be a favourite, especially if the pet in question is wearing the full outfit, but to get the best votes possible it would be best if you chose a background that went with the theme of the clothing. One of the pets that I particularly liked this week was a Flotsam kitted out in the Flotsam chef clothing and it had the cheese shop background. See how backgrounds can accentuate the pet, provided it fits with the theme?
You may not want to kit your pet out in just one pet specific outfit; you might want to mix and match these clothes with either other pet specific clothes, with ordinary NP-bought clothes, NC mall clothes or even clothes from Deluxe Paint sets. This is entirely up to you, but remember that most people agree that the clothes have to match with each other or fit a certain theme as well as fit with a background if you have already decided on one.
NP-bought clothing can work very well with any pet that has the ability to wear it, but again, keep in mind that the clothes have to fit together and look aesthetically pleasing to garner any votes. Spectacles of Perception work well for pets that want to look intelligent and would work well with an Explorer Backpack and Daring Adventure Hat for those pets that love to go exploring. For female pets that want to look as regal as possible, there’s the Purple Feather Boa, made with only the finest purple feathers in all of Neopia, and a Shenkuu-Inspired Paper Parasol to keep her cool in the hot and sticky weather around Shenkuu. If your pet is a rather snobbish fellow, you may want to get him a Black Derby Hat and a Smarmy Monocle so that he can lord it over almost every other pet in Neopia (besides the Royal ones, of course). Whatever you decide, make sure that the clothes fit with one another and that they don’t clash with the background you’ve chosen.
Deluxe Paintbrush sets are those Paintbrushes that can give your pet extra clothing or accessories to go with the base colour of the Paintbrush. These include Island, Pirate, Royal and Hallow’een Paintbrushes. The accessories from these paintbrushes can be put on a pet of the same species of the pet you created but that is a different base colour, or you can paint over the colour but retain the accessories. This is especially useful if you like the accessories that go with the Paintbrush but aren’t too keen on the base colour. I did this with my Lenny. I had originally morphed her into an Island Lenny but didn’t like the tan and white base, so I decided to paint her white and keep the flower and necklace on while taking the anklets off (they didn’t fit the blue tint on her legs nor the Moon and Stars background I later bought for her). You can decide to paint your pet more Deluxe Paintbrush colours to get more accessories to mix and match on your pet until you decide that they’re perfect. Again the accessories and base colour(s) must match together as well as with any background you choose so that your pet can get the best votes possible.
NC mall Clothing can look very good on a pet, provided that you don’t go overboard (the same goes for the other clothing options above). Having full NC Mall outfits might make your pet more spiffy and may garner you more votes, but, again, there are Neopians out there who vote pets that wear NC mall items exclusively lower than pets with NP-bought clothing. You could try having your pet wear the Wizarding Apprentice Robe but put it on a Moon and Stars background, or maybe even put some Deluxe Paintbrush accessories on that accentuate the look (provided you have some). For example a nice pair of Christmas Zafara wings might look particularly nice poking through the robe and against the Moon and Stars background. Be sure that the accessories and other clothing and a possible background matches with the NC mall clothing, and as I stated before, please don’t go overboard with it all.
Accessories: There are plenty of NP-bought accessories available, ranging from puppets to purses. These are a very important consideration if you have a pet that cannot wear clothing (as stated above, these are: Baby, Mutant and Grandfathered painted pets). I personally think that Puppets work very well with Plushie and Baby pets, though some do work well with other colours.
You may decide to give your Baby pet a Sand Bucket or some blocks to play with. These work very well with all painted pets and work against the Games Room and Gormball Field backgrounds very well.
Almost all pets can carry a purse of some sort, why not give your Usul a nice Pink Knit Handbag to go with her lovely Pretty Pink Flower Hat? Or how about giving your melancholy Grey pet a Purse of Despair so that they can show off the depths of their misery to everyone around them?
You may decide to treat you pet to a Faerie Doll from the NC mall instead. These little dolls float above your neopet’s head and can give a nice touch to some backgrounds. The NC mall accessories that are normally animated in the pet’s lookup are not animated on the voting page, so keep this in mind if you decide on one of these items to give to your pet for this contest. The same note as with all the other NC mall items applies here, some Neopians may vote down your pet if it has exclusively NC mall items, so use them sparingly.
A final note: If your pet doesn’t win the spotlight, don’t worry. The whole point of customisation is so that you can customise your pet any way you want and what other people think doesn’t really matter if you happen to love our pet the way he or she is, Potato Sack and Blechy Hat or Twinkling Pink Tiara and Sparkling Faerie Dress.