5 MORE Things We Can Learn From Animal Crossing (with 5-star island tour)

July 2020



I regret posting my first island tour because a week after publishing that article, I put everything in storage and started over! My rating was 4 stars at the time of the last post. Now I have 5!

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I want to redo my island tour, so let’s jump into five more ways we can channel our AC characters in the real world. I’ll list the QR codes at the end where possible. I didn’t record some of them unfortunately, and haven’t been able to find these again. 


  • Invest in yourself

In Animal Crossing: I purchased the paid Nintendo account because I wanted the terracotta borders after seeing them on Cordless VII's channel. This enabled me to download custom paths to use island-wide. Suddenly I could create the island I had in my head. This wasn’t possible using the limited paths Tom Nook gave me. 


It’s possible to get more variety on the free account by designing your own custom paths. I’m terrible at art, so downloading other people’s designs was beyond helpful!

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In real life: Your business could benefit from outsourcing your weaker skills to professionals. This could be anything from web design, mixing, mastering, vocals, SEO, social media, lyrics(hint, hint)


I’ve often felt I should do everything myself to save money. I’m trying to stray away from this mind-set because sometimes other people can help us release better quality work and attract new clients.


There’s a famous quote by Henry Ford that says not advertising to save money is like stopping a clock to save time. We can only advertise within our means and sometimes it isn’t financially possible, but I make the effort to invest in my craft when I can.

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  • Don’t compare yourself to others

In Animal Crossing: I’ve watched a lot of island tours. I love the Tiny Librarys channel. However, feeling my island was inferior to the incredible islands she visits (this Harry Potter one is a must-see) prevented me enjoying the game. 


I got over this by focussing on aspects of other islands I don’t like. Cottage core islands tend to be too cluttered for my personal taste. The terraforming, whilst impressive, serves little purpose other than to house more clutter (sorry!) These islands are still hands-down better than mine, but I stopped caring because my island is MY OWN. I took inspiration from others but didn’t copy (for the most part) and included loads of my own ideas. This is more important (and more fun) than competing with other islands unnecessarily.


The theme of my island is 'horror-movie-style-pine-forest-turned-modern-place-to-live-without-losing-the-forest-vibe-entirely!' Having a theme helped me stay focussed when redesigning the island. If you’re stuck for a theme, try something around your island name. My island is called Pine Haven. Island names can’t be changed unless this comes with a future update, so you might as well make the most of what you chose initially! 

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In real life: I’ve often compared myself to others in my career. I’ve felt inferior because I’m not signed to a publisher. People usually ask if I’ve written anything they’d know when I tell them what I do, and it’s awkward replying probably not! It’s easy to drive yourself crazy getting down about this stuff.


However, I’m on my own journey. I’m bushwhacking my own path through the jungle that is the music industry! I’ve grown more comfortable with this as I’ve got older – and I quite enjoy the challenge!​​

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  • Time to say goodbye

In Animal Crossing: Sometimes our beloved (or not so beloved) villagers leave. I’ve had five villagers move away. Genji asked to move out a few days after moving in. I agreed because I didn’t have any fencing that matched the exterior of his house at the time. Plus he’s a jock personality. I’ve got Axel for that. I can’t tolerate more than one! 


Hugo and Hornsby (or Horny as my character thought of him, I never got past misreading it that first time) were okay, but their replacements (Lobo and Freya) are so much better. Bertha left this week, my character hopes they’ll meet again!


I miss Candi most. I let her leave because she wants to be a famous singer and it’s hard to do that living on a small island. I created Cafe Candi in her honour, to promote following your dreams!

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In real life: Whether we see someone less frequently so they can pursue their ambitions or whether we leave a toxic relationship, there is often good in goodbye. Focussing on the positives can help us through sad times.

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  • Take a chance

In Animal Crossing: I haven’t done much terraforming. I liked honouring the original island. I was scared to do any terraforming at all initially, in case I ruined the island and couldn’t get it back. I had the idea to tear down the third tier so I could have a row of houses along the back when designing my island the first time, but I was too nervous. 


Terraforming fears prevented me reaching 5 stars and creating the island of my character’s dreams. I took the risk when redesigning my island, and I love my row of houses in the 'forest' part of the island! 


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I also used terraforming to widen the area that was called 'beach walk' in the previous post. This was too narrow to do much with before. Now it’s the woods that lead up to my character’s house, giving her some privacy. No more peeping toms (villagers that happen to be there) when she leaves her house in her nightwear when I load the game. I don’t know why we can’t start inside our houses. 


In real life: Life is for living! If you’re holding back out of fear, consider taking that risk. Don’t have regrets!

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  • Find a solution (and believe in yourself!)

In Animal Crossing: As mentioned previously, I’m terrible at art. I never thought I’d be able to create my own custom path. But I did! I made these holly borders for the all-year-round Christmas market. 

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I encountered a major problem. It needed to be a twelve-piece path but I didn’t have enough custom design slots available. The terracotta borders and the pink flower borders also required multiple pieces, so I ran out of design slots very quickly! 


To create the holly borders, I got rid of everything I deemed non-essential, losing all the custom designs I was using in my house, but I still only had nine slots free.


I refused to be defeated. I had the idea to turn the borders round on one side of the path. I would’ve ideally had the berries always facing the edges, but it wasn’t possible to make the corners meet without more design slots. I like how my compromise differentiates the stall fronts (where the customers stand) from the stall backs (where the vendors stand.) 


For the holly borders running parallel to the holly bushes that lead to the fruit orchard, I used the final custom design slot to create the corner piece needed in most places. I could’ve done with one more corner piece to finish this area but it’s a small imperfection.

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Another problem I encountered was not being able to move the Resident Services (like you can with houses and other buildings.) My Resident Services is five steps from the airport so I couldn’t create an extravagant entrance area. I did my best with the limited space available.



In real life: Although it’s just a game, the holly border palaver taught me two things. 1) I can achieve things I thought I couldn’t. 2) It’s possible to find solutions to problems that at first seem detrimental. I will be taking these lessons into the real world!

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That’s all for now! I might do a third AC instalment if I ever finish my house. Please subscribe to my blog to be notified when new posts are published. I usually write about making money in music. 


QR codes:

Terracotta borders: MA-7011-8313-9106

Christmas market stalls: MA-4148-5947-9804

Holly borders/Cafe Candi: MA-4350-9263-3502

Wooden plank flooring: MA-8569-4772-9405

Weeds and flowers for forest floor: MA-5793-0878-8402


Previous posts in this series: 

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