Game Ideas · Happy Home Designer · Main Series

Game Ideas inspired by Happy Home Designer

After playing Happy Home Designer for so long, I have come up with new ideas for the next AC game (not a spin-off, but rather a Main Series game). If you want to see my old game ideas, click here to see a list of ideas. The site this link will lead to is Bell Tree Forums, Animal Crossing’s largest fansite, and the site I used to be on. In my first four months on-site, I was blogging every day until I got to 100 entries. The third entry out of ever five entries is a blog entry on a game idea. And don’t let the fonts fool you. Those brown words are links to each blog entry containing an idea. I hope you enjoy them.

The bad news – some of those ideas are outdated because of Happy Home Designer. So I plan on making new game ideas. However, you’re gonna have to wait until May or later if you want me to start the Idea Book. However, I decided to share some game ideas early, and today’s the day you’ll get to see the new ideas inspired by this game.

Happy Home Conference
Even Andrea is creative about ideas.

It turns out that I no longer use Bell Tree Forums, but I still go there just to read some of the entries I written, including journal information on my town of StarFall, and the game ideas I made. But I don’t log in. It was time to move on after one year on the site. In fact, I haven’t even logged in since September 15th, the second day of this blog’s existence. So if you want to comment on these ideas (and the new ones), please do it here and not there (unless if you don’t to see any of my replies).

I have six ideas inspired by the design features of Happy Home Designer. The first thing to talk about is why I suggest these ideas. So we all know that Animal Crossing’s spin-off games did not perform as well as City Folk (AC’s worst Main Series game). I know that amiibo Festival did very poorly, and it’s not even because it isn’t a proper AC game on the Wii U. But the low scores for Happy Home Designer seems to be a disappointment. Between ACNL and ACHHD, the latter seems to have a much better perspective on interior design. It even extended the features of it. But people criticized the game, mainly because of how it’s not a full AC game, or that it’s not worth its price, or anything. And that’s fine you don’t like the game for those reasons, but you shouldn’t criticize a game just because it’s a spin-off. So what if these design features got to continue in the next AC game, but it’s still a full game? That’s what this blog entry is about. It’s a sneak peek of the new features.

Idea #1 – Keep ACHHD’s New Features

amiibo Cards for Sale
Andrea is currently in visit mode.

The first idea is basically putting ACHHD’s main feature into the next game, but with the common features that appeared in the new game. I do like the idea where your character becomes the mayor, and I enjoy those features from ACNL, but the interior design feature needs to be revolutionized like in ACHHD.

So how can you decorate houses in the GameCube Version? We had placing furniture, moving them by holding down the A button and tilting the control stick up or down, rotating it by doing the same, but with sideways tilting, picking furniture up, and spreading carpets and wallpaper around. How can you decorate houses in Wild World? Same thing, but lamps now have adjustable lighting. How can you decorate houses in City Folk? Same thing as Wild World. What about New Leaf? Still the same, but only with the addition of wall furntirue. How can you decorate houses in Happy Home Designer? We have a map of the house as seen on the touch screen. To move furniture, you hold down a mark with the stylus and drag it to move it. You can also tap it to rotate it. And don’t forget multiple selections and more precise locating.

I really liked the idea that Happy Home Designer had for home decoration. Yeah, some of the stuff might contradict some of the traditional challenges in Animal Crossing (such as spending matters and object limit). So in order to implement this, they might have to remove the duplication feature that was in handy. They should also have 45-degree rotations instead of 90-degree rotations, creating even more precision. Another feature that would be contradicted is the inventory feature. Each time we buy a new furniture piece, it takes up part of the inventory (or pocket space). Fish, bugs, and other stuff also take up the inventory. So maybe, there should be a new inventory. Once you go inside your house, you can import the furniture, food, toys, carpets, and wallpaper you have in your pockets to the interior design selection menu. Therefore, you can have as many furniture up for storage in your design menu, and have nothing in your pockets. But the pockets won’t be used for interior design anymore. They can also remove the refurbish option while designing, so people can utilize the Re-Tail for refurbishment.

