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FEEDBACK REQUESTED - Athena Common-19 Rooms - NO CC

by Zarathustra Posted 1st Jul 2017 at 10:47 PM
18 Comments / replies (Who?) - 8 Feedback Posts, 10 Thanks Posts
Some of you may have seen various comments I've made about my ongoing project of designing an Ivy-League-esque university campus, and today, I present to you two of the lots that will eventually comprise part of that school! (This also means that these two lots are less distinctive in their own right, and thus there's less to talk up in the descriptions, as I have tried to make them a fair representation of the spaces to be found around campus!)

These lots are both complete in their own right (I wouldn't have uploaded them if they weren't!), but I am still in the relatively early stages of furnishing and decorating most of the campus buildings you see in the wider neighborhood screenshots above. As such, while I encourage you to enjoy them, I would also like to specifically request feedback on what you think works, what you think doesn't, what seems most Ivy-League, what seems out of place, etc.



The campus of this university draws heavily on figures from classical mythology, and as such, many of the dorms and residence suites have names drawn from the pantheon of Greek and Roman deities. The oldest dormitory on campus, Athena Common, is named after the Greek goddess of wisdom and war, and as one might expect, students here have ample opportunity for pursuing their studies even within their own residence hall.

Originally constructed as two separate twin structures, the building was extensively remodeled after a fire broke out in the bell tower of the rear hall, and rather than rebuilding them as they had originally been, the burned-out bell tower was demolished and the two buildings were combined into a single hall, with the addition of a grand central staircase in the new adjoining passage. This also resulted in the partial enclosure of the courtyard between the two halls, creating a quieter spot amid the hustle and bustle of campus for Athenian students to enjoy the greenery of their school.



Inside, the individual dorm rooms are somewhat smaller than many students may be accustomed to, owing the customs of the era in which this dormitory was raised. This history likewise makes students more willing to tolerate these small spaces, as while claiming a degree from an Ivy-League school may raise you in the esteem of the general public, among your fellow students, it is claiming the legacy of one of the great old buildings on campus that conveys the most prestige!

Bathrooms are likewise limited, with no en-suite facilities available for any of the rooms within Athena Common. Instead, men's and women's bathrooms can be found at either end of the hall in the rear wing of the building.



The amenities of such a historic building are by no means limited by modern standards, however! A luxurious two-story dining hall provides an elegant space for students to take their meals, and various areas for study and recreation are provided as well. A computer lab sits opposite the grand staircase on the first floor, and above it on the second floor is a TV and recreation room. It is the hall library which often draws the greatest acclaim, however- Athena Common boasts its own special collection, separate from the towering central library up the street, containing many first editions of classical thinkers from antiquity up through the modern day, and in this library are often found many of the future leaders of Sim society.



As this lot is intended to one day be part of an integrated university neighborhood, you may want to consider some of the larger screenshots in your analysis of this building. It sits near the western end of the central campus greenway, and as you can see from the images attached, is intended to be bordered on three sides by roads, and then extending almost seamlessly into additional residences and colleges to its rear.

Pricing with dormitories is tricky, so for your reference, the price of this lot if placed as a residential lot on a university campus is $115,399, while its price when placed as a residence in a normal neighborhood comes out to a much higher $523,021. Depending on what you are looking for as far as information goes, either of these figures could prove useful. In any eventuality, it is a very large lot (though most of it is limited to just two main floors, so it's less graphically taxing than some of my creations!)

As should come as no surprise by now, no CC was used anywhere on this lot.

Finally, I would highly encourage you to visit the CFF thread (http://modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=574743) for the larger project this lot comes from, and to look at the concert hall I have also uploaded, and please give me as much feedback as you can! While I'm always happy hearing things like "this is awesome, thanks!" in this case, I would really really like to have more detailed suggestions from those of you who download these lots, in the hopes that I can use your feedback to make the eventual university campus even better!

Lot Size: 5x3
Lot Price (furnished): $115,399

Number of bedrooms: 5 or more
Custom Content Included: None
Furnishings: Fully Furnished
Special Flags: Not Applicable

You must have the expansion or stuff packs listed below installed to use this custom content. Please see the post text for any exceptions.

