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Iwata asks about Animal Crossing: Part 2

How you can tell if your mom is fishing behind your back.


Continuing a summary of the latest The CEO Asks column at the Japanese Wii.com site, here's what's said on the second page of the feature.

In case you missed it, here's part 1 of the feature.

In page two, the conversation switched from the general introductions of the first page to talk about the first of four "axis" for the new game: making use of WiiConnect24.

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Nogami said that when he first heard of WiiConnect24, he felt that it was made for Animal Crossing. Iwata admitted that they did have Animal Crossing in mind when conceiving the Wii. He's not sure if anyone actually said this, though.

In the DS version of the game, in order to visit your friends' villages, you have to arrange a time in advance to make sure that you're both connected. Nogami attested to hearing many complaints about people being unable to match their play time up with others. His hope was to use WiiConnect24 to make an easier connective experience.

The first idea for this came from the Avatar Channel: automatically exchanging village data in the background. Compared to the DS Animal Crossing, which required that two cartridges be connected in order to exchange data, thanks to WiiConnect24 village data can be exchanged without your knowing it.

Here, the Wii.com article links to this video, showing an animal called Choco who just arrived from the village of Wakakusa. That village actually exists. Characters like Choco who come to your village will also share rumors about their town and other towns with you, explained Nogami.

This rumor concept actually came about through an episode involving Mario Kart Wii producer Hideki Konno. Konno, his wife, and their son were playing Animal Crossing DS. Apparently, the wife played the fishing part of the game so much that the son complained and told her to stop. The wife did stop fishing, but only in front of the son. In secret, she continued. One day, the son was playing the game and was approached by an animal who commented that the mom does nothing but fish, revealing her secret.

You won't have to rely on just rumor to find out what other people are doing with the Wii version, Kobayashi explained. You'll actually find clues by looking closely at the ground.

The surface upon which your characters walk in the Wii version of Animal Crossing is double layered, with a ground layer, and a top layer. The top layer has, for instance grass. This grass can be depleted as you walk, revealing the ground layer.

The game replenishes the grass a little bit at the end of each day, said Kobayashi, but if you were to, for instance, walk every day from your house to a shop.... Iwata finished for him: you'd end up with a trail.

Nougami took it from here. If you were to do nothing but fish, you'd end up with a cleared path from your house to the water. Areas such as bridges, which everyone accesses, have lost their top grass level.

In the case of a mom that likes to fish too much, Iwata sugested that you can discover this by simply following the path from her house. Kyougoku added that you can also use this feature to find a friend's home when visiting a village. There's no need to read a map.

Getting specific, Kobayashi explained that it takes about two weeks of walking before you start seeing a path. For a completely clear path to be formed, said Moro, it will take around two months.

The rate at which the grass grows back depends on the surroundings, explained Kobayashi. If the path is surrounded by grass, and trees, it will grow back faster. Iwata joked here that the game has assumed the element of a plant simulation.

The rest of page two of the interview session had the four joking about players potentially feeling lonely when they see the paths remaining around the homes of people who've left their village. With time, these paths will grow back and your memories of that animal will fade. Eventually, the grass will be in full growth, and you'll have forgoten who lived there.

Page three coming soon...

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