Pocket Camp: Anybody else getting anxious?


#1

Disclaimer: I am responsible for my own mental health and welfare, not the designers of games or of any other medium.

Is anybody else finding that the grind of Pocket Camp is raising their tension? I’m finding that I’m rushing around – as much as you can – making sure I fulfill every single animal’s needs, gathering all the fruits and fish, deciding which animals to make happy by building their favorite furniture, checking my friendslist to see who needs tickets to the quarry, lather rinse repeat. During this time, I’m not enjoying the environment of the game, or the individual encounters; I’m entirely focused on progress. By contrast, I find Stardew Valley, or watching my daughter play Animal Crossing, extremely soothing.

Again, this is entirely on me, not on the game designers. I’m just curious if anybody else is noticing the same thing.


#2

I actually find the opposite. I too am primarily focused on progression, but its progression that I don’t feel pressured to spend all of my time on, as you will inevitably hit a wall where there’s nothing left to do during that three hour chunk. And if I don’t do everything? Well, in less than three hours, it’s going to reset anyway with more stuff to do so that’s fine.

That being said, I’m not trying to say that you couldn’t/shouldn’t get anxious over it, just that I’ve played FTP games that are way more demanding of my attention that send my anxiety for a loop and comparatively Pocket Camp is fairly light.


#3

I think the trick is just - realizing there isn’t a win condition. “Missing” cooldowns, or quests, or turn ins doesn’t really matter. Sure, it’s all there really is to do in the game, but it’s more of an infinite grind thing.

That is the game. There isn’t some “get everyone to 20 friendship, then the GAME BEGINS!”

You just relax with it. Pick some apples, hand 'em to a dog to get steel to make that guitar the other dog wants you to have.

For me, the game has been a way to just take micro breaks from stress. Sit down, look at my phone, catch a few fish, maybe check the market for clothes. Oh, sweet, leveled up and got a new hat. Okay, back to figuring out why this AI is ignoring South facing walls.

Get off the phone with family/relatives, who misgender, or defend some absurd bullshit, but still call. Oh, look, the apples grew back. Yoink! Nice, now I can turn in that request, and level up my friendship with Kid Cat! Now I’ve got some super cute socks, and can be as feminine as I want in the safest of spaces. Woo woo! Okay, probably aught to do x/y/z now.

If you look at the game as something to beat, I think you lose what the game is about. It’s also totally possible that it isn’t your jam. If you can’t relax with it, and just feel stressed/anxious, I’d probably just stop playing it sooner rather than later.

The only thing that happens if you miss a timing window on requests or something, is that you can do them anyways because they reset. Once every 3 hours is the limit, not the goal? I guess? I dunno. Best of luck figuring out how to relax with it, or finding something else that works better for you, or that you enjoy more!


#4

I think the problem is that the first few hours you’re having a lot of “progression” whereas the rest of the game is played 10-15 minutes maybe twice a day. At least that’s how I’m treating it.


#5

Probably one of the only things that really turns me off from the game (I’m still playing it), is that all of the systems that are normally invisible to you (when the fruit respawns, when villagers appear, etc) and you are actively thinking about it because of it being right there in your face. In previous games in the series all of that stuff was invisible and you could just walk around willy nilly and experience it at your own pace, and if you missed something, oh well, there’s a fish or a bug right there to catch.

I try to just remember that the game has always done this, just in a much slower, less urgent way, and this game has to make it something of a grind to entice you to spend real money… So I just do what I always did in animal crossing, and just play til I got bored and close out of it (literally why I’m cruising the forums/other apps right now lol)


#6

I had to cut incremental games cold turkey recently because I realized that in spite of the conceit of being able to lie back and wait for them to work, I was getting a similar sort of tension going on.


#7

It happens for all the mobile games I play and Animal Crossing is no exception. I think the economy and the objectives runs to the extreme contrary of what I’m seeking in an AC game. The free-form, enjoyable on its own aspect of the series is simply not there.


#8

Though I haven’t played pocket camp yet and I don’t have much to add to the conversation, I just wanted to say I also get pretty anxious with these types of games too (like mobile games and mmos).


#9

I’ve seen some mention in the whole lootbox conversation about how they replace intrinsic rewards with extrinsic rewards, and I think that’s partly my problem with Pocket Camp as well.

Other AC games have a lot of systems and you can kind of pick and choose which to engage with and make your own goals, but here everything is tied into “progression” so it all feels like a means to an end. It feels less about interacting and expressing yourself within a community, and more about grinding checklists to get XP and levels. The other AC games had a degree of this, but it’s so much more surface-level in Pocket Camp.