Our Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct Translation Awaits Forest Folk Within
Posted by Jeremy Thain
A complete summary of the Japanese presentation
Last week there was a special Japanese Nintendo Direct presentation covering the forthcoming Animal Crossing: Jump Out on 3DS. As usual, we've got a summary of the entire video, saving you the bother of having to actually learn Japanese in order to understand it.
Iwata starts out by introducing us to the world of Animal Crossing. The game is meant to realize a kind of lifestyle where one could live casually and in a relaxing way. In the game, one can, in one's own pace, talk to the animals of the town, go fishing, create and fashion one's own room, and anything else that the player wants to do with total freedom.
The goal and story of the game is not forcibly set upon the player, but rather is to be decided by the player with whatever pace they decide. With this new title in the Animal Crossing series, many more options are given to the player, so that they can create a house and town that is unique to them. With the new title of village mayor, players are given more freedom to create a more fully realized town than in previous titles.
Players are also given access to a clothing creator, where they can create brand new clothing from scratch, or use templates to make items such as T-shirts with Nintendo characters and other such designs.
At this point, Iwata tells us that in order to give us a more detailed look in to this new game, we will be given an introduction directly by the staff.
First up is Animal Crossing series producer Eguchi Katsuya, who will tell us about the development of the game. He is joined by series directors Kyougoku Aya and Moro Isao, and series planner Hosaka Arisa. Director Kyougoku Aya shows us her own self-made village, complete with blooming flowers and a bridge just outside her house. The staff look at some of the new types of shrubbery and trees that show up in this game.
At this point, Aya walks by a road that has the kanji 道 (michi, meaning "road") literally written on it. Director Moro Isao comments that this was made using the "My Design" feature, where players can create designs with the Touch Pen. She also tells us of a small camp ground that she made, where other players can stay at while visiting her village.
Another feature shown to us is a recycle shop, where players can both buy used goods, and sell their own goods to the animals in the village. Planner Hosoka confesses here that a lot of the items that she receives as gifts that she doesn't end up using, she ends up selling in this shop. The other staff laugh at this comment. What fun!
In the public office, when the player sits down in their office chair, they can start work. They can make official decisions such as the design of the streetlamps, shrubbery, fountains, anything that makes the town fit more into the the player's unique personality and style.
Here, Aya shows us a new item, the megaphone, which she uses to vocally (through the 3DS microphone) call certain NPCs. Aya then shows us the updated town store, which changes its bargains daily, as well as offering seasonal changes depending on what holidays are coming. They then show us the nearby shoe store, which also now offers socks - that's progress for you. Aya then comments that unfortunately, just like in real life, you can't try on the socks before you buy them. This causes another chuckle from her fellow staff. These guys know how to have fun!
We are next taken into the village museum, which also has a museum shop on the 2nd floor. This shop has some of the items the players made themselves. One of the pieces that director Kyougoku Aya made here is an "I Love Sushi" drawing, a running theme which extends to the next room, which is entirely dedicated to sushi, fish, and the aesthetics of a sushi restaurant. Players themselves can also make rooms like this.
We jump forward a bit and are shown the village's real estate office. Here various parts for houses are on display. In this title, more options for changing the specific size of the house, or making specific rooms bigger or smaller are available. Aya also shows us that the option to take out a loan for major housing changes or other big purchases is available.
We are also shown other features such as a comedy club and a photo booth (where the player can choose what type of expression they can show for the picture).
We are now given a little mini explanation of the design remake features for the furniture in the game, as introduced by design leader Takahashi Kouji. In this title, the design and colour of the furniture and other furnishings can be created by the players. He takes us back to the recycle shop, where he decides to remake the design of a sofa. After 30 minutes of waiting, Takahashi returns to the shop, and a sofa with his specifications has been remade and is ready for him to take home.
He also shows us here how players can customize items and furniture even more in this case using the shop owner (called Tanukichi in the Japanese version) as the design for his sofa. From this design, he has fashioned an entire room in his house with the same design to show us just how much of the game can be customized.
