How To Make A Spiral Ramp Stairway / Staircase, and Floating Platforms

Discussion in 'Player Created Resources' started by Wilfred, Nov 16, 2020.

  1. Wilfred

    Wilfred Avatar

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    This guide will explain how to make a spiral ramp stairway / staircase,
    and how to make floating platforms suspended in the air.

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    First, watch this video to learn the basics of deco rotation:

    SotA Deco Basics (Many Thanks to @Sorgin Txakal for the video!)


    The basic rules of deco rotation:

    - Place two 1Wx4Hx4L blocks on your lot, hit "R" to lay them flat, then stack one on top of the other.
    (The video uses Rough Stone blocks. I prefer to use Rough Wood blocks, because wood blocks have a smoother surface.)

    - Place another 1Wx4Hx4L block off to the side; do not lay it flat.

    - Place any deco item on top of the two stacked 1Wx4Hx4L blocks.
    The deco item placed on top of the two blocks is considered the bottom deco item, and CANNOT be rotated or flipped in any way, or the process will not work.

    The deco items can be anything. A few fun items to experiment with are:
    --- Crown of the Obsidians (very small)
    --- Doric Column (very large)
    --- Shogun Paper & Wood Room Divider (very thin)
    --- blocks of different sizes and shapes

    - (Optional) Stack any other deco items you want on top of the bottom deco item.
    Deco items stacked on top of the bottom deco item CAN be rotated or flipped however you want before being placed on the stack.
    Rotating these deco items is sometimes necessary to end up with different angles.

    - Unstack the 1Wx4Hx4L blocks and bottom deco item in the opposite order that they were stacked (Unstack from the bottom up).
    In other words, move the second 1Wx4Hx4L block off of the bottom 1Wx4Hx4L block and onto the ground.
    Then move the bottom deco item off of the second 1Wx4Hx4L block.

    When the bottom deco item is moved off the second 1Wx4Hx4L block, it will rotate 90 degrees. If there are other deco items on top of the bottom deco item, the whole stack will rotate 90 degrees.

    Some deco items cannot be placed on the ground after being rotated 90 degrees.
    If a deco item will not place on the ground after rotation:
    - Try attaching it to the unrotated 1Wx4Hx4L block that was placed off to the side earlier.
    - Try adding another deco item to the stack, of a type that can be placed on the ground after rotation (blocks usually work well).

    Note that it is possible to rotate the bottom deco item (or deco stack) 180 or 270 degrees by using this process with a stack of 3 or 4 1Wx4Hx4L blocks, but I have not found any use for 180 or 270 degree rotations.

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    To better understand how the process works, try this experiment:

    - Place a Crown of the Obsidians on top of the two stacked 1Wx4Hx4L wood blocks.
    - Rotate a Shogun Paper & Wood Room Divider to some random angle, and then place it on top of the Crown. (Make sure it is centered.)
    - Move the second 1Wx4Hx4L block off of the bottom block, and onto the ground.
    - Move the Crown (with the Divider on top of it) off of the second block, and onto the ground.
    - Rotate the Crown (with the Divider attached) to a second random angle.
    - Restack the two 1Wx4Hx4L blocks, and place a second Crown on top of them.
    - Drag the first Crown with the attached Divider onto the second Crown.
    - Move the second 1Wx4Hx4L block off of the bottom block, and onto the ground.
    - Move the second Crown (with the first Crown and Divider on top) off of the second block, and onto the ground.

