In an extensive interview with USGamer, Animal Crossing series director Aya Kyogoku talked about the two new Animal Crossing games, amiibo integration, and what she hopes to accomplish with these new spin-off Animal Crossing games.
On how the new games fit with the rest of the series:
Both Happy Home Designer and Amiibo Festival are spinoffs of the Animal Crossing series, and that's what we're developing them as. One thing that we focused on was, "What kind of game play experience can we create using Amiibo figures and Amiibo cards?" We also went in with the approach that we didn't want to be limited in the scope of what we can do based on what Animal Crossing in the past has been. So this is the result of our endeavor and coming up with a new game play experience with Amiibos and Animal Crossing.
On how amiibo Festival differs from Mario Party:
One of the main tenets of Mario Party is that you're playing a board game and in between those board game moves, you play a mini-game and compete, and that's a focus. For Animal Crossing, the focus is actually playing the board game within the village of Animal Crossing, so it's not really focused on the mini games.
On the core tenet of communication in Animal Crossing moving forward:
As we continue to develop the series, I think it will depend at that time on what hardware or system is available, what type of game play will be fun at that time. We will have an open and free mind to really think about what would be best. As far as Happy Home Designer and Amiibo Festival, these are different approaches that we took, but it doesn't necessarily dictate the direction that the Animal Crossing series will be going forward. This is just another set of experiences that we will be able to dip into as we try to evolve and think of great ideas that work for the times for whatever title comes out in the series. One thing that won't change is the idea of communication that through the game play of Animal Crossing, we can encourage communicating across players. That's something that we will always hold as important as we build Animal Crossing around it.