Yes you read right - player towns are returning to NCT! Here is a great big long breakdown on everything you need to know to get your sparkly (or not-so-sparkly, if you're into that) player town up and running!
The Player Town Process is loosely broken down into three phases: Pre-Application, Pre-Build, and Build. Be sure to pay close attention to the details below, as many parts of each of these phases are significantly different from previous player town systems.
Phase 1: Pre-Application
So you've decided you'd like to try to build a player town - now what? To begin the process, you will need to consider broadly what you would like your town to look, feel, sound, and smell (lol) like. Will it be a tropical vacation paradise, or a smoky village in the heart of a volcano? Will its lore stretch back thousands of years, or will this be a new settlement with an eye towards a bright future? What will the architecture be inspired by? What will it be called? What colors/pictures/ideas does this town invoke? Where on the map would it best fit? All of these are great questions to consider at this stage in the process, to ensure that staff have a good idea of where you're aiming. Your plan doesn't need to be detailed (i.e. you don't need to know exactly what your town builds or roads will look like yet - please don't do an entire concept build), but you DO need to be able to clearly demonstrate your overall theme. Mood boards are awesome for this! We highly recommend starting a thread or two (read: not 10 different threads on the same town) in the new Player Town Brainstorming Forum so that others can chime in, and you have a cohesive place to store your ideas.
Phase 1.5: The Application
The application itself is located here, or can be found through the Forms menu. You will notice that this application seeks to understand all of the things you need to consider in Phase 1. Staff will then deliberate and either approve or reject your theme, or work with you to tweak it a bit. In general, there are a few things Staff will turn down:
If many applications are received at once, Staff may use polls to measure overall interest in the projects we see as most viable, then determine an order in which towns will proceed. There will only be one town in pre-build, and one town in building, at any given time.
- "Pet Projects." When it's clear only one person is interested in this and it won't involve anyone else, it may be something better suited as a VIP build.
- Copyright Infringements. No, you can't build Hogwarts.
- Unclear Themes. If we can't understand your theme, it is likely that the rest of the playerbase will be confused as well, and that will hurt your building schedule.
- Similarity to Another Town/Project. Having 5 underwater coral towns leaves little place for people who don't like the ocean. In order to have a healthy server, we need a variety of places for people to explore and experience.
- Server Strain. Lots of transparent blocks (i.e. leaves and glass) omnomnom server space and speed. Ideas HEAVILY relying on these blocks may need to be re-evaluated.
Phase 2: Pre-Build
Once your town theme has been approved, we will set up a section on the NCT Discord for planning. If you feel this section is lacking something, just politely poke a staff member and we'll be happy to add it for you. This is very important, so please read carefully: there will be no "council", "presidents", "leaders", "grand poobah de doinks", etc. With such a small playerbase, this can easily be a collaborative effort with those that want to be involved without defining hard roles. Staff are welcome and encouraged to be involved in all parts of the planning and building process with no restrictions. Here are some suggestions for where you should focus your planning efforts:
- Town Layout - will there be prebuilt roads? Neighborhoods? Markets? (yes you can have markets!) Please keep in mind that there WILL NOT be plots, and players will be free to build what they would like within the build areas. However, you can help shape this through your themed builds. You will find map making EXTREMELY helpful here. For example, here is a terraforming guidance map we made for Emerald Falls. Ignore the plots, there won't be any in your towns, but note the purple town builds and roads, as well as the height indicating the mountain and surrounding hills (ignore the red arrow).
Upon completion of your town plan, please let Staff know to have fly activated in your region, and your Contractor's Shop set up. Our guidance is that this process take no more than a month. If it is taking much longer, it may indicate your idea has lost steam or was not truly well defined enough.
- Major Town Builds - where and what will be the defining builds of your town?
- Within this - what will your block palette be? This is VERY important! Block palettes should consist of 15 key blocks you anticipate needing oodles of to build your town. Think about major builds, roads, decor, etc. Your block palette will be the blocks you are able to purchase in bulk while building from the Contractor's Shop.
Phase 3: Building
Oh jeez, this is the exciting part! Town building will look considerably different than it has in the past. In an effort to increase the open collaborative style and cut down on the necessity for staff to constantly be monitoring players, town building will NOT involve creative mode. Whaaaaat?? We know, bear with us. You WILL have access to fly within the town region, so no need for giant staircases. You will also have access to a special Contractor's Shop for you town - this is where your block palette comes into play. Your block palette will be available for purchase in bulk from the Contractor's Shop based on rarity of the blocks and other factors. This saves you the time of having to go out and gather the materials yourself, although you are certainly welcome to! We will have a WorldEditing Subcontractor Service available upon request and proposal. ALL Town Building must be completed WITHIN 3 MONTHS of the start date, barring extreme circumstances like Flaw breaks the entire server for a week.
ANYONE will be able to access the build region and help out at any time, but there will be signs at the entrance encouraging people to check out the planning channels. Staff are happy to help mediate discussions on what will end up in the town, but please do not abuse staff powers by reporting builds you personally don't like as griefing. Similarly, this open build style is NOT a time for personal builds. Creating personal builds at this time will be considered griefing and handled accordingly. Your best bet in ensuring a successful build process is to clearly define your theme through many references and a few reference builds created early in the process.
Please feel free to leave questions below! Here is a link to our Town Hall on the topic which covers MANY player questions in more detail. We can't wait to see what you create!