If I could walk with the animals, talk with the animals, tease and whack and trade with the animals....
At the Nintendo Gamers' Summit, Nintendo explained a few more details about Animal Crossing: Wild World.
Nintendo elaborated on some of the game's connectivity specifics. Hosts connect to Nintendo WFC by opening a large gate within their town. Whenever the gate is open, friends are invited to visit the host's town, accessed through a Nintendo WFC menu listing friends and their towns. Visitors are announced upon arrival, and hosts may boot mischievous friends from their town at any time. Once connected (either locally or remotely) friends may converse and trade items. Interestingly, conversations held outdoors cannot be heard while inside, and vice versa. Also, Nintendo has abandoned the item-trading passwords found in the GameCube game, surely hampering the Animal Crossing economy.
There are other enhancements and additions that were not previously mentioned. Most significantly, Animal Crossing: Wild World's holidays are fictitious to create a more global and immersive environment. (Nintendo has not yet addressed the difference in seasons between the northern and southern hemispheres.) There are more subtle tweaks and additions as well: for example, non-playable characters will converse amongst each other and participate in three-way conversations with the player. Each town includes a restaurant, K. K. Slider's new performance stage. The developers have also automated the submission of fossils to the museum—no more tedious visits to the post office!
Animal Crossing is among the first games compatible with Nintendo WiFi Connection, with a North American launch of December 5th.
Last updated: 09/30/2005 by Michael "TYP" Cole
Nintendo has finally explained details on Nintendo WiFi's friend system. As previously reported, one of the players acts as host when playing online or locally with friends. In order to visit a friend's towns through the Nintendo WiFi Connection, the host and visitor must have each other registered on their friend roster.
Available at any time while playing Animal Crossing, the friend roster may be populated in two ways. When playing locally, the host and visitors may add each other to their rosters through a simple menu interface. For those unable to meet their friends in person, Nintendo also provides a password system similar to that of Animal Crossing on the GameCube. This unique game identifier, dubbed the Friend Registration Key, is provided when Animal Crossing is registered with Nintendo, which may then be shared by conventional means. Nintendo's wording suggests each Nintendo WiFi game will have its own friend registration key and friends list. This suggests players probably will not be able to transfer Animal Crossing contacts to other Nintendo WiFi games (such as Mario Kart DS).
Nintendo has also mentioned some of the events that may occur after visiting a town. Just as in the GameCube original, non-playable characters may move from one town to another. Players may receive a letter-in-a-bottle from another town (though it is unclear as to whether it may be from another player). A visitor's custom star constellation may also appear in the host's night sky. There are most likely other events Nintendo would rather keep a surprise.
Finally, Nintendo has confirmed that Animal Crossing: Wild World can receive messages from local copies while in sleep mode, not unlike Bark Mode in Nintendogs. PGC reported such a feature as “under consideration” during E3 2005, although it seems Nintendo has abandoned PictoChat integration.
Animal Crossing: Wild World is rated at E for Everyone (though online play surely will make quick work of that) and launches on December 5th.
Last updated: 05/20/2005 by Daniel Bloodworth
In our interview yesterday with Takashi Tezuka and Katsuya Eguchi, we learned several new details and got some clarifications on features for Animal Crossing DS. One of the driving forces behind the development is to encourage communication between players. They feel that the DS’s touch pen and wireless features really help to facilitate the next step in Animal Crossing’s evolution. The touch screen simplifies the gameplay significantly, allowing you to access menus and type more naturally or even navigate the world by pointing the stylus in the direction you want your character to run or by tapping objects to interact with them.
When asked about what specific character interactions we could expect, the developers didn’t say much about what they had implemented into the game, focusing instead on how players can interact with each other as they would in real life to create their own games of tag or have fishing tournaments or negotiate with each other for items.
Eguchi did confirm that the game will allow you to play cross-regionally with players across the globe. As opposed to the region-specific versions of Animal Crossing on GameCube, the DS game will be the same worldwide, with holidays specific to the Animal Crossing world. Basically, the way multiplayer works is that one player will act as host, and up to three others will be able to visit that person’s town.
In terms of local play, you can now build your house wherever you like in the town, whether you want a beach house or want your pad close to Tom Nook’s shop. Four players can still play using the same card, but they all live in the same house. As your house expands, you can build separate rooms for each character and negotiate with each other to determine who gets which room.
When asked if Animal Crossing had any sleep mode features, similar to the bark mode in Nintendogs, Eguchi stated that they have not implemented anything yet, but are considering an option to allow someone to draw something in PictoChat and post it directly to the bulletin board in the other person’s Animal Crossing town. They are also open to explore other ideas as development continues.
Many of the special NPCs such as Mr. Resetti and Tom Nook will return, in addition to some new characters. Likewise many of the popular items and furniture sets will make a return, with a number of new sets and new types of items such as the hats and face gear seen on the show floor. One set of items that will be left out of the DS version is the collection of NES games. This time, the developers have decided to focus on the Animal Crossing world, instead of including the classic NES titles or Game Boy titles as some people had hoped.
The last bit of info we gleaned from our time is that players can now set the Animal Crossing clock to match their play patterns. So if you usually play the game at night, but want to experience daytime events in your town, you can change the time settings in the game without having to change the main clock in the DS firmware.
Last updated: 05/17/2005
Coming to the DS later this year, Animal Crossing DS is the follow-up to the unusually popular virtual township game. A particular emphasis has been placed on the online functionality of the new title, which allows players to enter other’s towns and interact with each other.
The addition of new items greatly expands the character customization from the previous GameCube title. The trading of these items will be greatly influenced with the added ability to connect to the internet, as well as the decoration, self design, and communication aspects. The stylus controls should alleviate some of the hassle of navigating the character’s items and other menus.
Animal Crossing DS will also be able to transmit data wirelessly in the same fashion as the Internet functionality.