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[Guide] Flearas' House Handbook: Tricks + Concepts

FlearasFlearas
MapleStory 2 Rep: 2,275
Posts: 47
Member
edited 11:32AM October 27, 2018 in Housing Creations
Flearas' House Handbook: Tricks and Concepts

This guide showcases building tricks and concepts to help you make creative builds. If you want to know how housing works, commands available, or the benefits you may receive from housing, view Pose's helpful guide here.

Over the course of both Closed Betas, I've spent loads of time building. I won in the first beta's building contest and achieved rank 1 on the star architect rankings for the month of July during Closed Beta 2, successfully beating out a trophy house. Now I'd like to share with everyone in the community several tips and tricks I've learned to help create more wonderful houses. This guide will be long so grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable.

What I won't do: Tell you exactly how to build your house.
What I will do: Give you several pieces of wisdom to help make decisions for your builds.


Check back later as I may update this list with more tricks as I remember them. If so, I'll tack them on at the end. I'll be listing these tips in bold and describing them afterward.

u3doUMX.png

-Blinds are the single most powerful building object you can place; functioning as walls, curtains, railing, adding depth to other blocks, or capable of creating animations with computers. Blinds also cost merits.

There's a lot to say about what blinds can do, but they have two modes when used in place of walls. Blinds can be placed either on the inside of your "wall" or on the outside. If placed on the inside, no other objects can be placed along the inside of that wall and the same can be said for the reverse. This is both a limitation and a freedom for you as a designer, but their usefulness will come down to your creativity.

Will the blinds block off building along the outside of your wall? Consider designing that area a path to walk along. Will they block off building along the inside of your wall? Consider designing that area of the house a place to walk and place your furnishings on the opposite area. Decide which of these approaches you'd like to take before you begin building walls with blinds.

Either way, you're going to use a lot of blinds should you choose to take advantage of them, so be aware of the hefty merit cost.

-Bridges exist in the form of benches.

Bridges are an excellent method of creating walkways while preserving visual space. They must always be placed on top of the surface you'd like to form a bridge over since they're low to the ground and if you aren't careful, you'll end up creating unwelcome terrain since they aren't flat. The alternative to benches would be iron shelves, but iron shelves can only create a maximum bridge length of two squares, but more if lined along a wall. Blinds will leave space when added to the side of benches, but will line up evenly along the side of iron shelves. You may also combine iron shelves and benches together to create the illusion the benches are screwed into the iron shelves.

-Respect the camera

This guide's only discussing the default, isometric camera view. Be careful your structures aren't being obscured by the camera clipping into terrain. That being said:

-The Bowl method

The Bowl method is a house design archetype you can use to stuff a whole lot of content in your house without destroying your camera with the added bonus of granting the best possible vantage point. This revolves around building the middle of your house low and the edges of your house high. If nothing is constructed high in the middle, nothing can obstruct the camera from seeing the north areas of the bowl. Building high at the south edge of the bowl can't obstruct the camera at the low end of the south edge, but if you aren't careful it can obstruct the middle. For this reason, the Bowl Method usually has a gap between the bottom and top edges of the bowl along the south side.

NyVb2f1.jpg

-Guide your guests

Decide how you want to clue your guests that there's more content to see. This can involve rivers or walls, but walls are a restrictive choice and take up visual space. Still, this could be desirable, or even preferable, to rivers depending on the goal of your build. Blinds perform a similar function for guiding your guests as a middle ground between rivers and walls... but they cost merits.

You may also guide your guests by selectively adding points of interest (PoI's) strategically so the guest will naturally wander from one PoI to the next. One such PoI can be as simple as a farming/ranching object. They may also be staircases (something must be at the top!) or sudden changes in environment (Have to check out what's up with that!) The potential for PoI's are seemingly infinite. If you want to make a PoI, think about what your guests may find interesting and place them where you believe they'll attract interest.

-Help your guests

Your guests need to be able to move around. This also means giving them the necessary surfaces or utilities to recover from an accidental fall or reach high areas quickly. Flying mounts are great, but they don't rise as quickly as jumping up the side of a wall, walking up stairs, or interacting with a teleporter.

