City Developer quick start guide

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The Blue Mars Workflow is the process by which a section of Blue Mars is developed into a unique virtual environment, using the visually stunning Crytek graphics engine and the expert support resources of Avatar Reality, Inc. Each of these environments, or "Cities", will be linked by Blue Mars, the most ambitious, far-reaching platform available to date.

Contents

Overview

This quick start guide will explain the fastest way to create your own City for a new City Developer.
So if you just leased your City from Avatar Reality, your are in the right place.

See Also

Original Sandbox2 Editor document can be used to learn the basic operation of CityEditor.


What is a City Developer?

The City Developer leases land directly from Avatar Reality to develop and cultivate a City on it. The City Developer may lease out Blocks to Block Developers or develop the entire City by themselves.
The Blue Mars Sandbox: City Editor is the 3D software level editor that enables the City Developer to construct their City.


Steps to Set Up Your City

To continue the following steps don't forget to become a Blue Mars Developer.


Step 1: Buy a City

In order to add your City to Blue Mars and begin to operate it, you first need to purchase a City hosting plan from Avatar Reality.

Some Notes on Buying a City Hosting Service

  • For more information on our Blue Mars Pioneer Pricing during our Beta period click HERE.
  • Hosting and setup fees must be paid in USD$. You cannot pay for hosting with BLU$.
  • The first 30 days of hosting service are free when you purchase any hosting plan.
  • After 30 days, your credit card will automatically be charged for the setup fee PLUS the hosting fee, whether or not you have uploaded your City.


IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT HOSTING FEES

The hosting fee, which is charged every 30 days, actually extends your City validation period for 60 days instead of 30.

  • Your City validation period is the period through which your City is active in Blue Mars, and it is accessible in your Developer MyPage PROPERTIES tab.
  • EXAMPLE: If you purchase a Village hosting plan on 2010/07/30,
    • Your City shows up in your Developer MyPage PROPERTIES tab, with a "Paid Through" date of 2010/09/29 (60 days from purchase date).
    • After the 30-day free trial, on 2010/08/29 your credit card is charged the setup fee ($750) + hosting fee ($275).
    • This extends the City validation date to 2010/10/28.
    • The next subscription payment will be charged to your credit card on 2010/9/28, which will extend the City validation date to 2010/11/27, and so on.
  • The 30 extra days of hosting service will allow for City Developers who cancel their subscription to communicate to their Block, Shop, and Residence tenants about the City's upcoming closure. Furthermore, in the event that the City Developer fails to make payment (due to issues like outdated credit card information or system error), they will have 30 days to resolve the issue and avoid losing access to their City (which would result in all tenants losing access to their properties as well).


  • If you think you will take some time before you are ready to upload your City, we suggest that you develop your City on your computer with the Blue Mars Sandbox City Editor. Then, when you are ready, you can purchase the hosting. This avoids hosting fees until you are ready to go live with your City.
    • PLEASE NOTE: The Company Code and City Data Path you have been using to create your City in the City Editor may have already been taken by the time you are ready to buy the hosting service. If this happens, you'll need to choose another Company Code and City Data Path, and copy your assets to the new directory structure. See HERE for a tutorial for this process.
  • You can cancel your subscription at any time during or after this free trial period: Go to PROPERTIES > City > Leased Cities, highlight your City and select Manage Subscription from the pull-down menu, then click on the "Cancel" button.
  • Your City will be valid until the date listed on the Paid Through column in your Leased Cities tab. If you cancel your subscription or default on rent payment, you have until the Paid Through date to re-open your subscription or make your rent payment before hosting service is discontinued and you lose access to your City.


IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT CANCELING YOUR CITY SUBSCRIPTION
  • Once you cancel your City hosting subscription, you will have a 30-day grace period to take necessary actions before the City is "invalid" (which means it no longer appears in your Developer MyPage).
  • If you have Block, Shop, or Residence tenants in your City, all leases will be terminated, and tenants will lose access to their rented property when the City becomes invalid.
  • When there are less than 30 validated days remaining to your City, any property in that City listed on the Real Estate Marketplace (Shop/Block or Residence) will no longer appear on the Marketplace. They will reappear on the Marketplace if you resume your subscription payment before the City expires.
  • Once a City is invalid, it will be removed from the Places Browser.
  • If you want to re-subscribe after your City has been invalidated, you won't be able to re-use the City Data Path of your invalid City. You'll need to purchase a new hosting plan using a new City Data Path.







  • Fill in the following fields:
    • Company Code: If this is the first time you are purchasing a City, you will need to decide on a unique code that represents your company (ALL CAPS, up to 6 alphanumeric characters). If you purchase additional Cities under the same company, this company code will be pre-filled.
    • City Name: The display name for your new City, which will be shown in the Places Browser.
    • City Data Path: When your City is registered to our database, this unique folder name will be used as part of the directory structure. Up to 32 alphanumeric characters, no space or special characters.
  • Choose a City hosting plan (VILLAGE or CITY) based on your development and business needs. You can find more information about each plan HERE.


  • Read the Terms of Service, check the "I accept the agreement" box and click on the "I Agree" button.




  • Enter your credit card information. NOTE: Currently you CANNOT purchase City plans with your BLU!




  • Once you have completed your purchase, your order will be processed within 72 hours. (Updated 08/03/2010) Your City will appear in PROPERTIES > City > Leased Cities immediately after you've completed your City purchase. However, you will need to wait at least 24 hours after you've completed your purchase, before your company code and City data path are registered in our database and you can upload your City files to us.




Step 2: Build Your City

To create a new City, we strongly recommend that you start from the template which is provided in the City Editor. If you're familiar with the City Editor and want to try creating a City from scratch, you can check out the City Editor Tutorial.
  • To start the City Editor, just double-click on the Image:CityEditor_icon.jpg icon.
  • To create a New City, go to City Editor > File > New, and enter your level name.
The level name is composed of <Company Code>_<City Path>. The <Company Code> has a maximum of 6 alphanumeric characters and the letters must be UPPERCASE. You chose this code when you registered as a Developer and can find from AccountInfo tab in Developer MyPage.

The <Company Code> is followed by an underscore _ , then the <City Path>. The <City Path> is also something that you chose when you purchased a City.


In the following example, TEST is the Company Code and FrontierCity is the City Data Path. This will create a directory called TEST (Company Code) and in that directory it will create a City directory called "TEST_FrontierCity."
Image:CityEditor_NewCityDialog.png


When you go to City Editor > File > Save, the file will be saved in the City directory "Game/Levels/TEST/TEST_FrontierCity".
Image:CityEditor_FileSave.png
NOTE: For storing your asset, ALWAYS follow the directory formats as described here: General Attraction Submission Format

Tip: Remember, this is only a template to start you off; once you start, you can modify the City to your specifications.

Step 3: Test Your City

To test your new City, go to City Editor > BlueMars > Export > Check city in BlueMars.


Image:Check_in_BlueMars.jpg


This will launch the Blue Mars Developer Client, where you can login
Image:Signin.jpg


and go to your new City.
Image:CityEditor_CheckCityInBlueMars.png


What's next?

Now you can

and more.


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