What We Know So Far about Harvest Moon: One World

What We Know So Far about Harvest Moon: One World

If I were to guess, I’d say the one thing I’ve had the most trouble with in the time I’ve been home is staying connected to the outside world.

It’s not really a surprise to me; it’s really easy for me to get so zoned in on what I’m doing every day, especially in an enclosed situation like I’m in, that I forget to think about what’s going on outside.

That said, there was one thing in the last few weeks or so that caught my attention.

Back on May 12, Nintendo announced that there was going to be a new Harvest Moon game coming out for the Switch—so of course, since Harvest Moon is one of my all-time favourite franchises, I had to know more!

The details have been sparse to say the least, but with a bit of digging, here’s what I’ve learned so far about the new game.

What is it?

It’s the newest addition to the Harvest Moon franchise, and it’s called Harvest Moon: One World.

It’s a little funny to me with that name, since the last few instalments in the series have seen an increasing number of towns in the titles. From what I can tell, the idea behind this game is that it’s going to be an entire world to explore, presumably not too far off from what Pokémon does with its worlds.

What’s the premise?

This is where the game seems really interesting to me. In the official statement, Nintendo said that players will find themselves in a world where things like tomatoes, strawberries and cabbage—iconic Harvest Moon staples—are things of the past, relics preserved only within the history books.

It’s a little odd to think of a Harvest Moon game not having, well, crops. But that really only makes me think it’s going to be a sort of ultimate adventure, where not only does the player have to grow crops to boost the local economy—they have to bring those crops back to life.

The other interesting thing from the description we’ve gotten so far is that players will need to travel the whole world to bring those crops back to life, which makes me think that maybe for once, we’ll actually know where a character came from before they arrive at the farm!

When’s it coming out?

According to an announcement late last week, One World is coming this fall—and as a little surprise for PlayStation fans, Natsume shared that it’s actually coming both to the Switch and PS4.

That isn’t completely unusual, since Harvest Moon games have come out for PlayStation consoles in the past—but that stopped back in the days of the PS3, when the games started coming out for Nintendo’s DS series instead of larger consoles.

What does it look like?

Well, so far, the only thing Natsume’s shared is the cover art, and that looks an awful lot like the classic style of Harvest Moon games, right down to the iconic rotund chickens.

Image courtesy of nintendoeverything.com and copyright Natsume.

It’s not uncommon for the artwork of a Harvest Moon game to be a lot prettier than gameplay, especially since the games themselves (aside from Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns) haven’t seen that many design innovations in the last few iterations.

That said, though, the official statement did say that the game is being developed using an all-new graphics engine, so I’ll be really interested to see what happens!

So far, this is all we have on the new Harvest Moon game. Typically we’d be able to learn more at a Nintendo Direct, but since it looks unlikely there’ll be one this summer, I expect I’ll just have to keep my eyes peeled for more—ahem—indirect announcements.

What are you hoping to see with the next Harvest Moon game?

My Top 5 Custom Designs for Animal Crossing: New Horizons

My Top 5 Custom Designs for Animal Crossing: New Horizons

As you may have guessed from my ongoing obsession with custom content in the Sims 4 and discovering glitches in FFXIV housing, one of my favourite parts about in-game interior design is when I can customize it somehow.

After all, it never feels like my own design if I’m just putting furniture on the floor.

So it’s really no surprise that when I discovered custom designs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it was like someone hit play on the loudest stereo you’ve ever heard playing “Ode to Joy” in my head. It was magical.

After a horribly asymmetrical attempt at a pink polka dot design, though, I learned quickly that creating them wasn’t going to be my strong suit. So I turned instead to finding ones I’d like and fitting them into my island.

Of the ones I’ve found and tried so far, here are my favourites (and where to find them)!

These buffalo check rugs

I have very little luck with Saharah, which means that for now, until that changes, I have to rely on custom patterns for pretty rugs.

Though I’m not usually one for plaid, I love this cozy pattern. It comes in three colours from the same designer, and I use it for so many things around my island! It’s not in the image, but you can find the designer’s code further down in the comments.

Bonus: They actually go really nicely with the pattern-agnostic trim found in this post, listed as the fringe in the caption.

This rose path trim

From the moment I unlocked my Island Designer app, I really wanted to find a nice path that I could use around my island. Although I did try out quite a few completely custom path designs, this rose path trim has become a favourite decoration for default cobblestone streets! It does lack a rounded corner version, but I’ve found that using the square corners still works decently well.

It also makes for some really cute booth trim, too!

These fancy cushion covers

I’m a sucker for floral prints, and these ones are no exception. The purple especially looks great with the grey version of the buffalo check pattern from above, and I love using them for cushions and the backs of sofas. They’ve pretty much defined my entire design style at this point!

They don’t really work for anything that requires a repeating pattern, but they’re great for single items! I’ve also found they work well for hanging as artistic canvases, and it’s possible to get them to work on lamps from certain angles.

