On the day before Happy Home Designer was released, I went over the four Animal Crossing games and what advantages and disadvantages each game had individually, as well as the shared advantages and disadvantages. Drama-causing mechanics such as beetle sensitivity, fish biting too fast, sea bass abundance, and tarantula and scorpion attacks have gotten annoying and may have got on our last nerves. But I do not suggest removing them all. A common complaint about Happy Home Designer was that there was no challenge, which made the game “pointless”. Frustrations about a video game are bad things, but they make games last longer, which gives you more fun. Would you rather spend 30 minutes trying to catch one coelacanth, or catch 16 coelacanths in 10 minutes and repeat the process 50 times to fully pay off your house, thus decreasing the longevity of the game? The latter is more tempting, but the former would let playing Animal Crossing last longer. So there should be no removal of sea basses, horse mackerels, black basses, crucian carps, barbel, squids, carps, or olive flounders. And don’t ask for bees, tarantulas, or scorpions to slow down, as well as beetles to become less sensitive to nearby humans. We knew that Resetti was annoying others to the point where Nintendo had to make him optional and less strict, but they’re not doing the same for sea basses or beetles.
However, there are some fatal flaws with Animal Crossing that are not only frustrating, but also bad enough to where they must be fixed. I don’t care if it’s to add challenge. If they’re causing a lot of problems, then action must be taken. We can say that these are the biggest problems with each game:
- GameCube Version – sea basses are too common.
- Wild World – sea basses are too common.
- City Folk – sea basses are too common.
- New Leaf – animals can move in front of your house.
See the difference? Sea basses have been harassing us the whole time from the very beginning. They are too common, confuse us with bigger fish, and sell at a very poor price. But I don’t want them to go since they are keeping the game fun. Animal Crossing without sea basses is like Star Wars without Darth Vader or Mario without Bowser. But for the last one, it’s not only describing a flaw, but a flaw that everyone has complained about since ACNL came out. That is one of the few flaws that must be resolved.
And it’s not just the animal moving mechanic that’s a problem. I also have problems with the group mechanic, corrupted luck system, animals forcefully giving items away, and the high expectations in the snobbish snowboys. Don’t even get me started on Club Tortimer.
This of the Idea Book is all about problems with ACNL and other games that must be fixed. It’s also about the changes that Nintendo can make to screw up on the next game. I call this The Changes that should be made and the Changes that shouldn’t be made.
Problems with game idea solutions
The first set of problems to go over actually relate to the game ideas later in the Idea Book. Some of these game ideas are just adding new stuff that make the game better without addressing any problem. The others have, or are solutions to the problems in previous games. Here is a list of problems that I will go more about later in the Idea Book and the solutions pertaining to the ideas:
- Unorderable items – make all items orderable. In the beginning, we had a couple of items that could not be ordered off of the catalog. Now it’s time to put an end to this. In ACNL, some people found a way around the catalog issue by duplicating through the Wi-Fi. Although this became an advantage, it’s actually considered cheating, and is breaking the game. This is known as duping. By making all items orderable, people are less likely to use the duping bug to break the game.
- Animal moving mechanic – introduce zoning feature. Easily the most griped about issue in ACNL, a solution to this must be carried out to fix the problem. Ever since sign posts were removed in order to make project placement more free, animals also have freedom to move wherever they want. People have worked hard on their towns, including laying paths, planting hybrids, and growing orchards. When animals move in the middle of these orchards, gardens, and paths, they are basically destroying the town. And we are very aware of animals moving in front of players’ homes and public landmarks. You can see the solution in Chapter 13.
- Pocket space – create more menus. Alongside to the interior design feature as part of Chapter 19, I plan on talking about the lack of pocket space. 16 spaces is not bad. It’s the fact that a lot of items that take up the space would better fit in other menus. For instance, the tools should have a tool menu instead of being in your pockets. Any item you obtain can be placed in the design menus when interior designing. Meanwhile, they should also expand wallet size. 99,999 Bells is too little for the wallet size, especially if you want to go shopping at GracieGrace with no shopping card. To make that, as well as trading Bells online, less of a hassle, they can increase the wallet size to 999,999 Bells, with 999,000 Bell bags being the largest they can carry.
