What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

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What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by TheUnlimitedChao » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:37 pm

Yeah, Think about that. What if you only have to play with chao on a game! No chaos drives, Animal hunting, and just collecting but with no Sonic? The chao garden will be real old real quick. That's why SEGA included the chao garden with the Sonic Adventure games!
No need for depressions now. :blink:
Because, it's christmas! :surprise:
Everybody should be happy this month!

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Re: What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by Jeffery Mewtamer » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:37 am

If I remember correctly, there was an interview published sometime during Heroes's development that said the Chao Gardens were designed as a low challenge game mode for younger players and that Team Rose serves the same purpose in Heroes.

That said, I've long thought that the Chao raising system would make more sense as a stand-alone virtual pet rather than tacked on to an action platformer like Sonic. Granted, separating Chao from SOnic would require alternative means of collecting animals, drives, and rings, and the Chao Gardens could do with more things to do since even people who like Chao have been known to complain that there isn't enough to do while waiting for Chao to reincarnate, to the point that many players, myself included have simply left the game running for hours with their character standing in the water and letting Chao feed themselves while the player does something else.

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Re: What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by Akuhime-sama » Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:24 am

So how would we get their stats up, if we couldn't hunt for animals/drives? Or do you suppose they'd give us a way to do that outside of the garden?

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Re: What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by Jeffery Mewtamer » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:09 pm

Well, the most obvious solution to obtaining things you get from Action stages in the adventure games would be to expand on the mini-games from the TCG and either make Chaos Drives and Animals items in the black market, or a rarer reward in the mini-games.

That said, to borrow a few ideas from my other favorite virtual pet game, Hey You, Pikachu.

Okay, for starters, every smartphone, along with most tablets, has a built-in microphone, and they're pretty common accessories on both consoles and pcs, either stand alone or as part of a headset. Add to that that voice recognition software is far more advanced than it was in the late 90s, and you get quite a bit of potential for using voice input to enhance existing game modes. E.g. imagine being able to call your Chao's name and it come running up to you instead of only having the whistle action that brings every Chao in range with a high enough bond with your current character running, verbally cheering them on in races and karate or directing them at a forked path in the races or giving commands in Karate.

But let's take it a step further. Imagine that you have several Gardens, each a completely safe, cordoned off section of a larger, explorable environment.

Some examples of such gardens and the larger environment they're part of:
A meadow next to a watering hole on a large farm.
A clearing in a forest.
An oasis in the desert.
A beach cove along the seashore(some of the non-garden areas are rocky.
A park/plaza in an urban environment.
A large cave in a labyrinthine cave system.
etc.

In addition to playing with a sizeable group in the Garden itself, imagine taking one or two Chao and venturing out to explore the surroundings. Gameplay could be similiar to the explorable environments of Hey You, Pikachu, but each area could possibly offer various activities for Chao to participate in, and each area could be home to small animals appropriate to the environment(for example, robins or otters in the forest, crows or rats in the city, bats or moles in the caves, vultures or scorpions in the desert). Some of the activities completed while on this greatly expanded Chao Adventure could unlock upgrades for the garden, some functional, others cosmetic, similar to how you unlocked new areas and earned decorations for your room in Hey You, Pikachu, while others will give experience to Chao stats or give Chao accessories or animal parts. Perhaps even make the environments randomly generated(either first play only ala village generation in Animal Crossing, which could open up possibilities for going exploring with a friend and their Chao in their version or every so often, just to keep things fresh, or split the difference with an initial generation of an entirely random environment that then changes slowly over time).

And while I've never played them, I'm sure the Nintendogs series has some ideas that could be used for making Chao far more worthwhile as a stand alone virtual pet.

And now, I find myself wishing I could play some Hey You, Pikachu and consider it a royal shame it never got a (3)ds port.

