Tag Archives: rant

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp — What’s Wrong with the Game Designers?

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp - Bunnie isn't taking your shit
Angry Bunnie

Edit on Saturday, February 17th, 2018: As of version 1.2.0, the quarry help, event creature catching success rates, and, to a degree, animal requests have been addressed. Hoping to see more improvements in the future!


I’m going to assume there’s more than one person involved when it came to designing the user interface and experience. It just boggles my mind that the following was given a pass by the designers and the folks that QC’d the app:

  • Sending Shovelstrike Quarry help requests to each friend individually.
    I literally have to spend 2 – 3 minutes everyday going through my list of 20 or so active players to ask for assistance. Did Nintendo honestly think players were going to just stop at 5 people? Maybe we would if we knew who would reliably send help every single time but as far as I know, that information isn’t shown.
  • No categories for flower trade.
    Some moron on staff decided it was a good idea to just lump everything onto one page and have everyone scroll for an eternity to look for the item they want to trade. To add insult to injury, the focus will jump back to the top of the list after the transaction is done. =____= Here’s what it looks like in action:

  • Constantly needing to re-initiate conversations with animals
    I realize that this is something from the main Animal Crossing games, but in those ones, you rarely had a need to speak to them multiple times in a row. In Pocket Camp, however, you’re trying to fulfill their 3 requests so why in all hell do I have to keep tapping on the animal over and over if I have everything they need? Why not just leave the dialogue topic menu open and let me close it myself if I have to go and get the items needed?
  • Abysmally low success rates of catching butterflies during Rover’s event
    I guess Nintendo made it nigh difficult to catch butterflies in hopes that players would spend leaf tickets (a.k.a premium currency) to get Lloid to catch them. If anyone did, it was most likely the whales and they’ll spend on anything to “win”.

    Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp -- Topaz butterflies from Rover's Crappy Ass Event
    A sight like this was not uncommon.
  • Useless “cutscene” of a Re-Tail delivery
    Unless you have severely short-term memory, you are most likely NOT going to forget what completed item you just tapped on in the Crafting menu so why show your character receiving it? It may just last a few seconds but it’s completely and wholly pointless. I’ve sent in a request to have an option to turn off the scene added. Who knows if it’ll ever happen?
  • The Market Box
    You can only see a preview of the first 4 items, you HAVE to go to the user’s camp to see the rest or buy anything, and you can’t collect all the Bells you made from multiple sales at once. It seems like the people involved in making the Market Box was thinking about the most inconvenient and roundabout way of using the damn thing.

Aside from the above, Nintendo also introduced the whole gardening bit without giving a thought of making life easy for everyone when it came to accessing other players’ gardens and identifying when a friend’s flowers needed watering.

They’ve addressed these two issues in recent updates, and they’ve released a notice not so long ago stating that they’ll be making changes to some things I’ve pointed out above. It continues to amaze me how common sense escapes everyone that’s involved with making Pocket Camp.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp - Future improvements
Nintendo is too blind to realize what common sense user experience is and needs the community to tell them that.

Something I hope to see is a re-balance on animal requests since I run into situations where all 4 animals would ask for multiples of the same fruit, fish, or bugs.

I get that they want us to make use of the Market Boxes and/or stay in the game/log in a few times over the course of a 3-hour cycle to collect the necessary quantities. But realistically, that probably doesn’t happen often for anyone playing. And along with Boxes being annoying to access, a lot of players simply put in rare items so good luck finding the squids or monarch butterflies all the animals are simultaneously wishing for.

As for fruits, I’d use the fertilizer more often but that would require spending leaf tickets to replenish them so nuts to that.

Incidentally, if you’re finding certain things rubbing you the wrong way in Pocket Camp, be sure to let Nintendo know! You can access the feedback form from the game’s menu under More. Tap Misc. and then Customer Support. From there, choose Feedback. The rest should be self-explanatory.

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App Developers, Stop Asking for 5-Star Reviews!!

