Yasuhiro Wada discusses the intimate details behind creating the original Harvest Moon
for the Super Nintendo, sharing his inspiration for its design and the issues that almost ended its development, in this free lecture from GDC 2012.
Courtesy of the GDC Vault
, this video shares Wada's story about growing up on the countryside and having something to prove when he moved to the big city and landed his first game dev job. He knew he had to come up with a game different than his predecessors', which were very competitive and combative.
His idea was Harvest Moon
, a game that allowed players to experience the farm lifestyle in non-combative, non-competitive gameplay. At that time, Wada was hooked on horse training game Derby Stallion
and decided to swap out that setting to a farm, where players raised livestock and grew crops.
Early on, the game hit a problem with a huge frame rate drop, due to all of the on-screen objects. But that problem proved trivial when, six months into development, the developer Wada worked for went under. However, the game eventually released, and word-of-mouth propelled sales beyond 100,000, a solid foundation for the ongoing series that is now over 15 years old.
The session is available in English and Japanese here
Session Name: Classic Game Postmortem: Harvest Moon
Toy Box, Inc.
Track / Format:
Since the creation of the first installment over fifteen years ago, Harvest Moon
has enchanted people all over the world with its rewarding gameplay and charming art style. The Harvest Moon
series has made waves for portraying peaceful rural life in a video game world and in recent years, has inspired numerous social networking games centered around farming. Yasuhiro Wada, who produced and helped design and direct Harvest Moon
, will touch on the ideas that gave birth to the series, the many successes and failures that can occur in developing and producing a video game franchise, and offer insight into the business aspects behind the series' growth.
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