As a builder, how do you plan your builds?

When I look at amazing builders, their builds are just Next Level. Motivation kicks in and I’m like, “Okay, if they can do it then I can too.”

End Result: A bunch of randomly placed roblox cylinders which I thought would look great in a build, but no.

So, that being said, does anyone have any ideas on how to improve my builds? I really want that detail that are always in showcase maps but I’m just clueless on what to put in as THE detail. I’m currently making a futuristic area and I just really can’t decide.

P.S. Does anyone have any suggestions on lighting? When you first fire up your new place in Roblox Studio, It’s all dark and the only thing I’d do is to turn up the ambience, but it doesn’t look all that great.


Short boring answer: Practice

Longer marginally more helpful answer: You learn how to do really detailed building the same way you learn anything else. Subdivide into smaller and smaller sections until you work with something small enough that you feel like you can make it perfect. So for example instead of trying to build a super detailed house. Start with a room… if the room is too much then go down to a single item in the room. Really focus on scale and with time and practice you will develop a style/aesthetic to your builds based on techniques that you choose to use.


Proof I’m somewhat knowledgeable about building and not just talking out of my butt
I always feel like people need to show they are at least somewhat credible when giving advice like this if they are not a recognized name… but that’s just me


If you want to get better at planning, get better at prototyping. Get to the point where you can mock up a test build relatively quickly. Once you’ve got a shape, adding detail often starts to flow. Use reference pictures

If you want to get an aesthetic, follow pages like “What are you working on currently? (2018)”. To this day I constantly see shapes and materials coming together to make awesome stuff.

Get people like @HolidayPwner posting epic lighting scenes, you should go try and replicate it and then often more than not you will miss the mark, and create a new scene that’s unique. Then you take that and start to alternate it for different places. Boom. Got your aesthetic.


To add onto the very helpful posts above, anything artistic has multiple techniques and preferences. I tend to plan out (greybox) my world building before getting into the nitty-gritty. FlightLobby01

But I know others that just start at one section and start world building and it comes out just as good. So it really comes down to preference and practice. Though I will mention that greyboxing it much more standard for groups and teams, since everyone knows what’s going on.

One thing I strongly suggest to all designers and world builders is to include narrative into your design. For the 2018 Egg Hunt, I wanted to include narrative design that strengthened the attitude and flow of the storyline and the gameplay style. When writing the storyline for the game, we wanted the player to follow through the Hero’s Journey since that’s something players relate to easily - and a large part of that story structure is Crossing Through the First Threshold which is strongly implied in the first world - Wonderland Grove - between the known, and the unknown:

The player spawns behind the gate and has to make a conscious choice to pass through into the new world.

Coming back to the main question of “how to improve my builds?”, this is an example of how you can design your maps with extra layers of immersion, though there are an infinite ways to do this even without a storyline. Design and build with the intent to tell a story, because isn’t that what most kinds of art attempt to do anyways?

I hope I helped answer your question. I could go on for days about this kind of stuff, so DM me if you’re looking for more info.


This is what goes on in my mind when I first read your post… First stop saying how I’m going to do this and just go for it. Why? Because that’s the killer, it demotivates and make you doubt if your capable of doing it. You’ll never know if you never try. To know you have to push your limits. It don’t have to look perfect in the first go you improve it as you go. When you looking at someone builds they probably already did some small adjustments//tweaking to it, to make it look 101/100

This is how I go about it

When I’m building 98% I got an image// reference of what I’m building. Most of the time I got multiple images. I start by studying the image how the layout is what shape is best to use Side Note it’s good to know what shape to use for that part of the build. And then I would usually start from the bottom up depend on what I’m doing and brake it down step by step and everything will come together. And sometime when you need to build super small and need to be detailed build it big and then resize it to small.

Side note this may not apply to everyone, I saw his build “Incomplete Medieval Showcase” so I know he got the basic’s down and he’s good at making the right size (the doors and the models)

Also a Dual setup monitor will benefit you on 1 monitor you’ll have references pictures and the other monitor Roblox Studio

That’s how I go about to do it hope it helps you!

Only took me an hour to write it :joy:


Here’s an acronym to help you out:
I nspiration - don’t force this, just let it happen. Some days I wake up saying “I want to build a raygun today”, and other days I got nothing. This is why you always try and have a filler project for those days.
R eference - art is almost never completely original. I’m not saying completely rip off something pre existing, but don’t be scared to use references; they’re extremely helpful.
S pecialize - Don’t be the everything guy. Find something specific and go for it, as long as you always challenge yourself.

And remember, keep paying your taxes(or in this case keep practicing) or the IRS will get you(ignore this terrible joke please)


I usually make builds based on pictures from movies and stuff or take inspiration from photos and make it as accurate as possible.

It is all about practice and patience because some builds can take a long long long time and you just have to sit there and build it. But the end result is always beyond amazing


I think that people often see “good building” as hypo-realistic technical work. However there is builders that are so good in their craft that they can use less parts while still making a quality product. I really don’t think that a higher part count boils down to raw talent, in fact if there is a way to make the same build with less parts, then kudos to you: because that is the real challenge. This is a skill that I have been challenged to master in my most recent projects: Transitioning from a heavily technical builder to a precise and more user-friendly work.

Good tips for builders looking to use less parts:

  1. Color variation (I use 3 shades of each color in my builds typically)
  2. Combining parts with smooth terrain (Match the part color with the terrain color)
  3. Perfect C-framing + Cartoon style textures

Thanks for you suggestions, guys!

@VineyardVine I will try it out although I do feel that my builds will definitely become much more detailed with your suggestion. Thanks!

@SerClockwerk Planning definitely seems like a crucial process in making a good area. I usually just go head on, mixing details with the main objects and the results are not ideal. I will take them into consideration. Thanks!

