Best Way to Run a Town?



Recently I joined the Chisel Town build and got to experience the awesome feelz of joining a build with the boundless community. During that, I have run into something…and I would love to know what people think.I want to use Chisel Town as an example, because it was the town I got to be a part of recently! Please do not read this as me criticizing the town, or the process used to build it. In fact, I feel that Karokendo did an amazing job and I am very impressed in how well he organized the event and the town!

In Chisel Town, I didn’t own my own plot, I was using a plot that I was allowed to build on.

When I noted this…I was both totally in love and totally confused.

I was in love because:

  1. I get to setup my store without using any of my own plots! (yay)
  2. If I leave, my build will be able to be recycled and Chisel Town will not have odd blank spaces as players leave. This allows me to feel like the town (or my build within it) will last longer then even I play, and that is very cool!

I was confused because:

  1. On a mass scale, this could really be a tough social situation. If every city was setup this way, I could foresee drama because it confuses ownership. While I used my time and blocks to build in that area…I have no ownership of that plot. So a city owner could redirect that plot to someone else at anytime (either because of my negative behavior or because the city owner simply decided to)

So while I ‘owned’ the blocks, I don’t ‘own’ the plot. I feel that disagreements would favor the plot owner, which can be…ugh, tough for whoever the decision doesn’t favor.

  1. while the plots can be recycled easily if someone leaves, it creates an artificial distance between the player and the plot. It is hard to desire to store valuable items within a plot that is not completely controlled by yourself (I’m sure some wouldn’t have a problem with this).

As I thought about this I went to other cities/towns which used ‘bring your own beacon’ strategies. Many of them had large holes and barren areas. As a new player walking through these cities, I didn’t feel empowered to ‘build anywhere that was open’. I don’t know how long those would stay empty. Because of this, I didn’t know if this was the best solution either! Because of this approach the town doesn’t end up looking as good.

Based on this observation I am curious what the community thinks, how would you want to build a town? Would you want to do the way listed above? Would you want a new system all together? What about a ‘citizen bill of rights’ to navigate disagreements as it relates to coins/blocks/ownership? More beacon options?

I realize now, it is easy to say ‘we know each other’ so anything is okay! I don’t disagree! Community and trust are important. I am thinking about Boundless as it grows, and there are many new people joining and experiencing the game. As the community grows, there will be less knowledge of each person.

I am very curious from the perspective of those that are looking to run future towns(or current towns and what has/hasn’t worked), as well as opinions from people that just would want to join a town as a citizen!


I believe that Boundless needs a town beacon and a system to sell plots. You should be able to own your plot and claim more above and below if you need. If your beacon burns out, I think the plot should revert back to the town owner or owners. The tactic of owning the plot and having someone living on it Is domed to fail, cause trouble and disagreement I think.


I got mixed feelings about Chisel Town to be honest, but being part of the guild and knowing the guys, I know they’ll do everything they can to keep this place active and also take care of their citizens. We’ve already witnessed dozens of cities going in decline, even if they were once amazing.

Look at Therka Market. Everyone built a lot and then left. When I started playing Boundless, TM was already a ghost town, and I really wanted to build within city limits but couldn’t because of so many abandoned places that were still active. And I’m sure there were others just like me. So this way of running a settlement has been already ticked off. It’s time to try something new and see how it goes.

We only have to keep one thing in mind: people come and go. They can’t be bound to one place (it’s BOUNDLESS). They will always find a new place and then another one and so on. But there are some people that like to stay in one place forever, and they wanna make sure they’re not surrounded by abandoned houses.

Until the devs come up with a very nice solution to this, we’ll have to see how Chisel Town works and what happens when people leave, when new people come, etc.

I’d say it’s an experiment, and also a good way of showing what people can do if they come together.

Also, I don’t understand why people want full ownership. They always want to own. It’s all about owning with you little cheeky monkeys :see_no_evil: I know you are worried about footfall (:money_mouth_face:CHA CHING :money_mouth_face:), but you can always get your 200c from whoever owns your plot. And you can also ask your land lord to add an extra row of plots to extend your build, it’s a :cake:

That’s all I’d have to say. I’m as curious as you all to see what’s gonna happen next and once again, great funkin’ job to all involved in the event!


Yee, I need to add a thanks for you guys who hold the event. Sorry for just being clinical analytic in previous post. This is also what we need to go true in order for the devs to figure out what’s needed.

