If you had a Tamagotchi back in the day, you were one of the cool kids. They were little key chain devices, each with a creature of sorts that you had to take care of… although most of us didn’t take very good care of them… the concept went mostly under as kids moved on to things like Pokemon and their newfangled smartphone gadgets, but those lovable virtual pets never went away. No, they’ve been waiting. Sadly. For you to come back.
And with Monster Loves You, an upcoming game from Dejobaan and Radial Games, it may just be time again for a new batch of odd creatures to once more rely on you to feed them at every meal, play with them, and hopefully not kill them through neglect. They state the game will be “part Tamagotchi, part RPG, and 100% awesome game for mobile.”
Andy Moore, captain and founder of Radial Games, said via email that the game won’t just be some “care-for-your-monster Tamagotchi game.”
“I mean, that will be part of it, but it won’t be the main chunk of the game,” Moore said. “There’s a ton of content, story, contextual choose-your-own-adventure style events, even hints of world exploration. I really want to tap that ‘exploring a system’ feeling of things, in the context of caring for a little monster that loves you.”
“At least, that’s how it’s sitting in my head right now,” he said.
The game has gone through some big changes already since the initial planning. The team passed us the initial planning document, which we’ll outline below. The document gives the general concept behind the game, but the developers emphasize, “the final game’s going to be waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay different.”
It also used to be called “Grow Alien Baby.” I think “Monster Loves You” has a nice charm to it though, don’t you?
[pullquote_right]I really want to tap that ‘exploring a system’ feeling of things, in the context of caring for a little monster that loves you.[/pullquote_right]
Monster Loves You was planned to mix the virtual pets concept with the Dejobaan’s earlier “Dejobaan BeBop.” The idea was you’d raise an alien (now a monster) from early childhood to adulthood, and while you taught it, you’d also shape its personality (which suddenly makes me think of Seaman). Its appearance would also change through its environments, and its story would be told through 2D illustrations.
The plan was that when the game launched, the user would be presented with an illustration of something—the original idea was to make it a vegetable patch or eggplant-like thingies of different colors or shapes. The player would get an alert saying “Pick your baby,” it says. “One will grow up to be President someday.”
After picking one of these, you’d get to place it in an incubator, adjust the temperature, and you’d get a 30-second countdown with a “Time to Birth” label. “Sleepy Z’s emanate from the eggplant. As you twist the dial correctly, you get more or fewer of them,” they note.
Once your hatchling successfully breaks out with a “POP!” you’d get to name it. You’d also get a few different bar graphs: Food, Fun, Clean, and a few others. These would decrease Sims-style until you do something to replenish them.
You’d also get eight buttons at the bottom of the screen, each of which would do something different if you tapped it. But, just like all those ill-fated Tamagotchis, “If you’re negligent, and fail to feed your critter, it will die.”
But if you can keep the little fella alive and well, it grows out of infancy and you unlock some new attributes, which are based off of how you treated it as a child. “Its security, for example, depends on how much you hugged it. It’s here that you learn that the critter’s overall health has taken a nosedive because you fed it lots of candy. You’ve also made the connection that you can only do so many things during a life stage, given the limited time available.”
It will go through a similar learning process at each major stage of its life: growing from infancy, to childhood, to being a teenager, to being an adult. Each stage will also have different items, objects, and pastimes you can give your creature, which will affect it ways that the game won’t fully tell you—meaning you’ll have to learn through trial and error if you ruined the poor fella’s childhood.
Then, when all is said and done, the creature would be ready to go out into the world and charge its own path with whatever traits you embedded in it throughout its life. “Will she be a common criminal? A businesswoman? A beautiful international jewel thief? A bum? Galactic garbage scow captain? Her final attributes are tallied, and she enters the Real World.”
Of course, that’s just the initial concept, and the developers note that things have already changed quite a bit since then. For the final game, we’ll all just need to wait and see what it becomes.