Aaron Otta talks to SimArchitect

Aaron Otta, former webmaster of the BAT Renaisance Centre, now is the webmaster for SimArchitect. All the SimArchitect designs were created by Aaron.


" I plan on being an architect after I graduate from college"

Aaron Otta

SimArchitect: Aaron Otta, thank you for allowing us to interview you today.
Aaron Otta: No problem. :-)

SimArchitect: Can you tell us about yourself, what you do in real-life?
Aaron Otta: In real life I have several other hobbies besides computer, including music, art, gardening, and reading (just to name a few). I began taking formal piano lessons at age 7, although I composed a variety of songs beforehand. I started taking lessons from a concert pianist at age 12, which was and is still a real commitment. It's worth it though. I like to compose music, especially romantic-era pieces and jazz-funk fusion. I have always loved art and drawing, especially drawing buildings. My favorite drawing medium is pen and ink. I also like colored pencils too. I've never taken any formal art course, but I think it would be interesting. I plan on being an architect after I graduate from college (or a university, or whereever I go :-). I've always liked the outdoors, and gardening is a newfound interest. I'm planting a vegetable garden this summer, and I'll keep you all posted on how it's going! :-) Another hobby of mine is reading. I like novels and technical reading, ranging in topic from Star Wars to computers, to houseplans, and such. Oh...I also have other activities such as school. I'm in high school, and I'm homeschooled, but I'm going to public high school next year.


"They were probably pretty plain, unrealistic-looking. But hey, it was a start"

Aaron Otta

SimArchitect: What made you start designing buildings?
Aaron Otta: My keen interest in architecture and the promise of putting your own individual buildings EASILY into SimCity 3000 was what really got me going.

SimArchitect: What was the first building you made?
Aaron Otta: The absolute first building I made wasn't really my building. I used the building template that came with the original Building Architect and put on the paints and details. I think for the first few days of using the Building Architect, I made various small houses before I attempted anything massive. ;-)

SimArchitect: What do you think of that building now?
Aaron Otta: They were probably pretty plain, unrealistic-looking. But hey, it was a start!

SimArchitect: What is your favourite SimCity architect tool?
Aaron Otta: It would be either the Building Architect Plus or the SimCity 3000 Unlimited Rendering Kit (SC3URK). My favorite is a combination of both. I make the building in BAP and export it through SC3URK, touch it up in Paint Shop Pro by making realistic lighting, shadows, etc., and load it into the game through SC3URK. But, sometimes, all I need to use is BAP.

Quick Facts

Plays piano
Planting a garden
Homeschooled
Likes SC3URK
Uses Custom Buildings
Likes realistic blds

SimArchitect: How did you to work with BAP and SC3URK ?
Aaron Otta: Experimentation. I'll experiment with different combinations of paints, details, and props until I find what looks good. If it still needs more rendering, I'll export it with SC3URK and touch it up.

SimArchitect: What has been the most heartbreaking thing that you had worked on BAP where you had to throw your hands up and say, "this just isn't going to work..."?
Aaron Otta: I've had several of those, actually. Almost all the times, they were large skyscrapers that required hours of work, or just didn't look good no matter what.

SimArchitect: What building took you the longest to finish?
Aaron Otta: I've worked on a few that took me at least two or three hours.

SimArchitect: How much time a day do you put for making buildings?
Aaron Otta: It depends...now that I'm working with SimArchitect, and am very busy with school and other things, I don't have all that much time. But, if I'm in the mood, I'll open up BAP and make a house or two.

SimArchitect: What is the average time that it takes you to make a good building?
Aaron Otta: Depending on its size and how good you want it to look, I spend anywhere from 1/2 hour to 2 hours.

SimArchitect: Does it make you feel proud, all the comments you have gotten on your buildings?
Aaron Otta: Why wouldn't I? ;-)


"Experiment. ..experiment. ..experiment"

Aaron Otta

SimArchitect: What is your advice to those who just start out BAPping?
Aaron Otta: Experiment...experiment...experiment! It's the best way to discover your own natural abilities and to develope an eye for what looks good and what doesn't. Just be sure to have a lot of time on your hands, because it DOES take a long time.

SimArchitect: Do you play SC3K? Often?
Aaron Otta: I go through phases of interest. Although I have an underlying enthusiasm for the game, it depends on if I'm in the mood for playing it or not.

SimArchitect: If there was a feature you could ask be added to BAP, what would you ask for?
Aaron Otta: I would ask for the ability to copy and paste. It would save SO much time!

SimArchitect: Have you ever had problems with people pirating your buildings?
Aaron Otta: No...because I haven't put out very many of mine.

SimArchitect: Do you use your buildings in the game itself?
Aaron Otta: Absolutely. That's the beauty of it...I can personalize my cities!


"I would ask for the ability to copy and paste"

Aaron Otta

SimArchitect: Do you make buildings more for realism, or for fun?
Aaron Otta: Definately realism. Occasionally, I'll make 'em for fun, though. ;-)

SimArchitect: What do you forsee the simulation game genre coming to?
Aaron Otta: It's hard to say, but I expect more interactivity, specifically with the SimCity series, and SimGame seriesin general. Something like SimCopter and Streets of SimCity were with SimCity 2000, except much better.

SimArchitect: And finally do you think the next SimCIty will already include a Building Architect Tool?
Aaron Otta: Oh for sure, unless the Maxoids are really busy. :-D

SimArchitect: Thank you for your time Aaron and we hope to see many more buildings from you.
Aaron Otta: No problem, any time. I'll try to get more of my buildings up as well.

SimArchitect would like to thank Aaron Otta for allowing us to interview him.