It was a fun great, fun event. Good job everyone!


To be honest I’d love players of Chisel Town to own their plots. However this is not possible at this stage of the game.

Along with @Dzchan94 we founded Pixelgate, we expected it to be a great town. Back in February we did our best to attract players, help them build their houses, provide materials and design. Reality was different. People didn’t care about the city, about the others. One could join the city and make their house out of absolutely random plots, and leave it unfinished for the next 6 months.

We helped this player, yet he didn’t do anything about his ■■■■ building. I don’t think he had bad intentions, he just didn’t care…

We eventually abandoned pixelgate because people didn’t respect the simple rules and it became a junkyard.

Now we decided to start 2nd city - Chisel Town. The only reason why we have control over plots is that we want to make this town pretty like from a picture. I can’t tell if somebody leaves because he gets bored, has private life or because of any other reason. I understand it’s hard for some people to accept it but we have no other choice… for now.

People may accept it or not. But I know one thing. Big things won’t happen if there will be no sacrifice. We spend hundreds of our time planning, people may at least resign from owning a plot. It’s not a big deal and we’re not removing them immidiately after taking a break from the game. Well, we’re probably not removing them ever.


These are some good points though. One of the things I was worried about with our method of ownership in The City of Steam is having players feel we are trying to lord it over them by not giving them ownership of there plots until they’ve built an appropriate to the theme structure. This method also, as you said, offers new players a chance to build something without using up the few plots they have. But it still makes me nervous doing it this way cuz I feel that it’s keeing players from joining us, but the truth of it is neither @KKBell or myself care about ownership or mayor or anything like that. Even if the city had no prestige we don’t really care. We’re just trying to build an authentic steampunk city. And we’re having a blast seeing it grow bigger and bigger even if we’re the only primary builders. I by no means expect a player to move into our city and stay there forever. My boundless philosophy is do what makes the game fun for you as an individual, NOT the rest of the community. If that means moving from one place to another by all means do it. No hard feelings. To be honest I was surprised kkbell stuck around as long as he has. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: He’s definitely dedicated. Happy players makes for happy gameplay which makes for happy encounters with other players. And that is why I credit boundless as one of the happiest games on the market. Ever since I started playing I have seen 99% happy players everywhere I go. And as long as players are free to pack up and move at a moments notice without feeling guilty then we’ll continue to see this unmatched level of gaming bliss.


I think the fact that you’re willing to use your own plots to help players out says a lot about your own gaming morality and generosity. Which is what’s going to make your city last.


I cannot agree more. As I said in my above post @Karokendo the way you handled Chisel Town was awesome! From organization to execution, I have only praise.

Much of the success I see is from the lessons you learned from Pixel Gate, thank you for sharing your experiences here for us to see and learn from. Thank you for @Cookviper and @Shadora ! I wanted to create this post to start this discussion and it is very helpful to hear your perspectives!

I don’t doubt there will be people who don’t care what a city looks like, how it forms and there will be other people who want a city to follow a theme. Creativity of the mayor seems pretty open.

In @Karokendo post he said that this setup was the best that could be done for now to allow for the themed build.

I totally agree with that. I think the current beacon system supports individual player autonomy not group/collective identity. I also am sure the dev team have been hearing the feedback and working on it improving it like they are working on everything (just a matter of priority).

Chisel town, City of Steam are awesome build concepts…and I want to note, I travel to Pixel Town daily :wink: it was the first city I traveled to, so although it isn’t as pretty as some of the other builds…it is my ‘home’ city because I went their first. hehe

Anyone else have thoughts on their experience being a part of a town? Overseeing one? Don’t want to join one because of ‘x’ reason ?

Loving the discussion so far!


I love the basis Steam City and Chisel Town are based on. I don’t care about footfall. I know that for example Chisel town people used their own individual materials for it, but it was an incredible community event organized by people who wanted to add to the game. I have to agree here with the founders maintaining ownership because it would be horrid if an event they worked so hard to organize and put a lot into ended up with abandoned/half built/unmatching builds everywhere. And like Cook says, for Karokendo & co to use their own plots for it shows both their generosity and dedication. I don’t think there are really all that many players that are too bothered about footfall when it comes to builds like Chisel Town etc because it was a community venture they organized and it was a roaring success. People took part knowing the rules, and they had a great time doing so.