So you're casually lurking the PC and all of a sudden, there it is! You see a title that immediately draws your attention, and you click. Wow, lucky you! You've just found your dream pet up for adoption!
You quickly read the posts and learn something disturbing — you must make an application. What's an application, you say? An application (app for short) is something you create and give to the owner, to show them that you would like to adopt their pet.
But it's not as simple as that. A successful application requires a tremendous amount of time, patience, and effort. Even though you've given your app 110%, that doesn't always mean you'll get the pet. It's up to the owner to decide which applicant seems like the best one, so it's time to show them what you're really made of!
My name is Jazz. I've made numerous applications before and a lot of you have been asking for advice, so I thought I might as well make a guide. I'm here to help you make the best application possible! :)
* Please Note: The purpose of this guide is to help you make and improve your application. It does not guarantee you will get the pet. It may or may not help you, but I will try my best. Do remember that it is based solely on my experiences with applying. I wrote this guide aiming more towards beginners but you are of course still welcome even if you have applied for a pet before. You never know, maybe you'll find a few tricks in here that will help! :)
After reading this guide, if you still have any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them! Drop me a Neomail and I'll see if I can help. Also, if you have a suggestion, don't be shy to send it in! I'm always open to new ideas. :)
Some people are quite picky with pet names, so let's determine the "quality" of each one.
Before we begin, how about we learn some basic vocabulary? To understand what people are trying to say on the Pound Chat boards, you should know at least the most common abbreviations:
Custom: If someone is offering a custom, it means that they can use a certain amount of NP (depending on the custom) to use on a pet. The pet could be adopted from the Pound or created. Using the NP from the custom, it could be morphed, painted, anything as long as it's allowed.
Example: If someone were to offer a Baby custom, that means they can use a Baby PB to paint the desired pet that colour. Or if another user says they can offer a 500k custom, they're able to do anything you want with the pet they're going to trade (to you) as long as they don't spend more than the offered amount (500,000 NP).
For details on names, click here.
* Please Note: Applying for a pet that is UFA is fine. However, being forced to apply through a Petpage app is NOT! It is against the rules. You can only make one out of your own free will.
Now that you know the basics of PC chatting, it's time to begin step one of your application. The most important thing is to read the owner's rules. It's actually quite sad how so many people don't. Either that or they just quickly skim through them, assuming they know what the owner's looking for. But they don't.
Sometimes owners are sneaky and want to see who truly cares for their pets. So, they'll put something (like a secret word) that you need to have on your app in order to be considered. It would most likely be somewhere in a jumble of words, like in the middle of one of the rules. This is to make sure that you've actually read them all. But once you have it, don't stop reading! They could change it somewhere else near the end too. If it's missing on your app, chances are you won't be chosen.
Most owners like to keep track of applicants, so they'll ask you to mail them if you'll be applying. It's a good idea too, because then you know that if they end up picking an owner early, they won't miss you because they know you're making an app. However, if the owner specifies not to, don't.
So you've read through the owner's rules, understand them, and are ready to start your app? Awesome! First you need to decide which method you'll be using — do you want to send in a Neomail or use a Petpage?
If you'd prefer to keep things simple, I'd suggest going with a Neomail. It's good for short, to-the-point reasoning on why you want the pet/deserve it. Started typing and reached your character limit? No worries! You can use another one, but some owners would prefer if you didn't exceed a certain amount of Neomails. If you did and really can't find any ways to shorten your app, the best option would be to just stick it all on a blank Petpage. Doing this prevents the owner's inbox from being clogged up and makes it easier to read. Don't worry about a layout, your application is supposed to be all text, remember? You also need a disclaimer, but there are details on that later on.
