document might seem long, but that is because it goes into a lot of details
that may be obvious and that you may have already read elsewhere; they are here
‘just in case’. Regardless it is suggested to read it to make your introduction
to Ahra Pahts as easy as possible. Also, you should probably have to read this only
This document can and will be updated in the future.
I - Overview
Ahra Pahts is not only an Age and a city, but a different kind of Age, the only one of its kind: it is a community Age, an Age build by you: the residents.
The core of the Age, the city, is at your disposal. Centred around the high City Hub is the ever growing network of streets, rivers, courtyards… and ‘shells’. Those shells are the parts of the city that are free for anyone to own, and come build a house, a large building, a garden, or something entirely original. Come claim your piece of territory in the great city.
As the Age is just starting a good deal of it is empty; open territories waiting to be taken.
If you know a little bit about Age creation, come join the Ahra Pahts city and build something of your own, your personal space in the D’ni universe. And participate in the biggest and most diverse of all Ages.
If you are not interested in Age creation at all, just come and visit Ahra Pahts. The huge city is full of surprises; and best of all, it changes all the time.
* * *
The Ahra Pahts Age areas are divided in five categories:
The Central Hub
Here are all the official buildings, the meeting rooms, the Library. This will be your starting point. Also here is the official registry containing the name and addresses of all the Ahra Pahts members and the large map of the city.
The Prin Nexus
Though it is actually a separate Age it is tied to the city and will be useful to travel around quickly. It is both similar in concept and very different in form from the regular Uru Nexus we all know and love. Prin Nexus books are everywhere in the streets of the City.
The Shells & the Districts
These are the core of the city. Each shell is a space larger than your Relto island that you can reserve and where you can build your own home. All shells belong to a district; they are sections of the city delimited by high walls which are structurally the same but all feature different themes. Districts are named by color; right now four districts are open:
The shells fall in four different categories:
Make sure you choose the right shell when you signup.
These provide over 150 shells, if they start to fill up new districts will be opened. You know when you enter a new district by the high walls and the large gate of the corresponding district colour. In the centre of each district is a large courtyard where flows one of the rivers, there is also a Prin Nexus station, a Map of the District, and an access to the canal.
The Streets and courtyards
needs streets. Some are decorated, some leads to courtyards, gardens, even
lakes; each district has its unique features. If you don’t like walking you can
always use the many nexus stations; they are everywhere, and will lead you
The Rivers and canals
They go through many streets and all districts. Even more, the canal is the only way to reach some of the shells. Do you feel like living near the water?... You cannot build in the water, but you can have a swim or enjoy a boat ride. You might even find a few surprises here and there...
The city is
always growing: new shells, new streets, buildings under construction,
barriers, and cones... It might seems a bit chaotic but isn’t it part of its
* * *
If you want to join the city and build a shell, it is very simple and this is how it goes:
You think you could enjoy this? Read on then…
Everyone is free to come join the city and build something. If you can write, even just a bit, and you are full of good will, you are welcome in Ahra Pahts.
First of all
you must reserve your shell. In fact you can currently signup for up to 3
shells. To do so, check out the map and see what shells are available. 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, for you cannot change. Note down the
shell number and ask on the forum here for your
registration. Once your shell is registered and until it is updated for the
first time, a barricade and a ‘Under construction’ sign will be put in place.
Please, make sure you plan on actually doing something of your shell and that it won’t stay empty for months. We don’t want to see half of the Age with empty shells, do we? If your shell stays empty for too long the team reserves the right to give it to someone else.
Once you have been registered, you are given a Blender file, this is your shell. It has the right dimensions, and includes all you need to start building your shell: four walls, an entrance, a ground; and a few other things. Build whatever you want insides it according to the rules, and when you are happy with it you must submit it to the team as a compiled Prp file* either by posting about it on the Ahra Pahts forum or directly by PM to one of the team members.
Each time a
shell update is sent it is reviewed by the team who checks for technical
validity, content & building dimensions. When it is accepted it will be
integrated in the Age for the next update.
Once you think your shell is ready and you want to open it to the public, your name will be added to the citizen registry in the Library, your shell will be put on all the maps and the barrier will be removed. You might want to throw a party as well…
Of course, after you shell has been opened you can always update it late when you want.
Note: Please, as much as possible try not to send more than one update per week. Make sure your shell is correct and complete before sending it.
* For more technical informations on shells and submission process, see at the end of the document.
All shells have a number (an ‘address’) which is simply the District followed by the shell number inside the district. For instance:
Shell 439 : 4 is the District (1= White, 2 = Red, 3=Green, 4=Blue) and 39 is the shell number.
