Game news:Building guide

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Putting in a Build Request

So you want to build something? Oh, fun times. Here are a few things you should put in your +req/build request:

  • The name of your build, like 'Log Cabin' or 'Secluded Home'.
  • How many rooms you'll be needing. Remember, the number of rooms you can have is determined by your resource level.
  • How the rooms link to each other.
  • What area on the +map you want to be linked. Not sure where you should go? Check Businesses for a list of possible apartments/areas that might suit organized by Resource level.
    • Please also note: If you want a room in family build because you are part of that family, please get permission and make sure we know you have permission by including whoever owns the build on the +job and having them comment that they are OK with you having that room made and linked there.


+req/build Secluded Cottage=I would like to make a three room Secluded Cottage linked to H02. I'd like a garden, a living room, and a workshop. The first room would be the garden; it would link to the living room and the workshop.

Please also take a look in the Old Builds section of the nexus for anything you can adapt that might suit your needs instead of of a new build.


Because we like the grid to look uniform, buildstaff insists on the following:

  • Room desc format. Room descs must begin with %r%t, have %r%r%t between paragraphs, and end with %r.

Take Pity On Us

  • SPELLCHECK. We will know if you don't bother. You can find lots of spell check whatsits online - for example,
    • Seriously, we will know if you don't bother with this. Nothing makes build staff burn out faster than having to correct a bunch of spelling and sentence structure.
  • Proofreading: also good.
  • If you have difficulty writing, please, please, please ask a friend to proofread your @descs before submitting for inspection. It is okay to not be a perfect writer. We will help you as best we can! Help us help you.


Your basic building blocks of build projects. Rooms can represent a tiny space like a closet or something huge like an entire +map coordinate, spanning multiple properties and swaths of land. You're more dealing with the closets, apartments, and back yards of the world with your +build requests.


Room descs need to be formatted in a particular way. We like things to look uniform and be easy to read. To that end, room descriptions need to begin with %r%t, have %r%r%t between paragraphs, and have %r at the end. In practice:

@desc here=%r%t277 Bay Street is a two-story white house complete with a columned porch, pedimented gable, and bold, simple mouldings. It's not gigantic but it would be out of place in the depths of suburbia. The property around the house is circled by an iron fence and contains a multitude of trees, providing the home with a fair amount of privacy. %r%r%tThe interior decor is very coordinated, as though the owner just picked up a catalogue and bought everything in the pictures. The result is weird. At least it was a upper-end catalogue. There are no personal photos. Other rooms include a master bedroom with en suite bathroom, one and a half other bathrooms, a couple of spare rooms, a kitchen-slash-dining area, and a study with seriously high-performance computers, some of which are in various states of assembly. The study looks like the most lived-in room in the house, as though a person actually spends a lot of time there, while the rest of the house could be a model home. %r


So much detail to give, so few lines of text to give it. Well, not really - the lines of text are actually unlimited, but if you want people to actually read a desc, three solid paragraphs is about the maximum. If it scrolls off a screen, forget it. +Views are great for including details without spamming someone every time they walk into a room or type 'l'. They're like opt-in bits of descing; you've told them the basics, so they can choose to read more. While you can devote a paragraph in a room desc to a lovely painting of a gentleman standing with a dog, chances are people aren't going to want to know all that much about it unless it's important to them. Mention there are paintings on the wall, slap on a +view called 'Painting' and describe that man's outfit and the dog's stance to your heart's content. In practice:

+view here/Painting=Gentleman With Dog is a 17th century painting by artist Pierre Doucette rendered in oils. It depicts Bartholomew Cunningham with his Scottish terrier Stuart. Bart, dressed in his finest blue attire, stands gallantly with one knee braced on the rail of a mighty ship, Stu tucked under his arm like a furry football. The ship is The Paragon, Bartholomew's third ship and the one he owned for the least amount of time; it, and Stuart, are at the bottom of the Atlantic, having been sank by an ill-advised shot fired in anger during a dice game three weeks into The Paragon's maiden voyage.


This @name is bad and you should feel bad! Sometimes you decide you want a garden more than you wanted a basement. That's okay, it happens. It also happens that buildstaff typos or gets something wrong. But, happy day, You can change the @name of your room if necessary.

Take your basement/garden issue. Say the basement room is named Basement - Hudson House - Fallcoast. You want it to be a garden. To change it, you'd type (while standing in the room):

@name here=Garden - Hudson House - Fallcoast

Ta-da. A garden instead of a basement. It's important to keep that 'Hudson House' part in there because it helps differentiate builds, and the Fallcoast part so people know which city builds are in; imagine how many Living Rooms are out there.


Your exit can be a tricky customer. It helps if you think of an exit on a game as one side of a door. They usually come in pairs. Every IN has an OUT, and while they're two different exits on the game, they're paired together as a single entity, be it a door or a hole in the wall or a thin curtain. As per our build news files, you do not need to set ANY of the following; they are strictly optional.