Now, if you're someone who writes a lot (more than 5 Neomails), likes to draw, or enjoys coding, a Petpage is the way to go! Using a premade should be absolutely fine. But you have to be careful when choosing a layout. I personally dislike small scroll-boxes, because it's hard to read. If you like dividing things up into sections, such as this guide right here, you could pick one that has page anchors. Or if you think clicking through all those links is a hassle, choose one that simply scrolls down. Have a header for each part of the app and make sure the colours are visible. That means bright, neon-like hues are a no-no! Same with fonts. If it's so fancy and/or small that you can't even read it, do you think the owner will choose you? There are a lot more things to think about when making a Petpage app but it certainly is more appealing than a message. For example, you can add images like art you've done or adoptables, include an excerpt from a story you've written, etc. It definitely shows the owner that you put in more effort than just typing.
This part is crucial! When making a Petpage app, all owners require a disclaimer. It shows that they did not force you to use a Petpage. If you don't have one, there's a chance they (or you) could be frozen!
Now that you've chosen what method you want to use, it's time to start the actual application. First and foremost, you need to have an introduction. Welcome the owner and the pet you're applying for! To make it effective, try to do it in a creative way that relates to your app/the pet. For instance, if you're applying for a Royal Girl Peophin, you may want to do it in the form of an invitation, as if you were requesting them to join your family. Use your imagination, the more unique your app is, the more it stands out!
Remember that disclaimer we talked about before? A good place to put it would be here! Then the owner doesn't have to worry about it and can focus on the rest of your app completely. :)
For me, I don't like to start without introducing myself. It feels weird talking about the pet when its current owner doesn't even know what kind of person the applicant is. You wouldn't want your pet going to a stranger, would you? x)
So, to take care of my OCD with self-introductions, I always put a section about me on and off Neo. Like I said, I like to put this part second since I want to blab about my plans for the pet once the owner knows who I am.
However, there is one thing you have to be careful of — length. Putting too much information will make you sound self-centered and stuck-up. You may not mean for it to be that way, but that's what the owner may think. Try to limit yourself. You wouldn't want to read pages and pages of information about an applicant either, right?
Here are some questions to think about when writing about your life on Neo:
On the other hand, you should never, ever, EVER lie! People aren't stupid. They can see through things and will only see you as someone dishonest and untrustworthy. But that's not what you're aiming for. So don't make promises you can't keep!
Another good idea is to make a section just for your pets. It's not mandatory (most of the time) but it shows the owner that you care about the ones you currently have and also gives them an idea of what your pet will be living with.
However, there's no need to give them a full story on each pet! Just a simple blurb (mini description) and a link to their lookup/Petpage will do.
Oh, you have a page devoted completely to your family? Well in that case, you can skip this part. Just give them a link to it!
Ah, the most important section of all. Plans. Every owner wants to know what you'll do with their pet, and feeding/playing with it every day just doesn't cut it. Here are some ideas:
The possibilities are endless. But you have to make your application stand out. Is there something specific you specialize in? Perhaps you like to enter your pets in the BC. Link the owner to an art portfolio or entry! Let them see that you're not just saying you do it; you actually have proof.
One thing people always forget is evidence. It HAS to be there. How will the owner know you cross-paint if you don't show them? Provide a link to one of your pets' lookups as an example. Or if you already have a Petpet that you're planning on giving it, you could put it in your Gallery, with a category specially marked with the pet's name. This way, the owner knows you're not making this up. They see the Petpet and are aware that you're already making their pet a place at home! :)
Do you write poems? Draw pictures? Roleplay? Code? Great! If you can't do any of those, that's okay too! They're only here for brownie points. While it does add to your app, it's not necessary and some owners even have limits set, so people don't go overboard. For example, you may only be allowed to have one piece of art in your app, or a total of 250 words in a story. I've even seen someone only allow premade Petpages!
So, you want to impress the owner but not overwhelm them, correct? Then you need to play up your talents as best as you can without seeming like a show-off. If you're an artist, perhaps you could draw the pet in different positions/from different views or make a small icon for each section of the app. If you can't, no worries, I am sure you will find fan-art quite useful (you'll learn about that later on).
