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Thread: Behind the scenes stories

  1. #1
    Shadowlander Tinderal's Avatar
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    Default Behind the scenes stories

    I was chatting with Diva yesterday and it is just so nice to be able to talk to someone about what we do, who totally gets it. I show my work to my husband and I can see him visibly stopping himself from rolling his eyes heavenwards. 'Very nice dear...' is the usual response. Bless him. I still love him despite his utter ignorance.

    So I thought what would be fun and interesting and quite likely educational, would be to have a thread for some of the behind the scenes stories.. how you solved a problem or what inspired a particular morph. We have the back story of the finished dimension quite often, especially if it is a contest entry, but I don't often hear about how the actual build itself went. I want to.

    Let me start you off with a bit about my Boondocks dim. It was for the Cozy Cottage contest. I'd already been working on the house a little when the contest was announced and because there was the transformation element I decided to place the structure in Volcanic Playground. I loved the light in there and how it reflected on the ceiling but didn't particularly want the terrain... perfect therefore for transformation. In my ignorance I figured I could probably do a sky out of a few of the glowing blue rectangles. A FEW! I think I bought 12 of them. I reckoned a 3 x 4 spread ought to do it. OMG... not even vaguely close. I was up to about 40 or so and still barely covering the sky but of course by then I was committed... a lot of plat spent I was damned if I wouldn't get a sky out of it. In the end it took me 158 blocks and the sky literally starts at the top of the house, although hopefully that isn't obvious. So good, I had a sky and a yellow magitech orb made a decent sun but it looked way too uniformly blue. I needed clouds. I made one of those Dreamweaver cloud layers but of course it wouldn't wrap around the cube of sky and looked completely wrong. I spent quite a few days thinking about it and eventually tried placing a pumpkin in fog on the outside of the blue blocks... the fog shows through and even whorls around.. yay. Clouds. Sky sorted.

    So that's a little bit of some of my behind the scenes stuff... I really, really would like to hear about your build and how you solved your problems.

  2. #2
    General of Telara
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    that's a great idea and since I really admired your sky, it was interesting to hear how you did it. I was wondering if those were pumpkins or if there were maybe fumes in the base dimension that helped.

    A lot of times I can't remember anymore how I got an idea. On my last one, I do... I was waiting for something, again, and since I very often build something that's heavily on my chest, I wondered if I could do something about "waiting". That's very abstract, and I kept this idea in the back of my head while I went through dimensions I had, looking here and there if something sparks an idea that's a bit less abstract ;-)

    One day I went into the haunted terminal and looked around, using free camera to look beneath the surface of the entry point, and to my delight I found the tower is included in this dimension. And it's not even out of bounds! I was really happy for a while, and pondered about what could be done with this discovery. A mere tower, because other than the tower, there's not much around there. A magician's tower maybe, or... waiting.. waiting... time? wasn't there a mystical figure called father time? I continued, and other than clocks, I really, really wanted to have an hourglass. A big one, that goes through the whole tower. So I started trying to make the hourglass shape with glass tiles... and I soon started to curse and want to smash things, because glass gets non-transparent after a few of those glass tiles meet. So I rounded up every resource I had, discord, friends, guild, and with my guildmates we tried to find a solution to my problem.

    While a few of us were working on various possibilities for hourglass shapes, I just stuck two spheres on top of each other and put sand in the middle... and there it was. It was much smaller, but that's a compromise I could live with if I got in return something that was recognizable as hourglass. After so much trying.. it turned out so freaking simple!

    That's one of the stories of my latest dimension I cursed a lot more and had a lot more suggestions and help until it was done, but I finally managed to build something I'm quite proud of.

    Often though, my problem solving includes loads of happy accidents, but more often than not a lot of hard work - running through storage dimension, sinking stuff into the ground, turning it this way and that, a really full bag of items that are all tried until something fits... and in the end I have something that's not even 1 square meter of my dimension :/ but worth it! (once I spent... I forgot, 5-8 hours just on a freaking face...)
    Last edited by Maegwynn; 09-05-2017 at 09:16 AM.
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  3. #3
    Ascendant Nuuli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinderal View Post
    I was chatting with Diva yesterday and it is just so nice to be able to talk to someone about what we do, who totally gets it. I show my work to my husband and I can see him visibly stopping himself from rolling his eyes heavenwards. 'Very nice dear...' is the usual response. Bless him. I still love him despite his utter ignorance.
    <snip>
    I had to ROFL! at the husband and his utter ignorance. I can visualize myself doing the same thing. I get the same thing when explaining gaming terminology to my significant other (the Mrs.)