This Stardew Valley chicken sweater

Okay, so I’ve never played Stardew Valley. But the thing is, it also looks an awful lot like an original Harvest Moon chicken, which is one of my favourite series of all time. So of course I’m happy that I can proudly represent my farming sim roots while I run around tending my three-by-three plots of flowers.

I also think the artist just did a fantastic job picking the colours, so on top of being a geeky sweater, it’s also a cute sweater that comes in four combinations.

Janet’s outfit

I love the TV show the Good Place almost as much as I love the Office, and Janet is hands-down my favourite character on the show because I identify deeply with her passive aggression and sarcasm in later seasons.

It’s only natural I’d want to emphasize the similarities with this design.

What made it even better was when I showed Shane the design, he commented that it was appropriate because the player role in Animal Crossing is eerily reminiscent of Janet’s role on the show—the all-building and designing entity that customizes every aspect of the island for the comfort of its residents.

Now it’s your turn. Are you playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Have a favourite custom design? Or have another game that lets you be extra creative?

Confessions of an Animal Crossing Time Traveler

Confessions of an Animal Crossing Time Traveler

As an avid player of Harvest Moon and the Sims, I’m used to day-based games happening a lot faster than normal. After all, if I’m going to sit down and dedicate hours to a game, I want to be able to see some progress!

When it came time for Animal Crossing, I didn’t know until I’d started the game that it runs on a real-world clock. And that in itself wasn’t a problem; I figured like Pokémon, I could just do my thing all day, and it wouldn’t affect gameplay too much.

That is, until Tom Nook told me I’d have to wait for the next day for my house to be built.

I realized that if I wanted to accomplish anything in the game, I’d have to be patient, which isn’t exactly my strong suit and led to a lot of grumbling at poor Shane. His first reaction was one very simple question:

“Why don’t you try changing the time on your Switch?”

Huh. It hadn’t occurred to me, but I immediately tried it out—and lo and behold, my house was suddenly ready.

That was the start of a dangerous game.

That first time travel incident happened Friday night (yes, launch day)—and by Sunday, I had already built the first version of Nook’s Cranny and had almost filled my island with neighbours. By Wednesday I’d triggered the Nook’s Cranny upgrade.

You know, the one that happens when you’ve been playing for 30 days?

I had mastered the art of changing the time on my Switch so the game thought I was progressing. And though I set a strict rule for myself never to get further ahead of real time than a week, I’d convinced the game I was over a month into it already.

From there, it turned into a game of turnips.

By the time Daisy Mae showed up on my island the first time, I was already on my fourth home loan. I had about 100,000 Bells saved up in the bank, and I was very curious about this little piggy and her turnips.

I did some research and though I wouldn’t be able to time travel backward with my turnips, it quickly became clear to me that there would be absolutely no harm in time traveling forward with them. That was soon my favourite way to game the economy; I could buy as many turnips as I wanted and then skip forward through the week to find the best price.

Two weeks of playing in the few hours before work later, I’d managed to pay off my last home loan and then some.

It was an exhilarating power.

But as I traveled, I learned it wasn’t such a great thing.

As I was researching and learning the game, my phone started forwarding me all kinds of stories to help—and a few of them were rather opinionated pieces on the topic of time travel.

As it turns out, it’s a very controversial topic among the player base, and I felt a little self-conscious of it after that.

Was I doing something wrong? Was I inadvertently ruining my game experience by forcing it to go faster? Was I creating a dizzying number of parallel universes where stories continued when I chose to travel back?

In the end, I decided that no, I was not doing any of those things—and just because I wanted to play my game a little faster didn’t make me any less of a true Animal Crossing player. It was just how I wanted to play, and what makes the game that much more fun for me.

And there’s nothing wrong with that!

Life Update: Quarantine, Self-Worth, and What I’m Playing

Life Update: Quarantine, Self-Worth, and What I’m Playing

Yesterday, I was talking to one of my work friends about the current situation, and realized that I’ve now been home for eight weeks. It sounds like a long time, but in hindsight at the time, it didn’t really feel like it!

It did, however, get me thinking about everything that’s happened in the last eight weeks. Because realistically, even though I’m not really going anywhere, there’s still a lot happening.

So today, because I haven’t been feeling inspired to write any of the previous ideas I had, I figured I’d share an update on my life from the last two months!

I’ve been completely lost in Animal Crossing

I, like a lot of the world right now, have been wildly obsessed with this game ever since Shane brought it home for me, to the point where he laughs at how quickly I pick up my Switch in the morning when he heads out for work.

For me, it’s become both a fun challenge for my designer brain, and a fun escape from the current reality of lockdown. And realistically I’m sure that last one has been a huge factor for a lot of others, too.

My latest project, along with trying to crossbreed for every possible flower colour, has been using a new 3D island designer program to create my dream island based on some of the inspiring looks I’ve found on Instagram and my own fun ideas!

