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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:29 pm 
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Hey Yans~

Lately I've been looking into making a virtual pet game like Neopets or Petz, since I've been a fan of virtual pets for almost my whole life. The first thing I've done is come up with designs for different pet species and I thought I'd share them with all of you guys :)

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There's also a seal-like creature I drew, but for some reason it doesn't want to show up. I guess it's shy.

Hopefully something will come of this little endeavor. Any feedback is greatly appreciated, and if anyone is interested in my other ideas for the game, I'd be glad to share :)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:54 pm 

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I love Neopets, so I'd definitely like to hear the rest of your ideas. :D

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:35 am 
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I'm glad people (well one person at least) are interested! Well, for starters I want to make it for mobile devices instead of being browser-based like most virtual pet games, since I haven't found any Neopets-like games made for mobile. All I've seen so far are Tamagotchi clones.

The main thing I've thought about is pet interaction. I've been observing the virtual pet industry for years and I've noticed that many of the games out there, ironically, don't really have much to do with pets. They usually exist merely as decorations, collectibles, or tools while the main focus of the game is getting achievements, dressing up a human avatar, or just socializing. Now there's nothing wrong with that, but I play virtual pet games for the pets, and I prefer them to be the focus.

In my search for some way to foster a bond between pets and players, I found this article talking about uselessness in artificial pets and found it really enlightening. I decided that my main goal would be to make pets that are individuals above all else. Not tools, weapons, collectibles, but unique, individual creatures that don't exist for their owners to unlock achievements or earn virtual currency. I've been looking into how to implement this and I think using some kind of finite state machine is the way to go. I'll talk about that later though, it's 2 am right now :P

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:25 am 

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Tortoiseshel wrote:
I want to make it for mobile devices instead of being browser-based like most virtual pet games, since I haven't found any Neopets-like games made for mobile. All I've seen so far are Tamagotchi clones.

I completely agree! It's 2016, you'd expect there to be something more on mobile. :/

Tortoiseshel wrote:
The main thing I've thought about is pet interaction. I've been observing the virtual pet industry for years and I've noticed that many of the games out there, ironically, don't really have much to do with pets.

That's pretty true in most games like Neopets, but at least there's ones like GPX+ that focuses on the pets (though the original game that it's based off of is focused on the pets, so that probably has something to do with it).

Tortoiseshel wrote:
I think using some kind of finite state machine is the way to go. I'll talk about that later though, it's 2 am right now :P

It's not 2 am anymore, can you talk about it? :D

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:46 pm 

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This sounds very interesting! And I love the animals, they're super cute :3

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:47 pm 
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It's past 2 am. Way past. Sorry about that... But I feel like talking about my pets some more so here I go!

I've been doing a lot of thinking on how I can go about making each pet feel unique, and I believe using finite state machines is the way to go. For anyone who doesn't know, FSMs are used in many games for NPC AI, and they basically tell the NPC what to do when met with certain conditions. For a very simplified example, an enemy NPC may try to shoot at the player character if they walk into its line of sight, or run for cover if the player gets too close. They can serve much more complicated functions as well, however almost all of the examples I've been able to find online are intended for combat-oriented games and wouldn't be fitting for a casual pet sim. So I pretty much have to figure it out on my own. Here's the summary what I have so far (just for the record, I'm not much of a programmer):

A pet's personality is determined at its "birth" in two ways; First the pet's species is taken into account- for example, the dog-like pet will prefer to eat meat and be very playful, while the fish-like pet will eat plant food and be much more docile- and then it gets randomly assigned one of 16 personality types that determine, among other things, what flavors of food it likes, what kinds of toys it likes, and how it acts around other pets. The FSM then makes decisions for what actions the pet will take, influenced by the personality it has.

Sorry if a lot of that doesn't make sense, I'm a lot better at thinking than I am at actually articulating those thoughts. Thanks for the feedback as well, I appreciate that people like my ideas :)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:56 pm 

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From what little I understand about game-making, that sounds pretty cool!! It reminds me a lil bit of Nintendogs, that was an awesome game. I love the idea of like a pet game where the pets have their own personalities, I think that's pretty cool :D

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:33 pm 
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I haven't been able to make too much progress on this, but to show that it's not abandoned, here's a group pic of (some of) my pet species! I tweaked one or two designs a little bit~

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I think I'm gonna need to get a team together with some other people if I want to get this done in any reasonable timeframe, as while I think I'm pretty good at the design aspects- both visually and mechanically- it's the programming that really stumps me. The only problem is, I'm quite shy...

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:08 pm 

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They look nice, I think I like the three-eyed kitten the most.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:06 pm 
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Thank you! I always love hearing people say which pets are their favorites, it's very interesting comparing their preferences to mine.

Anyway, I have a kind-of update to talk about. After racking my brains for weeks to come up with an AI solution, I think I've finally found something to fit my needs: NEEDSIM Life Simulator on Unity3d's asset store. It costs a bit of money, but knowing that it's available gives my brain some time to focus on other parts of the game, like combat, shops, and player homes.

Combat is where I get a bit apprehensive, though. One of the main goals I'm aiming for is creating pets that don't feel like tools for the players to gain achievements or advance in the game, or weapons to be used in battle. And I feel like, unless I get it just perfect, implementing a combat system would throw all of that out the window. Just look at Pokemon, a game series where the monsters are supposed to all be individuals and it's supposed to be about friendship and teamwork, but in reality a lot of people just breed and breed and breed until they get a "perfect" Pokemon, and then release/trade away all the ones that aren't strong enough. And I really don't want anything like that to happen in my game.

Add to that the fact I've never really been into battling competitively, so I feel like I don't really have the know-how to make a good combat system. And I'd honestly rather have no combat system at all than a mediocre or even bad one. So, anyone here have any suggestions? Sinuyan, you like combat games, right? ',:3c

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