If we readily admit that the dog is man’s best friend, then it is in both the real and the virtual world. The Twitter account “Can You Pet The Dog?” Make a list of games that allow you to make canine papouilles. More than a showcase of cute interactions, it’s a major relay for independent developer visibility today, but not only. Even the largest boxes are interested.
“The day you can pet the dog, I noticed a sharp increase in traffic on our steam.” says Kyle Banks, team leader at the Glofox studio that develops the canine adventure game Farewell north. “That day was the sixth highest traffic in the history of our site.”. Like many independent developers, the creative didn’t hesitate to identify the Twitter account. “Can you pet the dog?“(Literally” Can you pet the dog? “) While discussing his project on the famous social network. A corner of the web that currently has nearly 500,000 subscribers in almost two years.
Story that has a dog
For Tristan Cooper, a young American who now lives behind Can You Pet The Dog in New York, it all started with The Division 2, Ubisoft’s multiplayer TPS, where players can have fun browsing the city of Washington online . . But where it is impossible to pet the dogs. “The game intentionally puts these animals in a bad position to build empathy with the player.” explains the account holder to the UK media The guard. “But there is no way to comfort or care for these starving and frightened creatures.”. Worse still, the only way to interact with the canines in the title is to shoot them.
This is where it all started for Can You Pet The Dog, and success began quickly. In one month, more than 160,000 people follow Tristan Cooper’s side
I think the site’s popularity is testament to players’ desire to engage in meaningless and comfortable interactions that don’t necessarily advance the storyline or award experience points. Modern games demand a lot from the player, so it’s good to take that pressure off with something pure and frivolous – Tristan Cooper, creator of Can You Pet The Dog, in the columns of The Next Web
With an average of two publications a day, Tristan Cooper creates a list of all games where it is possible to pet dogswhether it’s big productions (Watch Dogs 2), Double-A (Until Dawn) or indie projects from indie that are unknown to the public (Street Cleaner, The Outbound Ghost, etc.). During his “casual Friday”, humans also allow themselves to wander outside of the canine Gente, where other animals cuddled by the players are honored, such as in the recent Immortal Fenyx Rising and Haven.
Whatever the animal is, the creator of Can You Pet The Dog admits to having it a preference for the most humble projects :: “I hope my account will add visibility to the Games and the Independents in particular.” he explains via email. With that in mind, Tristan Cooper sometimes posts two messages about the same game one after the other to highlight that platform
There are simply more indie games out there than big budget games, so I end up emphasizing the indie side of things. In almost all cases, if there is a dog that can be petted in a game, big or small, I’d love to post a post about it. – Tristan Cooper, creator of Can You Pet The Dog, whom we interviewed
The man claimed to have No partnership or advertising contracteven if it happens to him to get titles in advance to be able to talk about: if not all games have the right to a second contribution, Tristan Cooper puts it on the forgetfulness or the lack of time. The question arises in all cases, because even if Can You Pet The Dog’s impact on game visibility is not measurable, several developers have mentioned a boost in this regard. Importance. Or rather a kick on the paw.
Can you pet the dog VR – A game to pet dogs in virtual reality
Paw Kick to Indies
Among these developers, Kyle Banks and his game Farewell North are not the only ones mentioned at the beginning of this article. The Brazilian studio Bravarda also works there Terra Pulse, a metroidvania from above in the ruins of Rio de Janeiro. The team’s Twitter account brings a little more together 480 subscribers. On Tristan Cooper’s side there is a thousand times moreto say so much that it helped:
The tweet (forwarded by Can You Pet The Dog, editor’s note) is our most successful post. We have over 50 wish lists on our site and dozens of subscribers. For small teams, this can give a boost and generate a lot of goodwill among the newbies. – The Bravarda studio we interviewed
Dumativa, another Brazilian team that responded to us, notes how Can You Pet The Dog can help promote yourself abroad: “We can reach a lot of people in Brazil but not outside. It was great to see people from all over the world who know our game.”. However, the media performance of the site must be qualified. Virtual uppercut, at the origin of Monster Reapers VRclaims that after a lot of reactions to Tristan Cooper’s post, only 20 people put the title on their wishlist and only two bought it.
Virtual Uppercut doesn’t disappoint with such a result, but the opposite wouldn’t have been surprising. Because the studio was working on the mechanics to pet a dog facing the Can You Pet The Dog side
We had already planned to have capybaras (a type of rodent, note) as a form of interaction in the game (…). However, due to Can You Pet The Dog, we decided to do this interaction via a petting. In the end, our choice is explained by a combination of two elements: on the one hand the page was there and on the other hand we developed a mechanism that fits into all of this. – The Bravarda studio we interviewed
Can you caress the internet?
However, on a case-by-case basis, it would be very unwise to claim that all games broadcast by Can You Pet The Dog have a special mechanic built in for that account. This is not the case, for example, with Kyle Banks on Farewell North. But what is certain is that Tristan Cooper’s site captured web culture and the minds of developers. For example, Dan Marshall, author of the recent god The Lair of the Clockwork God, intentionally added a scene where his character inserts several lines of dialogue before deciding to cuddle a dog. “The absurd difficulty of petting the animal was brought fully into play to troll Can You Pet The Dog.” he explains further Twitter. Back in September 2019, Enter The Gungeon’s developers quickly added the option when the account indicated its absence.
And even the big studios are starting. In August 2020, a Bethesda video promoting Ghostwire Tokyo left little room for doubt. In this case The famous Shinji Mikami explains that he has a very important announcement for the game: the opportunity to pet dogs. The post Office Editor Bethesda is pretty clear too. The latter uses the fetish formula Tristan Cooper as a title: “Yes, you can pet the dog in Ghostwire Tokyo”. A video that is of course shared on the account for dogs. What is certain is that Can You Pet The Dog shaped the world of video games.