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WorkShop Plus Speed Guide

These are seven videos on using WorkShop Plus to enhance your gameplay. The videos are:

(1) Blueprint Everything
(2) Layers - No More Rug/Pillar Glitch
(3) Creative Cloning
(4) Cloning and Layers - Outside the Box
(5) Layers - A City Planner's Dream
(6) Layers - Building and City Plans
(7) Layers - Viewing and Fixing a City Plan
(8) Quickie - Using Workshop Plus with Free Build Mode
(9) How to Place the Layer Handle using Place Anywhere on XBox One
(10) Workshop Framework Layers to Blueprints


This is a WIP at the moment.

Errors and omissions are entirely mine.

There may be more ideas to come - as Kinggath brings out more options in WS+!
 
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Whisper

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(1) Blueprint Everything

Everything! I want you to start thinking every time you start to do something complicated:

"Hmmm. Would this be good in other settlements too? Or duplicated here several times?"

If the answer is "yes" - then blueprint it! When you store them in a Blueprint Controller they don't take up space in your inventory. Even if they did, they're weightless, like a note or holotape.

Best of all: they cost *nothing* to build from blueprint.

No resources needed at all. Your workshop can be completely empty, it's good.

Here's a link to a short video in the Media section showing the basic how-to:
Some ideas for blueprints:

* Settlement starter kit (radio tower, generator, City Planner desk)
* Player home (player bed, desk, computer terminal)
* Workshop setup (barn and workbenches)
* Complex gate/interdiction/watch towers
* Water setup (pumps, purifiers)
* Generator setup (petrol generators, windmill arrays)

If you're likely to use it more than once, blueprint it. The chances are if it's really good/handy, you'll recreate it in most settlements.
 
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Whisper

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(2) Layers - No More Rug/Pillar Glitch

The rug/pillar glitch can be very finicky to deal with. Shifting stuff *just so*, finding that you've picked up more than you meant to, the stuff drops when the rug/pillar is removed, etc. While it is a very powerful technique, it can be a pain.

Place Everywhere is a blessing for putting things into oddball places, yet not always the easiest to deal with. If you mess up and try to pick it all up again - and get half your built settlement because something was too close to what you were trying to group-select and it daisychained everywhere - while it's a huge help, it isn't the cure-all.

Don't waste your time any more.

Here's the steps to follow:

* Create a new layer (maximum of 15 layers are possible)
* Build everything you want to move around on that layer
* Place a layer handle
* Pick up the layer handle and move it and everything on that layer to *exactly* where you want it
* Place the layer handle

Now go and survey everything. If it's the way you want it - great! If you find you need to change something (too small, too big, you want to add more, whatever) - pick up the layer handle and move the lot into the open where you can add to or remove from. Rinse and repeat until you've done it to your satisfaction.

If you find that your initial layer handle is inconvenient - you can’t quite see how that wall is aligning - place another in a convenient location, wait for it to “grab” everything on the layer, then shift things around more.

You can leave the layer handle as-is, just in case you want to change things in future. It's invisible when not in workshop mode.

If you're totally happy and don’t want the layer handle hanging around at all - delete that layer and add the contents to the Default layer. Your work is done.

Video of re-roofing the buildings in Sanctuary:
 
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Whisper

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(3) Creative Cloning

There are two parts to cloning:

1/ Cloning a layer and everything on it. Unfortunately - it won't snap to anything else. It is, however, a *very* quick way to get a bunch of resources if you run out. Clone the layer and everything on it (for free), scrap it, and you've got resources to continue.

2/ Cloning individual pieces.

This second cloning process can save you a lot of time mucking around in the menu. (The basic structure, not blinging it out - that you'll still need to do the hard way.)

Start off by building your basic structure. You can even put down the basic pieces you're going to be using during most of the build (ie floor and various walls).

As you are building you'll come to the point of wanting 3-4-5+ of X floor-piece. You can go out of where you happen to be in the workshop menu and find the floor-piece you want - or you can clone the floor-piece that's sitting on the ground 2 squares away:

* Select the piece to move it
* Snap it into location - but do not place it!
* Clone the piece in place
* Shift the piece to snap in another desired location - clone
* Repeat as necessary
* Cancel the move once done cloning, so that piece will snap back into place

Every piece you clone costs you nothing in resources. (I cloned 20 Laser Turrets in Sanctuary during testing - I only had the materials for making 9 in the normal manner.)

