A typical empty shell
Each shell is a private space, larger than a Relto island, that you can own and where you can build whatever you want. If you know a little bit about Age creation in Blender you will not have any difficulty creating a shell. All the shells are of the same size and almost identical looking (there are some minor differences between shells depending on their location).
Empty shell seen in perspective and from the top; notice the size of the avatar near the entrance.
(click to enlarge)
There are 150 Shells, and if you want to build something in the city, just sign up.. If you are not interested in Age creation at all, just come and visit Ahra Pahts to see the shells that the Age residents have created.
(warning: large image)
To sign up for a shell you must first choose which one you want. Look at the plan here, see which shells are available, and then decide where you would like to be. Do you want to be near a large courtyard, or near the water, maybe you have a friend you want to be close to? Choose wisely, because once you have chosen you cannot change. The best way to be sure of your choice is to explore the Age and ‘get a feel’ of the various available shells.
Note the shell number and go to the dedicated Shell sign up thread on the Guild of Writers forum here and ask for your shell.
> Shell sign up thread (GoW forum)
> Shell sign-ups list page
Note : you can actually sign up for up to 3 different shells if you want. But please make sure that you will use all your shells. We don’t want the city to be filled with empty reserved shells, do we?
Once you have signed up you will receive a link to download a Blender file containing your shell(s), and the textures. Then you have everything you need to start building inside 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. For more infos see the FAQ bellow.
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(Note : A complete copy of this FAQ is available on the GoW forums here.)
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 notify us on the Ahra Pahts forum. Someone from the team will then take care of the publication. Shells are usually published as they come, just give us a couple days.
Q: Once my shell is already released can I update it again?
A: Of course, you can update it when you want and sumbit it. Just don't update it every day or we might not be able to follow. ;)
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