- PWP farming – have new ways to unlock PWPs. In real life, town projects are suggested by the community. But in Animal Crossing, you get to choose how to design the towns the way you want. You can speed up PWP suggestions by using the diving trick, but there are a couple frustrations to it as well. Back when I was working on StarFall, I was stuck in the middle of March, trying to get a PWP suggestion out of Victoria since I’m looking for illuminated projects. The fact that they ask useless questions is getting annoying. So instead of having animals grab for your attention for PWP suggestions, how about you get to ask them for suggestions. They can suggest PWPs by grabbing your attention too, but I don’t want that to be the only way to get PWPs. Useless questions are annoying.
- PWP limit – separate certain projects from the project directory. Remember in the GameCube Version when you can place sign pattern boards in the middle of town? I suggest that we should have the same for streetlights, outdoor benches, and outdoor clocks in the next game. 30 projects is a bit too little, especially since it includes the lamps and benches. It wouldn’t be a problem at the time, but now it’s a problem thanks to Happy Home Designer.
- Randomized map generator – introduce Map Editor. Another annoyance as introduced in New Leaf is choosing a good map from the very beginning. It you are a huge fan of town designing, I suggest that we should be able to make our own maps instead of having the game generate for us.
- Harsh opportunity cost – make hours custom. In New Leaf, the four ordinances are Beautiful Town, Early Bird, Night Owl, and Wealthy Town. It’s no doubt that Beautiful Town is the best of the ordinances, but I want to see the Nooklings keep their store open late at night. If I do set it that way, I will be forced to water every hybrid everyday, which is very much a chore. If I want to prevent flowers from wilting, I’ll have to keep the Nooklings from keeping their store open later. And the bad news about this is that T&T Mart is easy to remodel if you kept ordering a lot. Once it remodels, it is done for your town, and there aren’t downgrades for this. And it’s the only store to open past 3:00 AM, the hour with the best hourly music. It can only be open that late on Night Owl ordinance. I have a solution to this, and you can see it in Chapter 12.
Other problems they should fix
The other makor problems are the fatal flaws thatneed to be dealt with by the next game don’t really have solutions that are repeated in later chapters. What I’m listing here are solutions to serious problems in the series. Some were just new in ACNL, but others were in the series the whole time. An example of what ruined the game from the very beginning was the fact that animals forcefully give items to you. If you accept the offer, they’ll give it to you. But if you reject it, saying that you don’t want it, they’ll still give it to you, not accepting “no” as an answer. That is really annoying, and they ought to realize that if you don’t want it, then they shouldn’t give it to you. A lot of the interaction problems (such as repainting your roof rudely and forced nicknames) have been fixed, but this is one problem that still exists in New Leaf. An example of what’s first seen in New Leaf was Saharah’s randomized carpets and wallpaper. Again, this is quite annoying. It’s not that we should be allowed to choose what carpets and wallpaper we want, but what Saharah is doing wrong is that we sometimes get carpets and wallpaper that aren’t Saharah exclusives. Some carpets and wallpaper can only be obtained through Saharah, but not all of the carpets and wallpaper you get from her are Saharah exclusives. What really frustrated me here is that she can give you the Common Wall and Common Floor, which shouldn’t be obtained anyway other than ordering.
