Each island uses an identical grid of squares (turned 45 degrees and shown in perspective to the view - call them diamonds if you wish but I call them squares to avoid confusion with diamond currency).
You can visually see the grid on an island by placing path stones. You cannot, however, place monsters on path stones, so it is not possible to cover a whole island in path stones.
You will note there are three "extra" squares - spaces that are not duplicated on the other side of the island. When trying to make a symmetrical display, these extra squares can trip you up and make you wonder what you are doing wrong in placing your monsters and decorations. It's not you - it's the extra squares. It might help to place path markers or 1-square decorations on these squares so you can easily avoid them. All islands except the Tribal, Wublin, and Composer Islands have the same grid and the same extra squares. The one in the upper left is hanging off the edge of the stage on Shugabush Island, and thus looks somewhat strange when occupied.
For planning purposes, it is helpful to see a "top view" of the grid without the perspective angle we normally see in the game.
Sizes of Monsters, Decorations, and Structures are listed elsewhere in the wiki. You can use those sizes to plan your island. Or you can randomly place stuff anywhere it fits. It's up to you. After all, it's your island. Below is a sample placement of some of the main structures and decorations. I noted timed structures with a yellow square to avoid blocking the timers.
Squares don't work so well for planning Glowbe placement. This is because Glowbes stack top to bottom but due to the stretched diamonds created by the perspective view, they do not stack left to right. For Glowbes, you need a perspective view. Planning Glowbe placement is especially useful because moving a large number of Glowbes one at a time can be quite tedious.
There are many ways you can do your own planning. Vector-based drawing tools are generally easiest for moving things around. Popular vector tools include Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw. Diagram tools such as Microsoft Visio can make things even easier once you get the main grid set up. Standard graph paper or a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel can be used if you turn the map 45 degrees. The quickest and easiest thing to do, though, is to use the blank grid above - print it out and color it in as needed or import it into your favorite drawing app and use the fill tool.
Most people have gotten by just fine without using a tool or grid to plan their islands. These tools are helpful for people wanting to do a specific design or figuring out how many monsters you need to complete a design - and determining if you have enough beds for them!
External links to files:
- Printable gray-scale PDF of square view
- Printable gray-scale PDF of persepctive view
- Excel file for Excel 2007+ (XLSX)
- Excel file for Excel 2003- (XLS)
PLEASE DO NOT RE-POST THESE FILES. I will update them as needed to keep them current.