Petz (Dogz and Catz) is a series of games dating back to 1995, in which the player can adopt, raise, care for and breed their own virtual pets. Petz were the world's first virtual pets, and were shown to people to be revolutionary. First released before Tamagotchi, they were among the first 3D characters, rendered in a non-photorealistic cartoon style. Petz has sold over 3 million copies worldwide, and appeals to both children and adults.The player starts at the Adoption Center, where they may choose a dog or cat to adopt of a breed and gender of their choosing. Once they have found a pet they like the user can adopt and name the new puppy or kitten. After around three days (real time) the petz become adults. Adult petz can then breed and have kittens or puppies of their own in Petz 3, Petz 4, and Petz 5 (this was not available in the first two games). Cross-breeding can create different types of petz, called 'Mixed Breeds'.There are a number of toyz, food/water bowls and treats available. Petz can learn tricks with positive rewards such as tickling and treats, or trained not to do something using the punishment (water) spray bottle. Petz must be looked after properly; abused or neglected petz may run away.Users soon learned how to reverse-engineer the system, and began producing additional breedz, toys, playscenes, clothes, and developer tools for the games, as permitted by PF Magic, Mindscape, and Ubisoft Entertainment. This is called 'hexing' by the Petz Community.A related, but much less well-known, game is "Oddballz", also by PF Magic, which revolves around bizarre creatures as pets that can be temporarily shapeshifted into more normal animalz (including dogz and catz).
Creature Designs:Body: (Ball style design) The petz are modelled as a set of balls joined by lines with variable parameters. The concept for this was developed in an early PF Magic title, the fighting game Ballz for Sega Genesis. Because of this design, Petz breedz, toyz, and clothez are relatively easy to modify, but the ball and line system also causes some glitchiness. This model was scrapped in the 2006 games "Dogz" and "Catz" for the PC for a more "realistic" look.Colors: There are 10 default colors that occur naturally in the game. These are white, black, two shades of grey (known as blue and silver), cream, brown, red/ruddy/sorrel/russet, orange, tan and dusty. In addition to these coat colors is the pink found on some Poodle variations. Eye colors are not limited to these 10, although shades of brown, green and blue are most common, particularly in low generation petz. In "hexed" breedz/petz the range of colors can be much greater, although all colors must be within the 256-bit selection. Any coat colors other than the default 10 cannot be inherited properly and will mutate to inheritable colors in offspring.Textures: Textures cover the ballz, imitating fur.Paintballz: Some Breedz have splotches of color or texture on their bodies called Paintballz. The spots on the Alley Cat and Dalmatian are examples of this.
The original series provides examples of:
The new series provides examples of: