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Forum Name: Symphony of the Sword / The Order of the Rose
Topic ID: 394
#0, Interior Design Interlude
Posted by Gryphon on Oct-06-13 at 01:57 AM
Some of you may remember that a few years ago I modeled the house on Wildwood Road in Nekomikoka, where Kate, Utena, and Anthy were living at the start of Symphony No.4, using the home construction tools in The Sims 2.

Well, for the last couple of weeks (in my copious free time), I've been using the somewhat more advanced version of that toolset in The Sims 3 for similar purposes, modeling a couple of locations and situations that will be appearing in future stories. Those models are for in-house reference on stuff that hasn't come out yet, so I can't show you yet, but this afternoon - because there was nobody here to stop me - I branched out a little and whipped up a mockup of one of the locations from What's Past Is Prologue.

It started when Phil found this picture, which he called to my attention by saying, "Hey, it's Azana's apartment building." I could not argue with that. If she doesn't live in that exact building, it is at least one that looks very much like it.

This is the rough game-engine model of Azana's building. It's sort of a red-brick version of the three- or four-story apartment houses one sees a lot of in places like Worcester and greater Boston - one apartment on each floor. In the actual story it's not standing off on its own like that; it's on the end of a block of several similar buildings, as seen in the official artwork above.

As you see, my exterior treatment is pretty crude, because I didn't bother spending a lot of time on all the intricate details of the brickwork shown in the official artwork; the outside of the building wasn't really what I was interested in modeling anyway. I may refine it later on. (In fact, I probably will, since I can never quite seem to leave these things alone.) Sadly, the "hey! crab!" sign is not available in the game, but you may rest assured it's on the building in-story. :) Also, I figure that blank space on the front, where there are no windows, is covered in a painted advertisement hoarding in the old style, selling Flamey-Os Instant Noodles.

Inside is where the action is, anyway. Here is a general view of the apartment, in the "walls partially down" viewing mode so details of e.g. the elevator lobby can be seen. (Lest you think she really just has the parts of a bathroom sitting out in the open in one corner of the room. :) The stairs are behind the elevator; they're accessed by that red door next to it. (The grey door leads to a custodian's closet.)

Here's the living room. Those pictures on the wall above the loveseat are Azana's parents, her grandfather as a young naval officer, and Zuko; the one in the fancy curved frame is the official portait of Fire Lord Katara the Younger. Note the hibachi to the right; above it, a redecoed kitchen cabinet stands in for the industrial vent hood. (This sort of arrangement is quite common in modern-day Fire Nation and expat Fire National homes, one presumes to the chagrin of fire marshals in other parts of the world.) Azana's brazier is actually much prettier than that, but that's the only one in the game. And yes, I know that telephone is much too modern.

Here is a closer look at the kitchen area. That light fixture over the island is ghosting because of the camera position. I eventually 86ed it altogether as superfluous, but forgot to reshoot this frame. Fancy induction rangetop stands in for the gas burners Azana's stove actually has. (Note that this is a "walls up" view; that half-wall on the left really is a half-wall, not a whole one the game isn't rendering.)

Just beyond that half-wall is the bed area. Obviously Azana isn't at home right now. She wouldn't mind Karana crashing, but she wouldn't be having that shoes-on-the-bed thing.

Here is the view from the kitchen back toward the entryway. That's a replica of Space Sword on the wall above her desk. If you're looking at the grand piano and thinking, Hang on, that's coming it a bit posh, may I remind you that Azana was the Western League's MVP last season. Also, the chess table is probably really a pai sho table.

And speaking of "a bit posh", here is her bathroom, which even she admits is preposterously swanky for that part of town. It was at least 30% of the reason she bought that apartment in the first place. (Ignore the glimpse of the living room on the left;I had to go to the "walls partly down" view to get the camera in here.) Oddly for a studio apartment, it has two sinks. That's one of the building's little mysteries; it was like that when she moved in.

As an aside, the perfect rectilinear precision of object placement in the Sims building tools can sometimes rather spoil the illusion, but in the case of Azana's apartment... no, that's pretty much what it's like in there. :)

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Republic City, Gryphon and Korra play a video game. It has been statistically proven that the Avatar State does not provide any useful method of cheating at Exploding Tank Man.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#1, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by JeanneHedge on Oct-06-13 at 11:54 AM
In response to message #0
Very nice renderings. Probably take me 6 months to come up with something like these.

I am a little confused, though - a couple of your descriptions don't seem to match what's in the images. It might be the thing about the software and the walls getting in the way, it might be the text is describing a later version of some of the images, it might be me being totally wrong.

