Layout Era

The layout era was when a feature to save and load the layout of a decorated house was added. This would allow people to experiment with different decorations and if they didn’t like the result load back a previous version they were happy with. The players then figured out that maybe this could mean doing things that were previously impossible,for instance, rotating things in the z axis! Turns out that worked and with that came out a new world of possibilities for the decorators. :)

A house for a friend

A long time ago, I came up with the idea of a sort of “Secret Santa” with a couple of decorator friends. My idea was basically for each one to decorate a house for each other. That never did go anywhere for a lot of reasons. Still I wanted for something to come out of it so I offered to decorate a house for Jazabelle, one of the people involved on this crazy idea.

Jazabelle was very kind and patient. She only asked for a few features, letting me free to build the rest of the house anyway I saw fit. She also always found some time to come check something that I had some doubts to give her opinion on.

Ironically this turned out to be a double edged sword. For months I had decorator’s block since I couldn’t figure the best way to use all the space available in a way that made sense for Jazabelle’s character. Eventually I decided to settle with a small apartment since I figured out she already have houses her character actually lived in other places. An apartment in Qeynos made more sense if she wouldn’t be creating roots in the city. To this end I did a break out of the actual house and built everything inside the fake house next to it.

The result was pretty good in my opinion and Jazabelle seemed to like it.

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Deus Ex Arcana T1 Hall

Since guild halls were introduced to Everquest 2 I’ve been wanting to decorate one. I wanted it so much that I decided that the only way I would be able to do it would be by making my own one-man guild and getting a hall. Well, eventually it became a 3-person guild as a couple of friends who were returning to the game asked if they could join my guild. They were also kind enough to help get the guild level and status to buy the hall, despite all my protests against it. I think they regretted that a little though due to my constant changes to the hall while I was trying to decorate it. Although they probably forgave me once it was finished since they still speak to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyhoo, the idea for Deus Ex Arcana is that it is a group of evil people who got together for the convenience of sharing resources to advance their own agendas. It is disguised as a sort of “gentleman’s club” as to not attract the attention of the powers in charge since they probably wouldn’t like too much what the guild was doing. This meant that the hall should been elegant, a place that looked like it was built for social gathering and with some secret places here and there. Putting it in practice was very challenging and I had to cut a few ideas due to item count and physical space limitations. Still I love the place. All the effort we put to get it was worth it. I will also be eternally thankful for all the help my friends gave to me in getting that hall, for letting me being egoistical and decorate it all by myself and having tolerating my constant changes to the design.

With all that explained let’s get to the hall, shall we?

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Rakuno’s Qeynos Manor 2nd Version

After I got more comfortable with editing layouts to do my house decorations it was time to go back to Rakuno’s house and upgrade it to the new times. With this house certain features of Rakuno house solidified. Now I can’t imagine Rakuno living in a house without a bar or without some kind of treasure vault.

Another interesting tidbit is that… I don’t remember, if it it was in the middle of it or shortly after I finished it, but at some point they added an outdoor patio to the biggest Qeynos and Freeport houses. The door to that outdoor area just happened to be right at the back of the original bar I built for Rakuno. After some thinking I decided I wanted to do something with that outdoors area and remade the entire bar. The screenshots below are from the final version. So there might be some discrepancies with some screenshots. I put the original screenshots at the end of the post for historical purposes. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now without further ado… The house itself!

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A Knight’s Elegant Home

After some testing in editing the layout file to decorate houses, I decided it was time to actually tackle a real project. That project turned to be Ramalis house. I had been craving for a long time to work on a Neriak house and Ramalis had been leaving on a “warehouse” for so long that it was about time to work on it.

This is still one of my favorite houses. Unfortunately at some point I decided to fix some things on its design and due to a combination of stupidity and technical problems end up losing the layout files with the original design. So if I were going to remake it I would have to do it from scratch! /sigh

One last note, the screenshots of this house were taken from the point of view of Ramalis. So things look way bigger than they actually were.

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