Here is a full list of solutions to the many problems that needed to be fixed that I haven’t listed:
- Eliminate Club Tortimer – of all of the problems that need to be fixed, this is my number one. The group mechanic and animal moving mechanic are pretty bad too, but this really had to go. Club Tortimer is more of a breeding ground of immature players that are desperate for stuff they didn’t work for. If you want all that Bells, you should work for it, not beg others for them. The same is true for items. Don’t forget, the young players that go to the online island swear a lot, and out of malice. Another serious issue involving Club Tortimer is the island tours. Once someone sets up the island tours, you cannot get off the island. This is what these kids do to trap people on the island until they get what they want. Since there’s no other way to take care of this, Nintendo needs to not let this appear in the next game. In fact, I think it needs to be removed from New Leaf too. The exclusives can just be regular island items too.
- Make Saharah a seller instead of carpenter – like I said, I don’t like the idea that Saharah gives you random carpets and wallpaper by going into your house. I like her as a seller of carpets and wallpaper, just like how Redd sells art. Also, Saharah shouldn’t sell carpets and wallpaper the Nooklings provide.
- Increase gratitude in Snowboys – can you believe how spoiled they even are? If you’re 99% perfect, they’ll still say that you’re way off, and not give you a prize. Nintendo’s expectations may be too high, or the Snowboys are spoiled brats. They should lower their expectations next game. Many people were frustrated in the snowpeople, but the Snowboys are the worst.
- Discard the group mechanic – I say that it’s time to get rid of this algorithm. The group mechanic was only good for the GameCube Version and Wild World when we didn’t have very many items, but not in New Leaf. I do not think it’s fair that the Nooklings, as well as the Able Sisters, sell certain items more frequently than others. It’s annoying to see them sell the same stuff over and over again while almost never seeing some items that they were programmed to sell. I don’t care if it was to encourage trading. Some people like to play alone. Some people may not find it a problem, but they don’t realize how infrquent some items are being sold. It’s more like 10/50/90 rather than 45/50/55.
- Fix the luck system – the new luck system is another annoyance in the game, perhaps one of the more notorious ones. Why did Nintendo make it where the game punishes your player for not wearing what it wants him/her to wear? I mean, we have good luck days and bad luck days. On good luck days, in order to unlock the fortune, you need to wear what it wants you to wear. On bad luck days, you can repel the misfortune if you wear the lucky item. It’s not fair to punish the players for not wearing something on the bad luck days, but never give them the fortune on good luck days. If a lucky item is required to repel the bad luck, they should have an unlucky item on good luck days to repel the good luck. If a lucky item is required to unlock the fortune on good luck days, the should have an unlucky item on bad luck days to open Pandora’s box. In case if you’re wondering what the luck system affects, one example of it was that bad luck on wealth means that money rocks emit half the Bells they’re supposed to emit. Meanwhile good luck on wealth means that money rocks emit twice the Bells they’re supposed to emit. And we are aware of tripping in-game. I have an ordinance in relation to the luck system, but that’s in Chapter 12. Even so, they need to get rid of the luck system we currently have.
- Stop animals from force giving items – as I mentioned it above, I also hate it that animals still reject “no” as an answer if they want to give something away. They did this in the GameCube Version, and they still did it. I’m glad that they got rid of some other behaviors, like when they force you to giving up your assets, ask for all of your Bells, repaint your roof without permission or request, forcefully give you a nickname and spreading it, and asking you to mail letters as a job. But one behavior that still remains is forced giveaway of items, especially when you’re given options to say no. I’m okay with animals asking for your fish for a price equivalent (or more than) the Re-Tail’s price as well as useless questions, but not force giving items away. Also, I find that very rude to charge you to get presents are ask you for money because they overspent theirs. It’s their fault for making impulse buys, not mine, so why ask me to buy what they spent for making these impulse buys? I can put that aside, but they need to stop forcing us to take what we don’t want if we’re given the option to say yes or no.