Do you like to write? Make a story! It doesn't have to be 1000 words, as long as it makes sense and means something, then it should work. If it's extra long or you haven't finished and aren't ready to show most of it yet, that's alright. You can simply include an excerpt or the introduction, just make sure the owner knows you intend to finish it!
As for roleplaying and CSS, I'm not too strong in those areas. Actually, I've never done any roleplaying before. No matter. If it's something you're good at, show the owner! Give them screenshots of your RP or code something for the pet, such as a lookup. Like I said before, absolutely none of this is mandatory but it certainly does boost your chances! The more effort you put in, the more likely the pet will come home with you! :)
Some people will dedicate their userlookups, shops, galleries, etc. to the pet. How do they do this, you may ask? Simple. They'll make an icon/button (or just something to do with adopting the pet) that links to the application and place it everywhere! Have you ever seen someone's lookup have colours to match the pet they're applying for? Or maybe a section in their Gallery called "Just for _____"? All of these things are done to show the owner how much they love the pet, the most common being their Neoboard font/signature changed. It will most likely say "Come Home, _____!" and have a link to the app and such. But some owners HATE dedications, so you have to be careful. Going way overboard will just make you seem desperate.
This part is optional, but won't take too long. References are sort of like vouches. Basically you can ask some friends to send in a Neomail, containing information about you as an owner. For example, maybe they've adopted out a pet to you in the past, or have done a trade with you. The point is to make it positive, after all, you want the owner to know you're capable of looking after their pet! Just remember to keep it honest and real.
I recommend limiting yourself to five references. They can be a handful to read, and you don't want to have more refs over content in your app! Take screenshots of the Neomails and resize them — the owner can drag the image up to the URL bar for a bigger version. That way, you're not forcing him/her to read them.
If you're someone like me who couldn't draw to save their life, then fan-art is probably something to consider. Another person can draw for you, but you must have permission from them to put it on your app. You also must credit them, you could be frozen for theft of stolen artwork!
This part is specifically for telling the owner multiple reasons why you'd be the perfect owner for their pet and why their pet is perfect for YOU! Now, it doesn't have to be very long as the rest of the application should explain, but it does give a basic outline as to why their pet should come home with you. I can't help you very much around here because then you'd be getting ideas from someone else, but maybe there's something special about the pet that sparks. Or you really like its name. Or it just means a lot to you in general. Think of how it first caught your eye, and the reason(s) why you're bothering to apply!
To which account should the owner mail you if need be? Make it clear where they'll be able to reach you in case they want to ask any questions, etc. I'm assuming it'll be your main account, unless for some reason you can't, like if you're silenced. In that case, put a second account. You never know what will happen, better safe than sorry!
It's important to let the owner know if you have transfers or not to adopt the pet in case you are chosen. Some people may not be willing to wait, especially if you didn't tell them beforehand. If you need to move pets around before receiving the owner's pet, make sure they're aware! That way there won't be any confusion when it comes to actually adopting the pet out.
Other than the obvious (basic) things like content — which you can check off just by looking at the page titles of this guide — here are the things you should be more picky about. Don't worry, there isn't too much. ;)
Yay! You survived my long (and hopefully helpful) guide and finally finished your app! :D Time to send it in and celebrate!
Not so fast. Before you even start, double-check your entire application, in and out. Lucky for you, I've provided a handy checklist for you to use. Click here.
Once you have verified that everything is in place and you're 110% sure it's ready, it's time to submit it! When doing so, you must be polite. First (or second) impressions are so important. This is when the owner first gets an idea of who you are, and if you're rude, chances are they're going to reject your app either way.
Congratulations! You're finally finished your app! :) Don't forget to give yourself a pat on the back and a nice rest with your favourite snack. Now the only thing left is patience. Remember not to ask the owner when they'll be finished reviewing the apps, because you never know how much they have to do. All you can do is hope for the best. Even if you don't get the pet, remind yourself that you've worked long and hard on this application. You should be proud no matter what happens! Good luck! :)
Finished your app but are looking for more? Maybe these will help!
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