Help Building

From Heretical Apocalypse
Jump to: navigation, search

***Please note that building is a *writing* position. It is not a
"cool-eq-making" position (you do get to make your eq with WOM approval of
the stats, but it is not the main point of building a zone). If you don't
like coming up with creative, fun stories and writing them, you probably
won't like being a builder.***

 1.) Are you at least 18 years of age or older?

 2.) List your mortal name and levels achieved in Medievia. If you have
     more than one include them all.

 3.) Have you ever had a Medievia character purged before? If so, what
     was the character's name and why was it purged?

 4.) How long have you played Medievia?

 5.) What is your native language and what country do you currently reside
     in? What other languages can you speak fluently? Note that having
     English as a second language in no way counts against you on the

 6.) Provide a 2+ paragraph story that gives a good idea of your zone's
     theme and plot. It is ideal for this to resemble an ANNOUNCEMENT zone
     story (type ANNINDEX and read back issues of zone openings for ideas).
     Please do not write a story that Vryce or any other god is a key figure
     in. Please do not write about other worlds, galaxies, aliens, Satan,
     Greek or Roman mythology, or anything else that does not fit in with
     the current theme of Medievia. If you wish to write about elves, dwarves,
     or other characters everyone is familiar with from Tolkien's stories,
     please come up with something original.

 7.) Provide a brief walkthrough for your zone. (Some possible questions
     to ask yourself and provide information for are: What happens once the
     player arrives there? Do they simply kill mobs to get xp? Do they do a
     complicated eq run? Do they solve puzzles or complete unusual quests?
     What mobs do they interract with?)

 8.) List 3-5 of the main "characters" of your zone. These should be
     mobs that the player will interact with. What are their names?
     What are they like? What have they done, and what do they plan
     to do? An example might be "Jiano, the Egunian lyre player." You
     could talk about how Jiano is in love with Siezonna, the daughter
     of the king, and how they plan to turn themselves into fish before
     jumping out of the tower window into the moat. Then describe how
     King Lergmoz issues a bounty on Jiano's head, and that the player
     can choose to assist either Jiano and Siezonna or King Lergmoz, and
     whichever they choose determines what equipment they get from the
     zone. Try to make mobs interesting so that the player will feel more
     immersed within your zone. Show how your mobs will seem real to
     the player, rather than just saying, "A king asks you to find his
     daughter because she ran away". The details are what make a zone

 9.) Create 5 sample room descriptions. These do not need to include
     exits, just the description. See the guidelines below for room
     descriptions. Anyone not following these guidelines will have their
     writing disqualified.

10.) A list of proc ideas (special procedures) if you have any. This is
     optional, and you are welcome to provide only one or two as a sample
     of your ideas.

11.) Level range (what level of player your zone is for). You can check
     past zone opening ANNOUNCEMENTs from the ANNOUNCEMENTINDEX for
     examples (the level is usually listed at the bottom of the zone
     announcement). *DO NOT* plan for your first zone to be a zone for
     heroes please. High level equipment zones are best left to builders
     who have some experience, so if you want an equipment zone try and
     plan it for lower level players.

12.) Estimated number of rooms. We rarely allow zones above 300 rooms. A
     good range is somewhere between 150-250.

13.) Amount of time you plan to spend on your zone per week.

14.) List 5 or so (each) sample mob and object names. You don't have to
     write an entire mob or object's stats, just give examples of what
     they will be called. (Such as "Lord Agimon of House Shinasu" or
     "a decrepit old adventurer".)

15.) Any past experience in building. (Most builders are hired with no
     previous experience, so don't feel under-qualified if you have none).

16.) Describe your education to us. This may be high school, college,
     or your own personal studies. What subjects interest you the

17.) 1-2 paragraphs explaining why you wish to build a zone for

A sample building application exists under HELP APPLICATION_EXAMPLE. It gives
a better idea of what kind of things we are looking for, although we do not
necessarily want applications exactly like the example.

Room description guidelines:

Each of the 5 room descriptions should be a minimum of 3 lines and/or 3
sentences. We recommend they be around 5 lines long. Descriptions should all
be different, and contain details of the surroundings in that room. We
strongly recommend that you omit the use of the words "you" and "your" for
the sample descriptions. However, if you wish to try using them, the criteria
is as follows:

Do not tell people how they think, how they feel (emotionally), how they
act, or what they say. This means you can say "The hot air from the
lava-drenched chasm stings your eyes." but you cannot say "The bubbling lava
pits fill your heart with fear." The reason for this is that the player
may not be scared. Try to show people what something is like rather than
tell them. Provide details about the room to get the reaction from a
player that you want. A room description that says "You stand here
wondering why these walls were built." may be entirely untrue. The player
could be sitting in the room, not standing, and they may not be thinking
about the walls at all. Describing the area or landscape is usually a much
better approach than trying to narrate a player's adventures for them. Let
the player come to their own conclusions.


