GoPets


GoPets

Infobox_Company
company_name = GoPets Ltd.
company_
company_type = Online Game, Entertainment Service, Online Social Network
foundation = August 4, 2004
location = Seoul, South Korea |
key_people = Erik Bethke - CEO
industry = Internet, Online Game Development
num_employees = 55 (as of October 2006)
homepage = [http://www.gopets.net/en/main/main_index.html www.gopets.net] or [http://www.gopetslive.com/en/main/main_index.html www.gopetslive.com]

GoPets is a virtual pet site that involves raising a customized three dimensional pet downloaded onto a user's computer. GoPets was launched on August 4, 2005 and has since grown considerably. Since GoPets is still in development, the website is prone to lagging and bugs.

GoPets reside not only on their owner's computer, but also visit GoPets members around the world when sent, invited, or when they decide to travel on their own.

To provide a means of communication among users who speak different languages, GoPets also has a universal iconic language called "IKU." The GoPets service also contains limited email, chat services, and a forum. Unfortunately at this time the "IKU" is disabled due to a new UI.

Basics

Pets

Players on GoPets have the ability to create a pet. Presently, the only "pets" available are cats, dogs, and pandas, but more, including a pony, and a monkey are in development. After selecting which animal they desire, they have the opportunity to customize their new GoPet by selecting from a list of pre-set colors and patterns. Once the initial creation process is complete, the GoPet will be brought into existence to reside on the player's desktop.

If players desire further customization, they can dress their pet up with unique clothing items, and equip different transportation vehicles such as cars or planes. Many equipable items hold trainable animations that GoPets can be taught to use when their stats are at a decent level.

GoPets are social, and enjoy interacting with other GoPets. These interactions include conversations, games, and professions of love and friendship which may result in a communal dance. GoPets love to travel around desktops of players all around the world in search of other places where there are treated politely and affectionately.

GoPets never die or become sick, despite the lack of care or how low their status may become. However, GoPets will respond negatively to ill care and leave their owners' desktop frequently. For example, when very tired, Gopets will fall asleep often.

GoLand

GoLand is GoPets term meaning a players desktop. New users are taken to a community desktop where books, food and clothing are able to be purchased. A user may purchase their own piece of GoLand by using the GoLand Map and searching for either a camping site or a tier 1 land. Camping sites are shown by a green paw, and only cost 1000 green shells; while the tier 1 lands are shown by an orange paw and cost 75 gold shells. Camping sites only allow 75 items to be placed onto the desktop, while a tier 1 land allows 250 items for non-subscribers, and 400 items for premium subscribers.

Players can decorate their desktop with countless objects and toys for GoPets to play and interact with. GoPets can use many of the items by themselves. One popular item is a bathtub, which GoPets utilize when their cleanliness status is low. In addition to toys and food, GoPets owners can place decorative items on the desktop, such as trees, shrubs or ponds. They can also mark items for sale, allowing visitors to their desktop to purchase these items at will.

Currency

The GoPets currency is known as the shell (they are simply colored seashells); green shells are the lowest denomination, pink shells are second, and gold shells are considered the most valuable. Gold Shells may be purchased for real money through Gopets, for $0.10 USD per shell. At the trading forum, some players trade shells for another, but the exchange rate is rather outrageous at this time ((1 gold shell: 1,000 pink shells: 50,000 green shells)). All types of shells, as well as numerous items, may be found in fortune cookies; Green Tea Fortune Cookies are given Daily to un-subscribed users, while special Premium Fortune Cookies are given to the Subscribers.

The player's currency of Gold Shells to Pink Shells to Green Shells has changed after GoPets discovered a flaw in their fortune cookie system which gave a higher payout of gold shells than a person who would buy the prepaid cards. Due to this, GoPets changed and revised the fortune cookie system making a daily maximum payout of 10 Gold Shells from pink fortune cookies. Players have not agreed yet to a specific ratio of the shells and argue that trying to obtain gold shells is much more harder and that the only way is by buying the gold shells.

Pink shells can only be used by Subscribers unfortunately and has caused major controversy because many items require pink shells. Green shells are essentially worthless due to the shear amount and ability to gain them so easy, but has caused many problems in the economy.

Gameplay

Users may interact with the GoPets on their desktop, by feeding them, petting them, playing with them, sending them to other players. GoPets can own micropets, little pets for your pets. Current micropets include are Spring Butterfly, Baby Chick, Owl, Parrot, Penguin, and many others. Occasionally, micropets make noise, and pets with equipped a micropet have their stats decreased at a faster pace.

