Thursday, July 10, 2008

Animal Crossing Wii ideas 7: The last one ever?

There's a very good chance that this, the seventh edition of Animal Crossing Wii ideas, could be the last. E3 begins on Monday, and with it shall come the nearly 100% sure-to-happen unveiling of Animal Crossing Wii. And so, for what will almost surely be the last time ever, I present you with yet another collection of my Animal Crossing Wii ideas.

A new shop in town: The Craftsman's Corner

Cut down a tree in Animal Crossing, and it disappears. Makes for easy clean-up, I suppose, but what if the fallen wood could be used for something? For example, what if it could be used to make furniture?

I've heard a few people suggest over the months that players should be able to make their own furniture and such out of raw materials. I thought this to be a good idea, but it seemed a little too complex for Animal Crossing. Adding a whole new building mode for making chairs and such would just be too much work, and it would feel really out of place. So, I thought, what if there was someone who could take your raw materials and make them into something? The little light in my head lit up, and I decided that a new shop would be the perfect fit.

The Craftsman's Corner would be a log cabin-like structure, owned, managed and staffed by one man (I was thinking a beaver, personally). Basically, you run on down to The Craftsman's Corner and plop your raw material on the counter (Mostly wood, but maybe scrap metal and plastic junk found in the dump and scattered about, too). The shopkeeper shows you a list of available furniture (Which varies from town to town), each of which is accompanied by a material requirement. For example, a simple wooden chair would require 5 pieces of wood, a couch would take 15 and a bookshelf would need 10. Different types of furniture require different materials, and some may even require a little bit of several materials.

Now, this wouldn't come free, of course. You'd have to pay Buck (A beaver named Buck. I'm so bad with name making) a couple hundred bells to cover labour and such, and your furniture would be ready the next day. Each piece of furniture would be exclusive to The Craftsman's Corner, or at least be very rare otherwise. Also, anything made at The Craftsman's Corner would be impossible to order via Tom Nook's catalog. It just doesn't work that way.

I feel this helps add a neat little feature to Animal Crossing without at all making the game more complex. Animal Crossing is a simple game with a decent bit of depth, but a new feature couldn't hurt. Just so long as it doesn't make the game overly complex, I'm all for it.

Make the other villagers do some of the dirty work

Ever notice that everyone else in town seems to have not a care in the world? Running around all day catching fish, buying shirts and yakking endlessly. What if some of them actually had a day job?

Each Animal Crossing game starts off with the player in debt to Tom Nook, and they begin paying off their mortgage by working for the fuzzy little con artist. Something's a little odd, though. Ever notice that you're the only person who seems to work there other than Nook? Don't you think that maybe that conniving raccoon could use an extra pair of hands? I know a great way to solve both this problem and the one from the last paragraph: Have a villager work there!

I can just imagine other people in town actually having daily routines to attend to. Sure, there would still be the aimlessly wondering fools, but a few neighbours would surely get a job somewhere. It's all so easy to picture! Tangy lending a hand at the Able Sisters, Drift helping sort mail at town hall, and perhaps even Walker washing dishes at The Roost. Giving jobs to some of the villagers would really make them feel more like real "people". Instead of a neighbourhood full of slacking animals, it would become a living, breathing society, full of far more interesting villagers than ever before. Also, having Punchy doing stock at Nook's Cranny is sure to provide a laugh or two. A shovel in the furniture section? Oh, that Punchy!

A better look into the shopkeepers' lives

In the first two Animal Crossing games, you could get a bit of personal information out of Nook, Phyllis and Sable by talking to them consistently and/or at the right times. That's as far as things go, though. I'd like if we'd get to see more into the lives of these retail industry characters. I wouldn't necessarily go so far as to suggest that we can visit them in their houses when off duty, but seeing them casually walking around town would certainly be a nice addition.

Once free from their jobs, these workers would act just like normal villagers, except with maybe a unique personality and a few more things to say. Otherwise, though, Pelly would fit in perfectly with Alfonso. Asking you to run errands, chatting like everyone else, and even engaging in hobbies such as fossil hunting and bug catching would be commonplace for these formerly work-only souls.

Now, say we could go into their houses... What would their abodes be like? In a word, "normal". After all, people are people. Of course, since they're at work a lot of the time, I'm guessing we'd see the occasional cockroach running around in their house. Nobody's perfect, especially not when they're working for 12 hours a day!

I'd really love to get a better view of the workers' personal lives. Maybe we'd even see some of their relatives! I've always wondered if there was any truth to the rumours of Nook having a wife...

A more customizable house

(Before I start writing this, I should say I've had this idea for a while, and I'm pretty sure I posted it online somewhere before. However, it doesn't seem to have appeared on One Duck's Opinion, so here you go. If I have posted it here, though... Oh well.)

Every time that you pay off your mortgage, that money-loving, monopolizing rodent offers to add on to your puny house. The additions are always pretty much chosen by Nook, with the only input you get basically being whether you want the basement or second floor first. But what if you had complete control over how your house was expanded upon? Every time you paid off your mortgage, Nook would ask you how to expand your house. Add another floor? A basement? A second room on the main floor? It's up to you!

The combinations are mind-boggling. A towering home of several tiny floors, a sprawling bungalow, or even a tiny little shed that hides a massive underground complex that plunges several floors into the Earth. You got the money, Nook's got the construction crew.

One new expansion option this could add would be to have several rooms on the upper floor. Of course, you can't put another room up there without another beneath it for support, but other than that, your options are pretty much unlimited. Of course, you would only have so many opportunities to upgrade, so choose your additions wisely!

And so ends what is almost certainly the last ever Animal Crossing Wii ideas post. Oh well, I'll think of some other series, I'm sure. If for some terrible, terrible reason Animal Crossing Wii isn't shown next week, though, I shall do my best to resurrect this series until it's inevitable unveiling. Lets just hope it doesn't come to that, though.

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