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Re: What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by Akuhime-sama » Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:11 pm

Jeffery Mewtamer wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:09 pm
a rarer reward in the mini-games.
Ouch. I don't like that idea. Unless of course the rarity is low, and/or they allow you to use the item multiple times and it gives you a good amount of points towards the stat.
Which reminds me, There should be a separation from influence and stat point gains. It would help regulate chao growth a bit better, should this be a stand alone game.
Jeffery Mewtamer wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:09 pm
That said, to borrow a few ideas from my other favorite virtual pet game, Hey You, Pikachu.

Okay, for starters, every smartphone, along with most tablets, has a built-in microphone, and they're pretty common accessories on both consoles and pcs, either stand alone or as part of a headset. Add to that that voice recognition software is far more advanced than it was in the late 90s, and you get quite a bit of potential for using voice input to enhance existing game modes. E.g. imagine being able to call your Chao's name and it come running up to you instead of only having the whistle action that brings every Chao in range with a high enough bond with your current character running, verbally cheering them on in races and karate or directing them at a forked path in the races or giving commands in Karate.
Ah yes, I like the sound of that. Hey you, Pikachao Image

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Re: What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by AugustChao » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:34 am

I honestly don't think that a stand-alone Chao Garden would really work unless it was VERY well executed.

To explain some of my reasons why, I present to you exhibit A, also known as Chao Resort Island. Although it obviously was a well done Fan-game with a lot of effort put into it, it's a shining example of the main reasons I don't think a stand-alone Chao Garden would work, for a couple of reasons. First off, the game gets REALLY repetative, as all you really do in it is stand around in the Garden or do races, which leads me to my next point... I think we'd need actual stages or something other than just mini-games to collect rings, as in Chao Resort Island, the ONLY way to get rings at all is by doing races, but because you don't really do much to impact them in any sort of way, you basically just sit there, watching the Chao race like 50 times before you finally have enough rings to buy something. Also, if getting all those rings is that tedious, then the prizes should be really worth it, like access to more Gardens, more items in the Gardens (like the TV, Radio, etc), and maybe more mini-games or more ways to increase Chao's stats apart from just fruit. I think that these complaints are pretty much non-existent in games like SADX and SA2B specifically because the Chao Garden is a side-feature in those games, and things you do in the main game can get you stuff in the Chao Garden, such as Animals and Drives in Stages, and collecting Emblems to unlock more items.

If I had to change the races in any way to enhance the gameplay, I think it would be really cool if rather than just cheering your Chao on from the sidelines, you could actually control your Chao's movement, and stuff like their speed could be improved by increasing their stats. I also think that this could be used in really interesting ways, like having race courses with multiple possible pathways, or hiding items in them to find by deviating off the path (the best analogy I can think of is stuff like the medals and Chaos Emeralds in Sonic R). I also think that this could also solve the problem of ring collecting, as they could put extra rings on the road to pick up like they do in other Sonic racing games.

As for the addition of more than 3 Gardens, I always thought it would be really cool if there were 4 Gardens dedicated to each type, including a Swim Garden, a Fly Garden, a Run Garden, and a Power Garden, main reason being that I liked the little animations that the Chao could do in SADX and especially in SA2B, where they could Swim in the water or Fly from the edge of a cliff, and I felt it was under-used in those games, so you could have Gardens with a lot of places where Chao could use those abilities. For example, you could have a Fly Garden with a lot of edges for them to fly off of, or you could have a Run Garden with a lot of open space for them to run around.
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Re: What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by Akuhime-sama » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:46 am

AugustChao wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:34 am
I honestly don't think that a stand-alone Chao Garden would really work unless it was VERY well executed.

