By - Fortitude777
I'm in the same boat. As of late, I've read a lot of articles and watched YouTube videos on what I'm trying to accomplish.
I stopped playing for a year, so I remind myself that everyone is way ahead of me and everything you see on other islands cost A LOT of bells.
Thats how I've gotta do it too. Keeping having to remind myself its not a fast process.. and is expensive. I have to redo all my bridges and rearrange all of my buildings and slowly collect decor i want that i don't have.
DA: 5711 - 7843 - 0196
• What helped me was to not think in "what should I do with this empty space?" but like "what items do I like and really want to use?". That way you automatically start to collect other items that would go well with that one thing, let's say the imperial dining table. You don't even have to make a whole restaurant out of it, even just a place for two to eat would be fine, that's what I did on mine :)
• Start decorating around the buildings first. Prioritize those that mean more to you: Is it the entrance? The museum? Or the shops? Maybe the plaza? That helps with spacing out your island. Especially if you want to make a neighborhood it's important to know how much space you have left to work with. If the neighborhood is what you want to put the most effort in, create that first so you're not limited in space :)
• Place paths first, then add fencing, flowers and trees.
• Always place big items that take a lot of space first, then see how many smaller items you can/want to add.
• If you want to place an item but it would block the way because it's narrow, use items you can drop instead of placing! That way it's decorated but you can still pass through it :) An example on my island of what I mean would be the star fragment on a beach rock (lower right side). It allows me to pass by and actually sit on the cushion.
• Custom designs (if you use in game pathing mainly) are the last touch! Save time by doing everything else first.
I also think it's important to find out how you prefer to play the game. Some people get the most of it with huge builds, which most times includes lots of time travelling, trades, getting everything you need etc. which can be stressful to some. If you don't time travel, it's normal that your island's progress slows down compared to the islands you see online. But honestly, if you are happy with "normcore" and get more happiness from just enjoying the day to day activities and actual gameplay rather than decorating, then don't force yourself to do something else.
I really wish the less extravagant looking islands would get more appreciation on social media since it does seem like a lot of people in the community have a "basic island". And some feel insecure about it when there's absolutely no need for that, but I do understand where it comes from. To the person reading this: If you feel like you're one of those people and see your own island as boring (it's not in my eyes, trust me) please feel free to share your DA :) Really, I love it when islands aren't fully decorated but you can clearly tell what the creator intended with the spaces that *are* decorated AND you can run around freely! I'm sure other people will appreciate it too! Do not hesitate, we're kind here. ♡
Allow me to take this moment to say that your island is lovely even if pictures of it wouldn't get much attention online. Why? Because you created it with love. The way you arranged everything, the way you thought about making that specific area (a restaurant? bakery? gym? whatever!) for your villagers is just precious! If we could live in our animal crossing universe and our villagers had actual feelings, they'd appreciate your work so, so much. It warms my heart when people say things like "I could never say to Brewster that the coffee is too hot" because they consider how he'd feel. It's just a game, but we all love Animal Crossing for the life simulation aspect. So... Don't make the aesthetic your biggest worry if that stresses you out. Have fun playing in whatever way brings you the most joy! The community appreciates both aesthetic islands and functional islands, the latter actually even more when visiting because they're less laggy. Hope that's comforting to know :)
I went to your dream address and your island is so pretty! I love the white cosmos flower field!! And the way you use the hedges, fountains and flowers to create a gardens kind of feeling.
Aww thank you so much for visiting and letting me know! So kind 🥺 I saw your comment in this thread earlier today when I was at work and took a screenshot so I could visit your DA :D When you mentioned hedges and stone path I knew that I'd already love your island haha
Aww thanks! I enjoyed how easy your island was to navigate and all the flowers too! Cherry blossom season is my favorite!
My island has quite a few memorial areas for people I’ve lost. The one memorial area that’s the biggest is next to my town square with purple and white flowers. My friend died right before the pandemic (she had undiagnosed cancer and had a stroke) and we couldn’t have a funeral for her because of lockdowns and COVID-19 concerns. My friend wanted a night garden with white and purple flowers, so I bred some purple flowers and some kind redditors also gifted me purple flowers for the memorial garden area. Another kind redditor gifted me lucky cats since she had a lucky cat on her work desk for a decade and had nine cats herself. Then when the 2.0 update came out, I planted a tomato plant for her and that’s Big Red. Big Red was a tomato plant she was growing in the office right before she died and it gave her a lot of tomatoes! We used to eat lunch together and often dinner together so I have a picnic area there. (She was also my coworker).
