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Taka Maekawa

Siliconera caught up with Harvest Moon: Skytree Village producer Taka Maekawa to chat about the 3DS game. The full interview is located here, but there are a few excerpts worth highlighting.

Regarding feedback from Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley used to improve Skytree Village, Maekawa said:

“We have some loyal and dedicated fans that have been playing Harvest Moon for years and years, so we truly value the feedback we get. It’s hard to narrow down what we are most proud of to just one thing, since there are tons of new features and improvements. We tweaked, improved, and added to all sorts of areas in Harvest Moon: Skytree Village. Such as redesigning the UI menu, making the character controls more responsive, adding a rich and robust story, and new character designs and models. And let’s not forget about the new addition of the Poitou Donkey! There’s just too many features we’re proud of to just pick one.”

Maekawa also shared the following about secrets within the game:

“Fundamentally, all Harvest Moon games are repetitive by nature, so it is extremely important to have a variety of things in the game that keep it new and fresh to drive you to keep playing and moving forward. So, yes, there are all sorts of secrets in the game, some big, some small. I would tell you what they are, but that would ruin the surprise!”

Another Harvest Moon game in the pipeline is Seeds of Memories. It’s out on mobile, but the Wii U and PC versions are still not available. Regarding these releases, Maekawa said: “We hope to be able to talk about them as things become more final!”


It was due to Natsume’s relationship with Arc System Works that River City: Tokyo Rumble was able to head west. That game originally came to Japan a few years ago, but Natsume was finally able to publish it in English at the end of last month.

Speaking about the partnership with Arc System Works and how River City: Tokyo Rumble came to be overseas, Natsu,e producer Taka Maekawa told Siliconera:

“Our partnership with Arc System Works started almost a year and a half ago through a good friend of mine in Japan. It all started with Gotcha Racing and Brave Tank Hero for the Nintendo 3DS, then continued with Super Strike Beach Volleyball and River City: Tokyo Rumble this year. With River City, I contacted Arc System Works as soon as I saw the news that Million’s title rights (who were the right holders of Tecnos Japan titles) had been transferred to Arc System Works.”

Siliconera also asked if Natsume would be open to localizing more River City games, such as the medieval spinoff for 3DS and River City Ransom SP. To this, Maekawa said:

“Of course! We are definitely open for any opportunities with other titles in the Kunio series!”


Natsume is continuing its series of developer diaries for Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, and has revealed new details.

First, producer Taka Maekawa discusses how caring for and raising animals will work:

“While we were first developing Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, we called it by a code name: Back to Basics. We’ve applied this philosophy to many aspects of the game, including the animals available on the farm. We went back to the basics: cows, sheep, chickens, and, of course, horses.”

You can find a whole bunch of animal details below, and a few art pieces above.

Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley features a new tool system that works in conjunction with player actions, upgrades, and the item bag.

The 3DS game introduces context-sensitive tools for the first time. For instance, if you’re standing in front of a tree and you have an axe in your inventory, the game will know that you want to chop down the tree and there won’t be a need to open a menu to select and equip a tool. This works with other tools and actions as well.

Players won’t be upgrading tools in Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley. Instead, Harvest Sprites act as tool upgrades. Simply ask the Harvest Sprites for help and they’ll be able to water their crops, mine material stone, collect lumber, and more.

Lastly, the player’s bag is capable of storing up to 255 of each item. You won’t have to run back to your house, get items from the tool box or refrigerator, and so on, since everything can be kept in the bag.

Speaking about Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley’s tool changes, producer Taka Maekawa stated:

“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 anything that may detract from a fun game. 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 made three core changes to the tool system.”

Source: Natsume PR

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