Back in 2012, I wrote a piece about the dos and don’ts of requesting and writing reviews on both Google Play and App Store. Nothing’s really changed from 5 years ago; people are still writing shitty useless one-word “reviews” and developers still put those prompts for a 5-star rating in their apps.

Once again, I will explain why I take issue to the latter:

  • The developer only has one thing in mind: A 5-star or perfect rating means better visibility in search results in the application’s store which ups the chances of it being downloaded. It doesn’t matter if the app is not right at the top of the results. The chances are many users LOOK for 4 or 5-star ones as it gives the impression that it’s a good product.
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  • Developers use the bullshit excuse that a 5-star rating will better motivate their team. If you actually valued user feedback, you’d be asking for critiques without tossing in the specific rating suggestion and incentive (or bribe as I like to refer to it as) to review.
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  • EVERYONE WANTS FREE STUFF — especially when it’s premium currency so of course most people will bite. Developers know this and they also know that they’ll fall for the following point.
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  • Users do what they’re asked to despite how they actually feel about the game.
    Poor user is made to think that the only way to get the gift is by giving the app full stars. :(
    Poor user is made to think that the only way to get the gift is by giving the app full stars. 😦

    PRO TIP: I’m unsure how it is with Android apps but with iOS, you don’t NEED to even rate or write a review to get a gift/bribe. Simply tap on the prompt box and allow the device to automatically switch to the app’s store page. Once there, don’t do anything! Just immediately go back to the app.
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    I believe this can also be applied to sharing on Twitter or other social services where you can just cancel the post and still receive the review incentive.

I leave 1-star reviews for companies that practices this sort of shit and call them out. I actually received a reply from one for a game I like playing which stated that players are free to give whatever rating they feel appropriate.

Well, gee. No shit. But as that example screenshot I provided showed, people a) rate 5-stars because they are told to, and b) believe giving a full rating is the only way to get the gift.

I’m not saying developers should outright stop asking for reviews and ratings or giving incentives. I’m only wishing they’d stop being dishonest and deceitful with the review prompts. Users will, in all likelihood, give the full rating and write positive comments if they’re happy with what they’re using. I think that should motivate the team more than all the blind & thoughtless 5-stars.

Freedom Wars – Suggested Improvements That Should Have Been In the Game From the Start

I’m almost 130 hours in. It’s kind of funny considering I haven’t even finished the story yet. 😛

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about how my experience of the game could have been better had the developer done the following: Continue reading Freedom Wars – Suggested Improvements That Should Have Been In the Game From the Start

Freedom Wars Last Boss: If At First You Don’t Succeed, You’ll Have to Replay Missions Before It Again Because the Developer is an Asshole

One of the most grating things about the last part of the game is the LENGTH of it. Under the list of missions, you’ll only see one operation, but in reality, it’s THREE FUCKING CONSECUTIVE BATTLES.

Final story mission
Whitewater consists of 3 consecutive missions. =__=

There’s the usual set up screen before each fight though so you can change loadouts, replenish combat items, and switch out party members, BUT! Should you fail in any of these three battles, you’ll have to start from the beginning again. I’m unsure if you even keep any resources you get from the missions you successfully completed.

The biggest offender, however, is the difficulty of the final fight. It is fucking dreadful and because losing here means starting from the top again, it really discourages players from replaying it to figure out what the hell to do. Instead, unless you’re masochistic and want to redo everything over and over for the sole purpose of figuring out the strategy, you will most likely just go to a message forum or Google for advice.

Of course, even with an idea of how to go about fighting the last boss more or less effectively, you still have to hope that you won’t lose all sustainability. :/ And with AI allies falling unconscious left and right, and you becoming the main target of the enemies, the possibility of not surviving until the end becomes pretty high.

I don’t get why anyone should be punished for not defeating the final boss the first time. Why the fuck should I need to redo the first two missions? It’s a sadistic and terrible design. Admittedly, the second last boss isn’t all that difficult but the stupid Abductor has high defense and HP on every bloody part of its body so the battle can drag on. But again, who WANTS to redo this fight over and over involuntarily?

