Setting Up a Shop as a City Developer

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As a City Developer, you have the most flexibility in your property management roles. You can:

  • Lease your Blocks out to other developers, thus becoming a Block landlord.
  • Use your Blocks by yourself and lease your Shops out to other developers, thus becoming a Shop landlord.
  • User your Blocks and your Shops by yourself to act as a City/Block/Shop Developer.

Depending on the role you want to take, the process will vary along the way:

  • Operations that are necessary for all City Developers
    • Buying a City
    • Building a City
    • Adding Blocks to your City
    • Uploading Blocks to Avatar Reality's database
  • Operations that differ depending on how you want to manage your property
    • Leasing out Blocks or using them yourself
    • Using the Blocks by yourself and adding Shops
    • Leasing out Shops or using them yourself

You will be using the following tools and websites, depending on your role:

SEE ALSO: City Developer quick start guide

First Steps

To become a City Developer, you would need to go through the following steps:

Become a Blue Mars Developer

1. Login

2. Left-click DOWNLOAD to open the Tool Download page.

3. Download the free Developer Toolkit and other necessary plugins.

Buy a City

Next, you will purchase a City hosting plan from Avatar Reality.

Click here to learn how to buy a City hosting plan.

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.


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.

  • 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.

Build Your City

The following are basic steps to add Blocks to your new City. For more detailed instructions, please refer to the City Editor Tutorial found in the Blue Mars Sandbox City Editor manual.

Set Up Your Block

Add Blocks to Your City

You can now create Blocks within the City.

  • In the City Editor, define individual Blocks by going to RollupBar > Objects > Area > Shapes.
  • Outline the area you want to designate for your Block.

NOTE: This is the information the Block Editor will use to define the Block's true boundaries.

  • With this Area Shape selected, go to BlueMars > Make > Make new block from Selection.
  • This will create a Block layer, in this case named "Block_1."

Check "Allow block owner to edit terrain" to make the terrain editable by the Block Developer.

  • Blocks are differentiated from each other by their designated layer. Any assets (trees, bushes, etc) you want in the Block must also be included in that layer.
  • The data which is included in the main layer will appear in the Block Editor as reference, but they cannot be edited.
  • If the City Developer wishes to share assets with the Block Developer, they must be stored in \Game\Levels\YourCompanyCode\Common\.
  • Allowing Block Developers to edit terrain requires caution in order to avoid conflicts in data.

Visualize the Block for convenience

  • Now use Roads as visible boundaries. See this document on how to use the Road tool.
Use materials\AR\Common\Terrain\roads\areaforlease.mtl as the material for the boundary roads.

  • Now assign a road to the layer "Block_1."
From the Tools bar, click the Select Object tool (located below Config Spec) and select a road.


Under the RollupBar select the Objects tab.
Use layer button ("Button1" in the screen below) to set "Block_1" as its layer.

For multiple Blocks

  • You must repeat the previous steps to define each Block.
  • Each City will likely have more than one Block, as shown below.

Tip: Block shapes do not have to be rectangular.

Export Your Block Data

To pass the Block to another developer, you need to export the Block data as a .BLD file.

  • Go to the Layer tab in the RollupBar then select the Block layer which you want to export to .BLD.
Click the right mouse button to show the pop-up menu, and choose the Export for BlockEditor(BLD) menu.

A dialog will appear to ask if you want to save your current working data (.CRY file).

NOTE: We strongly recommend that you save the .CRY file at this point in the process.

You can now export your .BLD file.

Tip: (See image above)
  • .BLD file names should contain both <CityName> and <BlockName> to make it easier for you to identify later.
  • We recommend that you create a sub-folder to store your .BLD file.

Select BlueMars > Tools > Block Screen Capture. This will place a .TGA thumbnail image of your Block in the working directory or wherever you want (preferably in the same location as your .BLD file).

NOTE: The Developer MyPage, where you will upload this thumbnail along with your Block data, supports .JPEG as well as .TGA image formats. However, the thumbnail preview function (where you will be able to see the thumbnail you're about to upload in the upload dialogue) only supports .JPEG format. A workaround for this is either to convert the.TGA thumbnail you captured from the City Editor to a .JPEG file, or create your own .JPEG thumbnail image. If you create your own thumbnail, make sure the resolution is 400x400.

Add Blocks to the Database

Now that you have created some Blocks and made a .BLD file, you need to upload this file to the Avatar Reality database in order to have it recognized in the City directory.
  • Go to the Developer MyPage and select PROPERTIES > City (left side) > Leased Cities.
  • Select Add Block from the command pull-down menu.

Fill in the necessary information in this dialog window:

  • Thumbnail: Select a thumbnail image for your Block (.TGA or .JPEG, 400x400).
  • .BLD File: Select the .BLD file you exported in the previous step.
  • Maximum Shops: Amount of Shops (maximum 25) to be allocated in the Block, which determines how many Shelves the Block can contain. See HERE for more details on Shop allocation in Blocks.
  • Description: Add a description for your Block, which will show up in the Real Estate Marketplace when you lease out your Block.
Click Submit to complete your Block upload.

At this point, you have 3 options as a City Developer:

  1. You can put your Block(s) on the Real Estate Marketplace, and lease out your Block(s) to other developers.
  2. You can designate a specific developer to lease your Block(s) to.
  3. You can use the Block(s) for yourself.

In order to set up your own Shop, you will use option 3 and assign your Block(s) to yourself, and set up Shops , which you can use for yourself or lease out to other companies.

Use Your Block by Yourself

Assign the Block to Yourself

  • In the Developer MyPage, go to PROPERTIES > City > Blocks and select the Block you want to use by yourself.
  • From the pull-down menu, select Use By Myself.

  • At the confirmation screen, click Yes to assign the Block to yourself.
NOTE: If you already have a tenant on that Block, you'll need to run the Evict Tenant command first.

  • In the Developer MyPage, go to PROPERTIES > Block > Leased Blocks. Check that the Block you assigned to yourself shows up on this tab.

Add Shops to Your Block

If you're using your Block by yourself, then at this point you'll need to act as a Block Developer.

Incorporate your added shop to your City

After you've uploaded your .B2C data to our database as a Block Developer, you will incorporate the .B2C file into your City as a City Developer using the following steps:

  • Since you are also the landlord, you will receive an email titled "Blue Mars Block Data Uploaded to Your City" notifying you that a Block tenant (yourself) has uploaded a .B2C file.
  • In the Developer MyPage, go to PROPERTIES > City > Blocks and select the Block with the ID specified in your notification email.
  • From the Command pull-down menu, select Download .B2C file.

  • Open your City Editor, and load the City which corresponds to the .B2C file you just downloaded.
  • Import the .B2C file into your City using the BlueMars > Import > Import Block from BlockEditor(B2C) command.

Set Up Your Shop

Once you've uploaded the .B2C file, your Shop will appear in your Developer MyPage. Now you will be playing the role of a Shop Owner (who is typically the Content Creator).

NOTE: After you've uploaded your .B2C file as a Block Developer, you would need to wait until the City Developer merges the Block data to the City and submit it to Avatar Reality to be released in Blue Mars. While you're waiting for that, you can still manage your Shops, but you will not be able to see your Shop in Blue Mars until the City data is released.

Use the Shop by Yourself

As a City Developer/Block Developer, once you've uploaded your .B2C file you automatically become a tenant in your Shop.

At this point, you will need to take on the Shop Owner role.

  • From the pull-down menu, select Download .B2S File.

Create Your Shop Interior

From this point, you can set up your Shop interior as if you were an Content Creator that has just rented a Shop.
Once you've set your interior to your Shop and set contents on the Shelves, you are ready for business!

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