STATE OF THE FARM - JULY

Welcome to our (mostly) monthly State of the Farm column!

E3 was an incredible experience and an amazing time. We connected, and reconnected, with numerous fans! We laid out an exciting and ambitious schedule of games for the year, with a little something for everyone across multiple systems.  The second half of 2014 is shaping up to be a great year for Natsume and our fans :)
-CeeCee, Natsume Community Manager

Our Full E3 Reveals
Just in case you missed it, here’s all the games we announced for E3:

Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley (3DS)
A-Train: City Simulator (3DS)
Lufia: The Legend Returns (GBC, 3DS Virtual Console)

Harvest Moon GBC 2 (GBC, 3DS Virtual Console)

Gabrielle’s Monstrous Duel (iOS)
Reel Fishing Pocket 2: Ocean (iOS)
Ninja Strike (iOS)

Reel Fishing: Master’s Challenge (PS Vita)

Alphadia Genesis (Wii U)

The Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley Developer Diary Series
Being developed by Natsume, we’ve got a number of unique opportunities to reveal how the game is developing, and how we’re listening to fan feedback from the last seventeen years. You can read the first developer diary on CeeCee’s Tumblr – watch for a new diary from Taka and the whole development team each month!

The Residents of The Lost Valley Series Continues!
We’ve introduced several of your neighbors that we only showed artwork for during E3. If you missed them, you can meet Brutus, Naomi, and Iris by following the links! We’ll be revealing plenty of other Lost Valley residents you’ll be able to interact with in the coming months!

The Ladies and Gents You’ll Love to Love!
We began revealing the bachelors of Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley with Tony, the son of Brutus.  Expect to see a new bachelor or bachelorette revealed every two weeks on our Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr pages, as well as on news sites across the net!

Recent Releases
If you missed them in June, we’re pleased to announce that Hometown Story: Pocket is available now on iOS devices including iPad, iPhone, and iPod.  You can also snag End of Serenity now for both PSP and PS Vita.

There’s plenty of information still to come as we continue to work on Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, Alphadia Genesis, our iOS titles, and more.  Keep watching for more news, screens, artwork and more on all of these titles in the coming months!

Hey Tumblr peeps!  Just wanted to say I have absolutely been reading everything coming to my ask/message box this week, even if I didn’t get an opportunity to answer everything!

Also, I love love love when people share their Harvest Moon stories with me!  I pass them around the office and everyone smiles a little more after hearing them.  So keep sending them, we read them all ^^

Lastly, if you spot something AWESOME and Natsume-related (even if you’re the one who posted it), always feel free to drop a link in my messages!  We have really expressive fandoms and I have a great time keeping up with it all :D

Tony is the first BACHELOR we’re revealing from Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley!"My father doesn’t like me… He thinks I’m a weakling…"The eldest son of Brutus the Blacksmith, Tony is a talented young man who loves his dad, but struggles with his expectations. Sensitive, serious, yet gentle, he rebels against his father’s strictness. He is training to follow in his father’s footsteps, but there is just one problem:"I don’t want to become a blacksmith…"Tony may seem distant at times, but once he gains some inner confidence, he’s sure to bloom. You’ll need to woo Tony sweetly to discover what his secret ambition is, and to encourage him to reach out and grasp it! Tony is a marriage candidate.

Tony is the first BACHELOR we’re revealing from Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley!

"My father doesn’t like me… He thinks I’m a weakling…"

The eldest son of Brutus the Blacksmith, Tony is a talented young man who loves his dad, but struggles with his expectations. Sensitive, serious, yet gentle, he rebels against his father’s strictness. He is training to follow in his father’s footsteps, but there is just one problem:

"I don’t want to become a blacksmith…"

Tony may seem distant at times, but once he gains some inner confidence, he’s sure to bloom. You’ll need to woo Tony sweetly to discover what his secret ambition is, and to encourage him to reach out and grasp it!
Tony is a marriage candidate.

Brutus is the next villager we’re introducing from Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley!
"Nice day. Work hard!"
An immigrant to the Lost Valley, Brutus is the local blacksmith who came to live here with his two sons. He’s searching for a rare ore that can only be found in the Lost Valley. As a quiet and solidary man, he struggles to reach out to his children emotionally, and gets in arguments with them from time to time. His work is flawless, however Brutus is always striving to become a master blacksmith, a wish he also shares for his eldest son.
"Brutus not have time for nonsense!"
A man of few words, Brutus habitually gets angry when his sons don’t understand what he is trying to convey to them, which leads him to become stubborn, and his stubbornness only makes the situation worse! Brutus needs the help of a kind, patient friend who will help him connect to his two sons.

Brutus is the next villager we’re introducing from Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley!

"Nice day. Work hard!"

An immigrant to the Lost Valley, Brutus is the local blacksmith who came to live here with his two sons. He’s searching for a rare ore that can only be found in the Lost Valley. As a quiet and solidary man, he struggles to reach out to his children emotionally, and gets in arguments with them from time to time. His work is flawless, however Brutus is always striving to become a master blacksmith, a wish he also shares for his eldest son.

"Brutus not have time for nonsense!"

A man of few words, Brutus habitually gets angry when his sons don’t understand what he is trying to convey to them, which leads him to become stubborn, and his stubbornness only makes the situation worse! Brutus needs the help of a kind, patient friend who will help him connect to his two sons.

Developer Diary #1: The Tool System

Our monthly developer diary series will give you a little bit of insight into the development behind Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley. Fans have regularly asked us to “peel back the mysterious curtain” on game development, and we’re happy to share some of what goes into a game.

JULY’S DEVELOPER DIARY: THE NEW TOOL SYSTEM

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 what may detract from a fun game. So we took a long, hard look at the tool system and decided to go back to the drawing board.
We came to the conclusion that gameplay should flow. So we decided to make the following changes to the tool system:

1. Make tools context-sensitive. When you are standing in front of a tree, for example, there are only certain actions you are logically able to do to the tree. You can’t shear or milk the tree, so, if you have an axe in your bag, the game will automatically know that you want to chop the tree down. All you have to do is walk up to the tree, push the A Button, and you will chop the tree down! Now you don’t need to open the menu to select and equip a tool, slowing down the flow of gameplay.

2. Instead of upgrading your tools, the Harvest Sprites now act as your tool upgrades. It can be frustrating hunting down the exact type of ore you need to upgrade your tools, as well as time consuming. Therefore, in this game, all you have to do is ask the Harvest Sprites for their help, and they’ll be able to water your crops, mine material stone, collect lumber, and more. You won’t ever have to worry about taking your tools to get upgraded, which will let you save time and explore the land!

3. Everything in your bag is at your disposal! Since you can stack up to 255 of each item, storage won’t be a problem! You won’t have to run back to your house, get items from your tool box or refrigerator, and so on, because you can keep everything in your bag. Therefore, when villagers need an item, you won’t have to worry about not having it! Your trusty bag will help you save tons of time.

Everything in Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley has been reinvented, renewed, and reinvigorated!


In the end, it is our goal to make our hardcore Harvest Moon fans happy, bring back players of the series that haven’t played in a while, and introduce new gamers to the lovable, non-violent world of Harvest Moon! We want these and the other features to feel like a very small, smooth change that will have a huge impact on how players spend their time in-game.