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This is a guide on how to build custom castles in Crush The Castle 2 Players Pack
In the People's Empire, you will see all manner of things being submitted every day. Many of the submissions are beautiful castles with hours worth of effort put into them, and many of them are challenging and fun to crush. You might wonder how these experienced builders can build such striking structures. Much of that comes from experience, but with a basic knowledge of the Castle Builder, which is the ingame editor used to create custom designs, you too can become a great builder of castles.
Just because the game has the word "Castle" in the title does not mean that you have to build a medieval fortress. You can build any freestanding structure you want, such as:
Even Roadisde Restrooms
One thing all of these buildings have in common is that everyone who built them was a beginner at one time or another. If you know how to use the tools in the Castle Builder, you too can follow in their footsteps.
Building a castle may sound daunting at first, but once you familiarize yourself with the tools, the rest will come naturally. This diagram highlights the menu pages that can be accessed in the Castle Builder and the hotkeys associated with them:
Most of your time spent building will probably be on the Edit Castle page, which is the button in the top left corner with the yellow box around it in the picture. There are two sections of Edit Castle mode, the Create/Select Tool and the Transform Tool. The Create/Select Tool allows you to place beams, people, and props on the screen. The Transform Tool is mostly for rotating and resizing materials, but it can also be used to change the material of existing beams and to duplicate and delete materials. There is also the Edit Terrain page, where you can alter the shape of the terrain, and the Edit Environment page, where you can give your castle a theme and set the time of day. The colorful boxes exist only in the picture, so do not look for them in the actual Castle Builder. The hotkeys for the Create/Select Tool and the Transform Tool only work while on the Edit Castle page. On the Edit Terrain page, they have other functions.
In the Transform Tool, each beam has eight small black dots around it when selected, while people and props have four black dots when selected. The dots in the corners are used to rotate the materials. All materials have these dots around them because all materials can be rotated. Drag these dots in a circular motion to rotate objects. Beams contain four additional dots, which appear in the middle of each side. These dots are for resizing, and only beams have them because only beams can be resized. Drag these dots vertically or horizontally to change the height and width of beams respectively. In the picture above, these are the dots with the red circles around them.
Sometimes you might want to move parts of your castle at once without changing their orientation in relation to each other. You can select multiple materials at once by either clicking and dragging your mouse over the materials you want to select, or by holding shift and clicking on the materials you want to select. The first way is much faster, but the second way allows you to be more precise in your selection. When using the mouse dragging method, you have to start in an area where there are no materials or it will not work. To duplicate selected pieces, press D or hit the button that looks like a rectangle on top of another rectangle, which has a green triangle around it in the image above. To delete selected pieces, press the Delete key on your keyboard or hit the button that looks like a garbage can, which has a black square around it in the picture. These buttons can be seen in both the Create/Select Tool and the Transform Tool.
Below the Duplicate and Delete buttons, you will see a checked box marked Toggle Grid. This toggles an invisible grid that, when checked, allows materials to only be placed along the grid. Below that box, there is an unchecked box marked Show Grid, which, when checked, visually reveals the grid. Seeing the grid can be helpful when it comes to aligning materials, especially if you are a beginning builder and you have not yet developed an eye for alignment. If you uncheck the box marked Toggle Grid, materials can be placed without the confines of the grid, but this is not recommended for beginning builders. If the grid is unchecked, you can use the align tools to align selected pieces with each other. Use the align tool with caution. Remember, there is no Undo button!
There are two types of building materials available in the castle builder: beams and props. In the Castle Builder, vertical beams are called Walls and horizontal beams are called Floors, but the differentiation is for the builder's convenience. Walls and Floors are just beams that are rotated differently. Rotate a wall 90 degrees in either direction and it becomes a floor. Rotate a floor 90 degrees in either direction and it becomes a wall.
If you place your mouse over any building material or person in the building menu for about 2 seconds, the name of that object will appear. Props will be referred to by name in this guide.