In my Closed Beta 2 house, I provided several methods to climb vertically from many locations. These included staircases, portals, and hanging walls strategically placed to provide quick access. The result is similar to a spiral or helix design (think Dark Souls 1 level design philosophy.) If you see an area where you believe your build can benefit from a vertical aid, go ahead and try to determine if you can provide this feature.

-You can play soccer.

But also:

-You can't play soccer.

Maplestory 2's housing mode is kind enough to provide us with the command /hostball. This command will spawn an interactable ball in your house you may kick or push around as you please. It's also affected by gravity. We even get to change the size of the ball using size modifiers via /hostball 1, /hostball 2, /hostball 3, all the way up to /hostball 10.

Unfortunately as of the present date of this guide, the hostball is also extremely prone to desynchronizing across clients and dissapearing when hit by certain skills. Until these bugs are fixed, you can design your builds around utilizing the hostball for fun, but you'll have a very difficult time fulfilling your wishes.

On the topic of commands:

-You can change gravity.

By using the command /hostgravity, you may set force of gravity in your house. Simply put a number after the command to set the gravity to that number. There's a maximum and minimum gravity housing will allow, but these parameters are pretty extreme. 1 being default, you may set the gravity below .01, for example, or set it to 10. I don't think there's a difference in gravity below .0001 or above 10, but feel free to prove me wrong.

-Computers can control your house.

If you aren't using a computer in a house with several interactable objects, you're missing out on a lot of potential. For one thing, computers can activate all your lights, turn on your miners, make your merit men dance, or open/close your blinds without you ever having to lift a finger. They can also create switches to control several objects at once. You truly have automated control over your house, but the computer comes with limits.

For one, only three computers may be placed in a house. For another, each state may have three initial actions, three conditions per state, three actions per condition, and must proceed to the beginning of a state once a condition is fulfilled. Does that sound confusing? The UI makes this clear and simple.

hj30t6p.jpg

Still not clear? Don't worry, once you get the hang of it, it's easy. I don't know how many states a computer can have or if there's a limit at all. Feel free to stress test these things to find a limit on states; I didn't test this during Closed Beta 2.

-You can animate with blinds wired to a computer.

You may do this by wiring a computer to open/close your blinds in sequence. You may also set three computers to animate more blinds at once. Beware: blinds, along with most interactable objects, will generate noise when turned on or off, so be prepared for you and your guests to listen to what you set up.

-Computers can only be tested live.

Unfortunately we don't have the ability to wire up objects to computers in the decor planner and computer logic isn't saved when you save a layout. This means you must set up the logic for a computer while your house is live and resetting your floor plan or removing a computer will permanently remove all logic from your computer(s) until you rewrite them again. If you want to set up computers to help host an event, remember to give yourself time to do so before the event begins since you can't save the logic.

-You may prevent wall climbing without disabling wall climbing.

Want to prevent players from climbing certain surfaces? Consider using windows or liquids instead of disabling wall climbing altogether. Neither of these objects are climbable and you can use them to set up dividers as you see fit. I didn't experiment too heavily with objects which prevent wall-climbing, so there are undoubtedly several blocks which will serve this function. Try messing around in decor planner with different blocks to find which blocks have this property.

-Squares are boring.

Ironic coming from a game made of blocks. It's a good idea to add "curves" to your rooms to make them more visually appealing. This is an achilles heel, because for ever curve you make, you lose that much building space due to the way wall blocks take up an entire square. This is why blinds are brilliant as replacements for walls as they take up less visual space, but you'll still lose that space to the wall.

-Choose your color palette.

Which colors make up a good set for building? I didn't go to school for that, but I usually stick with what's visually appealing to me. The best advice I can give is to step back and decide if there's a better color to go in place of the blocks you've set down. If you're satisfied with what you've built, chances are other people will be too. If you aren't satisfied with the way it looks, don't expect to find many who are.

-Grow your grass.

Remember most grass blocks (not cubes) are symmetrical across the X and Y axis... which means they'll look the same no matter which way you turn them. They'll look boring if you only place one type of grass block if you're aiming for a wild, overgrown look. To make up for this, use grass of varying heights and shapes and arrange them so you have low, medium, and tall blocks in sequence. This is what I call, "Growing the grass." You can also use this trick by placing a tall grass block on terrain below a low grass block and vice versa to mess with visual height differences.

