Brick Pile Instructions | Forum

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Ayman Oct 31 '16

bricks Brick Pile Instructionsby Samsyn 
A brick pile is a form of kinetic sculpture. You drop bricks as would any child, picking shapes and materials that please you. Then you bind PATH motions to some bricks to make elevators, gates, dynamic paintgun barriers, impossible racing challenges and more!


This is documentation of a feature in development and is subject to change without notice. We solicit your feedback via email to [email protected]

A BrickPile counts as a single gamepiece that you can drop in any zone large enough to hold it. We currently impose a limit of one Pile per zone until we know more about load effects. A single pile can contain hundreds of bricks.

Bricks come in a variety of sizes, but are always simple brick-shapes, with a width, height, and depth. If you need to fill a large space, use large bricks, with smaller bricks for the details. In addition to its shape, size and location, each brick has other properties, such as its MATERIAL (the brick's appearance). You can also bind bricks to PATHs which can control their motion, to create elevators moving platforms, traps, racing challenges, etc!

Developers can submit new Pile designs, where they provide a model for the base plate (if any) and a set of materials to be used in addition to the stock brick materials. (note: we're always on the look out for free stock brick materials that people might like)

We hope Bricks will lead to new interactive experiences (like a 3D platformer requiring timed jumps between moving platforms -- avatar frogger) Or an inexorably moving wall that pushes you off the edge of Avie Sacrifice.

How To Be A BrickLayer

Only bricklayers can add or remove bricks from the pile. The owner of the pile can decide who has permission to be a bricklayer (just the owner, just those with zone decoration privileges, or everyone).

The owner can configure the Pile to accept up to eight simultaneous bricklayers (so you can have collaborative/competitive builds) To become a bricklayer, just find the pile's action tag and ask.

Once you become a bricklayer, you will see the walls of the Pile boundaries. Bricks must be placed within those boundaries (though a brick on a PATH can travel short distances outside the Pile boundaries.

At this point you realize you are inside of some giant 3D printer, with a printhead that you can move around, and shape to drop new bricks, or pick up old ones. You need a numPad to play with bricks, as the regular arrow keys will just move your avatar. But the numpad keys move the 'brick cursor' around in 3D, and the numpad ENTER key 'drops a brick' at the current location.

Hold the CTRL-key while using the numPad arrow keys, and you will modify the SHAPE of the brick. This becomes your currently selected shape, and you can drop a bunch of them just by moving the cursor and pressing numPad ENTER to drop each additional brick.

Pretty much every key of the numpad is bound to some function or another, so it can be a little overwhelming at first, until you realize there are only a few things going on in spite of all the buttons.

You can assign a MATERIAL or PATH to a brick by tapping the appropriate numpad keys to step through all the available choices. Your material choices are limited to the stock materials, and any provided by the developer submission. Materials tile across adjacent bricks, with all six faces of a brick using the same material.

Your PATH choices come from the Pile's current PROGRAM. This is an optional bit of text you can compose (via the Pile's ABOUT webapp). There is a very simple programming language for specifying a PATH out of a series of STEPs, (like UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, etc). Where you control the speed and distance travelled at each step.

The currently selected path is previewed as a yellow line coming from the proposed new brick, with a red 'shadow brick' of the same size travelling the yellow line. Paths are always relative to the starting location of the brick.

To PICK UP A BRICK, you need to tap the numpad 7 key to get into SELECT mode. The cursor will turn into a small red sphere, which you then position inside the brick you want to pick up. Once the proper brick is selected, tap ENTER to pick up the brick.

This immediately removes the brick from the pile, but changes the cursor such that you could re-drop the brick immediately just by pressing ENTER again. But before doing that, perhaps you meant to change some property of the brick, like its material or path.

Your Pile's PROGRAM can also (optionally) define some simple RAMPs to create scaffolding or roads in the sky, as it were. Unlike BRICKs, RAMPs can have angles other than 90 degrees.

The webapp also provides access to the brick metadata (the actual placement and properties of every brick in the pile. This is so you can archive your creations in text files.

The size of a pile is defined as part of its initial product definition, but the owner can use a configuration setting to render it at some fraction of that size, if they like. Perhaps you just want the PATH system to make an interesting product display table, and it doesn't need to be huge. Likewise, the pile's sense of time can be accelerated or slowed down by a webapp setting.

Currently, the pile area also includes some elements (like a ramp in the middle) which are only for debugging purposes. You can turn some of them on and off in the CONFIG settings here. Eventually these features will not appear by default.

Just give it a try, and let us know if you see the glimmer of anything 'fun or interesting' in the project. Send photos and descriptions of your evil rube goldberg avatar torture machines!

Pumpkin Jack's Blog

Arr, thanks for visiting the Pumpkin_Jack blog, where I will be periodically providing updates on this project. Thank you for all the testing so far, and please keep it up!

Some of you have asked what the rules are. Basically just to try everything and come up with things you would like to do more of. But here are some 'rules' anyway:

  • Please avoid blocking access to the action tag

While we are making lists, here is the list of known issues:

  • The pile disappears when you go to the extreme of the build cube and look away from the center.

And here is a list of planned/proposed/recent changes:

  • ABOUT webapp now lets you configure pile
  • ABOUT webapp now lets you edit/save/restore PROGRAM and METADATA
  • PATH definitions are now part of the PROGRAM and can be edited!
  • RAMP definitions are now part of the PROGRAM and can be edited!
  • Faster auto-repeat when moving the 3D cursor around
  • Changed DELETE mode into PICKUP mode, where the deleted brick is left in your hand for redropping/whatever
  • Multi-waypoint PATHs
  • Separated the SHAPE from the PATH so that paths can be edited separately and used with any brick
  • More programmable PATH options. People like PATHs
  • Owner-control over the number of public bricklayers allowed, if any
  • Ablity to LOCK your pile against changes (even by yourself)
  • system messages for error conditions
  • allow up to 8 simultaneous bricklayers (per owner setting)
  • More info in the ABOUT webapp (current pile design, number of bricks, operator options, etc)
  • Option to disable brick collisions (off, floor only, full)
  • sound effects when dropping bricks
  • some sort of indicator so you can see who all the bricklayers are
  • Option to freeze/reset animations?
  • PATHs to get both a period, and a phase offset
  • add some TRIGGERS that can be bound to paths -- basically a WAITUNTIL

The Forum post is edited by Ayman Oct 31 '16
Ayman Admin
Ayman Jul 17 '17
This is a nice brick pile made by circuit_rider


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