To explain some of my reasons why, I present to you exhibit A, also known as Chao Resort Island. Although it obviously was a well done Fan-game with a lot of effort put into it, it's a shining example of the main reasons I don't think a stand-alone Chao Garden would work, for a couple of reasons. First off, the game gets REALLY repetative, as all you really do in it is stand around in the Garden or do races, which leads me to my next point... I think we'd need actual stages or something other than just mini-games to collect rings, as in Chao Resort Island, the ONLY way to get rings at all is by doing races,...(cont)
Well, yeah. For ANY pet-raising game to be stand-alone, and not get tedious, it needs to be well executed. That's pretty much common sense. However, I don't think you should be saying "CRI did it poorly/left me bored, so there's no way that it could ever be stand alone"--- That's a common fallacy (I forget the name of it), but it's just poor logic to say "well this game failed, so all of them will." Not 100% sure if this is what you were trying to say, but it sure comes off that way. (mostly because you reiterated that you don't think it would work)

Personally, I think all your points about what could be improved about something, like say, ring collection/whatever currency they use, could very well be implemented in a stand alone version of chao raising. In fact, just you listing the possibilities kind of implies that, lol.

In short: I think it most certainty could work. (If done well of course)
However, will it? probably not. Sega doesn't seem too interested in chao to begin with, considering Exant found possible evidence that sega MAY HAVE TRIED to kill off shiny two tones (not entirely proven though), as well as how crappy a job they did porting it to other consoles. So, supposing Sega doesn't ever do it, what's left are fan games. And, fan games can be good don't get me wrong, but... I don't think we should leave chao up to the fans. I've seen enough discord on Discord [pun intended] to know that everyone raises chao differently, and sometimes things get really heated over it, yikes! I foresee, (supposing there was an attempt done at a proper fan game) that it will only cater to some players, but not all, just as CRI has. (or so it seems) But fan games kind of do that.

So yeah, I think it can be done, and done well, but I doubt it ever actually will, and if it was done and done well, I would bet you money that it would be Sega doing it, not fans.
Also, this would have to be in a universe where Sega was more concomitant with it came to chao
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AugustChao wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:34 am
As for the addition of more than 3 Gardens, I always thought it would be really cool if there were 4 Gardens dedicated to each type, including a Swim Garden, a Fly Garden, a Run Garden, and a Power Garden
But of course! If it really was a full-fledged stand alone game, you can bet your sweet bippy that there's be at least one for each evo path. But, why stop at 4? I think the minimum for a "full fledged" game, would be about 6 to 8. Maximum, maybe like 12, and have a chao capacity (per garden) cap at 10. Chao don't like crowds, but if we had bigger gardens, then 10 wouldn't be so bad.

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Re: What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by Jeffery Mewtamer » Sat Jan 26, 2019 4:13 pm

^I think the fallacy you're looking for is hasty generalization. And for what it's worth, poor execution leading to boring or tediously repetitive gameplay is a general problem in game design, not one exclusive to the virtual pet genre. That said, there is a massive difference in the game balance calculations between a stand alone virtual pet and a virtual pet included as a breather activity in a larger game, and the Chao Gardens arguably failed at doing these calculations even as a side game and would need some serious re balancing to work as a stand alone game.

For starters, I'd want more direct interaction between the player's avatar and the Chao or even between individual Chao, because when it comes down to it, there's little the Player can do with their Chao beyond giving it items, petting it, beating it up, and holding it, and even then, all the characters hold Chao like a newborn with a dirty diaper they're trying to hand off to someone else to clean up rather than like a pet or young child they're trying to be affectionate with.

In that regard, here's a few ideas:
For starters, give characters holding animations that actually look like they want to hold the Chao and care about the Chao.
Given the ubiquity of touch screens, give the player the option to, while cardling a Chao in their arms, go into a first person view where they can tickle the chao by sliding their finger around the touchscreen, which shows a close up of the Chao, with the chao giggling and squirming in the character's arms as appropriate.
Include the option for characters to use some of their abilities while holding Chao with some Chao liking it and others not(e.g. Tails flying with a Chao inhis arms, Sonic spindashing while curled around a Chao, Amy doing a Hammer Spin or Hammer Jump while holding a Chao, etc.)
Include an option to give Chao horsie or piggyback rides.
Make Chao chase after and try to return a ball the player kicks and perhaps add frisbees or other items the player could use for playing fetch.
Perhaps add some playground equipment to each garden or have a dedicated playground area.

