How to Make a Dream
This tutorial will show you how to weave your first personal map on Furcadia, and then share it with the world! Once you upload it, anyone in the whole game can come visit it!
Personal maps are called Dreams on Furcadia. Every area you see in the game is a Dream, many of which are created by players like you. The best part is, it’s completely free to make your own! When you download Furcadia, you also get everything you need to create your own Dreams. You can customize your Dream to your heart’s content by adding your own art, music, sounds, and scripting. The act of creating Dreams is known in-game as Dreamweaving.
This tutorial will show you how to set up your own Dream by giving advice on getting started, what a Dream is comprised of, and how to customize your Dream.
Table of Contents
What Makes a Dream?
Every Furcadia Dream is made of the following basic components:
- The map is the canvas of the Dream that you build upon. Each map is made of tiles arranged in isometric perspective.
- Objects are the most basic components of a Dream. Objects are placed on the tiles of a map to make the Dream look the way you want it to. Types of objects include Items, Effects, Walls, Floors, Lighting, and Ambience.
- DragonSpeak is an optional feature that makes your Dream interactable and automated. If you want an item to do something, you use DragonSpeak to tell it what to do.
- The skin, or interface, that you see while playing Furcadia is also customizable, and all visitors can see a custom skin instead of the default one. You can customize the buttons, include your own background image, and place each button where you want to.
Sounds and music can be added to your Dream using DragonSpeak, too. You can also include your own custom sounds and music for a personal touch!
Tools of the Dream-Making Trade
Furcadia provides free tools to customize your Dream:
- The Dream Editor is the most important tool in Dreamweaving - you can’t have a Dream without it! It allows you to edit the map. Think of it as a hub that lets you put all the parts of your Dream into one cohesive whole.
- The Fox Editor allows you to create custom objects for the map and custom buttons for your skin. These custom pieces of art are collectively called patches.
- The DragonSpeak Constructor helps your write DragonSpeak so you and your friends can interact with your Dream.
- The Skin Editor (or Skinner) lets you arrange the buttons on your custom skin.
- The PCX Editor lets you create a background image to load in your custom skin. You can also use any art program that is .pcx-compatible.
If that seems like a lot to keep track of, don’t worry! You can make a great Dream using only the Dream Editor if you want to start out slow. But the other tools give you options to create amazing, fully-customized Dreams. Below is a walkthrough to build your first Dream on Furcadia!
How to Make a Dream
What’s the best way to learn how to make a Dream? Well.. you make one!
Yes, by the time you’re done with this tutorial, you’ll have your very own Dream. You will also learn how to upload it and share it with your friends!
If you’ve never worked with any kind of map editor before, it's recommended that you review the Dream Editor tutorial before continuing. You won’t need to memorize every keyboard shortcut, but it will help you learn how to navigate around the editor.
For easier reference, here are the more important terms listed out so if you get confused, you can check here for more information. Depending on the size of your display screen, the placement of these elements might move some!
- Current Object window shows you what object you currently have selected and it's where you click to choose other object art.
- Tools and Object type buttons let you pick between different types of objects, including walls, floors, items, effects, regions, ambience and lighting. The Tools buttons also provide different types of placement options, such as a flood fill of the selected object, or single placement.
- Edit Window is where you can place your chosen objects and other types of object files into your Dream.
- Mode Toggle lets you swap between large and small size version of your Dream.
Minimap area helps you navigate through your Dream quickly.
Step 1: Items, Floors, Walls, Effects, Ambience, and Lighting
There are six basic objects for Dreamweaving. They are items, floors, walls, effects, ambience and lighting. These are the building blocks of any Dream!
There are a few quick rules for placing items in the Edit Window:
- No two objects of the same type can occupy the same space.
- Object 0 of any object type is considered blank, or empty and can be used to delete other objects that are on that tile.
- All instances of an object are treated as the same object.
These rules apply to every type of object. However, each object has its own special properties.
|Items can be picked up, held, used, kicked and sat upon by players. They can sometimes be walked over, or not, depending on that item's properties.|
|Floors always appear beneath other object types and other players. They can be either walkable or unwalkable.|
|Walls are usually placed on the edges of tiles instead of on the tiles themselves. They can be either walkable or unwalkable.|
|Effects are non-interactive items, and they usually display over players, items, walls, and floors (depending on that effect's properties). They often have DragonSpeak triggers associated with their use, and can be used for weather and other neat things.|
Ambience is a translucent layer with many blending options, and its primary function is to change the overall luminosity and color tone of your Dream. Most often it's used to create day and night tones for your Dream.
Here is an image where the left side does not have ambience and the right side does.
Lighting is a secondary translucent layer that mathematically interacts with the ambience layer either additively, or by subtracting (cutting holes) in the ambience layer. Most often it is used as lighting, by cutting holes in the ambience to create brighter areas.