    Bless you!

  4. #4
    Ascendant Laeti's Avatar
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    Oh I remember how we were guessing if that were pumpkins disguised as clouds in your dim! I absolutely loved the sky in there, so cleverly made, kudos for the idea!

    As for behind the scenes stories, off the top of my head I can remember one about the Treehouse contest. At some point I think maybe a couple years ago I had this idea for my Dormant core dim. DC was my 'dream key', you know one of those you're so fascinated with even before you start building in it. I had it sitting in my dim slot for a looong time before I finally decided what I wanted to do with it. The idea itself was, and I know it now, not very realistic to implement - I wanted to build 5 houses of different styles (a roman villa, a japanese house, etc), complete with interior and details, in different parts of the dim. Obviously, 2520 items is not nearly enough for that but boy was I determined lol. So half way through building the second structure, I go ahead and replace the key in the slot with something else. Why? Because reasons. I was absolutely sure it was another key I'm replacing, but it was a brain fart that cost me my dream build. I cried (literally), even made a post about it here.

    After this happened, and obviously the CS couldn't help me, I just made this dim into a storage and decided I'm just not going to build anything in it because I just can't. At some point, moving the storages to an alt, I got rid of it in the active slot as I didn't see a reason to keep it.

    And so couple years later, the contest is up, and I - a huuuge fan of treehouses - am searching for the perfect dimension for the task. After quite some time pondering and exploring, I realize that I already have a dim, even upgraded to t5, perfect for the theme. I literally saw the house I was going to build, it wasn't even a matter of finding inspiration. So I return the key to an active slot, and start building.

    And half way through... I pick up the tree the whole structure was built on.


    ...


    I swear I almost rage quit the whole bloody thing that day. The tree was scaled, rotated and sunk into the ground in a way I couldn't possibly reproduce because clearly it was random and I just built around the branches from the start. Somehow, I forced myself to go back to it and try to fix the situation. Spent hours just rotating the stupid tree around trying to match the already existing structure. Some things, obviously, needed to be re-done. But I got my **** together and finished the build because I just couldn't see myself in the same situation again (and, well, I do love treehouses lol). I didn't win anything, but that one was a win by itself, it is now one of my favorite builds, I'm still very proud of it even though it never got any high score or dozens of votes or anything - but it makes me happy, and there's no more stray Dormant Core key in my dimension UI :)
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  5. #5
    RIFT Fan Site Operator Feendish's Avatar
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    I love the problem solving aspect to building dimensions, and I love trying to replicate real life structures (my attempt at the Pantheon of Rome almost made me snatch every last hair out of my head--but I think I have an idea of how to make that one better and more true to life!)

    I had wondered about that pretty blue sky in Volcanic Playground myself. I thought the perspective of it was sheer brilliance. And clouds! Quite possibly the most dramatic transformation of a key I've ever seen.

    I don't really have any cool behind the scenes stories like everyone else. In my very first build that I would claim (Faen's Retreat, all 760 items at the time), I decided I wanted the structure I made (by hand, I had no idea Toolbox even existed at that time ) to face a different direction, so I grabbed all 760 items and tried to turn it.

    My first dimension very quickly became my second dimension, after I logged back in to a jigsaw puzzle and then rage-quit for a while.

    I love hearing about how people get their inspirations. I usually get an idea from combinations of other things seen, and try to go with it from there. I love Google Images and Pinterest.

    Speaking of treehouses...I really wanted to support Kuula's treehouse contest, but I had nothing. Not a single spark of an idea. Google Images to the rescue, the very first pic when you search Redneck Treehouse was a single-wide mobile home that someone mounted on telephone poles to make a deer stand from.