Beams are an integral part of most castles. While some castles can be built entirely without the use of beams, they are more useful than props because you can adjust their height and width. There are four different categories of beams: Wood, Stone, Iron, and Ice. With the exception of Ice, there are eight different types of each type of beam.
Wood beams are weak and light. Not only can they be destroyed more easily than Stone and Iron beams, but they are also lighter and can be moved more easily. Wood burns when hit with the fire bomb projectile. Frozen wood, one of the eight types of wood available, is the exception, as it cannot be burned. The only projectile that has no effect on any type of wood is the electric elixir.
Stone beams are the most commonly used beams. They are stronger and heavier than wooden beams, so it takes more hits to destroy them than it does wood, but they can still be destroyed by most projectiles. The only projectiles that have no effect on stone are the fire bomb and electric elixir.
Iron beams are the strongest beams in the game. They are so resilient that the only two projectiles that can actually destroy them are the ice bomb and the vial of acid, although most projectiles can be used to crush castles involving iron elements. It is not much heavier than stone, so it can still be moved by the natural and explosive projectiles. When an iron beam is hit with the electric elixir projectile, it carries an electric current which passes through any iron beam in contact with the initial beam, and any other iron element that comes in contact with a beam carrying the current. The fire bomb projectile has no effect on iron.
Ice beams are the weakest beams available. While wood and stone beams become more resilient when their size is increased, and steel beams become heavier, ice has the same fragility no matter its size. Any projectile that makes direct contact with an ice beam will destroy it, except for one. If acid from the vial of acid projectile passes through an ice beam, it becomes as heavy as iron and completely indestructable. Ice cannot be burned, and it cannot carry an electric current, but if hit directly with the fire bomb or the electric elixir, it will still be destroyed.
Every building material that is not a beam or a person is a prop. Most props share the same properties as the materials they are made from. Chests, roofs, stairs, perches, tower tops, spears, spikes, crates, barrels, and ladders are all made of wood, so they can be burned with the fire bomb projectile. Doors, arches, ramparts, columns, and gargoyles are made of stone, so they share the same properties as stone beams. Torch lights and flags are made of steel, so they can carry an electric current. Stained glass windows are as fragile as ice beams, but unlike ice beams, acid can destroy them.
Exploding crates and barrels are popular props because they explode. When hit with a projectile, they explode. When burned, they explode. When acid passes through them, they explode. Electric currents do not pass through them, but the impact from an electric elixir projectile can still cause them to explode. The explosion from an exploding prop can destroy ice, wood, and even stone depending on how large the beams are. Iron cannot be destroyed by an explosion unless it has been frozen by the ice bomb, but it can be moved by one, so iron pieces can be used as shrapnel. The smaller the pieces, the further an explosion will launch them. Exploding barrels create much more powerful explosions than exploding crates.
People are a crucial part of castles. If you do not put people somewhere in or around your castle, it becomes impossible to crush, and impossible castles are considered spam. It looks best if there is at least one person inside of your castle, but placing them outside is also acceptable. They can be rotated, but it is best to either keep them upright or have them lie completely on their backs so that they do not die before a projectile is thrown.
Using The Materials
There is more to using materials than randomly stacking them on top of each other. There are techniques that can help your castle look passable.
Use both horizontal and vertical beams. This should be obvious, but there are people who build using only vertical beams, and consequently, every person they place ends up on top of or next to their building instead of inside of it. Using only horizontal beams can actually have a self-destruct effect on your castle.
Vary the sizes of your beams. While you can build a castle without making your beams larger or smaller, it will look blocky and rushed. It will also limit the interaction your beams can have with props, people, and other beams if you keep every one of them the same size. Some builders will try and use iron beams at maximum height and width to strengthen their castles. There is no uglier or more effortless way to strengthen your castle than to throw a bunch of big bulky iron beams in there.
Layer your beams. If you only use single walls and floors at a time, your castle will be easier to knock over than if you place layers of beams between them.
This castle does not have layered beams, and it can be knocked over in one shot even with weaker projectiles.