Here is an image where lighting from above is shining upon the layer with ambience.
Now that we know what each of these object types do, let's use them to create your own Dream. We’ll start with selecting and placing objects on the map.
To select the object you want to place:
- Select the object type in the tabs above the edit window. (Shown Below)
- Search for the desired object, and left-click on it to select it.
You can also quickly cycle through objects by pressing = or - located near the Backspace key on most keyboards. This lets you quickly change your selection between objects of the same type.
Finally, if there’s an object on the map and you want to place more of that same object, hover over the object with your mouse and right-click it. This lets you quickly copy objects that you placed earlier!
To place an object, simply left-click on the map where you want it to go. Notice how the tile underneath your mouse cursor is highlighted in white - this tile is where you’ll place the object. You can see it before you left-click, which lets you preview the object before placing it on the map.
Removing and replacing objects on the map works exactly like placing them. To replace an object, simply place a new object over the old one - remember, only one object of the same type can occupy the same tile, so the old one goes away! To remove an object, simply replace the object with a blank object. Hint: You can quickly select a blank object by right-clicking in an empty spot on the map!
Now that you know the basics, let’s create a room for people to sit and talk. Here’s an example area:
A few quick tips:
- The Furcadia field of view, a translucent box that appears around your cursor, shows you how much of the Dream a player can see while they walk around. Note that some of the seating in the example is far enough apart that players in one group won’t overhear conversations from other groups.
- The border of the map, which is the red area, is unwalkable - make sure your room doesn’t overlap it! You can place more trees and things past that area, as players will still see it, if you want to avoid having black void areas visible to players.
- Players in the Dream see exactly what you see in the Dream Editor (unless you add DS) so keep an eye on visibility in your Dream. The example room has a lot of windows on the southeast and southwest sides of the room to make it feel more open.
- Some lighting is hard to see without an ambience present on the same tile.
Congratulations! You now know the basics of weaving your very own custom Dream. You’ve worked hard so far, so it’s about time to upload your work and share it with your friends. Let’s get right to it!
Step 2: Uploading and Sharing
Uploading a Dream is simple:
- Find an item called an Upload Pad (pictured right) or visit a Dream or Main Map that allows uploads anywhere, such as Allegria Island.
- Face the position you want your Dream entrance, or portal, to appear.
- Press Ctrl-T on your keyboard - the game will automatically upload the last Dream you saved! You can also use Place Dream on the C tab.
There are a few things to keep in mind when uploading and sharing Dreams:
- Any Dream you upload is public, so any player can walk in! You can use DragonSpeak to create private areas inside your Dream if you want a place for just you and your friends.
- Usually there can only be one Dream pad by the same character on the same map. If you upload again in a different place from your first upload, sometimes your Dream pad will simply move to the new position.
- If you ever want to remove your Dream pad from a map, go to the map where you placed your Dream portal, then type `unload and press enter while in game.
- It’s common practice to keep your Dream files in their own folders so they’re grouped together. This makes them easy to find and helps prevent issues if you later want to add custom patches or sounds.
- Each Dream has a standard that informs players of the general rules for what is and is not appropriate. The rating also affects what Dreams can be uploaded inside it, so pay attention to the rating of the Dream you try to upload in!
For your first Dream, try uploading it in Allegria Island - this is an official Furcadia server Dream, or main map, that allows uploads anywhere. It will let you to upload any E+ or T+ Dream. Be sure to learn about all of Furcadia’s official maps so you know which main map to use for your future projects!
Now for the fun part: getting all your friends into your Dream to admire your work! There are three ways a player can enter a Dream:
- Walking into a Dream pad for that Dream
- Joining another player inside that Dream
- Following the Dream URL by clicking it in the game or a web browser
We already know how to place a Dream pad on the map, now other players just have to walk into it! You can summon any online player by typing `summon playername - it is then up to that player to accept your summon by typing `join.
If you want to know your Dream URL, type dreamurl while inside your Dream and press enter. Dream URLs start with furc:// and usually include the name of the player who uploaded the Dream. You can link to a Dream URL just like you link to a web URL, so you can send the URL to your friends or even add it to your description!
That’s it! You’ve done great for sticking with this tutorial - it was a lot to learn! Go ahead and enjoy some well-deserved praise for creating your first custom Dream. Try experimenting and see what kind of Dream you can make just with these tools.
If including unique custom made art and sounds to your Dream caught your eye, you may want to check out the Attaching custom patches tutorial next! Or maybe you're interested in making things come to life (making your Dream more interactive) -- you can start the Beginning DragonSpeak tutorial if so!
If you have any further questions about dreamweaving, feel free to contact the Beekins (who are live volunteers) in game by saying help I need help with my dream!