HM Lost Valley

Ahead of the release of Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley later this year, Natsume has promised monthly developer logs that'll introduce a new aspect of the game. Last time we were told about the item system, and the latest entry is focused on the animals that you'll look after and utilise for your farm.

Producer Taka Maekawa has emphasized that the development team took a "back to basics" approach to the project, highlighting the line-up of farm animals as cows, sheep, chickens and horses. How you look after and boost these animals has been changed, with the goal that each creature will feel unique and have character traits — these will be 'skills' in the game. The theory is that players can seek out and care for animals that match their particular targets and what they want to achieve on the farm; some of these traits and skills are outlined in the press release excerpt below.

Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall – This season is the animal’s favorite! Their affection level will go up faster in that season.

Elegant – These animals really, really hate being dirty! You'll get a big affection bonus when you brush them. The higher an animal's affection, the higher quality products they'll produce, as well as a higher quantity of that product!
Like a particular trait? You can breed that particular animal and get the same skill over and over or, even better, you can breed them into a rare, super version of that skill! Here's a few skills, and how they level up:

Great Goods becomes High-Quality Goods: These animals have a strong and powerful body! Because of that, they will sometimes produce higher-quality products.

More Goods becomes Super Goods: These animals are gifted with fantastic health! Because of that, they will sometimes produce a higher quantity of products.

Animals will also have the ability to learn skills! In Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, there's a large variety of animal feeds that can be made, and some of these will teach animals unique skills!

This is certainly shaping up to be an interesting game with some new ideas, none more-so than the menu jokingly referenced as the 'minecraft menu' at E3, in which you can edit the 'cubes' of land and essentially form the environment to suit your tastes. It raises interesting possibilities for the farm-sim.

Let us know what you think of this latest developer update, and be sure to check out our Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley first impressions, too.