-Trees can be stacked.

You have access to both trunk and tree pieces. Using these, you can stack trunks as high as you like before placing the top of the tree. Use this trick to add variance to your landscapes, but also...

-Trees can serve as pillars.

We don't have a lot of pillars. Tree trunks can be used for this purpose if your build can get away with them. This isn't a large increase to your pillar options, but it's more than before.

-Know your traffic.

Figure out where people will stand and hang out. Some places will be more populated than others, and it's up to you to determine where those places will be. If you want people to frequent that location, that area should receive the most attention for detail. If you want people to frequent other locations in your house, determine why they aren't being frequented and address it in your design accordingly. Also be aware the places people will frequent are heavily influenced by the location of your house's entrance. Therefore:

-Set your house's entrance.

You have the power to set the location where people will enter your house. This can be set with a certain named object in your building menu (search "entrance.") You may take advantage of this to show your guests the first thing you'd like them to see. In my CBT2 house, I set my entrance at the location I wanted to serve as my house's "hub." As a result, most people hung out around the hub and new guests were quickly drawn into the action with the other guests. Other houses can use this to immediately show new guests the best view in the house.

-There are four liquid types.

We have access to water, ocean, swamp, and oil blocks. I'm personally a fan of water blocks the most, but be aware these blocks cost merits. A lot of them. Be extremely careful when planning to use water blocks: the cost will add up fast. On the subject of liquid:

-Water isn't opaque.

This means you can place objects under or behind water and they'll still be seen. Nexon uses this often in beach maps to place coral beneath water or chests behind waterfalls. Take advantage of their tricks for yourself! Speaking of waterfalls:

-Waterfalls can be used to guide.

Waterfalls are a great way to clue in the guest there's something higher. The water has to come from somewhere, after all! They'll cost a lot, but you may find a clever way to use them in your visual design if you feel you need to provide some clues to help your guests see everything there is to see.

-Music has a range.

Sadly, Nexon hasn't provided us with a feature to auto-play music throughout our entire house. What we can do instead is have guests play music for others to enjoy, but that music can only extend so far. Find out how far music can be heard throughout your house from favored positions and design accordingly. If you want your guests to enjoy music in other areas of the house, they'll have to be in range of the area where it'll likely be coming from.

-Animated objects keep your house alive.

Using these kind of objects, you can make your house feel alive even when nobody's home. The miner and fruit farmer NPC's are fantastic for this role and you may use a computer to make them automatically turn on when the house is loaded. I had a few people who would stay in my house because there was movement going on in the background making the place feel alive.

-Don't be afraid to destroy what you've created.

It happens. You work hard on something but it just doesn't look right. In that case, you may end up having to scrap what you've created. This will happen. Don't be afraid to throw away something you've worked on and, in fact, expect it to happen. You'll still own the blocks you've placed and you'll have a greater understand of the space you're building in. In the end it's up to you to determine what's best for the house.

-We don't have ladders.

Since Nexon didn't give us these, you'll have to get creative. Ladders would've been great to save loads of physical and visual building space, but we have to settle with objects like stairs and portals. Stairs take up large amounts of space and portals are small, but give off a lot of light. You may also combine stairs and portals for creativity, but these are your options in place of ladders.

-Portals can string together.

Want to force your guests to move in a straight line or tour them around the house automatically? No problem! All you have to do is link portals together so once a guest touches one, they'll be teleported to the next, and then the next, and so on until they reach the last portal. User "Smash Senpai" used this to make it appear as though the player is climbing a waterfall. You may set the portals anywhere you want and connect them however you wish so get creative; your options are endless!

-Fences are limited.

Be careful when using fences. Many of these are part of incomplete sets and don't have corner pieces. Your options are deceptively limited and you may find yourself paying for a fence piece you didn't want. For this reason, it's a good idea to place the fences in the Decor Planner to make sure the fence you're building is the one you want.

-You have one chance to hook your guests.

The first impression is all you have before they turn around out the door. What this means for you depends on your build. Don't expect everyone to love what you've made and remember some people have different interests than you.