    I loved it, even after I stopped laughing at the idea. The problem, of course, was making a trailer fit into a tree, and I had to admit defeat on that, so I put it on stilts, and that worked better anyway. Did it fit the theme of the contest? No, not really. Do I still love that dimension? You better believe it. It was quite possibly one of the most fun dimensions I've ever made.

    What an awesome thread, thank you.
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  6. #6
    Shadowlander Mordhreim's Avatar
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    My friends and family didn't really get it either, until I started showing them how my morphs actually fit together. For example, when my mother came over for a visit I lifted up something out of the ground to show that just a tiny bit of that item was part of the morph and the rest was deep under the ground, and since then she's been totally fascinated. She started joking about wishing you could do that IRL, just shoving stuff through the floor/wall and tell the neighbor to just hide the part that sticks through on their side with a piece of furniture lol!
    That got me thinking that we really should take screenshots of all the components of a morph rowed up beside eachother in their original size, and then another screenshot with it all built together. Maybe that would sell more people on the whole idea of MMO housing as well.

    And oh Laeti that is such a nightmare! Allthroughout building my CC3 entry I was SO scared that I would accidently remove the huge ashoran mountain that my house sits on, especially because I had stacked a lot of surplus blocks and items on top of it around the house that I then had to pick up. I figured out that the safest way to do it was to move my selection on one axis before picking them up (and be ready with the ESC undo) to make sure I didn't have the mountain selected.

    As many of you who followed the treehouse contest may know, that build was the first full structure I had ever built. Before that I had pretty much just morphed some furniture and done a little bit of landscaping. So, that contest held a LOT of lessons for me.
    To start with, I built that house on a strange angle, so typing in "90 degrees" etc. in Toolbox wasn't a thing, and every piece had to be awkwardly moved back and forth to make them line up. By the time I had built about a fifth or fourth of the house I was so frustrated that I had to find another solution, but I didn't want to start over from scratch. So I started to build the rest of the house a short distance away following the right 90 degree angles, and I planned to just move it all over and line it up with the rest once it was all done.
    Said and done, I finished the house, I selected every single piece, I even made a set of it in Toolbox just to make sure, and then I started sliding it over on the blue axis. Game crashed. In panic I logged back on, to find half of the house in one location, and the other half in another location.
    And then it got worse.
    I selected all of it again, praying that I could just load it back into position using the set I saved, and I crashed again. This time when I got back on, most of the items were thrown together in a bunch, and most trying to occupy the same space as eachother.
    And what's worse? This happened just three days before the deadline!
    I had already wanted to just rage quit many times, and especially at that point, but without even pausing I just started putting everything back into place by hand, piece by piece. And with my lesson learned, I then moved the house into place, section by section.
    I didn't get much sleep those last days, and I decided to build mainly on 90 degree angles from then on.
    I was quite proud that I stuck it through.

  7. #7
    Ascendant Samuraiko's Avatar
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    I don't really do dimension contests (I think I suck compared to most of you guys!), so virtually all of mine are lore-based. I try to create places that I think go with the canon of the game, whether it's rebuilding the entire Guardian tutorial zone as a dim (yes, I was insane enough to build Ardenburgh), or creating a dim that embodies part of the in-game lore, but doesn't exist in game (my current project is Perdeen, as in the town that's destroyed during the Expert Rift in Stillmoor).

    I also like to set myself a challenge. So I challenged myself to build a dim that looked absolutely NOTHING like its base dimension. A small dim. An INDOOR dim with limited room to expand. WITHOUT maxing out its item count.

    I turned Breach Chamber into a hidden garden - waterfalls, flowers, trees, and all. I masked all the walls by embedding hedges into them and covering them with ivy. I hid the ceiling with leaf canopies. I hid the columns with canopy trees and hanging fruit. I hid the floor by using terrain paint and flower patches and grasses, and masked the entrance with a separate waterfall and rocks.

    The lore behind this one? It's a garden hidden UNDER Sanctum, where Tavril hid away an uncorrupted pocket from the Plane of Life.

    And as insane as this sounds, NONE of my dims have been built using addons!

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  8. #8
    Ascendant Laeti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuraiko View Post
    A small dim. An INDOOR dim with limited room to expand. WITHOUT maxing out its item count.

