How to Win the Neopian Adventure Spotlight
GAMES ROOM - Are you hungry for yet another trophy? Or maybe it’s the Neopoint
reward? Maybe you just want to create an amazing adventure for all to enjoy? Well,
whatever the reason, you want to win the Neopian Adventure Spotlight, but you
are unsure how to do it. No fear! This is what this article is for. If you need
help getting started, or you just need some tips to create an adventure worthy
of the Adventure Spotlight, then read on.
Step 1-Adventure Basics
Before you start writing your adventure, you want to have a basic storyline
for your adventure to follow. It doesn’t need to be too specific, it’s just
to give you a starting point from where you can expand and branch out. I started
out with just a simple plot: one pet tries to take over Neopia. When you’re
writing an adventure, it’s a good idea not to have your plot too lined out,
because then you might find yourself stuck within your plot’s limitations when
it comes time for your hero to make choices (more on choices later on). If you
need ideas for your story, you can always think about where you want your story
to happen. If it’s in Meridell, maybe it’s a knight in shining armour rescuing
a princess. If it’s in the Lost Desert, maybe it’s an exploration party searching
for a valuable artefact in an ancient gebmid. The possibilities are endless.
Once you’ve got your basic storyline, you need to start thinking about your
hero (or villain). A hero, for adventure purposes, is the one whose story the
adventure follows. Decide whether to give him or her a name, an age, a personality.
Is it a pet or a human? Or are you just letting the person who plays your adventure
be the hero? These are important choices to make, as they can set the whole
tone of your adventure. You can choose a well-known Neopian figure as your hero,
like Jeran or Judge Hog. Be creative. There is no right or wrong when it comes
to choosing heroes (or villains). I chose a blue Bruce named Harry, a perfectly
ordinary Bruce, to take over the world.
When you edit your adventure properties, you will notice that there is a category
where you can choose the genre of your adventure. This can also help you to
determine which turn your adventure can take. If you pick ‘comedy’, then you
know that you want to write a funny, ludicrous adventure. A ‘quest’ is where
you go questing for a special object, or on a special errand. If you have a
clear idea of what kind of genre you would like your adventure to be, then it’s
much easier to come up with an idea for your adventure and write it just as
you want it to be. But if you’re not sure yet, or the genre completely changes
as you write your adventure, don’t worry. You can always come back later to
So, now that you have a basic story plot, a hero and a genre, it’s time to
head right into the action…
Step2-Actually writing out your adventure
When writing out your adventure, you will find out that there are two ways
that you can format your adventure:
1. You follow only one storyline. This format works really well for quests,
battles, and for adventures where you have a really good story, and want people
playing your adventure to only follow this story line. Usually, with this format,
when the hero comes to make choices, there will only be one right choice, and
all the other choices will be wrong and plunge your hero into certain death
because he or she made the wrong decision.
2. You have many storylines. This is a harder and lengthier format to undertake,
but it can be infinitely more rewarding. In this one, the hero’s choices don’t
necessarily bring the hero to a dead end, but can bring a different twist to
your adventure so that your hero has a completely different adventure than if
he had, say, caught the earlier ferry to Mystery Island instead of missing it.
This format is creatively challenging, but you have a lot of flexibility when
it comes to different storylines. Anything goes. You can intertwine your storylines,
maybe create a dead end here, and have many different endings. This format works
well if you’re writing a comedy, a drama, a fantasy, or anything where your
plot isn’t too outlined yet.
Of course, you can use any of the two formats for just about any adventure
you might be writing. Find the one that works well for you, and use it! You
might even try mixing the two to create some bizarre format combination…
Writing an adventure is a lot like writing a story, except for a very important
difference: the person reading your story gets to choose how they want the story
to go. The more enjoyable adventure lets the player a lot of choice about what
he wants to do. It’s all right to go on for a few pages with just the unfolding
story, but, personally, I like to play adventures because I feel that I’m behind
the wheel of the story. Therefore, it is your challenge, as an adventure writer,
to provide as many choices for your hero as you can.
If you’re stuck on writing out choices for your hero to make, here are a few
· Your hero is at a crossroads. What would happen if he took the right-hand
road? What if he took the left instead?
· Your hero is going out on a quest, but there is only room in his pack for
one item. Which item does he take? Does he bring provisions, a good luck charm,
a magic cloak or an expensive battle item?
· Does your hero trust that shady individual that he just met on the road asking
for directions? Is it a faerie in disguise to reward the kind of heart or a
masked robber that will ransack your purse, and strip you of all your Neopoints?
Remember, when it comes to writing down choices, it’s a good idea not to make
the right choice(s) too obvious, because then your adventure becomes too easy.
