life simulator

XGirl [Xbox – Cancelled]

XGirl is a cancelled “girlfriend simulation” game that was in development by Angel Studios (the modern Rockstar San Diego) around 2000, planned to be published by Microsoft as a launch game for their original Xbox. You can imagine it somehow like Seaman or Hey You, Pikachu! but with a “girlfriend” as the main character to interact with. As far as we know XGirl did not use voice-commands and it was more like a traditional pet / life simulation, such as the Creatures or Tamagotchi series.

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While the project was never officially announced, details about its existence were found online on resumes of former Angel Studios / Rockstar San Diego developers.

Carlos Pedroza, who worked as Lead Artist at Angel Studios, listed the game on his website. Michael Limber, who worked as Chief Creative Officer at Angel Studios, wrote on his old website:

“Interactive test application for Microsoft for the launch of the XBox. Kind of an interactive girlfriend project, XGirl had natural engaging facial animations and reacted to various controller inputs.”

We tried many times to get in contact with former Angel Studios developers to preserve more information about XGirl, unfortunately we never got any reply. In Japan Microsoft did release a somewhat similar game to xGirl on the original Xbox, titled “[email protected] Natural Ultimate Digital Experiment”, developed by Red Entertainment.

We can assume the concept behind a “virtual girlfriend” could have been too controversial for the american market in 2001, so Microsoft and Angel Studios canned the project. Angel Studios was then bought by Take-two in 2003 and renamed Rockstar San Diego. They then moved on to work on such popular titles as Red Dead Revolver, Midnight Club and Grand Theft Auto V

Cabbage [N64 DD – Cancelled]

Cabbage is an unfinished pet breeding/raising game, originally intended for release on the Nintendo 64 Disk Drive. It was being developed by Shigesato Itoi (responsible for the Earthbound series) and Tsunekazu Ishihara (producer of the Pokémon series), as well as Shigeru Miyamoto himself. Unfortunately, the game never reached completion for various reasons.

In Cabbage, players were given the task of raising a creature (exactly what type of creature was never revealed). They were able (amongst other tasks) to buy it things, and feed it. The game concept was very unique in a number of ways. For example, it would have utilized the N64DD’s internal clock in order to keep the virtual world functioning even while the console was turned off. This meant that a player could potentially leave the house for a few hours, and find that his or her creature had evolved and changed considerably in his or her absence.

To enable more portability, and constant monitoring of the Cabbage creature, the game would also have been linkable to the Game Boy via a special converter. The creature could be downloaded to the Game Boy, where it could remain with (and be nurtured by) the player throughout the day, before being transferred back to the home console whenever the player chose. Creatures would also have been able to visit other owners’ virtual worlds. Itoi mentioned that he was looking for an “explosive” idea for the game, something that would have been different to what everyone had expected.

Additionally, it was planned that extra game sets would be released, that would contain different toys and gameplay elements for Cabbage to interact with (including swings, slides and ponds), as well as additional “events” for Cabbage to explore. Miyamoto has even said that players would have been able to copy their creature’s toys onto blank disks to share with friends. However, he has provided conflicting information as to whether these expansions would have taken the form of N64DD disks, or Game Boy cartridges.

Although Cabbage was meant to be playable at Space World 2000, no demo ever surfaced. Miyamoto claims that Itoi and Ishihara got too busy to work on the project, and so it was dropped. He also says that many elements of the would-be Cabbage eventually made it into other titles, such as Nintendogs. Cabbage also seems to possess many similarities with the published Animal Crossing (which was, in turn, an updated version of Animal Forest for the N64). Perhaps, following the low popularity of the N64DD, Cabbage had to be converted to a less-ambitious title. Hopefully Cabbage will, in some form, eventually see the light of day.

Thanks to Robert Seddon and Celine for the scans!

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Nintendogs [DS – Beta]

Nintendogs is a real-time pet simulation video game developed and published in 2005 by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. Nintendogs began as a technical demo on the Nintendo GameCube long before it was considered for the DS. It made its way to the handheld when the DS was still in development. Shigeru Miyamoto originally came up with the idea for the game when he and his family bought a dog, which inspired him to create the project.

The game’s producer, Hideki Konno, looking for a game to take full advantage of all of the Nintendo DS’s features, decided on a dog simulation game. Nintendogs, first called Puppy Times, was originally designed to have 15 different versions, one for each breed of dog. Satoru Iwata suggested this to convey the feel that the player was choosing a dog from a kennel.

However, the debugging process for each version would have been too time consuming to be feasible. After going back and forth between numbers of versions, they eventually settled for three, with six dogs each and the rest available after completing in-game goals. [Info from Wikipedia]

In the screens below, you can notice an early version of the game, with different HUD and commands.

[Contribute by Matt Gander from www.gamesasylum.com]

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Viva Pinata [Beta Concept – Xbox360]

In the gallery and videos below you can see many concepts and beta differences from the early design of Viva Pinata, one of the most beautiful games developed by Rare LTD for Xbox 360. You can see that some animals were never used in the final version, the stile of the project was a bit different originally and as we can read on Wikipedia, the original concept for the game began under the name “Your Garden” in 2002. If you have more info about Viva Pinata and its development, let us know!

[Thanks to FullMetalMC for the contribute!]

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Teo 64 (Fin Fin) [N64 – Cancelled]

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Teo 64 was a pet simulation video game, very similar to “Hey You Pikachu!”, the Nintendo title where the player could interact with the pokemon talking to him through a microphone connected to the N64. In this game, however, the protagonist was a strange cross between a dolphin and a bird. Speaking with the animal it was possible to became his friend, feed him and explore the world.
For many it will be a shocking news, but “Teo” is not the name of the dolphin / bird, but of the planet where he is living. Known under the title “FinFin on Teo, the Magic Planet”, the virtual puppy FinFin made his first appearance on a PC game released in 1996. According to the producers, the 64DD version was not a porting, but a completely new game. The development of Teo for 64DD was probably stopped because of the failure of the Disk Drive, and it is likely that we will never know how different the 64DD game was supposed to be.
If you are curious to learn more about the PC version of the Teo or try it for yourself, you can download the iso of FinFin from these sites:

http://www.alassea.net/finfin/
http://home.arcor.de/emge/index_e.htm

[English article by yota]

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]

Teo 64 doveva essere un simulatore di animale virtuale, molto simile a “Hey You Pikachu!”, titolo Nintendo in cui il giocatore può interagire con il pokèmon, parlando con lui attraverso un microfono collegato al N64. In questo gioco invece, il protagonista era uno strano incrocio fra un delfino ed un uccello, dall’aspetto abbastanza inquietante. Parlando con l’animale era possibile fare “amicizia”, accudirlo, offrirgli del cibo ed esplorare il mondo.

Per molti sarà una notizia sconvolgente, ma “Teo” non è il nome del delfino/uccello, ma del pianeta in cui abita. Conosciuto con il titolo di “FinFin on Teo, the Magic Planet”, il cucciolo virtuale FinFin fece la sua prima apparizione su Personal Computer, uscito nel 1996. Stando alle affermazioni dei produttori, la versione per 64DD non era però un port del titolo PC, ma un gioco completamente nuovo. Lo sviluppo di Teo per 64DD è stato probabilmente fermato a causa del fallimento del Disk Drive e non potremo mai sapere quali novità avrebbe portato questo adattamento.[/spoiler]

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