March 10, 2023

Can You Design the Ultimate Upland Structure?

[UPDATE 3.28.23]

We have extended the voting period for each phase of the Master Builders contest. Please refer to the updated schedule listed in the 'Master Builders Contest Phases and Schedule' section below.


Have you ever looked at a skyscraper and said, “I could do better”? Well, architecture lovers, it’s time to break out the T-squares and engineering pads. Heck, dust off some Legos while you’re at it. The Master Builders Contest is back! That means a few outstanding players will see their building designs immortalized in Upland’s skyline. 

This Master Builders Contest will add new, player-designed Structure models to nine Upland cities, including Dallas, Detroit, Buenos Aires, Queens, Las Vegas, Arlington, Rio, Porto, São Paulo. Also, contest winners will receive the highly-exclusive “Master Builder” badge, 1 Spark, and 100,000 UPX! 

This contest will change nine Upland cities forever, literally. Read on for contest details and join us as we cheer on the fantastic designers testing their mettle in the Master Builders Contest. 

We also encourage players to collaborate and share each others’ designs in the #master-builders channel in Discord!

Master Builders Contest Details

To participate in the contest, players must submit a polished 3D model for any of the eight cities. Contestants are welcome to submit one model for each city. Model submissions should borrow elements from and reflect the flavors of the city. Builders cannot recreate landmarks or famous buildings for the contest. Instead, players are encouraged to use their imagination and try to capture the essence of a city. 

After the Upland team reviews and accepts submissions, the community will vote on their favorite models for each city. Whichever model gets the most votes for each city wins! 

Note: Some models may not qualify for community voting due to submission issues and disqualifications. Designers have one chance to re-submit a design before being disqualified. 

Master Builder Contest Rewards

Having your own Structure in Upland is no small feat, and we would like to reward each contest winner for making it through the contest. Each of the nine winners will get: 

  • Naming rights to their model in the model’s description 
  • The highly-exclusive “Master Builder” badge
  • 1 Spark 
  • 100,000 UPX
"Master Builder" Badge

Designing a building that will live forever in Upland is a unique reward for designers. The Spark and UPX would also go a long way for the winners in getting a property and building their new model!

Master Builders Contest Phases and Schedule

Nine cities is a lot for one Master Builders Contest. For simplicity, we’ve grouped the contest into three phases spanning six weeks. Submissions will open for a new set of cities at the start of each phase. 

Phase 1: Dallas, Detroit 

Phase 2: Buenos Aires, Queens, Las Vegas 

Phase 3: Arlington, Rio, Porto, São Paulo

There are several steps for each phase: 

  • Model submission
  • Model re-submissions (if there are issues with the submission)
  • Community voting opens
  • Community voting closes

Here is a week-by-week schedule of the Master Builders Contest.

Week 1 

  • Friday, March 10: Phase 1 submissions open

Week 2

  • Monday, March 20: Free Week: Work on your designs! The window for submissions gets smaller later on, so plan accordingly!

Week 3 

  • Wednesday, March 29: Phase 1 submissions close at 11:59 PM PT
  • Friday, March 31: Phase 2 submissions open
  • Sunday, April 2: Phase 1 re-submissions close at 11:59 PM PT

Week 4 

  • Tuesday, April 4: Phase 1 voting begins at 9 AM PT
  • Wednesday, April 5: Phase 2 submissions close at 11:59 PM PT
  • Thursday, April 6: Phase 1 voting ends at 9 AM PT
  • Thursday, April 6: Phase 1 winners are announced to the community
  • Friday, April 7: Phase 3 submissions open
  • Sunday, April 9: Phase 2 re-submissions close 11:59 PM PT

Week 5 

  • Tuesday, April 11: Phase 2 voting begins at 9 AM PT
  • Wednesday, April 12: Phase 3 submissions close at 11:59 PM PT
  • Thursday, April 13: Phase 2 voting ends at 11:59 PM PT
  • Thursday, April 13: Phase 2 winners are announced to the community
  • Sunday, April 16: Phase 3 re-submissions close 11:59 PM PT

Week 6 

  • Tuesday, April 18: Phase 3 voting begins at 9 AM PT
  • Thursday, April 20: Phase 3 voting ends at 9 AM PT
  • Thursday, April 20: Phase 3 winners are announced to the community

Submission Guidelines

Players must utilize Upland’s Official ‘Structure’ Blender template file (provided below) as their base. Please refer to the Style Guide for additional information on how to design your models.

