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Tech Level Discussion

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 10, 2018, 8:11 AM
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Sometimes I have discussions with myself! No, I'm not crazy, but I have to try to come to grips with complex decisions and issues, or things that just boggle my mind. One of them is designing for a specific tech level or time period. For example, I execute designs of homes, including design sketches and finished construction drawings, for "current" modes of living and needs. A typical set of requirements for home plans might include: three bedroom home, open-plan kitchen/dining/large living area, master suite, usually on the first floor, and at least two bedrooms. Also, minimum of at least a 2-3 car garage, almost always attached to the house.

But sometimes I sketch elevations, streetscapes, or villages with "cottage" style homes arranged along a road of some kind, with not much regard for driveways, garages and garage position, and other features that might give away the "time period", let's say, that it's early 20th century, or "pre-20th century (carriage house or outbuilding/sheds only,) or modern (large attached garage.) There's a turning point where you have to decide what your tech level is. 

Now I know I'm not the first to devise a tech level designation. I've seen a few, especially in the game systems. Question is, when do you decide ABSOLUTELY that a drawing of a castle-village, or a street of cottage homes, or anything else, is either one tech level or another. Because I also do concept art/design for games and novels, a fictional tech level is a possibility.

So, for example, we could have:

Hunter-Gatherer/Tribal/Primitive: Basic hand-made shelters from natural materials, sometimes nomadic 
Classical/Ancient/Roman: advanced architecture, permanent cities and monumental architecture, some technology
Medieval: Highly advanced sculptural monumental architecture, fireplaces/chimneys, windows w/glass, narrow streets, high buildings in towns
19th century/Steampunk: Mechanical systems, advanced iron and steel, coal power, complex multi-styled "period" architectures, trains and horse/carriage
Modern era: Advanced materials, heating and cooling systems, electrical and plumbing, insulated structures, modern informal floor planning, natural gas and petroleum power, including need to store individual vehicles
Retro-Future: space age, elevated rail transport, monumental skyscrapers, steel and glass construction, advanced flying machines, advanced energy sources, robots

These tech eras could also be subdivided into finer categories, like early medieval and late medieval, or early 20th century vs today's tech. This is just a broad description that helps to define the limits and requirements of the architecture. 

Any thoughts or ideas on this topic? Feel free to comment.

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Super Bungalows and Book Progress

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 1, 2018, 6:26 PM
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House 322 Craftsman Bungalow by Built4ever House 302 Craftsman Bungalow by Built4ever House 321 Craftsman Super Bungalow by Built4ever

Houses 302,322, and 321 all updated with full interior layouts including first and second floor plans. "Full" 3D models are complete for 321 and 302, and almost done for 322. These models include "layering" which allows me to remove or make invisible certain portions of the model such as various roof panels, attics, and second floors, so that we can look inside. Exteriors are becoming fully-detailed with extensive porch details and exterior lamps, and interiors are getting more and more detail too. 

These one-page summary sheets are an attempt to express as much as possible about the design of the house, exterior and interior. The sheet is designed to be printable as an 8"x11" sheet or A4 size, properly-proportioned. Each sheet also has new information, such as wall construction, foundation type, bedrooms and baths, square footages on each floor, overall dimensions, and more. 

You will also note that there is no "2D" plan information or standard "flat 2D" plans with dimensions. Except for basic width and depth of house overall, there are no other dimensions. Nothing can be "reconstructed" and plans cannot easily be figured out. This is by design of course. Express maximum info about home design but give away precious little about dimensions needed to actually build it. 

Each of these designs also has a "two-sheet" counterpart (only on my computer!) that provides a more expansive and detailed view of each design. For example, the "left" page has curbside portrait and at least 4 views of the exterior 3D model. The "right" page has the interior layout views, larger than these, and in a couple cases, with a third roof plan view or attic level view (302.) 
These page pairings can be printed as two-page pairs OR as a large super page, at 24" wide by 15" high (roughly) or even 36" wide by maybe 22". This way I'm developing the necessary pages for a book. Each page can have one house design, OR a house design can be shown on two pages. 

All of this will eventually lead to a plan service. In order to "see" the next level, you will have to pay a nominal fee. For example, to see more detailed plan information with actual dimensions, you would have to pay to review the design. The final level is to pay for the most detailed construction plans, which will command the highest fee. I can also sell high quality prints on nice art paper of the large "two-page" summary sheet version. 

Versatility of 3D model means I can link up many individual home designs as one model and create a "super model" which shows a segment of a development, neighborhood, village, or whatever. 

