A random collection of questions thrown by readers of Famitsu magazine at the main staff behind the Nintendo 3DS's Animal Crossing: New Leaf (which has already sold over half a million copies in Japan and is facing shortages so extensive that Nintendo head Satoru Iwata had to apologize on Twitter about it):
What kind of ways do the designers play the game?
Aya Kyogoku, director: "It's become a daily ritual for me to go around the village, hitting rocks in order to get Bells or ore and shaking all the trees for furniture. Of course, sometimes you get bees when you shake trees, so it winds up becoming this nerve-wracking experience for me."
Kazuo Totaka, sound director: "I love curry, so I try to make my house look like a curry shop. I'm trying to collect all the furniture and stuff that would fit that image...the water cooler and so forth."
Are there golden tools in New Leaf?
Isao Moro, director: "Yes. In addition, you'll also get silver tools in this game. Gold and silver tools have different features, but by and large it's harder to get golden tools and you'll get better effects about them. See if you can't get the whole set."
Why won't you put out a full soundtrack for the game?
Totaka: "I really appreciate the request, but if we put in every track it'd wind up having to be a box set! Also I think it's important to keep in mind that, in my opinion anyway, Animal Crossing's soundtrack isn't just the music. It's all of the other sounds in the environment going on as well, not to mention your footsteps and so forth. I really think the game world itself is the best way to experience it all."
How do you decide which seasonal events make it in the game?
Kyogoku: "Some of the events are common across a lot of countries, like Halloween and Christmas, and then you have more 'local' events, such as setsubun and tanabata for Japan. We try to change the selection a little for each country we release in so that gamers worldwide can enjoy both types of events."
Why has KK Slider, that white dog who plays music and so forth, gone all DJ in New Leaf?
Totaka: "We've gotten to the point with KK music that there are so many different styles to it, it was time to approach his presence in the game from a whole different perspective. There's all sort of potential music here, from remixes and house versions to NES-style tunes. That's part of why there's so much music in here, after all."
What do you want people to pay attention to the most in this game?
Kyogoku: "The fact that in addition to building a village, you're able to release it to the world in a lot of different ways via online. I hope that people will have fun showing off their villages to each other."
Design lead Koji Takahashi: "The fact that the proportions of your characters have changed, so now there's a lot more customization available to your clothing. It's a lot easier to look really cool with your avatar, so I think it's become a lot more fun that way."
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