I haven’t read any interviews with the developer but I get the feeling this game was made for multiplayer in mind so solo players like me and probably many others out there are shit out of luck when it comes to tougher operations, or the final battle in this case. >_> (Yeah, I know there are people that completed it without enlisting the help of other players, but skill isn’t the only factor in success. The weapons, modules, and other things come into play too.)

Animal Crossing: Those Fugly Eyes

I’m envious of people that say they can love every type of animal, or at least every breed of certain types of animals like dogs or cats. I still think pugs are among the most ugly creatures on this world, but there are enough people out there willing to love ’em so that’s cool for them.

Anyway, I think there are some folks that can love every Animal Crossing character too. Well, perhaps not love but just not dislike them the way I do. Let’s be honest here — a lot of the appeal of AC characters comes from their appearance. There’s no hardcore character development for any of them to the point that you can like them for their personalities so I guess it shouldn’t be too outrageous that my gripe about some of the animals is that they’re damn fugly.

….. Then again, maybe that’s a bit harsh to say.

In Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer,  I discovered that if I put sunglasses over the eyes of the townsfolk that I just can’t stand to look at, they become much easier on my eyes. 😛 This gave me the bright idea to share my list of animals I don’t like to see by putting black opaque circles over their eyes. XD

Perhaps I can find my Animal Crossing soul mate this way? :3

Animal Crossing - Censored Eyes!
Censored eyes. :3 Original image is from http://www.spriters-resource.com/

Actually, Roscoe’s eyes are creepy when viewed from the front but since the image shows his profile, I didn’t put the black dot over the one eye that’s visible. XD

As the collage only shows characters in one angle, I believe more will receive the sunglasses treatment once I see them in the game. 😛

PlayStation Store PS3 Avatars Rant

Each month, I turn on my PS3 to nab the free PS Plus games, and while I’m in the store, I decide to check out what’s new in terms of themes and avatars because I’m one of the few people out there that like them and may even spend money to purchase ones I like.

It is disheartening that the quality of the avatars found on the US and Canada stores has dramatically degraded over time. I’m unsure if other countries outside of Japan have also seen an influx of these, but if you haven’t then you should count your blessings.

Continue reading PlayStation Store PS3 Avatars Rant

[Tiny Farm] Add me (to the Power of ∞)

Almost a month ago, users from other Gamevil and Com2uS games decided to throw common sense and etiquette out the door and mindlessly bombard the companies’ message forums known as HIVE clubs with “Add Me” friend requests to fulfill in-game friend invite quotas to obtain special goodies and bonuses.

If you check any of the clubs, you’ll find that they’ve all been infested with these Goodies Hunters. (I brand them as such because sincerely doubt most of them are remotely concerned with actual friendship.)

Tiny Farm HIVE club infested with add me requests
At the Tiny Farm club: Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me.

For Tiny Farm players, it’s rather frustrating since we use the message board to find information about event quests/objectives and also to seek help from others to tame special animals visiting our farms. The barrage of “Add Me”s end up pushing all the questions, informative posts, and taming requests way down the page and due to the club’s ultra archaic and backwatered design, it’s impossible to quickly locate them as it has no search function or a log that lists all of your own posts. In short, you are forced to scroll through the entire slog of useless crap.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however! While there exists another fan-run message board, it’s pretty much been abandoned since the creator, johnnysilver, has quit the game a long while back. Now a new unofficial message board has been created in the wake of this mess thanks to frequent club users, Eluzyion and Animal House. You can find it at http://tinyfarmcommunity.freeforums.net/ 😀 At the moment, it is free from obnoxious friend requests and it’ll most likely stay that way since unless spam bots start creating accounts, the forum requires registered users to log in before they can even view it. The whole reason the HIVE clubs were subjected to the abuse is the sheer ease of accessing them in-game and the fact that you don’t need to register again to use them once you have a username or auto-generated account number from the game you logged into.

So if you’re tired of how useless the Tiny Farm Club has become, consider joining us at our new home! :3