Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on the unique series Animal Crossing. We situate the game briefly in time before turning to some of the ways the game introduces itself and its mechanics, before turning to feedback. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.
An hour a day!
0:50 Animal Crossing
Issues covered: "this is one of my favorite Nintendo series, actually," Tim uses the 'cast to his advantage, trying to think of forerunners, Daddy, an explosive era of design, the variety of games and the PC/console divide, thinking outside the box, a weird kind of buzz, the Nintendo spin on some genres, having a chillout time, being able to meditatively play, the weird concepts at work and conveying that to a potential audience, Nintendo going its own way, having a lot going on in even this first game, daily routine and tranquility obscuring the systems, heading off player aggression, meeting up with KK Slider, setting and subverting player expectations, listening to KK Slider play guitar, that Nintendo touch, hopping the train to town and meeting Rover, the important Rover connection, committing to characters and making them iconic, social propriety and cell phones, contrasting this with character creation, representing everything in the game (with an inventory as well), chibi/big head character design, attitude with their voicing, character design and presentation being economic but expressive, timing phonemes against the spaces between words, spending a lot of time on the speech system, Nintendo's habit of having everyone in the company try the games, anime/manga idioms for expression/emotion, developing an internal language and sticking with it, Rover the cat, we reveal our town and player names, getting a mortgage and job from Tom Nook right away, establishing verbs early, passing by the dump and into the store, learning how to put on clothes, gating progress on activity, being naturally pushed to explore what the game has, atypical goals and tricking you into addiction, talking to the animals, establishing something like a main loop gently, coming up with your own "quests," random towns (a discovery for Brett), shared characters between towns, we introduce our characters and NPCs, review from Finland, some design choices that a 25-year-old game overcame, leaning on the RNG to some degree, remembering getting into Animal Crossing and the draw of NES games, the acquisition loop and its evolution, Tim having not really analyzed this game before, gyroids.
Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: The Sims, Little Computer People, Tamagotchi, Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, Alex Neuse, Silent Hill 2, Anachronox, Ico, GTA III, Civilization III, Devil May Cry, Soul Reaver, Star Wars: Starfighter, Jak & Daxter, Final Fantasy X, Halo, Xbox, Metal Gear Solid 2, Advance Wars, Pikmin, Black & White, Max Payne, World of Warcraft, Dark Age of Camelot, PS2, Luigi's Mansion, Peter Molyneux, LucasArts, Starcraft 64, Halo Wars, Resident Evil, Spider-man 2, Satoru Iwata, Wii, Viva Pinata, Pokemon, Happy Home Designer, Amiibo Festival, Mario series (obliquely), Sonic series (obliquely), Final Fantasy (series), Zelda (series), Sailor Moon, Madman, _Dupre/Petri, Commodore 64, Ultima IV, Bitmap Books, Derek from Spokane, Chrono Trigger, Octopath Traveler, Chrono Cross, Sea of Stars, Sabotage Studios, Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, SNES Classic, Final Fantasy VI, Ni No Kuni, Dragon Quest (series), Level 5, Dark Cloud (series), Square Enix, Reed Knight, Metal Gear Solid 4, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers.
An hour a day!
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