Unraveling the mysteries of toilet paper
For most of us, toilet paper is indispensable. For the more intrepid architects of Occupy White Walls, however, it holds a special significance. It’s the keystone to possibility and the gateway to galleries that transcend the builder’s usual limitations. If you’ve never harnessed the potential of bog rolls, cabinets, and lemon barricades, then it’s about time you joined me on a dive into the community Discord’s tips and tricks channel.
Come along even if you have, too. You might just learn something.
To be clear: you don’t need to know this stuff to make a great gallery. OWW’s gallery editor is simple and versatile, and you can rig up endless surprises without breaking out the bog roll. Once you do start poking under the HUD, though, the sky(box) is the limit.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty and start staring at toilet paper in earnest, it’s worth taking a step back and appreciating the broader phenomenon. Games are great. The people who make games are great. Even greater, though, are when their efforts combine with those of enthusiastic players who push at the boundaries of the tools they’re given. The ones who delight in stretching games out, eking extra functionality from coding quirks, then sharing their discoveries with others. These are the type of people you’ll find in OWW’s “tips and tricks” community Discord channel.
Nearly every day, someone turns up something new - from rideable conveyors formed from spinning circles, to arcane laser triangles hacked together by projected neon lights.
(You can thank players Glittermitter and Artisan for those.) Some tricks are simple, and immediately conjure ideas for entire galleries built around them. If nobody’s made a theme-park style gallery made entirely from those conveyor belts, then it’s only a matter of time before they do.
But let’s get back to toilet paper. If you’ve yet to get to grips with OWW’s secrets, tutorial galleries are the best place to start. There are plenty to visit, all from players who’ve devoted time to research and display the builder’s hidden possibilities. The aptly named “Help” covers a lot of ground, and it’s pretty to boot. You’ll find a staircase of stackable coffee tables, a brief demonstration of how that lemon barricade can be used to create half-level stairs, and a three-step guide to levitation.
That guide does the trick, but “Reauthored” takes things a few steps further. Reauthored shows you how to take toilet paper (or a piece of cubist fruit sold by the vendor) and create floating art with a fool-proof series of demonstrations, which are well worth visiting if you want every nuance layed out for you. The simple version, though, is to stick your paper to a cabinet, stick your art on the toilet paper, move the paper to where you want your art to float, then delete the cabinet. Hey presto, you’ve got a flying Monet.
Do remember, toilet paper’s just the start.
You can find lighting tricks at “Sheepdoglights”, and over at “ChooseyourCareer” you’ll find advice on how to stack staircases, slide walls into your scenery, and interweave ceilings. There’s even a scientific study of wall-meshing, jointly worked on by players Lambpuppy, Glitteremitter, and Aurelia. They’ve knocked together a handy guide on mashing walls together to create patterns, which unless done exactly right can understandably upset the engine and create unpleasant glitchy fuzzing. I love how they had to make an excel spreadsheet to keep track of every variable - for reasons unknown, for instance, rotating walls with either Q or E has an impact on whether those meshed walls will glitch out.
The process might be fiddly and inscrutable, but that’s part of the charm. Would it be better if we had a building UI that was upfront about all these tricks, and let you accomplish everything you’ve seen here without the need to faff with toilet paper? In some ways, sure. In other ways, though, I think we’d be missing out. You might be able to program a button that makes art float, but embedding these secrets with a community that’s constantly sharing and unearthing new ideas… Well, that’s the way to make art fly.