Generations are, presumably, older builds of Petscop that are present in the files. They are generally inaccessible, but are still visible in recordings, demo playback, and some regions of the hidden game.
There are a total of 15 known generations of Petscop.
History and appearances
The first showcase of a different build than what the starting episodes show is in Petscop 9 with the Even Care Demo, shown in demo playback. Paul later accesses this area through the party room, which presumably changes the state of the game to a generation with these changes to Even Care.
Paul's demo manipulation inside the house in Petscop 14 is seemingly based on interacting with different generations of the game, as demo playback uses a different house state than where he is recording the inputs. He appears to trigger another state change that activates Strange situation, which is presumably on the generation 10 build.
Generations are more outlined and represented in Petscop 17, when the hidden debug menu is accessed and Room Impulse is used. The generation for testing can be chosen before playing a set. It is also showcased more in-depth in Petscop 19, when the All Recordings section is browsed, holding many recordings played on older builds.
Both Room Impulse and the All Recordings playback selection allow for recordings to be played back in a particular generation.
The builds shown in Petscop 19 through recording playback mainly focus on Even Care.
Generation 1 appears to be solely a programming test build, using the "sort-test" room. It is shown in a recording also titled "sort-test". It uses an older player character sprite, without animations. The "test5" recording is also on this build.
Generation 2 is shown in the first five "mike" recordings. The older sprite is still in use, but the rooms shown are older builds of Even Care, mainly the Connector room and Randice & Wavey's room with different textures. There is no collision, but there are loading zones. The "mike2" recording features an egg that was hidden inside the game, which can be collected and shows some basic collision detection and a primitive textbox system.
Generation 3 is a more functional version of the previous build, with collisions, and a few implemented items. The player character sprite is now the version commonly used throughout the game. The music used in the "Even Care Demo" is playing. The bucket is present, along with Wavey and Randice, which can be caught.
Generations 4 and 5 contain completed builds of Even Care and by extension the demo, which have all five pets (except Toneth and presumably Hudson) available. There are visible sorting issues(for example, the CAUGHT text appears behind the piano in Pen's room), however. Generation 5 onward uses the current Even Care music in Even Care.
The builds shown in Petscop 20 through recording playback feature a mostly completed surface game along with parts of the hidden game. It is presumed these are modifications started for Marvin, as he is playing the recordings showing these builds.
Generation 6 contains the Gift Plane, Even Care, and part of the hidden game in the Newmaker Plane. There are some differences in Even Care, such as the door in the reception room not showing both textboxes about if it is locked or not. However, this seems to be intentional as Marvin appears to have the ability to open doors. The hidden loading screen when exiting Even Care to the Newmaker Plane is different than when Paul did so in Petscop 1.
Generation 7 presumably includes most of what is included in Generation 6. Marvin's speed is increased in this generation.
Generation 8 adds the underground region of the Newmaker Plane including the casket room. It also has Even Care, as shown by Petscop 21. This is possibly the generation Paul plays in during Petscop 1 through 10 (including the beginning part of Petscop 22, which is a continuation of what occurs after Petscop 10), though the casket room and some other features of the underground appear to be missing for him.
The name "Generation" implies that these builds of the game were generated by the game itself. If this is true, this appears to tie in with "the game is a growing organism" text activated upon collecting all of the pets in Even Care, seen in the demo. The text that comes after the previous, "Your controller inputs will be useful, but your feedback will be even more useful." would indicate that feedback on the game itself and logged controller inputs are the data used to generate further generations.
Additionally, the "Please leave the PlayStation on when you leave." text may indicate that the recorded controller inputs are lost if the PlayStation turns off; this means that the developers are to manually save the controller inputs via connecting the PlayStation to a development kit while the game is still running, or the data collected will be lost.
The current generation may be indicated by the orientation of the Garalina logo on startup in sets of 22.5 degrees.
However, if Paul's original play-through of the hidden game areas (episodes 1 through 10) are on Generation 8 (as suggested by Petscop 22 along with the logo orientation theory), it would suggest there is a separate versioning or display system running alongside generations.