The core feature of Animal Crossing: New Leaf is being in charge of your town. As your first character is the mayor, you have two features related to the core feature – building and placing Public Works Projects, and setting up town ordinances. This is a very good idea, indeed. This feature is one of the many reasons why I think ACNL is the best. However, I feel that there needs to be more than just building projects or enacting ordinances. Remember when Tortimer was mayor? He didn’t do anything about building the town, but he did run events. You should be in charge of what holidays are celebrated in your town. We’re also aware of the animals moving in front of houses. Many people complained about this. In fact, they suggest that we should decide where they live, and I agree that we need to control where animals plot their houses rather than plot resetting or just placing PWPs in certain sites. Even the PWP and Ordinance feature needs improving. We somehow don’t have enough PWPs or ordinances to choose from. And there are two small problems that need to be fixed.
The next five chapters are about expanding your mayoral powers from ACNL. This includes more PWPs, separating smaller PWPs from the project directory, more ordinances, deciding on opening times, deciding where animals live, building paths, deciding on what holidays and visitors can come, and even creating your own holiday.
Major PWPs, Minor PWPs, and Mini-projects
The next two chapters are more on the PWPs you can build in town. As I’m opposed to removing items and villagers from game to game, I would also be critical of removing PWPs. Unfortunately, the only one I would remove is the Museum Renovation, where you can decorate custom exhibits. The reason being is that I suggest having larger houses than what we have now, and if we get more decorating space, there would be no reason to have custom exhibits. In New Leaf, you have 28 customizable rooms. If the custom exhibits don’t make it to the game, but the interior design features and attractions do, that would yield 56 rooms, with some of them being larger than 8×8 spaces. You’ll see more about it in Chapter 20. However, I do think that we should have the Observatory again, as well as more exhibits to donate to.
For your information, Major PWPs are public works projects that cannot be demolished once built. They also appear on the map as you see in the touchscreen. Those include the Café, the Campsite, and the Police Station. They also include renovations you made to Town Hall and the Train Station. The Reset Center does not show up on your map, but it does count as a Major PWP. Minor PWPs are the ones that can be demolished once built. They can also be demolished just to place them somewhere else. However, they do not show up on the map. If you want to see them, you’ll have to find them yourself. Those include the lighthouse, the illuminated art such as the illuminated tree and illuminated clock, and the wind turbine. Mini-projects are actually landmarks that can only be placed by the mayor, but cannot be built from your project directory. They can be purchased from the Nooklings as regular furniture. And guess what! They’re re-orderable. However, they cannot be placed inside a house. They can only be placed inside a plot outside a house, or can be constructed in town. In New Leaf, they were considered Minor PWPs. However, after playing Happy Home Designer for so long, I thought it would be a better idea to separate smaller projects like the streetlights and benches from the project directory, making them something you can place anywhere.
In regards to unlocking them, Timmy and Tommy don’t sell Mini-projects until you get your permit. They also don’t sell them until you unlock the convenience store. Minor PWPs, like in New Leaf, should be unlocked by villager suggestions. But there’s no need to use the diving trick. Nintendo should make unlocking them easier. Perhaps, you can get them both ways. One of them is to chat with them without letting them grab for your attention. They might even talk to you about a project idea when they come up with one. Major PWPs have their own requirements to unlocking them in the project directory. I’m not opposed to the requirements to unlocking any of these.
Ordinances and Custom Hours
Aside to more PWPs and splitting certain projects from the directory is coming up with more ordinances. In New Leaf, there are four ordinances, which are Beautiful Town, Early Bird, Night Owl, and Wealthy Town. In the next game, there should be five ordinances. Just one new ordinance doesn’t sound enough. So I came up with three ordinances, but suggest removing two of them. Here are the ordinances and what’s best for you:
- Recommended for those who have a lot of hybrids.
- Recommended for those who are tired of playing AC in a while.
- Not recommended for those who like challenges or badges.
- Recommended for those who have free time early in the morning.
- Not recommended for those who aren’t even awake before 9:00 AM.
- Not recommended for those who excessively time travel.
- Recommended for those who have free time only late at night.
- Not recommended for those who can’t stay awake after 9:00 PM.
- Not recommended for those who excessively time travel.
- Recommended for those who still hasn’t finished paying their debts.
- Recommended for those who like making a lot of Bells.
- Not recommended for those who like to buy things at a lower price.
