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The Builders Paradox (Improve your builds) Tutorials

Discussion in 'Starbound Discussion' started by SivCorp, Mar 19, 2016.


What level of builder are you?

  1. A hole in the ground will do.

    30 vote(s)
  2. Boxes as far as the eye can see!

    94 vote(s)
  3. It looks like the plans.

    101 vote(s)
  4. Sure, I'd live there.

    92 vote(s)
  5. The Sistine Chapel? Yeah I built that.

    29 vote(s)
  1. SivCorp

    SivCorp Parsec Taste Tester

    SivCorp brings his expertise in Architecture and Design (professionally) to the masses!

    Here we can dig into improving all things architecture. Novice and expert alike can improve and help each other to improve their builds with some tutelage. Lets upgrade our building to the next level! Feel free to ask questions, and make your own tutorials to share here. Looking at screenshots only go so far, lets improve even more with what we should be thinking about as we build for the stars.

    First tutorial -
    Basic House building.

    See below...

    Second Tutorial -
    Large builds & Spaceships


    First tutorial -
    Basic House building.

    This tutorial uses the Blocktable plus mod so we don't have to cheat any building materials in, we can use the starting rock, wood and dirt to build good looking starter houses.

    1 - Find a good spot.
    Pick a spot that is not necessarily flat, but usable. Here I found a hilltop with a small cave in it. Lets get started!

    2 - Gather materials.
    You won't get far without gathering materials. Here we use the Block table to make all those materials with only wood, stone and dirt. Great options, with no cheating needed!

    3 - Stage 1 building.
    This is where I see the most mistakes in building happening. Many folks build as an exoskeleton building technique and destroy the natural environment. They build walls, floors and roofs all externally first, then fill it in, while flattening out the terrain completely. This leads to many flat, boring, boxy designs that don't fit well in the environment. Instead, lets build the way an actual builder would, from the ground up with minimal impact to the ground layer.
    So here, I have used some logs to set the foundation, and put the floor material down. Notice that I only flattened a very small area out, and have built some decking and stairs to get up to the structure, instead of flattening the entire hilltop. Making the stucture fit the environment makes your builds go from good to great! Now, set where you want doors and put up wooden poles in the background to support the next level. I usually do all this in the background layer, to make it easier to visualize, and leave much of it when I go to fill the building in later. This also breaks you of building in boxes, and instead building in sections.

    4 - Finish Stage 1 building.
    Here we finish out the other levels the same as the first, with the floor first, followed by walls and finishing with the roof. Here I added a different pitched roof to make an interesting shape for the house. I didn't stick to the boxy shape, I used my support poles to stair step a roof line that looks attractive and functional. I also place my windows and lighting at this stage, so I can plan to work around them for later.

    5 - Stage 2 building.
    Here we place our large furniture items to make sure spacing will work. If it doesn't I can rebuild the parts that need it without too much hassle. On more complex builds, this stage can go through many rebuilds to make things fit correctly. After we have everything in its place, we fill in our building with whatever finishing materials we want. This being a simple build, I used wooden walls to keep it uniform and rustic looking.

    6 - Addons.
    Now that the main building is done, we can add any additional structural elements we want. I wanted to use that cave area as a cellar of sorts, so I empty it out and line it with structured stone. I space out supports to carry the weight, for it has the hill and the house pushing down on the space. It needs to be built to look strong. Putting the supports closer together achieves that look. You can also use wider, stronger looking supports like stone pillars if you wish, though for this little build it would be overbearing.

    7 - Finish it up.
    Now that everything is built to the size and shape we want, we simply decorate the interior with the desired furniture, storage and other items we want. With this simple build, that doesn't constitute much, but for larger builds this finishing can take a little while as you decide on window coverings, pictures and other details. You can also opt to paint different things too.

    Summery -
    With this simple tutorial, we looked at the pitfalls of building in the exoskeleton style, and how to minimally impact our environment that we are building in. Keeping these simple tips in mind will aid us on our next, more complex builds. Till next time, enjoy the building!

    And again, feel free to ask questions and make your own tutorials to share! Lets make this into a megathread of building information :)
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
  2. Celesmeh

    Celesmeh Void-Bound Voyager

    I like this. Thanks so much!

    I'll add on that you should find a style you like and go with it. I tend to incorporate a lot of nature into my builds so those plant matter blocks are where it's at, but thinking about materials can help you integrate better into the landscape.
    SivCorp likes this.
  3. M_Sipher

    M_Sipher Master Astronaut

    I find that "sketching" your building out with easily-removed materials like Snow or Sand (not Fine Sand) helps you space things out properly before you go laying down hardier materials.

