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Forum Resident
#51 Old 11th Oct 2016 at 8:25 PM
This looks gorgeous, and I can't wait to see the end result. I'm sorry I don't have any feedback, but I just wanted to applaud your hard work and creativity. Well done!

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Test Subject
#52 Old 15th Oct 2016 at 9:04 PM
The university looks beautiful so far, one of the best custom unis I've seen. Since you're modelling this off of Yale (I think you mentioned that you were? I don't remember), the colors give off a very uniform look, as Justpetro said. It certainly looks like an east coast Ivy League university and it'll probably feel like one too once the project is finished. I don't think any other colors need to be added, since it appears that the flora and off-campus lots add to it already.
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#53 Old 21st Mar 2017 at 6:58 PM
Didn't want to start another entirely new project, so I'm back to this again, and lacking inspiration for more additions to the off-campus area, I've started on the interiors of various campus buildings. Some, like the concert hall, the old main building, and the dormitories, I have a pretty solid idea what I want to do with, and other major buildings, like the biology and performing arts buildings, I haven't really planned out, but at least have an abstract idea about how to give them some personality and make them useful for those majors at the same time.

The trouble at this point is the buildings for majors like mathematics or political science, that would be taught almost entirely in pretty "normal" classrooms. I'll definitely have classrooms in those buildings (along with every other major's building), but nothing but classrooms, especially when they're not actually used as such in-game, will get boring pretty quick. How would you suggest adding 'personality' to buildings for those majors that just rely on classroom lectures and library research?

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Mad Poster
#54 Old 21st Mar 2017 at 9:37 PM
How silly are you willing to get? The Science Building at LGU has a "Fluid Dynamics Lab" on the roof with fountains, a hot tub, a bar, and a barista, and an "Applied Mathematics Lab" with a pool table and pinball. My Liberal Arts building has mirrors and career reward podia everywhere for building charisma, with a lot of "history" and "international" deco and furnishings. I'm afraid striking a balance between "fun to play" and "realistic" is hard with this sort of structure.

If you put in staff offices, remember that college staff are nerdy and likely to have all kinds of weird stuff in their workspaces. I knew a Poe scholar once with a coffin in his office and a plastic skeleton hand reaching out of his door. So you can look for deco themes which can raise fun for students burned out on the term papers they're writing on the staff computers.

You can take up quite a bit of space in each building by ensuring that they all have functional cafeterias on them somewhere.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#55 Old 21st Mar 2017 at 10:58 PM
"Silly," probably not very. "Creative" though, that's another story... i.e., the physics building will absolutely have an Electro-Dance Sphere or two in a lab someplace... It's the majors without obvious creative interpretations that are my current hangup. And each major's building will definitely have a few professors' offices with a different headcanon to explain each of them (I know enough RL professors that a coffin really wouldn't surprise me in the least! Maybe I'll borrow that for a Literature professor's office, actually...)

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Mad Poster
#56 Old 22nd Mar 2017 at 12:23 AM
Are you using buyable career and aspiration rewards? LGU would've been much harder to build without them - it's where the podia came from for the Liberal Arts Building - and even with them, some departments are simply underserved in the vanilla stuff available for them.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#57 Old 22nd Mar 2017 at 5:43 AM
I am absolutely using buyable rewards... so, for example, the Biology building will have fully-equipped virology labs and surgical training rooms, and the School of Public Affairs will have plenty of venues for public speaking, etc. No buyable craftables, unfortunately, since that's a mod I never got around to installing, and now I don't trust my computer to handle it, but I don't see that posing much of an issue in this case...

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Lab Assistant
#58 Old 26th Mar 2017 at 12:42 PM
That's fantastic ! Well done, I mean it !
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#59 Old 14th May 2017 at 5:53 AM
Having grown rather sick of the academic buildings on my own RL life campus towards the end of the semester (no surprise there ) I've turned my attention to the dorms of this campus... lots of them are of kind of small-to-middling size, so there's not a tremendous amount of space for more than the standard dorm rooms, bathrooms, dining hall, and study nook, but there's a few big ones, and I'm kind of struggling as to how best to give them the additional resources you'd expect in such a situation. Larger study nooks (bordering on small libraries) seems obvious, as do small exercise rooms and the like, but what else might you expect to find in a large Ivy League dormitory?

