Hey y’all, it’s ya boi Malford. King of islands and God of Hats (Julia: Malford destroyed the hat economy on our last Hunt a Dev stream Recap: CLICKY).
We originally built the Island Creator as an internal tool so we could build islands for Worlds Adrift, but after Tom made it excellent we decided to release it to the community. The islands you guys have made are one of the most amazing, impressive and beautiful things about our game and we’re forever grateful to our amazing community for that.
The Island Creator is a great creative tool, and we love people having fun with it and making cool, creative stuff. As we use the community crafted islands to build our world we’ve been asked plenty of times what our criteria for choosing islands are by people keen to increase their chances of getting an island in-game.
The key thing we look for in an island is that it’s believable. This is all a bit vague though, what specifically do you need to do to make a “believable” island?
Here are some tips:
- Our main goal is to preserve a sense of immersion for our players in Worlds Adrift so the first thing we look for is consistency with the world that we’re creating together. Some islands might break immersion because the structures seem like something you might see in real life, but wouldn’t see in Foundation.
- Keep it natural! We don’t get a lot of simple, natural islands submitted, but they’re a lot easier to get feeling coherent. When I make a Wilderness island I just try to make somewhere that feels like it would be fun to chill out.
- Trees are usually a big factor when considering if an island will successfully be chosen to be in the game so you may want to take into account:
- Tree size: those that are more or less 50% size of the normal default tree size work really well when designing your island. If you go bigger or smaller than that, it can create collision issues or be immersion breaking.
- Keep it real: trees that are kept at a realistic angle help keep the level of immersion high for players. One way to avoid planting trees at crazy angles is not to use the “surface align” function when you place them, that way they’ll all be basically upright. You can add a bit of variation of angle manually later if it looks a bit unnatural, but it’s usually fine.
- Tree colour: rather than a range of colours, one or two colours on trees looks great and a little more natural.
- Attached items: remember that if a player cuts down a tree, any items attached would float in the air as a result. Avoiding attaching items to trees helps our selection.
- When using the mass placement tool, take time to visually check that objects haven’t merged into each other.
- Water effects are currently hard to recreate with the tool. The paint tool will give you a block of blue colour but probably it doesn’t look quite right, and if a player sees what they think is water and it turns out to be blue sand this will break their immersion.
- When you prepare a landing area on your island, keep in mind that currently, shipyards can only be placed on normal terrain. You cannot place a shipyard on stones or on buildings. Planning this area in advance means players can visit your work, and we are more likely to select your island.
- If your island has an underground structure and tunnels, you may want to consider having something at the end of it such as lore, a reward, or a nice room to avoid explorers being frustrated or disappointed if they only find a dead end.
We can’t guarantee that every island submitted will eventually make it into the game, but we hope this gives you an idea of what we look to include. These guidelines will keep evolving over time with each update and addition of extra features of the Island Creator.
You can also find more tips and discussion via the Island Creator forum, where some amazing community guides have already sprung up, and where you can share your own guidelines to help others.
Stay creative and see you in the skies!