There's is a housing feature, in which users are able to purchase houses for their desktops to decorate. Users may also purchase wallpapers, 3D wallpapers, skies for their 3D wallpapers, and decorations. In addition, premium users are able to create custom clothing and furniture items for their pets and for trade, though currently the custom creation tool is not working.

GoPets provides a Child Safety Mode which, once activated, allows the guardian to establish a Protector ID that limits the functions available for underage users. Only the specified Protector ID is able to send gifts to that account. The child's information is not viewable to the public. The mode limits children from being able to play the game properly and has caused much controversy due to current problems at hand.

Leveling

To help new users better understand GoPets, there is a unique leveling feature. This enables users to not only earn shells as they increase their level, but allows users to grasp the concepts of feeding, dressing, training and/or bathing their animals. As GoPets users level up, they receive a certain amount of shells, along with unlocking all the items that are their same level. For example, a user that is Level 1 cannot use any items above their level, including foods/toys, although, these items can be bought at any level. Experience points (which help leveling) are obtained throughout everyday activities. Experience points are acquired by feeding the users pet, the closer the level of the item is to the users' level, the more experience points are given to the user. Although it sounds difficult, as long as users interact with the pet they created, leveling is easily accomplished. The first 20 levels are very fast to achieve, however, the later levels are more time consuming, although, the user can use most items by this time.

Mini games

One of the GoPets stores is devoted completely to mini games. These small games can be purchased just like any other GoPets item and played on the owner's desktop. When a GoPets user purchases a mini game, it will appear in their Inventory. To play it, double-click on its Inventory icon. However, the most recently released games are downloaded and played independently of the GoPets' client.

To earn prize points for these games, the player spends a certain amount of Gold Shells per level, depending on the game. Each of these prize-earning games will have its own Prize Page, where points can be redeemed for prizes. In addition to being rewarded prize points, some mini games give a reward of green shells.

The types of rewards that a player receives for playing mini games will vary, depending on the game. Some games, for example, will enter you into a prize raffle. Others can be played just for the fun of it. In addition, the rewards available for redeeming prize points will alter every month. So, if a player does not like any current items, they can wait another month and hopefully find a prize to their liking.

Previously, there were three other mini games available: Freethrow Shootout, BullsEye, and SkeeBall. However, these games were retired in late March with the release of Eets and Diner Dash2. All games released after the retiring of these games have different rules, a different prize point payout, and are downloaded separately rather than within the Gopets client.

There are currently seven Mini Games available ." [cite web|title="GoPets MiniGames Page"|accessdate=2007-05-19|url=http://www.gopetslive.com/html/mini_game/minigame_index.html] , they are: Twat Poker, Diner Dash 2, Eets, CandyShot, Sudoku, Shangai, and Magic Ball. To learn the rules of each game, the users can visit the [http://www.gopetslive.com/en/game/mini_what.html Mini Games] main page. In addition to learning the rules of each game, from the Mini Games main page, GoPets users can also view the top ranked players for each game. Users can also purchase the games from this page.

GoDance, which is currently in development, is released for free to GoPets users. There is a forum dedicated to GoDance which includes the latest link to download the updated GoDance game as well as talk to other GoDancers. Though currently GoDance is not working for a large amount of people.

hops

In addition to the shops on GoPets, each user earns the ability to open their own shop at Level 14. Users can also sell items directly on their desktop, which can be bought by users visiting their desktop. There are no limits to how much or how little is charged for items. However, there are some restrictions on what items are allowed to be sold in stores or given to other users. Some of these items include the mini games, as well as subscriber items.

Currently there are few shops open and many items have been wiped from the shops altogether. This has caused many problems especially for new players and such. The only way currently to get many of the items is to purchase a treasure box and hope for the item you want, buy from a player shop, or trade directly with another player.

Patching

((Currently there are no patches due to the lack of funds.))

Depending on where the GoPet user lives, every Tuesday/Wednesday a new patch will occur. The first patch of the month lasts for somewhere around three hours, the following three patches usually tend to last around an hour. A new patch has the ability to enhance GoPets gameplay, but will often bring upon bugs and glitches. The patches often include new items in the stores, as well as additions to the GoPets client as well as bug fixes. While patching, the client as well as the GoPets website is unaccessible, which makes it difficult for users to know when the patching is done; however, the GoPets forums are able to be accessed, and users can mingle with each other and talk about what is being released. Lately, GoPets has been having the new items showcased on the home page while patching, so users know what is coming up and hopefully what bugs were fixed.

