Building in VRoma: Planning and Designing your Building

Proper research and planning are crucial steps in the MOO building process.




You should decide on names for all your rooms and exits before you log on and actually start to build.

Before you actually log into the MOO and start building, you will probably want to plan your building. You may also want to look around at some pre-existing buildings for ideas, especially if you have never described a building before.

  1. Research your building. Even if it is not a historical building, you will still need to know something about the basic floor plan for the type of building you are planning. E.g., if you want to build a Roman house, you will need to decide what type of house (domus? villa?), then look at a few historical examples.
    Click here for some recommended reference works.
  2. Design the building. It may help to actually draw your building during this phase. Here are the specific steps in the design process.
    1. Decide how many rooms the building will have and what each room will be called. Room names need not be unique, though it can help you keep track of things better if they are. Try to keep room names as short as possible (e.g. avoid names like “Claudius’s favorite cubiculum under the stairs” -- this can make enhancing your rooms more difficult later.
    2. Decide what exits each room will contain and what other rooms they will connect to. Each exit in a room must have a unique name (i.e. there cannot be two exits named “door” or “east” in the same room). You must name each exit from a room AND its corresponding entrance back into the room. For example, you may have a room called “Cubiculum”, with an exit to the next room (“Atrium”) called “east”. The corresponding entrance back into “Cubiculum” might be called (naturally enough) “west”. We recommend that you do use compass directions (north, south, east, west, northwest, southeast, etc.) as much as possible for exit names, though you can name them anything you want. The only limitation is that exit names, unlike room names, cannot have spaces in them.
  3. Double check your plan to make sure the exit names make sense and that your use of compass directions is consistent.
  4. Decide which room is the “first” room (for buildings, usually the first room one enters from the street).
  5. Write descriptions for each of your rooms. Try to keep these under 10 or so lines of text if possible — otherwise, visitors may not really take the time to read them.
  6. Plan the objects you will want in your rooms. This requires some planning, since you will need to mention something by name in your description in order to alert visitors that further information about this object is available.
  7. (Optional) Make a note of URLs to sites or images that you want to include in a room. This is also necessary if you are using your own on-line images (which you must have on a web server somewhere). We recommend that you use images from the VRoma image bank, since we can guarantee their availability in the future (this is not always the case with images you find while surfing the ’net).

See the next section of this tutorial for a sample building plan.

[Next: A Sample Building plan] [Previous: Getting a Building Permit]
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July 2002