The osucc message is the message people in the same room as you see when you successfully go through an exit. They see it on your success - osucc. We have you set this on the first entrance/exit on your build so people will know where you went when you, say, go into a house from the street. When you set an exit's osucc message, you're setting the message people in the same room as you who don't go through the exit see when you go through it. For example:

@osucc OH=goes into a moldy old house.

Mary, Tim, and Greg are standing out on the street. Mary goes through the Old House <OH> exit. Tim and Greg see 'Mary goes into a moldy old house' because they're still out on the street.


Fortunately, exits are easy to put descriptions on. Just @desc the exit name. For example:

@desc out=A wooden door leading to the shop's abattoir.
@desc bedroom=A curtain of purple beads separates the bedroom from the living room.
@desc qf=Quality Foods is an unassuming two-story brick building. The grocery store is open twenty-four hours a day and does brisk business.


Slightly more complicated than room @names or character @names, exit names also contain all the words you type that get you into a room. For example, the very common Out <O> @name is often:

@name out=Out;o;back;exit;leave

We want to be able to let people wander around intuitively if possible, which is why there are so many words that mean 'go outside' on that out exit. The semi-colons are important in the exit @names. Here are some other examples of exit @names:

@name st=Study;st
@name st=Stairs;st;up;upstairs
@name st=Stairs;up;upstairs;stairs;study;st
@name ws=Workshop;ws;work;work shop;shop;down
@name wdw=Winding Driveway;wdw;winding;driveway;drive;winding drive

The code will put the first set of characters after the semi-colon in brackets next to the exit name, so @name st=Study;st will get set as Study <ST>.

Where Is My Stuff?

We all lose track of things.


Sometimes you forget where you put things, like a closet or your horse ranch. That's okay, you can find things you own easily by typing @search. That's it, @search. That pulls up a whole list of things you own - rooms and exits, for example, and in the case of exits, how they relate to rooms. For example:


Apartment N202 - Fallcoast Arms(#7326RA)
Apartment;202;apt 202;apartment 202(#7655E) [from Fallcoast Arms - North Wing - Second Floor to Apartment N202 - Fallcoast Arms(#7326RA)]
Out;o;back;exit;leave;hall;hallway;corridor;corr(#7809E) [from Apartment N202 - Fallcoast Arms(#7326RA) to Fallcoast Arms - North Wing - Second Floor]


What is an #dbref? It's short for 'database reference'. Everything, everything, everything on the game has a #dbref - the channels you talk on, the rooms you use. A #dbref number can stand in for an @name. While there are many apartments in the game, yours is the only apartment with the dbref #7326. If you're the person in the above example, anyway.

Who cares? It's useful to know if, say, you misname an exit in a manner that makes it difficult to rename using words - like having two exits using 'BR' in the same room. Which can and does happen. You can sub in #dbrefs when necessary, like so:

@name #7984=Out;o;back;exit;leave

It comes in handy sometimes.


Place code is immensely useful for large scenes. It provides a way to filter messages that helps you concentrate on just the people near your character while still being able to watch everyone else. Any public builds, ones where PCs are encouraged to loiter about and RP, are strongly encouraged to have place code set up. (Strongly encouraged in this case means please for the love of whatever entity or non-entity you find most dear, please, please put in place code, we are begging you.)

Place code is great when you have a great big house, too. Instead of building a kitchen, a sitting room, and a dining room off your living room, why not make those areas places in the living room? Why shouldn't the people in the living room be able to see people going into and coming out of the kitchen or maybe overhear them if they're talking loudly enough? Why bother descing entire rooms that are rarely used? Put in places. Please put in places.

The best thing about places, though? You don't have to wait on build staff. And while we obviously are volunteers out trying to help everyone, sometimes it's a lot faster to set up some quick and dirty place code rather than wait for us to get our reading glasses on and oh let me open my spell check and you're missing a %r there, I'll get back to you after I link these five apartments.

The +help files on the game and on the wiki are useful, but we'll just walk through the basics here.

HALTed Rooms

You will have a hard time configuring places if your room is set HALTED. If the code isn't letting you set up places, try @set here=!halt to remove that flag and see if it works after that.

Configuring Places

How many places do you want?

Is it a business establishment like a bar or a cafe? You'll want various booths, tables, stools, or other seats. The more the merrier. You can make some of them small, with maybe three or four people, maximum, but the rest should be considerably bigger.

Are you describing rooms on the main floor of a large house? Just as many as you think you'll use is good. You can have a kitchen, a parlour, and a dining room off your living room. You could have a few room places and a few regular seat places like couches.

The maximum number of places you can have in any location is 10.