How to plan a fantastic zone and get your zone proposal approved.

A lot of people email me asking what kind of features I look for in an
application and zone proposal, so I have written this help file for people
who want to research before they take a shot at building a zone.

There are many elements that make up a high quality zone. This help file
attempts to cover as many helpful details as possible.

1.) Theme

 The theme of your zone sets the stage for all the elements throughout
 your zone. It also plays a large part in how interesting your zone will
 be to players. Try to think of a creative and detailed theme that will
 set your zone apart from others. Carbon copy ideas of existing zones, or
 lazy attempts at coming up with a theme are easy to spot and will affect
 what players (and gods) think of your idea. Here are some examples of
 good themes vs. boring themes:

 - A forest zone filled with bears. = boring
 - A forest zone filled with a species of bears that has evolved so that
   it can talk and form social groups, leaders, and culture. = interesting
 - A forest zone filled with several different species of evolved animals
   that have formed social statuses and cultures and are at war with each
   other for ownership of the forest. Players have to choose a side and
   fight for them to solve the zone. Not only that but the trees have
   evolved into partially mobile wood nymph species and sometimes come to
   life and move around, changing the layout of the zone and how you solve
   it. There are a few small ground dwellings hidden in the forest where
   ground dwarves who protect the forest live and they provide clues about
   the zone and have nice eq. In one area there is a pond with a water
   spirit that grants wishes if you help bring peace to the forest instead
   of fighting the war. = very interesting


 - A city on the edge of a large lake. = boring
 - A city on the edge of a large lake that was recently invaded by a small
   species of dragons that travel in herds. = interesting
 - A city on the edge of a large lake recently invaded by a horse-sized
   dragon species that travels in herds and players may choose to assist
   the dragons and be rewarded for their evil deeds with gold, or they may
   assist the citizens and be rewarded in equipment and goods from the
   city. Their choice affects their alignment. There are multiple
   sub-plots throughout the zone of citizens and dragons who need special
   things done for them, and many clues you must solve to make your way
   throughout the zone. = very interesting

 These are only examples of detailed themes. There are endless possibilities.
 Please try to be creative and original!

2.) Mobs

 Once you have developed a theme you should plan to have mobs to fit
 it. The more detailed you make each mob the more interesting your zone
 will be. Mobs that have well-thought out names, personalities, and
 histories are more interesting than generic creatures to kill. Builders
 have choices of making mobs talk, adding clues throughout their zone, and
 many other tools in order to round out their zone's characters. Many
 builders have a habit of planning 2 or 3 "boss" mobs for a zone, and then
 filling the rest of the zone up with generic xp mobs. There is no reason
 not to have personalities for many of your mobiles! Here are examples of
 boring mobs vs. interesting mobs.

 - Boring mob: a bear
 - Interesting mob: a shaggy bear with a large scar on its side

 The second mob growls and complains of being attacked by an alligator.

 - Boring mob: a citizen
 - Interesting mob: Jakory, the town fiddler

 Jackory will give you the key to a tower in the musician's square if you
 return his fiddle to him.

 - Boring mob: a small dragon
 - Interesting mob: a lithe dragon the size of a horse

 The second mob does not take damage from fireshields and has a tendency
 to flee during battle.

 - Boring mob: a cook
 - Interesting mob: Martynor, the King's Chef

 Martynor proudly talks about the time he caught a spy trying to poison
 the King's food, and how he was given a reward of 15 of the King's finest
 chickens for the deed.

 Whether it has a proc, story, or simply has an interesting name, mobs do
 not have to be boring.

3.) Objects

 Objects do not have to be boring, and they don't have to be max stat
 equipment either. Many builders make the mistake of not loading smaller
 items of equipment to round out their zone. Sure, you can't have every
 item you load in your zone have fantastic stats, but it is more fun to an
 xper when they can examine the items on corpses to see if they are of
 worth to them, or to collect newbie eq for their clannies. Sometimes
 objects may just be for looks and have no stats at all.

 Objects are more fun when they are creatively named and have look at
 descriptions. If players constantly look at your items and "see nothing
 special", they begin to think there isn't much special about your
 zone. Put clues in your objects! Make visually appealing descriptions of
 their features. Add adjectives to their names. Here are some examples of

 boring and interesting objects:

 - Boring object: a hammer
 - Interesting object: a primitive hammer carved from granite

 The description of this object lends clues to the primitive nature of the
 people who live in the zone's caves.

 - Boring object: a flower
 - Interesting object: a sweet-scented sprig of oleander

 If the player puts oleander in the tea of the evil wizard it poisons him
 and frees the citizens of the zone.