- Make friendship correlate with moving factors – if you want to know the full story of why Isabelle won’t let me place a bridge from where I want it placed or the full story of when Prince destroyed my extended campsite, please comment a request and I’ll get to them. Anyway, what both stories had in common was that a tenth villager (Cesar and Prince) moved in, and cannot be moved out. The fact here is that no matter what the cause is, if someone just recently moved in, it’s impossible for them to move out (especially if it was the 10th villager in ACNL). So in order to get them to move out, you will need to get rid of two other villagers and have a new one move in before making it possible to get rid of the other villager. I did that twice (both on Cesar and Prince). What else I don’t like is that if you maxed out your friendship with a villager, they are more likely to move out, whereas if you’re being mean to them, they are more unlikely to move out. How about this? If a new villager moves in, the friendship status is 50%. Every time you’re mean to them (hitting them, pushing them, sending them letters with forbidden words), the percentage drops. If you’re nice to them (giving them presents, fulfilling their chores, giving them what they want), the percentage increases. The higher the percentage, the more unlikely the villager is to moving out, so if a villager asks to move out, the lower percent villagers are the first ones to ask. I don’t even care if they just moved in. If you hate them, or if you need them out to fix your town, just make it possible for them to move away.
- Allow people to enable/disable landscaping – sometimes, visitors may run in your town and trample your flowers (or steal them). They can also cut down your trees. There should be an option where you can enable or disable landscaping when your gates are open (or when visitors are in town). If landscaping is disabled, visitors can’t use the shovel or axe, as flowers cannot be picked up. If ran over, they cannot be damaged, as they act if flowers were never planted there. You can enable landscaping if you want to trade flowers, while disabling it if you don’t want your town damaged.
- Remove grass deterioration – this list isn’t all about me either. A common complaint from AC fans about City Folk is how grass wears away. The problem with that is that it wears away very fast and takes a long time to recover. New Leaf alleviated grass deterioration, but this mechanic needs to go away. If it was a bad idea to City Folk, it should be a bad idea to New Leaf as well.
- Make grand prize tickets worthy – on Bunny Day (Easter), the eggs have one of the three things (candy, winning tickets, and grand prize tickets). The problem with the grand prize is that it’s not so grand at all. The only prize you can get out of it is Zipper’s pic while the Egg Series items are only prizes if you get the plain old winning tickets. The first time I tried this event, there were more grand prize tickets than regular tickets. The grand prize is not so grand at all. This event is like giving someone a handshake as first prize in a class contest while the second prize winner gets a whole box of candies. Not to mention, but if you sell Zipper’s pic, you only get 10 Bells. Reese pays for more for any Egg series item rather than most furniture (like 4,000 to 8,000 Bells per piece). The candy, you can just eat. How about they make grand prize tickets even rarer, but swap Zipper’s pic and the egg basket rewards.
Other things they can fix
These are relatively minor problems, but there are some things that they can do to make the game more convenient. They aren’t as bad as the other problems, but I hope Nintendo can take care of these problems as well.
- Bring back the dock in the big lake – one of the few things I liked about the GameCube version that was removed in Wild World but never came back was the dock in the big lake. Yes, I can understand that the lake is now smaller, but this was a convenience because I liked walking over the lake. Maybe they should size up the lake once more, bring back the dock, and make it a PWP to renovate the dock to any material you like.
- Introduce outdoor camera – some people actually like the idea to rotate PWPs. I do agree with this, but I also suggest that the outdoors should have a flexible camera like the indoors. In fact, every place in town should have that,
- Bring back some long lost missing features from previous games – the features in the past that I want to see a comeback are jumping between towns when moving, journals (from the GameCube version), town models, and the point system (Wild World and City Folk).
- Return some GameCube villagers – while I want to see all of the villagers that appeared in ACNL continue their journey to the next game, I would also like to see some villagers that previously appeared in the GameCube version comeback. Everyone of this type that appeared in ACHHD are some of them. The others are Ace, Admiral, Boris, Candi, Cashmere, Hambo, Hornsby, Leopold, Liz, Marcy, Nosegay, Olive, Otis, Oxford, Penny, Quetzal, Rhoda, Rio, Sandy, Stu, Sue E, Sven, Twirp, and Valise. Some of the long lost villagers we miss very easily, but others we are glad to see them get removed since Wild World. I can totally bet that Boris and Pancetti start a new relationship, Olive would seek advice from Barold, Rio and Flora would visit each other, and Leopold and Rory become friends.