It turns out that both Beautiful Town and Wealthy Town are more beneficial, but Early Bird and Night Owl are kinda useless. The problem with Early Bird and Night Owl ordinances is that they’re only good for those who are awake at a certain time of the day. But what really makes them obsolete is that people have taken advantage of time traveling. As long as we can still do it, there’s no need for those two ordinances to be active. Time traveling can help people go through the dark hours to catch rare fish, then head over to the daylight hours to sell the fish.
Since Beautiful Town is beneficial to landscapers, Wealthy Town is beneficial to money makers, and Early Bird and Night Owl are useless to time travelers, I suggest they should remove both Early Bird and Night Owl, but replace it with another ordinance that adds extra hours to each of the stores and the villagers’ schedules. At the same time, there should be a feature where you can decide what times everyone should be awake or asleep, as well as when stores are open or closed. This can be done no matter what ordinance you have active, even if you don’t have any ordinance active at the minute.
Another responsible ability for a mayor is to work on zoning, as well as paths. The biggest liability of New Leaf is that animals can move anywhere, even in the most undesirable spots. People have worked hard on their hybrid gardens. Animals can easily destroy them by plotting their houses in the middle of them. You may have worked hard on an orchard, but your work gets reversed by animals that plot their houses in it. You have laid path patterns in your town, but animals are free to disrupt your paths, either by partially cutting through a sector, or completely wiping out a sector of path patterns. You have planned to place certain projects in some places. Too bad animals can screw up on your plans. The worst part about the liability – they can move in front of other buildings, including the Re-Tail, Campsite, Town Hall, and even your house. That can easily obstruct your path, which will force you to go either left or right. Not only that, but it looks really bad to have houses in front of buildings. And don’t get me started about how it’s difficult to force animals out (especially the 10th animal).
In New Leaf, some people have got control of the villagers based on where they can live or not. They use this trick called the Reset Villager Trick, aka plot resetting. To do this, you must load the game, set it a few minutes before 6:00 AM. Then wait a few minutes, and choose to create a new character. You don’t have to name it anything. It can be just a dummy player. If the villager plotting isn’t a villager you like or if he/she placed it in the wrong spot, you reset. If it was a villager you like, and in a good spot, you can finish the rest of the character creation steps, save your game, and delete new character. Unfortunately, this is very tedious, as you’ll have to do it to all animals. Also, if you slip up by accidentally loading up a regular player, the plot is stuck forever, or at least until the animal moves out, which you cannot move the newest villagers out of town.
Another way some people got control of where they move is by placing Public Works Projects in certain places to block villagers from moving in a particular location. But this is not very effective. You can have only 30 at once, including the bridges. Besides, why would you throw PWPs all over the place?
Laying path patterns does not work when it comes to repulsing animals from moving, as they can ruin paths too.
Therefore, a feature that decides where animals can move must be added in the next game. Of course, keep the liability where animals are free to move wherever they want, but only at the beginning. Once you obtain your permit, you can choose where animals can live. If you do not work on zoning, the animals will continue messing up your town. But if you place villager zones, their moves are completely under control, so you can grow your orchards and hybrid gardens anywhere without worrying about the villagers messing them up.
As for paths, I felt that we should have real paths rather than just laying path patterns. Although villagers with shovels, nets, and fishing rods may wander off of the paths, they will utilize the paths more often. But they will not do the same for path patterns like anyone can place. These paths are Town Hall-built paths. There’s more information on that in Chapter 13.
Holidays and Events
The last new mayoral option to add is the holiday manger. The three features to it are the holiday checklist, the special visitor checklist, and the holiday creator. Both checklists can decide what holidays can be active or inactive. Just for a reminder, the more holidays you have active, the fewer days you can work as a mayor. On the other hand, having fewer holidays will make your town less interesting. Not only that, but you’ll have a hard time collecting holiday items. There are six non-negotiable holidays, which will always be active. As for special visitors, you can decide who can visit your town or not. In fact, the only ones that aren’t negotiable are campsite visitors, hotel visitors, the snow people, Joan, and K.K. (both DJ KK and K.K. Slider forms). Other than that, you can deny certain visitors from coming to town.
As for the holiday creation idea, you can make your own holiday. You can decide what the name of the holiday is, what are the dialogues for each of the animals, what items are being distributed, and other special features like the cut-out standee in the Plaza or promotions at the Nooklings’ Store. Just like the checklists, the custom holidays have restrictions. For instance, the dialogue of the animals that mention it and the name of the holiday must be G-rated (or E-rated if you’re talking about gaming). If it contains anything inappropriate, it won’t accept the dialogue, and you’ll have to go back to making it clean. Another example is the limit of how many custom holidays you can have. If you have four, you can’t make anymore until you delete one of the other holidays.