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Additional table bbcode options available - posted on 5th Mar 2018 at 2:12 PM
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Original Poster
#1 Old 24th Feb 2018 at 7:27 PM
Default [TS3] 80's mall and office interior
Seeing as I'm currently committed to faithfully recreating American culture of the (late) 1980s within my little computer world, and then making a show about it on YouTube, it hasn't taken me very long to realise that I'll need to be creating certain locations in which I will be able to have my dated yet exciting Sim adventures play out.
The two most obvious candidates: a big, plush office building and a bustling mall.

I will need to design and build both these locations, preferably not in the middle of a busy world but rather off somewhere where the lag gods are in a better mood. I have some ideas for how I want both locations to look, but there's a big disconnect between how I WANT these interiors to look and how I can MAKE them look with the limited freedom that TS3 offers.
On top of that there's also various other factors to bear in mind, such as the AI Sims which will undoubtedly look horribly out of place if there's nothing to keep them busy.

I'm wondering if you guys can give me some insight on how to build large, realistic-looking open spaces; observations about the minutiae of the long-gone era of mall culture; must-have features of either location et cetera.
Will draft up some layouts and/or mockups and post them here for your convenience.
Temporarily Banned
Original Poster
#2 Old 24th Feb 2018 at 8:27 PM
Okay, here's some very rough layouts. This is what I had in mind in terms of size, though they could very well end up bigger.


Field Researcher
#3 Old 25th Feb 2018 at 8:18 PM
This is supposed to be NYC/NJ right? Most of the malls there tend to be a rough T or X shape with 3 or 4 department stores, one at each end, of about 2 stories. Some of the larger malls might be 3 stories. I'd never seen a single story mall until I ventured to the center of the country in '06. Where the wings meet in the center there's usually a fountain on the bottom floor with backless metal benches surrounding it and people mill around. There's usually a food court on the second floor overlooking the fountain. You might want to look up the Staten Island or Woodbridge Malls for reference. Menlo Park was built sometime in the mid 90s and Jersey Gardens was after 2000. Depending on the mall the hallways widen nearer to the department stores and there's usually parking access from there. I have no idea how you're going to get a lot large enough for this.

Field Researcher
#4 Old 25th Feb 2018 at 8:22 PM
You could do a food court using the food registers from WA and/or the seasons festival carts. I wish there was a mod for the LN food truck as a register.
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Original Poster
#5 Old 26th Feb 2018 at 8:52 PM
Thanks, it's really useful to have real-life references, especially when there's certain conventions regarding layout and size. Guess making it work will pose a challenge but making it look good will be fairly straightforward.

As far as lot sizes go, I'll only need enough space to build part of the mall. It'll be more like a TV or movie set where you only build that which is strictly necessary to convince your viewer that it's a real location. Plus a bit extra to make it playable, of course. I need to be able to have my Sims move around in there.
Field Researcher
#6 Old 27th Feb 2018 at 1:03 AM
Ok, if things only need to be big enough to be convincing, I'd make 2, 2 story sets. One to be a wing leading to a department store and one to be the central part where the wings come together to form the fountain and the food court. The interior corridor would need to be about 20 squares wide and on the upper level there's central cutouts and the fences around them are usually plate glass with a round metal railing on top. Some malls have skylights and this way some light gets down to the lower level(s). The performing arts set from the store has some very good modern skylights for malls. The only places there would be windows on external walls are where there's entrances or on the face of the department stores. These are ugly, squat, cinder block buildings of dubious architectural value. Have fun!
Top Secret Researcher
#7 Old 27th Feb 2018 at 4:46 AM
Agree with everything tunafishfish said. Many malls have central glass elevators, which you could fake with a box built of windows. Escalators exist at ends of malls, one going up and one down, usually in a criss-cross pattern, for a bit more dramatic flair. Teens gather at the food court, the coffee shop, which is often a cart surrounded by sofas in a central location, or the arcade/ video game store.

As for the office building, think boring. The plan you made is VERY generous in the size of offices, and that is a coffee room in heaven. Of course, for your intentions, it is probably better to go big or go home.

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Field Researcher
#8 Old 27th Feb 2018 at 5:35 AM
I'd say don't forget the kiosks. There's always kiosks in the walkways in front of stores. Usually they're selling knockoff purses, sunglasses, or as seen on tv stuff. It will be horribly overpriced and manned by someone who gives off either greasy car sales man / bored cougar / apathetic young adult vibes. XD

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