It seems that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp‘s long road to development can be partially blamed on a dramatic departure from the game’s original concept.
This new video from the YouTube channel Unseen 64 details Nintendo’s original plans for an Animal Crossing mobile game called Animal Crossing: Town Planner.
Town Planner endeavored to recreate the Animal Crossing experience on mobile devices just as Pocket Camp does. The difference is that Town Planner would have emphasized building a community whereas Pocket Camp emphasizes the game’s social aspects.
Actually, it seems that Town Planner had quite a lot in common with the 3DS title, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. That game primarily focused on designing a home and pleasing its various inhabitants. It all but removed Animal Crossing‘s town aspects in favor of allowing players to design grand interior spaces. While that was certainly a notable aspect of the original games, designing your home was never considered to be the highlight of the Animal Crossing experience.
Town Planner would have allowed players to interact with their town’s inhabitants in minor ways, but it was clearly not the focus of the project. Indeed, Town Planner would have gone so far as to simply the mechanics found in Happy Home Designer. What’s especially funny about that plan is how poorly Home Designer‘s already simplified mechanics were received by the game’s fanbase.
Rumor has it that Nintendo was not happy with the direction of Town Planner‘s development. The supposedly suggested that the app’s assets be retained and used towards the development of a new game that tried to emulate more aspects of the full Animal Crossing experience.
Pocket Camp may fall short of that goal, but it’s a far more respectable facsimile of a proper Animal Crossing game than what Town Planner would have likely been.