May 21 2011

BP Rules and How To

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Howrse has shared a few more details about the rues for the BP.

Remember, with the new changes, Black Pearls will cost 2 passes, and if your drawing does not meet these criteria your passes will NOT be refunded!

However “you can cancel a coat once you’ve submitted it and get a refund at that point in time. In case you don’t like the way it looks or have a doubt. ” – Ow.

That means: before validation starts (between 1st-6th of the month) if you decide your coat isn’t going to be accepted you can remove it from contention & get your passes back. After the 6th when validation starts, you’re out of luck. Watch the events forum, people always post the coats they are going to submit and you can compare. Remember, if your coat gets to voting and isn’t accepted you WILL be refunded.


Golden Apple


  • The image must be centered in the transparent frame provided and fill at least 90% of the frames width & height
    Explanation: your image can not be too small, nor can it go over the edges of the boarder (touching is okay)!
    Example: (from Ow)
    TOO SMALL Perfect!

Clarification: It doesn’t need to be both 90% width AND height exactly (most horses are larger horizontally then they are vertically) but fill as much of the space as you can, without distorting the image & changing it’s shape, so the image looks it’s best once on howrse.

From Ow: “For the “formatting” issues, make sure to use auto-crop once you’ve finished your drawing. That’ll remove any unused and empty spaces that we want to avoid and also tell you if you’ve got a lost pixel somewhere around the borders.”

  • There cannot be any background behind the horse
    Explanation: You have been able to get away with a little bit of shadow or grass in the past but rules change, so proceed with caution

    Clarification from Ow: “We really can’t accept any background work at all any more otherwise it’ll be problematic with the Helios Ray.”Another clarification from Ow: “No background means no background. Nor dust, nor grass, nor water or whatever else. A very light shadow can go through but anything else will be problematic. Only exception is if the “background” is part of the horse like flowers growing from the tail and so forth. But unless your horse is made out of grass don’t put any under his hooves.
    The reason is simple … Grass under the horse on a desert background looks odd. If you want to propose a corresponding background then send it it separately from your horse via the Helios’ Ray” 
  • Draft horses are not allowed, except Gypsy Vanners
    Explanation: Beefy horses are okay, but this is a Freisian not a Cyldesdale


  • Harnessed horses or horses wearing blankets are not acceptable
    Explanation: No tack, small decorative items are allowed, it’s a little hard to say exactly what crosses the line, but no blankets (because that is something your horse finds in it’s box, and like the no mares & foals issue it’s a clarity/coding problem).

    Clarification from Ow: “No tack allowed : Meaning nothing with a Bit, Stirrups or a Saddle Tree … No blankets… Anything imaginary : a ghost horse under a veil, a horse in armour but only armour and nothing laid out for a rider, a horse wearing a 3 piece suit or covered in dreadlocks shouldn’t be considered as tack. It’s difficult to draw a precise line on this but i’m sure you understand what i mean”Halters are a bit of a gray-area, but you’re better off with a traditionally styled head stall then a modern halter. 
  • Only one horse per illustration
    Explanation: No mares & foals! Your horses image doesn’t change now when it has a foal, and doing that would cause too many coding problems, so one horse per illustration.

Unofficial rules:

  • No pegicorns!
  • Little “friends” have been okay in the past, but use them in moderation
  • No foals! Horses can’t have a GA coat until they are ‘mature’. Yes there are a few foal coats, but generally they aren’t allowed.


Helios’ Ray


  • The landscape must fill the entire space in the provided transparent frame
    Explanation: ENTIRE. I would create your landscape to an appropriate size, then place the frame over it & crop
  • When you preview the result the horse mustn’t be floating in thin air above the ground
  • Illustrations composed by a repetition of patterns or images aren’t allowed

Example: Finished background from the french version of the game:

If you download the HR background now there is a horse on it to show you where the horse will appear if the background is accepted on to Howrse. You need to remove that BEFORE submitting your final work.

Horn of Gold


  • The companion must be centered in the transparent frame and fill at least 90% of the height and width
    Explanation: the image can’t be too small! (same as above)
  • There must be a clear distinction between the sleeping companion and when it’s awake.
  • The must not be anything other then the companion in the illustration (ex: no backgrounds, no characters, no grass…)
    Explanation: the companions don’t have anything around them now, so do not put ANYTHING else in the image


  • The awake companion must always be on top of the sleeping companion
    Explanation: When you open up the HoG frame you will see two separate boxes, the awake companion must be in the top box, the asleep in the bottom

Clarification: Sleeping companions should have their eyes closed & be in a very clearly sleeping state.

