So, You Wanna Play TwitterPonies?
The very very FIRST thing to do is go read the Guidelines. They're right there. Go read 'em.
Back? Great. Please follow the guidelines when creating and playing your character, as they help to ensure everyone is playing in the same sandbox. Please keep in mind that the guidelines are NOT hard-and-fast rules, nor are they intended to be arbitrary or powergamey. They're there to ensure that everyone has fun together!
Now, you might be thinking that now's the time to go make your mlp_ tagged Twitter account, but hold up a second! Take the time to flesh out your character a little bit.
Thinking Up Your Character
Okay, so who do you want to be? That's the first question you should ask yourself when making your character. There's some limitations - no alicorns, obviously, other than those specified by show canon - but otherwise it's pretty free. You can be a Unicorn, Pegasus, or Earth pony. There's even dogs, cats, zebras, baby dragons, and of course Griffons to choose from.
This is the big one. The one that defines your pony. This is what everypony is looking at or for when you trot out for your first time. Now most of time, your cutie mark will have something to do with your ponies special talent. A pie if your pony makes the best pies in Equestria, and shovel if your pony really enjoys shoveling, etc. But it doesn't have to be a literal representation of your pony's special talent. Pinkie Pie's cutie mark is balloons. She isn't a pony that sells balloons or makes them. Of course she uses them when she tries to cheer a pony up, or throws a party, but the balloon itself isn't the defining feature of her special talent. It is a representation that embodies her special talent, and can readily relay that to the rest of Equestria.
All things considered this is the hardest thing to pick when coming up with your own pony. Even the show is lost for ideas sometimes when it comes to background cutie marks.
Choosing a cutie mark is as much an expression of what you want your pony's special talent to be, as it is an expression of you. If you pick something that just has no interest for you for your pony's special talent, then you are going to get bored very quickly. You don't have to pick something that you know everything about either, because that can get boring too. Rather, find something you are interested in, agriculture, fish, botany, torch juggling, whatever it happens to be, but be interested in it, relish in it, and just generally enjoy what your pony's special talent really is.
This is a big decision. Don't take it lightly, but don't fret over it either. No one can tell you what YOUR pony's special talent should be. Enjoy picking it, and learning about it, and exploring it, and talking about it. That way, as you learn about your pony, you learn about something that interests you as well.
Outside of your cutie mark, This is arguably the most important aspect of your pony. It determines so much, from how your character makes friends, to who they would be friends with. In fact, as you RP, you will find that you continuously develop this area of your pony. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are creating your pony's personality:
- You will most likely be starting this RP by yourself. Therefore, Be prepared to develop how your character acts and behaves on his own a lot at the beginning of your Twitterponies journey.
- You will be meeting a lot of ponies for the first time (And yes, this means that no pony knows who you are yet). Have a very good idea of how your pony makes friends with others.
- Stress exists in this world! It's not stress like "Ermahgerd! the world is going to explode!", but rather real stress, like being nervous around certain ponies, or worrying about large amounts of work. While this isn't an aspect you should have fleshed out right off the bat, have something prepared for later in your journey.
- IMPORTANT: Don't be a pony who tries to make others mad. If this is your first time making a character for any RP, steer clear of personality aspects that could quickly start conflicts. They are extremely hard to play well, and you risk alienating yourself from the RP if it is done incorrectly.
Making Your Character Avatar
Congratulations! You've made a character! It's got a personality, style, flair, a hook, and even a cutie mark! You're totally ready to start playing right? But wait a minute, how is everypony else going to know what you look like? Your profile picture is only an egg! Oh no! You haven't made a picture for your pony yet. Luckily, you have some great resources you can access right here.
There are quite a few of these floating around the internet, however, two of the best are:
- Hasbro's own (Only availiable to citizens of the US, Canada and selected other countries.)
- General Zoi's Pony Creator
Hasbro's is fairly easy to use and comes with some cutie marks and backgrounds and a ton of clothes. General Zoi's, while lacking clothes, offers far more customization in body type, etc. and, while it doesn't come with cutie marks, you can import an transparent .PNG file into the game to add one in, an especially useful tool if you want a cutie mark that Hasbro hasn't put in the show.
Deciding how to color your character can be a very challenging. Should it be light or dark? Should the mane be two colors or one? And does that color make me look fat? There are a lot of questions you ask when making a color scheme for your new OC. That being said, here are some tips and tricks for creating color schemes for a pony.
You inhabit a world of pastel colors, if you're 100% stuck, you could start there.
