The new vision of the desert island concept dates back to the 2012 release of Animal Road: New Leaves in Japan. Early development began shortly after the team started producing new leaves to welcome Amiibo (an upgraded version in 2016).

Kyodo News said that the development cycle of New Horizons began before the team even began to "think or understand Nintendo Switch hardware."

Unknown factors of future hardware have not stopped the team from being ambitious. With the introduction of craftsmanship and terrain, players have more control over their town than ever before. Nogami and Kyogoku explained that they want to make the game experience more fresh by keeping most core gameplay authentic and adding new elements, thus making the game popular with old players and easy to use for novices.

Increasing production skills is also a way to prevent players from exhausting all their energy during the off-hours of the store. This was a problem in previous Animal Crossing games.

Kyogoku said: "Because the Animal Crossing series is linked to a real-time clock, some users want to play late at night or early in the morning." "By giving these users a choice of craftsmanship, we think it will be their play and access ) A new way of items. "

Terraforming is also a way to solve unexpected behavior in past games. Kyogoku explained that looking at earlier entries in the series, users will repeatedly reset and start over choosing the desired town layout. In New Horizons, even if you make that decision, your island is fully extensible, giving you more flexibility in the game.

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Jingji said, "Some people may think," If there is a river here, or if there is river, it will be a perfect layout. "" For such users, we can they can't Achieved. "

Adding production skills is one way to avoid players exhausting all their energy when the store is closed.
Adding production skills is one way to avoid players exhausting all their energy when the store is closed. (Nintendo)

New Horizon' flexible nature also extends to character customization. Costumes and hairstyles are not restricted by gender, which gives players more ways to express themselves in the game. Kyogoku said that this level of fine-tuning of roles "is not only related to gender, but also to the overall feeling of the team, that is," society is changing to value the different identities of many people. "

"We basically want to create a game where users don't need to really think about gender, or if they want to think about gender, they can think about it, too," she said.

In another shift, developers are trying to make time walks (by adjusting the system clock to jump into past or future controversial behaviors, some fans think this is the wrong gameplay) to have less impact on in-game features. In previous animal crossing games, time travel has been used as a shortcut, so you don't have to wait overnight to see progress. Terraforming and production are game systems that have nothing to do with the system clock, so players can continue these activities late into the night.

The consequences of time travel still exist: if you jump to next week, the radishes will rot. Long travel is discouraged, but the Commonwealth and the wild god do not consider it cheating.

"We believe that in order to allow players to play games for a long time and share their experiences with friends or family, we do not think that traveling is an ideal way," said Nogami.

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Clothes and hairstyles are not restricted by gender, allowing players to choose how to represent themselves.
Clothes and hairstyles are not restricted by gender, allowing players to choose how to represent themselves. (Nintendo)

Because Animal Crossing is a game that can be played for many years, its designers have always kept their long-term goals in mind. Kyogoku and Nogami' New Horizons plan includes seasonal events that are scheduled to appear in the game as DLC. Players will not be able to simply travel through time quickly to experience them.

Jingji said, "Adding all seasonal events through updates is not our way to avoid time travel anyway. But animal crossing games are games that users can play and enjoy all year round.

Like most countries in the world today, Japan also faces coronavirus outbreak. Japan has recorded more than 1,000 cases due to the closure of the Chinese plant, and the supply of Japanese Nintendo switches with the theme of animal hybrids has slowed, but Nintendo said it was specifically targeting the region and not North America.

Kyogoku and Nogami, who work at Nintendo' Kyoto office in Japan, have been closely monitoring the potential impact of the global epidemic on post-launch content. Kyogoku said the development of these updates is "still in progress", but if the coronavirus crisis worsens, the team may need to make internal adjustments to move forward.

"We're not sure if we need to move anything, but I think we have to be flexible," she said.

Currently, the Japanese development team works in the office every day, but the team' working hours have changed, so employees can avoid train traffic during rush hours.

"I really have to consider their health as far as the development team is concerned," said Nogami.

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