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    To make a spiral ramp stairway, you will need:

    - 1Wx4Hx4L Rough Wood Square Block (2 of them, laid flat, and stacked one on top of the other)
    - Doric Column (1 to 4 depending on how high you want the stairway to go, scaled to 1.2X / 120%)
    - Shogun Paper & Wood Room Divider (17 per Column)
    - Shogun Paper & Wood Room Divider (Extras to use as angle guides)
    - 4Wx4Hx4L Rough Stone Cube Block
    - 1Wx4Hx1L Rough Wood Rectangle Block (to use as a step)
    - Gustball Field Tower (to use as a large step)

    How the ramp construction process works, in general:

    - The Column will be rotated 90° onto its side.
    - 16 Dividers will be placed on the Column
    - The Column shaft will be rotated 22.5° after each Divider is placed. (22.5° x 16 = 360°)
    Using 16 Dividers per Column with 22.5° rotation makes it easy to line up the dividers when multiple Columns are stacked on top of each other.
    - The 16 Dividers must all have a slope angle of about 25°.
    When the Dividers are sloped correctly, the top Divider will come out even with the top of the Column.
    - For the last step, the 17th Divider will be placed along the Column's base, to fill the gap between the Column's base and the ground.
    - Note that this guide uses Columns scaled to 120%. If you use a different Column scale, the Divider slope angle will need to be changed as well.

    Prep work:

    Deco snaps to 45° angles with Ctrl+Q and Ctrl+E, but angle guides must be prepared for the four 22.5° angles in between.
    - Take two Dividers and snap the angles so they are 45° apart.
    - Then place a third Divider between them with the inner edges touching, and adjust the angle so that the outer end is an equal distance between the other two Dividers.
    Use Shift+Q and Shift+E for fine adjustments.
    To get an accurate 22.5° angle, look straight down at the middle Divider, and make sure that it is pointing straight away from you, straight towards the top of the screen.
    Then use a tape measure or ruler to measure the distances on the screen between the middle Divider and the two edge Dividers.
    When the two distances are equal, the middle Divider should be at the correct 22.5° angle.

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    [​IMG]
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    16 Dividers must be prepared with about a 25° angle for the slope of the ramp.
    I have not figured out how to measure the exact slope angle needed, so the process is a bit of trial and error.
    If the slope angle is correct, the top edge of the 16th Divider will come out even with the top edge of the Column.
    If you get to the end of the Column and find that the 16th Divider is a bit off, you can manually adjust the angle of the last few Dividers to make the edge of the 16th Divider line up with the top of the Column.
    Remember to tweak your 25° angle guide to be more accurate on the next column.
    - The Dividers have a different texture on each side, so first decide which texture side you want to be on top of the ramp.
    - Then determine whether you want the ramp to spiral clockwise or counterclockwise.
    - Using the corresponding 22.5° Divider as a guide, adjust one of the 16 Dividers until it is parallel to the 22.5° Divider, then increase the angle slightly to about 25°.
    - Using the 25° Divider as a guide, adjust the other 15 Dividers so they are parallel to the 25° Divider. (Make sure the textures on the Dividers are all facing the same way as well.) You may want to make a few extra 25° Dividers. If there are any errors in the 22.5° Column rotations, Dividers may need to be removed from the Column and replaced, so it is useful to have a few extra 25° dividers ahead of time.

    To actually make the spiral ramp stairway:

