Not too long ago over on Virtual Bastion, I wrote about how I finally got a 5-star rating in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. With that milestone now out of the way, I decided that my next goal was to terraform the island of my dreams. After watching a whole bunch of island tours on YouTube and general brainstorming, I had a pretty solid idea of what I wanted to do. But before I could get started…I spent several hours painstakingly drawing lines all over my island in order to create a very helpful grid, followed by a detailed map on Photoshop. Because I’m kind of obsessive like that.
You see, I’m a big Disney fan, but I also really like the beautiful Japanese theming a lot of islands use, with the bamboo and Zen gardens and the like (I even just got a pagoda from Gulliver). So I decided that I would do a combination of both, with the left side of my island being based off of my favorite side of Disneyland and the right side being more natural and inspired by photos of Zen gardens I found online and Kamiki Village in Okami. To give you guys a better idea of what I’m planning, you can see the grid where I mapped everything out below.
Resident Services is the only place I can’t move (aside from the airport, of course), but it should work quite nicely as the train station. In front of that, I have created flowers in the shape of, well, the Duck of Indeed, of course, in place of the Mickey Mouse flowers you see upon immediately entering Disneyland. Behind that is a simplified Main Street, with the two shops on either side and my house acting as the castle further back (which I have since made pink with a blue roof to better match the recently repainted Sleeping Beauty Castle).
On the west side of the island, the Tropical Hideaway (a relatively new outdoor restaurant, complete with tiki torches) and the Jungle Cruise can be found in the southwest to represent Adventureland, including a waterfall because the Jungle Cruise just wouldn’t be complete without the famous backside of water. North of that is a small spot for Frontierland on the right and New Orleans Square on the left, where lies the Haunted Mansion. Ahem, the museum. Behind the museum will be a graveyard, and next to that you can find Tom Sawyer Island, the new home of the Campsite, surrounded by the Rivers of America.
Lastly, on the east side of the island is the residential section, which is situated on three levels of elevation. Behind that is a rather vague idea for the natural section of my island, with a large water feature inspired by Kamiki Village. I also included a waterfall over by my house which will double as the Snow White waterfall you can find beside the castle at Disneyland. I plan to place my covered well there to use as a wishing well, and the garden gnomes can work as the seven dwarves.
Certain sections of my map are much less detailed than others, but I’ve got the general layout down pretty well. Thus far, I’ve already made a lot of progress, with Main Street, New Orleans Square, and Tom Sawyer Island largely complete (aside from some landscaping). I have started digging out the graveyard, which I plan to be surrounded by cliffs for added spookiness, but I can’t finish it yet because Merry’s house is in the way. Frontierland has been started, as well, and earlier today, I created the cliffs for the residential section, which was…time consuming, to say the least. This can’t be finished until Ankha’s house has been relocated, but the majority of it is ready for some careful measurements before I start moving buildings around.
My map’s not perfect, and I also learned that you need to account for the fact that many things end up needing to be larger in the game than it seemed like they’d be on the map. Nevertheless, the map has made terraforming and designing my island a lot easier than it would have been otherwise, even if it’s still a very long and difficult process. Fortunately, my hard work has indeed been paying off, and my island already looks way better than it did. Though I’ve got a feeling my 5 star rating is probably gone. I’m sure I’ll get it back eventually….
Sorry I have no screenshots or anything at the moment. Someday, I do plan on recording a tour of my town, along with eventually sharing photos I’ve taken, which include some screenshots of what my town looked like during the construction phase. In the meantime, I’ve got a whole lot more work to do before my island is finished and a whole lot more money to earn in order to pay for all the bridges and inclines I’ll need. Fortunately, June is the month when we start getting sharks in our oceans, so that should certainly help with raising the necessary funds!
So, dear readers, how are your islands coming along? What theme do you have in mind? Feel free to share in the comments below!
This post was originally published on Virtual Bastion on June 2, 2020.