The highly moddable ArmA III has a new tool for players keen on building their own structures. The iBuild mod is still in its early stages but gives a fantastic glimpse at a future filled with easily constructed buildings. Place a few squares of foundation, build walls, windows, doors, floors, and ramps, all with just a few simple button-clicks. The pieces snap together, easy as pie, and in a matter of seconds anyone can throw together a basic building.
Foundations are where you start, and placing a single square lets you start snapping on everything else. The placement is easy and reminiscent of other building games: just float a ghostly square of stone around until it's ready to place. Hold down the Tab button and it will build. This is all done with you standing right in the map and moving yourself around, just as you would while playing the game. Build a floor and you can just walk right onto it: build a door and you can open and close it. It's neat.
Once your foundation piece, or pieces, have been plopped down, you can select the other modules. Walls, naturally, come in a couple variants: solid, those with a window, and those with a door. Once you've got a few walls place, you can snap more on top, easily putting together multi-story structures.
There are no stairs at present, but ramps are available for connecting different floors together. I can only assume we'll see ladders at some point in the future as well. Like I said, this is a very early version, and currently there's only one type of each module (walls, floors, etc) to use, though the forthcoming version (which may already be available by the time to read this) will have different variants of each module that you'll be able to cycle through with your number keys.
It's a lot of fun just to experiment with, and it's wonderfully easy to use. I started working on a cozy little home right on the beach, and on an airbase I constructed a new radio tower in just a couple minutes. I bet the sarge will be happy: I built it right in the middle of the runway. That's the best spot to keep a close eye on aircraft, right?
There's a tiny bit of work to get iBuild running, so here's a brief tutorial. First, you'll need to subbscribe to the mod on Steam. Next, start ArmA III, and choose "Open Launcher." This will allow you to enable the iBuild add-on. You'll also need to disable any other add-ons you've got: at this stage, iBuild probably isn't compatible with them. Once you've got iBuild selected, click on "Play" which will start your session.
Next, you'll want to configure a couple key bindings, which only takes a second. Under custom controls, Use Action 1 will be the key to turn build mode on and off, and Use Action 2 will be the key to actually build the sections.
From there, select the Editor, choose between Stratis or Altis, and double-click the spot on the map where you want to build something. Place a unit (that's you) and a couple more if you want some friendly NPCs to stand around watching you build. Then click Preview at the top. You'll appear on the map, ready to go.
From there, you can cycle between your different building modules with the number keys. Just be careful! Since you're building while you're physically in the game, you can wander off the edge of the building you're putting together and fall to your death, as I did here:
Watch your step!
The mod has its own website with a FAQ, videos, and more detailed instructions. You can check it out here.