Analogous colors are colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. Choose a couple adjacent colors to use as a jumping off point. If you look at the wedge again, you'll notice the colors get lighter and darker. That's called a gradient. Working within a gradient is also a really cool idea and makes character coloration easy!
- An effective way of coloring is to combine the two strategies. Twilight Sparkle's mane color and body color are both shades of purple, with the pink streak in her mane being an analogous color to the purple color scheme.
- Take a coloring cue from your character:
- Take inspiration from your character's job or talent. If your character works in a coal mine, color him/her in shades of brown and grey to further emphasize that and give off an earthen appearance.
- By the same token, your character's name could be used as material for the color scheme. Spitfire is colored in hues of yellow and orange, like a flame.
- Working with contrasting colors, colors far away from each other on the color wheel:
- Working with two contrasting colors: pick two colors opposite (or close to it) on the color wheel and then try to get them to mesh. The easiest way I've found to get this to work is to make one color the body color and eye color, then use the other for the mane color. An excellent example of this color scheme being played out is Lightning Dust. Her blue body contrasts her bright orange mane, and is even further set off from the analogous yellow in her eyes.
- Working with three contrasting colors (the color triangle): We'll analyze Fluttershy for this one. Fluttershy's body color is a pale yellow, so look at the yellow wedge on the wheel. her hair is a light pink, which belongs to the red wedge, and her eye color is a light blue, which, of course, belongs in the blue wedge. If you drew a line between the wedges, you would end up with a triangle! Pretty cool huh? Of course, you're not limited to these three colors; green, purple, and orange would be another example of a color triangle.
- White out: OK, this isn't that common, and that's because it doesn't happen often in the show. but say you really want your mane to be a certain color, but you cant find a body color to go with it. If worse comes to worse, You could make a white body, but again, it isn't the most common of choices. It also can be used to give off an air of prestige and high class (since it would showcase dirt and grime very well, it must be kept clean!).
You've probably noticed that the color wheel doesn't really include black or white. However, those certainly are colors that are open to you, so if your urge is spurred, you have that option. In fact, if you really think about it, if you make any color pale enough or dark enough, it becomes white or black!
Of course, there are other color schemes plans and ideas. Don't needlessly limit yourself with what you've seen here! These are simply meant to help you start off. If you want to make a pony look like a glowstick exploded on them, then rock on! Just remember to have fun with it!
Huzzah! You've brought a pony out from the molten forges of your imagination and are ready to begin your journey into the mystical frontier of TwitterPonies. But before you dive into the deep end, make sure you know your Tweetiquette. Proper tweet syntax make RP with you easier, because it makes it easy to read your tweets. You're also more likely to get followers if you maintain proper syntax.
Okay. Bad news first:
- It's going to be difficult to become great friends with a show character.
- It's going to take work to be a good RPer that others respect.
- You probably won't get into a scene right away either.
- It takes time to make friends, just like in real life.
Now, we gave you this information not because we want to discourage you from trying those things. In fact, I think that the end products of these are admirable goals to shoot for. But we don't want you to come into Twitterponies with unrealistic expectations of what you'll get out of it, or how quickly you'll be able to achieve it.
As strange as it seems to start a section about tweeting with this, Don't tweet right away.
Why? Because you should do what's known as lurking. watch other people RP for a few days. Try to learn about what really goes on in this universe from those around you who also play this game. Not only will lurking help you learn what's acceptable and not, you may also receive some ideas for scenes, and possibly find someone you'd like to RP with. Lurking is also a great way to begin looking at the RP while you finalize your character.
Now that you've successfully lurked for a bit, it's time to have a scene all by yourself!
Not what you were expecting? Well think of it this way. I have no clue who you are, if you're a powergamer, a dramabomb, or any other form of undesirable. Now, there are certainly players that will give you the benefit of the doubt, but there are also a lot who won't. In order to avoid that you should definitely start with a solo scene.
Why? It gives us other players the opportunity to learn how you're playing the game.
Another tip: Don't get ahead of yourself. Start small. You're not Indiana Jones, rushing away on an adventure of epic proportions. You're Julia (or Joe) the pony heading off to buy groceries, or moving into your new apartment.
Playing By yourself
I cannot stress how important this is. You shouldn't just waltz into TwitterPonies, mention somepony out of the blue in your first tweet, and expect them to RP with you. We know nothing about how you play, what kind of RP you're interested in, etc. We know nothing about you.