So you want to build something in Ahra? Great. :) A shell is larger than the size of your Relto island, that’s plenty of space for you to build on; and that’s only on the ground level: you can expand vertically and underground too. You can build anything inside your shell, and you can customize the outside walls within some limits.
Because this is a large Age and we need to centralize all updates we set up a few construction rules and guidelines you should respect:
Note: These rules may seem obvious to some people, they are here just to make sure.
Rule number one: you shall not copy the Ages of someone else. And you shall not use the models, textures or assets of any other Age; unless you have permission from the author.
Rule Number two: Do not use any offensive content, adult material etc... Use your common sense.
These two rules are absolute rules; any shell not complying with those will be refused.
Rule Number three: you are in a D’ni Age, not on the surface, while you can include some elements from the surface, please stay IC; at least on your shell’s facade. (The ‘surface’ elements brought by the DRC in the various Uru Ages are a good indication of what you can bring in your shell.)
One of the most important aspects of your shell is its size. The Blender file you are given tells you the maximum dimensions you must use. Respect them so your shell can be integrated easily in the City.
Note: On the Layer 4 of your shell is a model that tells you all this visually.
§ Ground level: Walls and a basic ground are delimiting each shell by default; they are included in your Blender file. They can be destroyed, modified or replaced freely as long as you respect the overall dimensions of the shell. (See here for more details)
§ Height: You can build up to 60 feet above the ground, and you can dig underground as much as you want.
§ Street area: You can build stuff on your facade that goes above the street. You can build starting at 10 feet above the ground (and up to the shell height limit) and up to 8 feet outside the limits of the shell.
There are many buildings in there and not everyone has the most powerful computer to display incredibly detailed buildings. So it is a good idea to try and keep you shell bellow within a reasonable amount of polygons and textures visible from the street. That means that you can put as much detail as you want inside your shell; but make sure the ‘outside’ of your shell (what can be seen from the street) keeps a reasonable level of detail.
This is an important aspect of your shell construction because it may affect everyone’s enjoyment of the city as a whole. If the number of polygons and textures really go out of hand, the game will become very choppy for everyone and we will suffer from awful "lag".
We are not putting too much restriction on this, so as not to block creativity, but please be mindful of the others.
By default your shell has one entrance in the front wall, but you can modify this and add has many entrances as you want on the street. If your shell is between two streets or more you can have several entrances on each street.
Shells may be
separated at first but they can be grouped to build some bigger things.
Note: For technical reasons you can only associate with shells that are in the same district. So make sure you reserve the right shells.
For more info on all this, see ‘Neighbours associations / grouped shells’ at the end of the document.
All the ‘content’ rules apply to textures: do not use copyrighted material; textures from other Ages etc.
However you can use freely any public texture or model from the Ahra Pahts Age inside your shell (that is walls, streets, lampposts etc) except those from the hub. But you shouldn’t use textures or objects from other shells unless you ask the shell owner first.
You cannot build anything on the street ground itself beyond the limits of your shell; any thing you build outside of your shell must start 10 feet above the ground. (See Dimensions & Walls above) For shells that are near a canal rather than a street the same rules apply.
create ‘kickables’ (like the cones or the beach ball) and they may go outside
of your shell. But if you loose a kickable or if it disappears because of a bug
we cannot guarantee its return.
You can add sound in your shell like you would in any Age. (Currently available tools only allow footsteps sounds)
Interactivity by the use of Python code is possible; technical details are still being debated though.
should be posted shortly about this.
III - Technical specifications of Shells and submission
The Shells are divided in 3 categories of objects: the ‘regular objects’ (what you can see In the game – p, layer 1) the ‘logic objects’ (collisions, sounds regions, lights etc on layer 2) and the ‘guides’ (on layer 4 and 5). Guides objects are special objects here to give you visual clues (size of you shell, etc) they do not get exported along the other objects when you export your shell. So it is suggested not to erase (or to edit) these guides from the scene as they are always useful.
Note: Because the centre of the Age is the world origin in Blender, and all shells are far from it, your shell may be far from the world origin in the scene. If in Blender you lose your shell from your view zoom out a lot and you should find it.
The shell Blender file you are given is named after your shell number; it includes:
Note: not all the shell files are the same, depending on where your shell is in the Age. All the shells are the same but the surroundings aren’t; streets, walls, rivers etc. So Blender files content will slightly vary from a shell to another.
Well, these are the walls of your shells... You can do whatever you want with them (modify them, destroy them, change their textures etc…) as long as you respect the constructions rules stated above.