The new design selection menu is basically what we have in Happy Home Designer. You browse to see what items you want for your house, and you get to place it in your house. In terms of limits, it’s okay to have 20 chairs of the same kind in one room, but the amount of duplicates inside the design menu has a cap of 5 (on furniture, carpets, wallpapers, and rugs), to prevent data overfill. Another limit is that you can have only up to 100 unique items in the menu, plus 10 unique carpets, 10 unique wallpapers, and 10 unique rugs. So if you want to put a whole bunch of items in the menu, keep in mind that you can have up to 100. Also, the design menu applies to the whole house, so let’s say you put in the Robo-table in the design menu from the main room. In the left room, the same Robo-table you put in the menu is still there. You can also delete items through the design menu. Once deleted, it will never return. Also, stuff like golden tools, trophies, mannequins, and ABD prizes cannot be deleted since you can have only one per file. The design menu is the fourth way to store furniture you currently own. The other three ways are the bureau storage space, the pockets, and the house. The only way to empty the design menu is by deleting items, transferring them back to pockets, or placing the items in the room.

I also like the new feature involving doors, windows, and curtains. They should keep that as well. Stuff like mailboxes and exterior options should still be requested from Nook’s Homes, but doors, windows, and curtains…you can still change them while designing. Yes, there should be a cost to that. Each time you update the doors, windows, and curtains (including removal), you will lose Bells you have on hand. Happy Home Designer is only for unlimited designing. A full game should have some limits on everything. In addition, you can have individual doors for each room, but the doors are the same both sides to make them more consistent.

The showstopper for this idea on this entry would be another mechanic, similar to LBP’s level-building mechanic. I’m talking about design mode and visit mode. You can switch between any time, whether you’re in the yard or the house. You cannot leave the plot at all when in design mode, so you better be in visit mode when you want to leave the house. Design mode also allows you to use the design menu, update windows and doors, and change the music. But visit mode allows you to eat the foods, store items into bureaus, dress up, and chat with others. Keep in mind that design mode is disabled when a villager (including another human) is inside. You can also pick up your player like you can in ACHHD just to fit in the unreachable beds and chairs, design mode or not.

Idea #2 – Catalog Reorganization

Nook in a Lamp Store
There’s always more than one way to browse.

The design menus in ACHHD and catalogs in ACNL both has inspired a new idea. Thanks to the newly-implemented search feature in ACNL, browsing the catalog has been much of a pain in the 3DS version than previous versions. But it’s gonna need more than just a search feature to make the catalog more flexible and organized to browse.

My new way of organizing the catalog is by browsing through themes and styles. So we can classify by household items, clothes, stationary, ground items, and music, but there’s going to be a change. They should start making saplings and seeds orderable, but fossils must be taken out of the browsing menu. If all items from one selection are unorderable, they should not be listed in the catalog.

The new front page and tabs should be read as this:

  • Housing
    • Furniture
    • House Plants
    • Commercial Furniture
    • Outdoor Furniture
    • Ceiling Furniture
    • Carpets
    • Wallpaper
    • Rugs
  • Entertainment
    • Food
    • Sports
    • Instruments
    • Toys
    • Decorative
    • Gyroids
  • Clothes
    • Tops
    • Bottoms
    • Dresses
    • Jackets and Coats
    • Headwear
    • Facewear (formerly known as accessories)
    • Accessories (such as scarves, purses, and backpacks)
    • Footwear
    • Umbrellas
  • Hobbies
    • Stationary
    • Plant seeds and starts
    • Music

When you get to re-organize the items in the catalog at any tab, you can do one of the following, but it has to be done through the browsing options in case if you want to change:

  • Organize Alphabetically
  • Organize based on order you obtained them
  • Organize by HHA Theme (Antique, Fairy-Tale, Harmonious, Quirky, Rustic, Sci-Fi, Toy Shop, Trendy, or none)
  • Organize by fashion style (basic, cute, flashy, historical, iconic, modern, official, ornate, rock ‘n’ roll, sporty, or none)
  • Organize by season (winter, spring, summer, fall, or all)
  • Organize by color

The first two methods just organizes the items you already obtained in any way you like. However, the other four are mostly filters that block all items that do not fit any filter. You can choose only one filter at once

The other way is part of the search option. Instead of looking for a specific object, you can look for a specific set of objects. In one of the tabs, it lists all of the furniture series, themes, and sets (including the carpets, wallpaper, and rugs that match the series). The only themes that show up are the themes that contain items you already collected. If a series, theme, or set is complete, you will receive a star as it goes next to the series or theme. You can do the same for clothing looks.

And one more thing. It’s time to eliminate the unorderable items. Now all items, special or not, should be reorderable on the catalog. This includes GracieGrace items, holiday items, Nintendo items, and DLC. However, there should be a few items that are displayed on your catalog that’ll still remain unorderable. Those would be items like trophies, HHA rewards, ABD rewards, and town models. And guess what. Once you obtain any of the items that are unorderable, there will be no way to discard them at all (selling, trash bin, and dropping in town). The same is true for golden tools. However, if you haven’t obtained the item, it still wouldn’t show up on the catalog.