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This is all for now. I may add more tricks later so check back from time to time to see if anything's new. Housing is a pretty expansive mode and there are undoubtedly countless tricks and concepts at your disposal. If you can think of a good concept not on this list, feel free to share it in the comments and there's a chance I'll add it to the list (with your name credited!) Thank you for reading and good luck with your builds. I can't wait to see how creative people can be with their houses!
PosewanyenPuffyGricelybamsoulNabiryiZerolioKawaii_NeAsterbel_Musicjeenoand 4 others.

Comments

  • PosePose
    MapleStory 2 Rep: 7,060
    Posts: 264
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    edited 9:13PM August 15, 2018
    Absolutely amazing! Loved your house in CBT2 and gratz on rank 1 + being one of the winners for the housing contest! Definitely a huge joy to find more and more hardcore homebuilders! As a fellow housing contest winner, looking forward to competing with you for Star Architect in NA East!

    We need more variety up in the Star Architect rankings! Death to all the trophy homes (it's a plague in kms2)!!!

    ZerolioAsterbel_Music
  • ultrakatizultrakatiz
    MapleStory 2 Rep: 1,155
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    Nice tips.
    I have a few questions concerning the camera, though. In order not to obstruct it, I'd like to build my floors at just the right height.
    Sadly, I haven't had the chance to go in-game and experience with it.

    What is the camera's height (in blocks) ?
    I think its angle is exactly 45°, is that correct ?
    Can it be zoomed out, and if yes, how much ?
  • FlearasFlearas
    MapleStory 2 Rep: 2,275
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    ultrakatiz wrote: »
    Nice tips.
    I have a few questions concerning the camera, though. In order not to obstruct it, I'd like to build my floors at just the right height.
    Sadly, I haven't had the chance to go in-game and experience with it.

    What is the camera's height (in blocks) ?
    I think its angle is exactly 45°, is that correct ?
    Can it be zoomed out, and if yes, how much ?

    Don't know the angle, but I believe the amount of space you need is around 8 blocks. Max height for a house is 15 blocks (not counting the ground layer) so you're able to create two stories this way. I refer to all camera zooms as "ticks," in which case the camera can be zoomed one "tick" away from the default angle, but this is client side. You can't set the default camera angle for your house outside of setting the default to isometric, side, or top views.

    Also note you may want to account for players zooming out and jumping... in which case you may need 9 blocks of space. It's pretty crazy. Wish we had an option to fade out blocks obstructing the character's view.
    ultrakatiz
  • melody1454melody1454
    MapleStory 2 Rep: 600
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    Hello thanks for making this tip/guide for making houses. Wasn't sure how this feature would work. So Thank you, I do have one question though. Is it possible to make a restaurant themed home? Where you can sell dishes as well? I am honestly more of the production major in all the mmo I play and was very curious of this.
  • FlearasFlearas
    MapleStory 2 Rep: 2,275
    Posts: 47
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    edited 5:42AM August 17, 2018
    melody1454 wrote: »
    Hello thanks for making this tip/guide for making houses. Wasn't sure how this feature would work. So Thank you, I do have one question though. Is it possible to make a restaurant themed home? Where you can sell dishes as well? I am honestly more of the production major in all the mmo I play and was very curious of this.

    Yes, it's very possible. A player by the name of "Fieri" did just this during CBT2. His house was quite popular.

    EDIT: I didn't read this post very well. You can't "sell dishes" per se, but see Pose's response below for more information.
    melody1454
  • PosePose
    MapleStory 2 Rep: 7,060
    Posts: 264
    Member
    melody1454 wrote: »
    Hello thanks for making this tip/guide for making houses. Wasn't sure how this feature would work. So Thank you, I do have one question though. Is it possible to make a restaurant themed home? Where you can sell dishes as well? I am honestly more of the production major in all the mmo I play and was very curious of this.

