And no, it’s not the one you were expecting..I hadn’t even heard of these until today, and straight away that’s an issue, because both Krazy Kitties and Wildwood Breedables have comprehensive websites with forums. In fact when I asked I was told that information was available via a notecard in-store, and a group available to join, but the website was NOT up and running ( I checked: http://www.brightpets.com/ is a blank page)
This is a concern; if I’m going to buy a breedable I want a website from day one that I can refer to for support and post to. In fact this all strikes me as a rush-job to be in with a chance of gaining a foot-hold into the market before the other cats are released, and this fear was reaffirmed when after closer inspection of the notecard I saw that it kept making reference to piggy’s, which was slightly disconcerting. I then realised this was because these are the creation of Brighton Merryman,who launched the first breedable pig into Second Life earlier this year. An experienced AI creator then.But considering what is being released it isn’t a launch with bells and whistles on. The sim isn’t packed to bursting with avatars, in fact..I visited a few time and tha max niumber of avvies in store at one point was 4 ( at another point it was like a graveyard..no one ariound but me) To be honest this launch doesn’t have the feel of an Ozimals or Amaretto release,there’s no buzz, which again indicates to me people didn’t know these were coming and that there hasn’t been enough excitement generated about the end product. This could potentially be a HUGE blow to the success of this breedable, and after his previous pet forays in world you would have thought that Brighton knew that marketing is all, but let’s not be too harsh. This is after all a big achievement- Brighton has released the first breedable cat in Second Life history onto the grid and he’s beaten the competition hands down in getting his product out there, but is it any good?
The ‘Bright Pets’ store is sparsely decorated and pretty basic in appearance. It’s kitted out (ho ho!) with all sorts of breedable essentials on the walls and at the rear of the store are the packs of kitties themselves. But my main prerogative was to see these cats; were they worthy of wearing the breedable cat crown? My first impressions were…well, they look a tad strange. Not Krazy Kitty mental colours, but not Wildwood handsome either, kind of somewhere in-between…ish. (Well, if you’ve had ten pints and your vision is a tad buggered)
They have HUGE alien-like eyes that are too large for their faces, although one redeeming feature is that the eyes feature some lovely colour variations. The textures upon the coats, whilst better than the Krazy Kitties, need to be improved because the brushwork on some of the hides seems a little too pronounced, but it was nice to see fa ew different breeds out on display in the store, although there should be more cats out for people to look at. ( When I visited there were only five, one of which was asleep) On to motion, and it must be said that these moggies walk with a highly curious gait. I was then struck by another factor- they have ENORMOUS feet; which emphasises the walking animation in a highly unflattering manner. I don’t know if they can be held but the sleeping animation seemed very sweet, but I didn’t seem them sitting while I was there. I have to be honest, I wasn’t sold on my first visit. However, appearance is something that can be changed in due course, and it should be pointed out that these cats have a dazzling array of options that will make them very attractive to the Second Life breedable obsessive.
They are auto-updated, which means no totems or transporting a large flock to a sandbox to update. They have a 0.018 script time which means they have one of the lowest lag potentials of any breedable on the grid. A HUGE selling point will be the built-in family registry, essential when you have 60000 (So they claim) variations of kittys that can be bred; something that will really appeal to the genetics enthusiasts with their spreadsheets and pedigree notecards. Yes, you read right: 60000. This is a mind boggling statistic, and of course there will be rare breeds too.
So what else do you need to know? Well, there are 5 diets available for the cats: Starve, Low, Medium, High and Special. Why starve is an option I have no idea, but you must be feeding at least a medium diet for the cats to breed. Taking a cat into inventory for 60 days will cause it to go into a coma, from which they can die (best not to do that then) so vigilance is a must. Like Ozimals, food is not only a factor in breeding but also has an impact upon the status they achieve when they reach old age. A kitty can become a senior of relationship, happiness, energy, hygiene, hunger and thirst. All very similar to Ozimals bunnies then, as is the fact that the better the food that they have consumed, the more chance they have of getting ‘Senior Of Legend’ status, which gives a 1% stats boost in all attributes to all the kitties nearby.
Cats must enter into a partnership to breed, and like the horses you can break partnerships at anytime. Pregnancy, provided I’ve read the notecard correctly, takes ONE HOUR, but the requirements are stringent:
Medium, High or Special Diet
Not have had partner in last 7 days
Now I wanted to tell you about a few other factors, such as the necessity to keep your cat clean and the coat varieties, BUT the notecard kept referring to piggies in these parts. As I said before, not only is this disconcerting, it’s also very sloppy. This notecard should have been proof-read because it doesn’t give a good impression; in fact I am beginning to wonder if these breedables are actually pigs in cat’s clothing? I don’t know the answer to that as I was never a pig breeder in-world, but certainly indicators are there to suggest that there are many similarities between these two products.
So, do I think these will be successful? Well, I stand by my assumption from the evidence presented that these pets have been rush-released. I can understand the panic however, creating objects such as these takes an absolute age so gaining a foothold into the market is essential from day one. I think that they have qualities different to their competitors and I think they will garner a following, but I don’t think that this audience will be as big as that of the Wildwood Cats. The Brightpets Kitty’s aren’t as aesthetically pleasing to my tastesas others , but I think the variety of breeding combos, low lag and no-update features will win fans.
However, this does make me think of those poor Krazy Kitties. It would appear that the release of these Brightpets is yet another nail in their coffin, and it’s time to act now if they don’t want all their hard work to have been wasted.
A final thought; can the grid cope with THREE breedable cat brands? No, I don’t think it can, nor should it. Too many breedable animals is one thing ( and trust me, the variety out there will increase in 2011) but too many of the same species is really cutting it a bit fine. I think that this is a battle where only one winner will reign supreme.
Brightpets have snuck in and struck an early blow..can Krazy Kitties and Wildwood Breedables respond in kind?
To Purchase visit the Bright Pets Sim HERE
- A Brightpets One kitty starter pack, containing 1 week of provisons and a bathing sponge costs L$295
- A Kitty Pair Pack costs L$595.
- A super pack containing 10 kitties is avalable for L$4000..it includes five free kitties , a love potion and two Mochas. ( Yes, these cats like a coffee!)