I've been spending this evening thinking about other stuff that, while it is related to my little project, is off on something of a tangent. Namely, what's the environment that these people are going to exist in like? There's a university campus and there's dorms, obviously, but what are they actually like? I thought I'd have a go at starting with something fairly simple but really important, namely the dorm rooms themselves. They're basically just box rooms with a bit of furniture, but it's where the cast are going to spend a significant chunk of their downtime.
I'd love to be able to model out sets and props for it with some 3D modelling software but I just don't have any familiarity with 3D software, at all, other than a few days playing with Google Sketchup. I tried downloading and installing that again (only now it's someone else who owns it rather than Google) only to find it had changed a lot and I didn't know how to use it anymore.
However, I did find this pretty neat room modelling web app called Roomstyler so I had a play around with that and managed to mock up something reasonably convincing in not a great amount of time at all. Here's the floor plan
I also put a couple of renders of the space on my images page. Feel free to check them out!
The space is VERY loosely modelled on the kind of dorm that I lived in during my first year of university life. They were basically box rooms that were accessed off a single corridor, like a hotel (or as we called it, a dungeon). The actual rooms were also a fair bit smaller than this and had only an armchair rather than a sofa, but I wanted to make a few allowances for things like cramming a lot of people in there for parties, etc.
The real room did have just a sink, as the baths/showers/toilets were communal and meals were part of the deal whilst staying there. They didn't have balconies though (the door on the opposite wall is supposed to let out onto a small outside ledge, again another tweak for story purposes). The furniture is somewhat fancier than the real dorms too, but that's just because it's an online tool with a preset library of objects. Not much I can do about that I'm afraid. Still, I think it gives a decent overall impression of what one of the dorms is like.