Chocobucks cafe

Lately, we’ve been really into the whole world of roleplaying (RP) venues in Final Fantasy XIV. I had no idea it was a thing until maybe a month ago or so when one of our friends asked about trying out some of our server’s nightclubs!

Please note that what I’m talking about here is all relatively PG. There’s also a very different style of roleplaying in FFXIV, but that’s against the game’s terms of service and not something I get involved in anyway.

In general, RP venues are a really neat idea. Basically, people build these themed venues in their houses, and then have “open hours” where people can come and act like they would in a place like that in real life. Many of them have DJs, bartenders that can get you themed food and drinks, and wait staff. I’ve even seen security patrolling at some of the nightclubs!

And though this trend was around before the pandemic, it’s absolutely exploded in popularity since.

Ever since our first venture into Primal’s nightclubs, we’ve wanted to set up something like that in our FC house; just a place where people could hang out, relax, and enjoy a semblance of normalcy. After all, even two years later, it’s not entirely feasible to go out the way we used to.

And of course, what could be more appropriate for yours truly than a coffee shop.

Choosing the design

Full disclosure: I wasn’t originally inspired by coffee shops for this build. There’s this incredibly fancy Wendy’s where we live that’s got the whole cookie-cutter modern-restaurant nine yards; the wooden beams, massive windows, Edison bulbs, black steel accents, you name it. I knew I wanted to create a similar vibe for our cafe: something modern and moody with calm lighting and massive windows.

Because well, who doesn’t love reading in a sunny window in a coffee shop?

I also loved the idea of having a comfortable seating area in the shop, not just your traditional coffee shop tables. You don’t see it everywhere, but I remember there was one coffee shop like that when I was a student and it was my favourite place to be between classes.

Creating a warm atmosphere

This build was a unique challenge for me because it required me to design in a way I don’t normally. Usually, I’m all about bright, clean spaces with a minimal feel—but at least in my mind, that wouldn’t do for a coffee shop. Instead, I wanted it to radiate the same warmth and comfort you’d get from a sip of good coffee on a cold morning.

I wanted there to be something different everywhere you looked, a different visual flavour around every corner. I wanted things to be mismatched, eclectic, and just contrasting enough that they looked like they belonged together. I wanted it to feel like someplace you could happily lose an entire afternoon in.

For that reason, I also depended really heavily on furnishings with unique textures for this build, including the varied wood wall and red brick counters.

Building a matching menu

Obviously, any good RP cafe needs a matching menu! Though we’re not quite ready to open, I had far too much fun going through the entire crafting log for culinarians and picking out coffees, teas, and snacks we could put on a menu.

It felt rather like making a backstory for a D&D character, and was almost as fun as the build itself!