Official Structure Template

Structure Style-Guide

Note: Blend files will be the ONLY 3D file type that we support.

Here are some additional guidelines to help model submissions: 

  • Models must reflect the real world.
  • Models should not contain fantasy-based elements.
  • Models should mimic the style of structures within the city’s real-world location. 
  • The scale, footprint, and height of each model must all match the real world.

Finally, all models must pass Upland’s QA Checklist included in the Submission Form. 

Click the relevant link below to submit your Phase 1 model!

Note: We will add links to submission forms for Phase 2 and Phase 3 when those phases begin. 

Phase 1 Submission Form

Phase 2 Submission Form (Coming Soon)

Phase 3 Submission Form (Coming Soon)

Model Documentation

The following documentation outlines the 3D model specs to follow when creating a model for the Master Builders Contest. Also, we created a video tutorial for step-by-step instructions. 

Master Builders Contest Video Tutorial

Model Objects

● No light objects

● No camera objects

● No empty objects

● No animation objects

Model Positioning

● Origin: [0, 0, 0] (For Origin, Scale, and Rotation please do the following: CTRL A —>All transforms)

● Scale: [1, 1, 1]

● Rotation: [0, 0, 0]

● Max X Offset (width): 0.01 (Model must be properly centered)

● Max Y Offset (height): 0.01(model must be on the ‘ground’; neither floating nor below ground level)

● Max Z Offset (length): 0.01(Model must be properly centered)

Model Materials

● Material Alpha (opacity): 1.0

● Texture format: JPEG

● Texture map must be baked (shadows must be baked into the texture map)

● Ambient Occlusion can be baked in the main material (Avoid flat color or non-shaded areas)

● No duplicated materials (4 materials required, each with their own unique baked texture)

● 4 Materials are mandatory for Structures

● Structure material 1: Roof labeled ‘primary’

● Structure material 2: Walls labeled ‘secondary’

● Structure material 3: Details labeled ‘details’

● Structure material 4: Other labeled ‘other’’

Model UVmaps

  • Do not leave unused areas
  • Avoid stretched images
  • If the model is symmetrical or has any repeated mesh or shape, these should be overlapped to optimize the texture map.
  • Include a 6-16px bleed for the UV islands
  • Any UV island with flat colors/textures should be overlapped
  • Keep UV island size relatively scaled according to the actual size of the area (Even texel density)
  • Avoid any stretched or curved sections for cylindrical shapes UV map

Model Naming Conventions

  • All names should use lowercase letters (blender file, gltf, images textures, textures)
  • Space between letters should use underscores “_ “
  • Do not use any name extension that may not be needed
  • Names for materials and images should be the same as the GLTF file

Examples of naming conventions:

  • Carnaval_ornament_ranchhouse_nft.gtf
  • Carnaval_ornament_ranchhouse_lod_0.gtf
  • Carnaval_ornament_ranchhouse_lod_1.gtf
  • Carnaval_ornament_ranchhouse_wireframe.gtf

Model Requirements

Blender File

  • Include all the texture images, fonts, HDRI used
  • Models should only use quads, no n-gons or unnecessary triangles allowed
  • Duplicated materials are not allowed
  • Texture: 2048 x 2048
  • Triangles: < 20,000

GLTF Files

GLTF Characteristics

  • File type: GLTF - (GLB not allowed)
  • GTLF jpg texture image should be compressed
  • Transform Y Up
  • Mesh should include tangents, normals, UVs
  • Compression level = 6

HDRI (High Dynamic Range Image) Design for Lighting

Material Node Tree Sheet

Need Some Guidance? Use Our New Office Hours!

Nothing beats building in the metaverse, but it has its challenges. To help out, we’ve opened new “office hours” in Discord so designers can get answers straight from Upland’s designers. 

Office hours start this week and will be held every Friday from 11 AM to 1 PM PT. 

Are You an Upland Master Builder?

Our last Master Builders Contest ended with a bang as 16 designers saw their Structure models officially added to Upland. We can’t wait to see the new jaw-dropping Structures players dream up in this Master Builders Contest. Roll up your sleeves, Uplanders, because the competition is going to be fierce!

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