A Comprehensive Guide on How to Create a POI Post: Theme, Difficulty, Approach, Block type usage. Laying the foundation, large rooms/objects, and SI. The first rooms and entrances. Spawner and enemy types. Weapon Turret Usage. Exterior Detailing. Creating that "lived in" feel and CPU. Interior traps and signal logic. The finishing touches; how to name and set depth. A note on floating POI's. Orbital POI's - A trip into space. ------------------------------------------------------------------- "POI" Acronym Description - "Point or place of interest." Theme First and foremost; a POI is a story. More than that, it is also a story within a story - the broader story of a species, faction, or Andromeda at large. So right off the bat; when you consider creating one, think about who and what your faction is, what they might need in terms of facilities, defenses, and installations. A "Hive Mind" type species might have a larger central nexus surrounded by smaller structures. A classic space empire might have command centers, gun batteries, communications centers, barracks, etc. To contrast, would a trade conglomerate have a spawning pool? Probably not. Would a pacifist species have giant ground-to-orbit cannons of death and destruction? My thinking is no. POI's can be stand alone structures or they can be a part of a broader faction. If stand alone; the textures, colors, and symbols must be unified throughout but if a part of a faction or sub faction; it MUST have the same of similar themes to the others in that faction or sub factions line-up. Reason being; there is a concept in stagecraft and movie/television production referred to as "suspension of disbelief" and it invites the creator of something to try and get the viewer or participant to "suspend their disbelief." Having similar colors, textures, and symbols throughout will help the player suspend their disbelief. Think of your POI in that light; how can you get the player to suspend their disbelief? I will use two of the Zirax Xenu buildings as an example: (you will note the same textures and colors.) Difficulty The second most important thing to consider before you have even placed your first starting block is: How hard do I want this POI to be? Should it be a mushroom of death lasers? Perhaps an errant sentry post? Here is a way to think of things: -10 This is a POI that when a player enters, it showers them with loot, a buff, and a handjob. -9 -8 -7 -6 -5 This is a POI that is still nice, gives things to players, but is not a geyser of bonuses. -4 -3 -2 -1 A relic building with a locker or two. Mostly broken down or minimalist. 0 This is a neutral POI. Like say, a trade station or generic living quarters. 1 2 This is a stand alone turret that should make the player hesitate, but not completely confound them 3 Most Zirax stuff is here. 4 Most Zirax stuff is here. Stronger turrets begin to show up at this point in the spectrum. 5 This is a POI that is much trickier, will likely have a secret passage. 4 turrets tops. Mid-level loot. 6 This is the first difficulty on the spectrum when most dungeons appear. Plenty of loot. 7 This is even harder, the player will likely need some prep before attempting. 6 - 8 turrets. Will need very tough turrets. 8 This is a very hard POI. Think Abandoned Buildings and Drone Bases. Has lots of loot including at least one rare. Any additional rares must be hidden or trapped. Will likely utilize shields. 9 Extreme difficulty POI. The player is likely to die. End game stuff but you also find the best items. 10 God in a POI. Deliberately cruel and unfair. End game stuff and you DEFINITELY find the best items. To explain; this is a scale from -10 to 10. Where minus ten is a POI that is intensely benevolent to the player, and 10, stunningly malevolent. The further from 0 you go towards either bound the more and rarer loot should be found. A good example of a POI that exists on the negative side of things would be found in Ravien's Eden scenario dead planet start. In that start he equipped the planet with lots of POI's that are large numbers of cargo containers, or minimally stocked buildings. The point being that players enter the area or structure and they are given something that helps them against their primary enemy in that start; the clock via the elements and starvation. I will not list examples of POI's that are 1 - 10 as I think most players are familiar with them. I WILL say that we do not currently have a 9 or 10 in the game yet(the closest to a "9" would be the Xenu P1 Fortress.) But they are coming... Hey! Read this! - to avoid confusion, this scale is NOT THE SAME thing as when you see the lvl marker next to the POI in game. This scale is here to assist with the conceptual. Approach & Block Type In conjunction with the difficulty and the theme, one of the most important aspects of your POI is what block types to use. Here is the current line up of block types: They are, from left to right; Wood, plastic, concrete, armored concrete, steel, hardened steel, combat steel, and alien. They also travel in difficulty along those same lines. Consider; if you are creating a temple for a more primitive species, would they have access to combat steel? Probably not. If you have an eerie alien pyramid, will you see lots of wooden huts? Nope. Do the best you can to make sure to create a range of difficulty. Do not only use Combat steel blocks for all of your futuristic sci-fi buildings. That will ruin the suspension of disbelief and breathes a kind of plainness into your buildings that the player will pick up on over time. If you create a range of POI's for a faction, have the easier made out of steel, the trickier hardened, and really tough out of combat. Will the players melt through the regular steel? Probably, but that is okay. Another thing to consider with respect to your approach is the "dungeon." I referred to this idea in the difficulty spectrum and it denotes a POI that has a larger underside that is sunk into the ground that players are encouraged to run on foot. All the same rules and thoughts apply, but it is important to note the two types - the more superficial and the more in-depth. This also applies to space, but simultaneously in all 6 directions. Lastly, form must also follow approach and theme. Continuing with the Xenu from the pic above, here are the predominant styles of Xenu buildings: A combination of the squat, and the taller and narrower. One of the most challenging POI's in the game currently is the P1 Fortress: and designers of the Xenu faction would want to keep these forms in mind as they build. The shape can be deviated from, but generally speaking, the shape/form helps the players with identification and thus a suspension of disbelief. Further Note: For now I am not going to list the console commands for BP manipulation as they are already listed elsewhere in the forums. I do however want to address the replaceblocks command. Not how to use it, but more, do not be afraid to build with one type and then change it over to another. Also, with newer and tougher blocks eventually showing up from the developers, it will be important to go back through your POIs and update them with the appropriate range of turrets and blocks in accordance with whatever the developers come up with. *side note - there are also the terrain voxel blocks that can be copy + pasted into any BP, but I am going to cover those in the Orbital POI post.