My husband and I have been working on a virtual pet game, based in GameMaker. We plan for a Windows and later Mac release. It's years away, we are in the art/music/typography/writing and features developmental stage. We are hoping to make it "mmo-like", and are looking into hiring if server setup and mmo-like features are beyond our wheelhouse. We don't know much gml, but my husband has developed games in the past so it'll be a fun learning adventure. We hope to have raids, user battles, trading/selling, and guilds as online services. Users will be limited to chatting, as we have decided premade sentences due to the USA's increasing hatred for content developers. There will be a dedicated forum site where people can freely talk. We want the game to be free with a cash shop, with the ability to download the launcher through Steam and collect steam goodies like cards and icons and such.
We are both huge fans of Humongous Entertainment, and our map system is largely inspired by their "click EVERYTHING" style interface. Since VP maps and locations are already static images with clickable areas, we decided the HE route would bring out much more life and fun for anyone of any age. Heck, we just played a Pajama Sam last night and the humor and silliness of the maps are still great. The map is large, with about 9 "countries" (more close to provenance) to visit. Each country will have various routes to take to get to the inner city, with various landmarks, shops, and things to do each step of the way.
The name was Rumare. Back when I was tiny, I would play Neopets all the time, and started to create my own virtual pets as paper cutouts and their world was called Rumare. Since becoming an Elder Scrolls fan, haha, can't really keep it since their most well known lake is Lake Rumare. But I've got another name in mind.
The inhabitants aren't really "pets". They're your friends, Pals. You can colour pets like normal, given them attacks and such, but they are as much part of the world as the player is. You own a home, which you can decorate, and place your Pals in and give commands to walk, dance, etc. I am hoping to make items interactable with, but I am the sole artist so that might be a while, possibly a patch. The housing system is pixel-art. You can also own a Zoo and Garden. You can harvest things from the garden to craft.
You can get Pals via recruiting. You can trade pals via "Buddy Swapping." There are over 30 Pals, about 15 colour fills, and about 20 current morphing colours. There will be plenty of items to collect, a crafting system, and possibly an avatar system where users dressup as pets themselves.
I've been doing cell shaded art but we are switching to pixel work, with animated pals (with different emotional animations).
The battle system will have set arenas in certain countries, and have random encounters. The arenas will scale on how many of your pets are needed to battle the enemy, with harded bosses being left for player teamup raids.