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Life and death in virtual pet sites?

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Peppermint
LV 11

Let's weigh in TGL'ites (I just came up with that one!)! How do you feel about life and death in virtual pet sites? Do you support a pet's death if they are old/neglected/etc? Do you support a site that the pets never die? Why do you feel either way?

I am genuinely curious about everyone's opinion on this. :) 

@Artist @Game Owner @Members @Programmer @Writer

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Personally, I believe pet sites should have a death aspect with them. Essentially, it allows for the user to have more possibilities of what could happen with their pet while they own it. If a pet doesn't die, not only isn't it as realistic, but most people will just create a pet and leave it be. I think that could get a bit boring after a while.

Now, don't get me wrong about one thing. If a pet site has tons of things to do with your pet that alters several aspects of it already, adding death may just a little too much for a user to worry about. Too much for the user to worry about makes for a less enjoyable game.

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Unknown
LV 4

Personally, I believe that pets should eventually retire. Death or not. If they have no way to leave the dB it will very quickly become clogged with data that people are literally just hoarding for no reason at all. Legacies can live on through generations if you games allow breeding (which I have yet to find one that doesn't lol)

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Here is the relevant information as reported in the already-released section of the SimCensus:

How bad do you feel when a virtual pet dies?

howsad.png

Do you prefer a system where pets don't die?

petretire.png

Do you prefer a system where your pets don't retire?

petdeath.png

 

Personally, I think it depends entirely on the game design. I think when or how a pet should be removed from gameplay is just as important as if a pet should be removed from gameplay - and also very dependent upon the style of the game you are designing. An image-heavy breeding-centric game, for instance, would probably choose to at least have some visible version of an animal remain on the site, if not allowing them to perpetually remain active. (This is not something that will inherently make a negative impact on your database. I actively discourage people from bending their game design to perceived limitations of the technology - spending a little time on it can help you troubleshoot, and your database design, queries and caching processes end up having more impact than the choice to maintain the presence of information. There is always a solution without compromising your game design.) A more genetics-focused breeding game would certainly want to keep at least some record of a pet's lineage, but a well-designed genetics system should do that on its own without the individual pet records. In these kinds of games, the limited span of time that a pet can be active definitely puts a premium on its genetic quality.

I think the one place where I have differences with it is instances where you are selling the pets for actual real world currency. After a certain price level, it seems like a poor business tactic to eliminate the animal from the game without the player's input. At this point, if you would seek to remove the pets from gameplay you should incentivize the process so that players will do so voluntarily on their own.

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Unknown
LV 3

@volka I am also loving the graphs there haha!

I agree that it really is so dependent on the actual game itself and so many other features. If implemented well, then yes it's an awesome feature.

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Personally I'm not a fan of true death (I sound like I'm talking about True Blood right now, haha) on pet sites where the pets disappear forever. On HP, animals retire at a certain age so they can't be bred anymore or show anymore, but players can keep them "alive", or they can retire them which means they they can't be sold/images changes/anything, but you can still see a page with their basic info.

Some players keep their retired animals forever and some actually retire them, just depends on the person.

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personally i do not like death aspects in pet sites. as a person who has very little time, i cherish what i work for (virtual pets definitely included be it on pet sites, arpg species, or games like ARK: Survival Evolved) and i work hard to get things i really like/enjoy. to watch it disappear due to not logging in/lack of activity is a huge bummer.

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I actually don't mind either. From a developer POV, death (a.k.a flavor-text deleting) is a good way to keep the DB from clogging and slowing things down. I also feel like it gives users a reason to return more often.

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Noelle
LV 4

That's a hard one.  From a player perspective, I hate having a death system because I can grow attached to certain pets, especially if they end up being beautifully bred or are a rare combination of genetics and stats.  On the developer side though, I can see how too many pets can clog a database and slow down a game, and having a way to clean up is good for keeping things optimized.  The one benefit I've seen from pet death is having lineages so that you can keep a lineage alive through successive generations, and the whole Gen idea is eliminated (where players place a higher value on Gen 1 and Gen 2 than other gens, I kinda don't like that because it limits creative breeding.)  I've seen some games do a balance of both, having a way for a player to manually release (delete) a poor outcome but keep other pets forever.  That system is often paired with a longer breeding cool down too.