    Sadly, there isn't an extra feature in the house to "sell dishes". You can however just make food in the lifeskill tab and RP and trade the food to people in your home.
    melody1454Zerolio
  • melody1454melody1454
    MapleStory 2 Rep: 600
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    Thank You I will be doing just that!
    This is awesome! I don't know about being top heavy gunner player but certainly will be one of the best Chef's on MP2! Thank you for answering my question!
  • DanDKDanDK
    MapleStory 2 Rep: 33,535
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    Pose wrote: »
    We need more variety up in the Star Architect rankings! Death to all the trophy homes (it's a plague in kms2)!!!

    Would be nice if people would just stop upvoting houses based on trophies alone instead of the design...
    Sigh, people and voting systems... reminds me of fame in MS1 which was also just randomly sold and abused.
    PoseZerolioAlcyonaria
  • ultrakatizultrakatiz
    MapleStory 2 Rep: 1,155
    Posts: 76
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    edited 2:58PM August 24, 2018
    Hello again,

    Now that I can log into the game, I did some measurments.
    My measurments are not precise : I will keep all digits for caculus, but only consider 2 significative digits on results.

    Calculus :
    I will consider that both my position and the camera's are exactly in the middle of the "air block" we occupy.
    In water, though, the camera goes down a bit : I'll consider that my height in water is exactly its surface's height, so 1/2 Block lower than normal.

    First, I ran around with camera zoomed out at the maximum and found a tower tall enough so that the camera collides with it.
    There, the camera is just above this block.
    height_measurement.jpg

    Relatively to the water I'm in, we can deduce the camera is just above the 7th block above the water.
    Relatively to my position, that is is 7.5 blocks.

    I couldn't see exactly what block I was on in the water, so I went elsewhere to measure the camera's angle.
    I zoomed in so that the camera hit the top of the tower (I didn't zoomed much : the camera angle didn't change from maximum distance).
    angle_measurement.jpg

    I was standing on this block.
    angle_measurement_2.jpg

    Time for a little bit of trigonometry.
    The camera was inside the 7th block above the block I was standing on, so 6 blocks total height relative to my position.
    Diagonally, there was a distance of exactly 5 diagonal blocks between the ground projection of the camera and my position.

    5 diagonal blocks = 5 * sqrt(2) blocks = 7.07106781187 blocks.
    The angle of the camera (relative to a vertical position) is arctan(7.07106781187 / 6) = 0,867157375 rad = 49,684457761266 degrees.
    Round that up to 50 degrees for the final result.
    Now that's a surprise, I was sure it was 45 degrees. Let's verify.
    angle_verification.jpg

    On this screenshot, I prolonged the edges of the blocks.
    In a perfect 45 degrees angle, the red and blue lines would cross in a single point.
    There, the measurement is precise enough to say that the camera angle is more that 45 degrees.
    So 50 degrees it is.

    If P is my position, C is the camera's postition and G is the camera projected vertically at my height we have a right triangle.
    We actually know enough to find every angle and every length here.
    triangle_1.png

    The GP length is 8.83883475605 blocks = 8.83883475605 / sqrt(2) diagonal blocks = 6.24999999379 diagonal blocks.
    Let's round down to 6.2 diagonal blocks.
    Same thing for CP : CP = 12 blocks.

    In the end, we have these lengths, relatively to my character's position (in the middle of the block she occupies) :
    Camera height : 7.5 blocks (maybe a little bit less)
    Camera ground distance : 8.8 blocks or 6.2 diagonal blocks
    Camera-character distance : 12 blocks
    Camera angle (relatively to a vertical angle, aiming down) : 50 degrees.

    I hope that this will help you all with camera managing in your constructions in the future.
  • AlcyonariaAlcyonaria
    MapleStory 2 Rep: 1,820
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    Thanks so much for this, love building.
  • ShimaekoShimaeko
    MapleStory 2 Rep: 1,230
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    Member
    edited 4:44PM September 3, 2018
    Great Info. Feel free to link to my in depth guide to triggers :)
    >>>Link to Trigger Guide Here<<<
  • KoooooKooooo
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  • jeenojeeno
    MapleStory 2 Rep: 1,600
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    @Flearas There definitely is a difference in gravity between /hostgravity 0.0001 and /hostgravity 0.000000001 (i was testing just for fun) and the time in the air was significantly longer. (i ldidnt time it, but ive been in the air for like 7 mins and still not coming down lol)
  • Asterbel_MusicAsterbel_Music
    MapleStory 2 Rep: 1,325
    Posts: 20
    Member
    edited 5:31PM October 24, 2018
    Thanks for the guide!
    Hope this would help the fellow Maplers who are having difficulties in designing their homes.

