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What aspects of petsites make you stick with them?


Sp4rkl3r
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Edit: I created a longer google survey if you'd like to spend a bit more time answering a few additional questions: https://goo.gl/forms/3a7FGxRjes44zysF2

 

I'm looking into beginning development on a game idea I've had sitting around in my head for a while now. It's going to take some years to build, and I'm curious about what activities on petsites make or break the game. What do you enjoy doing?

Personally, I love being able to acquire trophies for both my pets and my account, dress up a pet / human avatar, and collect avatars / achievements / official item sets (i.e. stamps on Neopets)

If you would answer at least this first question, I'd really appreciate it. I added a few more because they're things I'm curious about.

***What makes you stop/continue playing a game after the initial draw?
- i.e. I stopped playing Flight Rising because there wasn't very much to do. I kept playing Aywas because I fell in love with a lot of the artists' work. Rescreatu's lack of between-site trading, and the looming potential for my pets to die if I went on hiatus, had me hesitant to continue playing.

What are your favorite activities to do on a petsite?
- i.e. I have a friend who will play a game if she can decorate a house, and another friend likes games to include some sort of fishing

Do you think that Human Avatars [HAs] are an important part of a petsite?
Do they make or break it for you? If there are HAs, do you think they should have any function aside from looking pretty? I've seen successful sites which both include and exclude HAs.

Opinions on using items to change a pet's colour?
Neopets, Subeta, Rescreatu - so many petsites have various species with the option to use dyes, potions, or paint brushes to change their colours. Is this system overdone? Is it used so frequently because it works? Would you be less interested in a site that didn't have an option to change your pets' colour?

Edited by Sp4rkl3r
added survey link
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What makes you stop/continue playing a game after the initial draw?
A lot of the recent games that have come out haven't offered much of anything new, so I don't usually stay longer than a week. One sim game I really enjoyed playing was Indomita, but having to log in nearly everyday to stay on top of stuff and to keep horses alive was too much to keep up with.

What are your favorite activities to do on a petsite?
I like sites where you can set a lot of personal goals like obtaining certain pets or items, or even just saving a certain amount of money. Back on Neopets, it really felt like I had done something when I unlocked the secret laboratory, so I suppose any activity that could unlock more play options is something I enjoy doing.

Do you think that Human Avatars [HAs] are an important part of a petsite?
I don't think they have been important to any site I've been on, they're just there to look pretty. They also are incredibly expensive to implement and keep going artwise when then money could go to more robust features. However, if you have the money, it could help out your site artists and, if you set it up like Subeta, it can easily draw in cash from unique/limited items.

Opinions on using items to change a pet's colour?
I think I prefer sites with color change options, rather than the collecting sites where there is just a bunch of everything. The way the color changes usually is linked to the site story in some way so it helps world build. I don't think it's necessary though. If someone came up with an interesting pet system with single colored pets I believe it would work just fine.

Also, like with avatar items, many sites now allow custom images for actual money, though I think it takes a lot away from the consistency of the art on site. I think if someone were to implement a system where some site artists handled custom pet art it would look better and help out the artists a lot.

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What makes you stop/continue playing a game after the initial draw?
You nailed it in your sample reply. I drop most of the pet games after playing for half an hour because they don't offer any actual gameplay. There are only a few exclusions. Most of such games are just art galleries selling images and supposing that browsing their site, viewing pictures, occasionally submitting a web form and posting on forums makes a gameplay somehow. Others utilize overused minigames poorly integrated or not integrated into the game itself (I guess this lazy flawed practice became a tradition because of Neopets). Another problem is that the only challenge all of them offer is paying cash or investing monstrous amounts of time. Nothing that requires skill. 

What I'm looking for is a challenging and variable gameplay with at least a couple of unique features, preferably with an open world. Art style, theme, community etc. don't matter. 

What are your favorite activities to do on a petsite?
Explore, quests, collecting, leveling up pet skills, unlocking locked areas / recipes / upgrades. Battles if battle system is well-thought and interesting. Limited events. Anything that makes me feel I'm progressing and becoming better and more powerful. 

Do you think that Human Avatars [HAs] are an important part of a petsite?
No. A pet game is about pets, so why spend time and efforts for something unrelated? If I want a gameplay focused on a humanoid character, I'd play a MMORPG instead. It would be better if a pet game gears its resources towards better gameplay, more variety within the chosen niche, or even better art.

Opinions on using items to change a pet's colour?
I highly dislike this feature. What I like is customization items like inventory, wearables, familiars etc. which don't change the pet itself but rather augment it.

Edited by Angel
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***What makes you stop/continue playing a game after the initial draw?
For me it is generally the "freshness" so to speak of interactivity, in the sense of not being obligated to repeat the same course of action everyday.

What are your favorite activities to do on a petsite?
Quite positively, battling is my go to feature that defines how long I'll stick around.

Do you think that Human Avatars [HAs] are an important part of a petsite?
I am rather indifferent on this. Granted, it's a nice feature to have and a lot of people like it, but personally I don't mind just regular good old avatars.

Opinions on using items to change a pet's colour?
Again, I don't mind not having too many customization abilities, generally speaking, I'm rather low maintenance when it comes to this sort of thing.

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So I don't have the time to compile the data and analyze it or anything but I switched the survey to let respondents see the results. If it doesn't let you just look at the results you can submit the survey without filling any information out.

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