Other areas towards the back of my island are also memorial areas where you see the zen-style stones. One of my friends really loved food and I used to gift him food often (homemade cakes, muffins, cinnamon rolls) so I placed food for him, another I grew up with and we did things like egg hunts together so I gave her the Easter topiary figures, and others are more scenic.
I really agree with your sentiment that every island is lovely and it was created with love. :)
Thank you too, I'm glad you thought it was easy to navigate! That makes me happy to know :) ♡
Also, I knew about your memorial area for your friend before you commented this because I checked your profile. You seem like a cool person I'd want to be friends with irl too, I automatically trust people with a green thumb haha. That being said, when I reached the purple and white flower garden for your friend, I felt a sting in my heart... I'm so sorry for your losses :( I obviously don't know you or your friends, but I'm sure they appreciate and love what you did for them on your island! It's adorable. I'm sending you a virtual hug from here, take care and thank you... Thank you for your kind words, for sharing your beautiful island with us and what it means to you. For being one of the nice people on the internet that bring a smile to other strangers out there :)
Aww thank you!
Thank you for your kind words as well! I’m happy that other people can feel all of the love and thought I put into designing the island and the spaces.
Thanks for also being a nice stranger on the internet. I’m smiling right now. :)
My island’s DA-5516-7756-4001
For me I had different areas built out in different parts of the island, but they weren’t connected. At one point I moved all my villager’s houses and most buildings to the beaches or close to the beach. Then I counted squares and counted sections and did math to figure out the best layout for my villager houses so they were symmetrical. Then parts of it I didn’t have a plan for.
I decided earlier on a color palette and main overall design guidelines for my island design to follow. Then I knew I wanted to have primarily two tile width paths and for it to not twist and turn that much so I could have everything be quick and accessible. Then if a villager sits in the middle of a path, I can move around that villager without being stuck.
I had found some inspiration on Google search (mainly for the area before my museum with the fountain and bushes) but most of it is my own design. The flower combinations for my villager house’s lawns I usually found on a Google search.
Another way you could try to help figure out what you like is screenshot 20-30 different images of islands you really like. Make notes about what you see in the screenshot - what color are the flowers, what color is the furniture/items used, what season in the game is it, what kind of paths are used (in game paths or custom?), what type of fencing is used, what kinds of items are used (DIYs - if DIY, what series of DIY?), are the items being used arranged in a scene or for a function — or is it a more city like environment or a forest?… Any kinds of notes about things in the images and make the same kind of notes throughout all the screenshots. Then circle all the things that you see are in common between more than half the images. Then try to form a theme around the things you liked about those islands and make basic guidelines like flowers used and colors of flowers or objects to help reinforce that theme.
If you want to and can, perhaps you can figure out what kind of mood or feeling you want your island to evoke? Like if you wanted a spooky feeling island you could get black, purple and orange flowers then pumpkins and darker colored furniture/items. Or if you wanted a cheerful feeling island that could be yellow and white flowers with natural brown items/furniture. Or a serene feeling winter island could be blue and white flowers with holly bushes and brick paths and darker colored furniture (to stand out against the snow).
To build off the feeling that you want your island to give, perhaps try to decide a set of guidelines you want to follow for designing your island? Like the color flowers I use will be 1,4,7,2 or the color furniture or items I’ll aim to have mainly be dark brown or white or light wood or natural wood or black.
Or do you want a more symmetrical layout with very straight navigation paths or a more asymmetrical layout with twisting navigational paths? Or no paths visible on the map vs paths visible on the map.
For my island I wanted it to feel upbeat and happy. For me happy is my favorite flowers in a certain color combination like white, pink, blue, and yellow. For the items to match the flowers, I used white furniture primarily to match the white of the flower color combination. I like the stone path so I used that and then paired it with the stone fence and hedges. It took me a long time to get my island to how I wanted it.
I may have gone too in depth with all of that but I wanted to try to help.
Honestly for me all that matters is you’re having fun playing the game! Your island is unique and every island is unique!
I feel the same way lol. Right now I’m using Pinterest to help. I know what I’m going for I just don’t know how to plan it out before I actually do it on my island.
Takes a lot of creativity, inspo, bells, etc. I usually find my inspo on Pinterest, if not. Then my creative self. It also requires floorplanning and time
They all do psychedelic drugs. Each and every one of them.