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Updated August 2016!

Original post by the site owners

This is a basic guide to ToyHouse!
I'm not part of the admin team. If you have questions take it to the forums, do not ask me. Don't ask me for a ToyHouse code!

The basics:
ToyHouse is a site used for character storage. You create a profile for your character, and can write down all their information, upload all their art, link to other characters on the site, submit your character to a 'world', all with customizable settings. Your own profile displays the characters you own, but you can also view characters you've designed that others own and have uploaded to their own accounts, and view any art that's been credited to you! ToyHouse provides various settings and options that when used properly are an excellent tool against art/design theft. In order to join ToyHouse, you must receive an invite code from another ToyHouse user.

My ToyHouse profile, you can find examples for almost everything I'm gonna talk about here, with the exception of customized CSS because I can't be bothered to do it. Feel free to browse my characters, folders, art, etc to get a feel for the site!

★Store your characters and their art for free
ToyHouse allows you to upload an unlimited amount of characters and art-- the only limit is the art's file size. The profiles offer custom coding (special CSS requires a paid membership!) and you can post whatever info you'd like. On any of my profiles under 'Basic Info' you'll see several lines with things like the character's name, age, and gender-- all of these are fully customizable and what I personally picked out, so if you'd rather say 'pronouns' than 'gender' that's up to you. Everything on my characters' profiles is what I personally chose to put there, the site doesn't really limit me.
Example of character profile
★Prevent character and art theft
When you submit a new character, there's a credits feature, which publicly lists who created the character, who designed it, and who currently owns it. When I adopt a character from another artist, I list them as a designer, and send design rights over to them through TH. Until they've accepted the credits, my character's profile will say 'Unverified', so you know the other artist has not confirmed that I am, in fact, the owner. Once they've accepted it their name and icon will show on the character's profile, making it very easy to see that the original creator has confirmed that I own that design. This makes it easy to double-check that a design you may be buying or trading from another person actually belongs to them! It's one of TH's ways of preventing theft. Once the original artist has been credited, they're able to customize the terms for that character-- whether it's able to be sold, traded, or gifted, and can list specifics such as how much it may be sold for, etc. Again, this can help protect you from buying a character that's not allowed to be sold, but I also don't really see this specific feature used much.
Example of a character with design credits
In the example above, you can see there's multiple designers, and I have myself listed as the creator. There can only be one creator, but as far as I know an unlimited amount of designers. This is my own style/preference, but I typically list myself as the creator and then credit every artist who contributes to that character as a designer, whether they made an alternate form, an outfit, a revamp, etc. That's up to you though! Many artists prefer to credit the original designer as the creator, and that's what I would recommend doing.
On the left under Ownership you can view the character's credits, as well as see their terms-- you'll notice that character can be traded or gifted, but not sold-- only the creator is able to change these rights, so if you saw someone selling a design that doesn't have it marked as okay for sale, you might be getting scammed.
All of this is preserved when you transfer a character from one profile to another in ToyHouse, so to help keep everything running smoothly I strongly suggest that you keep everything on ToyHouse and transfer it to another user rather than deleting the profile when you trade. The character's trade history is recorded as well, but all of that is lost if you delete the character from TH!
★Keep it private
All art and characters have one of three privacy levels: public, authorized, and private. Public art and profiles can be viewed by anyone! Authorized means only those you've personally approved can see them, and private is for your eyes only. You can customize the settings for each of these as well-- for my own characters, public users can view any image, but only the thumbnail, while authorized users (ie, the people I trust with the art) can see the full-res, unwatermarked art! Each individual image can be customized as well, so I have a few images where public viewers can see the full size for reference when drawing my characters.
You can upload your own watermarks and choose how they're displayed on your submitted art! You're also able to mark art as NSFW. When uploading art, it'll default to you as the artist credits, but you can also link to another TH user or to an off-site artist. Art credits are required and publicly listed when viewing a gallery.
Example of gallery with various image sizes. Note that there's NSFW images in here, but you're unable to view them without an account! Some images are full-sized (and marked as such when viewing it) and all others are thumbnails, watermarked, or both. If I've authorized you, you're able to see all of these full-sized, without any watermarks!
★Transfer characters, with all their art and information
You can easily send a character, with all their existing info and uploads intact, to another ToyHouse user. You send them a transfer and they choose to accept or decline it, so you can't just shove off a character onto another user, or have one taken from you. This is especially useful when trading-- all the art will stay right there, and artist credits, profile information, design credits, etc will all be preserved.
Again, there's no limit on how many characters or how much art you can upload, and I think the same is true of character limits in text.
Other cool features:
Other misc stuff! Everything above is what I personally love about the site and why most people join up, all of this other stuff is just other options that you get (and would probably like to know exist before joining)

