Alright y'all we need to talk about the Strangerville Library.
So. Backstory. I am a regular roadtripper who often and regularly stops at small town Information Centers on the way between camping sites and between longer road trips. I've done everything from 2 week long cross country to day trips, so I consider myself fairly well versed in small town set ups. I've seen a lot of criticisms leveled at the build of the library and bar, some by respected critics, so I thought I would bring my perspective.
So for one... the library isn't a library. It's a information center. If you've been on a road trip and visited small towns (or very small cities) you would've seen them a million times and oh god the build is actually dead on.
Yes, it's simple. But by plum it's ACCURATE. I am a little sad they didn't make the "on the wall line up for informational pamphlets and the really slap dash awful cork board" which are in a lot of them (90% for the information pamphlets, the cork boards are a good 25%). But still. Speaking of, that would've been awesome for the Outdoor Retreat expansion for the Park Center. Anyway. I get the criticisms regarding the reused house even though it's not an issue for me. I'm somewhere in the middle, because ye it's lazy af and probably a result of slap dash 'get it out the door'ism. But one part of criticism is to recognize what a person is TRYING to build, trying to mimic, not just how fancy and nice it looks.
I see people build huge gorgeous libraries for Strangerville to replace it with, and that's nice! It's your prerogative! But the small Information Center fits the 'out of the way small town' vibe the place is going for, that makes me remember fondly all my road trips. My brief stop in a place in Oklahoma during my 10 day road trip to Texas and back, my trip to the bathroom of a Information center in a small place in virginia on the way home from Christmas. The Sims Team NAILED that vibe. So, yes to people building the town how they want, but eehhhhhhhhhh to people saying the Information Center was a terrible build.
Now, I was critical of the bar myself at first and did redesign the inside to better fit a 🐸🐸🐸🐸🐸-tonk vibe like the places I hit up in Memphis and Austin, but uh. When I complained about it to my other Sims Obsessed friend who happened to be a partier in her younger days and grew up in a military town she informed me that it was DEAD ON for military town hole-n-the wall bars. Down to the sparse stuff on the walls and the plum jukebox. She stared off into space a bit and said 'No, I drank in a place like that before. Many places. When the military sims started coming in I had flash backs.'
So kudos to the team on this, seriously. They put a haunted and slightly horrified and awed look on my friend's face with how accurate their build was to a terrible small military bar.
Sometimes I think people don't realize quite the notes people are trying to hit with certain builds and vibes and that is fine. It's fine if they don't think a person should strive to hit those notes either. But honestly? The little details of the Information Center made my day when I first logged in to this pack, and my friend is keeping the bar as-is. Just because it wasn't fancy or well designed by architecture standards doesn't mean it wasn't hitting the notes it was supposed to hit.
For the information center, I left the layout the same, just adjusted the pathways a bit and changed the couches.
ETA: Welcome to the forum!
Yeah, I'm in a military town and I've had "juice" at a few of them.
I deeply appreciate builds that play homage to the worlds in which they are situated, even if they aren't the most conventionally attractive.
@Hermitgirl Agreed. I have a lot of family out west, so it just sticks in my teeth sometimes when people assume everywhere has all the same aesthetic, even in the same state. Not everything out west is stucco and sleek, not everything in Virginia is old Victorian/plantation style. I would possibly give my right arm for a expansion that references areas around the Blue Ridge Skyline Drive up in areas of virginia (for one, living on rolling lots on top of a mountain with another mountain looming up higher in the distance, and a dropping valley below would be gorgeous, for another all the ghosts and weird stuff they could add in all the cracks), although I recognize that is a very niche interest.
@belle10 Yeah, like; I respect a lot of builders and what they can do, but there is a reason why I'm trying to learn to build my own stuff. Often times I download a house off the gallery knowing I'm going to change a good 50% or more about it. Only exception so far has been this one haunted Victorian house for my vamps, but by the end of their story with the younger vamps doing renovations that is going to change. I can appreciate the work and details, but my aesthetic and experiences with architecture are just different.
@ Everyone who mentioned bar design: With me, all I really did was swap out the long tables for small wood round ones, put more stuff on the wall, and swapped things around so the bar is along the left wall instead of right in the back, and dimmed the lights. Made it fit more my own personal experiences with run down tiny bars. But then again, I've never been to a tiny military bar, so I recognize it might be slightly inaccurate to the original intended vibe.
Strangerville seems like one of those out of the way small towns you might be passing through. Just keepign things simple and casual to fit with the overall town. Seems like they might keep up old traditions. I actually like the bar. It was simple, yet had a certain charm to it especially when you're seeing mostly some military personnel and a few of the locals hanging there. Just a local bar and definitely was feeling that.
I actually filled most of the walls with more clutter pictures and such in the bar myself. Might put some rounder ones in as that sounds good for some old wooden tables.
i saw dannydanbo comment elsewhere that he'd worked a bit on the bar, added a room above it for a conspiracy club to meet up in and i was plotting something similar for the library, but wound up using his rebuild of the bar instead... still contemplating if i'm going to move the 'conspiracy office' underground so they feel better or not, though. i do like the way the second floor addition makes the building look from the outside (it matches up a bit better with a lot of the decor buildings on the street between it and the library, at least to my eye
and with the library, i had wanted to add a small hidden lab beneath it for some of the scientists to still be doing some work as an added reason for them to be there but instead the place became a small town city hall (even though i was silly and based it on one i had seen in new england instead of anything in the southwest where it feels like strangerville is) with a large archives room, at least compared to the lot size. also, instead of a secret lab, the basement area wound up becoming a small research station with some bizarre fruit, spores, lots of the redacted files (both normal decor and buydebug stuff usable for investigating), a listening station and the old laptop found in buydebug, all reachable via secret door from what is supposed to be the mayor's office (decorated nicely with the military flags...so glad to finally have those). it made a lot of sense to me, since ted roswell is supposed to be the town's mayor (i also made him a politician because of that) and his paranoid trait and infected status both kind of needed something like that
for me, I like being in fun places. There's not much to do in the bar especially. The library I left alone because you're only there to nab a scientist.
But hubby was in the military--we've been to a lot of dive bars and usually they have a pool table at least (something the Sims 4 desperately needs). MIlitary folks like to have fun together. There's not even darts in the place...no horseshoes or foosball or video games. Come on!
They have to use base game and pack content only with new releases. That's why there's no darts or foosball or arcades.
I completely forgot that all the stuff that I use in my bars came in other packs. Thank you. I added a fooztable, might add the card table from Outdoor Retreat as well.
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