What can you clone?

* Generators
* Turrets
* Floor/wall/concrete/whatever building pieces

Consider cloning everything you possibly can. It costs no resources and it saves you time hunting through the workshop menu - if you've got a big menu that's a lot of time!

Video of cloning a "tenant shack extension" at Abernathy Farm:
 
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Whisper

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(4) Cloning and Layers - Outside the Box

The box being the normal workshop area. The process is as follows:

* Create the construction items inside the workshop area
* Move them to where you want to construct (F5 in PlaceEverywhere stops workshop auto-exit)
* Clone / place the items where you want them

If done on their own layer, you can place a layer-handle (use the WS+ shortcut key) and shift the entire set of objects around easily.

So far as I understand it, if you're using WS+ with a console you can still use layers. I don't have a console for testing this...

However: you should be able to create the structure inside the workshop area and shift it around as you like by dropping a layer handle inside the workshop area. Shift the lot out away from your settlement a few times (enjoy running from side-to-side of your workshop area) and then angle it as required.

Video of cloning to create a bridge outside of the workshop area, then using a layer handle to shift it into place:
A little bonus:

* If you can select it with PlaceEverywhere - you can clone it
* It appears that cloned items don't affect the size bar
 
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Whisper

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Updated video: 01 Blueprint Everything - Redux

--edit--
Updated video: 02 Layers - No More Rug & Pillar Glitch - Redux

--edit 2--
Updated video: 03 Creative Cloning - Redux
 
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(5) Layers - A City Planner's Dream

You can export active layers using Transfer Settlements. Layers that have been toggled off are not exported.

For a city planner this makes life (and planning!) much easier. The process is as follows:

* Build your city plan on individual layers (L0 on layer 0, L1 on layer 1, etc)
* Go through the city, toggling off the layers that you don't want, making sure that it's all correct
* If you need to shift something to another layer - move and then cancel the move (you will need to make certain that your WS+ settings will shift touched items to the current layer)

Once you are satisfied with each layer/level of your city plan - make a hard save. Then:

* Showing layers 0-3, export with Transfer Settlements (this is your L3 city)
* Showing layers 0-2 (layer 3 toggled off), export with Transfer Settlements (your L2 city)
* Showing layers 0-1 (layers 2-3 toggled off), export with Transfer Settlements (your L1 city)
* Showing layer 0 (layers 1-3 toggled off), export with Transfer Settlements (your L0 city)

Create your City Plan in the normal manner.

Here is a video of me at my Castle build (not yet complete) showing what each level of the City Plan should look like:
 
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(6) Layers - Building and City Plans

More fleshing out of the concept of layers and City Plans. This lets you build (in general) easier - especially laying down plots. When it comes to City Plans it gets real interesting. (The pro's will have worked that out already.)

Building:

Sometimes you want to place down some structure - but there's something in the way. It could be another piece of structure, or more often a plot.

The easy solution is to put whatever is in the way on another layer - toggle the layer to hidden - and do what you need without that getting in your way.

So that said:

* Put your framework on one layer
* Put your plots on another layer

You can then get the plots out of the way, rearrange the framework to how you want them, and return the plots back to being usable.

This can be helpful too, when you've had to use a mix of 1x1 and 0.5x0.5 tiles for easy plot-snapping. Once the plot is snapped in place (on a different layer) - toggle it off and rearrange the floor back to how you wanted it originally.

City Planning:

Look at these layers (from my Castle build):
LayerTiles.jpg

A total of 8 layers. To recap what is in the video later:

* Level 0 City Plan uses Layers D and 0
* Level 1 City Plan uses Layers 1 and 2
* Level 2 City Plan uses Layers 3 and 4
* Level 3 City Plan uses Layers 5 and 6

Of these layers:

* Layers D, 1, 3, and 5 = framework of the City Plan
* Layers 0, 2, 4, and 6 = plots of the City Plan

With the framework and plots on the appropriate layers:

* All layers enabled - export your L3 City Plan
* Disable layers 5 & 6 - export your L2 City Plan
* Disable layers 3 & 4 - export your L1 City Plan
* Disable layers 1 & 2 - export your L0 City Plan

MAJOR BENEFIT: You do not have to rip down your City Plan for each level! All you are doing is *disabling the extra bits* for each level export.