The program’s still very much in its early stages, and it seems to be pretty demanding in terms of resources, but if you’d like to try it out, you can find it here.

I’m also starting to look into what I have to do to get my dream villagers on the island, which could be more of an adventure than I’m betting on because of the current prices of Amiibo cards.

I got my first ranked position in League of Legends

About two weeks ago, Shane and I went on an absolute blitz trying to get my account up to level 30 so I could play ranked games with him. The obsession started because I was trying to learn Senna, the newest support character, and discovered there was a prestige skin for her that was a partnership between Riot and Louis Vuitton.

If you’re not familiar with it, the MOBA game does two main types of draft games; one where you play against anyone and everyone, and another where it places you in a rank and then matches you with people in the same rank.

I’ll admit, I was perfectly happy in normal draft because all I wanted to do was play with Shane, but it was still pretty cool knowing where the game thinks I’m at! Plus, now we generally have a better chance of avoiding anyone creating smurf accounts—low-level accounts with high-level skill.

I’ve actually been enjoying being home

It shouldn’t really be a surprise after my experience two years ago now, when I was home for six months with nothing to do except max out all my crafters in FFXIV, but I am really enjoying being home again.

It’s a little different this time around because I am still working, fortunately, so I have more of a structured schedule. But I’ve gotten so used to working in pajama bottoms that they’re going to have a hard time getting me back into the office!

It’s also made it much easier for me to work on things for the blog in my lunches and in what would normally be my commute times, and though I’ve learned my lesson about committing to dates for things, I’m excited to start sharing what I’ve been working on when it’s ready!

That said, the work burnout is real

As much as I’m grateful that I can still work right now, things have been just crazy. And let me set the bar a little bit here; marketing in general is crazy, so for me to say it’s crazy means it’s beyond that.

It’s been causing a lot of burnout for my poor little brain, which then carries over and affects what I can do for my blog. So between games and maintaining a nice self-care regimen, I’ve been trying to find and put myself through sessions and training to help build up my creativity again.

Hopefully this week, I’ll be able to go through my lists and come up with a bunch of new ideas for you guys!

I’ve also been going through a lot emotionally.

I’m not sure how to talk about what’s been going on, or if I’ll ever really be ready, so I won’t go into too much detail for now. But aside from the sadness that does come with isolation sometimes, I’ve been going through some things in my personal life that have been causing a bit of depression and lack of self-worth lately, which makes it difficult for me to really engage here and with Instagram.

Luckily, it’s something that I can work through, and it’s actually helped being home because I’m not sure how I’d deal with it around other people. But in any case, thank you all for being here.

Now I want to know! How have you been? What’s happened for you in the last little while?

Cooking with Disney: My Version of the Cookie Fries Recipe

Cooking with Disney: My Version of the Cookie Fries Recipe

It’s been quite a while since my Disney-loving side showed itself here on my blog, and I for one think it’s well overdue. It’s a huge part of my personality, and plays into our geeky décor on a daily basis more than I really ever think about.

So I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when one morning, I happened to discover that because of the current pandemic and because no one can really go visit the parks, Disney has been releasing recipes from the parks for people to try at home.

So far, there have been a handful of delicious delicacies like beignets (the signature dish from the Princess and the Frog, one of my all-time favourites) and perhaps the most decadent grilled cheese I’ve ever seen in my life, among others.

But the one that really caught my attention was cookie fries. Basically, if cookies are involved, I’m there—so I had to try it out.

Of course, that turned into an adventure.

It says right in the name of the recipe that it’s plant-based, which is something that I’m always a little iffy on because especially with food, I’m what you might call a good old-fashioned country girl. So instead, I devised a plan to turn it back into a subjectively regular cookie recipe!

It actually went incredibly smoothly, which I’ll take as a win because I’m not exactly what you’d call a whiz in the kitchen. Although they didn’t turn out as picture-perfect as the original, and I definitely replaced the molasses with maple syrup because that’s what I had on hand, they were delicious.

So without further ado, here’s my adapted version of Disney’s cookie fries recipe!

Erin’s non-plant-based cookie fries

Curious about the original recipe? You can find it here.

Ingredients

  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup plus 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • ½ cup plus 1 tbsp margarine
  • 7 tbsp warm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Steps

  1. Combine the flour, powdered sugar, and margarine in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed using a paddle attachment until smooth. Note: You may notice it “snowing” at you, in which case just lower the speed.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the warm water and egg, then add the egg mixture and maple syrup to the mixer bowl. Mix on medium until smooth.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips, then spread out in an 8-in. square pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Cut the cookie dough into 32 strips; they’ll be about ¼ in. wide and 4 in. long. Place them on the baking sheet and bake for 20-22 minutes, until crunchy. Don’t worry; the cookies don’t really expand.
  6. Serve with your favourite chocolate, strawberry, and marshmallow dipping sauces!