Interiors and walking into rooms

By LadylexUK

Something that Spark was never very good at and that was interiors. Just look at the props list and you will see that Team Dakota’s main focus was exteriors. There are 67 rocks and only 6 items of furniture. There are endless options for grass and sand and mud, but no carpets. They also meant the house props to be decorative only. You cant walk into them, and the windows have no transparency so you cant see in or out. But not being able to do something in Project Spark is just a challenge you haven’t solved yet, right? Here are some ideas about building interiors in Project Spark.

Using Props to make rooms
The Dungeon pieces are your best bet for walls, stairs, doorways etc. You can recolour them so they do not have to be the cold grey stone, but bricks in an internal space are not ideal, and you may wish to clad the walls with some primitives on the interiors (especially for modern homes). The primitive selection are very good at making structures, but they are not textured, and can look a little, well, flat. I recommend turning the snap to grid function on for rotating your props, especially walls, so you get right angles when you build, and your walls are upright and not toppling over (unless that is the look you are going for).

Using terrain to build walls
Tricky skill this. Turn your snap to grid on, and use your plateau brush to get the same height for your walls. It is not easy to build straight with the terrain brush, and you often get bulges on walls where they were not high enough with the brush size you used and you added later. Takes practice. Some people are better at this than others. You may get frustrated and end up using prop walls instead, but if you can develop the skill it will definitely help you with your prop count.

You can use any flooring options you like (I would avoid the grass and flowers) to make your interior floors. The wood grain material is good, especially if you reduce the size, and you may get a great plank effect with different coloured and sized versions of the material. You can get some interesting carpet effects with coloured versions of the terrains. The arctic snow is good for solid colour carpetry. You can also use props for floors, such as the crate lid, primitives, flat undersides of various props turned upside down, and rotated wall props. If using terrain, be aware that your character’s footsteps will sound different with different materials.

Placing Doors
Whether you use props or terrain, remember to leave a gap for the door. You can place a door in a wall, and it will look fine, until someone tries to open it. For non opening doors you obviously do not need concern yourself with a hole, but for a functional door you do, the door will not miraculously create a doorway for you. Remember with a prop wall you put them either side of the door and add a lintel over the top. For a terrain wall you can make the hole slightly smaller than the door so you have no gaps around the door-frame, but make sure your player can walk through easily.

A mistake that is very easy to make is making your room massive, especially if you are using terrain to do it. Always have a character at hand to check for scale. You don’t want your room to be too big.

The prop windows cannot be opened and cannot be seen out of.You could leave a gap and make a window frame that can be opened. I will work on a design tutorial for making windows.

Another option is to use the water pool. Adjust the size to what you need (you cannot get it square – only round or oval). Change the settings of the water so you do not get a wave in it. Attach it to a logic cube and turn it so that it is vertical.

There are some issues with the water pool. Firstly there is a bug in the prop that means you can get it nice and flat in create mode, then you go to test mode and its thick again. So, you can create windows using the water pool but they will be thick, and are therefore not suitable for thin structures, or for windows that open. Secondly if your player touches it they start swimming. A bit weird when you are indoors and your player starts swimming up the wall. Put a flat invisible primitive in front of your water pool window to prevent that. There is also a sound effect that accompanies that. Also, it is not completely transparent on both sides.

Walking into houses that you cant walk into
Sometimes you want your character to walk into that windmill you made, or that hovel. As you cannot get inside a lot of these objects you will need to create an interior elsewhere. You will need to build yourself a transporter, or switch to another version of your character that is inside the room. You can build your room inside mountains to hide it away from the rest of gameplay, or on an island away from the rest of your level. Activate your transporter when they interact with the door. There are a few tutorials on the site you could use. Or switch off the brain of your character and switch on a brain of a cloned character inside the room – switching back when they interact with the door. To be honest, the house assemblies are pretty but in a realistic world completely the wrong scale. Imagine how big the house really is compared to the size of your character. It is tiny! You can get inside some of the assemblies if they are big enough (the tents for example, or the alien pods, which can make an interesting interior. You can make a door using the collidable tile. Put a doorway on your prop and if the player bumps it then you make the door and the prop non collidable so the player can walk through. If they bump anywhere else the prop is collidable.

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