During the 1990s a number of virtual pets competed for attention: Bandai produced Tamagotchi and Digimon, Tiger produced the Giga Pet.... Nintendo produced Pikachu pets, and there was even a Jurassic Park dinosaur encyclopedia that featured a digital dino pet for fun. I created S. Pet as an homage to this long-faded fad, imitating the tiny, pixelated displays, simple sound effects, and basic simulation environments.
The pets in S. Pet hatch from eggs and grow from babies to children to teens to adults over the course of about a week. As the pet owner, the player must feed their pet regularly, keep them happy, and either potty-train them or clean up after them. Failure to do these things will result in the pet's death.
A lot has changed in electronics and gaming since Tamagotchi appeared in 1996. While many children today carry smart phones everywhere, the children of the '90s probably weren't carrying any other electronics around besides their v. pets. Because smart phones can provide so many functions to us as users, the idea of a pocket pet with such a specific use now seems somewhat foreign, and S. Pet not only competes for the player's attention against the real world, but against every other app on the player's phone. One of the first updates I pushed to the game was a way for the pet's digestion to cascade through Stomach, Happiness, and Discipline when the previous stat was depleted, allowing players to "forget" about their pet for a bit longer before death resulted. Everyone who owned a Tamagotchi or other v. pet remembers how demanding they could be.... In a world where our pockets are full of apps demanding our attention, punishing the player for getting distracted can feel unfair.