Idea #3 – Introduce new themes

Andrea 05
The Fall Forest Theme is one of the themes.

Every game, we get new series, themes, and sets. I suggest that we should get more. Alongside with the new items in ACHHD (including the Nintendo store items and foods), there should be more items. Some new themes should compile the unorganized furniture, some are completely new themes, and others are a mix of new items (such as a ticket redemption stand and redemption booth with arcade machine and pinball machine).

I have a couple of them, but here are a few series, themes, and sets I came up with (some items have ideal sizes in them):

  • Glow Series (all furniture have lights that turn on and off):
    • Glow Bed (2×2)
    • Glow Bench (2×1)
    • Glow Chair (armchair)
    • Glow Clock (1×1)
    • Glow Closet (1×1)
    • Glow Dresser (2×1)
    • Glow Lamp (1×1)
    • Glow Stereo (1×1)
    • Glow Table (2×2)
    • Glow TV (2×1)
    • Glow Fan (wall item)
    • Glow Carpet (laser grid)
    • Glow Wallpaper (glow recesses)
  • Red Series (has circle patterns like how blue had diamonds):
    • Red Bed (2×1)
    • Red Bench (2×1)
    • Red Bookcase (2×1)
    • Red Chair (regular chair)
    • Red Desk (1×1)
    • Red Dresser (2×1)
    • Red Lamp (1×1)
    • Red Table (2×2)
    • Red Wardrobe (1×1)
    • Red Wall Clock (wall item)
    • Red Wall
    • Red Carpet
  • Fall Forest Theme:
    • Apple Tree (1×1 furniture item)
    • Autumn-leaf Chair
    • Cabin (2×2)
    • Cherry Tree (1×1 furniture item)
    • Maple Tree (1×1 furniture item)
    • Pile of Leaves
    • Waterfall Rock (2×1)
    • Wood-plank Table
    • Autumn Wall
    • Autumn Floor
    • Lake (rug)
  • Ski Theme:
    • Bobsled
    • Curling Stone
    • Lift Chair
    • Ski Rack
    • Slalom Gate
    • Snowboard
    • Snow Machine
    • Snowmobile
    • Ski-Slope Wall
    • Ski-Slope Floor
  • Arcade Set:
    • Arcade Machine (modification-enabled)
    • Candy Machine
    • Capsule-Toy Machine
    • Crane Game
    • Pinball Machine
    • Prize Redemption Booth
    • Racing Simulator (2×1)
    • Tabletop Game
    • Ticket Arcade Game (2×1, modificafion-enabled)
    • Ticket Redemption Machine
  • Studio Set:
    • Director’s Chair
    • Grass Standee
    • Mountain Standee
    • Partition Screen
    • Shrub Standee
    • Standing Spotlight
    • Tree Standee
    • TV Camera
    • Video Camera
    • Small Spotlight
    • Wall-Mounted Speaker

Idea #4 – Enhance house renovations

Digby's Party
11 rooms and an outer room.

Another idea inspired by this game is improving house renovations. I did like the orientation ACNL gave us, but there gotta be more than that. Thanks to ACHHD, I believe it’s time to have more rooms per human house. There should be 12 rooms now (one of them being the plot outside the house).

The plot, main room, main second floor room, and basement should all be 12×8 rooms. They should also have four 8×8 rooms per floor (for first and second floors). One of them is on the left of the house, one is in the back, but towards the left, one is in the back, but towards the right, and the other is in the right. If we had four humans in town, each of them having their own homes, that would be a total of 48 rooms to decorate, with a item cap of 64 items per room.

When you get to decorate the plot and not the house, you can decide on where you can place the house for free. But to decide on fences, house models, or housing exteriors, that can only be done at Nook’s Homes.

The debts are going to be twisted a bit. There should be 15 debts total, including the down payment, three expansion debts, a plot debt, a basement debt, a second floor debt, and eight additional debts. The houses will cost even more than in ACNL, but you still get more out of decorating.

Now here is a trade-off. The sad news is that if you have even more rooms to decorate, the custom exhibits in the Museum will have to be removed. They should still add more exhibits like the ore exhibit and botanical gardens, but if you have more rooms to decorate, you wouldn’t need any extras to decorate, including a personal island hut or custom exhibits.

Idea #5 – Town Decoration Improvements

Homeless Apple
Some items can be placed outside and in town too.

