‘Seedlings’ – virtual pet PHP test

Showcasing the feeding system.

I, like a seemingly huge proportion of 20-something femme devs, was strongly influenced by Neopets in my formative years.

I distinctly remember being about 14 and writing a simple “log-in” function with JavaScript (probably something like if ( inputValue == "password" ) { loggedIn(); } ) and implementing it on a Neopets HTML/CSS and graphic sites I had at the time. This didn’t backfire as much as you’d expect because I didn’t really have anything to password-protect, and because my audience were all also 14.

Friends display.

Community has always been very important to me, and I remember thinking it would be so cool to have my own online community that I had built myself. (I later scratched this itch with a roleplaying forum but that’s a story for another time.) I would enter the password that I had manually defined in plaintext in my JavaScript and click “Log In” and feel very pleased with myself – but also believing that to do it for real, with databases or whatever adults used when they built things for real, was impossible for me.

Select which friend to send a message to.

Recently I wanted to play around with PHP and MySQL and decided to honor my preteen self and create a (very simple) Neopets-adjacent site – users can create and care for “Seedlings” and add friends and send messages and upload a profile picture, etc. I can happily report that just creating different users and adding them as friends to each other during development was exactly as gratifying as I hoped it would be.

Inbox and outbox.

If you feel like playing with it locally you can check it out on my github – it’s vanilla PHP and a modified water.css: https://github.com/erinknowles0501/seedlings

Next: items system.

If any other Neopets graduates (that live in Halifax) are interested in learning how to deploy this project on your own, please reach out, let’s meet at a cafe with our laptops and I’ll walk you through it.