The view from the kitchen back toward the entryway - comparing that with the general view of the apartment, it appears to me to possibly be a view from the bedroom toward the entryway. It just seems to be too far to the left to be the kitchen. I think some of what's driving this may be furniture positions too (dangerous to base things on furniture in an in-progress project), such as the position of the carpet, that black "table-counter" thing that's obviously not a range top, the piano and the cabinet just before the piano.

Of course, there may not be a view from the bedroom toward the entry, if there's a full wall in the way.


Here is a closer look at the kitchen area. That light fixture over the
>island is ghosting because of the camera position. I eventually 86ed
>it altogether as superfluous, but forgot to reshoot this frame. Fancy
>induction rangetop stands in for the gas burners Azana's stove
>actually has. (Note that this is a "walls up" view; that half-wall on
>the left really is a half-wall, not a whole one the game isn't
>rendering.)
>
Just beyond that half-wall is the bed area. Obviously Azana isn't at home
>right now. She wouldn't mind Karana crashing, but she wouldn't be
>having that shoes-on-the-bed thing.

A half-wall between the kitchen and the living room, I get. But there's a half-wall between the kitchen and the bedroom? I know you wrote it's a studio, but what about a little privacy? Does she have a screen shoved away in the corner?

Spacial orientation-wise (and I don't know how the program works), my eye insists that the other side of that half-wall to the left in the kitchen view is the living room, and the bedroom is behind the camera. For bedroom-left, kitchen-right to work, I think the kitchen "camera" would have to be aimed at the living room, not an exterior wall (based on the general view of the apartment).

Very spacious looking bedroom though (like the Zzzz) - is it bigger than her living room?


Jeanne


Jeanne Hedge
http://www.jhedge.com
"Never give up, never surrender!"


#2, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by Gryphon on Oct-06-13 at 01:24 PM
In response to message #1
>The
>view from the kitchen back toward the entryway - comparing that with the
>general view of the apartment, it appears to me to possibly be a view from
>the bedroom toward the entryway.

The "camera" is sort of sitting on top of the counters just inside the half-wall, so I suppose you're right, it's sort of a view from the bedroom area of the kitchen and the entryway.

Tell you what, I should go back and get a straight-up view-from-the-blimp shot to make the floorplan plainer. Between the isometric perspective and the funky decisions the game sometimes makes as to rendering nearby objects, I can see where it might be confusing if you don't already know the layout.

(some time later)

OK. Here is a labeled overhead floorplan view. That may help clarify matters somewhat. Also, I took a couple of better isometric overviews, one from the foyer and one from the opposite corner.

>I think some of what's driving this may be
>furniture positions too (dangerous to base things on furniture in an
>in-progress project), such as the position of the carpet, that black
>"table-counter" thing that's obviously not a range top, the piano and

The black counter in the middle of the foreground (in the "from the kitchen" shot) is the kitchen island, with the range built into the middle of it. (That surface with the four red rings and the red oblong on it. Like I said, it's one'a them fancy induction cooktops. Supposed to be gas, but I guess Sims cook with electricity only. :)

I tell you what, though, I've just noticed she doesn't have any place to sit and eat. (The apartment's original designer probably assume tenants would put a dining room table in the area by the entrance, which Azana is using as a foyer instead.) The kitchen island's supposed to have a couple of barstools by it for this purpose, but it appears I forgot to place them.

>the cabinet just before the piano.

Between the last overhead cabinet (upper left) and the piano is the fridge; it's red, so it blends in with the surroundings a bit.

>Of course, there may not be a view from the bedroom toward the entry,
>if there's a full wall in the way.

There is not; the only full walls in the apartment itself (not counting the elevator lobby and the stairs, naturally) are around the bathroom.

>A half-wall between the kitchen and the living room, I get. But
>there's a half-wall between the kitchen and the bedroom? I know you
>wrote it's a studio, but what about a little privacy?

From whom? She's the only one there, and the last overnight visitor she had was Karana, who a) has seen anything she might have on offer a zillion times already, in MLB dressing rooms all over Diqiu and b) was too drunk to notice a brass band, much less Azana getting undressed for bed. :)

>Very spacious looking bedroom though (like the Zzzz) - is it bigger
>than her living room?

Not quite; they're about the same size if you don't count the area where the brazier and gramophone are as part of the living room, or the living room is slightly larger if you do.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#3, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by JeanneHedge on Oct-06-13 at 06:51 PM
In response to message #2
Thanks for the new views. They help greatly, and I now see all the places I was wrong - such as in basic room identification (I was mis-identiying some of the rooms)

The new images give (me, anyway) a better feel for the walls, and I withdraw all privacy-based concerns related to the bedroom.

