Shell FAQ (last updated: Nov 24 2007)

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Shell FAQ (last updated: Nov 24 2007)

Postby Aloys » Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:17 pm

This is the first version of this FAQ; if you have any comments about this or if you think there are questions that should be added please say. Any comment is welcome.

Q: What are the shells?
A: The city of Ahra Pahts is an Age made for the community of Age builders and apprentice Age builders. Each shell is a private space, larger than a Relto island, that you can own and where you can build whatever you want. Then all people can come and visit your shell and admire your work. If you know a little bit about Age making in Blender you will not have any difficulty creating a shell.

Q: How does that work?
A: First you must choose a shell among the available ones and signup. You can see the list here. Once you have signed up you will be sent a Blender file containing the shell, and a link to download the textures. Then you have everything you need to start creating your shell. When you think your shell is ready you can post about it on the forum and it will be published with the next Age update.

Q: What can I create in my shell?
A: You can do whatever you want: build a house, a large building, a garden, a swimming pool, a cavern, or something entirely original. Maybe you are a programmer and want to create complex puzzles and interactions? Maybe you are an artist and want to create an exhibition hall to display your work? This is your space you can do what you want of it.

Q: Are there any limits?
A: You have only two limits: 1) First you have the 'obvious' content limits that apply to any Age: don't use copyrighted content, don't use offensive material, and don't use Cyan material (textures or models) unless you have written permission. 2) There is a size limit: each shell must fit within a certain space, everything you build must be inside the walls of your shell (although you can change the look of the walls) and it must not be higher than 60 feet above the ground. The city districts are separated by high walls which are 60 feet high, this is the limit. (As a comparison the top of the Relto mountain is 66 feet above the clouds.) However you can build underground as much as you want. So you can have several floors underground for a building, or you can dig a deep cavern.
To make things easier, in the shell blender file there is an object that tells you visually the area in which you can built.

Q: Why is there this size limit?
A: Short Answer: This is so that things don't get 'out of control' and so that the performance of the Age stays decent. Long answer: It is a performance optimization issue; the city has been cut in different districts with walls so that your cannot see all the city at once. This is a very large city and this would be too much to handle for most computers. If we build anything higher than one of those districts walls then we will see it from the other districts, and it breaks the purpose of having several districts. Also in the center of the city there is the Hub, which is the highest building in the city and can be seen from every street. It is a landmark, and we don't want to hide it.

Q: Are there technical requirements?
A: Yes. Because the shells are part of an existing Age, you must respect a couple specifications, nothing difficult. Shells are actually a 'page' of the Age, that means that all your objects must be assigned to this page number (which is the number of the shell), and to avoid any conflicts in the Age all your objects names must begin with your shell number. That is all.
(To have more details about that read the Shell checklist. )

Q: How do I sign up?
A: Either you can post about it on the forum in the Shell Sign up thread or you can send a PM to Aloys who is in charge of the shells. Your shell will then be sent to you.

Q: Can I have several shells?
A: Yes, you can have up to 3 shells. But if you do, please make sure to use them we don't want to see the Age full of empty shells, do we? In the future when you have completed and released your shells you may sign up for more.

Q: My shell is ready, when and how can I release it?
A: Make sure your shell is ready (read the Shell submission check list) then put all your shell files into a directory named after your shell
(the Prp file, the compiled Python files if you have any, the SDL file(s) if you have any), zip up the directory and submit it to Aloys. Shells are published with the next Age update. If there is no Age update planned before long shells may be released as they come.

Q: Once my shell is already released can I update it again?
A: Of course, you can submit it when you want and update it . Just don't update it every day or we might not be able to follow..

Q: This shell is too big, I don't know what to put in there..
A: You don't have to use all the space. For instance you may just put a small house in the middle of your shell. Or you can put a wall and block the space you don't want to use. You can do whatever you want.
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Re: Shell FAQ (last updated: Nov 24 2007)

Postby boblishman » Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:05 pm

Does the export "As A Full Age, per page textures(.age)" compress the files? (....like the "General Release" export)
when it comes to Age creation ... "DOH" seems to be my middle name...
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Re: Shell FAQ (last updated: Nov 24 2007)

Postby Robert The Rebuilder » Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:12 am

boblishman wrote:Does the export "As A Full Age, per page textures(.age)" compress the files? (....like the "General Release" export)


Unfortunately, it currently does not. Once the next plugin version is released, I'll make a modification to the logic that lets you choose whether to compress the textures upon exporting per-page textures.
Can we rebuild it? Yes, we can - here's how.

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Re: Shell FAQ (last updated: Nov 24 2007)

Postby Grogyan » Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:47 pm

I just had a go myself, and attempted to show someone else how to set it all up for Blender, but got an error, obviously I haven't set everything up properly.

I think its time to update somewhere thats easily viewable, like this topic, the complete setup sequence when using the GoW plugin.

Thanks
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Re: Shell FAQ (last updated: Nov 24 2007)

Postby Robert The Rebuilder » Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:52 am

The shell submission checklist has a link to the instructions for exporting and incorporating your shell into Ahra Pahts:

http://alcugs.almlys.org/ShellTest
Can we rebuild it? Yes, we can - here's how.

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Re: Shell FAQ (last updated: Nov 24 2007)

Postby Atheni33 » Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:12 pm

I was reading the submission check list and had a question about the shells. I have 3 shells next to each other, I understand we can build down as far as we want but I need to remove all the walls around and between my shells except for the district wall ofcourse. The museum I am building is quite big and I want a open courtyard leading to the building entrance off of the sidewalk. I just assumed the shell walls were temporary and would be removed once people starting building stuff. :?
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Re: Shell FAQ (last updated: Nov 24 2007)

Postby D'Lanor » Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:59 am

Edit: Ignore next line which is incorrect. The walls are not part of your shells. They are part of the main Ahra Pahts structure. So you cannot do anything with them.

A project like yours should probably have its own age. Many people think that an Ahra Pahts shell is an easy way to start age building but in fact fitting things into an existing age is a lot harder than building a new age from scratch.
Last edited by D'Lanor on Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shell FAQ (last updated: Nov 24 2007)

Postby Robert The Rebuilder » Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:12 am

Here's a quote from Aloys' guidelines post (click here):

Dimensions & Walls: While we should allow people to modify the outside walls of the shell it must stay within the limits of the original walls.


Aloys can concur, but I believe this means you can do what you like with the shell walls - including removing them from between adjacent shells, as in your case, atheni33.
Can we rebuild it? Yes, we can - here's how.

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Re: Shell FAQ (last updated: Nov 24 2007)

Postby Atheni33 » Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:47 am

I should have read the Shell FAQ before jumping head first into this project. :lol: Well that is GOOD news that I can remove all the walls... my design kind of depends on it. Ok..next question.

Yes. Because the shells are part of an existing Age, you must respect a couple specifications, nothing difficult. Shells are actually a 'page' of the Age, that means that all your objects must be assigned to this page number (which is the number of the shell), and to avoid any conflicts in the Age all your objects names must begin with your shell number. That is all.


If my building extends out into several shells can I assigned one page number to all the objects, textures and such? Otherwise it can be a nightmare trying to figure out what part of the building is in what shell. :?
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Re: Shell FAQ (last updated: Nov 24 2007)

Postby Robert The Rebuilder » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:43 am

Sure: you can assign all the objects to just one page. Be sure to submit all three PRPs, though - we need the empty ones to replace the ones containing the shell walls in the Ahra Pahts distribution.
Can we rebuild it? Yes, we can - here's how.

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