Building Tutorial

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Starting a Building Project

Your character is approved, and you want a place to stay. Well, at Sheltering Sky MUSH, you're granted 1-2 rooms for homes and businesses. Consider what sort of place you'd like. Apartment. House. Perhaps a Business instead? Either way, after you've considered that, it's time to get a Starterroom. What's a Starterroom?

A Starterroom is the first room of your building project. It's where you begin creating your living quarters, or new antique shop, or even mansion! It's easy to get started with it. All you need do is +brequest it from build staff. Here's how you can do it:

+brequest My New Apartment=I'd like to get a Starterroom setup for my new Apartment

That's it! From there, build staff will let you know that you're setup.

Building Basics

So, you've got yourself a Starterroom. Now, you think to yourself.. where to go from here? Here's a step by step run down of the tasks you will need to complete to get yourself on the grid, and approved. Even if you're familiar with building, please take the time to note the 'Gotchas' section of this tutorial.

Step 1: Rename your Exit

Your Exit will be named something like: 'Decius's Starterroom <Dec>'. That's hardly an exit you can have on the grid! So, the first thing you'll need to do is consider what you're building. An Apartment? A House? A business? This first exit, located in the Building Nexus of your assignment (Either the PPN - Player Project Nexus, PRN - Player Residence Nexus, or RER - Real Estate Room ). So, we rename it. To do so, simply type the following command:

@name Decius's Starterroom <Dec> = Apartment 203 <203>;203

Of course, your name will be used, as well as whatever your Apartment or building name is. If that doesn't work, or you have difficulty with that, you can search for the #dbref used, and use the number instead of the name. This can be accomplished by typing @search me, and then you will see your exit listed. The list will look something like this:

Decius's Starterroom(#12RUnl) [owner: Decius(#1234PDUCMc)]
Decius's TP Room(#34RUn) [owner: Decius(#1234PDUCMc)]

Decius's Starteroom <Dec>;dec;decius(#45E) [from Decius's TP Room(#34RUn) to Decius's Bridge(#56RUnl)]

In this example, you'd want to:

@name #45=Apartment 203 <203>;203;

This would rename the exit. When you're all ready, go ahead and enter it! Type 203 and hit enter.

Step 2: Rename your room, @parent, and start the Descing!

You need to Rename your Starterroom.

Next, you need to @parent it. The following @parents describe what each room can be:

Available parent rooms are:
 #6800 Time and Weather: Parent of Separable Day-Night and Season Desc Outdoor Rooms
 #7495 Time and Weather: Parent of Season-and-Day-Night Varying Outdoor Rooms
 #7496 Time and Weather: Parent of Separable Day-Night-Dawn-Dusk and Season Outdoor Rooms
 #6592 Time and Weather: Parent of Windowed Indoor Rooms
 #5611 Time and Weather: Parent of Windowless Indoor Rooms

 #10092 Simple Room - this is the simplest and most user friendly of all our room parents.

By simply typing:

@parent here=#5611

You can set your room up for a Windowless, Indoor Room. By doing so, when you need look at your room, you'll see a new set of instructions.

Follow the directions shown in your room. Below is only an example:

What the room looks like to a creature that can't see in complete blackness when it isn't lit.

How to describe variable lighting conditions in an indoor room without windows:
&artificial-light-desc here=What the room looks like by firelight, electric light, etc., at any time of day. Overrides portable 
&portable-light-desc here=What the room looks like at night if it's lit by candle, flashlight, etc. This desc appears if the 
lights are out and there is something in the room set light, or carrying something set light.
&dark-desc here=What the room looks like when unlit to creatures that can't see in complete darkness.
&dayblind-desc here=What the room looks like by natural or artificial light to creatures blinded by bright light.
&dark-vision-desc here=What the room looks like at night to creatures that can see in complete darkness.
The vision type of a creature is determined by whether it has a dayblind, night-vision, or dark-vision attribute; 
no such attribute means normal human vision. Only one such attribute should be set on any creature.
&light-action here=[name(%0)] flips the light switch, lights the oil lamps, kindles a fire, or whatever.
&lights-out-action here=[name(%0)] turns off the lights, snuffs the oil lamps, douses the fire, and so on.
@set here=!no_command
'Light' turns the lights on; 'lights out' turns them off.
&instructions here=\ to turn these instructions off.
&<name>-desc=\ will turn any of the descriptions off.
Children of the Windowless Indoor Parent Room hear audible effects produced by the Storm Generator, but no visuals.

These instructions show you the descs that the room parent supports, and how to set them. +news parents4 shows you the minimum descs required for each room parent, but Build Staff encourages you to utilize the full details/code of the Room Parents and set all of the descs.

For ease of Reference, here are the required Descs for each parent type:

Parents: #6800, #7484, #7488, #7495, #7496
         &winter_desc, &spring_desc, &summer_desc, &autumn_desc, &day_desc,
         and &night_desc. 
         &weather_desc may be needed depending on the instructions
         provided by the parent room.

Parents: #6592, #5611
        &weather-desc, &window-prefix, and &artificial-light-desc, &day-desc, and &night-desc or &dark-desc.

Parent: #10092
         &stable-desc and &weather_desc if an outdoor room.

Step 3: Writing Exit Descs!

Doors, or open Archways, or whatever sort of Exit you have needs a @desc! (Rooms should be using the data in Step 2 for descriptions)

@descs should be detailed and as descriptive as you like, but keep in mind the size. The measuring standard we use is a line is 80 characters long. Exit descs should be at least one line, but no more than 24 lines long. All exit descs require a certain format be maintained. That format is:

@desc <exit name>=%r[space(5)]This is a wooden door with iron grillwork.%r 

It's critical that you use the %r[space(5)] instead of %r%t. The 5 spaces acts more 'universally' on different clients than a %t (tab) does. Again, please keep your exit descs to no more than 24 lines in length or they hit tl;dr.

