Help: Building Standards
Building standards are rules about how you should create and write when doing content creation for the game. Our standards are pretty general, but they do exist! You can get a good idea of our standards by just walking around looking at comparatively recent builds. Beware our twenty-year-old builds, though -- some of those don't even meet our own modern standards! But here are the rules, spelled out.
- Everything should be spelled correctly and be mostly grammatically correct, though it doesn't have to be formal. Dry and understated humor is welcome in this game.
- Sentence fragments are a common mistake. This is when a sentence is really only an incomplete part of a sentence. Incorrect: "The weather here is unpleasant. Cold and rainy outside." Correct: "The weather here is unpleasant. It's cold and rainy outside."
- Another very common mistake is the comma splice. This is when two independent clauses are joined by a comma. Incorrect: "A little girl pulls her wagon down the sidewalk, it looks bright red and new." Correct: "A little girl pulls her wagon down the sidewalk; it looks bright red and new." Or, even better, replace the semicolon with a period. Semicolons tend to make writing look stilted when overused.
- Show, don't tell! "This ballroom is formal and traditional" is bland and boring. Try "This ballroom is all crystal and gold gilding, as if it was transported from centuries past." That is still pretty vague and would not be a complete description, but just a couple of details are often enough to evoke an image for the reader.
- Descriptions should mostly be static information, describing conditions that are true all the time. For example, a description can say what a building looks like or describe a fruit stand over there, but it shouldn't make constant mention of a woman buying a banana.
- Descriptions should not tell the reader how to feel or what they think. "The spectacular domed glass ceiling fills you with a sense of awe" is bad. Remember to show and not just tell!
- In fact, avoid using the word "you" entirely. "You step into a..." and similar description openers are not compelling and quickly grow repetitive. Descriptions objectively describe details and should not depend on any one person's perception.
- Echo messages describe things happening at this specific moment. This is where you mention that woman buying a banana.
- If you're going to do one echo message, then do at least half a dozen. If there are too few messages, they'll become very repetitive.
- Unlike descriptions, you can use the word "you" here. However, still, do not tell the reader how to feel.
- Keep them fairly short. They'll be happening in and around conversation and roleplaying, so don't make them an interruption.
- These follow the same rules as descriptions.
- Consider adding them for anything interesting you mention in your description. A planet outside the viewport? Perhaps give it a couple lines as an extra detail!
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