As Wilhelm mentioned, over on Syncaine’s blog, I can be a bit particular about building. Back in Minecraft on Wilhelm’s survival server, Ula and I, got a bit obsessed with constructing a facsimile of a portion of Renaissance-era Firenze or something like it– Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi galleries (filled with art), Ponte Vecchio (with Vasari Corridor and shops) and the cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiori. A walled city we turned into a village complete with villagers, shops around the plaza, the whole bit.
What really set the hook with that effort was having a big goal/idea with an extensible theme that spun off countless smaller intermediate goals all connected by a theme. Italian renaissance castle was the big idea, which spawned the town idea which spawned the need for new materials, technologies and building techniques. Once set in motion, there was always something else to be done in pursuit of realizing the fuzzy vision.
A big part of that effort was experimentation with designing structures with the limited palette of colors, textures and shapes. We were playing on a survival server so we had to collect all the resources necessary for these builds. Being able to focus on what was needed, where to get it and how to put it all together without wasting too much time, resources or wearing out your tools needlessly was critical.
Enter the Minecraft creative mode. To experiment with the designs, I set up a completely flat, solo creative mode world that I could use as a design lab. I wish I had some screenshots handy. It was part mad scientist laboratory, part Da Vinci drawings of concept builds, failed experiments, prototypes, small detailed sections, etc. like the backroom of a scupltor’s studio with the odd hand, foot or head laying on the bench.
So far, I’ve been immensely enjoying but missing some of the creative design aspects of Valheim. Valheim comes ready made with the Norse theme, so that part is easy, but I’m looking forward to experimenting with various designs. Enter a handy post from Rock Paper Shotgun that shows how to create the same creative lab space for Valheim or at least something close to it. There’s a lot in there, but only a few bits are relevant for my purposes.
I created a new solo world with a new, creative only mode character. To create a true creative mode-like experience, hit F5 to open the console, then:
imacheater to toggle “cheat” mode
debugmode to toggle creative mode
god to toggle invulnerability (without it, yes, you can die)
ghost toggles invisibility to enemies so you wont be disturbed
exploremap removes fog of war and reveals the entire map (handy)
With the console closed (F5 again), B toggles no placement cost for building and Z toggles flying mode.
Placement cost toggle status appears briefly in the upper left…
A note about flying– with flying mode toggled on:
Spacebar is up, WASD works like you’d expect in the horizontal plane, but I haven’t found any way to move down in a reasonably controlled way– X just sits and Z of course is the flying toggle, so you will plummet toward the ground when you hit it. My workaround is just to toggle Z quickly to descend a small amount. Otherwise, I just bombs away to the ground, and with god mode enabled, I will take no damage.
Update: As swiftrain points out in the comments, Ctrl or whatever you have sneak/crouch bound to will make you go down while in flying mode.
I hope Valheim implements a more straightforward creative mode, but for now, these will allow me to experiment with building designs before I attempt them in our survival world. I’d also love to simply have a nice flat world as a canvas, so if anyone knows of a world seed that gets close to that, drop in in the comments!