From here we are taken back to the rest of the staff, who are now showing us the way one can interact with other Animal Crossing players through the 3DS's online functions. Here Aya is looking at model homes (actually homes owned by other players). One of those players she has connected with through Wi-Fi is Producer Eguchi Katsuya (nicknamed Egurin in the game). She also notes that she can see Takahashi's avatar. She notes that his avatar is holding an ice cream, and that when players connect to other players, their avatars can sometimes be seen holding items that they currently have in their inventory, and that these items can be given as gifts.
Director Moro Isao notes that 16 model homes only take up 1 block of memory, 3 blocks would hold 48 and so on. Not only homes would show up through Wi-Fi, but also other players avatars would come into the players' game as well. To illustrate to use these Wi-Fi features, Aya freely takes a look inside fellow director Moro Isao's home. Going through the various homes, Aya notes that by going next to the items, she can see the names of everything in front of her. Other rooms fashioned into quiz show set and art studio are also shown.
From here, Aya decides that she wants to take a further look at one of the villages from one of the players she connected with through Wi-Fi, based on the creativity of their house. Going to the Yumemi no Kan (夢見の官, Yumemi's house. Yumemi is a character in the game, that allows you to, through your character's dreams, visit the villages of other players). Though player can essentially destroy the village of the player they are visiting, since it is only a dream, nothing can be saved, so there is no harm done to the village. Through this feature, the player can have fun, but also can get ideas for their own world while comparing their creations with other players.
We are now again shown a mini section, this time from sound director Totaka Kazumi. He introduces us to all the sounds relating to time of day, wind, the lapping of waves, and of course the music. In helping to create this world, he wanted to focus a lot on relating the atmosphere of the game though sound and music, to help deepen the experience.
On Saturday nights, the village's club hosts nightly concerts by the character inspired by Totaka: the famous Totakeke. Here we are shown a new song by the character, as well as a quick credits roll. In this title, Totakeke also debuts as a DJ, with themed nights taking place such as House Night and Famicom Night. Totaka also tells us that music created by Totakeke can also be played within the players home though records.
We are again taken back to the group, as they are going to show us a day of fun on the village's island. With her other staff members joining her, Aya boards the boat ready to head out. In a first for the series, the characters can wear wet suits, and enter the water in search of sea creatures. Aya also sets out in search of bugs, which just like other things in the game, change depending on the season. From the lobby of the island, players can also set out upon various mini-games to win prizes that they can take back with them when they leave the island. This specific game has the staff working together to find out who can search for and bring back the most fruits, with each player given a different fruit to find.
From here, in closing, the staff offer their own suggestions for playing the game.
Director Kyougoku Aya says that the game is meant for players to play alone, but also for them to connect with other players, gathering ideas and trading ideas, and in general being able to work together at times. If players can use the time they spend playing alone, as well as using the Wi-Fi features to connect to other players to broaden their experiences and use the various features in a creative way, it would make her happy. Of course it would! It would make us happy, too.
Director Moro Isao says that the game is meant to be a very wide experience, and they he hopes that players can tour various areas of the game that, though not necessarily part of the main experience, are meant to make the game fuller. Both the model homes feature and the island are meant for players to use to connect to people they know, as well as people they don't know, and he hopes that players can use the time they spend with these features to have fun interacting with other Animal Crossing fans.
Planner Hosoka Arisa states that there are many features that were not introduced in these videos, including some of the bits about the players avatar Boy and Girl characters unique personalities. She also hopes that new and old players can challenge themselves with the game, interacting with the animal characters, as well as other player characters.
Series producer Eguchi Katsuya wants to thank fans of the series, as well as new players, and hopes that they can have fun with this new title.
We are now taken back to Iwata, who wants to quickly explain that both the retail version and download version will be available from the 8th of November, and will feature the exact same content. The game is meant to be played in small bits, so in his opinion, either version is suitable for players to have a fun and rewarding experience. He also shows us the special 3DS LL special Animal Crossing pack, complete with a limited design. Also, he tells us about the official Animal Crossing Twitter account, which will occasionally have information and suggestions about the game and upcoming events.