Step 4: Exit @succ

So, you've @desc'd your room, your exits, and you're all done with that. What's next? Exit @succ's. These are the messages you receive when you move between exits. There are 5 of them that you need. They are:


The specific information on each can be accessed by typing help @succ, replacing @succ with whichever you're curious about. Specifically, this is what each does.

@succ - Sets the message that is shown to someone who successfully passes through the exit
@osucc - Sets the message that is shown to others whenever someone successfully passes through the exit 
(in the room where the exit is)
@odrop - Sets the message that will be shown to others on the OTHER side of the exit you pass through 
(in the room where the exit goes)
@fail - Sets the message that is shown to someone who fails to pass through the exit.
@ofail - Sets the message that is shown to others whenever someone fails to pass through the exit 
(in the room where the exit is)

These are the basic requirements of an exit. So, lets look at some examples:

Warehouse - On the Grid - Pokoh's Peak
This is a warehouse.

A Player (#12345PCc)
Obvious Exits:
Exit into the Back Room <E>

@succ exit=You walk into the back room of the Warehouse.
@osucc exit=walks into the back room of the Warehouse.
@odrop exit=walks in from the Warehouse.
@fail exit=The door to the back room appears locked.
@ofail exit=tries the door to the back room of the Warehouse, but finds it locked.

Now, it could be said that.. "Hey, I'll never lock my doors, why do I need an @fail, and @ofail?"

You may never conceive of a time when your doors will be locked, but you should still prepare for a time when they will. That is why we ask that all 5 of the messages be completed.

Step 5: What about my Next Room?

So, you've finished descing your starterroom. You've renamed your entry exit. You've renamed your main room. You've finished all your @succ's. You're done!

But wait... what if you have another room to do? Never fear! That's next!

So, you need to build another room. It's very simple to do. Start in your existing room. Then, you'll need to use the @dig command. It's very simple to use.

@dig New Room Name=Exit Into this Room <Exit>;exit alias1;exit alias2;etc..

If all works well, you'll have an exit in your room now! All you'll need to do is enter it!

Oh, wait. Now you're in your new room, and you can't get out! Yikes! That's right. You'll need to now open an exit back to the room you were in. That's not so hard though. First you need to know the Dbref (That's the #number) of your original room. You remember how to do that, right? See Step 1 if you forget.

@open Exit Going Out to my First room <Exit>;o;out;exit=#34

Obviously, substitute #34 for the proper number of your room. You'll then see an exit going back to your last room. Voila! You've dug another room. Now you're ready to return to Step 2, and get back to work on your @parent'ing, @desc'ing, etc..

Step 6: You're all done. Now what?

So, you're all done. Now what? It's time to check everything. You can do that very easily by typing +inspect in each room. You'll be greeted with the following screen

_____________________  Sheltering Sky: Colorado by Night _____________________
                             Building Inspection                              
Location           Desc  parent

Downtown            NO   YES

Exits              Dbref#  Succ  Osucc  Odrop  Desc  Fail  Ofail

East <E>           #459    Yes    Yes    Yes    Yes    No     No   
West <W>           #460    Yes    Yes    Yes    Yes    No     No   
South <S>          #461    Yes    Yes    Yes    Yes    No     No   
North <N>          #162    Yes    Yes    Yes    Yes    No     No  

So, what does this mean? Well, obviously, everwhere you see a NO it means you're missing that attribute.

But wait! I don't have a @desc? When I look I see the rooms desc! What Gives?

Well, if you have a Yes under PARENT, then you're fine then. @descs are optional based on whether or not you've chosen to use all of the Room parents features, or just took the simple route of using an @desc.

But wait! I'm lacking @fail messages on all my doors!

Yep, you are. You better add them! Don't forget the @ofail messages! You may not think you need them now, but when a Double-Murder occurs and you need to lock your doors, you'll be happy that they're there! They're not optional, you really do need them.

Once you're gone through +inspect, and are ready for approval, it's time for Requesting inspection and placement on the grid. This is very easily done:

+brequest Apartment Approval=I would like to get my apartment inspected, and placed on the Second floor of the 
Brownstone Apartments!

If you would like Security on your Build, please be sure to include such in your request. You can see details at Security Policies and Help. If Security is not jnoted, it is assumed your only security is a door lock that is easily jimmied.

That's it! Now you'll have a new +job opened, and waiting for approval. Build staff will contact you, and work with you on your Approval. If you've followed all the steps in this guide? It should be quick and painless!

A Note About Dark Exits

Dark exits are sometimes allowed, if there is a reasonable explanation as to why this exit will not easily be seen by others. Exits that are hidden in some manner, either by security, obstruction or some other obfuscation, can be set dark upon request. A jnote will be placed on the room with a dark exit so that RP staff may easily determine how, when and under what circumstances they might be located should another player attempt to find them.

Building 'Gotchas'

These are the things that are very often overlooked.

- Ensure all descs start with %r[space(5)] and end with a %r
- Ensure your exits have descs. Every exit needs an @desc
- Don't forget to rename the exit INTO your starterroom. See Step 1 for how to do that.
- Don't forget to @parent your room.
- @odrop on every exit. It's often overlooked.
- In General, type +inspect in each room. Don't forget to double check your work, as it will get your project approved quickly if you take the time to ensure you've not forgotten anything.

Don't forget your Security Systems if you feel your building needs them!

If you feel like making your place even more utilitarian, consider using Places to give seating or private rooms or such.