Let's say I'm adding places to a cafe. I'd like to have a large counter for people to sit at, a couple of small, intimate places, some booths, and a big squishy couch. I'll configure 6 places.

places/configure <location>/<number of places>
places/configure here/6

So, after typing places/configure here/6 and confirming that was in fact what we meant to do to, we now have places:

A table (#1) has 5 empty places.
A table (#2) has 5 empty places.
A table (#3) has 5 empty places.
A table (#4) has 5 empty places.
A table (#5) has 5 empty places.
A table (#6) has 5 empty places.

Tables are automatic. Tables are the default. We can still have our counter, booths, and big squishy couch. We'll just have to set some of those attributes.

How do you change a place's name or spaces?

All the other attributes will be set using places/set <location> <num>/<item>=<value>. There are a number of things we can set, but the main ones we're gonna use are:

Name: The name of the place, better if lower-case except for proper nouns. (Default: a table)
Spaces: The number of spaces at a place. If set to '0', there is no limit. (Default: 4)
Description: The description of the place. (Default: A table with a couple of chairs)
Say_Prefix: What's added to the use of 'tt' or 'tto' at that place. A comma is automatically added. (Default: At your table)

places/set 1/name=Counter
places/set 2/name=Small Booth
places/set 3/name=Small Table
places/set 4/name=Booth
places/set 5/name=Booth
places/set 6/name=Big Squishy Couch

And now when we type 'places', we get this list:

Counter (#1) has 5 empty places.
Small Booth (#2) has 5 empty places.
Small Table (#3) has 5 empty places.
Booth (#4) has 5 empty places.
Booth (#5) has 5 empty places.
Big Squishy Couch (#6) has 5 empty places.

Let's work on the counter place, which is #1.

places/set 1/spaces=12
places/set 1/description=A long brick counter with a smooth concrete top.
places/set 1/say_prefix=At the counter

Now when we type 'places', 'Counter' looks like this:

Counter (#1) has 12 empty places.

And if we type 'plook 1' to look at place 1, we see:

A long brick counter with a smooth concrete top.
This place has 12 empty places out of 12.

And if we sit at the counter and use the table talk command 'tt', everything we say will be prefixed by 'At the counter,' which is great.

Once you have the basics down, you can configure places pretty fast. Like:

places/set 6/spaces=4
places/set 6/description=A big, squishy orange couch.
places/set 6/say_prefix=On the couch us a place called 'Big, Squishy Couch' with four spots to sit where everything we say to our place with tt will be prefaced with 'On the couch,'. That's cool. Maybe I want more space on the couch. Maybe I want infinite space on the couch. Then I'd type:

places/set 6/spaces=0

and have

Big Squishy Couch (#6) has no limit.

...which is more useful for, say, outdoor golf ranges than couches.

Adding another place

Mistakes happen. Sometimes you realize after the fact that you want your cafe to have a secret petting zoo. You don't have to start over. You can sneak that petting zoo on in as your seventh space.

places/newplace <location>
places/newsplace here

Boom, now there's another table in here. But it's so easy to make it a petting zoo. It's just so easy:

places/set 7/name=Secret Petting Zoo
places/set 7/spaces=0
places/set 7/description=A cleverly hidden petting zoo.
places/set 7/say_prefix=At the petting zoo

And there you go. Type 'places' and now you have a secret petting zoo with no limit.


Unconfiguring Places

Yes, you can undo it.

places/breakdown <location>
places/breakdown here

...will wipe out all the places, while:

places/delplace <location>=<placenum>
places/delplace here=7

...would just remove the seventh place, which in our example was the petting zoo. Health code violations, probably. If there is only one place set, you'll have to use the first command.

Miscellaneous Commands


You can set exits DARK, which means only you will be able to see the exit. Anyone will be able to use the exit so long as they know what to type. This is hella useful for hidden doors to secret rooms. @set <exit>=DARK will do it.


Maybe you have a Brony room in your build and you want to keep it a secret. You probably don't want people looking at +where and seeing Brony Room - Expensive Mansion on the list. No worries, you can set it unfindable! This is good for things like secret sphere hangouts, hidden clubs, and other things not involving magical friendship. Please remember that as the room's owner, you will always, always see your room in your +where list, even if it's unfindable. The command is @set here=UNFINDABLE, or if done from afar (like with a BLDR bit) it would be @set dbref number=unfindable.


Sometimes people crash at your place, or you want to give someone a temporary way to get to a room quickly, or whatever. The ABODE flag lets people @link themselves to a room, which sets the room as their home. Use @set here=ABODE.

Hangouts and the Directory

Approved and linked to the grid?

  • Do you want your build to be a +hangout? Send a +req/build with '+hangout' in the title to be added.
  • We are not using the +directory on Fallcoast. Instead, add your business to Businesses!

And Then...

Have you considered security?