So how do we get to know you, and your style of play? You play by yourself! Yup. simple as that. "But how do I do that," you ask. That's entirely up to you. Trot around Ponyville, buy a book from a nonexistent shop, drink a coffee, have dinner. Proxy (that's roleplay talk for play as another character.) nameless background ponies who will interact with you.. Just play! Then we get to know you, and your RP style, and it's much easier to break into TP once we know stuff about you.
This is it! The moment you've been waiting for! You're finally getting to role play with another person! You're not gonna be a 100% new player anymore!
Wait...Hold on. Let's not get too ahead of ourselves here. We're not going on some outlandish adventure with somepony you've just met, that's absolutely crazy! Let's keep our feet on the ground for now. You should keep your offers (A call to RP) very low risk. This helps you avoid rejection (Refusal of an offer). Here's a few tips you should take to heart when having your first interaction(s):
- You're a new player. That means the you need to make low risk offers.
- High risk offers are very likely to get rejected.
- Don't expect a terribly long RP your first go. Again, you’re not going on an adventure. Your RP may only last an hour.
- By the same token, don't expect people to respond immediately. You should give someone about 5 minutes to respond.
- You don't need to use the entire 140 characters. Let the other player make decisions about the RP. We are in our RP, not in your RP. We all share it.
- It's not a half bad idea to buy something from a pony who runs a store. In fact, it provides you with a setting and a plot, so all you need to really do is provide dialogue and action.
- Finally, KISS. Keep It Simple, Silly. You don’t have to push for RP. Let it flow naturally.
- You don't need to announce your new in town. If a pony asks about where you're from, feel free to tell them.
Good sample offers
Ok, there’s no real way to learn something like looking at a fairly good example. Now, these examples are generalized and, quite frankly, fairly lackluster. but let’s keep in mind, you haven't really built up a relationship with anypony, and you haven’t had the time to build the trust to do something that could be considered a force.
Good Sample Offer A
- Boom. Great opener, You've provided @mlp_example, who runs a tea shop, with not only a plot, but also given their player plenty of options
- That "Umm..." is really nice. It adds a natural pause, and shows you've never been in the shop. Of course, if your characters gutsy, that tweet ain't gonna work at all.
Good Sample Offer B
Background: Example pony is trotting around town and has asked someone to approach for an RP
- Ok, this works because you have both approached for an RP, and provided a nice and simple plot to go off of.
- You’ve also kept it fairly low key, a great thing in your first interactions.
- In addition, if the other player is busy, the interaction isn’t designed to be long, so you provide the other player with a way out!
Bad sample offers
Of course, there’s no real way to learn what not to do than by staring it in the face.
Bad Sample Offer A
- *Sighs* This is horrible for so many reasons, but lets try to condense it to two.
- This player forced somepony who they don’t know to have done something in the past that, if they accept the offer, they cannot refute. In addition, it adds in an undesired element of violence into our RP, and that’s not cool.
- This is called “Powergaming”. It is an attempt to control the RP of others by writing past events or reactions in for them. This can, and will, lose you potential RP partners and followers.
Bad Sample Offer B
Background: Example pony is trotting around town and has asked someone to approach for an RP
*trots around town, downtrodden* *Heaves a heavy sigh* ((Approach for RP))
- Ok, this is bad because the player is throwing the responsibility to cheer them up onto whomever accepts their offer. I rarely see this kind of offer accepted (although that may just be on my TL),
- In addition, this player has the opportunity to create even more drama on the TL, something which nopony is really in to.
Ok, having an interaction isn't as easy as you think it is. Why? because the other pony is controlled by a living, breathing, human being. You don’t know what they’re going to say or how they’re going to react to any tweet you make, so take the time to think about the things you type. Lets base an interaction off of Good Sample A for this. I do have a slight love for tea, and I think it shows here...... A little bit.
Let’s say the other player is fairly busy, which is sometimes the case. They may respond with this.
Alright, So this tweet is pretty clear at communicating their busy, maybe with another character, or maybe they’re wrapped up IRL. at any rate, you should probably come back with something like this:
From here on out, they’ll tell you what to pay, then you can pay and go on your merry way.
But what if they aren't busy. What it they want to RP with you for a bit? What if they come back with this:
Well, now you’re in an RP. What you should do is keep the conversation flowing, just like a real one, maybe occasionally add an action into your tweet. you may come back with something like this.
Or you may do with something different. The point isn't to force an agenda or a plot when you start out. the point is to just be. Be a pony. Be your pony. The adventures and everything else will come later, so just enjoy being. And don’t forget to have fun!