- Bring back old conversations – no, not the old way of chatting with villagers, but do you remember in the GameCube Version when villagers taught you lessons about life? They did. Examples include Snooty Villagers teaching you about dieting, Cranky Villagers telling you not to dig through dressers and bureaus, and Peppy Villagers telling you that you won’t have any friends at all if you hit them with a net. In addition, conversations back in the GameCube Version were a lot more interesting. Now villagers are only about their lives, other villagers, and some weird stuff. They aren’t as interesting as what you seen in the GameCube Version.
Changes that shouldn’t be made
You have read all of the problems that should be fixed as well as some minor problems that might need fixing. But what about the changes that we don’t want to see? All of the fatal flaws that exclusively appeared in the GameCube version are forgivable since it’s their first try, as well as the animal moving mechanic and the frustration of PWP farming. But if Nintendo makes any of these mistakes, they won’t be forgiven. Here is a list of stuff Nintendo can do to ruin the next game.
- Time traveling to be abolished – if you’re a truly legit player, you would know better than to dupe, hack, time travel, or buy/sell items that have been obtained by duping, powersaving, or even time traveling. You wouldn’t even time travel to speed up catalog, check back the holidays you missed, or to rush villagers they hate out of the game. However, not everybody likes to play naturally, and I’m one of those who enjoy playing by time traveling. A lot of people hate time traveling not because it causes some of their favorite animals to move or weeds to grow, but it’s because they feel that players that enjoy playing by time traveling are not playing fair. Yeah, it is considered cheating to take advantage of certain features and use it for something else, but removing it causes more harm than help. Some people don’t have time to play within the hours that the store is usually open. Some people would like to play on the holidays they missed. It’s also useful to rush expansions and project additions. And what else has time travel benefitted us in? Cycling is useful for removing villagers you hate and adding villagers you like, which requires time travel. Some people would look for stuff that you don’t own, but have on your catalog. Not only that, but removing the feature may conflict Daylight Savings time changes. Nintendo can make a game as perfect as possible, but if they remove time traveling, they’re going to get another game with the same level of reception as Superman 64. I’m serious. Removing time traveling from Animal Crossing completely is like removig the Fox fanfare from the Star Wars films on iTunes (which was worse than the Greedo controversy BTW). So one thing we do not want Nintendo to do is to remove time traveling.
- Holidays like Halloween, Harvest Festival, and Toy Day to be removed – if you were playing Wild World, you would be more annoyed by sea basses, horse mackerels, tarantulas, scorpions, and animals forcing nicknames on you. But you wouldn’t criticize Wild World for it because those are in for a reason. Just like how grass deterioration is to City Folk and animals moving in the wrong spot is to New Leaf, the lack of special holidays is Wild World’s biggest problem. I’m speculating that most of the holidays were removed out of political correctness, which was increasingly getting worse over time. Thankfully, this issue is fixed, as those holidays are back in Animal Crossing via City Folk. But I do not want any of these holidays where items like the Spooky Series or Jingle Series are given out to be removed in the next game. I know that not everybody doesn’t celebrate those holidays, but it doesn’t mean that they should be removed. In fact, they shouldn’t be removed. We don’t want the same problem we had in Wild World.
- Stupid holidays to return or be added – remember La-di Day and Yay Day? Those were not only stupid holidays, but those aren’t based after real holidays. They replaced the many holidays that were removed between GameCube and Wild World. Even if some of those holidays removed aren’t real holidays, they were fun. We don’t want any good holiday to be removed, as we do not want any stupid holidays like these to return.
