Moving in to my own little slice of paradise

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I’m titling this post thus, because moreso than any other Animal Crossing game, it really does feel like we are given this little slice of the world to completely make all our own, from scratch, in the most peaceful and beautiful way I’ve ever experienced. In every new ‘main’ town (think the Dafdilly and Citàlune archives on this blog), I think it’s very special to record these early memories so that I can look back on them years down the road. :’) So that is what I’m going to do here~!

Founding of Ithaelia
Sunday, March 22, 2020 (Day 1):

I actually don’t have a ton of screenshots of the founding of my island town, because I was a dummy and thought to myself, “I don’t need to take screenshots since I’m recording it.” The thing is, though, I can’t take a screenshot from the video without my face hovering in it. Ah well, here’s the video, feel free to watch it if you like. Should be very similar to your own experience moving into your island — and if you haven’t experienced that yet, it’s probably not something you’re going to want to spoil! 🙂 (Alsooo, I do have a bit of an awkward intro at the beginning, because prior to this video, my YouTube was filled with faceless Wild World town tours.)

To touch on the naming of my island and my hopes for it:

Ithaelia is an example of using method #2 from my town name ideas page, in that I came up with it by stringing syllables together, and it doesn’t mean anything. But I think it looks beautiful on paper, and sounds beautiful as well. Also, the nature of how I came up with the name is likely similar to what fantasy writers have to do with their worldbuilding, and that’s kind of what I’d like to do for Ithaelia — fantasy worldbuilding. Maybe a castle somewhere if those are still in the game, maybe an elegant beach palace or mermaid shoreline, an orangery, a woodcutter’s cottage in the woods near a fairy shee, that sort of thing. Just going to have fun building it over time and not necessarily plan it all out on day one. 🙂

And something else I like about the name is its flexibility! The whole fantasy worldbuilding thing not working out? I can always switch to a different theme, like an elegant/dreamy/floaty feel (always a favorite of mine). Or say, several years down the road and my town is all done, and I want to keep playing without starting over. Theoretically, I could continue having fun with the townbuilding aspect of the game by building it up again in different ways, like making Citàlune 2.0, or creating a New Horizons version of the New Leaf towns I never finished, Lórien and Bywater. Or any design project I want… I really don’t think the name I’m picking is a no-go for many different themes, save maybe a modern theme?

But talk like this is getting a little ahead of myself. My main, new-game towns typically have a bit of a slow start; sometimes it takes me weeks/months to get into serious designing. With social media being as big as it is for this game, I feel greater pressure to be putting out fancy stuff early on, but I’m also kinda stubborn that I’m not going to change the way that I like to start my AC games because of it. I will try to start focusing more on town/room design as soon as I feel ready to, though, so that it’ll be more pretty to share and visit. ❤

Ithaelia's town map

Most of that video & the early decisions I made can be summed up by sharing Ithaelia’s map 🙂 I’m just going with the flow right now. Feel like at a certain point in the game things are gonna get real with town customization options. Then I will have more fun trying to plan ^^

dreamy 5 AM skies above Ithaelia's most visible waterfall

First time getting complete freedom to control my character, and first time seeing my island in real-time! It was the most gorgeous sunrise — really need to try to play at this time of day as much as I can. Too bad I am often clocking into work at that time. Also, this is my character, Glyneth, a humble gardener & woodcutter in Ithaelia. 🌼

glowy crack in the ground

Ack, such a tease seeing this glowing crack in the ground all day, but having no shovel! Really glad these are back from the GameCube days, but kind of sad they can’t produce gold-leaf trees, that would have made. my. life.

Tammy-I was thinking about how to thank you, and I came up with a recipe for a leaf umbrella!

My very first DIY project! 💚

first balloon present

And my first balloon sighting! I think I saw several before I finally crafted a slingshot & shot one down for the first time. Loove the balloon presents, always so excited to see what each one holds!

First catch out of the ocean=a stone

My first catch was… a stone! 😆 First actual catch, a sea bass. As it should.

Oh no! Thank you for your service, faithful flimsy fishing rod....

My first fishing rod bites the dust! Not gonna lie, this whole tool-breaking thing was kind of bumming me out early on, since I’m spoiled from past games. But I’ve gotten more used to it and accepted it as part of island life.

Genji-Hey, isn't this the hat I gave you? Looks great! Really shows off your head-muscle, mochi!

My villagers are determined to have me rock the plaid & trucker hat aesthetic~

Choosing where Blathers will go

Choosing a location for the museum on day 1 kind of threw me off, because I heard the game got off to a slow start, and I was seeing museum hype at later days in others’ towns. I went with this location near a river-bend because I thought it was very inoffensive, something I wouldn’t intensely regret. But I can definitely see myself moving the museum when I get the chance!

my tent interior

Does your average tent have two Nintendo Switches and an elegant dining table? Living the life over here.

