Natsume is continuing its series of developer diaries, revealing the details behind the farming-RPG Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley. Launching exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS later this year, producer Taka Maekawa reveals how caring for and raising animals will work within the Lost Valley.
“While we were first developing Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, we called it by a code name: Back to Basics. We’ve applied this philosophy to many aspects of the game, including the animals available on the farm,” said Taka Maekawa, Producer of Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley. “We went back to the basics: cows, sheep, chickens, and, of course, horses.”
The idea is that each animal should feel unique in some way, and to encourage all farmers to keep animals – whether a full-barn veteran or a chicken-coop newcomer. Now, each animal will have its own personality traits, called “skills” in the game.
Players can seek out animals with the traits they desire most for their own personal play style; some farmers may aim for a barn with all of the same traits, while others may look for a selection of traits for a balanced barn or coop. This mechanic of choice was really important, as players get to shape their farm in the way they prefer. A few sample traits include:
Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall – This season is the animal’s favorite! Their affection level will go up faster in that season.
Elegant – These animals really, really hate being dirty! You’ll get a big affection bonus when you brush them. The higher an animal’s affection, the higher quality products they’ll produce, as well as a higher quantity of that product!
Like a particular trait? You can breed that particular animal and get the same skill over and over or, even better, you can breed them into a rare, super version of that skill! Here’s a few skills, and how they level up:
Great Goods becomes High-Quality Goods: These animals have a strong and powerful body! Because of that, they will sometimes produce higher-quality products.
More Goods becomes Super Goods: These animals are gifted with fantastic health! Because of that, they will sometimes produce a higher quantity of products.
Animals will also have the ability to learn skills! In Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, there’s a large variety of animal feeds that can be made, and some of these will teach animals unique skills! However, exactly how you’ll make these special animal feeds is a secret best saved for another day.
In Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, players will experience the role-playing farm simulation in a three-dimensional setting for the first time. The game has a fully customizable world, and players can customize their field in any way they see fit: from a field full of tulips like you might see in Holland, to a valley filled with water like Venice, the choice is up to you. You’ve never played a Harvest Moon game quite like this!