- All (or most) of my favorite villagers to be dropped – my top five favorite villagers are Aurora, Ava, Mitzi, Goldie, and Caroline, in that order. Other characters I liked are Fauna, Peanut, Bluebear, Sprinkle, Amelia, Blaire, Purrl, Cherry, Mira, Katt, Roald, Pierce, Antonio, Cube, Prince, Bob, Apollo, Chief, Static, Marshal, Rodney, and Jacques. As someone who likes to see Animal Crossing get bigger and better, I am not a fan of removing villagers from the next game, even if it’s an ugly one like Barold or Jambette, or a villager I had conflict with like Victoria or Kevin. Other people may like those villagers. But if Nintendo removes all of my favorite five villagers, then I will get very mad, as I will no longer prioritize villager chat as I play the next game. It would actually be unrealistic for Nintendo to remove Mitzi and Goldie since those are very popular villagers. Mitzi is one of the most popular cat villagers to appear in all four games, and Goldie is the same way for the dogs. Aurora is popular too, but she leans towards the middle. So the other two are the ones to worry about. I believe Nintendo removed a lot of the GameCube villagers in Wild World for a reason. To fit all the data onto one small cartridge, they had to remove a lot of features, including removing much of the villagers and downgrading the graphics and sound quality. My favorite villagers from the GameCube Version at the time were Midge, Cally (once called Sally), Olive, Amelia, Peanut, Quetzal, Buzz, and Ace. Since all of my favorite normal villagers were dropped, the normal villagers in Wild World were not worth talking to anymore (except for Aurora, whom I’m glad to see stay in the series). But now we have advanced technology, including larger cartridges in data size. There’s no reason to remove villagers in the next game. Nintendo should keep Aurora, Ava, Caroline, Goldie, and Mitzi in Animal Crossing as they make another game. If they do not remove any of the villagers I like, but return the villagers I listed as “GameCube villagers to come back”, I would be very happy.
- Remodeling restriction to come back – you may be familiar with ACNL’s department store remodeling requirement where you need to pass Gracie’s fashion checks. It can be annoying, but at least it’s better than what we had in the GameCube Version and Wild World. Back then, in order to unlock Nookington’s, you will need to make enough Bells in transaction AND have a character from another town shop at yours. I’m okay with spending over 200,000 Bells to remodel another store (especially since I made online transactions that broke the 10 million barrier), but to require visitors from another town to remodel a store? That makes Animal Crossing unenjoyable. What really made it worse was that Nookington’s had the hair salon in Wild World. Why would Nintendo expect us to travel just to unlock a feature that anybody can unlock if they’re playing alone? I’m glad that this was done with by City Folk, but I don’t want to see any restriction that requires having visitors in your town (except for the Train Station PWP).
- Removal of the many features introduced in ACNL – while I asked for Club Tortimer and all of the bad stuff to get removed, I don’t want the good stuff to be removed either. That’s what made ACNL a better game.
- Underwear graphics to return – I chose not to bring that up until now. One complaint I had with City Folk was that they shown what’s under the dresses of the female playable characters. I did say that the characters being short was my complaint, but this is the real deal. And it’s not just limited to City Folk. It was done in Smash for Wii U and 3DS too. I prefer just seeing a shadow (like in New Leaf and Happy Home Designer) instead of their underwear (like in City Folk) if we look under their dresses. This is the reason why I would prefer to play as male characters instead of female characters. It turns out that I believe that grass deterioration was the worst part of City Folk, and it is, but my second to the top complaint about City Folk was this.
- Furniture series and themes to be removed – just like the villagers, I do not like seeing items get removed in the next game. The NES games getting removed between GameCube Version and Wild World was reasonable, but not furniture series like the Harvest Series and Jingle Series. They made this mistake with Wild World. I don’t want to see this happen again in the next game, especially since we can store more data now.
So that’s it for the changes I want to see and changes I don’t want to see. Other than not incorporating my ideas or fixing the other problems I listed, I don’t want them to do anything I listed in the last section.