Peace in Simplicity: Gaming & Social Media

“I feel shabby and inadequate,” says player Devon Gozjolko.

So read a quote in a recent Polygon article detailing one Animal Crossing: New Horizons player in regards to seeing elaborate designs from other players on social media. Another player is quoted as saying:

“Every time I get on Twitter I see posts from both friends and internet people I follow who have these either incredibly ornate or certifiably insane setups on their island, and it honestly feels terrible, like, who did I think I was buying this game?”

The author of the article states that seeing all these other highly detailed and creative designs, “the more it becomes impossible not to compare yourself to others.”

I’m writing this post for players like these. This isn’t a new phenomenon for those of us in MMORPGs where housing is available to design and decorate as you like. So I want people to really really take this to heart.

There is peace in simplicity. You can be content without being complex. And you absolutely do not need to pursue what others have created.

Or, as J.R.R. Tolkien said, “it is no bad thing celebrating a simple life.”

With this in mind, I wanted to share my own house from Final Fantasy XIV, but first I want to demonstrate the similarity described in the Polygon article to our own MMO housing comparisons.

Someone designed an entire village market within their house.

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This is my large house in the Shirogane residential area

You’ll find many houses have a lot of stuff put into their front yard, making some really impressive designs.

However, while I wanted to do something like this at first, I realized that looking at other players’ creations was leading me less down a path towards creating my own design and more towards copying what others had done. There’s nothing wrong with taking a bit of inspiration here and there, but it’s easy to just copy someone else’s complicated design and think it’s pretty. I decided to take a different approach.

Since my home is in Shirogane, based off Japanese architecture and styles, I decided to model my yard and home after actual Japanese designs. I googled “traditional Japanese yard” and “Japanese garden” to get some ideas and found images such as this:

EJYEM9

 

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A simple walkway to the door branches off to the meditative garden. If I had more slots available, I’d have another going to the other side as well.

ffxiv_04082020_182227_636I would like to have made a more intricate garden, but due to limitations on number of items, I had to keep it small. Still, I’ve managed to have different elements present. A small lantern offers light at night, a traditional rock garden with two large stones representing islands, a copse of bamboo, and a few plants with shishi-odoshi and a pot with water lillies at the side. There’s also a nice bench to sit in the shade and enjoy the tranquility.

ffxiv_04082020_182250_819The other side of the yard is a little empty from the stepping stones, but there’s a pond with a tree and a Doman style deck for sitting. I chose the plot because the area looks out towards the waterfall in the top right corner.

On the sides of the house, I have a clothesline, a training dummy, and some firewood.

Moving inside….

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Inside is where I took a very different approach in designing the house. I had been looking at other players houses and they looked nice, but also very busy. I stepped back and went a different direction by looking for photos and videos of traditional Japanese homes to blend fantasy and realistic design.

I kept the standard walls for the ground floor, along with wooden floors throughout the house to keep with the traditional Japanese style. Tatami mats are used in different rooms.

Japanese Kitchen

I found this image, among others, that I started from.

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I made sure to put a stool (somewhat hidden in the left) and plenty of utensils on the wall and filled in on the counter top.

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The table with the fruit is a place holder. I can’t craft the one I want just yet.

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Likewise, the living room was designed from an actual photo of an interior shot from a Japanese home. I modified the existing house in game to hide the standard windows and added more Japanese style ones to partitions along with a painting. Overall, the intention was to keep the ground floor very open.

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Upstairs, I made a side hallway into a little study using just a room divider.

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A bathing room has a shower, bath, partitions to differentiate the walls, and shelves with towels and flowers for deocration. A kimono hanger was added for the impression of having something to change into after a relaxing bath.

ffxiv_04082020_194323_777ffxiv_04082020_194336_694The bedroom is likewise kept fairly simple, with a bed, dresser, and a few tabletop items.

Downstairs, however, had a lot of effort put into it.

If you Google for “FFXIV dojo” you’ll find a lot of creative designs that people have put a lot of work into. Not only designing the idea, but the effort taken to glitch items into places they don’t go by default in game. Once again, I was trying to figure out how to do some of these, but ultimately went back to looking at actual photos of real places.

Traditional Japanese Dojo – Sakura Budokan

About – POWERKARATE

I found martial arts sites and schools that detailed some of the design concepts, with the front being a place of honor, usually with a photo of the school’s founder, a shrine, various items there. Some detailed different cardinal directions to different elements, which wasn’t really an option with the way the house is designed in game.

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On the left side, I have two mannequins that I plan to suit with ninja gear and either monk or samurai gear.

At the front, I put a shrine and an image of the Four Lords from the Stormblood quest series. There’s also a drawing of Gosetsu, the samurai, and Yugiri, the ninja. Scrolls fill out the area of the center. On the left I chose a chest with drawers mostly as decoration. The center also has an empty table with an incense burner and eventually I’d like to put a small shrine there (I’m not able to acquire it yet).

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On the right is a painting of the Sekiseigumi barracks (the samurai police of Kugane) and a katana beneath it. A sake set, drum, and vase round out this side.

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To the back of the dojo is a meditation room. Once again, I read on articles about designing a meditation room and designed this is a mix of nature – the potted plants and trees and water with an aquarium. I did use inspiration from another player’s design to overlap things and make the aquarium look somewhat like an outdoor window, but I may add fish in the long run.

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An indoor garden piece has the shishi-odoshi so the sound effect is there and I added a bonsai tree to it to add a little more plant life.

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There’s a small chest with incense burner as well.

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All in all, my house is not terribly complicated. There’s not a lot of tricks utilized to make things float, to combine multiple pieces of furniture to create a unique one. Most of it is put together just creating furniture and placing it with the default tools.

My focus as I kept reading about actual interior design advice and traditional Japanese design was to keep things simple. While other houses are well designed with very complicated and complex designs, there’s no shame in a simple design either.

While this post is about Final Fantasy XIV housing, it can be applied to Animal Crossing: New Horizons or any other game with similar aspects. Your goal isn’t to have designs that match or rival other people. The purpose of designing your in game home is to make something you like and that you enjoy.

Look at other players’ designs for inspiration if you like, or think of a general design theme you want for yourself and look up photos of real or art images to inspire you and create from those.

In the end, these are your own little digital home, not someone else’s. It’s for you, not them. Take comfort in that, enjoy the simple things, and relax. Celebrate a simple life.

  1. Great job! I think the problem people with “inferiority complexes” over stuff like this have is that they’re wrapped up in the social media “likes and retweets = love” thing, whereas in fact the only thing that should matter in the case of something that is pure creativity — and which, let’s face it, has absolutely no mechanical function in the game whatsoever — is that *you* are satisfied with it as an expression of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  1. May 10th, 2020

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