Arc’s handbook for creations
#01 Building - A guide for New, Intermediate and Advanced builders
1. How should I start?
It’s quite simple actually: it depends! It depends on what you want to do. First you want to ask yourself whether your building will be part of a game, a showcase or a prop/model. The next question is, what is the purpose of your creation? Your answer can range from “I want it to look realistic/happy/…” to “I want it to make my players feel inspired/amazed/…” and even to “I want to tell a story”.
Regardless of your answers, based on them you should be able to imagine how your building should look like. If you want to transmit a happy feeling you should use bright colours. On the other hand, darker colours will give your players a sensation of “unknown”, insecurity.
2. Flow Progression
It’s not a lot, but now at least you have a plan. The next step is to understand what makes a building “good”. Although everyone has a different building style, when you look a the “Top Builders” you will notice a pattern.
They all have something which I like to call “Flow Progression”.
Image A - Everything is straight and fixed. It looks lifeless, in my opinion.
Image B - Woah! Notice how it has a lot of curves, different shapes an colours!
Notice how despite they are literally the same building, what changed wasn’t the materials or colour, but rather the variation it has now. The secret behind that is obvious, but worth explaining.
Beep boop, you got another image in your handbook!
Image C - You don’t need a hundred prop variations to make your game look cool. Only three variants of each model should do! The secret is to use colour, rotation and size variation. Remember to keep things flowing and balanced: if you go up, you must go down.
That’s why most of the buildings which involve nature (Natural Flow Progression) look amazing!
One last side note from a post I wrote some hours ago:
3. Observation & Planning
Now that you have a reasonable idea of what you should do to make a nice building, you must think what you want to have in your creation. If it’s a village, what should it have? Alternatively if it’s a tool, what is it’s purpose? Where should I place that? How should I do this? These are all questions which we naturally ask ourselves, but we FORGET the answers while building. Everything becomes messy, nothing fits anywhere, you don’t even want to continue. And this is the wall we hit most times, this is where we lose our faith in ourselves, this is where we lose motivation.
The only way to escape this dark room is to plan ahead. Plan, plan, plan everything.
A photo of my current project desk.
Image D- I have continent maps, town maps, model ideas, a magic system and a small lore. All this makes it so easier to create your own world. Invest time on this, so when you hit the “motivation prison”, you will have a map with the way out.
Ignore my 10 year old keyboard and my cup of tea, thank you.
You will need a lot of experience with different styles and themes. To master building, you need to understand what kind of style is needed for each project or part of a project. My portfolio is a perfect example of this: I have built in different communities, and therefore I have experience in Aviation groups, Military groups, Modern Nation groups, and many others.
Your experience will pile up to a point where you will only need to check for references while you’re designing and projecting your buildings! You won’t need to keep changing tabs or use your phone to look for examples of what you want, because you will KNOW how it should look like. And that happens naturally, or at least it did for me.
5. Cool, but why do we call it “building” instead of 3D Modelling?
Haha, I knew you were going to ask that! “There’s more to building than putting two parts together” is what Crykee mentioned in his tutorial. He’s completely right, there isn’t a fixed building definition, but we pretty much understand it as… making a game look pretty? Probably? Sure, programmers are helping behind the stage, making the game alive - but, a game* doesn’t exist without visuals.
Therefore, what you want to do as a builder is: add colours, lighting, terrain, particles, smoke, fire, water, seasons, sun, moon, clouds, add life.
game* - There are games which blind people can play, which do not need visuals.
6. Uhhhh I understood nothing that you said
Don’t worry, you don’t need to, you never did. If you don’t like the idea of sitting hours drawing dumb sketches, don’t. That’s the best part of being a builder, you don’t need pre-requisites, you don’t need to know what is this damn thing they call a… coroutine??? seriously why would someone give it that name
That’s right! As a builder you can build freely, you don’t need to know how to make an airplane to make a house. You could say “Aren’t you contradicting yourself?”, to which I would reply: not at all.
Yes, you don’t need to be an expert in airplanes, but CSG airplanes in Roblox take a lot of unions and hours of work. Spending so long with them made me feel really comfortable when dealing with unions now, and I believe this is why most of my unions are so smooth.
You got a new image, m'lord.
Image E - This is an ATR 72-600 I made completely with unions, a few years ago. Notice how, although it’s not completely smooth, it does give you a “that’s smooth” feeling.
Easter Egg! Hi, thank you for reading this, have this gift.
Image F - Probably not the best example, but can you see how the curved sword also gives you the same feeling? Well, it does for me.
Boy, I’ve been writing this for too long. This was my guide to building, I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.