Animal Crossing: New Horizons dev team talks about series innovation, age range of players, visual approach, and more

All you could want to know about Animal Crossing

Over the weekend, Nintendo was part of Japan’s Computer Entertainment Developers Conference, where a number of their devs talked about the creation of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. In particular, series head Hisashi Nogami, New Horizons director Aya Kyogoku, and art director Kouji Takahashi spoke about what they see happening for Animal Crossing in the future. Check out a summary of what they had to say below.

- the key to the series' popularity is making each installment feel different while remaining true to the series' core
- over the years, the dev team recognized Animal Crossing “cannot be sustained without change”
- the team finds it important to continue to challenge and change with the times
- the series’ policy is to evolve its core mission of communication between players according to the times
- with New Horizons, the key innovations were goals and achievements that changed with each phase of gameplay
- another key innovation was the ability for players to set their own goals via Nook Miles
- most of Animal Crossing players are in their 20s and 30s and that gender is split almost equally
- New Horizon’s lower youth demographic may be due to the game not yet been available during the holiday season
- New Horizon's art was balanced between symbolic and realistic
- the team decided to allocate detail to objects and scenery based on their role in the game
- bugs and fish were made more realistic so that players would enjoy inspecting them
- trees and plants were given a more symbolic look
- the intention with the art style was to create an “imaginary gap” where players could place their own interpretation
- if the picture is too busy, the player becomes passive
- if the amount of information is too small, the burden of filling the imaginary gap increases and the viewer becomes tired


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