The blog of game developer & artist Ashley Alicea.
I love Pikmin but sometimes those adorable little aliens annoy me to no end. Why? This:
Those who have played Pikmin will understand the pain I have illustrated above. For the record, I know Pikmin can’t talk, that’s just how I hear their little squeals in my head.
It took me a while to figure it out but I realized I’m quite similar to Ashley from the WarioWare series. It’s not just for the namesake, we share a number quirks. Over the course of the game series, Ashley has shown tomboyish tendencies, a strong work ethic, an alternative mindset, a fondness of food, and somewhat of an ego. That’s pretty much me right there. Plus Ashley is considered a game designer because of her mini-game contributions to WarioWare Inc. and Diamond Software. The icing on the cake is that I looked a lot like her when I was her age. I fondly remember the times when my friends used to sing me her theme song to tease me.
I’m in my early 20s and I still find myself logging into Neopets every couple of months! I’m not sure what keeps me drawing back after all these years, about a decade now that I think about it. So much has changed since I’ve started playing in 2002 but the basic concept has stayed the same. For those who aren’t familiar with the game, it’s an online world where you can care for virtual pets and earn currency and accessories (through games, exploration, business, etc.) used to care for these pets.
I know it sounds simplistic but I think one of the things that keeps drawing me back is the extensive amount of lore and areas to explore. It has also been fascinating to see the evolution of the site, specifically from a game design perspective. Honestly, decline would seem to be a better word to use. What used to be a clean and diverse game environment is now an ad-cluttered, currency-obsessed game world. Personally, I credit the downfall to Viacom’s buyout of the game in 2005.
Still, I keep coming back. If anything, just to feed my pet and play some games to put money in the Neopets bank. Sometimes to witness the change in the different Neopet lands or even to search for some rare items. No matter what I’ve been in the mood for, Neopets has always been there and will always continue to be my guilty pleasure game.