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DiverCity – Behind The Scenes and progress update

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avatar Picorims
Level 8 : Apprentice Crafter
7
On the thumbnail, a render of DiverCity to the state it is while I write these lines.


  Since the first release of DiverCity on PlanetMinecraft in November, a couple of months have passed. During this time, the city continued to slowly grow, with some activity peaks. While the path toward Alpha 2.0 is still long, I will take advantage of the time given by the confinment we are all confronted to, to show what’s happening behind the scenes.
  This post will be divided into the different parts of the progress, and I will explain a bit my workflow when working on this map (note: I’m not a professional, I just share what I learnt through the years). Enjoy!


Renovation

  As you may be aware of, the map has been created in 2015 and the project really started big in 2017 when joining the Project Zearth team. During these five years, new builds appeared on the map while I continuously practiced and learnt the vast world that is building (it’s still the case). Some of these constructions starts to make their times and need some renovation to remain equal with new content being added (this excludes historical builds).
  This represent most of the work done since the start of 2020 and the core of the city has been the main focus.

Some before/after comparison!

Some before/after comparison!

Some before/after comparison!
Some before/after comparison!

  As you can see, the builds themselves didn’t change much, they remain the same as before and keep their original style and spirit. The two big changes are materials and detail.
  The materials sets the global appearance and colors of a build. There should be enough of variety for contrast, but not too much to keep it organized, not messy. When seeking the right materials, looking at real life pictures can be very handy, because you take advantage of the experience of architects from all over the world.
  Detail is also an important aspect for a map intended to be explored, as it sets the ambiance and give more life to the city. The focus has mainly been adding more depth and vegetation. Something as simple as adding a few plants, open or closed shutters and naming streets improved the builds, alongside some other tweaks.

  One build made an exception though, a house seen from everywhere, on a hill:

The house on the hill.
This is the house I talk about, you probably have seen it on the map or the project’s page.


  If you look at the before/after screenshots, you’ll notice this house has been almost redone from scratch. Sometimes the core design of the build may be wrong, and it is needed to make deeper changes. But at the end of the journey, it always worth it, as it gives you the opportunity to get creative and reinvent the build you made into something better. New blocks added since 1.12 were very useful as they match very well the architecture of this century used here. Limitating rectangle shapes is also of a great use for aesthetic.

  Following the same principles, some other places such as this bridge and this dock got reworked.

Transports renovation

Transports are as important as the city itself, let’s take care of them.

Additions

  While new content is still limited as of now, new builds are planned (notice the orange wool lines at the top of this post) and empty space is slowy filled up. At such moments, organization is important to fill the best way as possible a given space (something not always easy to do, I still have to progress here).

  Roads comes useful to define where people go, and to create some “plots” to work on.
New road near the townhall

New road for the bank

Some new roads along water.

  The last screenshot is an anticipation of the construction of the bank on the hill. Banks usually show their power through their architecture, and a small building on a hill is very suited for that. A road of better quality is nice to introduce this build. Taking care of the context, when and where the road was built helps choosing blocks and imagining it’s design. Real life is also useful here for inspiration.
  I recently try to reinforce the influence of ecology in the map as it is since the start an elemental aspect of the project. In that way, besides adding vegetation where it was missing, I got the idea to fill an empty space with an open vegetable garden. It also gives some lore inspiration for when EZ Price’s siege will be built, a multinational company that opened supermarkets all over the Project Zearth world!

Some nature in a concrete world.
Some nature in a concrete world.

Lore

  Lore has been a bit improved by, as I mentioned earlier, naming all streets and roads. Their name sometimes match history, or sometimes just reflects the ambiance of the place.
  Following the lore established in the first version, a football match between DiverCity and Neon City (Project Zearth again, I’m part of the team so the lore of both projects has been linked together) has been organized!
the football match

The football match
It’s hard to know who will win.


  This wasn’t an easy decision, considering armor stands and banners do create lag and can break the user experience. But the overall benefit of such a scene worths losing a few FPS (they can always be killed by the player). The guy below may be familiar to you ? (hint, I talked way too much about it).


Interior

  Interiors add a lot of life, but sadly isn’t the progress the most seen from the outside. Some builds that were empty in the Alpha 1.0 are now filled up! These apartements for example, asked a few hours of work, but now looks way better when people live in it!

Some new interiors
The floors aren’t at the same level everywhere, it was tricky to work with, but allowed more creativity. It was not a too bad idea in the end.


  I won’t spoil them much as they are part of the exploration, but I can share some screenshots. The most important when you make an interior is to have a theme, imagine who live there and make it with this image in mind. The rest are tricks you learn with time. Other builders can give you a lot of ideas if you look at their crafts, you can check maps, social medias and YouTube for example.

An appartment interior

a library interior
This is a new library opened in the english brick style appartments.

If you wonder how an empty room looks like before being filled up, well now you know:

An empty interior
I should definitely consider adding a few walls, this may be too big… also MrSpy321 if you read these lines, I’m still open for a collaboration as you asked me for an interior there, and you seemed pretty motivated!



Final words

  There we go, I showcased most of the progress done on the map, which only represent a part of what has still to be done. I hope some of my advices given by the way will be useful to you. For my part, to make the best buildings, I’ll take inspiration of the IAMA community and browse about this topic I do not master (for the bank and EZ Price’s siege in first place). Hey this project is a great way to learn stuff! I will also consider porting this map to Bedrock too if possible when this version is ready, so more people can enjoy the project.

  Until then, thanks for reading, and I see you on Twitter or when the next version is out!

~ Picorims ~


PS: Feel free to reach me if you wish to talk.
Tags

1
04/14/2020 2:58 pm
Level 66 : High Grandmaster Architect
Xoyjaz
Very nice blog! Love your hard work keep it up :D
2
04/22/2020 11:00 am
Level 8 : Apprentice Crafter
Picorims
Thanks and sorry for my late reply!
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