A poster in the Anonymous General Discussion board expressed interest in a WG-themed Tomogotchi-style virtual pet game. I had been kicking a similar idea around in my head (except mine was more Digimon-style because that is what I had as a kid), and so I’m posting here to drum up interest. No point in making a game only I’d play, eh?
So, a game with the goal of growing your little Feedee into your not-so-little Feedee;
here is a random list of features until I can organize my thoughts.
[ul][li] Lo-fi black and white dot matrix graphics. The nostalgia!
[/li][li]Runs in a browser so you can check on your Feedee while you are surfing the web.[/li]
[li]Real-time or accelerated-time gameplay. Remember to check on your Feedee every once in a while (Though they’d be able to take care of themselves unless they were Immobile).[/li]
[li]Feedings! Manage your Feedee’s Hunger, Stuffedness, and Gluttonous Desire with a variety of foodstuffs. But mind your budget![/li]
[li]Hygiene! The biggest (and therefore best) Feedees need a little help washing behind their ears. Or maybe you prefer natural odor of a prime-fed Feedee. I won’t judge.[/li]
[li]Praise/Scold system. Encourage your Feedee after finishing a big meal. Scold your Feedee for taking a bath if you are trying to raise a smelly one.[/li][/ul]
…Did I forget anything cool you’d like to see? For example, the hygiene + praise system is a good way for this game to include slob elements while allowing players who are not interested to avoid the outcome. Is any other WG related sub-fetishes we could include in a similar manner? Does anyone know a talented sprite artist who does WG? This project is going to need a lot of art, I feel…
Don’t forget the dumb little minigames you play to keep them from getting bored/earn currency for moar foods!
Let’s not forget about airing out gas clouds from either eating spicy foods like beans or drinking soda (in a similar fashion to cleaning up your digital pet’s droppings).
I’ve been thinking through various AI solutions, simulating time past when one comes back to the game, and dynamic gaining. A 2d skeletal animation system might get me where I want this game to be, but I’ll have to drop the pixel graphics idea for that to be feasible.
What I am thinking for weight gain simulation is basically swapping out body parts. We have parts on a 2d skeleton, and swap out thinner bellies/arms/chests for fatter ones.
AI could be some kind of crappy amalgamation of needs-based AI and belief-intention-desire model, where your Feedee will choose actions (like sneaking extra snacks from your food storage while you are away) based on Fullness, Scolds/Praises etc.
Also I need an artist; I’m getting severe blank-paper-syndrome just trying to do the programmer art… This idea has a way to go before it’s an actual project.
I’ve always wanted something like this!
The only thing I must object to is the black and white dot graphics.
It’s so unnecessary with modern tech to make your game look much older.
I’d rather have a clearly visible pet instead of an amalgamation of dots.
Just popping in to say that this idea is not dead, just undergoing a lot of research and development.
For example, I’ve decided to use Spriter (or something similar) to design a 2d skeletal ‘rig’ for which I can swap out art assets to simulate weight gain. The trouble I’m having right now, is how would such a system handle clothes without growing the art requirements exponentially…
Also trying to design a rig is proving challenging. Where should bones be placed to avoid clipping while still allowing as many animations to be reused as possible? How many bones do we even need? Something like Spine can do arbitrary 2d warping, but it costs 10x the price of Spriter, and do I even need such a feature?
So… yeah. Lots to think about before this ideas is stable.
Eh, I think you’d be better off getting any kind of a working prototype first, and worry about the graphics later. That will let you play around with the underlying mechanics, systems, interactions, etc. first, see how the numbers scale, get a feel for the timing, etc. and if you release that as an early alpha prototype, maybe you can get some early feedback and keep up interest of anyone waiting. Once you get that far, then you can think about hooking the barebones game engine into the animations and GUI elements.
I want to get a working prototype of simulating weight gain visually before I commit to any game mechanics. I have other ideas I want to pursue if this one doesn’t prove fruitful.
Anyways, I just realized that it would be possible to both use a traditional skeletal animation style, and simulate growth / physics on the individual body parts. A 2d character animated in this way could avoid some of the self-collision problems a 3d mesh would have under these conditions.
Would be cool further down the line if we could have a template or something so we could add our own custom clothes and hairstyles.
Deforming per body part works alright, although you can only deform the mesh so far before it starts to look weird. If you want to go all the way from skinny to immobile on one rig you’ll need to get really creative about the way you blend your weight stages and/or transition between them.
My project The Farm is aiming to do something like this, and one of our objectives is to make it fully moddable so you can do stuff like you are suggesting.
Cool ill have to check that one out.
I’d be supportive of the black and white graphics, they’d run better on my trash pile of a laptop since it has trouble trying to run 3D models for the most part. And also, I like the old school V-pet looks idea. I can’t find my laptop yet, and I can’t give you any help because I suck at drawing anything, but I’m supportive of you in spirit. I’m sorry I can’t help. also, I grew up with a Tamagotchi and not the Digimon V-pet because they were too expensive online. My mom could only afford the Tamagotchi ones. (We were extremely poor back then.)
I think the B&W dot-matrix graphics would be charming. They should be simple enough to produce, and the abstraction of the art style allows for better suspension of disbelief. Granted, to keep the illusion, you’ll probably need to make sure they snap to a specific grid so that each pixel wouldn’t escape its place in the matrix, but that shouldn’t be that hard, right?