(A15) Struggling with Custom Building

My sandbox player type is definitely “builder”. In Minecraft, I loved making large, elaborate structures. I’ve seen some of the things others have built with this game so far and it’s really impressive. But I feel like figuring how to make some of these awesome structures is 90% UI skill & knowledge and about 10% Builder skill.

From what I’ve gathered, most builders use the “Slab” tool to do their custom builds. If this were a simple block-by-block build tool (like Minecraft), I’d have no problem bringing some of my designs to life. It works fine for the first 4 or 5 layers, and beyond that just stops allowing me to build any further.

For example: I make four round pads on top of each other as a base for a statue. The bottom layer is 32x32 and each new layer is a little smaller, creating a circular “pyramid” of sorts. Everything goes great and is really intuitive for the first 4 layers. As soon as I try to add the 5th layer, it just stops working. I’m able to highlight and click-and-drag a 5th layer, but when I release the design just disappears. As if I’m not allowed to make a 5th layer here.

I’ve also had issues building something as simple as stairs up the side of a cliff for basically the same reason. Starts out fine, gets to layer 4 or 5 and just stops allowing me to place blocks down.

What am I doing wrong or missing? How are others making these huge castles/structures with custom roofs when I can’t even add a 5th layer? Did Alpha 15 “break” some of the tricks other builders used? I noticed most of the elaborate structures are Alpha 13 or earlier.

Thanks in advance for any tips/help/advice you have to offer!

1 Like

You’ve probably looked at this already, but make sure that you have Slice turned off when you’re building - if it’s set too low and turned on, it’ll cut up your buildings as well while you’re drafting them.

Personally, I haven’t encountered this issue. I’ve built a few 20+ voxel high buildings (mostly via slabs) and they’ve constructed just fine.

A couple tips to smooth out the process: make sure you save before you start drafting anything, and then make sure you save again once you’ve drafted before you start building. You can reload those as many times as you need to in order to change the details if something goes wrong.

Good luck!

Here’s some stairs I threw together, they built in sections, but were all substantial layers. It’s doable.


I’ll double-check to make sure I didn’t have “Slice” turned on. Honestly I’m not sure. I have two questions about the stairs in your screeshot:

  1. Were they all built just utilizing the “Slab” tool?
  2. Was each layer of stairs built separately?

Thank you so much for responding and trying to help me with this. I appreciate it. I haven’t been completely lazy about this. I have read several threads on this forum and reddit as well as googling and wasn’t able to figure out what I was doing different from everyone else. If it really was just me having “Slice” turned on I’m going to feel really dumb, but at the same time relieved that it could be something so simple.

1 Like

This may seem a stupid question but do you have wood for scaffolding? It’s the easiest thing to block a build.

Failing that sometimes you have to build extra ladders when the hearthlings get stuck or can’t climb.to the spot they need to get to in order to build the next thing. Normally when my builds.are inexplicablly stuck, it’s because there is a spot my dudes can’t reach but that the AI isn’t smart enough to build to. It really helps to make sure all your builds are internally pathable, with stairs etc.

Also building on top of other buildings or on non even ground, while possible, can be problematic.

1 Like

Not a stupid question, but I’m in the “wooded” map, so yes, plenty of wood for scaffolding. I had a dormitory (higher than my statue base) going up at the same time with no issues.

The problem was that it wasn’t creating a “ghost construction” at all. I would left-click and drag the area where I wanted slabs to go down, and when I release the mouse button, it doesn’t “take”, the “ghosted” slabs never appear.

I’ll try to provide some screens to show what I’m talking about.

1 Like

To answer your questions:

  1. Yup, slabs for everything! Those were pretty easy to make once I had carved the shape out of the hill (the block by block mining was the hard part).*
  2. Roughly, they were built in big sections (but certainly not one at a time). It’s not exact, but they were built between the landings, so from the ground to the 3x6 brown section, then from there to the next big 3x6 section, and again to the top.

*One aside about building like this is knowing when to use the floor, road, or slab tools.
Floor will replace existing ground, shouldn’t be built free-standing (i.e., you need another block below it to avoid errors), and will have walls snap to them when you’re building houses or enclosed structures.
Road will work like floor, but will not have walls snap to them - use this to map out roads or replace existing terrain outside somewhere.
Slabs, or building voxel (block) by voxel, will break all of these rules. They can be freestanding, will not replace parts of the world, and will not have walls snap to them.

To build these stairs, I carved out a block below what I wanted to actually work with and built on top of the landscape, so as a result I used slabs. I prefer being able to just use one tool, and wanted to work out my design as I went so I wasn’t comfortable using the road tool to try to replace pieces as I went. Furthermore, the lower brown (dark red) voxels you can see under the cream layer would have caused an issue: the cream layer had to be built from slabs in order to be placeable, since all the other tools would have tried to replace the brown blocks I wanted.


@exteelgolem in addition to making sure you don’t have the slice tool on, also please make sure you don’t have “building vision” selected either… that’s actually the more likely culprit. (“Building Vision” is the little white house in the lower right middle of your UI.)


@brad @Aethrios

Thank you so much to both of you for your advice and responses. I will try your suggestions tonight and report back with screenshots if I’m still having issues. I am determined to figure this out so I can enjoy the full potential of what the game has to offer so far!

Well, I figured some things out. First, I started a completely brand new game. The save where I was struggling had a few bug popups already and it felt like the save was becoming more bugged/corrupted as I played as more things kept breaking (hearthlings becoming idle, construction not starting/finishing, etc.)

In the new save, things were going great at first. I managed to get the base for my statue down and made it further than last time. Changed my mind about the design and started deconstructing portions of it. I made it as far as the screenshot below. The highlighted chunk was part of “building 2” which was the inner portion of that circle. Most of it was deconstructed, but they stopped and left the remaining chunk. Then construction anywhere near the base just stopped working and was behaving like my original save.

Construction feels “one way” right now… Get it right the first time and do it in small chunks, and you’ll be okay. But if you try to deconstruct a large chunk all at once as I did (twice), you’re probably going to break something. Not giving up yet, I have at least one more try in me before I throw in the towel until next Alpha. One day the construction in this game will work flawlessly in both directions (construct <-> deconstruct), and it will be glorious.

Also, slightly related question. In the screenshot below I clearly have the “Slab tool” highlighted (in green), yet the text in the UI is still calling it floor material.

Am I doing something wrong and causing my structures to behave as floors when I want them as slabs? Or has this just not been updated to accurately reflect the tool yet?

I don’t think I’ve ever done major deconstruction. Save before every build and if it goes wrong reload.

Slabs seem to function as floors sometimes and roads and foundations act similarly too. Seems to mostly be a ui thing though it can matter a bit when placing walls.