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Lessons The Next Game Could Learn From Factory Sims

The next Animal Crossing game could learn a lot from factory simulation games. Animal Crossing: New Horizons saw a turn in the series that made the game feel much more task-oriented and busy. If its follow-up will continue this trend, factory simulation games could show Nintendo how to introduce quality of life changes to the series that make it easier to complete jobs.

Factory simulation games are exactly what they sound like: They allow players to create and manage factories. However, titles in the genre vary widely in terms of how these factories work and what they produce. A game like Factorio is a rather straightforward factory simulator with conveyor belts and trains; a little more strange is Satisfactory, which brings an open world setting, more exploration, and limitless customization into the genre; and then on the complete opposite side of the spectrum from FactorioSlime Rancher blends Pokémon with production, farming, and adventure. Yet they all ultimately share the same goals of efficiency of production.


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Nintendo could look to games in the factory simulator genre when making the next Animal Crossing gameFactorio‘s and Satisfactory‘s train systems and conveyor belts could offer beneficial changes to some of the outdated mechanics in New Horizons. And creatures like those in Slime Rancher would fit perfectly in the world of Animal Crossing.

The Next Animal Crossing Should Make Gyroids Like Slime Rancher Slimes

Animal Crossing New Horizons Gyroids Slime Rancher Slimes..

One thing Nintendo could do is to adjust gyroids. New Horizons finally introduced gyroids with its final free major update, version 2.0. The figurines, which bop and toot to music, are beloved and adorable, but they fail to serve any purpose outside of cosmetics. While such a trait is completely in line with what the Animal Crossing series is about, the later updates of New Horizons saw the game take on more traits of Stardew Valley with farming becoming a favorite pastime for players. An interesting opportunity the next Animal Crossing installment could take would be to integrate gyroids into the farming process and grant them functionality outside of cosmetics.

Nintendo could implement this new feature in a way that is similar to Slime Rancher. For those unfamiliar with the cult classic indie game, the objective in Slime Rancher is to collect slimes to farm them for a resource that they create called Plorts. Plorts can then be used to craft different slimes and assist players with the completion of the game. Gyroids would be perfect for an Animal Crossing version of slimes, as players already both collect them and find them adorable. The natural next would then be to give them some functionality in the game.

Of course, the Animal Crossing series is not really known for objectives; the games are loved by fans because they grant players the opportunity to find their own way to have fun. This causes an issue for giving gyroids functionality, as there is no real end for them to contribute to. However, players have had to pay off Tom Nook in all Animal Crossing games, and they mainly rely on growing fruit trees and now vegetables to make ends meet. Gyroids could thus be made to help with the farming process by lowering the time it takes for fruit trees and vegetables to grow when placed next to trees or crops. This possibility would not only make gyroids a more integral part of the games, but it would also discourage Animal Crossing players from time traveling because they would not have to wait as long for their crops to grow.

Related: Animal Crossing: Are Timmy & Tommy Really Related To Tom Nook

Satisfactory’s Conveyor Belt System Would Be Useful In Animal Crossing


New Horizons brought a lot of customization options into the series, and seeing how creative Animal Crossing players got with these new features, Nintendo is likely to grow upon these options. However, with all the building that comes along with decorating one’s island, the DIY system in New Horizons has had its flaws in spotlight for some time. The excessive dialog cues and the repetition of building items one-by-one feels very tedious and annoying, especially when crafting things in bulk like fishing bait.

Nintendo could take a leaf out of Satisfactory‘s book and create a conveyor belt system to mend this issue in the next Animal Crossing game. In Satisfactory, players can build huge conveyor belt systems in any way they want. Oftentimes they end up looking hilarious, but the goal is create systems that are efficient.

The next Animal Crossing game could knock out two birds with one stone by integrating a similar conveyor belt system that is customizable and helps with building. One way Nintendo could do this would be to make the conveyor belt an item players have to work toward. In other words, players would have to either purchase it or collect a lot of materials to craft one, and once a conveyor belt is owned, it could allow players to craft several items at once, passively, or both. While this change may sound out of place in the peaceful atmosphere of Animal Crossing, an update on the DIY mechanics would certainly be welcomed.

Factorio’s Trains Could Facilitate Trade Between Islands

Factorio Gameplay Train

New Horizons got a lot of things right, but the game is majorly flawed when it comes to bettering online multiplayer experiences in Animal Crossing. The overkill amount of time eaten up by a visitor arriving or leaving an island have really put a damper on playing with friends regularly. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that players must visit each others islands in order to attain all of the different types of fruits and flowers available in the game.

Related: Animal Crossing: New Horizons Multiplayer Games To Play With Friends

Nintendo could follow the example of Factorio to help solve this problem. Factorio, much like Satisfactory, is a factory simulation game with customizable conveyor belts and train tracks. However, Factorio‘s trains are much more integral to the game, as they are used to clear enemies and deliver materials between different facilities that the player operates.

The next Animal Crossing game could introduce a similar mechanic that could transfer good between one’s island and a friend’s. In a way, this already exist in New Horizons, as people can send gifts to one another. However, having a transport system specifically for goods could greatly facilitate trading between people online, as people could send bulks of fruits, flowers, or even rare Animal Crossing DIY recipes to others without having to visit their islands.

The goal of games like Factorio and Satisfactory is productivity, while the premise of a game like New Horizons is based around a community of people looking to escape from the busyness of life. Even so, being able to mitigate some of Animal Crossing’s more repetitive and uninspiring tasks could be a welcome addition to the next game in the series. The Animal Crossing series is becoming more and more task-based, and some quality-of-life changes to the aging formula inspired by a game like Slime Rancher could signal a new iterative future for the franchise.

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