University Nightlife Open for Business Pets Seasons Bon Voyage Free Time Apartment Life + 9 SPs
Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date
Athena Common - 19 Rooms.zip 2.86 MB 1,330 1st Jul 2017
Don't forget to Thank the creator after downloading! Use the Thanks button located above the screenshots above.
Basic Download and Install Instructions:

1. Download: Click the download link to save the .rar or .zip file(s) to your computer.

2. Extract: Use WinRAR (Windows) or Stuffit (Mac) to extract the .sims2pack file(s) from the .rar or .zip file(s).

3. Install: Double-click on the .sims2pack file to install its contents to your game. The files will automatically be installed to the proper location(s).
  • You may want to use the Sims2Pack Clean Installer instead of the game's installer, which will let you install sims and pets which may otherwise give errors about needing expansion packs. It also lets you choose what included content to install. Do NOT use Clean Installer to get around this error with lots and houses as that can cause your game to crash when attempting to use that lot. Get S2PCI here: Clean Installer Official Site.

Need more information?
 
18 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 7 Feedback Posts, 10 Thanks Posts
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Field Researcher
THANKS POST
#2 Old 1st Jul 2017 at 11:46 PM
Can we see more pictures??? I know this is a GINORMOUS dorm.... are there any spaces where the kids just blow off steam?
Test Subject
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#3 Old 2nd Jul 2017 at 12:55 AM
Awesome! my Only feedback is that the closets count as separate rooms, so they won't became hidden when Dormies claim them.
Test Subject
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#4 Old 2nd Jul 2017 at 12:57 AM
This looks awesome! I'll definitely be on the lookout for the finished set! It kind of reminds me (the exteriors, at least) of the university structures on the TS3 University Life campus. Unlike TS3, it looks like your lot is elegant enough to look good, but not over-the-top enough to cause performance issues on modern computers.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#5 Old 2nd Jul 2017 at 1:10 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Sonja
Can we see more pictures??? I know this is a GINORMOUS dorm.... are there any spaces where the kids just blow off steam?


You've got the rec room, the library, and the dining hall as the main ones, though there are things like a piano room or the courtyard that I didn't take pictures of (at least not any that were really illustrative of anything) that would also be at least partly usable as rec rooms... part of what I want with an Ivy League feel though is a more storied, studious effect for the campus (i.e., less ratty furniture and bubble blowers )

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Mad Poster
Original Poster
#6 Old 2nd Jul 2017 at 1:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LifeUniverse&Everything
Awesome! my Only feedback is that the closets count as separate rooms, so they won't became hidden when Dormies claim them.


Good to know... shouldn't be much of a problem for this lot, since there's nothing in there but a light, but some of the other ideas I have for residences on campus could be impacted...

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Scholar
#7 Old 2nd Jul 2017 at 3:43 AM
Great build! It seems to have a kind of colonial style feel, makes me think of old universities. It also seems to look a bit ‘rich’, but the rooms stand out – they’re a bit too bland compared to the rest of the interior.

Also I see your hood terrain and water don’t look properly, have you tried messing around with GraphicRules.sgr? Lot pictures look fine so your card should manage to handle the hood.

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Mad Poster
Original Poster
#8 Old 2nd Jul 2017 at 4:27 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voeille
Great build! It seems to have a kind of colonial style feel, makes me think of old universities. It also seems to look a bit ‘rich’, but the rooms stand out – they’re a bit too bland compared to the rest of the interior.

Also I see your hood terrain and water don’t look properly, have you tried messing around with GraphicRules.sgr? Lot pictures look fine so your card should manage to handle the hood.


@Voeille The dorms at this point are kind of deliberately bland, since the feedback I've gotten in general on dorms has been that people want to be able customize the rooms themselves for their own students... is that what you mean? I did want a bit of that colonial style to carry over from the public areas, hence the choice of bed- it's the only cheaper option that seemed to fit that, though I may opt for some of the pricier colonial-era beds for other dorms on campus, just to kind of split the difference...

And yeah, the issue of neighborhood terrain and water not playing nicely has been pretty much constant, and I've tried a few solutions to no effect, so I've kind of given up on it, unless you know for sure of a way that'd work. In any case, by the time I'm done with this project, I'd expect to have a new computer anyways.

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Scholar
#9 Old 2nd Jul 2017 at 4:38 AM
Yes that is what I meant about the rooms. But if the purpose was to make them a bit generic to allow customisation, then it’s fine

As for the graphics problem, maybe try my file? Just make sure to make a backup of yours before, as it has happened that it worked fine for some people but not for others.

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retired moderator
#10 Old 2nd Jul 2017 at 7:09 AM
I second everything Voeille said, both on the rooms being bland and the hood not looking its best. I know you are against CC as a rule, but does that also mean you run without patches and fixes from the community? V has done some amazing stuff with the hood view, those water files are INCREDIBLE.

