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How does your creative process begin? Do you have a style?

Discussion in 'UO Homes and Castles' started by Irulia Darkaith, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. Irulia Darkaith

    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

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    So here I find myself, a day-off work and I decide to spend it continuing my struggle to redesign what was my evil mage tower (which I will be moving to Felucca). But I've got "designer's block" and thought I would ramble on the forum for a bit. And consider this fair warning - will probably be long and winding post.

    I've been fairly inactive in UO for the past five years, but I've never hesitated to keep at least two of my accounts permanently active. I just couldn't stand the idea of letting my houses decay!

    So now that I'm back and exploring all the new content I figured it's time for a redesign of what was previously my "evil mage house". It was starting to look like an episode of hoarders, with xmas gifts, resources, chests and crap stacked on every open floor tile. Hard to keep that evil aura when you have xmas stockings hung by the chimney with care.

    As I continue to struggle with my design (three weeks and counting), I became curious about how other people go about redesigning their home? What are you motives? When does it become time for a change?

    Generally once I get a house I'm happy with (which takes anywhere from a few months to a year of design and tweaking) I stick with it. Until there is that one day when inspiration or necessity hits me to try something else (like when the elf expansion introduced new tilesets).


    1st Step - what kind of rooms do I need? Rune library, crafts room? smithy? etc. There is no guarantee I will fit all this into a house, but it's a start.

    2nd Step - look at the wall tiles that are available, pick one and begin (I have my favorites though I try to use other wall tiles to challenge myself sometimes).

    3rd Step - the layout. For me, this never goes as planned. I just start plunking down walls and floor tiles and see what happens. Yes I have a basic idea when I start and style (which is to make the houes as big and open as I can), but for the most part as I start putting things down, I accidentally stumble across a look. That's when inspiration hits me and I go back and start re-building based on that new design element I accidentally discovered....but even then the process is ever evolving. I do find that staircases play an extremely important part - it's like the anchor of my design.

    If I get stuck at any point I will grudgingly run around my shard or other shards trying to get inspired by either in game designs (I love the hedgemaze) or player designs No I have never used another houses design, but I have taken elements and either incorporated them or improved upon them (at least I think it's an improvement). But at the end of the day, I always try and do something different then anyone else - which is tricky as there is some serious talent out there.

    One thing I find though, is I definitely have a style - a common theme if you will, that no matter how hard I try, I can't get away from.

    1) Favorite wall tiles - I love the dark "AoS" tile set, the classic "tower/keep/castle" grey from the old classic days (all the wonderful curving and diagnol pieces leave so much flexibility - and challenge). And of course, I've been roleplaying elves and drow since I started this game so I was in heaven when the elf expansion came out with all the tree roof pieces (which I use as hedges), and the elegant wall tiles.

    2) Basic layout - try though I may, I just can't bring myself to waste space by using the roof tiles - though I love them dearly, I can't get past the idea that I'm losing an entire floor of space to roof tiles. So no matter what happens, I always use a design that gives me almost maximum floor tiles on every floor of the house. That's what I'm struggling with now, is using a design that doesn't care about maximizing floor tiles.

    3) Practicality. I've never been a fan of the homes that just pile every keepsake into a museum/storage facility style. I pick a few pieces and make sure they have a nice spot in the home. So every home has some practicality but with a theme. I.e. yes everyone needs a forge, but no I'm not just going to plop one into the livingroom - that forge needs to be in a dedicated smithy - either a basement with an opening or some airy room facing out to the freshair - not the roof? Who is going to haul all those ingots up four flights of stairs?

    4) Symmetry - I don't know what this says about me, but I just can't get away from making my houses symmetrical. With my current design I'm trying to get away from that (as it really is quite limiting for design), but I find I just keep going back to symmetry.

    5) And lastly overall feel of the house. I want my house to stand out and be different. I see lots of well designed cozy homes (well, a few - I won't say a lot), so I stay away from that and try to do things other people aren't doing.

    So, what's your process? What's your style? And no, you can't get the last 15 minutes of your life back - you were warned

    P.S. I really hope it didn't take you 15 minutes to read that - try it again without moving your lips while you read :p
     
  2. Razz

    Razz Seasoned Veteran
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    Seems like thats my process also. Well swap around 2 and 3. I just grab a neutral wall tile and start laying out the frame work of the house. Once that is done I mess around with 2-3 wall tiles to see if I can get a good match. I never just use one wall tile on a house.

    I also look around to get inspiration when I have builders block. I never rip off a house design though. I always make it my own.

    Lately I have also been having builders block. Seems like I keep going back to the same wall tiles. I would be able to use a lot more wall tiles but, for some reason, UO decided to not have the variety of tiles for every wall tile set.
     
  3. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    I tend to build on test center first, so when it goes up on my play shard it's built and ready to decorate in a very short time. When High Seas came out I found myself with a dilema. I wanted a fishing shack, but I didn't want to give up my shop. Solution, build two small buildings on an 18 x 18 plot with garden between. One plot doesn't = one building. The result is post #168 on the sticky house design thread.
     
  4. Irulia Darkaith

    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

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    Arggh....don't know why I never thought of that! Here I am living out packing crates of two different houses now because I can't get the design right.
     
  5. Razz

    Razz Seasoned Veteran
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    I do the same thing when I build a house for other people.
     
  6. Faeryl

    Faeryl Babbling Loonie
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    For me it always starts with a vision of some sort. A single element, a theme... Just something that pops into my mind. Once that happens I start using my imagination to build on that one element and once I have a rough mental image of what I'm after, even if it's just one floor at the time, I move to graph paper. (My inspiration usually strikes when I'm not able to use the computer, so it works well.)

    After getting the rough sketch down on paper, I start making any obviously necessary tweaks to the layout and start figuring out basic deco positioning to make things run smoother later on.

    Then the fun begins. I typically start on Test Center because let's face it, finding something you need when it's mixed in your packing crate with everything else... It sucks. So I start building. Sometimes it doesn't go as planned and I'm forced to make impromptu changes, sometimes it's smooth sailing. This allows me to see less obvious changes that need to be made, such as potential gaps in between walls, impractical stairways, etc. I can check on the fluidity of the layout, the visibility and practicality of certain elements... I can also coordinate walls and flooring (I have always had a soft spot for fieldstone walls and the darker red wood flooring [add in the cinnamon fancy rugs and a Hearth of the Home fireplace... Cozy!], although currently it's white marble and flagstones).

    Once I have it built on TC, I go to my main shard and start packing things up. Most of the time I'll either pack everything in bundles based on where in the house it'll be going, or I'll pack 'like' objects together, such as plants, or rubble, or deeds. (slight OCD :D)

    After that's done, I'll rebuild the design I that I had set up on TC, then start decorating.

    I like making cozier houses based on what I know I enjoy in life, but I also like grandeur to an extent. For example, in my current design, I have a large library on the first floor and a slightly smaller museum on the second. On the third floor though, I made it cozy. There's a small study and bedroom so far... I'm still working on the other rooms :)

    More often than not I'll put a roof on my house. I just like how it looks. I also tend to lean towards symmetry.

    Lately though my thing seems to be building with snow piles. I find this more challenging than normal house designs because your walls tend to disappear when you customize, meaning I have to remember where everything is so I can place support pillars strategically. ;) I've made mountains, caverns and even at one point had it looking like a building had literally been carved in a mountain. I love using the snow because of both the texture they add and the contrast against other colours. The white of the snow seems to make everything else 'pop'.

    I could go on, but I think it's time for me to shut up now :)