I do like the idea of directly controlling you're Chao in Races and Karate, and would like to have more sports Chao can participate in. Though, building on some of the above ideas for making races less linear and more interactive, I kind of like the idea of a platformer with a Chao as the playable character.

Imagine, given a Chao to control and a world to explore, you can run around, climb walls, swim through water, and flap your wings by repeatedly tapping A.

Run determines your top speed on foot. The higher your run stat, the faster you can run and the less stamina expended when running at top speed. Running at top speed slowly gains you experience, but less effectively than items(I'm thinking perhaps an experience point per second of flat out running).
Fly determines the lift you get from each flap of your wings, how much stamina each flap costs, and how far you can glide from a give height. Each flap of your wings grants you an experience point in fly. At low values, flaps will barely qualify as a double jump and you might need to land before doing another flap, but Chao can really sore at high values.
Power determines climbing speed and power of a Chao's punches and the stamina drain from climbing or punching a breakable object. A second of climbing or landing a punch on a breakable object gains 1 experience point.
Swim determines swimming speed and the stamina drain from swimming. Swimming at top speed earns experience like running at top speed does for run.
Stamina determines you're Chao's energy level. when a Chao's stamina runs out, they have to return to the garden to rest. You gain 1 experience point for any action that drains a chunk of stamina. Other stats decrease stamina drains as they improve.

Actually, I think I like the idea of Chao becoming the player character for Chao Adventure DX more than modeling it after Hey You, Pikachu... though I could also imagine some asymmetric multiplayer with one player taking on a Hey You, Pikachu-like role keeping an eye on the Chao while one or more players control a Chao directly(afterall, the gardens are safe, but the surrounding environments could be home to dangers all but the mightiest Chao might be defenseless against).

And regarding the sheer amount of time it takes for some thing to happen, while I think the existing behavior of time passing only in the garden the player is actually in should probably remain the default, I'd like the option to have time flow in all gardens the player marks "active" throughout all play time, or the option to reduce the game to a low memory background process(unloads all graphical assets from memory, only worries about keeping Chao aging with the option to give you a notification when something important happens(naturally, this would only work in a PC or mobile version since Consoles aren't built with multitasking in mind).

And regarding minigames, when I said make animals a rarer prize, I was thinking along the lines of a decent player can expect to earn about 100 rings and 10 animals per minute of gameplay in a well-designed minigame, though considering that would require roughly three-and-a-half hours straight to earn enough rings for the most expensive items, perhaps an across the board decrease in item costs would be called for to avoid making ring collection a grind. Though perhaps some minigames could be played solely for items instead of rings.

Perhaps a version of memory match where you're shown all the cards at the start, most contain fruits or animals, matching a pair earns you the item on the card and a mis match ends the game, and as a bonus, if you get all the matches, the last pair turns into an egg as a grand prize.

That said, whether stand alone or part of a larger game, I agree that a new Chao Raising game that's a decent follow up to what we got in the Adventure Duology is more likely to come from Sega themselves, or at least a third party they license to do it, and even there, I expect Sega will continue to give us half-baked ports of the Adventure games instead of something new. And even among fan efforts, mods to the existing games are far more likely than any decent fangames.

Speaking as a degree holding Computer Scientist, I can tell you this is because ideas are easy and cheap, but implementation is hard and expensive. Micro Chao Garden, my own attempt at a Chao fan game only implements the visible stats of run, power, swim, fly, and stamina, the breed attributes of color, tone, shininess, and coat, the evolution sliders and first evolution, reincarnation, creation of starter/store eggs and passing these traits down through breeding and a simplified version of age based on number of player actions, all with a broken, text-based interface(which was painfully tedious to use before I broke the interface). I wouldn't even know where to start with adding sound or graphics fancier than ascii art, and even of the aspects of Chao that are well documented, I'd probably need to learn new programming tricks to implement any of them. Even in such an incomplete state, Micro Chao Garden is easily the most involved thing I've ever coded, it would probably take me several hours to literal days to clean it up enough for another public release, and even then, its more of a tech demo than a decent text-based game and probably has a smaller code base than the TCG if you ripped out the mini-games... Actually, I just checked, the executable is 88kb. Yes, that's kilobytes, and it's small enough it could fit several times over on a floppy disk. Hell, it would fit on a 1 megabit game cart and even Sonic 1 is 4 megabits.

