The Development of Fafifi

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Introduction & Background

The idea to create an island came in the second phase of MOMA's development which happened in 2022 when David Rose found confidence to fully embrace the idea of integrating gaming into the WIKIMOMA Community Arts Project. The initial phase in 2021 saw the development of the Protocols of MOMA with very basic, mostly low-key, role-playing elements; a couple of examples being, (1) people who didn't consider themselves artists making artwork at proposed museum art workshops and contributing the works to the museum, or (2) participants playing the role of curator by assembling exhibitions to be shown in structures created according to the Protocols. When Princess Tahini of Patonga saw David flight simming, she got all excited and said she wanted to play being a flight attendant. That got David thinking about creating an addon to Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 that could have cabin crew - it seemed only natural there to have somewhere special to fly to. So began the dreaming of the Island of Fafifi. The name Patonga was first given to this idea, but David became uncomfortable with it's potential to be related to the people of Tonga, so a fictitious name was invented - that in a rather camp way nodded to, and homaged, the Fa'afafine of Samoa (hoping quite ferociously that non of them would be offended).


For "politics sake", Fafifi needed to be in international waters and so a location of S27°14.62' E162°45.21' was settled upon (for the centre of the island). This is south in the Coral Sea between Lord Howe Island and New Caledonia.

A screen shot of a Google Maps image with a heart symbol marking the location of the island of Fafifi.

Thanks to MSFS 2020 addon creator and commercial pilot, Mike (More Right Rudder) who consulted on this endeavour in the FBW Discord server. One benefit of this location is that it avoids Japanese & American World War II incursions into Fafifi's back story.

Size, Shape & Topography

The size, shape and topography of the island have been conceived whilst playing with form in Blender - the free and open-source 3D computer graphics software toolset. A pleasing shape was almost randomly generated by playing with settings in Blender's landscape addon, which generated a form shown below.

A screen shot of 3D image of an island, it looks like it is made from clay

The view shown is looking North. The peninsula in the south-west makes a perfect location for an airport and fishing-friendly human settlement. The huge bay (named Safety Bay), is a geographical feature crucial to Fafifi's economic development, which is strong in the Maritime transport sector.

Though the shape is very aesthetically pleasing, the mountains are too high. If these proportions are kept, the Island would have to be bigger than desirable for the type of lifestyle and history that the story envisages. So the dimensions were extended in the horizontal plane to render something more workable for an island that would be about 60 kms across (about 32 nautical miles).

A screen shot of 3D image of an island, it is set on a flat blue plane representing the sea, it is kinda crab shaped with a big bay between the claws, the main body of the island is mountainous and the peninsula has much flatter undulating ground

A Digital 3D Scale Model Prototype

The next phase (the current phase) was to develop a digital 3D scale model prototype in Blender. In order to easily and visually work out the height of the terrain in relation to the ground shape, a leggo block style has been adopted. This has also had the benefit of giving David the opportuni