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The Great AntiJen
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#60 Old 14th May 2017 at 12:01 PM
Yeah I can't bear university stuff when I'm in the thick of it either - give yourself a break.

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Mad Poster
#61 Old 14th May 2017 at 12:46 PM
Do you have a day room with a TV, couches, stereo, and other liesure activities? Everybody needs a break from studying now and then, and such areas are good for club meetings and entertaining visitors.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#62 Old 14th May 2017 at 6:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peni Griffin
Do you have a day room with a TV, couches, stereo, and other liesure activities? Everybody needs a break from studying now and then, and such areas are good for club meetings and entertaining visitors.


Of course, of course... I may actually post the first dorm I've been working on in this thread before long, since I'm kind of experimenting on a few different fronts, and could stand to get feedback on a lot of points.

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#63 Old 16th May 2017 at 5:00 AM
My own RL university is barely more than 100 years old, and most of the buildings are considerably newer than that, so I'm not personally familiar with a lot of the idiosyncrasies of older campuses... A problem I'm running into is that the buildings I have for most of the on-campus housing, thanks to being designed to lok like hundreds-of-years-old Gothic buildings, aren't the kind of plain rectangles that make it easy to ensure all dorm rooms are the same size... but I'm not sure how big a problem that really is. How much variety would you say is acceptable in dorm room sizes? Or can you think of a good workaround here?

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Mad Poster
#64 Old 16th May 2017 at 11:15 PM
I am really looking forward to see the final result here

Rooms in dorms do not need to be the same size.

I think if there is more than one Sim in a room, it may need an extra doors to be claimed, though - if you look at Mootilda's, she made double rooms for married students (I believe there is a mod) and those have two doors. Maybe somebody can confirm this, but that was my impression.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#65 Old 17th May 2017 at 12:56 AM
I'll post my first "complete" dorm (not really complete- I'm sure I'll end up changing and adding things, but it gives a good overview of the design approach I'm taking ATM) on this thread sometime fairly soon... at this point, I'm really just trying to find the right mix of university-issue furniture for the actual rooms... There's not really a good balance between "Ivy-League fancy" and "Dorm-room cheap" in the EA content!

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Test Subject
#66 Old 17th May 2017 at 2:53 AM
From the pictures I've seen of (undecorated) Yale dorms—using Yale since I believe this university is loosely based off of it—the actual rooms look like standard college dorms. The school I'm attending in the fall has a great reputation regionally, but its dorms are the same as the ones in the pictures ("yale dorm" in Google Images). The common rooms and general aesthetic of the building are the only difference, which for Yale (and other Ivies) definitely has that wood, "Ivy League fancy" feel to it. IMO, older buildings like grand libraries, dining and admin halls are fancier than common areas. You could also incorporate dorms with suite-style rooms as well as the traditional hall-style, according to dorm or floor (the dorm buildings at my school alternate between the two—one dorm is exclusively hall-style while another may be suite-style). Don't know how helpful this is, but I hope it can be of some use to you.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#67 Old 17th May 2017 at 3:22 AM
Suites are actually one of my initial thoughts on addressing the fact that the typical "long hallway with equally spaced rooms on it" style of dorm rooms not working as well in historic buildings. I was eventually able to get it to work in this case, but I would expect that some of the other dorm lots on this campus will probably end up as suites of one sort or another!

And yeah, I've noticed the same thing in looking at dorm room photos from the Ivies, and I'm kind of trying to stay close to that, but I also want to embrace the fancier stereotypes that come with the concept of an Ivy League university, real or not!

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Mad Poster
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#68 Old 17th May 2017 at 6:19 AM
OK, first potentially "finished" building on campus is a dorm. I humbly submit it for your comments and critiques! For reference, this is (I think) the largest dorm on campus, roughly halfway between the football stadium and the bell tower, so you can look at the campus photos I posted earlier in this thread to get some idea of its surroundings.