Although it shouldn’t be exactly like what my picture shows, the PWP feature from ACNL was a very good idea, which is one of the many reasons why ACNL is the best game. However, there are very tough limits as well. You can have only up to 30 minor PWPs (including lamps and benches). If you spent on more lamps, benches, and clocks, and less of the other stuff, you’re not going to have a very good variety of projects. If you spent more on real PWPs and less on lamps and benches, there won’t be enough path scenery. You also can’t have too much of either. I’m okay with the 30-project limit, but not with the fact that it includes lamps, clocks (save the flower clock and illuminated clock), and benches.

I think we should return the same mechanic we had for the sign boards in the GameCube Version, where you can place something anywhere as a project. Stuff like lamps and benches for outside can be purchased right from the T&T Stores under a selection that will always be outdoor items. They are good for both outdoors and indoors, but to place them outdoors, only the mayor is allowed to do that. So let’s say that you got a Street Lamp, and you want to mount it somewhere in town. If it’s in town, the mayor is responsible to do that. Other characters won’t have the option to do so. And this won’t count under the 30 project limit.

PWPs that should be classified as outdoor items instead of PWPs:

  • Street Lamp
  • Streetlight
  • Round Streetlight
  • Zen Streetlight
  • Fairty-Tale Streetlight
  • Modern Streetlight
  • Yellow Bench
  • Blue Bench
  • Metal Bench
  • Wooden Bench
  • Log Bench
  • Zen Bench
  • Fairy-Tale Bench
  • Modern Bench
  • Park Clock
  • Zen Clock
  • Fairy-Tale Clock
  • Modern Clock
  • Fountain
  • Custom-design Sign
  • Custom Face-cut out Standee
  • Caution Sign
  • Do-not-enter Sign
  • Yield Sign

For stuff like arches, large clocks, lighthouses, bridges, and playground elements, I hate to say, but those are better off as PWPs than stuff you can mount right away when you get them.

I will come up with more ideas related to town design, but later.

Idea #6 – Custom Businesses

Andrea 04
Now all four humans have jobs.

The last idea inspired by this game is that we need room for three more businesses. Just like the Café, Campsite, and Police Station in ACNL, the additional shop, restaurant, and hotel can be part of the mayor’s project directory. That means, the mayor gets to decide whether these businesses or not can be in town. All of them would be in town, and none would be on Main Street. They can be on either land without being too close to rocks, rivers, and cliffs, or they can be on wharfs over the ocean. There can be only one of each, and if they are built, they cannot be demolished (but they can be reset back to normal plots with no building). Since the mayor is in charge of the entire town, only the alternative characters (or secondary characters) can own the businesses. That, and it’s one business per person, and one person per business.

When the plots are built, but not the businesses, the alternative characters can take one of the businesses. The first step is to choose which one they want management over. Next, they can choose both the model and the layout type. Then donations to the business will begin. Once completed, the owner of the business can decorate it any way he/she likes. He/she can also decide on management principles, such as pricing, wages, and opening times.

Business decoration is a lot like the facility design in ACHHD, but the management is quite new. Your alternative characters can make money that way. But, they’ll be required to pay for salaries, stock, and general cost (to keep the business open). As for opening times, you can pick any opening time you like. Keep in mind that the longer it’s open, the more time you can earn Bells, but the more money it costs. And you can’t have 24-hour businesses. The longest it can stay open is 16 hours, as the shortest is 8 hours. The hotel is a 24-hour business, but the banquet hall has limited opening times.

Here are the short purposes for each business:

  • Shop – sell your goods to the animals or other small merchandise.
  • Restaurant – serve food to the animals and humans that go there. As a guest, you can even get food as items to store in your house.
  • Hotel – invite visitors to move to your town through there. Similar to the campsite.

Another cool thing is that you can hire animals for each business, so they will have jobs. Not to mention, but as long as they’re working, they will never move out. So make sure that you only hire your dreamies or other villagers you want to keep. The nine jobs available are:

  • Cashier (shop)
  • Associate (shop)
  • Cashier (restaurant)
  • Waiter/waitress
  • Chef (two chefs)
  • Daytime hotel clerk
  • Nighttime hotel clerk
  • Banquet hall waiter/waitress

Not all villagers can have jobs, but all of the villagers that do are permanent villagers until you decide to replace them with other employees.

There are more game ideas…

But that’s all six of the ideas that ACHHD inspired. Comments on these ideas are greatly appreciated. You are also welcome to share this entry anywhere, including re-blogging. I’ll be coming up with an idea book.


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