This is the same castle, but with basic stone and iron reinforcements. The extra beams make the outer beams harder to move, so it is harder to knock this castle over.
Vary the types of beams you use in your castle. Not just the category of beam you use, but also the specific type. For example, if you build a stone castle, it could look slightly monotonous if you only use one type of stone, but if you use two or three, it will be more visually appealing. Depending on how much detail you want to incorporate, varying the types of beams you use could be helpful in giving your castle a more wholesome look.
This castle uses three different types of stone:
This one uses five different types of stone:
This one uses seven:
Use props when necessary. Some castles can be built entirely from props, but the majority of good castles use them in moderation. There is a difference between placing props strategically or aesthetically and placing them randomly.
These are examples of castles where props are placed randomly or poorly:
And these are examples of castles that utilize props well:
In addition to all the different things they can already do, beams can also overlap.
Overlapping beams can help stabilize your castle, and they work especially well if you want to burn or run an electric current through your castle. Although it is not a common technique for beginning builders, it is very easy to learn and there are only two cardinal rules:
1. The corners of a beam cannot be covered up by anything, or they will automatically dislodge.
2. All beams that overlap must be supported, just like any other beam.
Beams are not the only materials that can overlap. Props can also overlap as long as you follow the cardinal rules.
People can overlap with beams and props, but not with each other.
Always test your level after crossing materials. If items are crossed incorrectly, people can end up dead and your structure can become skewed.
If your castle begins to shift...
It usually means there is too much pressure on your horizontal beams. Fortunately, horizontal beams can be replaced by vertical beams that appear horizontal.
In the image, the one labeled Horizontal is turned on its side and has a minimum width. The one labeled Vertical has a minimum height and a maximum width. They look almost the same, but the vertical one is actually much more stable than the horizontal one. Since maximum adjustable width is much smaller than maximum adjustable height, sometimes you have to use lots of small vertical pieces to replace just a few troublesome horizontal pieces.
Sometimes your castle will shift if too much pressure is being put on arches. Even though they make your castle look fancy, sometimes you have to remove the arches you have placed if they are causing pieces of your castle that should remain still to move. Arches can be replaced with horizontal beams. It may look blockier, but a blocky castle is still better than a castle that falls over on its own.
A castle's terrain can be altered using the Edit Terrain page, which is the button with the green box around it in the first diagram under Tools.
Many if not most castles are built on flat ground, so editing terrain is not always necessary, but you might as well learn the basics of the terrain editor should you choose to build on ground that is not flat. Many castles do incorporate uneven terrain into their architecture.
Using the terrain editor is not as hard as it looks. The easiest tool to use is the Flatten Terrain Tool, which is a button that looks like a plateau with two arrows pointing upward. Hotkey is F. Especially if you change the size to 50, you have more control over the terrain than you do with any other tool. Avoid the Raise Terrain Tool and the Lower Terrain Tool, which look like a hill with an arrow pointing upward and a valley with an arrow pointing downwards respectively. These tools create hills and valleys, but they do it very slowly and they are not as precise as the Flatten Terrain Tool. The Smooth Terrain Tool, hotkey M, is useful for smoothing jagged terrain, but it can also be unpredictable, and still not as precise as the Flatten Terrain Tool.
The Edit Terrain page is also where you can place foundation blocks, which are indestructable, unmovable blocks that float in place. You can use these for a bunch of different things. If your castle is unstable, for example, you can place foundation blocks around it to keep it from falling apart. You can also use them if you do not want to build directly on terrain, or if you want to create a barrier that projectiles cannot pass through. There is a style of building that involves creating skill-based gamer levels primarily with foundation blocks.
While these are not really considered buildings, it is still a popular style, and many players appreciate these designs because they are straightforward and often fun to complete. However, you will probably not win the Custom Castle Contest if you do not build an actual building of some kind, so the foundation block style is best saved for casual gameplay rather than competitive.
