Creating a game within a game, Triinu hand-built a classic 2D platformer level using the Housing Editor. Check out this incredible build and how she did it in this latest Community Spotlight!
The ESO housing community is a unique part of the #ESOFam. How did you first come to ESO and when did you really begin to dig into the Housing system?
I used to dislike online games, but I always loved the Elder Scrolls, and when a friend who owns ESO on Xbox told me I could just play it like a single player game, I gave it a chance. It's been almost six years since, and I do participate in the online part of the game, too! I started building with my first free inn room, then I saved up all the gold I made to buy my first bigger house to decorate. Since then, I’ve spent most of my gold on housing.
What inspired you to create a platformer as your latest build?
Previously, I’ve built many event houses with puzzles, mazes, mudball arenas, and more for my guild Guarmageddon to enjoy, and after a visit one of my friends said he wanted a dungeon crawler. I started it as a first-person dungeon, but I lost patience, and somehow the idea of a 2D platformer came to mind while demolishing what I had already built. Then, while working, I started to feel some old-school Prince of Persia vibes, which became my main inspiration.
How did you go about designing and planning it?
I barely plan my creations! I just have an idea and start building and it usually evolves from there. I build in one spot, move on to another, then back again. I will remove stuff, add new things—it’s all pretty chaotic, but it works for me!
What was the process for building it? How much time did it take?
I began with the dungeon at the bottom where you must escape your cell like in any good adventure. Then, I built a rough shape for the castle with rooms and began to think about what could be inside them and where the moving walls and their related switches should be.
The whole building took me about two to three days. If I have a fun idea, I can finish a house pretty quickly.
Did you discover any new uses for existing furnishing items when building it?
I wouldn't say I gave them a new use; I just implemented them to work with my story. For example, there are four monster trophies in one room, but one is turned, and if the player notices it and fixes it, a platform appears above and will open to a new path.
Or once the laboratory room opens, there will be a dangerous monster (training dummy) blocking the path and you have to get the monster out of the way. The player must then activate a music box in a room below to distract the beast and allow them to enter.
I'm a person who always thinks the stuff I make is boring, but the guars (as we call each other in our guild) all enjoyed it and had many compliments.
They all played it through until the end, and though it took some almost an hour to beat it, they enjoyed it nonetheless. I was very happy with all the positive feedback I received.
Do you have any tips for anybody thinking about building something similar?
The camera settings can be important. I had to tell visitors to change their camera settings so they will be able to use the interactable without their mouse. As you can see in the screenshots, I placed some objects on the outer ledge to give it a 3D feeling by partly or sometimes fully covering the character while passing through the building.
You will also have to act like a gamemaster in a pen-and-paper game by moving the doors and platforms yourself so the players can progress, plus give them small hints like "you hear a noise above you," or "you feel like you missed something and decide to turn around.”
What’s next? Any major new projects currently in planning?
I really enjoyed building this and I am currently working on a similar house, but with a twist. It will play in 2D again, but every time somebody passes a door, the camera will have to turn right by 90°. This way, the player will visit the same locations multiple times, but they will see it from a new perspective, and new paths that were hidden before will become visible.
Besides that, I am working on a big adventure event for my guild that will include four houses. They’ll have to find their way through abstract realms by using portals to retrieve certain items and unlock the finale in the last house.
Where can the #ESOFam find your latest builds?
I am not super active on twitter, but I share some screenshots there now and then. You can check there to see if I finished a build, plus you can visit my homes in game on PC EU @TriinuT.
My houses are always open, and if you find yourself in front of a wall after entering, that just means I am working on it right now. Please check that house later again when it's finished!
Thank you so much for taking the time to share this amazing creation and your story, Triinu! We can’t wait to see what kind of adventures you build next. As always, if you’ve seen or created something ESO-related that you think the community would enjoy, be sure to share it with us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!