By the time you put in the effort to make a fan game of comparable quality to a professionally made game, you're probably better off just making it an original game so you can't be hit with a cease and desist, or you've been picked up to make games professionally.

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Re: What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by AugustChao » Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:39 pm

I was only basing my Generalization off of Chao Resort Island because it's the best example, but I do see your point. I considered also bringing up the Tiny Chao Garden, but that was rendered pointless because it's also a side-feature in the games it's a part of (except maybe Phantasy Star Online, because I don't think anything you do in the main game apart from "The Fake in Yellow" actually impacts that Garden).

I also agree that Sega would probably never make a stand-alone Chao Garden game, but I do think that it's a possibility for them to make it a side-feature in a future game, especially with the news of Iizuka wanting to re-make Adventure (although it's still unknown if that will actually happen). Hell, I remember that during the a pre-release demo thing for Sonic Forces, someone playing it specifically asked Sega themselves if there was going to be a Chao Garden in it, so Sega knows well that there are people out there that want it.

Also, even though I don't really like the idea of a Phone/Mobile Chao Garden (that's just a me thing), I do like the idea of having an interactable touch screen Chao game, kind-of like Pokemon Amie.
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Re: What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by Akuhime-sama » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:29 pm

Jeffery Mewtamer wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 4:13 pm
^I think the fallacy you're looking for is hasty generalization. And for what it's worth, poor execution leading to boring or tediously repetitive gameplay is a general problem in game design, not one exclusive to the virtual pet genre.
Aah, yes, that sounds right. And also, I wasn't intending to say that it WAS, nor did I even imply it. I merely said that for a virtual pet game, you DO need to combat repetitive gameplay. Since Pet games tend to get repetitive faster than most other genres. Because raising a pet, is inherently repetitive, as you are often doing the same things over and over again, to raise said pet. (for example petting, washing, or even grinding stats, like PSO Mags)
Or like in Nintendogs, teaching the SAME DAMN TRICK TO THEM OVER AND OVER AGAIN BECAUSE THEY'RE SLOW. LOL


As for the rest of your post, Interesting ideas. I like the whole "some chao like flying with tails, some don't" idea. Where certain actions affect each chao differently.
And yeah, more interaction would be beneficial. That first-person mode you described sounds like something out of Pokémon Amie. Which also wouldn't be a bad idea :darksurprise:
AugustChao wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:39 pm
except maybe Phantasy Star Online, because I don't think anything you do in the main game apart from "The Fake in Yellow" actually impacts that Garden).
WAIT THERE'S A PHANTASY STAR TINY CHAO GARDEN!? Image

Well, I guess there'd have to be in order to transfer it from one game to another, but TELL ME ARE THERE ANY DIFFERENCES!?
Last edited by Akuhime-sama on Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by AugustChao » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:56 pm

Yeah, there's an unlockable Tiny Chao Garden in the Gamecube version of Phantasy Star Online, that you can get through a mission titled "The Fake in Yellow". It's well known for being the only legitimate way to get a Tails Chao outside of Japanese events or the 2003 Catalog Disc.

As for the differences, I don't know if there are any major differences between it and the other versions of the Tiny Chao Garden apart from the obvious difference of not being able to play stages for rings.
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Re: What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by Akuhime-sama » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:29 pm

AugustChao wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:56 pm
I don't know if there are any major differences between it and the other versions of the Tiny Chao Garden apart from the obvious difference of not being able to play stages for rings.
I'll send my friend on a mission then to do this. lol. I'll report back later, kek.