    I turned Breach Chamber into a hidden garden - waterfalls, flowers, trees, and all. I masked all the walls by embedding hedges into them and covering them with ivy. I hid the ceiling with leaf canopies. I hid the columns with canopy trees and hanging fruit. I hid the floor by using terrain paint and flower patches and grasses, and masked the entrance with a separate waterfall and rocks.
    I did that to Breach Chamber too lol. Except that in my temporal creative insanity I went a bit too far and made an Indoor (house) inside an Outdoor (a garden, a pond and a rocky passage under blue skies) inside an Indoor dimension (I didn't move the entry point outside the actual chamber, just built everything inside it). The whole thing took only a few days because it was one of those builds where I knew exactly what it's going to look like, and it didn't require any specific rare items. I do know it has plenty of mistakes and crooked parts but it's still one of my favorites, I've never made anything like that.

    It's "Home Sweet Home" by Thalasse@Laethys if anyone wants to check it out.
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  9. #9
    Prophet of Telara Kaelani's Avatar
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    Default Hypnotica

    I had a similar experience to the OP when I was looking to compete for the "99 Bottles of Beer" dimension contest. I had often thought of using the flow connectors as chaser bars in a Discoteque style bar. I just happened to drop a few inside the entry tunnel of the Tempest Bay crafting area, and realized what I needed to do. I needed to line the tunnel entirely with flow connectors.

    I bought and borrowed as many of the flow connectors as I could, but wound up pitifully short by the contest deadline, so I couldn't actually enter it in the contest for which it was designed.

    Here was my original post after completion, with pictures:
    http://forums.riftgame.com/game-disc...ml#post5204694

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    Last edited by Kaelani; 09-06-2017 at 06:59 AM.

  10. #10
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    Like most of my builds, the cosy cottage started with a very simple idea that went wild. I saw a picture of a concept house hanging over the side of a cliff, and thought "hey - what a neat idea". Then i searched dims and decided "What if the house was mostly glass and hung over the cliff beside the water fall in Moonshade pools?"
    Of course nothing in that spot is "on axis", so I came up with a method of building that I will probably use again since it worked so well. I had an Anywhere Dim called simply "Work Area".
    First - i built the basic structure of the house, which included the walls, windows, floors and stairs. I then saved it as a set in Tinker Tools and loaded it into the Moonshade pools dim, rotated and moved it until it fit exactly where i wanted it. A lot of the furniture sets where built with the same method, first in the work dim - then transferred.
    If I had to build something that would be attached to walls and had to be sized to fit, I would copy the room (walls, floor, and ceiling) back into the work dim to use as a guide. This worked really well for rooms like the bathroom.
    All in All, this method worked really well. I thank the makers of Tinker Tools for making this possible.
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  11. #11
    Ascendant Laeti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zillaan View Post
    Like most of my builds, the cosy cottage started with a very simple idea that went wild. I saw a picture of a concept house hanging over the side of a cliff, and thought "hey - what a neat idea". Then i searched dims and decided "What if the house was mostly glass and hung over the cliff beside the water fall in Moonshade pools?"
    Of course nothing in that spot is "on axis", so I came up with a method of building that I will probably use again since it worked so well. I had an Anywhere Dim called simply "Work Area".
    First - i built the basic structure of the house, which included the walls, windows, floors and stairs. I then saved it as a set in Tinker Tools and loaded it into the Moonshade pools dim, rotated and moved it until it fit exactly where i wanted it. A lot of the furniture sets where built with the same method, first in the work dim - then transferred.
    If I had to build something that would be attached to walls and had to be sized to fit, I would copy the room (walls, floor, and ceiling) back into the work dim to use as a guide. This worked really well for rooms like the bathroom.
    All in All, this method worked really well. I thank the makers of Tinker Tools for making this possible.


    I'm a lazy person so I usually do all the fitting and on-axis building right inside the dim I'm working on, and then rotate the structure (just making sure there's not too many items) according to the idea. Part of the reason being that with my previous setup jumping between dims was incredibly slow and it was just a massive waste of time when I could just work in the original dim. But an Anywhere or any other 'empty' ish dimension works very well for when you need to look at the structure without paying attention to the surroundings, it's very handy (but I'm still too lazy lol)
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  12. #12
    Plane Touched Coldsprite's Avatar
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    I remember my entry for the Garden Gazebo challenge was both fun to build and a complete disaster! I knew right from the get-go that I wanted to make a creepy dimension. The gazebo part wasn't too difficult. I already had an octagonal roof built for a log cabin I was working on. This challenge also happened around the time that new building blocks were released, so I copied that build over to the PTS and started experimenting with different colored building blocks.