This game would be no fun if you had nothing to throw at your castles to knock them over. Without projectiles, this game might as well be called "Look at the Castle." Good thing we have 18 different items we can chuck at our creations. If you have never used the projectiles before, or have limited knowledge of how they work, the best way to learn about them is by experimenting with them.
The natural projectiles are the most basic set of projectiles. Their main use is knocking castles down rather than completely destroying pieces of them, although some can do both. The wood log is the weakest of the natural projectiles, and is mostly used for knocking down very weak buildings. The stone is stronger than the log, so it can knock down stronger castles than the log can, but it still is not that strong. The iron shell is stronger than both the log and the stone, so it can knock down stronger castles. A single hit can sometimes break through a thin piece of wood. Both the stone and the iron shell are round, so they can roll, and they bounce much better than the log does.
All of the natural projectiles have a triple version, meaning you can fire three at once instead of just one. The triple versions have more coverage because they fire three at once, so they can knock down more at once than the single versions can.
Natural projectiles can destroy wood and stone elements, but not iron elements unless they have been frozen by the ice bomb. It takes more hits to destroy a piece with a log than it does with a stone, and more with a stone than it does with an iron shell. Larger pieces can also take more hits.
The explosive projectiles have a different effect from the natural ones: they explode. The bomb is the most basic of the explosives. When it hits something, it explodes, and the blast can knock over and/or destroy pieces. The bomb has a triple version, and the blast from three bombs is stronger than just one, so the triple bomb projectile is one of the most effective projectiles for knocking down castles and destroying castle pieces. The timed fuse bomb is the explosive in the middle, and it is different from the regular bomb because it does not go off right away. Instead, it explodes after several seconds, and until it explodes it can bounce and roll like a stone, so these have a more strategic application than the regular bombs do. The next explosive is the parachute bomb, which is like the regular bomb except it is attached to a parachute, so after you fire it, a second click will activate the parachute and drop it out of the sky.
The last explosive available is the remote bomb, which is like the timed fuse bomb except you can control when it goes off by pressing the red Detonate button in the corner, which only appears when a remote bomb is on the screen. You can fire multiple remote bombs before setting them off, or you can throw one, detonate it, throw another, denoate that one, etc. When you click the Detonate button, all of the remote bombs onscreen go off at once, so if there are more than one that are close together, it can create a larger blast. Like the timed fuse bomb, the detonator bomb can bounce and roll before it goes off.
All explosives can destroy wood and stone elements, but none can destroy iron elements unless they have been frozen by the ice bomb. Depending on the size, not all wood and stone pieces that come in contact with an explosive projectile will necessarily break on the first hit.
Potions are the most destructive batch of projectiles, and each one has properties different from any other projectile. The fire bomb can destroy wooden elements by setting them on fire. When a wooden piece is on fire, it turns black and soon disintegrates. Any wooden piece that comes in contact with a flaming piece will also catch fire. The electric elixir is a potion that only affects iron elements. When an iron element is hit with the electric elixir, it carries an electric current that passes through any iron piece that comes in contact with the one hit, and any iron piece that comes in contact with one carrying an electric current will also carry the electric current. This current only lasts several seconds. People who come in contact with a flaming piece or an electrically charged piece will get burned or shocked respectively.
The ice bomb has the ability to freeze elements. Any piece that is hit directly with an ice bomb will be destroyed, and any piece nearby where an ice bomb lands becomes frozen. Frozen elements are weak and brittle, and they instantly shatter when any projectile hits them. This is why the ice bomb is best paired with natural or explosive projectiles. Even iron pieces can be frozen and destroyed. Ice beams are already frozen and brittle, so freezing them with the ice bomb does nothing, but hitting an ice beam with an ice bomb will destroy it the way any other projectile will. The exception is if acid has already passed through the ice beam and it becomes indestructable.
Which brings us to the vial of acid. This potion will destroy wood, stone, and steel, making it one of the most destructive projectiles available. If a piece is struck by acid, it will turn green and slowly disintegrate. Acid seeps downward, so any piece that is underneath and in contact with an acidized piece will also turn green and slowly disintegrate. Acid does not seep in any other direction, so pieces next to, on top of, and crossed with an acidized piece will not be affected by that piece. This is also the projectile that can make ice beams indestructable.
