Now back to a time when consoles were slightly chunkier, and this shot of Viva Piñata when its home was the original Xbox. At this point we didn't have the brute force to push today's spangly graphics.
Everything was that little bit flatter and bolder -- the papery effect that truly distinguishes the Piñatas wasn't made possible until we started messing around with the extra power of Xbox 360. Between the Piñatas are a handful of Helpers who have been through some changes since Xbox 1. Even though some of them didn't make the cut, you can still see the stylistic changes that were made during the generational jump.
Among them is Dastardos during his "low polygon count" phase. He's stayed much the same with one exception: when this picture was taken, he was transported around the garden by the large orange balloon attached to his back. Next to him is Dedos, or to give her full title, Verde Dedos. You can see how her much larger mask used to cover her entire face.
Some have wondered why "Dedos" became "Leafos". When creating a global franchise many things have to be taken into consideration, not least of which is language. "Verde Dedos" is "Green Fingers" in Spanish, and while the Spanish isn't a problem, using a common phrase as a main character can be.
Eventually, Dedos took inspiration from the leaves on her mask and changed her name to Leafos by deed poll. Summary: legal reasons. While it was unfortunate that a good name was lost, the "-os" was picked up and used to name the entire family of Helpers within the garden. Given "Storkos", "Seedos" and "Dastardos", you may have guessed that already.
And the blue-headed chap on the chest of drawers is a small boy in a monkey costume, who (along with his mute monkey servant who would carry him and his wares around) used to be the only shop in the game before Lottie et al moved in.
We end with a home-made Rashberry by Ryan, embodying the dedication behind Viva Piñata. Not willing to settle for "yeah, it looks like a Piñata", Ryan took his concept art and turned it into a real-life version. The little porker wanders around Manor Park to this very day, avoiding the Cannoñata and small children with sticks.
The team had a lot of fun making this game and, since its launch, has taken just as much pleasure in seeing every one of you discovering VP for yourselves. Every design document, texture, model and line of code has been worthwhile for that very reason. Hopefully you've enjoyed these snapshots of VP's history: our thanks to you all, and Happy Birthday Viva Piñata!