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Akita
LV 5
6 hours ago, Kesstryl said:

That's a hard one.  From a player perspective, I hate having a death system because I can grow attached to certain pets, especially if they end up being beautifully bred or are a rare combination of genetics and stats.  On the developer side though, I can see how too many pets can clog a database and slow down a game, and having a way to clean up is good for keeping things optimized.  The one benefit I've seen from pet death is having lineages so that you can keep a lineage alive through successive generations, and the whole Gen idea is eliminated (where players place a higher value on Gen 1 and Gen 2 than other gens, I kinda don't like that because it limits creative breeding.)  I've seen some games do a balance of both, having a way for a player to manually release (delete) a poor outcome but keep other pets forever.  That system is often paired with a longer breeding cool down too.

Same here ;u;

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Unknown
LV 0

On games where real money can be involved in the creation or appearance of a pet, I'm strongly opposed to death systems. If I spend money on a pet, I don't want to lose it. I wouldn't spend money on any pets where they die. I do strongly support "release" systems though where pets are removed from the active pet population and can be erased by the game. If pets do have a death, I'd prefer it be based on when I log in and not include the days where I'm unable to get on and play (similar to Lioden's rollover function). If my pets are dying regardless of the fact I can't get online to take care of them, I'm going to be put off from the game entirely.

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Unknown
LV 1
9 hours ago, Navy said:

On games where real money can be involved in the creation or appearance of a pet, I'm strongly opposed to death systems. If I spend money on a pet, I don't want to lose it. I wouldn't spend money on any pets where they die. I do strongly support "release" systems though where pets are removed from the active pet population and can be erased by the game. If pets do have a death, I'd prefer it be based on when I log in and not include the days where I'm unable to get on and play (similar to Lioden's rollover function). If my pets are dying regardless of the fact I can't get online to take care of them, I'm going to be put off from the game entirely.

Totally what I thought of, too. If I paid real money for it I wouldn't want to just lose that money after a certain time. 

But also "death" doesn't seem right. I remember 'the old days' on wajas when the first retirement option was introduced, after years and years of just breeding with no way of getting rid of ugly pets. And it started a huge wave of retiring. If instead it was called 'death' that'd have been some huge mass murder :')

I like the idea of Flight Rising, adding this feature to the lore so retired pets somehow join their gods and serve them, so they don't just disappear. Still, seen from the developer's side I know that it'd be best if the generated image of the pet was deleted, but that's something I especially don't like. If I click through the lineage of a pet and stumble across one retired one, I'd love to see how it looked, and not just some blank white image :/

 

 

Edited by Shex

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Rosie
LV 8
On 10/23/2017 at 9:27 AM, hurricaneviolet said:

Personally I'm not a fan of true death (I sound like I'm talking about True Blood right now, haha) on pet sites where the pets disappear forever. On HP, animals retire at a certain age so they can't be bred anymore or show anymore, but players can keep them "alive", or they can retire them which means they they can't be sold/images changes/anything, but you can still see a page with their basic info.

Some players keep their retired animals forever and some actually retire them, just depends on the person.

HAHAHA, I instantly thought of TruBlood when I read "true death".

I am with you regarding "retiring". Personally, I believe retiring is best for the equine-related games. Retiring serves as a "hall of fame" and is better for tracking lineage. However, I can see how "death" would be better suited for other pet games!

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Silver
LV 2

I can't stand sites that have death or that require feeding. It ruins the game for me.
I'm not a fan of sites with retiring mechanics, either, but, then again, I don't breed.
I'm a character creator, so if I have a pet (a character), then I want it to be forever.

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As a player and a game owner, I prefer games that have an element of death or retiring.

When I bring PS back, rather than being fully deleted off the system, I want "dead" pets to be memorialized. Basically, users could visit their "cemetery" (though I think I'll call it something else) and view the image and stats of their deceased pet, but won't be able to interact with them at all.

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Unknown
LV 3

I'm not crazy about pets dying. If you invest time (and probably money) into a virtual creature, there is a good chance you want to keep it around and not have it randomly die. You have the Tamagotchi-type experience where you can revive a pet you've neglected. Or the Pokemon experience where you can heal the pet that has "fainted." One thing that is appealing about virtual pet sites is that your creatures don't have to die.

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Unknown
LV 6

Myself I am against dying pets.

I think it warps the sense of progression, albeit I haven't played properly played a game in years at this point, but for someone who is quite busy with work for the majority of the day, there are times when I simply am unable to access the game and give it the attention I would like and that it would require, which is to say it is not necessarily intentional "neglect" and I am not a fan of being penalized for it.

I am not even for any type of penalty that some sites use by limiting certain areas of the site unless the pet reaches whatever optimum levels that have been designated. I like the sense of having the entire game unlocked and the freedom to go about it at my own leisure.

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