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Published: December 7, 2015

Urban Survival, Building a dream-part 2

modifying a waste building 5

what happens when A13 is delayed...

Project Slaanhatten

The project is now packed tightly, awaiting the A13 treatment when work can commence again.  Since the last blog, BigC90210 kindly fired out a couple more videos that start to reveal a bit more about the details, and more importantly, the content.  There's no estimated time before it will see a full reveal and playable public release, but the idea itself has heavily shifted from a concept stage and is progressing steadily.  A13 will prove to be a reasonably lengthened delay to progress concerning the project as we setup the live server and get into a little actual playtime with the new systems, water itself will prove to be an interesting feature to start building with after the upcoming changes and certain parts of the city have the foundations of incorporating the new water set.  Expect more release videos and blogs concerning the project in a *few weeks*(ish).....maybe, sometime 'soon'.

The overall project aside, I still want to continue looking at certain parts of it to highlight some of the building methods used.  The city as a whole lacks a certain level of polish and will for a long time during its early playable phases, but this is initially down to the size of the 'base' city area I wanted at the heart of it all.


The nucleus of every single prefab is the method of extracting an area as an editable .tts file you can then use to re-populate the game with your creations, in most cases (all of mine) Hal9000's editor features prominently.  I don't think I ever talk as much about the editor as it deserves and the constant attention it receives, so I spare a moment to say thanks to hal9000 and the time he has dedicated to helping us make the game a much more interesting place.

One Piece at a time...

One block at a time is becoming a thing of the past, we have such a collection of prefabs among the community that when I'm designing areas I can actually be picky or 'feature sensitive', there are many prefabs, in fact most of the compo pack itself is in ready to use condition but in building up areas to set down these streets I often end up with builds that span 100+ blocks, walls and hills, the in-between areas built up to make the city transition between the different areas better, the transport systems and rails, all need a planned space or some vague idea of where they will be placed.

One thing very early on, the first time I loaded up the Pikero slum prefab, I seen his gigantic highway and it was love at first sight.  It's huge, it's detailed and it does exactly what it says on the tin.  So when I came to designing the road layout I planned a large section of road that I would dedicate to replicating his masterpiece in all of it's glory.

The Pikero Highway is born

Building a highway 5

The initial extraction...

The first thing was to extract a different combination of sections that would slot together seamlessly, including, above, the whole road section as a whole.  All of these prefabs and many more will be available with the Project Slaanhatten folder when its released.

Building a highway 1   Building a highway 2

Building a highway 3   Building a highway 4

The sections themselves let me simply tile the Pikero Highway as I see fit, as fiddly bits approach, roads, sewers... the small parts and a touch of manual building make it all fit nicely together.  All its missing, are some access roads (placeholders started) to integrate it into the transport network, then the minibike racing shall commence.

The end result is a seemingly impressive feat, which was actually created in about 40 mins, with Pikeros initial idea and Hal9000's awesome editor.  The little bit of prep work and planning gives a ton more mileage when they city starts to expand and the prefabs can be used to build it forever!

Building a highway 6

The Pikero Highway re-imagined

From Pen to Prefab

So A13 didn't drop on friday... well lets be honest I have my hands full so normally this would mean more build time (like the past two months), except the project is 'on ice' pending block changes and all sorts of new stuff so I was literally clutching straws at what to do. 'Hurricane' Desmond, or whatever they named the current 'shitty weather' made going out drop of the list (like it was ever on in the first place!) and to make things worse I had been doodling an awesome idea I had for a while.


Breaking away from the vanilla look and skyline is important to me, but this is also a city that is largely abandoned and overtaken by the dead.  It's suffered the initial breakdown of modern civilization and as a lot of custom prefabs are built 'pristine' I figured I would, where something 'new' was needed for a spot, take extra lengths to add in some wear and tear.

I start on Saturday morning and decide a few things instantly

  • I want two Unique looking 'skyscrapers' or tall buildings
  • one of them is obviously snapped and crashed into the other
  • I can't be arsed to build this all from scratch.
  • mp_waste_bldg_07_intact, a pretty dull prefab, is flat on its outside surface...
modifying a waste building 1

Left: The base and section in action Right: The base building and testing 'skins'

I chop "mp_waste_bldg_07_intact" into two parts, the first is the base of the building and the start of the stairwell.  It includes two floors I believe.  The second prefab is three floors of the building designed to connect with itself of the base and a roof section.  The third prefab was actually the top half of another vanilla waste building that already had some of the damage I wanted to show built in.  Again, all of these prefabs will be available in the minifabs folder of the project proper.

modifying a waste building 3

Next up was the only real 'building' part of the build and was not too big of a section to tackle by hand.  It's certainly something to build sideways with the available blocks but set against the contrasting pattern of the building its crashed into it really stands out.  This section was built with the pattern I decided on in the first picture, circled in red.

modifying a waste building 2

Learning the tricks from the dawg...gravity anyone?

Playing around with the placement and setting some ideas in stone, I start up a fresh map and choose the spot I'd like to see this on and get to work,  building the two towers out of a different combination of sections, then applying a better looking surface.  It's a very lazy and fast method I think of producing a base set of buildings to tidy up at a later date.  While this is not the final result, I want to save some surprises after all, you can really see the effect of just tiding up the vanilla buildings can have.

modifying a waste building 6

From Saturday morning to Sunday evening, kinda makes you want them to delay more often, but I also hope people can start to see the big impacts they can make on the city with very little effort and a lot of imagination.

Always interested to hear from other builders, have you an Idea for the project?, got a question? fire away in the comments.  The next blog will be.....(I learned my lesson)

4 comments on “Urban Survival, Building a dream-part 2”

      1. The bulk of the converting for the cityblock prefabs is complete, there are some smaller details I cant really do without all the functions of the editor but I expect this weekend will see them playable. A lot of the new versions of blocks have wierd rotations and theres still a few errors to clean up but its full steam ahead

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