Fans awaiting new details to bloom on the upcoming Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley can reap their patient reward. Natsume Inc. is releasing a series of developer diaries on the 3DS exclusive farming simulator RPG. This release is the third in the series to launch on Nintendo’s handheld platform.
Taka Maekawa, the game’s producer, said the team wanted to revamp the tool system to put fun at the forefront of the field.
When we sat down to design Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, we wanted to really study what made the game fun. We wanted to maintain the core value of hard work leading to great rewards, while minimizing anything that may detract from a fun game.
According to their release, Natsume Inc. is implementing three changes to the system. The first of these is context sensitive tools. It increases efficiency by taking note of the available actions towards a specific environment piece the player is facing. If a player were to approach a tree, non-applicable tools wouldn’t be set as options. If a player were to approach a tree with a specific tool in their inventory, the system makes it so they only have to press the A button to perform the corresponding action.
The second implementation is Harvest Sprites taking on the ability to emulate upgraded tool functions. The sprites can perform tasks, such as watering or mining, allowing the user to focus on other tasks, instead of scavenging for upgrade materials.
The final change is allowing players to keep 255 of any item in their bag. This prevents players from having to run and back to bring items.
The release promises a 3D customizable environment, a first for the series. Natsume Inc. described the extent of customization in a release:
Players can customize their field in any way they see fit: from a field full of tulips like they might see in Holland, to a valley filled with water, like Venice.
More information on Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley can be found on the publisher/developer’s website.