8-player group photo

My very first WiFi session in New Horizons came together quite spontaneously in the form of fruit trading with my Twitch community!
From left to right it’s Robyn, Staci, myself, Trashcat, Karensa, and Lenore. And the rascals in the background exploring the rest of my island before I can are Nikki & Nova~
I’m using character names for the most part because I’m not sure if everyone wants their Twitch usernames floating around on my WordPress blog, haha :mrgreen:

group photo with flower emotion

Aaah, so wholesome ❤ I'm just basking in everyone's flowers & joy~

smaller group photo

As time went on, the group in my town changed a bit as people came and went. This is Cody, myself, Anthony, and Nova again with their ladder 😛

smaller group photo from farther away

Bit of an atmospheric shot; love the moon-glow behind the clouds 🌙

After the WiFi was over, and after I ended stream, I spent a long time playing solo, deep into the wee hours of the morning. One reason I did so was because it felt like my island was a mess after all the trading, and I wanted to get things organized into storage. And I was also just really enjoying the vibes, the magical rainy atmosphere… the very first night on my island ✨

First tarantula seen=first caught

First tarantula seen = first tarantula caught B)

Shaking branches out of a tree

Brb while I shake every single branch out of this poor tree. I was as shook as this tree when I found out you could do this 😆

White furniture arrangement

In addition to fruit-trading, some friends also had extremely generous island-warming gifts for me! Most of this furniture was from Mars, who even thoughtfully asked what my town aesthetic was going to be before gifting me these in white. :’) Also, the shirt-dress I’m wearing for the rest of this post is from Cody, and I got some lovely windflowers from Lenore.. it’s hard to keep track of everything, but I’m so appreciative ❤

Tom Nook-But we don't do things because they are easy, hm? We do them because they are profitable! Challenges do translate directly into costs, I'm afraid.

I realized that with the WiFi visits giving me a big Nook Miles boost earlier, I could afford to pay off my first loan with my miles! Isn’t Nook’s dialog in this game so precious? I love talking with him ;_;

Getting that pocket organization guide

And I still have some miles left over, so it’s time, yes yes.

Screenshot of the inventory

Let the hoarding begin.
Though I think I took this photo because I just got this skeleton from a balloon present in the sky o_o

Custom design pro editor

Last thing I unlocked before turning in for the night! I haven’t really dove into it though, but I look forward to in the future. ❤

In conclusion, very much in love with New Horizons: the slow unlocking of features you took for granted in past games, the process of building up your deserted island from scratch into a thriving town, the sheer beauty of the environment represented through graphics and sound and little details, the vibrant community around the game, the mixture of peace & excitement you can feel from it… practically everything. There might be a few bumps here and there, like wondering if favorite NPCs will return, and those darn breaking tools, and hoarding struggles, but overall it’s been such a wonderful experience, and I really look forward to giving this game the same level of love and attention I gave to New Leaf & Wild World. 🙂 ❤

Lastly, here is a video-upload of the livestream I did in my first playthrough on my island, including the first-milestones and the first WiFi session. ❤

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13 thoughts on “Moving in to my own little slice of paradise

  1. I absolutely adored your new leaf town and it’s what inspired me to start decorating mine in the first place. I was praying you were playing NH and here you are!! i’m so excited to see you have fun with it

    • Ahhh that is super special for me to hear, and it kinda touches me that you would seek out to see if I’m playing NH, thank you :’) I really hope you enjoy building up your town, too! 😀

  2. Glad you are enjoying New Horizons so far! I’m loving it myself, though I’m playing it at a really slow pace. Like you, I really love how you have to start from the ground up and make your island thrive- nothing is handed to you and you have to work for it, but it never feels overwhelming! 🙂

    • I feel like I’m trying to speed up my pace the best I can, because I do feel a little bit of pressure to start beautifying, but I can’t help it that I’m very slow and particular, haha! I’m glad that you are enjoying it as well! And even though I have my own insecurities about it at times, I am totally a believer at playing Animal Crossing at whatever pace you feel most comfortable, and what’s more, also focusing on what you enjoy most — whether it’s fashion, museum goals, your loan, house design vs. exterior design, etc. ^^ Such a wonderful game in that way ❤

      • I totally agree! Everyone has different play styles, and the game can be enjoyed in so many different ways! 🙂 I’m sure your island will turn out amazing once you complete all your goals! 🙂

  3. I am loving playing New Horizons too, it feels more personal to me as i can mostly arrange the layout to how i want it to look. The detail in some of the objects you can get is fantastic, and i love getting the diy recipes. I think the only thing i’m not keen on is that its almost impossible to get other fruits unless you visit a friends island.

    • I agree about how personal it feels to really build up an area from scratch and make it your own with terraforming and all the new customization open to you with furniture outside. ❤ But at the same time, there was something cozy about working with the map you got in old games, which sometimes I miss when I get stressed on how to terraform an area of town I'm working on. Such different feels! The DIY Recipes are definitely what's most similar to getting public works requests in New Leaf, feels so good when you get new ones that you want! I agree about the foreign fruit downside; a fair amount of the AC games make it very possible to get all the fruit even without multiplayer, but I'm not so sure it's as easy in this one. (And this one requires a paid online service)

  4. Hi! I absolutely LOVE your moon path in acnl, and was wondering if you were thinking about reproducing it again for this game? QR code ones dont fit over paths 。:゚(;´∩`;)゚:。

    • I most likely will! It’s so tough though because my ACNH town is also in a pitiable state, so I want to work on that too. But I’ll try my best to keep in mind that people want this (it’s not just you who’s asked) and prioritize it the best I can!

  5. Arriving real late to this post as I tentatively step back into WordPress ^^; It’s been cozy and nostalgic reading back through your early days in New Horizons, and being reminded of similar thoughts, expectations and surprises I had, including thinking I was stuffed cos I had collected my one stick from each tree and not being ready to place Blathers’ tent. Nice job on that tarantula catch!

    • Thank you so much Teru! Really cozy and nostalgic too to get notifications of comments from you on the blog! It’s been so long that we’ve known each other through the blogosphere :’) Next year will be our 10 year anniversary of knowing each other haha xD If/When I catch up on more posts, I wonder if I’ll still remember my little thoughts and impressions like I did with those tree branches

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