What I was calling the "table-counter thing" and you said was the kitchen island with the range... that's a prime example of why I said trying to identify rooms based on furnishings was dangerous. I couldn't see the red rings/oblong on one of the views, and it just didn't click that it was still the same piece of furniture.

>I tell you what, though, I've just noticed she doesn't have any place
>to sit and eat. (The apartment's original designer probably assume
>tenants would put a dining room table in the area by the entrance,
>which Azana is using as a foyer instead.) The kitchen island's
>supposed to have a couple of barstools by it for this purpose, but it
>appears I forgot to place them.

And if not barstools at the island, she could just eat off the living room table, sitting on the floor or couch.

Do you do layouts like this (computer rendered or just sketched out) much in your story location planning?


Jeanne


Jeanne Hedge
http://www.jhedge.com
"Never give up, never surrender!"


#4, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by Gryphon on Oct-06-13 at 07:01 PM
In response to message #3
>And if not barstools at the island, she could just eat off the living
>room table, sitting on the floor or couch.

She could, but she's Azana, so she won't. :)

I hasten to note that she's not pathologically neat, I mean, she doesn't get crazy about things out of place or anything... she just keeps a very tidy house, is all. She likes order. Things where they're supposed to be. It's an offshoot of her way of dealing with the fact that her element is the one that will run out of control and destroy an entire town if you don't stay on top of it.

>Do you do layouts like this (computer rendered or just sketched out)
>much in your story location planning?

No, not really. I don't think I've ever designed a location explicitly first; I've sat down and worked out what places looked like after the fact a couple of times now, as illustrations for the reader, but while I'm writing I go from mental images. This is often problematic, I admit. Corwin's apartment in the World Wide Building has had about three different layouts in various bits of the later Symphonies because I've forgotten where I put things and then put them again, and the kitchen in Raven's flat in Claremont has moved at least twice. :)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#5, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by Zox on Oct-06-13 at 07:38 PM
In response to message #4
>Corwin's apartment in the World Wide
>Building has had about three different layouts in various bits of the
>later Symphonies because I've forgotten where I put things and then
>put them again, and the kitchen in Raven's flat in Claremont has moved
>at least twice. :)

Is this The Melancholy of Gryphon Suzumiya, then? When God doesn't pay attention to the universe, reality gets unstable? :)

(Actually, described that way, it makes me wonder if Cephiro ever had a pillar named Haruhi...)


#6, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by Gryphon on Oct-06-13 at 07:51 PM
In response to message #5
>Is this The Melancholy of Gryphon Suzumiya, then? When God
>doesn't pay attention to the universe, reality gets unstable? :)

Straight over my head, but from context, uh, yeah, something like that.

(Glitch in the Matrix. It usually happens when they change something. :)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#7, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by Zox on Oct-06-13 at 08:09 PM
In response to message #6
>>Is this The Melancholy of Gryphon Suzumiya, then? When God
>>doesn't pay attention to the universe, reality gets unstable? :)
>
>Straight over my head, but from context, uh, yeah, something
>like that.

Quick plot summary of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, as I understand it: Haruhi is, without being aware of it, the god of the universe that the characters (including Haruhi) live in. It's the main characters' mission in life to keep Haruhi from getting bored, or distracted, or depressed--because when she does, bad things start to happen on a cosmic level.

So to tie into the Matrix reference: what if the Architect took the blue pill?


#8, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by Gryphon on Oct-06-13 at 08:13 PM
In response to message #7
>Quick plot summary of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, as I
>understand it: Haruhi is, without being aware of it, the god of the
>universe that the characters (including Haruhi) live in. It's the main
>characters' mission in life to keep Haruhi from getting bored, or
>distracted, or depressed--because when she does, bad things start to
>happen on a cosmic level.

CORWIN
Now, you see, that's a much better design than the way it works in Cephiro. You don't tell the person everything depends on that everything depends on her. That's just asking for trouble. That's like trying not to think of Mr. Stay-Puft.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#11, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by BobSchroeck on Oct-07-13 at 01:28 PM
In response to message #8
LAST EDITED ON Oct-07-13 AT 01:29 PM (EDT)
 
>CORWIN
>Now, you see, that's a much better design than the way it works
>in Cephiro. You don't tell the person everything depends on
>that everything depends on her. That's just asking for trouble.
>That's like trying not to think of Mr. Stay-Puft.

SKULD
Of course, it all breaks down when the usual stresses of life get to that person -- you know, homework, exams, job problems, romance issues, stuff like that. And then you get the astral dream giants trying to demolish everything. Not always an optimal outcome.

-- Bob
-------------------
My race is pacifist and does not believe in war. We kill only out of personal spite.