Defining the "Super Bungalow:" a classic American craftsman bungalow style home with gently-pitched "low-slung" roof, generous roof overhangs, large front porches, usually one and a half-story homes designed for traditional neighborhoods. Super Bungalows also have vaulted ceilings in large living areas and master bedrooms, open modern floor plans with open concept kitchens, modern master suites with large luxurious bathrooms and huge walk-in closets, and expert use of all available space under roof, cramming a large amount of usable living space underneath a tight roof envelope. All bungalows can be built with basements with provisions for stairs down. Garages can be left off or position modified. Interiors can be built as basic drywall with simple flat-stock trim packages or over-the-top trim, built-ins, cabinets, shelves, wood paneling, special ceilings with box beams, or as extreme as the client or builder dares or can afford.

You may also note new "dog mascots" on two of the designs! Have a nice year in 2018 and thank you so much for "watching" me on DeviantArt. Many houses are now under construction, so keep watching as I update pictures of these new homes. Look for new construction projects to start next year!

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Quick Update News:

Journal Entry: Fri Dec 9, 2016, 9:21 AM
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Update File, New Sketch for House 170: House 170 Mountain Lodge by Built4ever

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Update for October 2016: Wizards of the Coast!

Journal Entry: Wed Oct 5, 2016, 6:47 AM
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Hey gang, quick update. Haven't posted anything lately or updated lately due to busy schedule, but here's what's going on: spent most of September in Seattle working for Wizards of the Coast on another top secret project. Material from this wouldn't be printed 'til maybe 2018, although it will definitely be used "in-house" for many purposes. I have to say, Wizards of the Coast/Dungeons and Dragons is a fantastic company, I was very impressed with working conditions, high morale level, beautiful quiet office, and the amazing caliber of artists and writers that I was surrounded by. When you have high quality artistes and professional writers all around, I can assure, your own work will benefit and go up a notch or two. I worked alongside a couple of established concept artists that were also brought in from afar, what a blast! These guys each have produced dozens or in one case, over a hundred Magic the Gathering cards!! I was the newbie in the group, doing my usual stuff. I wish I could show it here but it stays "under wraps" for now. Huge thanks to my art director Richard Whitters, easy to work for, provided well-needed hospitality, great sense of humor, nicest guy in the world! Also a first rate artistic talent himself.

I have some custom homes under construction right  now, at least four, including a new one starting here in my home town, so lots of architectural stuff to manage right now. Got back from Seattle and within one week I have about five new customers, custom homes, a renovation, and a book client in Europe who needs a complete medieval city designed! I also paid an old friend in Chicago area (an architect now) to take some higher quality pics of all the homes that have been built there, so I have some good quality pictures finally of some of these houses that you guys have been looking at for last two years. I'll try to update the files with better quality pics, including Homes 352 and 404, two of the best. I might also post new stuff from these photos. 

Still have long-term goal of putting out a few books, but difficult to keep up on it due to time constraints. I'll also be putting building up a print/plan service, that's in the works slowly.

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Houzz Site Updates

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 29, 2016, 7:02 PM
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Did some huge updating to my Houzz site, which is focused more on residential design and such. Projects are easy to find due to EZ indexing on main page. Feel free to "follow" the Houzz site, which is relatively new and undeveloped, but is starting to get me some "real" business:

www.houzz.com/pro/built4ever/b…

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Work for Wizards of the Coast Out!

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 8, 2016, 1:56 PM
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Good news folks. I've been contacted by a few people asking about my involvement with the new re-release of Dungeons and Dragons Ravenloft variant. It's called "Curse of Strahd" and it will be officially released on March 15 in your local game stores. I am officially credited as a cartographer, although Mike Schley did all the main maps, I actually got to execute the king-daddy map of the castle, based on the original drawings, but with lots of added goodies. (Color was added by another guy.) There are some other concept illustrations based on other notable landmarks in the adventure, mostly architectural, but a few oddities. I can tell you that the unusual ones are some of the best drawings I've ever done, certainly very unique, and I might have clearance to actually post a few here, but I have to check my contract and get final okay my the powers that be in Seattle. Meanwhile,if you are an RPG gamer/Dungeons and Dragons fanatic, or dungeon master, go get a copy at your local store, and let me know what you think!

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Book by Built4ever?

Journal Entry: Tue Feb 2, 2016, 6:21 AM
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Okay gang, Built4ever is finally trying to seriously lay out a possible book. Indeed, I'm either laying out multiple subjects or maybe even multiple book projects, not sure yet. Testing out a lot of issues and challenges like page format, (landscape vs. portrait,) margins, lay out, which pieces should be on opposite pages from each other, etc. You have to edit everything, sometimes re-scan for quality, typeset different labels, and more so it's lots of work. Most likely I'm going to do a trial printing soon of one or two books. Top of the pile will be a "Castles and Villages Collection" book, which will feature my best Castle/Villages, with possible extra details, and possible new castles never before seen. Would be a small book. Might blend additional material from towns and villages drawings. Book will have a mono-chromatic look, semi-colored drawings, a few full color illustrations, and a nice cover of some sort. Not sure about hard cover or soft cover yet. 

