So, I saw this on Mai's userpage, and I thought it looked kind of fun to write, so I'm starting my own. c: Not quite the same, though, I want to talk about some stuff that aren't (but should be) in Harvest Moon games.
Anyways, back to the original purpose of this blog post.
My Ideal Harvest Moon Game
Slightly longer days
I like that the days/months go by quickly in Harvest Moon, it makes the games more interesting, and I don't get bored of it as fast. But sometimes, it just feels like there's not enough time to do everything I want to do in a day. I think 3s (real life) = 1 minute (in game) is a good rate, personally.
Other forms of 'courting' or 'wooing' your future spouse
I'm sure it does happen in real life, but showering someone with gifts every day seems like a pretty cheap way of buying affection. I liked that there were 'dates' in Tree of Tranquility, but aside from that, every other Harvest Moon game I've played requires you to give a present almost daily to your special someone if you want to get married.
I think that there should be more options in our relationships. The affection levels should affect more than the color of a heart or flower indicator, I think that as a relationship progresses, you should have more dialogue options with your 'boyfriend/girlfriend'. Maybe you can actually ask them to hang out with you or something, sort of like the ToT lunch dates, but not at a pre-set stage of your relationship, and not only once.
They can refuse to go on a date if affection levels aren't high enough, and maybe as the levels rise, you can go on better dates, or choosing the right kind of date from a list of options will help increase affection. For example, in Tale of Two Towns, if you choose lunch at the cafe with Laney, that will boost affection, while choosing a picnic up on the mountains with Reina will help you with her. Or horse-back riding with Georgia. Or... medicine sorting with Hiro. I don't know.
Update: I just realized there actually is dating in ToTT. ^^ Not exactly sure how it works, but looking forward to finding out.
Other ways of making friends
Likewise, I've never made a friend in real life by showering them with cheese and milk every day, and not saying a single word. I think we should have some dialogue options, and actually 'chat' with our friendly neighbors. Appeal to them with not just gifts, but saying the right things that'll make them like you.
I remember in some Sims game, we could pick a topic of conversation (just out of a list, of course), or pick a joke or something. Nothing too fancy, but I'd really like to see some simple dialogue options that could help raise/lower affection levels when you talk to people in the game.
More things to do with your kid
In the games I've played, the kid (or kids, in some) are quite non-interactive. Even when they're grown up, you don't do a lot of parent-kid things with them, and I think I'd like to see some of that. Play catch with your boy to raise affection. I can't think of anything else at the moment, but yeah, kid interaction.
Girls being proposed to
Omghjskdkpopojjfkdj. I just learned that in ToTT, the boy proposes to you if you play as a girl. I love that. I never played as a girl in the earlier games because I thought it was ridiculous for the girl to court the guy and give him presents every day, and propose to him, too. It's great that the guys actually propose now.
I know I'm suggesting a lot of things that are more suited for general life sim games, so it's not really fair, since Harvest Moon is, first and foremost, a farming sim. Maybe adding some of this stuff might make the game too complicated for enjoyment. They've already branched out a lot, and for most people, it's really the interaction and life building that makes the game fun, so I think it wouldn't hurt to add a bit more character interaction into future Harvest Moon games. ;p
I'm sorry, I write very long blog posts. I can't help it. You don't have to read it, I just love to write anyways.
I'll be adding to this every time I think of something I like.
PS. I have started ToTT finally, and I'm loving it so far. I'm only like five days in, but I can tell it's pretty great.