#12, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by Pasha on Oct-07-13 at 10:03 PM
In response to message #8
>>Quick plot summary of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, as I
>>understand it: Haruhi is, without being aware of it, the god of the
>>universe that the characters (including Haruhi) live in. It's the main
>>characters' mission in life to keep Haruhi from getting bored, or
>>distracted, or depressed--because when she does, bad things start to
>>happen on a cosmic level.
>
>CORWIN
>Now, you see, that's a much better design than the way it works
>in Cephiro. You don't tell the person everything depends on
>that everything depends on her. That's just asking for trouble.
>That's like trying not to think of Mr. Stay-Puft.

Isn't that Vaughn?

--
-Pasha ("Gah, Photons, too loud!" was a catch phrase between hosehead and I for years.)
"Don't change the subject"
"Too slow, already did."


#10, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by BobSchroeck on Oct-07-13 at 01:25 PM
In response to message #7
>Quick plot summary of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, as I
>understand it: Haruhi is, without being aware of it, the god of the
>universe that the characters (including Haruhi) live in. It's the main
>characters' mission in life to keep Haruhi from getting bored, or
>distracted, or depressed--because when she does, bad things start to
>happen on a cosmic level.

Yeah. Essentially, Haruhi is an unconscious World Engine with ADHD and an overwhelming faith in the rules of narrative causality.

-- Bob
-------------------
My race is pacifist and does not believe in war. We kill only out of personal spite.


#9, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by BobSchroeck on Oct-07-13 at 01:21 PM
In response to message #2
LAST EDITED ON Oct-07-13 AT 01:22 PM (EDT)
 
> Like I said, it's one'a them fancy induction cooktops.
>Supposed to be gas, but I guess Sims cook with electricity only. :)

After all the Sims who set themselves on fire in the original game, I'm not surprised.

Excellent reference, Gryphon, and one I'll show Peggy as part of the reading of the story when the time comes.

-- Bob
-------------------
My race is pacifist and does not believe in war. We kill only out of personal spite.


#13, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by Gryphon on Oct-26-13 at 12:53 PM
In response to message #0
For a different design project, I needed a Sim or two to just wander around for a bit, checking that the pathing between various features was workable (as it is often possible to place things in the build/buy tool such that they look fine, but Sims cannot use them). I could have used the Azana and Karana Sims I made for the Azana's-apartment project, but instead I decided to put together a theoretical prototype of Annabelle Tenjou as a young adult...

... and only once she was live in the game and I saw her in action did I realize that she's basically Mako Mori if Mako was from the Water Tribe instead of Japan. And more cheerful. And a witch. :)

--G.
Disclaimer: Annabelle may not actually grow up to own a flying broom.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#14, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by Peter Eng on Oct-26-13 at 04:26 PM
In response to message #13
Even if she does have a flying broom, it might not be what people would expect.

"You want one? I have the CAD file..."

"The what?"

"Dad made the first one for me when I got my pilot's license."

Peter Eng
--
Insert humorous comment here.


#15, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by Gryphon on Oct-26-13 at 06:00 PM
In response to message #14
>Even if she does have a flying broom, it might not be what people
>would expect.

I remember a bit of the original Oh My Goddess OVA opening title sequence in which the Norns are depicted flying, witch-style, on floor-cleaning implements. Belldandy has a regular broom (and rides it sidesaddle, as I recall - very ladylike), Skuld's is this preposterously high-tech-looking item that is still obviously a broom, and Urd, Urd has opted for the classic Electrolux canister vacuum cleaner instead.

(Nowadays Skuld would probably be perched, gargoyle fashion, on a flying Roomba.)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#16, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by BobSchroeck on Oct-27-13 at 08:56 PM
In response to message #15
>(Nowadays Skuld would probably be perched, gargoyle fashion, on a
>flying Roomba.)

Or piloting a giant one, flying saucer-style, from the inside...

-- Bob
-------------------
My race is pacifist and does not believe in war. We kill only out of personal spite.


#17, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by Bushido on Oct-28-13 at 04:54 AM
In response to message #16
This train of thought is going to end up with Skuld building the Spaceball One/Mega Maid, isn't it?

#18, RE: Interior Design Interlude
Posted by Gryphon on Oct-28-13 at 06:40 AM
In response to message #16
>>(Nowadays Skuld would probably be perched, gargoyle fashion, on a
>>flying Roomba.)
>
>Or piloting a giant one, flying saucer-style, from the inside...

"Eh? What's that you said? Giant Roomba?"

"Yes sir, Toru came up with it. It's a combination of the words for 'giant' and 'Roomba'."

"Aha! Giant Roomba! That's very clever!"

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.