If it doesn’t challenge the player mentally, he or she will get bored and move
on to another adventure. Making the choices too hard is another bad idea. If
your adventure becomes too hard to play, and the player hits dead ends everywhere,
then they will get annoyed and give up on your adventure. Now, you don’t want
that to happen, now, do you? You want your readers to stick with you until the
very end. So try to find that happy medium when it comes to choices.
A few good tips to follow when writing out your adventure:
1. Don’t plagiarize. Whatever you enter into the spotlight (or, indeed, anything
you write at all) should be your own work.
2. Don’t use vulgar language or talk about vulgar subjects. Your entry will
definitely NOT be picked for the spotlight, and besides it ruins the fun for
3. Be creative. Make your adventure different from anyone else’s. Your adventure
will have a much bigger chance of being picked if it’s something new and different.
Which brings us to the next section.
Step 3-Being Creative
Being creative is one of the toughest things to do when writing an adventure.
You might find that you are meeting up against the author’s worst nightmare:
the writer’s block.
Sometimes, your adventure might be coming on very slowly, until you come to
a dead stop; you don’t really know what your hero should do any more, you don’t
know what kind of choices you can offer him, you don’t know how he’s going to
be able to get out of this dungeon and rescue the princess. What do you do?
I find that one of the best ways to take care of the writer’s block is to take
a break. Yes, that’s right, leave your writing for a few hours, or even a day
or two. Sleep on it for a few nights, and one day you’ll finally think up of
a brilliant way for your hero to get out of that dungeon and you hasten to give
him the choice to dig his way out or steal the guard’s keys. It’s as simple
“But I’ve tried that, and it doesn’t work!” All right, you’ve tried taking
a break, but no matter how much you try you can’t seem to get that wonderful
idea. No worries. Another way to find inspiration is to explore around Neopia.
When’s the last time you checked your Neopedia? If your story’s happening in
Meridell, then go and do some research on Meridell! ‘World’ is a great place
to get to know Neopia better, and not to mention a certain button named ‘Explore’.
As you explore the world that your adventure happens in, you might suddenly
come up with that elusive idea.
If you’re really stuck, and both of those ways don’t work, then you might try
looking at Neopets images. Since neoadventures let you put images on every page
of your adventure, you can base the whole course of your story around an image
you’d like to use in your adventure. This may sound really silly, but believe
me, it can be a real lifesaver.
And if even that doesn’t work, you can do the unthinkable: ask for someone’s
Now that you’ve creatively written your story, it’s time to move on to the
Polishing up your adventure is very important. You can either do it as you
are writing your adventure or do it all at once when you are done. Either way,
it’s always a good idea to revise everything at the end.
How to polish your adventure:
· Edit your adventure properties-When you’re finished writing your adventure,
you might find that what you thought your adventure was going to be wasn’t actually
what it ended up being. You might want to change your title, the land it’s in,
and its category so that it matches your adventure. Pick colours for your adventure;
make sure that you can still read the text, that the colours sort of match and
aren’t glaring to the eye, and that they echo the mood of your adventure (hint:
dark colours=dark mood). I also find that it’s a good idea to suppress page
numbers, but that’s your decision.
· Check spelling, grammar, etc.- Now, this may seem like a long and tedious
task to do, especially if you have a lot of pages, but think about how mortifying
it would be if you had silly mistakes in your adventure like “The Uni went to
the hare salon”. You don’t want to look all sloppy if you win the spotlight.
Besides, it’s not as hard as you might think. All you need to do is copy paste
your pages into a word processor and run spell check. This doesn’t eliminate
all your mistakes, of course, but it’s a fast and easy way to correct your worst,
most horrible mistakes. Impress Neopia with your amazing language prowess (heheheh).
· Putting in images- As was mentioned earlier, you can put an image to every
page in your adventure. If you can, try to put an image in every page you have.
An adventure is much more enjoyable if you add a visual aspect to it. Aren’t
picture books better than books with only words? Everything is prettier with
images! Don’t know where to find them? You can use shopkeepers, item images,
Neopian Times images, trading cards, background thumbnails, avatars, anything!
Search around the site, you’ll find some. If you find an image for every page,
it shows that you worked hard on your adventure and gives you brownie points
for the spotlight!
When you are finally finished planning, writing, and polishing your adventure,
play it yourself. If you enjoy your own adventure, chances are that others will
too. Unlock it, and send it to the adventure spotlight. If you don’t win, don’t
lose heart! Send it again a few weeks later, and if it’s spotlight calibre,
it should win in no time! These four steps can snatch you that sought-after
trophy. Take it from someone who won the Adventure spotlight;)