Sunday, December 20, 2015

D-Pet Beta to Revive Digimon Virtual Pet Battling

Over December 19th, Digimon Ver. PC developer Jorge "JoMdz" Mendez launched an open beta for a revamped version of the game, D-Pet. DMPC has been on a development hiatus for several years now, having not had a new version since the launch of 3.1.3 in September 2011. The test version of D-Pet is not fully functional, but is intended as a public test to catch bugs prior to the final launch of the game. As such, the beta does not have online battle or minigame functionality enabled, and tamers are locked into the Nature Spirits family of Digimon. (The final release will have nine available families.) JoMdz is asking tamers to download the game and test it, then report any bugs on the game's main page or Facebook group. Tamers can download D-Pet at its development blog.

D-Pet features a revamped menu with an expanded resolution and improved sprites over past versions, and basic implementation of higher quality music files. The stat system has been expanded so that Digimon receive different bonuses for specializing in a particular stat. If Attack is the highest stat, the Digimon deals additional damage on top of their base, while if Defense is the highest stat, then it reduces additional damage proportionally and deals damage to the opponent if it is higher than their Attack. If Dexterity is the highest stat, it causes additional damage regardless of the opponent's Defense. This creates an effective triangle where Attack beats Dexterity, Dexterity beats Defense, and Defense beats Attack.

D-Pet is also planned to introduce an X-Antibody system that has a low probability to give some tamers X-Antibody Digimon at random.

Some elements of D-Pet are more familiar than others. The game still runs in an always-on-top mode that gives it priority over other windows, and training is relatively unchanged from how it ran in 2009-2013, right down to using Paper Mario sprites in the dodging minigame. The training system inherits the original music from past incarnations of Ver. PC; a "demade" The Biggest Dreamer, and an original theme that's been present from the beginning.

Meeting evolution criteria is still challenging; this game uses the Pendulum system of training, where tamers are allotted a maximum of 10 DP (Digimon Power) which is decreased during by one for every training session. DP recovers by one point for about every five minutes that passes, is not recovered during evolution, and it can take several hours for a Digimon to evolve (about an hour and a half for Baby I to Baby II, and six hours for Baby II to Child; this is based on the original Digital Monster pets). This means tamers are encouraged to consume as much of their DP as possible as quickly as possible in order to maximize the efficiency of their training across their Digimon's lifespan, particularly as their Digimon progresses, and evolutions start depending on which stats are highest to determine their path.

Baby I and II Digimon can't engage in even offline battles, so tamers will be spending seven to eight hours just training and feeding their partners before they can see how the stat system is implemented. But these Digimon are talkative, and will periodically send messages, like welcoming their tamer back when they turn the game on again. Given the application's unintrusive nature and ability to run in the background while other tasks are taking place, it may be the perfect match to a generation that's spending an ever-increasing amount of their time at the computer.

Digimon Ver. PC was originally developed by Malaysian programmer Hong Ming (alias "nrg890110" or "hosc") during Digimon's dark age in mid 2009. In part due to Digimon's long official hiatus--Savers had ended two years prior and Xros Wars did not air until a year after DMPC came out--the game experienced a brief surge in popularity when it first launched. After hosc disappeared in 2010, DMPC was revised by JoMdz into 2.0, working with a small team of designers and individuals that acted as public relations contacts, managing its various communities. DMPC 2.0 introduced color graphics, additional evolutionary levels, and new Digimon. The game had been especially notable throughout 2009 and 2010 for having online battles through Hamachi, and an ever-growing count of available Digimon.

Eventually, the difficulty of managing community fanpages for the game, design conflicts over the direction of Ver. PC, and a lack of enthusiasm on the part of fans lead to a slowdown in development and its user base shrinking considerably. In 2013, JoMdz resumed work on Ver. PC, and began developing D-Pet in 2014 as a continuation of the program. The rechristening to D-Pet was chosen in order to reflect the fact that the new program will be playable not just on PCs, but also on Apple computers, iOS, and Android devices. D-Pet is planned to eventually have Facebook connectivity in order to make finding a battle easier once the online functions are completed.

The program immediately invites comparison to Digital Monster Ver. S, which simulated the idea of caring for a Digimon virtual pet on a PC and battling online more than a decade before it would become practical.

8 comments:

  1. I was one of the people that played it during those dark ages. Had to get my Digimon fix somehow haha. It was really well made, but I don't like sitting around my computer too long. Once it's released for Android though, I'll definitely be getting it! Wanted a Digimon V-pet on my smart phone since I got it, but all the ones I saw didn't seem too polished.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got started with 2.0 when it first came out. Back then I chose Nightmare Soldiers, trying to get Skull Greymon. I would leave the pet running while browsing Digimon LPs. I didn't stay in touch with the community though, it was a lot of investment to get a high level Digimon.

      Delete
    2. I don't remember too well, but if facing people was the only way to battle and increase your win percentage, then yeah I'm sure it was. I only messed around with it briefly but I know I paused it when I wasn't around. Then I would forget to unpause it later haha. For me, being able to actually hold the V-pet in your hand and take it places is a huge part of its charm. I think I'll actually start up my Pendulum 1.0 to scratch my V-pet itch till the android version comes out.

      Delete
    3. You can use what we'd like to call:

      A punching bag. A Digimon solely raised to battle your main digimon, in order to lose and increase your win percentage. Which is absolutely fine, I assume you can use that on the phone as well, you might just need a second phone though :)

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Haha ive been playing this game since I first encountered the Facebook page randomly...That was 4 years ago, can't wait for the Android version!! And with online connectivity, I'm definitely gonna be playing this like an addict :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. As always, Touya, your information is timely and thorough! Not to mention interesting to read! I've always enjoyed the idea of the DMPC, but the requirements for evolution and the lengthy time it took to get to adult meant that I never got far in the game. Hopefully an Android release will help with that! ^^'

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear Digimon World,

    we are currently working hard to streamline the release, which might be coming sooner than later. The first APK's to D-Pet have been send out to the donators, and accordingly we will be releasing whenever that's done with.

    I have been an Administrator of D-PET for years, I still currently am. So if anyone here has any questions, just get on our Facebook group:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/digimondmpcpro/?fref=ts

    Hope to see you guys there... Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete