Updating a Block as a City Developer

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Contents

Preface

This page only applies to you if you are a City Developer with your own City, and you are leasing out Blocks to other developers (or using them by yourself). If you are renting a Block from another developer, please go to the Block Developer page.

Overview

As a City Developer, there are two different ways to update your Block. Which way you use is determined by the lease status of the Block.
  • If your Block has not been leased out, then you can update any property or data on your Block.
  • If the Block has been leased out to another developer (or is being used by yourself), then you cannot update that Block until you evict your tenant. Furthermore, you will need to incorporate the updated Block data from your Block tenant into your City.

Before lease out

You can change the following properties before leasing out your Block (or using it by yourself).

NOTE: Once you have leased out your Block, you will not be able to update any of the above properties until you evict your tenant first.


After lease out

As a City Developer, you are responsible for incorporating the updated Block data from the Block Developer into your City, using the following steps.
  1. Receive Block upload notification e-mail
  2. Download .B2C file from MyPage
  3. Import to City
  4. Check
  5. Export and Upload

Editing The Properties of a Block

Note: To update the property of your Block, that Block must not be leased out or be used by yourself.

This section will describe how you can update the following properties of a Block.

Renaming a Block

Note: To rename your Block, that Block must not be leased out or be used by yourself. In order to proceed you must evict the tenant (including yourself) first.


(0) The first step you will want to take is to open up the City Editor and load your level.

(1) Navigate over to the RollupBar and under Layer Settings select the Block whose name you would like to change. Right-click it and select Block Settings.

image:CityEditor_LayersSettings_Popup_BlockSettings.png

Enter a new name for the Block and hit OK.
image:CityEditor_BlockSettings_Rename.png

(2) Save the newly named Block in the same directory as your .CRY file (by default: Game\Levels\YOURCOMPANY\YOURCOMPANY_YOURCITY)

Now right click the newly named Block layer once again and select Export for BlockEditor(BLD).
image:CityEditor_LayersSettings_Popup_ExportForBlockEditor.psd

(3) Tell the database about your new Block name.

Log back in to the Developer MyPage. Under PROPERTIES > City > Blocks select your Block and choose the option to Re-Upload .Bld File.
image:DevMyPage_City_ReUploadBLD.png

NOTE: You cannot re-upload a Block if there are tenants (including yourself) using that Block. If you are the only tenant on your Block, you can choose to evict yourself. Please note that if you evict another user who is renting a Shop/Residence, there is currently no way to refund that user (a feature to send BLU to other users will be added in a future release, at which point you can choose to refund the rent to evicted tenants).

At the next window that appears, be sure to check the box to overwrite the current Block name with the new one being uploaded.
Select your .BLD and click Submit.
image:DevMyPage_City_ReUploadBLDdialog_ChangeName.png

The update will not take effect until you log out and log back in, so go ahead and do that, and be sure to re-assign the Block to yourself if you would like to continue using it.


(4) After renaming your Block...

You can lease out your Block to other developers via the Shop/Block Marketplace, or just use it by yourself.


Change other properties

This section of the document will explain how to change other properties besides the Block name.
All properties can be changed from the Edit Properties dialogue.
To open the dialog, go to PROPERTIES > City > Blocks then open the Edit Properties command for the Block you would like to edit.
image:DevMyPage_City_EditProperteis.png

Edit Property dialog appears.
image:DevMyPage_EditSubleasedBlockDialog.png

Price This will change the price of your Block, should you decide to place it on the Block/Shop Marketplace.
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 brief description for your Block which will be displayed in the Block/Shop Marketplace.
Thumbnail Click Select File to upload a 400x400 Image of your Block, this is also used on the Marketplace as the image that other users will see when browsing for Blocks.

After you have modified the properties of the Block to your liking, click Submit to finalize the changes. Clicking the X on the right top corner of the dialog will cancel any modification you made.


Incorporate Block data from tenant

As a City Developer with a Block tenant (lessee), you will need to merge the Block data that was updated by the tenant with your City. This part will cover the entire process of incorporating the updated Block data into your City.


What to expect from lessees

If you have leased out Blocks to other developers on the Shop/Block Marketplace, you will receive an e-mail whenever a tenant updates a Block. Included in this e-mail may be a message sent by the Block Developer to you requesting something specific.
image:Email_BlockDataUploadedToYourCity.png

Note: Once the Block Developers upload their updated Blocks, they do NOT have to send you anything else.

Download .B2C file

Login to the Developer MyPage and under PROPERTIES > City > Blocks open the Command pull-down menu for the Block which was indicated in the e-mail above.


image:DevMyPage_City_DownloadB2C.png

Click on Download .B2C file and save the .B2C into the same directory as your .CRY file of your City.
Tip: If you are leasing out (or using by yourself) a lot of Blocks and don't want to download individual .B2C files for each Block, you can download all .B2C files that belong to each City from the City > Leased Cities tab. See this article for details.


Import to City

Open your Blue Mars Sandbox City Editor, and load the City which corresponds to the .B2C file you just downloaded.
Once your City has loaded, click BLUEMARS > Import > Import Block From Block Editor (.B2C).


image:importb2c.jpg

Click through the confirmation dialog, and you should now see whatever Buildings/Shop Entities your third party Developers have added to their Block.
This process will also create a Blocks/<BlockName> directory in the same directory where the .CRY file of your City is located, and store all the content of that Block. Therefore, you need to keep that directory as long as that Block is in use.
Tip: You can find a screenshot of the Block (screenshot.tga) in the Blocks/<BlockName> folder, which can be used as a reference to see the content of that Block.

Review the Block

If there are any issues with the Block data, please contact the Block Developer directly (via email, phone, Skype, etc.).
Tip: It might help your review process if you open the file "screenshot.tga" in the Blocks/<BlockName> folder first, and keep the screenshot open as you review the Block. This screenshot will show you the state of the Block exactly as the Block Developer saw it, allowing you to catch any discrepancies.
Things you should check
  • Prohibited content
  • Missing objects
  • Missing textures
  • Performance

Prohibited content

Contents in Blocks fall under the same restrictions as any other uploaded content in Blue Mars, and it is the responsibility of the City Developer to review uploaded Blocks before submitting the City to Avatar Reality. If we receive and confirm reports of problematic content within a Block, the City to which that Block belongs may be removed from the Places Browser until the content issue is corrected and uploaded. If you find any content in the Block that may be prohibited or violates our intellectual property policy, please take the following steps:
  • Try to resolve the issue by contacting the Block Developer directly.
  • If direct communication with the Block Developer does not work, contact Blue Mars Support.

Missing objects/textures

If you see a blue sphere in your City, it means an object at that location is missing and will not appear in Blue Mars (the blue spheres only appear in the City Editor as indicators). Also No Texture means that a texture file does not exist, or that texture file is located in a directory to which your City does not have permission to access.
image:CityEditor_MissingData.png

When you find a missing object or texture, there are several ways you can deal with it.
  1. Ask the Block owner to fix the file location and re-submit the .B2C file.
  2. Fix the file location by yourself.
  3. Delete that object.

Performacnce

Please keep in mind that the computer used by your customers that visit your City may have lower specs than yours. So preparing a lighter City will help reduce the stress of your customers. To optimize your City data, you should check the following numbers.
  • Frames per second
  • Lighting
  • Number of materials assigned per object
  • Range value of ARShop entity
"Tips for better performance (under construction)" describes various methods for optimizing your city.



Submit to Avatar Reality

If the Block data is acceptable for your City, please create a .CTY file that includes this Block and upload the .CTY file to Avatar Reality.
  • Export .CTY file.
  • Submit to Avatar Reality.
  • Wait for a response from QA.
  • Announce the release of your updated City to the public!




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