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.
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.