DigiPet — Virtual Pet for your Palm Electronic Device   2 comments

A Tamagotchi Connexion V1

Image via Wikipedia

Do you remember Tamagotchi? That little electronic toy we used to play with all the time when we were kids. An egg or whatever hatches, and a newborn comes to life. You then have to take care of the poor little creature, feed it, and play with it, or else it will die. Tamagotchi was very popular with school kids that some schools banned having them in class. I also was fascinated with that artificially intelligent toy. It was very exciting to take care of a creature which could react to your actions and see it grow in the palm of your hand.

Ironically, my fascination with that toy as a kid did not fade away as an adult. I still find the idea very creative. So, not owning a Tamagotchi, I thought I’d make one myself. And that’s how DigiPet came to life; a PalmOS application that is inspired by Tamagotchi.

After the break, I’ll talk about this application in detail. So please keep reading.

I made this application a long time ago. As you can see in the 2nd image, it is around 553 days since I installed it on my Palm device! I was reluctant to release it because I felt it was pretty incomplete, and may be because the PalmOS scene had been stagnating for a long time.

The application is a beta. This means it’s not considered to be a final version. It’s however, very stable. It should work on all Palm devices running PalmOS 3 or greater. It could work on earlier versions too, so you may want to give it a try.

INTRODUCTION

Tamagotchis, as much as they were fun, were also pretty limited in content. So you were to look at the same set of actions over and over again. DigiPet, on the other hand, offers an infinite number of actions your virtual pet can make. This is because you, not the developer, are the one who can fill in all the messages you want to see. However, animations were replaced with preset still images of the creature. And the artificial intelligence is pretty low, as the creature acts just randomly. So in short, the arithmetic behind the application can be summarized in this: infinity and randomness in a simple form. This means uncountable unexpected scenarios. This is why this project, although partly incomplete, is exciting to me.

DETAILED REVIEW

dp1

^ Home Screen

I suggest you start by tapping on View Statistics . This will take you to the screen shown below. To check out your DigiPet, click on the first button. Edit Moods will take you to the Mood Screen where you can manage all the moods.

dp2

^ Stats Screen

First, you should name your new DigiPet. The day you found DigiPet on is set by default to the day you opened the application. You can it change it though. The field below will count how many days you’ve caring for DigiPet. This cannot be changed. It depends on the field above. You can check this screen every now and then to know how many days you’ve played with your virtual pet.

dp3

^ DigiPet Screen (Main Screen)

When you open this screen, a random mood shows up. You can tap on the numerous buttons to trigger a preset beeping sound and mood for each button. For example, if you tap on Ignore , DigiPet will show the message, “Don’t ignore me!!” and will show a sad expression. The randomized effect takes place almost immediately, where there is a shift to a random mood. The message “Wait.. DigiPet is mooding!!” will appear between those shifts. Also, the button R will instantly bring up a random mood.

dp4

^ Mood(s) Screen

Here’s the vital screen where you’ll be fueling the engine of infinity with your own creations. You can create as many different moods as you wish, using the preset still images. The images are as varied as possible and should go along with many moods and messages. There’s no limit to how many moods you can create; it’s only limited by the device memory capacity. And text consumes a negligible amount of memory, so don’t worry about filling up your memory at all. Once you make a new mood, it will be saved. The more moods you create the less the chance duplicate moods would appear while playing, and this means you can have DigiPet show a new mood every time. A mood you created a week ago may not show up until now (because of the randomness of how the moods appear) where you may have forgotten about it. This brings an exciting experience to see new messages every now and then.

WHY I THINK THIS APP IS INTERESTING

  1. It lets you add infinite number of moods. Instead of just happy, sad, hungry, and sleepy, you can make hundreds of many moods with customized messages.
  2. The randomness by which the moods show up can have the effect of magic on the moods. A totally forgotten mood you created a long while ago may show up as a new one.
  3. It give you the chance to be creative; writing your own messages.

WHY I THINK THIS APP IS INCOMPLETE

  1. There is no animation. There should be animated forms to bring the creature to life, but because my programming knowledge is somewhat limited at this stuff, and partly because PalmOS itself is not multimedia-friendly, I chose not to experiment with that.
  2. There should’ve been some artificial intelligence by which the creature reacts. This one just acts randomly.
  3. There should’ve been a way for users to create their own graphic images of the creature’s moods.
  4. There should’ve been more graphics icons instead of text buttons.
  5. There should’ve been an option to mute sound. However, muting Game sound in Prefs will mute the beeps of the game.
  6. Stats screen needed more details.

TECHNICAL/COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

The application file is named:

  • DigiPet.prc [size: 93.6 kb]

The version is:

  • 1.0 b

And its information is stored in 2 files:

  • DigiPet-DATA.pdb [size: variable] (this contains all the moods)
  • DigiPet-STATS.pdb [size: ~144 bytes] (this contains the stats info)

Copyright status:

  • All rights reserved to Dr Haisook of TripleH Labs.
  • The application is freeware and can be distributed freely.
  • This application should not be confused with another application with the same title: Digipet v0.95, by John T. 

DOWNLOAD

DigiPet zip file

– Size is compressed at 38.6 kb

– Hosted at Rapidshare.com

– Use WinZip or a similar Windows program to unzip it

– The zip file contains:

  • DigiPet.prc
  • DigiPet-DATA.pdb (with some moods I’ve created to get you started)

Should you find a difficulty downloading, just leave a comment about it, and I’ll re-upload the file for you.

INSTALLATION

Just hotsync the 2 files to your device, and you’ll find the DigiPet icon among your applications.

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

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Posted January 21, 2009 by H. H. in Digital Art, Fun, Palm, Technology

Tagged with , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “DigiPet — Virtual Pet for your Palm Electronic Device

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  1. Does anyone have this version yet? The link is inactive and I find only version 0.95 which can significantly less

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