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Re: What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by 124FlyChao » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:41 pm

It would get boring without animals and chaos drives, and If their were, how would you get them-- racing? that would be grinding! (no pun intended) :blah:
The only reason I like chao is because my brother named a chao after me and he threw it in the water... Carl... I WILL AVENGE YOU! :chaoangry: Dude chill out...> :blink:

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Re: What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by Sonicjan » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:41 am

I love the idea of having a standalone Chao, but I think there would be a way better way to handle a Chao-game; make it a companion application.
Chao are ment to be companions, they search for someone who protects them and characters like Cream or Vanilla always have their favourite Chao at their side.

The game would work like described before, with many mini games giving you prizes and all that, but you would earn the most rings and Animals/Chaos Drives, if you connect the game to other Sonic-games. After each level you would get the amount of rings that you have left when finishing, based on how many enemies you've beaten you would get Animals and Chaos Drives, you could find bushes or trees with (rare) fruits in them and transport them to the Chao World, and so on.
You take those items and grow your Chao, make them run faster, fly faster, get stronger, more intelligent, etc. And when the Chao gets strong enough, it gains the ability to follow you on your Adventure. Depending on the level of the stats, it either flies nearby you, runs nearby you or has to be carried around on the back or at the front of the Character (with special carrying bags made for Chao). The stats would determine how much damage the Chao could deal to enemies, if it is intelligent and happy enough to collect rings and carry other items to you. If strong enough, it might even be willed to carry you for a very short distance through the air or save you from drowning.
If the Chao were given a Wisp, it would copy its abilities and use them to open new paths or get stronger, when fighting enemies. If you were to use Wisp/Powers than, the Chao might even combine its and yours colour powers, to fuse them and create an enhanced version of it (like in Sonic Colours Wii Multiplayer, when using two Wisps at the same time with the second Player, only with more diverse effects and outcomes).

Past games could also be updated to at least allow the transfer of collected rings and Animals/Chaos Drives, based on the amount of beaten Robots.

There could also be miniature versions of levels, just made for the Chao, in order for you to play as one and clear the course. And we really NEED clothing options for our beloved Chao! Maybe there could ba a new Mall oppening, just for people with their Chao-companions? After creating a Hero Chao with a Snow-hat and 3D-Goggles in Chao Resort Island, I couldn't go back to nearly no clothing options! I need that... :herosway:

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Re: What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by ManifoldFacades » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:09 pm

I feel like if they tried to make the game a mobile game, it could work. That being said, it'd probably be filled to the brim with microtransactions and Loot Boxes...Loot Eggs? Loot...Something.
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Re: What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by noahthehedgehog » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:39 am

ManifoldFacades wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:09 pm
I feel like if they tried to make the game a mobile game, it could work. That being said, it'd probably be filled to the brim with microtransactions and Loot Boxes...Loot Eggs? Loot...Something.
This is what I thought as well, a mobile game app would be somewhat fitting. Microtransactions would be in it by default, thats true, but I still would play it if its free to play from the start. Rings/currency could be obtained by mini games or just by walking around, as well as egg hatching mechanics and so on. It could work out. Unfortunately, with the way they treated Chao in the past years, I doubt they will ever concentrate on them as a game again, mobile or otherwise.
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Re: What if Chao garden games were a standalone game?

Post by ManifoldFacades » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:05 pm

noahthehedgehog wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:39 am

This is what I thought as well, a mobile game app would be somewhat fitting. Microtransactions would be in it by default, thats true, but I still would play it if its free to play from the start. Rings/currency could be obtained by mini games or just by walking around, as well as egg hatching mechanics and so on. It could work out. Unfortunately, with the way they treated Chao in the past years, I doubt they will ever concentrate on them as a game again, mobile or otherwise.
Eh, don't be so sure about that. Chao seem to be getting quite a bit of love now. Between Chao in Space, and some art that's been supposedly going about, we're definitely getting to see some love for the lil beans.
Knowledge will give you power, but character respect. - Bruce Lee

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