Building Tips


One of the problems that face builders (new and old alike) is precision. Do walls or roofs align properly? Do curves drive you to drink? Sometimes you are building something and the pieces just won't fit properly. There are two things to consider, and they are a careful look at the XYZ coordinates of the object, and scaling. First, let's have a look at the Object Properties Box, and in particular all the coordinate information on the bottom.

object properties box

Let's look at the location numbers. You see that the first number is labeled X (W-E). This is the east and west coordinate for the object. The second is the Y (up-down). This tells us how high or low the object is relation to the ground. If it's a minus number, the bottom of the object is below ground. The third number is the Z (N-S) coordinate. Now, the numbers behind all XYZ coordinates tell you exactly where the object is in relation to the 0 0 0 coordinates on the world, giving you a precise location. Is this important? Yes! If you want to teleport or warp to an exact place, for example, you will need these coordinates to make sure the person being warped or teleported winds up in the exact place you want them to be in. Get these wrong, and you will have people being whisked all over the landscape with no idea where they are.

Some rules of thumb:

  • If you want to use the XYZ coordinates for warping or teleporting, you will have to move the decimal point of the XYZ coordinates one place to the left. For example, if the Z (N-S) coordinate is 16210.35 you will have to change the number to 1621.035, and so on. I don't know why this is, but if you don't do it, the warp/teleport won't work properly.
  • For teleporting or warping the Z (N-S) coordinate should ALWAYS be the first one, X (E-W) the second, then Y (up-down) (just the opposite of where they are in the Object Properties Box).Thus, for a position like the one shown in the screenshot above, you would use the command [activate] or [bump] teleport 891.70S 1279.82E -0.025a [then the direction you want the person to face: 0=North; 90=West; 180=South; 270=East.

  • For teleporting or warping, you do not use the minus sign in front of the coordinate. So, -12798.2 would be 1279.82 -- got it?
  • However, if you are building a server-side (waypoint) mover, you MUST use all the coordinates EXACTLY as they are shown on the object. (See last Gazette article for May 2010.)
We will discuss the rotation objects next month; there's some intersting stuff to learn about those too. But for the time being, if you want to align objects, make sure that the Tilt and Roll are 0.0, 90.00, 180.00 or 270.00 (N, W, S, E) unless you are dealing with anything other than right angles.


Very often you will have a problem trying to get objects to fit properly. One way to make sure that, for example, floor bits fit exactly where you want them, is to scale them. You do this by using the create scale command. Be sure to check out Gaia's Scale Demo in Digigurl's Demo Yard. Scaling is easy to do. For example, using the command "create scale 2 1.5 0.5" would make the object double its length (X axis); one and a half times tall (Y axis) and has as wide (Z axis). Scaling always works on the X-Y-Z axes in that specific order. The limits for scaling appear to be 0.2 as the smallest and 5 as the largest. You can adjust the scale using decimal points too; for example, 1.53 0.33 4.21, and so on. Try it and see what happens.

Next month we will talk about the rotation coordinates and what they mean and how you can use them. Please contact Ozman for any comments or feedback on this article, particularly if there are any mistakes. He is doing this from experience. And as always, be sure to check the AW Help page and the related AW wiki pages for further help.

Do you have any questions on building?

Send us your questions on building. The more you learn the techniques, the better and more fun your builds can be. Mail your requests to Ozman. Alternatively, you can use the Yellow Wiki.

For new builders, be sure to visit AWNewbie, and AWSchool worlds for very good tutorials, on-line help from qualified teachers, and lots of very good objects.