 - Boring object: a chainmail shirt
 - Interesting object: a chainmail shirt made from links of hyranthium

 When you run the zone you find out that hyranthium is a unique metal
 found in the mines and the source of the city's economy.

4.) Map

 You don't have to have made your map before you apply to become a
 builder, but it is a good idea to at least have an idea of what it will
 be like. Graph paper is an excellent way to plan out your zone. Use each
 square as a room in your zone, and draw each level separately. It's a
 good idea to mark rooms that connect for different levels. Once you have
 your map, count your rooms. Whereas we don't require you send a map to
 apply to build, we do prefer you know approximately how many rooms you
 wish to use. Don't go overboard! If your zone is over 250-300 rooms it is
 probably too big! Try to scale down to be under this range. Most good
 zones are between 80-250 rooms. This is the size of zone that is easiest
 to balance, and contains the most interest for players. Remember that big
 isn't always better!

5.) Story

 When you write the story for your zone, be sure to check out ANNINDEX to
 find back issues of zone openings as examples. The type of story we want
 to see is a well developed one similar to those you see in the news. Good
 stories contain interesting details and are fun to read, kind of like a
 short story. It doesn't have to be LONG, but it should be creative and
 detailed. Many good stories only need 1 or 2 paragraphs to draw the reader
 in, whereas some take a lot more to cover all the details of the zone's
 history. Be wary of making your story TOO long since this can bore the

 The best stories:

 - Give information about the setting of the zone (forest, lake, castle,
   city, mountain, swamp...)
 - Provide details about the zone's history (What happened there before
   the player heard about it?)
 - Give background on at least one of the zone's mobs (evil wizard taking
   over, trapped princess, etc.)
 - Tell the player why they want to go there (solve a mystery, do a good
   deed, etc.)
 - Don't give away the zone secrets, tell just enough to get the player
   interested but not enough to spoil the surprise. In a zone proposal it
   is okay to say "This is what happens once they get to the zone" and
   give a run-through of the way the zone is written.

6.) Room Descriptions

 Be *sure* to read the help at the bottom of Help BUILD_APP on room
 description guidelines. We have high standards for writing and your room
 description entries are a major element of your application. If you turn
 in something that looks like you just threw it together in a hurry, we
 are going to think of you as someone who either can't write, or doesn't
 take the time to write well. We don't want bad writers! Also, be sure to
 proofread your descriptions and use a spell checker if you are bad with
 spelling. If it looks like you cared about your work, it will make us
 care about your work.

7.) Procs (also known as Special Procedures)

 These are optional, and you don't really need many for your application
 if you do decide to include them. However, we highly recommend that you
 plan to have them in your final zone. All you have to do is design them,
 a programmer will code them for you once your zone nears completion.
 Pretty much anything is possible for procs, there is very little we
 cannot do, or cannot adapt into something equally as good. The question
 is whether or not the rest of your zone is well enough planned and
 executed to warrant having a programmer spend their time coding it

 for you. So for those of you who want to know "is this possible?" the
 answer is "yes, if your zone is worth it". If you follow the guidelines
 above for the other elements of a zone, it is very likely that your zone
 is worth the extra effort on our part.

 What are procs? Procs are deviations from normal game code. You can do
 all kinds of things with procs. For example, if you wanted a particular
 mob to be a coward, you could have a proc where it would shriek "AHHH
 DON'T KILL ME!!!" and run away from the player that attacked it. Ideally
 procs have to do with solving the zone, or provide clues for the
 zone. Sometimes small procs are added to give extra character or detail
 to a zone. You can make procs have to do with opening a door, killing a
 mob, finding something secret in a room, etc. Your imagination is the


Anybody can be a builder. Often people think they must know how to code
to build a zone, but all you have to be able to do is read instructions
and fill in the blanks. Rooms are created online with an easy to use set
of commands that all have extensive help files. Mobs, objects, and

zonefiles are created offline using an editor and all you have to do is
fill in the blanks to create in it. You also are not required to comply
to a strict schedule, we work with you to make your building schedule
fit the time you have available. If you are creative, step forward and
contribute to Medievia's zones! There is nothing holding you back.

To wrap this up here is an abbreviated list of the elements that make a
great zone proposal. Good luck!

 1.) An exciting and detailed theme
 2.) Interesting mobiles
 3.) Unusual and well-placed objects
 4.) A solid idea of how many rooms will be needed
 5.) A creative and intriguing story
 6.) Well-written room descriptions
 7.) Innovative special procedures (procs)

Send zone proposals to as a text email. Do
not send attached files.

We hire new builders regularly every 1-3 months from the best applications
we have received.