    - Scale a Doric Column to 1.2X (120%). Press Alt+X to scale up and Alt+Z to scale down.
    - Stack two flat 1Wx4Hx4L wood blocks one on top of the other.
    - Place the 4Wx4Hx4L Rough Stone Cube Block on top of the two stacked 1Wx4Hx4L wood blocks.
    - Place the scaled Doric Column on top of the 4Wx4Hx4L stone block.
    - Unstack in the reverse order (From the bottom up), to flip the 4Wx4Hx4L Rough Stone Cube 90°, with the Column attached.
    This will flip the Column onto its side.
    - Use "R" to lay the 1Wx4Hx1L Rough Wood Rectangle Block flat. Then move it next to the Column and use it as a step to jump up onto the Column.
    - Grab one of the 25° Dividers and place it on the Column so that it is centered on the Column shaft, and as close to the base of the Column as possible.
    - Jump off the Column, grab the base of the Column and detatch it from the 4Wx4Hx4L stone block. This will reset the Column upright.
    - Put the 4Wx4Hx4L cube block in your inventory to reset it's rotation. - Then restack the two 1Wx4Hx4L wood blocks, and place the 4Wx4Hx4L cube block on top of them.
    - Rotate the Column 22.5°. To get the correct 22.5° angle, align the bottom edge of the Divider sticking out from the Column parallel with the angle guide Divider that you created earlier.
    - Then place the Column on the 4Wx4Hx4L cube block and repeat the whole process for all 16 of the 25° Dividers, placing the dividers as close together as possible.
    After placing the second Divider, the next Column rotation will be 45°, so use Ctrl+Q or Ctrl+E to snap the Column to the correct angle.
    When the third Divider is placed on the Column, it will be 45° offset from the first Divider.
    The angles at the outer edge of the second Divider should be equal on both sides with the first and third Dividers.
    Note that some Dividers may stick out further from the Column than others, so the distance between the outer edges of the Dividers does not matter, only the angles matter.
    If the angles are not equal, it means that the angle is not correct on the 22.5° guide, or the bottom edge of the ramp was not aligned correctly with the 22.5° guide. Also check to make sure all the Dividers are correctly centered on the Column shaft.
    - At some point you will need to use the Gustball Field Tower to get up on the Column.
    - Once all 16 of the 25° dividers have been placed on the Column, snap rotate the Column back to the first Divider position, flip the Column on it's side, and place the last 17th Divider in the space at the base of the Column between the first Divider and the 4Wx4Hx4L cube block.
    Adjust the angle of the 17th Divider so it fits snug between the bottom of the first Divider and the bottom of the Column base.
    - Grab the base of the Column and detatch it from the 4Wx4Hx4L stone block to reset the Column upright.
    - Congratulations! Your first spiral ramp is now complete!

    Up to four of these spiral ramp Columns can be stacked to create a very tall stairway.
    More than four Columns cannot be stacked because the fifth Column would be higher than the maximum height that the game allows.

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    [​IMG]
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    To make a floating platform, you will need:

    - 1Wx4Hx4L Rough Wood Square Block (2 of them, laid flat, and stacked one on top of the other)
    - 1Wx4Hx4L Rough Wood Square Block (lots of them, depending on the size of the platform(s) you want to make.
    - Doric Column (At least 12. The more you have, the more Blocks you can suspend at once. All Columns scaled to 1.1X / 110%)
    Note that it is possible to scale the Columns up to 120%, but if they are scaled to 120%, the fourth (top) layer of Blocks will be so close to the max game ceiling height that many decorations will be to tall to place on the Blocks.
    - Gustball Field Tower (to use as a large step)
    - Construction Scaffold Walkway (Up to 7 stacked) Optional, but very useful for working with deco at great heights.
    A Gustball Field Tower can also be placed on top of a 6 stack of Construction Scaffold Walkways

    How the platform construction process works, in general:

    - 1Wx4Hx4L Wood Blocks are flipped into the air on top of upside down Columns.
    - The Blocks with Columns underneath can be arranged into whatever platform shape you want.
    - The Blocks with Columns underneath can also be stacked on top of one another up to four layers high.
    - Once the Blocks are in place, the Columns are removed, leaving the Blocks suspended in the air.
    - Be careful not to move the suspended Blocks, or they will fall back to the ground.
    - You may want to lay out your platform design on the ground first, to be sure all your design ideas will work before starting construction in the air.

