Turn this house into a home
Animal Crossing fans are treated with not one, but two new entries in the series this year, with the 3DS Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, and the upcoming Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival on Wii U. We may have to wait a little longer for a mainline entry in the series, but the more limited scope of Happy Home Designer gave Nintendo plenty of room to experiment with new ideas, many of which really need to be brought to the mainline games in the series.
Here are 10 such ideas that absolutely need to be in the next, full-fledged, Animal Crossing title, whenever that may happen (hopefully soon!). Or else well send Tom Nook after someone, and Nook always collects his debts.
With a titular emphasis on designing homes, Happy Home Designer completely reinvents the way players are able to lay out, arrange, and decorate houses. No more walking to an area and dropping down an item where you want it, only to pick it up when you want to move it again. That's just exhausting.
Instead, HHD uses the bottom screen of the 3DS as a grid to easily make your dream homes a reality. The navigation system in HHD isnt perfect, but it does make placing and arranging furniture easier than it has ever been before. A future AC game on the Wii U could easily pull this off with the GamePad.
Another new feature in HHD is the addition of various interior sounds you can have playing in the background of your house. Background sounds - such as rain, wilderness, train, space, jungle, and city - all flesh out the auditory ambience of your homes, giving them that little extra flair.
The sound selection in HHD isnt huge, especially when compared to the other music options - such as K.K. Sliders tracks - but it could be further developed to really add in some melodic atmosphere to rooms. Imagine Pikmin background noises in your garden, or even more minute, but realistic, details, such as having a tea kettle go off in your kitchen.
Theres a certain dimension in Animal Crossing that has hitherto been left unexplored. Players are able to decorate almost all of the house, and even hang stuff on the walls. But, look up... who wants a house with bare ceilings?!
HHD has made the sky the limit - literally - by adding a bunch of new fixtures that you can hang from the ceiling. Chandeliers, ivy, disco balls, lamps, shelves, and spotlights are just the start of the fun things you can add to pimp out the rafters. Just imagine if each existing AC set added a new piece that glammed up the ceilings. Oh, yeah... the Happy Home Academy would love that. And so would we.
Curtains, windows, and doors
While it isnt like we have to worry about Nook being a literal peeping Tom, its the small details and finishing touches that really help take a new, empty mansion and make it a place that any of the cutesy AC villagers would want to call home.
HHD allows players to pick not only the window frames (everything ranging from simple colors to exotic, shoji, and lattice designs), but also the drapes that cover them. There are some cool prints as a start in HHD, but, again, heres hoping a future AC would have matching drapes for every existing furniture set. (I never thought Id be so excited for drapes!)
And while were at it, anytime you show a villager the door, that door should fit with your theme as well. A solid gold wall could go between your main room and the secret gold-themed temple we all know you have in your house somewhere.
New Leaf allowed players to place some pieces of furniture outside their homes with Public Works projects, but for the most part, AC games have kept with a strict furniture-belongs-only-in-the house-or-else rule.
Its a silly rule, and one that HHD happily throws out the window, as players are able to design entire front and back yards at the whim of the many villagers. This opens up loads of possibilities for designing an entire town, but it also sets the stage for a whole new world of furniture options to surround your house. And speaking of towns...
More town options
Happy Home Designer added a bunch of new liveries for revelry in your town: a school, a hospital, a hotel, an office, and even a concert hall. All of these are new to the Animal Crossing universe, and would make great additions to the already standing locales, such as the coffee shop, museum, and shoe store.
The public works in New Leaf enabled players to create and help develop their towns, so if Nintendo combines that with the new principalities in HDD, players would have the ability to add - and customize - a wide array of different municipalities.
And for bonus points, make it so the player can deck them out just like in HHD - thatd make it so much better. My Mars 2112 themed restaurant needs to live on.
Control over which villagers come to your town
This is a big one. In New Leaf, I got stuck with a large quantity of quite annoying animal neighbors with which to share my town. Nobody wants the AC equivalent of Everybody Loves Raymond, with obnoxious guests popping in your house all the time. HHD lets you choose between a few different villagers every day to have move in, which by itself would be a great addition to the next AC. Imagine being able to pick some of the starting villagers in a new town, or even being able to select which ones move in on any given day. Its a dream come true.
Taken even further, amiibo integration could also enable you to use amiibo cards to directly add villagers to your town, giving you the ability to hand-select which villagers you want to be your friend, while also single-handedly killing the AC villager online black market.
Ankha, you will finally be mine, one way or another. Make it happen!
Basic town design and power over where villagers live
Along with picking which villagers can move into your town in HHD, you also get to decide where the villagers live, and even place their houses in a specific location.
Sure, each villager lives in a bubble that isnt really connected to the others, but theres no reason this same approach couldnt be taken to designing your entire town. With each new villager that moves in, you get to pick where they set up shop.
I dont think I can properly explain my frustration every time a new villager started encroaching on my garden of perfect apple trees in New Leaf and then put up a house right in my backyard. Grrr... get out of my backyard, Jay!
Themed house exteriors
Two words: Christmas. Castle. HHD builds on the housing exteriors, adding a few new ones to the mix. Want a sweet Halloween-themed haunted mansion? Check. Or the really awesome Christmas... I mean Toy Day exterior. No longer are holiday decorations restrained to inside the house.
The holiday sets are some of the most coveted - and most fantastic - in Animal Crossing, and they enable players to expand their holiday-themed festivities to the outside of their homes. There were only a few themed exteriors in HHD, but hopefully a future installment will add one for each set. An animal can dream!
And while Im at it, St. Patricks Day really needs its own unique set of furniture. But I digress...
Designing villagers homes
While it might be weird for the mayor to be going around designing villagers homes, it could give players the opportunity to further customize their towns, while also giving more streamlined - and more interesting - tasks for them to do for their villagers.
Also, I tend to run out of housing space eventually, so taking HHDs ideas and designing the NPC animal homes in a future AC game would give me more buildings, and therefore more rooms, in which to display all of the furniture that I amass.
Pretty much, I want control over everything. Happy Home Designer opened the floodgates... and hopefully the next AC will substantially build on that new foundation as well.