Community

The GoPets service contains limited email and chat services, including a message board. Users may block other users, or add them as friends. They may also send Private Messages to them, and leave 'Testimonials' on their profile for all to see.

There is also a program called 'GoChat'. This is GoPets' Instant Messaging Service. Though only Premium users may make private 'chat rooms', un-subscribed users may make public rooms. It features font customization, with a number of fonts to choose from, all from your computer.

Groups

GoPets users can create or join groups, which are little communities of Gopets users, similar to clubs or guilds. There is no limit on the amount of groups a user can join. The groups a user belongs to are listed on their profile page. Within a group, users can post messages and talk with other group members. Examples of groups include the Patch group, Custom Items group, Malaysian speakers group, Christian group, Neopets group, and other such groups centered on a common interest.

The forums

Users are encouraged to use the forums to help new users as well as become more social. The website's message board is not owned by the GoPets company, but players use it to build the GoPets community. Forum users also benefit by having the ability to participate in scavenger hunts, giveaways, and other contests. These contests are either held by GoPets staff members or other forum users. There are a number of forums covering announcements, trading, new users, questions, GoPets related issues, technical support, suggestions, as well as non GoPets-related issues. The forums are moderated by users who volunteer, moderators change monthly.

Tamago Day

Originally started in 2005, GoPets users love of Tamago is what really inspired the user-created holiday, Tamago Day. On September 29, many GoPets users participate in Tamago Day by flooding their friend's inventories with hundreds of boxes of Tamagos.

To further Celebrate Tamago Day in 2006, GoPets staff held a Scavenger Hunt for English GoPets Forum users. The hunt lasted one weekend, and the first 25 users to successfully finish the hunt were put into a drawing for in-game prizes and in-game currency.

Information about this event can be found in the [http://gopedia.gopetslive.com/twiki/bin/view/GoPedia/Community Community section of the GoPedia] .

Charity

GoPets users have the ability to give back to the community as well by buying certain items. A portion of the shells used to purchase the items are donated to certain charities. In addition to purchasing items, users can donate shells directly to the charities of their choice by visiting the Giving through GoPets page. The current charities benefiting from this program are Save3Lives, CarbonFound.org, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Breast Cancer & Research Foundation, and Sports Gift. GoPets users can also visit the Charity page [ [http://gopedia.gopetslive.com/twiki/bin/view/GoPedia/Charity GoPedia Charity Page] ] on the GoPedia for news articles and upcoming charity events.

Merchandise

In the Spring of 2007, Konami Digital Entertainment (Konami Corporation) released GoPets Vacation Island for the Nintendo DS. [ [http://www.konami.com/Konami/ctl3810/cp20104/si1725034/cl1/go_pets_vacation_island_working_title] "GoPets: Vacation Island." Konami. Oct 2006. Konami Digital Entertainment. Retrieved 7 Nov 2006 ]
Developed by 1st Playable Productions, the game will allow the player to make and visit friends, as well as play minigames, design foods and items and dress their pets up in clothing. The DS game, like the web version, will have an IKU chat and minigames.

Premium accounts

A premium account gives users extra benefits, but it is not required for the website. Users with premium accounts receive discounts when buying gold shells. Instead of receiving "green tea fortune cookies" on a daily basis, premium account users receive "premium fortune cookies", which give out at least 1 gold shell and up to 2112. Premium users receive a special item each month, for the extent of their subscription. Examples are like during October which was Halloween themed, Haunted Houses were given as that month's premium item. Premium users gain access to certain shops where they can purchase items such as the "Item Maker" (The "Nameplate maker" is undergoing some maintenance and will be returned to the shops as soon as it is working correctly again).

There are 2 different types of premium memberships available. The first is the monthly GoPremium, which gives the premium user the premium item of the month. The second is the yearly Premium Plus 12, which includes the premium item of the month for an entire year as well as an exclusive playset. This system is time based meaning you can have at least 1 month of premium account. After the time limit has passed, the user's account reverts back to the normal account but the user's items are still theirs to keep.

Awards

On August 28, 2006 GoPets, Ltd. was selected as a Red Herring 100 Asia Winner for 2006. [ [http://www.herringevents.com/rhasia06/index.jsp?section=rh100] RED HERRING 100 ASIA SHORT LIST] [ [http://www.gopetslive.com/en/info/notice_list.html?OrderNo=341&TypeNo=2] GoPets News]

ee also

* List of social networking websites

References


* [http://gopedia.gopetslive.com/ GoPedia]
* [http://www.gopetslive.com The GoPets Site]

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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