★World feature
You're able to submit a character to a 'world', request/accept other characters into that world, and view all designs submitted into a world! It's cool for species owners in particular, as you can flip through and see who else has characters from that species.
Example of Mantibab world's submitted characters
★Character links
You can easily link one character to another character's profile! Great for characters that are in a relationship, or if you're active in an ARPG group where your character has many friends. Each half of the pair has their own little blurb where you can put information about their relationship, and like everything else on the site, it's up to you how you use it.
Example of character links
★RP in-character
TH has a cute feature where a comment can be posted in-character-- your character's image (you can pick which one to use!) and name will show up as the one posting the comment. You can edit these comments to change the art shown if you add more art later! It's mostly something my friends and I abuse because we're stupid but it's intended for RP use mostly. You can do this on profiles, character pages, forums, wherever you'd like.
Example of in-character comments (feat. me being a dumbass, note the missing images/characters were deleted by me! Your comment is preserved even after a character's profile has been removed)
★View all of an artists' art and designs
Much of the art posted by an artist was a commission, trade, or gift from another artist, but you can view the art of a specific TH user by clicking the art tab on that user's profile! The same goes for designs, and you can see which characters they've created, whether they belong to them or another TH user.
Example of art I've done
Example of characters I've designed
★Sort characters
There's options for sorting your characters into folders and sub-folders, and you can tag them for an easier search within your own gallery of characters! Again all of this is customizable, you pick out your own names and folder setups, and they can be changed pretty easily. As far as I know you can make an unlimited amount of folders and tags.
★Follow your friends and favorites
You can follow other users and be notified when they post a new character, art, or bulletin that you've got the authority to see! Like everything else, you can choose whether a bulletin is public, authorized, or private. You're also able to block people and prevent them from following your TH uploads.
★Easy to use
Kind of a no-brainer but most people find the site streamlined and easy to use, even if you get into customization. I feel like the site is nicely laid out and it's easy to find what you need, there aren't a million options that you're never going to touch-- it might be a little daunting at first but after playing around with the site a little you'll get the hang of it!
★Active and committed owners
I know most of the owners personally, and all of them are used to buying/ selling/ trading adoptables, commissioning art, etc! They're intentionally designing this site to be intuitive for users and to keep everyone's characters (including their own) safe. Bug reports etc are generally handled quickly, and they're constantly looking for new ways to improve the site. They use it regularly as well, so they're trying to make the best experience they can for everyone! It's not a money-making site, most (if not all) of the profits go towards paying for the actual website, which can be expensive.
★Paid membership
There is a premium membership option, but you're not missing out on much by not paying for it! You won't be prevented from using the site effectively if you don't have one. Custom profile CSS does require a paid membership. Otherwise the membership gives you access to things like mass image editing, mass tagging, etc, and all benefits are listed on the premium page. You're perfectly able to use the site without a paid membership, but buying one does help to keep the site up and running smoothly, it's not like they're running a blog on tumblr where the owners don't have to pay anything for it. The site is still in beta, so many features like mass editing etc are currently available to the public even without a paid membership while they continue fine-tuning the site.
Example of user profile with custom CSS

★How do I join?
You need an invite code to join! You can get one from another TH user. Premium members get extra codes each month that they're subscribed, so please consider donating to the site! Many users have accumulated enough spare codes at this point that they hand them out in journals, search around on dA and see if anyone's giving some out. I will not give you a code, please don't ask me.
★Why use invite codes, rather than open beta?
This is a newer site! It's been up and running for a while now, but you have to understand that this is worked on by.. I think four people total, who do their very best to keep the site going. If they make it open for everyone all at once it can cause problems-- sometimes with a new site you don't know yet how many people can use it before it crashes, if the paid membership will make the site sustainable, etc. If too many people join up all at once it could cause issues the owners didn't know about, potentially become unsustainable (the owners pay for ToyHouse out of their own pockets!) etc, so it's important to limit how quickly membership grows at this time. It will likely be open to the public in the future, just keep an eye out! In the meantime, search on dA for a free code, many people give them away for free.
★How do I give someone an invite code?
You can see your codes under the invites tab in settings! It shows you how many unused codes you have left, as well as codes you've created and given out in the past. To invite someone to ToyHouse, just click on 'Generate a Code' and give that person the code provided. Each code can only be used once.
★Can I change my username?
Not at the moment! It is possible to have your name changed (I've changed mine before) but they haven't said anything about allowing users to change their names in the future.
★I have a suggestion/I'm having a problem
I'm not tech support, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, suggestions, etc please visit the forums! The owners would love to hear from you.
★Can I use the site even though I'm not an artist/don't have art of my characters?
Yes! The site is perfectly usable even if you're not a visual artist. It's true that it's intended for visual art, and there's a bit of an emphasis on the adoptables scene, but if you're not into that stuff you just skip those features.
★Does ToyHouse get the rights to my characters?
I got asked this surprisingly often and no, like I said this site is run by people who frequent the adoptables scene, commission art regularly, etc. Nobody wants to take your characters, and TH goes out of their way to ensure the safety of your characters and art.
★Doesn't having all your characters/art available in one place make it easy for thieves?
The whole point of TH is that you can choose to limit who can see what-- if you want to keep your art safe, don't post the high-res art publicly without a watermark. Or set it to thumbnail, or limit who can see the full work to your authorized friends and other artists you trust. TH gives you all the tools you need to help prevent theft, but it's up to you to actually use them. Again, you can set everything to be completely private, so if you don't want anybody to see any of your art or characters, that's an option too!
★How do I...
Submit characters Submit->New Character
Submit art (from a character's profile) Upload Image
Edit a character's profile (from a character's profile) Edit Character
Edit my profile Username->Settings->Profile
Manage folders, tags, etc Username->Manage

I think that's everything I can remember for now! Again, I'm just a member on the site, so if you have any questions I'd say take it up in the forums and one of the owners will try to help you out when they can. I'll try to update this periodically as new features become available or new major questions come up.

Again, please do not ask me for invite codes or misc help! I'm just writing the guide as a user, I don't have time to answer questions and don't have any admin privileges etc
I got tired of getting asked questions and being asked for codes on the journal version constantly so I'm submitting it this way instead! I'm disabling comments for now because I'm tired. Please just use the site for a bit and check out all the options and you'll figure it out pretty quickly. If you're having trouble check the forums!

You need a code to join ToyHouse but most people have codes so they're pretty easy to find-- many people on dA will just give them out for free, you could ask a friend with an account for one, or just make a journal searching for them. Do not ask me for a code!
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August 15, 2016
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