(Note: the ‘outside
back wall’, opposed to the entrance, cannot be seen in the Age; it is here
‘just in case’)
Important: Make sure that there are no holes or gaps between your shell and the street or the walls.
Some shells have columns on their side walls depending where they are in the city. This is a regular object you can modify this.
Lights on walls
On each side of the door are lights. This is a regular object you can modify this.
This is your default ground and you can do whatever you want of it. This is a regular object you can modify this.
Again, ou can do whatever you want of those, as long as you respect the Dimensions rules stated above. However you can also simply remove them if you want, they won’t leave a hole in the street. This is a regular object you can modify this.
The steps leading inside the shell. This is a regular object you can modify this.
This is a regular object you can modify this.
This is here just so your shell can be exported for Uru. Do Not Change It.
This mesh (located on layer4) gives you the dimensions of your shell. Do not put anything past these guides. (Except in case of neighbourhood association, see bellow). This shows you visually the maximum size and height your shell can be. These limits are an important rule. The ‘maximum height’ rule is an optimization rule so that one cannot see all the roofs of the shells from anywhere in the city; or our computers would all collapse... It is also an esthetical choice from the creators of the Age.
Of course those limits are also there so you do not step on you neighbours’ shells.
Note: You can build underground as deep as you want; even though the guide stops at 100 feet underground.
It is suggested not to erase or edit this guide from the scene, as it is always useful.
This mesh isn’t actually part of your shell and you can’t change it. It is just here to provide you reference and show you how your shell will look in situation. But, more important, it also helps you make sure there are no holes between your shell and the street.
In the /textures folder are all the associated textures used in the shell which you may edit as you want. Along the Blender file are the .age, and .fni files; like the Book they are here so you can export the shell easily to a Prp file. Do Not Change Them.
Since there are many objects in the Age we must make sure none of them have conflicting names, to avoid bugs. Everything in your shell must have a name starting with your shell number. This include: meshes, lights, materials, regions, textures etc. Everything that has a name must have its name starting with your shell number.
Examples: 439BlueLight ; 439Marble.jpg ; etc..
By ‘name’ we mean: the ‘property’ name (the one displayed in the ‘Logic’ panel of Blender). For textures that means the name of the actual file. If you are using a texture with an alpha channel it should be named ‘useAlpha[shellNumber]name’. For instance “useAlpha312water.png”.
This is very important; as it can be a source of bugs. For instance: if two textures happen to be named ‘Wood’, one will not be displayed. Just add the number of your shell at the beginning of everything. ;)
Your shell is actually a specific page of the Age book. So that your shell can be exported all your objects must have a “page_num” property, equal to your shell number. This is very important, if one or several objects are not assigned to the correct page your shell will not integrate well in the Age.
As has been said above, all objects in the scene are at a precise location in space, offset from the world origin; this is the position of your shell in the Age. Do Not Change This. Or your shell may appear at a different position in the city…
You can put a linking spot right inside your shell if you want, so you can link directly there. But you will be the only one able to access it. You will have to register it in Uru Age Manager to use it.
If you want to add one, you will just have to respect the naming convention (see above) like for any other object in a shell.
This is the easiest step.
(Always make sure you have the latest version of the PrpPlugin.)
Once you think your shell is ready to be submitted export it as you would export any Age; but make sure to use the ‘All as full age, per-page textures’ option. It is important to use this option as it will save all the textures inside the shell Prp file and not a different file. Also it will compress the textures and make the file smaller and easier to upload, and download.
You can export directly to the /dat folder in Uru, only your shell will be exported and the rest of the Age won’t change.
Once your shell has been successfully exported you can test it and submit it.
If you have trouble exporting your shell come and ask on the forum.
Note: it is always a good idea to do a back up of your shell Prp file before exporting. If somehow the export fails and the Prp is corrupted/deleted you won’t be able to load the Age again. Always keep a back up of a working version of the file.
First you must upload all your files somewhere on the web (preferably in a single Zip file) then you must post about it on the AgeBuilder forum with the address of your files.
The files you must include are:
If you want to do a neighbours association, you’ll have to deal the details of this with your neighbour(s) the way you want.
What is important is that one single person is designated as ‘responsible’ for all the concerned shells and whenever the shells must be submitted they are all submitted by that person. They can be submitted as one or several blender files and one or several Prps (one for each shell).
‘Page assignation’ for several shells can work as you want. Because you are working with several shells you can have all your objects assigned to one single page or to several. Depending on how you do this you will end up with one or several Prps when you export. If you have several Prps make sure to submit them all
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