The portal is the last of the potions, but it should really be classified as a special projectile because it is purposely highly overpowered. The portal summons a black hole when it lands, which slowly increases in size and sucks all materials within range into its center. When the black hole runs out of gas, it creates a sonic boom effect and flings all the pieces it has sucked in around the screen with impressive force. Even though the projectile itself cannot penetrate foundation blocks, the black hole can form through them, meaning that even something surrounded by foundation blocks can be destroyed using this projectile.
There are only two special projectiles, and they are almost polar opposites of each other. The chicken is a small projectile that destroys itself on impact, but does not create a forceful explosion. It is strong enough to knock down thin, unsupported beams, and several hits from chickens can destroy a wooden or a stone piece, but it is highly ineffective for knocking down even most weak castles. It can still effectively destroy ice and explosive crates. The other special projectile, the big rock, is one of the most destructive projectiles. It can break through wood and stone as though it was nothing, and it has enough force behind it to bring down strong, layered castles. It is not unstoppable, and some castles are strong enough to require multiple shots from this huge rock.
A gamer level is any level that requires at least one specific shot to complete. An example would be a castle where only the fire bomb is available, and you can only hit exposed wooden pieces with certain shots. Gamer levels focus more on the mechanics of the game than the appearance of the castle, so they are not always visually appealing, but if you can make gamer levels that also look good, you will win the hearts of other builders and players.
Submitting Your Creation
If you have followed this guide, you should have a well-rounded castle ready to submit. However, before you submit anything, you should always make sure it is ready to be submitted. This checklist will help you make sure your castle is ready for the People's Empire.
1. Make sure there are people in your castle. If there are no people, there is no way to win. If there is no way to win, it is considered an impossible castle, and impossible castles are considered spam.
2. Make sure everything is settled. Nothing should still be falling or moving when the level starts. If materials fall onto lower materials and it affects the positions of other materials, move the falling materials closer to the lower materials so that they don't fall and impact the rest of the building.
3. Make sure your castle can stay upright and still for at least one minute, and make sure nobody dies before you throw any projectiles. If your castle wobbles too much or falls over without the help of projectiles, @CourtJester will find you and hunt you down. Be sure to fix anything that causes your castle to move on its own before you submit it, because you cannot edit something after it has been submitted.
4. Test your creation and make sure it is possible before you submit it.
You can use any projectiles, and those projectiles must be available to everyone when you submit the castle. Any castle in the People's Empire that is not crushable with the supplied projectiles is considered spam.
Also avoid allowing too many extra projectiles. There are reasons to supply additional projectiles, such as to keep future players guessing, or to demonstrate the strength of your castle, but make sure in advance that the extra projectiles you supply do not make crushing your castle and killing all the people easier than the intended projectiles do. If you did not use a gigantic rock or a black hole to crush your castle, you should not allow them as available projectiles. As funny as the chicken is, it is the most useless projectile, so keep that one out unless your castle is specifically designed so that a chicken is required to crush it.
5. Set a gold medal target. Players like to be able to win gold medals, but if you set it to Unlimited, there is no way to earn a gold medal, and players will lose interest in crushing your castle. Make sure the gold medal target is the amount of shots you took to crush your castle, but do not count misfires. It is alright if you set the gold medal to three shots and some players can do it in one or two shots, but if you set the gold medal to a higher number like six shots, and it can easily be done in three shots, it does not reflect positively on you or your castle.
When you set the gold medal target, do not submit it unless you have completed it in that amount of shots, or until you have completed it in that amount of shots.
Castles from Crush the Castle 2 Players pack can be shared in this thread.
The weekly contest for custom castles is held in this thread.
Some builders like to further their building experience by modifying castle codes. This is the guide on how to do that.
Some of the information in this guide was provided by veteran builder @CourtJester.
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