Thursday, 4 April 2013

4. Visiting Homes and Towns Wirelessly


Iwata
This time, players can use communication features in the game to show each
 other the unique houses they have made.
Kyogoku
There's a housing display area called the  HH Showcase where you can check
 out homes belonging to people you have encountered via the StreetPass feature, just as you would view a show home. When we came up with this idea, we wanted to make it so it was as little trouble as possible for players to make use of this feature.Editor's Note: In the North American version of the game, model homes created by Nintendo will also appear in the HH Showcase. These homes will be distributed via SpotPass.
Iwata
You wanted to make it so that the players wouldn't have to do any special
 preparation for the HH Showcase.
Kyogoku
Exactly. In the end, we made it so all you need to do is have StreetPass
 switched on.
Iwata
As a result, you'll be able to see houses that people you rode the train with
 or passed by chance on the street have come up with. They'll all be arranged in your town's HH Showcase, where they can provide all manner of inspiration: "Oh! They have really a distinctive
 taste!" or "This is a unique way to design a room."
Moro
Right. And I hope that this will make people think: "I need to improve my
 own room!"
Kyogoku
Another new communicative feature is the  Dream Suite run by Luna, which
 we touched upon earlier.
Iwata
How did the idea for the Dream Suite originally come about?
Kyogoku
Well, a fair while ago, when you originally announced the Wii, you explained
 the concept of WiiConnect249 and gave the example of a friend coming over to play while you're asleep.9. WiiConnect24: A Wii network service that is always connected to the internet, allowing automatic downloads of the latest news and other messages.
Iwata
Ah, yes. That's right. That was the first thing I wanted us to try when we made
 WiiConnect24.
Kyogoku
It was something I wanted to include on the Wii game, but there were all sorts
 of constraints which meant that we couldn't do it, and I've regretted it ever since. This time, we finally managed it, so if you upload your town's data to the server, someone can simply drop by to play while you're sleeping. We pitched that as a kind of dream world, so we made the place where you have these dreams into the Dream Suite.
Iwata
It's a dream world, so whatever you do in a town you visit won't leave any
 traces or after-effects for the person whose town it is.
Moro
Right. If someone sees your town and messes it all up, it's just a dream, so
 there will be no changes to your town in reality.
Kyogoku
With such a safe way for others to see your town, there's no need to 
exchange Friend Codes10. We wanted an easier way to just leave your town open and let people see it more easily. The Dream Suite means you can go to a complete stranger's town, and they can come and visit yours.10. Friend Code: An ID allocated when a Wii, Nintendo DS or Nintendo 3DS owner connects to the Internet. By exchanging Friend Codes, players can play specially designed games together online.
Moro
Also, if they are willing to give out their designs in the towns you visit,
  Wendell can give you the designs that you like.
Kyogoku
Even if none of their friends are playing Animal Crossing, players can make
 use of the communicative features to enjoy a little outing whenever they feel like it. In addition to the Dream Suite, there's an island that Kapp'n will take you to in his boat. You can  go on all kinds of tours there, which are like mini-games, via a process of random matching.
Iwata
So you will be randomly paired with someone you don't know, and you
 can play together.
Kyogoku
Correct. But of course, it doesn't have to be a stranger. You could invite a
 friend, or take a tour by yourself. But we did make it so that it would be simple for someone who doesn't have a friend playing to take part. It's not like this takes place in your town… it's on a separate island.
Iwata
So you don't have to worry about any damage being done to your town.
Kyogoku
Right. We've always wanted to make an environment where players can 
communicate without worries. I think we have achieved that this time.
Iwata
And close friends can still come and go between each other's towns, as they
 have up to now.
Kyogoku
Yes. In addition to friends with whom you have exchanged Friend Codes,
 you can register other players as 'best friends' in the game, and there are exclusive communicative elements you can share with them.
Iwata
Can you explain more about these 'best friends'?
Kyogoku
Well, let's say you have a copy of the game and play together with your
 family. This means that four of you can play, as it has been in previous titles. But only one of you can be mayor, while the others will be regular townsfolk.
Moro
I don't think things would have really held together if a single town could 
have several mayors! (laughs)
Iwata
No, I suppose not.
Kyogoku
There might be four people playing, but they will share the same Friend
 Code, as it is assigned to the Nintendo 3DS system. That means that someone in the family might visit a friend, but then meet someone there who they don't know at all. We were worried that this might feel awkward.
Iwata
It would be a shock if your friend's mother, let's say, whom you had never
 met, suddenly appeared in your town.
Kyogoku
This time round, we made it so that each of the four players could designate
 certain close friends as 'best friends', and you can make it so only these 'best friends' can come and visit. What's more, if you're connected to the Internet at home, 'best friends' can exchange messages without having to go to each other's town.
Moro
In previous titles, when you wanted to let a friend know you were planning to
 visit their town, you'd need to give them a call or send them an email. Now you can do that inside the game.
Kyogoku
You can also send messages to all of your 'best friends' at once. So, for example,
 when you come home from school or work, you can send a message saying: "I'm going to open the gate to my town now, guys!"
Iwata
Ah, that makes life much easier!
Kyogoku
In the later stages of development, we would actually use that function to 
communicate within the team. The thing we really got excited about was  information about the price of turnips11.11. Turnips: Items used for investment purposes in Animal Crossing and available for purchase every week on Sunday morning. If the selling price exceeds what you bought them for, you will earn pocket money.
Iwata
So you were all interested in the price of the turnips you can buy on Sundays
 from  Joan?
Kyogoku
Yes, we were. We'd be discussing the current price, and then a message would
 come in saying: "They've gone over 400 Bells!" Everyone would then rush to that town and sell turnips. (laughs)
Moro
Even when people are connected online, there are players who still don't really 
want to make the effort to visit someone else's town. But I'd be happy if turnips inspired players to go and check out each other's towns.
Iwata
But turnips don't have to be the only reason. You could decide to hold a 
fishing competition.
Moro
That's right. Or you could meet up to exchange fruit. There are all sorts of
 opportunities.
Iwata
Come to think of it, in the edition of Nintendo Direct broadcast on August 29th
 last year, there was a kind of comic foreground of me, where you could put your face through an image and take a photograph. Well, I didn't actually notice it until the video was completed.
Moro
Right.
Iwata
Well, when I saw that, I was amazed – I thought: "Wow, you can do things
 like that?" That would make another reason to visit another town.
Moro
That's right. Everybody can come up with their own designs.
Kyogoku
If there's one that you like, you can stick your face through the hole and take
 a souvenir photo.
Moro
In Japan, the title of the game is Animal Crossing: Jump Out!, and I hope that
 everyone will have the opportunity to jump up, head out and visit other players, as that title suggests.

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