Maine Coon cat from the Petz games

Kalium's Petz

Great Dane dog from the Petz games

Making "magically appearing" surprise features using addgroups

Note: this tutorial assumes a basic familiarity with addballz and editing in LNZ Pro.

The addgroup is a feature of addballz that goes unused most of the time, perhaps because it is never used in any of the base game breeds. But when you know what it does, you can get some very cool effects. Basically, the addgroup allows us to make addballz that do not always display on the pet, but appear during moments of excitement.

Why does such a feature exist? The Petz base game has no use for it, but in its sister games Oddballz and Babyz, the addgroup allows for emoticons (in Oddballz) or tears (Babyz) to appear when needed. The addgroup code is left over in Petz, and we can use it even though it serves no real purpose in these games.

I've seen very few examples of addgroups in action - my 2017 New Year's Dog uses them to display a banner and confetti, and Carolyn's Emoticon Petz use them to display surprise emoticons. I think this is a really underused and unknown feature that could be used in lots of cool hexes, so I want to share it! Here's how it's done.

Making the feature

First of all, of course, you want to make the feature you want to have suddenly appear on your pet. Note that this trick only works on addballz; regular ballz don't have an addball function. Here I've made a simple exclamation mark attached to this dog's head, but you can make whatever you like - wings, horns, accessories, etc.

Dog with exclamation mark emoticon built from addballz.

(It doesn't matter if you make the feature in LNZ Pro or Petz Workshop, but the rest of this tutorial requires LNZ Pro.)

Setting the addgroup

Look at your addballz in LNZ Pro. In my example there are three that make up the exclamation mark; you will need to know which addballz make up your feature. The addgroup is the thirteenth column, circled:

Some addballz in LNZ Pro, with the addgroup column circled.

These are all currently set to 0, which means the ball is always visible - the normal behaviour. It's my understanding that in Oddballz and Babyz, there are several numbers that correspond to different emotions. According to Carolyn's LNZ Breakdown, these numbers do not work the same in Petz, but to get the behaviour we want (addballz that only show when the pet gets excited) all we need to do is change those 0s to 1s:

The same addballz, with the addgroup column set to 1.

Now when we take the pet out of the adoption centre, the emoticon isn't visible, as if the ballz are omitted.

A dog in the adoption centre with the emoticon addballz not visible.

Making the feature display

Now you've set the addgroups, adopt the pet and play with it. The emoticon should pop up when the pet gets excited. I'm not sure what counts as "excited" - that's hidden somewhere in the pet behaviour programming, and that remains uncracked. But a quick and easy way to get them to show is to put the pet in the basket toy. It may take a few tries but eventually your addballz will appear!

The same dog sitting in the basket toy with the emoticon addballz visible.

To make the feature disappear again, either put clothes on the pet such as a hat, or put them away and take them back out. They will disappear until next time.

If you'd like to download the file used here to take a look at it, click below:

Download - Emoticon Dalmatian