Most dorm rooms come standard with a bunch of furniture. You could try stuffing them with more things (and matching stuff), like I did in this dorm room. It still looks empty and not yet personalized, but you'd be hard pressed to say that wasn't a dorm room you were looking at. Dorms usually come with a bed, a desk, a dresser or two, a smoke detector and sprinkler, and often (though not always) a minifridge w/ microwave. Some also have bookcases and wardrobes. The big thing though, is it all looks like it is part of a set, colleges buy their dorm furniture en masse from a single company, and generally don't have too many styles available. Your walls might be a tad too nice, with the fancy wood paneling, that stuff doesn't usually last. Most dorm rooms I've seen have at worst white washed cinder blocks, or at best white painted sheetrock. Your fancier school could probably get away with some nice baseboards and maybe even crown molding, but with kids moving in and out of those rooms twice in less than a year, that paneling just wouldn't survive. Same goes for the carpet, usually it's either linoleum or low pile commercial indoor/outdoor carpet. Now, none of that applies to the common areas. Those are usually easier to keep well maintaned and generally just reflect the school's budget, and you've once again done a stellar job with that. I LOVE the two story library!

My only other critique is that the two story window you have in the tower looks too modern in comparison to the rest of the building. Any way you can help it fit in more with additional columns or the MG molding? I love your backstory about the fire, there was a church near my Uni that had it's steeples catch fire. Cooper burns the coolest green color. Anyways, after they removed all the burnt parts, this is what they looked like afterwards. I don't know what the interior structure looked like, but they pretty much just capped them off at the top of the stone.
Test Subject
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#11 Old 2nd Jul 2017 at 8:00 AM
This looks pretty cool! It would be awesome if you would upload the finished university campus! I'd really like to use that in my game! :)
Test Subject
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#12 Old 2nd Jul 2017 at 2:44 PM
Thanks,Thanks
Instructor
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#13 Old 2nd Jul 2017 at 2:53 PM
More applause! Love the detailing of the bell tower. I cannot wait to see the whole campus!
Test Subject
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#14 Old 2nd Jul 2017 at 7:43 PM
Wish my dorms were like this!
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#15 Old 3rd Jul 2017 at 6:55 AM
@Phaenoh

At this point, I am pretty much stuck without most patches, since my computer is fast becoming an antique, and I don't trust it to be able to handle the addition of any more files and content of that sort (and while I'd certainly LIKE to have it keep working for Sims stuff, I 100% NEED it to stay functional for work and school, so for the time being, more fixes are sadly a non-starter). I'm hoping later this summer to buy a new computer though, which would alleviate much of that particular problem...

As far as furnishings, I agree, I'm not too pleased with these particular dorm rooms, largely because the space available limited me to only the bare-bones essentials for furniture... 3x5 just isn't really big enough, but it was the only sizing that I could make work consistently. I've tweaked a few of the other buildings that are eventually going to be residence halls to avoid that particular issue in the future. As to the matching style, I once again agree, but in my experiments, the only ones that seemed to fit the bill are the IKEA MALM furnishings, and they felt like the wrong style for an Ivy-League campus... any thoughts on some of the lower-end furniture that keeps an appropriate neoclassical/colonial style that might match up a little better?

As to the bell tower, I can fiddle with some of the architectural details to try to age-up the two-story window some... my initial thought is that the stone base moldings might work as the kinds of louvers you often see on bell towers, to make the windows look a little more classically Gothic, rather than modern... I'll have to experiment some with that, see if I can get the right effect without adding too much more to the lot in terms of textures to render!

Thanks for the feedback, it definitely helps with some of my thinking for future builds on this campus!

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Test Subject
#16 Old 4th Jul 2017 at 5:22 PM
I don't really know anything about Ivy League colleges, but I think that this dorm is very cool and has a sort of old-fashioned wibe to it, which I really like in universities.

In regards to the dorm-rooms, maybe you could use that dark wooden singlebed that comes with Apartment Life (I don't remember what it is called, but it matches a lot of the other furniture from that expansion), just a thought.

A little sidenote - you have turned the exit signs so they point the wrong way; they should be pointing directly at the door...
Field Researcher
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#17 Old 7th Feb 2018 at 9:36 AM
Nice, and will test in game. Looking forward to more of your University buildings.
Field Researcher
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#18 Old 28th Mar 2018 at 7:41 AM
So happy to see quality content is still being produced for this game!
Instructor
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#19 Old 14th Feb 2019 at 4:57 AM
I hope that the rest of this campus is released eventually. I love these two lots a lot.