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Animal Crossing DS was one of Nintendo's big focuses at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this year, thanks to it being one of the very first games from the company to go online for the Nintendo DS platform.

This afternoon I had the opportunity to sit down with the Nintendo DS version's producer, Katsuya Eguchi, to talk about all the new stuff people can expect from this upcoming life simulation.




IGN: I've noticed a lot of extra elements included in the Nintendo DS design on top of the familiar GameCube design, such as the ability to add hats and glasses to your character. What sort of additional elements will this game have when it's finished?

Katsuya Eguchi: In the Nintendo DS version you can obviously use the system's WiFi abilities to have as many as four players in your village and communicate with them in realtime. And it's not in the E3 version but the department store will have an additional floor. And, of course, the ability to play the game anytime, anywhere is something that just wasn't possible on the GameCube version.

IGN: What's the reasoning behind the rolling effect of the land in the Nintendo DS version?

Katsuya Eguchi: The reason we went with the "rolling log" effect: if you look at the top screen, that's the sky. And it makes more sense to do this effect than using the scrolling camera since the sky is on top.

IGN: Why do we need to see the sky?

Katsuya Eguchi: In the GameCube version, there were balloons that floated around the village, and you'll be able to see these on the Nintendo DS version as they float up into the sky. And the pelican that delivers the mail? Players will be able to shoot him down and make him drop his mail. At night, stars will appear, and you will be able to connect the stars and create constellations for your village.

IGN: One of the main reasons people played through Animal Crossing was to collect hidden NES games. Is this something that will be in the Nintendo DS version?

Katsuya Eguchi: At this time, there are no plans to do this in the Nintendo DS game.

IGN: People felt that the NES games were a "special" item to collect. What will be put into Animal Crossing DS that would be special and rare?

Katsuya Eguchi: The NES games in the GameCube version sort of took players away from the adventure, and for the Nintendo DS version we wanted to put more focus on living in the Animal Crossing world. Right now there are no plans to include these games, but I don't think the Nintendo DS version will feel lacking without them.

IGN: Will there be anything special for players who go online?

Katsuya Eguchi: There is one idea we're considering: creating a unique character that might appear in your village. Players can then create this character's face using the art program. When the character leaves your village he might show up in someone else's village where they'll see your face creation as well as find out information about your village.

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