A Neopian's Guide to Screenie...izing
I consider myself a regular on the Help Chat (HC). Being a regular on the HC, I’ve seen my fair share of screen shots (screenies). Some of them were good, some of them were astounding works of art, and some of them were just bad. Unfortunately, most of the screenie pages I’ve seen are unorganized and unfunny, which is exactly what drove me to write this article.
To me, taking a screenie is like buying a suit. You can easily find a good one if you go to the right places, but finding a great one takes a bit of searching. Likewise, if you make a board asking for people to do funny stuff so you can screenie them, you’ll end up with that 12-suits-in-1 combo set collecting dust in your attic, and nobody wants those. So how do you avoid that? Well, that’s what I’m here to tell you. By the end of this article, I assure you, you’ll have the finest suits around. Err, screenies. You’ll have the finest screenies around.
Organization is one of the most important things you have to deal with. You could have a great suit, but if your tie is holding up your belt and your socks are tied around your head so you look like some sort of suit-wearing sock ninja, nobody’s going to take you seriously, just like if your screenie page is in shambles. If you want an organized screenie page, try centering your screenies and putting some space between them. Try to stack your screenies vertically, as that tends to look neater. Having your screenie well-cropped is also vital to the organizational look, which leads me to my next point, the crop.
Cropping is the art of cutting out unnecessary bits of your screenie (ie: the address bar, the side bar, etc etc). A good crop should focus the viewer’s attention on the part of the page that you found screenie-worthy. For example, if you found 50 neopoints on the ground (I wouldn’t recommend taking a screenie of that), you don’t need to show the part of the screenie where you lose 100 neopoints on Coconut Shy; just crop that out of there and show everyone how lucky you were. Also try to avoid cutting out important bits of the screenie, like the finding of 50 neopoints.
By far the single most important thing any screenie should have, though, is originality. I swear, if I see one more “Bob the stick figure” or “Bob the floating head”, so help me Fyora, I will write you a stern neomail. Enough of that, though; here are a few things to keep limited (or just leave out entirely).
-Bob the anything.
-People acting dumb on the board.
-Pets talking to their petpets.
-Sloth prancing around in his Pink and Green Sun Hat (Just kidding! That’s always funny).
-Yelling at one of the fruit machine neopets.
-TNT making typos. I know it’s ironic since they're robots and all, but that gets a little old.
-Jelly World. Seriously, it doesn’t exist; you’re not tricking anyone.
Having something original can vastly improve your screenie page. Think about it; if your screenies are something that’s been done, then it’s just “another one of those ______ screenies. Ho hum...” If your screenies are something never-before-seen, though, then it’s “Hey, ______ screenies! What a spiffy idea! I have to spread the word about this person and make them a Neopian superstar!” Heck, your inbox will be filled to the brim with people begging to be your friend by the next day. See what a difference it makes?
What if you don’t know what kind of ideas will bring you over night superstardom, though? Well, you could think about it until you decide on something, or you could take one of these of ideas for your own, no catch (except the hundreds of other people that will have them now).
-Adam in a tutu. How can that not be funny? He could say something totally boring like “tax document”, and it would still be hilarious. You don’t even have to have a good picture, because just the idea is what’s funny.
-A haiku to go with each screenie. I can see it now:
“Jelly World is real!!”
“No it isn’t, you’re crazy.”
“Yes, I suppose so.”
-Mirror image screenies. Regular screenies are so Year 6; give your screenies a twist!
-Attack screenies. Nobody will dare to give you a bad rating when they get a glimpse of these guys.
-3D screenies. Man, that would be awesome. Know what? I’m taking this one off the list, it’s mine now!
-Ye olde Screeniese. Juste adde an “E” aftere everythinge- isn’te thise awesomee?!
-t4lk lyk th15!!11 4ll 73h k3wl kids r doing it!!11
-Super Screenies! Just throw a cape and/or a mask on everyone and everything; it worked for the attack peas, didn’t it?
-Boring screenies. Maybe if you make them boring enough they’ll actually seem funny!
-Slow-loading screenies. Slow and steady wins the race, right?
Those are good, aren’t they? This is just a small amount of ideas, though. I bet you could come up with something awesome and original if you really tried. Not sure if it’s funny, though? Ask around on the HC; there’s always someone there to voice their opinion (whether you ask for it or not).
My final lesson is diversity. Everybody’s different; that means everybody’s going to have different tastes. Unless you’re doing a specialty page, having 93 screenies of random events that you got and a few miscellaneous screenies thrown in the batch is, for a lack of better words, boring (unless you’ve got Adam in a tutu!). Now sure, there are some people out there who think random events are the greatest thing since canned bread and just can’t get enough of them, but frankly, the vast majority of people are not like that. Some general screenie topics are...
Of course, that’s just categories that are frequently used. There are tons of other things out there to screenie.
Well, that’s all I’ve got to say. Just remember, those screenies are yours; don’t take anything in this article as a list of screenie rules, because, frankly, there aren’t any. If you really do think random events are the greatest thing since canned bread and want 93 of them, I’m not going to stop you. Maybe your page will become famous some day, who knows. If it does, though, make sure you mention the awesome writer who kept you occupied for the last 10 minutes (me).