While I'd appreciate pretty much any feedback at this point, I'm mostly interested in
1.) people's opinions of the overall style I'm using, since this is a fair representation of what I'd plan to do similarly for quite a few other dorms (though I would like to try out the suite style approach with some too), and
2.) people's opinions on the playability (both practically and entertainment-value-wise) of this lot

Please give me as much detail as possible- it's a lot easier to make changes before more buildings on campus are filled!
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File Type: zip Athena Common - 19 Rooms.zip (3.07 MB, 26 downloads) - View custom content

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20th May 2017 at 10:11 PM
This message has been deleted by Zarathustra.
Mad Poster
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#69 Old 30th Jun 2017 at 5:26 AM
I'm getting close to finished with the campus performing arts hall, and when it's done, I'm planning to upload both it and the dorm I posted earlier on this thread in the general downloads section, just to try to get some broader feedback from the community at large on a few aspects of my campus design (and to get an appropriate creation in for the Performing Arts theme these two months!). Before I do that though, I wanted to bump this thread once again, in the hopes that some of you have had a chance to check out the dormitory and have any feedback on the general themes I'm using!

As always, any help/advice/feedback/constructive-criticism is much appreciated!

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Lab Assistant
#70 Old 3rd Jul 2017 at 9:15 AM Last edited by Titi022002 : 3rd Jul 2017 at 9:43 AM.
I tested your dorm in my game. What I can say is that it's very awe-inspiring at first sight. Then, when you get used to it, I think you can easily feel the same as if you were in a typical English campus. The architecture and the plan are well thought, in my view, and it gets even more interested for our Sims to live in this dorm when you take the dorm in hand. Congratulations, this dorm augurs a great neighborhood I would love to download once it's finished ! While you keep developing the campus, I'll content myself with the lots you share in advance.

I also tested the Arts Hall. I have to admit that I felt a little bit disappointed. Seeing what you built first, I expected something spectacular. I'm not claiming that the Hall isn't a great piece of art. To my mind, I find it kind of weird to have the orchestra's pit at the same level - that is to say the ground level - as the stage's. It usually is situated below the stage's level and even lower than the ground level, where the seats are put. The orchestra is supposed to be further down. Now that I mention it, I assent to say that, as for me, the seats lack a bit of a classy look. I really admire the English grandeur as a French native so I really have high expectations regarding typical English builds. And I agree with the fact that reproducing such grandeur in the game is complicated, though. One more thing that surprised me, the little booth in front of the spotlights is oddly placed. It looks oversized/badly-placed (please, do not see any judgement in my words, my vocabulary is kind of limited) and the first thing that came to my mind was : "it's obstructed, how can the audience watch the play properly without being disturbed ?".
Oh, I forgot to mention its exterior ! It's impressive and the "Hall Arts" feeling is well transposed.

That's all I had to say, I hope I establish some help. But once again, bravo ! (A little bit a French to finish with a language I am familiar with).
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retired moderator
#71 Old 3rd Jul 2017 at 6:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathustra
@Phaenoh
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?


I accept your challenge! Here are six 3x5 dorm rooms, each in a different style. I actually think that's the perfect size for a dorm room, and I've used it in more than a few of my own dorms. I don't know if any of these say Ivy League any better, but I googled 'Harvard Dorm Room' and 'Yale Dorm Room' the IRL photos of the ivy league dorms don't look ivy league at all. They just look like older college dorm rooms. (Think darker woods rather than the lighter ones). Feel free to use any of these whole or in part, as I made them for you.

The key things to remember with dorm rooms are that they are TINY and they are FULL. Every dorm room pictured has a bed, desk, chair, minifridge w/ microwave, desk lamp, full length mirror, dresser, smoke detector, sprinkler, and trash can. As they are arranged, there will be no routing issues - though they won't be able to make much food in their room without a counter, and they will take their ramen and go to an actual table in your dorm to eat. If no tables exist, they will eat at their desks.
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Test Subject
#72 Old 21st Sep 2017 at 4:30 PM
Do you think you'll post the university when you're all finished?
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#73 Old 22nd Sep 2017 at 1:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rvanyc
Do you think you'll post the university when you're all finished?