@Aotrou I have been wanting to make a storyline for a more immersive experience, but pairing with the messy builds, its going to take some time to get used to. I’ll do my best to bring this in though. Thanks again.

@CrazySnoopylove Thanks for your help. Step by step is definitely the way to go.

@Splandex It seems to be that references help a lot. Thanks, I try it out.


@CheetahSp33d Buildings definitely take a long, long time. But, I agree, the patience will definitely be worth the wait. Thanks for the tip.

@nineteen85 I never thought of it like that. Cartoonish theme can also bring the child-friendly Roblox vibes. Also, really good tips for using less parts. I know that building doesn’t have a structure for success but your tips can lead me in the right direction.


Another way you can look at it is to make a rough draft like in an essay. Maybe build an entire composition out of just a few big bulky parts, then just refine it. Keep doing that. And there may be a few things you might need to change, that’s okay. Revise all the details till it looks just right.


have focus points, and make areas on the map naturally flowing/comprehensible to get to. Other than that its different for each build. A good tip is not have the map on one flat surface. Have raised areas and low areas. I find the map layouts in Valve so inspiring, they are so well done.

Use reference photos


To be entirely honest, I don’t plan a lot beforehand. What I do, however, is try and get the basic shapes up first. Detailing can come later. It makes myself more motivated to do the build. It also gives me a better idea about how my build will look in the end. I guess that is also kinda planning?

And as @Mistertitanic44 stated above, reference photos are quite useful.


I plan my builds with an idea. What am I feeling like? Having a cyberpunk vibe? Build a cyberpunk city scene. Feeling up and pumped? Build something that gives off a nice vibe, such as a nature scene. Slowly, it all falls into place in my head. This takes practice, though.

What’s your favorite building style? For me, it’s cyberpunk. I usually start with a simple layout in my head, and go from there. “What do I want this project to look like?” I ask. Then, I just build. I picture different places. Some places that come to mind are offices, coffee shops, and apartments. Then, I build them. I try to throw in varying shapes, sizes, and layouts. This will help the buildings, well, pop out! They don’t really look the same, so your build will be something to remember.

Once you got your basic buildings down, go around adding things. Signs, air conditioners, wires, and vents. They all help fill up empty space that leaves your build looking bland.

Always remember, though: building takes loooooong. Buildings for me can take a day. Some of my longer projects have stretched on for weeks, if not months! It’s hard to always stay on that one thing, so always have a backup project, like @Splandex said.

Eventually, with enough editing, lighting tricks, and practice, you can get things like this:

(Please note that this is an unfinished project.)

  1. references of inspiration
    by this I mean taking pictures of things you want to incorporate into your creation and then putting them into your creation. this is probably one of the more important ones in trying to figure out design, but sometimes you don’t have inspiration and just improvise which leads me to…
  2. sketches and concept builds
    i’d usually do concept builds where i lay out the basic shapes, the peculiarities, and get together the elements i want to incorporate into the build. you can also use sketches, but usually concept builds are easier for people who can’t draw.
  3. thinking about it
    i spend most of my time procrastinating on what I wanted to make and then thinking of it in action or in use. the reason I’d do this is because it gives you a better understanding of what you’re creating and also keeps you motivated. sometimes if I didn’t like how something came out I’d scrap the original and make another one using parts of the original.
    you can never and will never reach a certain amount of level of detail without practicing. you can really like building and be in awe of what other people make, but if you never work on stuff for yourself and never take notes about how other people do things and what other people are doing, you’ll never learn anything. you shouldn’t expect to be the best in a day.

@CorrivalRhyme Thanks for your suggestion! I’ll put it into consideration.

@Mistertitanic44 How could I forget focal points. No point building so much detail if everyone just has to look at one focus thing. It also saves so much time building everything in detail. Thanks!

@Supersnel11 Yes. Reference photos! Based on everyone’s suggestions on this, it is most definitely crucial, Thanks.

@SloppyBadUsername2 Good idea. The basic shape has to be arranged out, else you can’t really estimate the details.

@cosmonomical I’ve tried sketches, they give me better idea of what I’d like to build, but still there are two problems:

  1. Time
    It took quite some time to draw it out
  2. Rigid
    Sometimes, I want to change things on my sketch but you’ve got to erase it and redraw. It just feels rather rigid and difficult to change.

“Thinking about the build” is definitely a good point though. It would give a clearer picture so I don’t have to start from square one when you open Roblox Studio. Thanks for the suggestions!


Practice, Basic Symmetry,Imagination, Creativity, I normally use creativity and imagination i dont use blueprints the only blueprint I have is my brain maybe in any time i will use blueprints


Hello AbandonedRick,

-How will you improve and plan your builds?

To improve and plan your builds you can start by making a sketch, even on paper.
Then you can start drawing the sketch you did on paper on Roblox studio but on the correct size, you want it with different colors to mark areas.
Also, practice makes perfect, start at small objects and then try to make bigger things.

-How to decide the detail on your map?

I mostly flow with whatever fits the area, you can even search on google the type of area you are making, for example, if you do sci-fi and decided to make a ship, go on google and search for an image of a spaceship and notice some details you can add around the map.

-How to get good lighting and atmosphere for your map?

I also flow with this one, whatever fits the area, I use.
But what you can do is use color correction, for me, it’s the best lighting feature on Roblox studio.
You will know when the lighting is fitting for your area, you choose the atmosphere you want it to have, you can even ask for other people opinions but yours is the most important.

Stay great and go beyond your limits :slight_smile:.


Planning, greyboxing and anything related, are learnt by boringly and said above practice, and believe it or not studying game theory, and really focusing on your game’s mechanics can create amazing results. :innocent:


Never thought studying game theory, I’ll look into it, thanks!