Floor Plans ???
I have been given permission to use another building connected to my existing attraction for next year . My question for all of you experts is where or how do you go about laying out a floor plan? Do you design rooms first and fill in the rest with hallways or is there a "better" way to do this? In the past we just sat down with paper and drew up several ideas until we found what we liked. Any thoughts ? BTW this is a metal building 2000 sq ft with open floor.
There's always a better way to do it, and many approaches to the strange alchemy that is floor plan design and haunt design in general, but, first things first . . .
Originally Posted by crossland21
- What kind of haunt did you want to design?
- What kind of theme?
- Have you preferred triangular or square grid in the past?
- Have you used a central corridor for cast and crew?
- What kind of props are you going to use?
- Any funhouse style surprises?
- Any simple or complex Animatronics?
- How many actors will you be using?
- Are they going to be stationary in each room (i.e. torso tables and the lot) or will they be able to work different rooms?
- What does the other haunt look like?
Those aren't rhetorical questions. Provide answers and you will be halfway there to designing this space, and we will be able to better assist you.
Also, what are the particular dimensions of the building? 40' x 50'? 25' x 80'? 20' x 100'? (44.72' x 44.72' even?) Those specific dimensions will have a large bearing on how exactly you layout your plan.
Now, interestingly enough, I have a universal floorplan you can use, and it would be very easy to simply insert whatever room designs or elements into it. Right now it's 4000 sq ft, but I could easily cut it in half for you if you like, but let's get these other elements out of the way first.
Incidentally, Allen has a brilliant DVD on Haunt Design which I highly recommend. JB Corn's books and videos are also excellent.
I didn't know a new Allen Hopps DVD was out! I just ordered it!! Super excited!!
I am missing Youtube Wednesdays so much! Where's our teacher these days?
I'm the designer for our haunt and it's taken awhile to finally get a good system down.
What's worked for me in the past is to, as Mysterio said, get the dimensions of the space you are going to use. That's key. From there, start with the outline, or the exterior walls, of the haunt just as a place to start. Add your entry point next (maybe even your exit just to keep that in mind).
The middle.. the actual haunt.. is the hardest part. Hopefully you're already using graph paper, but if not, get it! (I use the paper where there are 10 squares per inch making each square 1 square foot... so sometimes multiple sheets are needed). Start lightly in pencil, and just start drawing out rooms. I have my list of room ideas with me at all times and tweak and tweak til it works.
But that's just my process. I have yet to use my first draft of a layout... it's usually draft 5 or 6 that ends up being built! The first draft should look dirty... with lots of eraser marks. Make a clean version of that, and tweak that to make version 2 and so on.
Hope that helps, but that's just my process!
I'm also available for hire if you'd like. Even further consultation. Email me at email@example.com or message me on here!
I start with graph paper however this year I'm going further. I am building my whole haunt on sketch up. It is a FREE program that you can build a 3d model of your entire event. I spent about 3 hours today working on our 2013 show and I cannot say enough about this. I know exactly how many panels I will need and can see how it will flow. Check it out. I know it is going to save me a lot of money and work this year.
IF someone's never worked with Google SketchUp, then it's usually a good idea to sketch out or thumb-nail out the basic layout on graph paper first, and then go from that. That makes the SketchUp experience a much more directed one.
Originally Posted by Capt.Chaos
And, true, it is an amazing program.
I as well use graph paper but just downloaded sketchup will give that a try for our new layout.
I too use Sketchup. It's a WONDERFUL tool. What I've found helpful is to color code your wall panels, so you can see even more clearly how to build it when the time comes next year. (IE, 4' = yellow, 3' = orange, 2' = pink, 1' = blue, emergency exits = green)
Definitely use the tutorials. Lots of tricks to learn. I've gotten to the point of having a building model (with the colored panels) and a 'props' model, where you sketch it up to sketchup props and place them in the virtual haunt. Halloween Horror Nights does this and it's VERY cool... I believe there is a youtube video about them... maybe...
Google SketchUp is my best friend, our designer does INCREDIBLE things with it. We use SketchUp not only to create our layout, but to figure out the BEST/LONGEST possible path.
My method may be slightly unconventional, but I don't start with "room ideas" per-se. I come up with a theme, then I think of effects I want (a LOT got canned this past year because of our last minute move and having all of 10 days to rebuild an entire haunt from scratch, repaint, then re-firecoat) but anyway, after I know my theme and my desired effects, I go to my web designer, and we use a 3-D mouse to help us create an entire layout. I give him a limit on 4x8 wall panels, and ask to use a few "special" (aka not 4x8) panels as possible, then he sits down and makes sure we use our space to its FULL potential. Allowing us to create would could have easily been a 5 minute walk through into a 15+ minute EXTREME haunt.
That way may not be ideal for a "haunters" mindframe, but as far as business-wise goes, it's saved a LOT of time and money. Plus, you still have plenty of rooms to create things in, even if they look really small on paper, you have to constantly remind yourself that each little line is actually 4 ft, and they add up!
Besides, I don't know how ANY of you guys got to build your haunt on graph paper and get to open lol, we had to have stamped architectural plans, and show were exactly we were going to provide supports, and even then we were given a really freakin hard time by city inspectors, and then we moved to another town that was a lot more sensible but still wanted to see a professionally created floor plan.
Here's our first floor plan presentation, entirely created through Google SketchUp, this is for our old location when we were presenting to the town committees earlier this year. SketchUp let's us know how long our actual walking distance is, does a timed walkthrough (which obvious varies drastically depending on what you put your customers through, but is neat nonetheless). Credit for the presentation goes to KylePasciutti.com If you need a layout created for your attraction, contact him! He's great!!
No, our haunt is not 3 floors, this is 3 layouts, a basic layout, basic layout plus cross bracing, and basic layout with measurements.
Anyone seen the original poster?