Any ideas, suggestions, they are welcome, throw 'em at me. I'm new to this. If you or a friend has had experience with self-publishing/self-printing a book, let me know any do's or don'ts. Or if you have an opinion on what you'd like to see in a book by me, let me know!

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More updated files:

Journal Entry: Sun Jan 31, 2016, 9:10 AM
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Significant updates to all these files:  Medieval Town Building by Built4ever Streetscape, Four Mediterranean Homes by Built4ever House 337 Portrait by Built4ever House 332 Plan by Built4ever House 317 Plan Summary by Built4ever House 352 As Built by Built4ever

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More updated older files:

Journal Entry: Thu Jan 7, 2016, 1:50 PM
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Note,recently updated:

House 325A Plan by Built4ever  House 312 3-D Model by Built4ever  A Country Inn and Tavern by Built4ever House333A Portrait and Plan by Built4ever

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Devious Journal Entry

Journal Entry: Thu Dec 3, 2015, 6:22 AM
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Update: These files updated and improved. The last one, Steampunk Inventor, might serve as a cover for a small self-published book of steampunk fashion/pin-up sketches. Yes, I'm planning more books too with architectural interest, home plans and maybe castle/villages. I'll see if I can get it done by early next year depending on time. They will be available for sale after a few test printings.
Prisoner of Love Pin-Up by Built4ever Steampunk Flirt, or, 50 Shades of Brown? by Built4ever<da:thumb id="329390544"/> Steampunk Inventor by Built4ever

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Recent Updates and Resume Update on my Bio

Journal Entry: Mon Nov 30, 2015, 7:59 AM
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Some updates: The following pieces have been updated, more completed and finished now. Also, you might want to check out my profile bio. Just added some recent design and work credits for the last year, including working for Wizards of the Coast on some illustrations, mostly architectural and such but also some other unusual objects. (I'm sworn to secrecy, so I can't disclose exactly what I'm working on, at least, not until next year, 2016.)
House 300 Plans by Built4ever The Clove Town Design, Group 6 Buildings by Built4ever Storefronts by Built4ever

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Devious Journal Entry

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 15, 2015, 5:34 PM
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Sims Model of House 333:

Greenville by BUILDSims

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Devious Journal Entry

Journal Entry: Thu Jul 2, 2015, 9:39 AM
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Updated this file:House 336 by Built4ever

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Devious Journal Entry

Journal Entry: Mon Jun 15, 2015, 3:25 PM
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This plan Updated Today:
House 322 Craftsman Bungalow by Built4ever

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Devious Journal Entry

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 14, 2015, 7:28 AM
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Quick note: This file changed out and improved. Houses that were incomplete are now finished, landscape and flowers added, and house #12 Changed out completely.
Some Unusual Cottage Style Homes by Built4ever

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Top Castle and Village Illustrations:

Journal Entry: Fri Dec 26, 2014, 8:49 AM
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Castle and Village Number Two by Built4ever Castle and Village Number Five, Cascadium by Built4ever Castle/Village #11: The Village of Montevino by Built4ever Castle and Village Number One by Built4ever Castle Ravinia by Built4ever

Castle Ursadoom by Built4ever City of Dragons by Built4ever Castle-Village #4, Enchanta, First Sketch by Built4ever Castle Iventorr by Built4ever City of Gardens by Built4ever

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Okay, gang, I have officially took the plunge and upgraded my profile with a 2-year paid-for membership! That means my profile has been enhanced for your viewing pleasure. I have added a feature or two and plan to make some other minor changes later. This is my X-mas present to my Deviant site. Thanks to all the viewers, followers, commenters, and others who have lavished attention on my site over the last few years. Business is good, and I would like to thank Deviant-Art for enhancing my business as a residential designer and a fantasy illustrator. Hope you all have a nice holiday! 
Plan for House 317 was sold in November to a family in Arkansas, and is now under development as 317A, slightly modified. Here's the original sketch with the "current" elevations below it. House 322 recently updated too.
House 317 Plan Summary by Built4ever House 322 Craftsman Bungalow by Built4ever
These plans updated recently, House 329 and House 327:
House 329 Plan by Built4ever House 327 B by Built4ever
These plans updated recently:

House 301 and House 327 B

House 301 Storybook Cottage by Built4ever House 327 B by Built4ever