    While on the PTS, I realized that the roof by itself was using far too many items and ended up redesigning. The final product took only 448 items - the previous roof by itself used 250+. Overall, building the gazebo was a really great learning experience and designing the spider and webbed sides was a blast!

    Then I got to the garden portion. Having never built a garden before, I went touring with Sparklynn through her many, wonderful dimensions while she patiently explained the thought process behind color and item combinations (I really needed this!). My original idea had been to build a cute garden maze that progressively became creepier and creepier as you got closer to the gazebo. Well, hedges turned out to be too wide and the dimension - Fetid Plains - to small to accommodate them. I tried using double sided periwinkle, which solved the width problem, but not the space issues. In the end, with only 4 hours until the end of the contest, I started throwing together plants and gravestones in what I hoped looked like a spiderweb pattern around the gazebo. The experience of building that garden still gives me nightmares

    As stressful as it was, it was still pretty fun to do!
    For anyone wondering - the dimension is "A Midnight Stroll" by Coldsprite@Greybriar.

  13. #13
    Prophet of Telara Mordrahan's Avatar
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    Each build has its own story.
    Half of my dims are RP homes for my characters. The other half are contest dims, and these are the ones that put my skills to the limit, because I am a very slow builder.

    I will tell you the story behind the CC3 dim, Refuge de montagne.
    I always read contest posts, but I enter only some of them. When I read the CC3 entry, I first thought "wow I will get amazing builds to tour", but also "this is not for me".
    But one thing was hooking me. The transformation part.
    I love terraforming dims, and I had been wanting to do a snowy mountain build for long. So this evening, I was building in my head.

    Choose a dim. A little one, because I don't want do do something big. One with water, because water pools are cool. One I don't already have. And a dim where the hight mountains I want can fit in. Dolcega Valley won the game.
    I made a deal with myself. Try morphing it, and if the result is ok, I will enter the contest and try to make a house.

    The snowy terrain morph was done in some hours next day. Had to morph everything, and hide the green grass in th pools with terrain paint. It was fun, and the hardest part was finding something solid high enough to put the entry point on. Now when you zone in, you are on the highest roof of one of the original Dolcega houses

    So I had to enter the contest. And make a house, which is not my cup of tea. I can't do perfect walls, even with TT. I am able to do hand made flickering walls .
    I chose to do a little house, because I entered late and had only 3 weeks left.

    I browsed internet for photographs, for the house itself, and for many things inside.
    I wanted a realistic build. My inspiration is a traditional moutain house of my country.

    Behind the scenes stories-buron.jpg
    This is called a buron.
    The final house is not exactly the same, but I love it.

    I made some sketches, a floorplan, and went building.
    I used an empty ground zero for walls, roof and some morphs, and TT to copy them in the final dim.
    The walls were hell. I was very slow, and there were flaws and flickering everywhere. I almost cried.
    I don't know how to use TT in advanced manner, I only use it to rotate blocks, but I place them manually. The day all walls were up was big relief, but one week already was gone.
    Roof was easy, and I went to fireplaces, door, and furniture.
    Windows were the last thing I did.
    Hours for details, with photographs.
    I had to work on the dim 2 weeks full time to finish it, and was still working on it the last day.

    The Refuge as you see it was hard work, and still has many flaws in the walls, but I am proud of it, and love this little house. And I'm happy to have tried this challenge.

    Dimensions on Brisesol : Domaine Imari (Mordrahan) / Centre de recherches (Mordrahan) / Laboratoire glaciaire (Mordrahan) / Last hope (Aislyn) / Le refuge du Corbeau Rouge (Kasora) / Kelari spirit (Asri) / Ghost ship (Syel) / A la vie, la mort (Sadar) / Le chemin de l'harmonie (Sadar) / Temple Solaire (Sadar) / Refuge de montagne (Sadar)

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