    That being said, I would like to comment on your guide and add-on information that others may find useful.

    -Blinds are the single most powerful building object you can place; functioning as walls, curtains, railing, adding depth to other blocks, or capable of creating animations with computers. Blinds also cost merits.
    Yes, this is very true! I actually learned to do this from your housing method! But with great power comes great responsibility. What I mean is that the blinds take an equal amount of cubic space as any other blocks. So keep in mind those who are planning to use blinds! You WILL have an empty space left that is roughly around 80%.

    -Bridges exist in the form of benches.
    I would say that this is one of the bridge solutions. There are other ways of executing a bridge in MS2 housing. Go for it, and experiment! After all, experiments are the key to the best housing!

    -Respect the camera.
    I heard a lot of people complaining about the way a camera is adjusted. The game is programmed this way, and it can't be helped. It sucks, I know. (and it even frustrates me more when I compare it to architecture software programs, such as AutoCAD)

    -Guide your guests.
    Yes, and thank you. Housing (or architecture) is like a story. There is a beginning and an end. To make a good housing is to let people guide through your home without you being there to physically tell them where to go.

    -Choose your color palette.
    I went to school for that, and let me add on to Flearas guide! Having more than one color is absolutely fine. Take an example of people's fashion, architecture's textures, and paintings. There are so many references that you can use to learn which colors work with best. HOWEVER! Keep in mind that the color palettes change depending on the lighting you choose for your home. You never know that some blocks tend to work better in specific lighting, so again, experiment!

    -Fences are limited.
    Fences are limited; but remember, all of the other blocks/furnishings are as well. This is where your creativity needs to kick in! Use your creativity not just in how your overall house is going to be like, but how you use those fences and furnishings to its fullest potential!

    -The Bowl method.
    Now here is what I would like to begin my comment on the guide. Bowl method is one of the many executions in how MS2 housings are designed. This method has long existed from when MS2 was released in Korea, and perhaps China, 3 years ago. To see you claim this method as yours, even though it has been developed for years, is not right, and I would ask you to just simply call it the Bowl Method. If you require evidence, I'll be glad to provide them.

    -Squares are boring.
    I can understand your point of view, but you have oversimplified this method for your opinion. Squares CAN be good. It just that people need to know what they are doing with it. Certainly, if you simply just have a block, then it is uninteresting. However, filling it with purpose and details truly allow the square to shine. After all, who wouldn't want to have a great performance stage or pool that are square to spend time in?


    The rest of the comments are great on their own.
    Hope this would help others!
  • Asterbel_MusicAsterbel_Music
    MapleStory 2 Rep: 1,325
    Posts: 20
    Member
    Pose wrote: »
    Absolutely amazing! Loved your house in CBT2 and gratz on rank 1 + being one of the winners for the housing contest! Definitely a huge joy to find more and more hardcore homebuilders! As a fellow housing contest winner, looking forward to competing with you for Star Architect in NA East!

    We need more variety up in the Star Architect rankings! Death to all the trophy homes (it's a plague in kms2)!!!

    Yes. So much yes. Seeing Trophy Homes that claims its spots on the Star Architect ranking just enrages me.
    But hey, at least it is certain that when housing trade is available, they won't be commissioned at all~
  • FlearasFlearas
    MapleStory 2 Rep: 2,275
    Posts: 47
    Member

    -The Bowl method.
    Now here is what I would like to begin my comment on the guide. Bowl method is one of the many executions in how MS2 housings are designed. This method has long existed from when MS2 was released in Korea, and perhaps China, 3 years ago. To see you claim this method as yours, even though it has been developed for years, is not right, and I would ask you to just simply call it the Bowl Method. If you require evidence, I'll be glad to provide them.

    I wrote all this in a vacuum with no prior knowledge of KMS2's building mode or scene so I couldn't have known. Regardless, I removed the self-promoting material from the post since it didn't need to be there and it bogged down the sentences anyway.
    Verdant