  4. Pedro Falcão

    Pedro Falcão Pangalactic Porcupine

    I don't know abou Sistine, but I sure built this small chapel here.
    Any way, nice idea to bring new fellow builders to the fold!
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  5. Kezeal

    Kezeal Ketchup Robot

    Looks like my boxing days are behind me now.
  6. starboundish

    starboundish Phantasmal Quasar

    Nice little tutorial, I'll try to build less boxy from now on. Thanks!
    SivCorp likes this.
  7. Lemony Shtickit

    Lemony Shtickit Big Damn Hero

    Great! I used this to help me expand my homeworld a ton, you're a great architect.
    SivCorp likes this.
  8. SivCorp

    SivCorp Parsec Taste Tester

    Thanks for the complement!

    What should be my next one, guys?
    I'm thinking city planning, building ships, or building organics. Which one ?
  9. TheFloranChef

    TheFloranChef Giant Laser Beams

    Building ships would be nice. You are making cool ships for your Kingdom and I liked those boats you made too.
    SivCorp likes this.
  10. cooltv27

    cooltv27 Heliosphere

    I say organics or city planning

    after both of them I can build a forest village! (a village made from a forest)
    SivCorp likes this.
  11. DukeOfRiven

    DukeOfRiven Giant Laser Beams

    Where's the manipulator arms?
  12. Tamorr

    Tamorr Supernova

    Pretty well good tutorial... Didn't really learn much from it personally; since I pretty much do those sort of things anyway. At least when I build. Although not necessarily in quite that order.

    If I have the materials already, I would plan the floor layout; melding it with the terrain. I don't flatten out much unless I need to. If anything I add supports or foundation for the floor.

    Once I have the size in floor length finished I go to making a rough outline in structure. If multi story I will be more of a sectioned box on the lower floors anyhow, and possibly having at least an illusion of arch angle in roof of those lower floors. Depends on the situation mostly. Regardless I end up creating the back walls along with the supports all in a go as that is how I image things in my own head; only mix n match when I am unsure of materials being used until I find one that seems about right.

    I guess my houses can be somewhat busy looking with the materials I use sometimes, but not always. Paying attention to detail, much as possible, to the color/block use through out the design.

    The roof is usually the last thing I do, so that is forms to the structure and not the structure forming to the roof. usually. I have done it the other way around, but generally don't quite do that unless needed; like a glitch castle that I harvested blocks from, lowering the kings room to non-existence, then fitting place to form to the new roof level to somewhat match the theme. Things like that in which I did in the past.

    Onto what would be nice to see would be organics or city planning... Those would be great tutorials to have tips on, even if I have my own way; I always find something to inspire. :nuruhappy:
    TheFloranChef and SivCorp like this.
  13. SivCorp

    SivCorp Parsec Taste Tester

    Alrighty, 1.0 has dropped... time to get to work building again!
  14. Eonwulf

    Eonwulf Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    That build could have gone one way. I'm glad it went the other way.
  15. Hakiyah

    Hakiyah Void-Bound Voyager

    Even when I deliberately trying to avoid boxes they still come out that way most of the time. Very helpful guide. I'll be trying some of these tips ASAP.
  16. Valkyrie_pl

    Valkyrie_pl Big Damn Hero

    There is one thing among others that I always have the most problems with in Starbound specifically, and it's the room height. What's the optimal / perfect one that allows for nice interior decoration and fits most to scale of player characters and NPCs? I tried to copy heights of already existing in-game buildings, but usually with mixed results.
    Sh4dowWalker96 and Another Kevin like this.
  17. TheFloranChef

    TheFloranChef Giant Laser Beams

    I got used to make it 9-10 blocks because of the short elevators that we had in unstable, that would cover that height. I think it works fine for decoration.
  18. Valkyrie_pl

    Valkyrie_pl Big Damn Hero

    That is indeed around the height I usually use. Well then, the problem is less in that and more in walls it seems. That's another thing that I could never get quite right. Having walls 1 block thick is nice and all, especially for smaller things, but what when we build somewhat bigger, and 1-thick walls are a no-go anymore? 2-thick looks a bit weird. 3-thick, if used as core + outline of two different materials is usually nice. 4-thick looks better than 3, but is quite bulky. Also not all doors fit all thicknesses. It gets real complicated, real fast.

    And the best answer I get to that problem'll probably be smth like "it depends, see what fits best". ^^
  19. Hawklaser

    Hawklaser Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Yep, that really is the answer. It depends, see what fits best.

    As take a Glitch Castle and compare it to a hut in the Swamp Biomes. A big epic Glitch Castle would just feel wrong with tiny 1 block thick walls and only 9-10 block high rooms, but yet that works fine for the Swamp hut, while the Swamp hut would feel wrong with 4-5 block thick walls and 20+ block high rooms and that works fine for the Glitch Castles.
  20. SivCorp

    SivCorp Parsec Taste Tester

    Yeah, I'll have to do a tut on how to build big and bulky, while still looking great.

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