Unofficial rule:

The companion you draw must be one that is available in the shop for equus (sparrow, cat, etc.)
Clarification from Ow: “… a cat is a cat and lion is a relative but far from the same species so that won’t work. However for the monkey it’s a little different as a monkey can cover a fair few different animals that are all classified as monkeys. So a gorilla would work.
And no a Lemur is not a monkey. So Persian or Siamese are fine and gibbon or gorilla as well ”

I asked ow about ‘decorations’ ON the companions
“…you can even use baubles and garlands if you want. The only thing is the companion must stay the center of interest of the image.”


Rules for All


  • No photos allowed.
    Explanation: everyone can tell when you’ve just press “paint” on a photo you’ve cropped. This is against the BP rules and these coats have been thrown out, even after being accepted initially, when it was proven someone had done this!
    Clarification: It does not matter if you took the photo, using any photo in any way in anything you submit is against the rules.


  • The illustration mustn’t be blurry nor pixelised
    Explanation: some people who haven’t practiced enough, or read the instructions enough, over-blur their photos too much when they are trying to blend coat colours (and we’ll do a tutorial on this later) – you can NOT make your horse so blurry it has no edges & is hard to see. Also you can’t make a tiny horse and then blow it up so it appears pixilated.
    (If anyone has examples of a coat that was not accepted, please send them in!)


  • The illustration must not come from a 3D scene
    Explanation: Do not use 3D software to create your scene and you should be okay, Howrse wants it to look like an illustration so perspective is fine.


  • The illustration must be in the requested format
    Explanation: .png only


  • The illustration may not contain people


  • The illustration must not be offensive to young players
    Explanation: friendly for all, no blood, no open wounds, etc.


  • Do not sign your illustration


  • You may not recreate already existing illustrations or illustrations created by other players.
    Explanation: Howrse want NEW and CREATIVE, look through the gallery, see what has already been done – come up with something new!


  • You may not recreate illustrations from the game

Any player who sends in illustrations that they did not create themselves, or that they plagiarized, will have their accounts closed
Save your work so that you can prove you create the work on your own from scratch & there won’t be a problem (including references/inspirations)

More info on voting

We won’t know exactly how the voting system works until it’s released but so far Ow has said:

  • “You won’t see the name of the author or the amount of votes for a coat anyway to avoid influencing the votes in one direction or the other.”


  • “As for begging and nagging for votes no it’s not going to be allowed and it’s going to be very difficult technically for a player to find the coat that he’d like to vote for.”


  • “There will probably be a humongous amount of coats to vote for and a random selection system.”
    (remember players from all across owlient will enter coats into the same pool)


  • “We’ll do our best to try and avoid the popularity contest issue”


  • Your illustration will have 3 months to try and pass the voting stage, after that you will be refunded.


  • “…there will be report abuse buttons on the coming creations to warn us of anything that has been picked off the web and is against the rules. “


How many coats will be accepted?

Around 100 horse coats, 100 companion coats & 50 backgrounds, however
“…It’ll be a team decision here in the office and we’ll be able to chose or not if a coat can be selected if it’s really very original or if it’s very funny.

And also to give a bit more variety if the players select same style of coats for all of their favourites.

So nothing is fixed on the amount that’ll be coming in each month.”

Tip from Norse: It’s still unclear what exactly howrse wants to do about line-art created for BP use, but at the end of the day howrse is looking for NEW & CREATIVE and tons of people send in coloured-in versions of the line-art that is posted. Do yourself a big favour, avoid the line-art all together and create something completely new. HH is going to post some drawing tutorials and help in the next little while. Also, another added tip: in your illustrations of companions or horses, add a slight shadow on the ground underneath its feet to make it integrate better into the game.

14 responses so far

14 Responses to “BP Rules and How To”

  1. Safeyaon 07 Apr 2014 at 11:37 pm

    do you get a pass for each creation purchased?

  2. Alexison 22 Sep 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Where do you go to or create your creation

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