Alternate build mode

Went through the topics here and noticed many threads discussing the existing custom building designer. Seems like a whole lot of effort has been put there, so I’d like to propose an alternate designer, for players who don’t want to use a wizard-like tool.

Firstly, I believe some work needs to be done regarding the cursor i.e. placing things in 3D space. My suggestion for this alternate design mode would be to lock the cursor to use the mouse only to move along the X and Y axes (width, length), and then use the keyboard arrow keys (up/down) to move the cursor up/down one layer.

This means: you can have the usual “select tool” menu on the left hand side of the designer, to let the player select what block is currently used on the cursor. Then all the player has to do is move the cursor to the appropriate position in 3D space then click to place said block. You could also use a toggle to prevent the need for placing multiple individual blocks by themselves.

So for example, laying down the floor:

  1. click on the floor tool, then select a floor texture
  2. move cursor to the top left corner of the planned floor area (X1,Y1), toggle “on” then click that spot
  3. move cursor to the bottom right corner where you want the floor plan to end (X2,Y2), then click
    This will tell the game to lay floor tiles along all the rectangle bounded by (X1,Y1) to (X2,Y2). Done.

Same works for walls: instead of using just the mouse, use the up/down arrow keys to raise/lower the level. I.e. instead of (X,Y), this time it’ll be (X,Z). So a rectangle between (X1,Z1) to (X2,Z2) would be a wall.

This takes care of pretty much any floor/wall/roof. Multiple floors? Easy, just lay another floor plan at the appropriate height. Indoor rooms? A large multi-storey lobby on one side and regular floors at the other? Split level floors? No sweat.

With toggle turned off the player can place individual blocks in different positions, e.g. build arches, buttresses, rafters, things like that. You might want to add some checks though, such as prevent placing a floor block if there aren’t any adjacent blocks along the X and Y axes, and also nothing underneath at the immediate lower Z axis.

You’ll probably want to fix how building plans are saved too. I thought the game saved whatever got placed within the 3D box of (X1,Y1,Z1) to (X2,Y2,Z2) but apparently that doesn’t seem to be the case judging from the various threads complaining about building issues.

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I doubt we’re getting an alternate building designer anytime soon, but yes, the current setup can be a pain to work with. I do like some of your suggestions.

Side note: I believe in most discussion regarding this game, horizontal is referred to as XZ, and Y is vertical. Your syntax is entirely valid, but it may slightly confuse some of us.

Edit: I almost feel like slabs were an alternate building designer. They’ve done wonders for the game in terms of freeform construction. They would benefit hugely from better selection tools like you suggest.

I can see this as being helpful if you want to specify the height of walls but idk if it’s something we want to apply to all builds. Granted i’m just starting to get into custom building so I may change my mind but i’ve done some custom things and I like the current mechanics. If you want multiple levels you can stack up a pillar of slabs and then when you want a floor just click and drag the area. Idk…like I said I haven’t done a bunch of custom building but i’m going to be making a stab at it soon.


@christiazn0321 Actually, it’s even easier than that. You can draw slabs over walls and then erase the edges, and the walls will have no gap.

Yes, but that feels like an unintended kludge, instead of directly drawing the walls how you want it. Plus, as I mentioned, this would be an alternate build mode, not the default one. It will definitely require more attention on the part of the user, but you trade that for the ability to place blocks exactly where you want them to, and not have to resort to doing things like stacking slabs, putting something as a prop to place something on top then removing it, etc.

I imagine you would use the regular build wizard to get the majority of your building frame done, then switch to this one to add on the fiddly little bits, like pointed tips on a pagoda-style roof and other things like that.

I actually like this idea quite a bit. It would certainly be useful adding the final details on large structures and even creating larger, more advanced structures.