The highly-anticipated launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is just 11 days away, but that doesn’t make the wait any less interminable for the millions of fans seeking to escape our rapidly spiraling hellworld. Never before has the allure of a sunny, private island been so strong, and while we’ve still got some time to wait before absconding with Isabelle once again, we can at least use this fun new app to start planning ahead.
Available on Github, Happy Island Designer is a fan project by user eugeneration that — you guessed it! — allows one to happily design their own island ahead of next Friday’s release. As can be seen above, I was able to design a friendly archipelago collectively known as the Butt Islands, which I hope to eventually realize in my own personal Animal Crossing: New Horizons save.
In its current form, Happy Island Designer allows for six different terrain options (rocks, water, sand, and three types of green), as well as four path options, 15 structure markers, and 13 amenity icons for things like airports, Resident Services, Nook’s Cranny (still gross), lighthouses, and more. There seems to be no limit to the number of structures or landmarks you can place on your island, nor is there a limit to how much landmass you can add or carve away. Whether this level of freedom will be reflected by the actual tools in Animal Crossing: New Horizons remains to be seen, but as we recently found out in the Nintendo Direct embedded below, said tools will be the most generous we’ve ever had access to in the series’ 19-year history.
Happy Island Designer’s default map is a recreation of the island in the above Nintendo Direct, as seen at the 10:54 mark, which is likely to be everyone‘s island. (Though Nintendo has specified that players can choose which hemisphere their island is located in, it hasn’t said anything about there being different islands to choose from. I guess Tom Nook has the ability to move an island wherever he wants on the globe? Or maybe he owns two different, identical islands; one in each hemisphere? I’ve got questions, Nintendo.)
Worth noting is that Happy Island Designer is free of any real, direct mention of Animal Crossing, so it might be able to escape from Nintendo’s Sauron-like gaze when it comes to fan projects. Just to be safe though, you should probably design your island sooner rather than later.