Animal Crossing, a game designed to ease during social distancing

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Although game design may not be a traditional facet of design in an artistic sense, it is an integral component to generating a fun and enjoyable experience for the audience to love. One game I have been playing the heck out of recently has been Animal Crossing: New Horizons, released at the perfect time when so many are stuck indoors. Since my introduction to the series in Animal Crossing: Wild World I have noticed how calming and therapeutic the game was but never stopped to consider what thought went into the design process to create such a bucolic experience. What I noticed this time around, and also as explained in the article, is that the game progression felt much more rewarding but not in the tradition FPS, or RPG sense. Instead, the pacing and the in-game achievements system builds up to an experience that does not frustrate, but rather, encourages players and rewards those who put in the time and thought to completing seemingly meaningless tasks. All in all, in this time of great strife, Animal Crossing is a welcome respite for many, and this article really sheds light on how it can achieve this is a deceptively simple fashion.

https://www.polygon.com/2020/4/2/21201065/animal-crossing-new-horizons-calm-mindfulness-coronavirus-quarantine

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