    To actually make the floating platform(s):

    - Scale 6 to 12 Doric Columns to 1.1X (110%). Press Alt+X to scale up and Alt+Z to scale down.
    - To make two or more platform levels, start by making an alignment guide consisting of a Column (Scaled 1.1X but not flipped), then a 1Wx4Hx4L Block laid flat on top of the Column ("R" 3 times to match the suspended Blocks you will be placing later), then another Column on the Block, then another Block on the Column, and so on, up to a max 8 stack with 4 Block levels.
    - Stack two flat 1Wx4Hx4L Blocks one on top of the other.
    - Place 6 to 12 additional 1Wx4Hx4L Blocks in the corner of your lot (on edge, not rotated, not flat).
    - Place a Column on top of the two stacked 1Wx4Hx4L Blocks.
    - Unstack in the reverse order (From the bottom up), to flip the Column 90° onto its side.
    - 90° flipped Columns that are not attached to anything cannot be placed on the ground. Attach the Column to the center of one of the 1Wx4Hx4L Blocks in the corner of your lot.
    - Restack the two flat 1Wx4Hx4L Blocks one on top of the other.
    - Place the 1Wx4Hx4L Block with the attached Column on top of the two stacked 1Wx4Hx4L Blocks.
    - Unstack in the reverse order (From the bottom up), to flip the 1Wx4Hx4L Block and attached Column 90°.
    Be sure to grab the Block and not the Column.
    The Column is now upside down, with the 1Wx4Hx4L Block on top, but the game considers the 1Wx4Hx4L Block to be the bottom piece.
    - Repeat this process until you have 6 to 12 Blocks above upside down Columns.
    - Arrange the blocks into whatever platform shape you want, starting from your alignment guide or a corner, making sure to grab and move only the Blocks, not the Columns.
    - If the platform will have four Block levels, align 3 Blocks with the first level of your alignment guide. Make sure all the edges are flush and all the corners are square, with no gaps between the Blocks.
    Then place the next 3 Blocks with their Columns on the second level, and again make sure all the edges are flush and all the corners are square, with no gaps.
    Then repeat for the third and fourth levels.
    - Once all the blocks are in place where you want them, drag the upside down Columns into your inventory.
    This will leave the Blocks suspended in the air.
    Be careful not to move the Blocks after they have been suspended.
    - Then make another batch of 6 to 12 Blocks above upside down Columns.
    (Remember to scale the Columns to 1.1X first.)
    - Place the second batch of Blocks where you want them, remove the Columns, and repeat the process until the platform(s) are the size you want.
    - Congratulations! Your platform(s) are now complete!

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    To see an example of what can be made with a spiral ramp stairway and floating platforms, come check out my village lot in Brittany Alleys, next to the airship industrial site.

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    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
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    To the Developers:

    A few quality of life improvements to the decoration system would make this type of deco construction much easier:

    - We need a way to select any deco rotation axis: X, Y, or Z; and switch between any of the three axes at will.
    - We need a way to input exact deco rotation angles, with accuracy up to a tenth of a degree, for angles such as 22.5°.
    - We need pavers with radial lines that can be used as angle guides for decorating.
    - We need a way to force blocks to line up flush and square with no gaps. Many times I would spend 15 or 20 minutes trying to line up one block, because it is so difficult to get the blocks to line up completely flush and square without any gaps between the blocks.

    Cordially,
    Wilfred

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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
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  2. Elgarion

    Elgarion Community Manager Moderator SOTA Developer

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    Fantastic guide :) Good job, Wilfred :)
     
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  3. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    Absolutely Astounding!
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  4. Serenia

    Serenia Bug Hunter

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    Love seeing more love for deco in the forums. Thanks so much for such a great guide!
     
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  5. Barugon

    Barugon Avatar

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    Wow! Nice.
     
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  6. Wilfred

    Wilfred Avatar

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    Friday stream with Sannio and Atos! Chatting about the release and Q&A - Nov. 20
    https://www.twitch.tv/videos/809893196

    01:10:40 shout-out to Wilfred's Deco Guide
    -- Thanks for the shout-out! And thanks for allowing the guide!
    I tried to make the deco construction look really cool to promote SotA. :)

    Edit: Minecraft, eat your heart out! :D:cool:

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    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020 at 6:46 AM
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