City building, and block dimensions (Seeking advice)

zionus0 Member Posts: 395 Arc User
Hello, I'm looking for some pointers on building a custom city (and a ship interior but have run into difficulty figuring out dimensions of walls {Rom and Science}, I can't seem to match them consitantly even with snap to grid off.) I've decided to start off by making an birds eye view map on paper but I'm having some problems with the following:

1) Building block placement- I'd like to create some brick roads, so I realize the best option is to sink some blocks down a few meters, and build around them, but ramps and buildings have become the bane of my existence, as I can't seem to get the elevations to match correctly... Could someone kindly please tell me how to figure out the measurements for them?

2) Waterways and Aquaducts- I'd like to have a couple rivers going through the map in places, but have no idea how the water flow and props work.

3) I can't seem to find the new blank map anywhere.

Thanks in advance to any responders.
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  • duncanidaho11
    duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,618 Arc User
    edited August 2016
    The new blank map is "Empty" map something or other. It's in the exterior category (just to be sure you're looking in the right place.)

    Even after all the block building I've done I couldn't give you the exact dimensions on block mis-match. It's just a process of trial an error, using the coordinate system once you've snapped something to near enough the right place. That's tedious, I know, but it's something you've got to do.

    Also, for the love of Q make sure you're using Zero Altitude and not terrain for anything other than the empty ground map (the two are the same in that case, which makes it very easy to build on)

    As a rule of thumb, foundation columns are a meter or two taller than foundation blocks and walls (which are the same height to each other). Building blocks run a completely different set of dimensions (they're a lot less useful for creating a city foundation than the aptly named foundation blocks) and the building block platform pieces are thicker than the standard floor pieces you could also be looking into.

    The way I'd approach it is to find out what height works best for your city map. Use blocks for courtyards and building pavilions, and paired or tripled walls running in parallel, set -0.2y for sidewalks or streets. You will then need to identify (by trial and error, or figuring this all once and writing it down somewhere) where the level of the city corresponds in absolute Y (so you can place things on top of these blocks nicely.)

    For aqueducts, all you need is to use building block walls for the sides and any of the water textures for the water. Build a course and fill it up (there's no flow, but you can give the feeling of flow by using spashing FX in the right places). Again, setting everything to the correct height is going to be a process of trial and error, but again that's the Foundry.
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  • captainhunter1
    captainhunter1 Member Posts: 1,589 Arc User
    Duncan above has nailed it right on the head.

    Building a large city from scratch is incredibly tedious, but if you have the patience, the result can be spectacular.
  • trennan
    trennan Member Posts: 2,839 Arc User
    edited September 2016
    My advise here is not to figure out where your absolute Y is. As Duncan pointed out that actually changes by piece. What I would do here is give myself an absolute minimum Y. You are building a city, so keep in mind, unless you're wanting it to be flat. It's going to have it's ups and downs. But having that absolute minimum Y, you will not go below. This set the foundation height of your city. If you're wanting to a to a multi-tiered city. Then you will need this baseline, or foundation line to work with. From here it's just setting pieces as you see your city.

    A word of warning on the multi-tiered part. As Duncan said, it is a lot of trial and error in placing pieces. When doing this style, be prepared to hate using ramps. Their Y setting can get rather tricky on height. Sometimes you'll use a whole ramp, some times only the a small portion of it. You can build stairs, but this wastes details. Because unless you want the player jumping up each step. I believe the maximum y difference is 0.4. So to make a smooth set of stairs, and this is an example, you set piece 1 at Y 0. Then your next pieces would be 0.4, 0.8, 1.2, 1.6, 2, 2.4, etc.

    There is also something else you need to consider here. That being are you actually planning on building the city or are you planning on using the premade building to make it? This is something you need to know. This will help you keep your Object and building counts in mind.

    The Empty Ground Map, Duncan mentioned is good for custom work. It's Full dimensions are 2000x2000 with a Y minum of 15.22 and a maximum of 152.33. The only problem with is that white 5ft, 5ft, 5ft, 5ft, they have set there. It is set at Y 15 above the bottom of the map to act as a "terrain base". So for that map it acts as Y-0, but the actual bottom of the map is -15.22. Yes, you can spawn in under it, or run off the edge. Looking at that map, the outer edge past the black is your maximum X and Z points.

    Also on this, don't be afraid to look at the premade ground maps. If you're not doing an enclosed city, then they will be you're only terrain or topography maps. Granted most of them are seriously covered in what I call, "Crypitc Clutter", that you can't do anything about. You just have to work around it and in some cases, you'll just use Foundation Blocks to just change the topography to what you need.