That's the plan, but don't expect it anytime soon. I'd say there's at least another year's worth of work still to come before it's finished.

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Lab Assistant
#74 Old 8th Oct 2017 at 9:33 PM
I'm not familiar with Ivy League universities, but I am familiar with their English equivalent, so a few may-or-may-not-be-at-all-helpful observations on dorms from my time at Cambridge - feel free to take with a large quantity of salt:
  • A lot of the colleges made money over the summer by hiring out their rooms to conference guests, and as a result, student bedrooms often resembled mid-range hotel rooms (at least when unoccupied by students & their mess!) This might be a good niche to aim for, furniture-wise, & should hopefully put you in that nice spot between "dorm-room cheap" and "Ivy-League fancy".
  • Connected to the above, most student bedrooms I encountered had en-suite bathrooms, something which will also immediately make any living quarters feel more upmarket. Then again, I understand there are possible Issues with those not being recognised as a dorm room, so might not be worth the hassle?
  • There was a range of room sizes. Those tiny cramped 3x5s so aptly demonstrated by Phaenoh demonstrate the lower end of said range, but I've seen rooms that are easily twice that. Don't be afraid to go big - again, just think of the money you can wring out of those conference guests...
  • Many of the buildings predate central heating. As a result, a number of the dorm rooms still have fireplaces in them. These fireplaces aren't generally functional - they'll either be boarded-up entirely or have been replaced with an electric fire - but fireplace surrounds & mantelpieces would be an architecturally interesting and very in-character feature to have (and you build such pretty things).
  • Never, ever, in all my time at university, did I encounter a dorm room without some form of bookcase. It really bothers me that these are absent from Maxis dorms, and I would love to see a dorm building where every room has a bookcase & desk as standard. Please, oh please, oh please? In any university, but particularly one as academically-high-achieving as an Ivy, there should be an expectation that students will have a number of textbooks, folders of notes, etc and will need somewhere to put them!
  • Genuinely Fancy Furniture happened occasionally - I knew a girl at another college who had a beautiful Victorian-era desk in her room (and lived in constant fear of it getting scratched, poor thing) - but certainly wasn't the norm. Feel free to put in the occasional expensive touch, though! Musical instruments are another good one - I know at least one college had a few dorm rooms that came with pianos, normally reserved for students on music scholarships. My own college had bookable music-practice rooms in one of the dorms, so this could also be a way to fill up communal space in your larger dormitories.

Oh, and one on general hood design: if you're worried about uniformity, remember that as universities expand and grow, they often need to add new buildings, and those buildings are often in whatever architectural style is popular at the time. In Cambridge you got everything from "12th-century nunnery" to "red brick" to "Brutalist" to "modern", sometimes in the same college (not even an exaggeration). You've already talked about adding red brick outbuildings to get more variety, but you don't have to stop there. Throw in an ugly concrete building that sticks out like a sore thumb, give it a humorous lot description (detailing a grant from a wealthy alumnus whose generosity was marred only by his hideous taste in architecture), and voila, you have a feature
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#75 Old 9th Oct 2017 at 12:30 AM
That definitely helps! I'm drawing a plurality of my inspiration from Yale, but anything Ivy League or Oxbridge (?) (is that the right term?) can certainly be incorporated too! I'm definitely trying to get some variety in the dorm rooms on campus, especially since that's the part of my Athena Common lot that I'm least satisfied with. I hadn't really thought of having fireplaces IN the rooms, but that would certainly fit in well with the style I'm going for in some cases!

As to uniformity, I'd tried putting in a few buildings in a more modernist style, but I wasn't satisfied with the effect once it was done... it looked TOO out of place, if that makes any sense... I'm thinking I'm gonna stick with Gothic and Neo-Gothic for the on-campus buildings at this point.

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