In the classic system of City Planning you have to tear down each level from L3 to L0. Making a mistake in the teardown is painful: if you take too much out you then have to reload the last save, tear it down again, and be careful not to tear it down too far. If you find partway through that you've made a mistake...you have to go back to the original L3, fix the mistake, and go back through the export-and-teardown process with each level again.

With layers, you can see *exactly* what each level of a City Plan will look like. If you see a mistake, fix it there and then. Examine it once more. Toggle the layers to see exactly what each level of the City Plan will look like. (I should have done a video.)

When you're done - the export process requires only toggling off the layers you don't need, not tearing everything down.

 
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(7) Layers - Viewing and Fixing a City Plan

In the last post/video I talked about putting City Plan levels on layers, and splitting structure from plots.

In this video I show it being done - plus fixing a couple of mistakes that I'd made.

 

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(8) Quickie - Using Workshop Plus in Free Build Mode

I think a lot of people might be using it - I haven't seen anyone putting it out there yet.

 

Catallaxis

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I'll delete this message if you want, but I just wanted to add a quick note for any Xbox users who are reading this.

How to Place the Layer Handle using Place Anywhere on Xbox One


Currently, a severe limitation when using the layer handle on Xbox One is that it must be placed on the ground or a floor piece. This is highly inconvenient. Unfortunately, the standard Place Anywhere activation button cannot help, since it is disabled when moving the layer handle. There is, however, a trick.

Open the PA settings menu and enable Grid Snapping. Normally, the purpose of the Grid Snapping feature is to precisely match object rotation to other nearby objects, though it only works with objects that do not have snap points (note: there is another trick to solve that problem). For example, grab a non-snapping object, like a chair or table, and then bring it close to any other workshop object. When you now try to rotate the object it will "snap" to match rotation of other nearby objects by 45 or 10 degree increments, depending on your settings.

When gird snapping, the object should get a green highlight and the vanilla Place activation button will become usable. That is, you do not use Place Anywhere's alternate activation button when grid snapping, because the alternate button is only needed when objects have a red highlight--when grid snapping, they turn green.

Workshop Plus's layer handle can also be placed using grid snapping, but to truly place it anywhere, you'll need to do some more things.

First, use the PA settings menu to disable collision. This will prevent the height of the layer handle from automatically snapping to nearby ground or floor pieces.

Second, set the Grid Snapping rotation angle to "Disabled" even while Grid Snapping itself is still enabled. This will allow the layer handle to "snap" its rotation to nearby objects, and so turn green and be enable the vanilla Place button, while still letting you rotate it smoothly around 360 degrees.

You should now be able to place the layer handle anywhere so long as there is some other workshop object, on a different layer, nearby for it to grid snap to.

There is still the inconvenience of this other object that needs to be grid snapped to. Personally, I suggest downloading another mod called "Settlement_Markers by kitcat81", ported by chucksteel. This mod includes a non-snapping wooden post that can be freely moved around by Place Anywhere and, handily, disappears outside of workshop mode. Place this post approximately when you want the layer handle to go, and then you should be able to place the layer handle anywhere near it. Just make sure the post is on a different layer or else it will also be grabbed by the layer handle.

(By the way, Workshop Plus is available for Xbox One in the WIP category, and therefore will not show up in regular searches).
 
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Whisper

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(10) Workshop Framework Layouts to Blueprints

A quick video showing how to import Workshop Framework Layouts, putting them on a Workshop Plus layer, and then making a Blueprint.

I'm using Red Rocket for various reasons:
1/ It's in the Triangle of Death so keeping it un-built helps game stability
2/ It has all the required workbenches - especially the Weapons workbench needed to rename blueprints
3/ It's literally the second settlement you get. Once you've killed the molerats, greeted the dog, and stripped the place to the bone you can import every single layout -> blueprint that you want for your game.
4/ Once all the layouts -> blueprints process is completed you can immediately remove that layouts mod.

Note: I have a total of 19 layouts in my Red Rocket layouts mod. I showed only a couple of the names.
—edit—
At this time the converting to blueprint will occasionally hang - usually after several imports. At that point you have to quit and revert to an earlier save.

Kinggath is aware of the issue and it’s on his list of things to do. For the interim, only import one or two items and convert to blueprint - then go do something else in the game, let the system sort itself out over time.
 
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