Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Deck Plans - Starship: 200 ton (ish) Yacht





So in all the years I've been playing Traveller and more likely, playing with Traveller, I've never adventured in a yacht. I'm pretty much a scout and merchant guy and my old gaming friends leaned heavily toward mercenary adventures. I've had firefights on the Azhanti High Lightning, explored several suspiciously derelict lab ships, and even blew up an X-boat once... but no yachts.

So here is my first attempt at a Traveller yacht. I wanted to make something fast and luxurious, so I went with 4-G acceleration and tried to push the luxury as much as I could: a couple of very large executive staterooms, high ceilings, lots of large view ports, some interior landscaping, and a large, reconfigurable passenger lounge that can act as a dining area, game room, dance floor, or whatever. I took a page from real world luxury yachts (and Traveller's Safari Ship) and added a rear deck for entertaining or to launch recreational craft from, in this case a couple of grav-bikes.

Time to push this ship into jumpspace and let the nobles aboard get about their business of stabbing each other in the back. More images to follow.
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For a higher resolution PDF, click this link: (Traveller Starship Deck Plan Destiny Class). The deckplan was created to be printed out on 30"x42". Scale is 1" = 5'-0" so it can be used with 25mm miniatures. Enjoy!
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Designer's Note: Unfortunately, I decided to take a new design approach with this ship and was in way too deep before I realized I had gone over my intended tonnage. "In for a credit, in for a mega-credit" as the old saying goes, so I pushed through the design regardless of actual displacement. Purists should know that this design tops out at just over 240 dtons (yikes!). At least I redesigned the fuel tanks to provide additional fuel for the increased tonnage. This is a Book 2 design, by the way. Not that it matters when you've fudged this badly.

I could have easily made this entire blog post a rant about the stupid design decisions I made while working on this ship. "Really? The grease covered engineer has to pass through the banquet room to get to his bunk?! Good thinking! Fourteen toilets on the main deck, but NONE in engineering?! I like a ship with quirks as much as the next adventurer, but they shouldn't be designed in!

I've got to keep telling myself "It's only a game. It's only a game"... :)

25 comments:

  1. This is beautiful. What software are you using to generate the deck plans and the ship image?

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    1. Just saw you are an architect. I suspect you are using some very nice tools...

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    2. Thanks for the compliment. Yes, I'm a licensed architect, so I'm using my professional tools for my Traveller hobby. I use AutoCAD for the deck plans and SketchUp Pro for the 3D model, then do some post production work in Photoshop.

      There are free versions of this software if you look: SketchUp has a free version (although it won't output high resolution images), I've heard good things about GIMP as an alternative to Photoshop. I've never used a free drafting program, but a quick Google search brought up several with good reviews, and AutoCAD provides a trial version and student versions.

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    3. I've had some reasonably good success using Inkscape. It's free. As a tip for anyone wanting to make decent sized deck plans, just design them in Inkscape, then save to PDF. That will print "posters" which will tile the pages. If you have a Canon TS9000 series printer (or any other like it) you can print borderless which makes for easy tiling.

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    4. I managed to contact DolphinCad and found out that they occasionally have academic licences available (A universty orders 200 licences and only has 196 machines for example) and they can offer them at academic pricing to the general public. I am thinking of reconfiguring the rear deck to hold the equivalent of a small unarmed aerodynamic space capable VTOL jet and giving it a side entrance rather then a rear entrance. You might still have room for the grav bikes. This way you ca leave the yacht in orbit and use the VTOL for excursions with better performance then a ships boat or the grav bikes.

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    5. I meant a sideways entrance from the rear.

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    6. Good luck! I like the idea of the VTOL jet as the secondary vehicle.

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  2. Good: Plenty of common areas, not only for the passengers but also for the help. I also like the remote turret controls on the bridge. It looks like

    I don't like: Galley placed off in the aft corner. It's about as far from the common rooms as possible. I'd swap the location of the galley and the sickbay myself. It's a feature of the Trident boats I spent a few years on (see pg 10 of this http://navsource.org/archives/08/pdf/0874317.pdf)

    Don't understand: Only Lifts on a two deck ship. I don't see much reason for the passengers to go between decks anyhow. Also, what if power to the lifts are lost? There's no way to go between decks otherwise.

    I don't like sounding so negative, because it's a really nice design. Fairly well thought out, and it partitions the help from the passengers effectively.

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    1. Thanks for your comments. Don't worry about sounding negative, this is not a design I'm terribly proud of. I was trying a different design approach and some things just spiraled out of control.

      I agree with you about the galley. I intend to swap out the galley and cargo area (which is really just luggage storage) with the two forward passenger staterooms. This will put the galley next to the passenger lounge, put the cargo closer to the main lift, and allow the relocated staterooms to become larger.

      The landing gear is intended to allow variable height, to sit high as shown in the section, or low with the belly of the ship nearly on the ground, allowing access through engineering while the ship is on the ground. The primary purpose of the main lift is to load cargo and allow passengers to access the Recreational Deck on top of the ship. If the ship is not at a location that has a passenger boarding bridge, the passengers can board via the main lift as well.

      You make a good point about non-powered access between decks and I'll look into rectifying that if I do an update. At the time I was laying it out I made an effort to keep the passenger areas and crew areas separate, but totally neglected keeping separate circulation between engineering and the main crew area.

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    1. as to the 240 tonnage, the design numbers add up to 200 dtons, but deckplans seldom have enough room to depict all components, so the rules allow +/- 20% slop over for things like corridors and stuff in the deckplans. i very much like what you do here , keep the good work.

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  4. Speaking as a professional imaginary starship and setting designer I would be proud to sport this as a lowly Baron than the OTU Type-Y 200-ton Yacht. Old bug eyes was never to my tastes. This on the other hand for a first time out the box is splendid. Bravo! *space-golf claps* :D

    And my first was a Yacht since my Career choice was always Noble if I could and a few or more of my players.

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  5. I really enjoy your ship designs and have shamelessly stolen a couple for our games. Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thanks! Glad to hear you are getting some use out of my designs!

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  6. You're allows a 20% variance for deck plans, so 240 tons is right on the money for a 200 dTon ship.

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  7. Love the design. In reference to the guy who mentioned GIMP, I have to use it at work an I hate it with a passion. Try Affinity Photo or Affinity Designer, they're great, and it's a pretty cheap one off payment.
    Thanks again K

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  8. Hello Robert. Just found the site (I have been thinking of launching another Traveller campaign)and really love your work. Go figure, we'd need an architect to bring this stuff to life!
    I had a request please: I have been looking at the scale of the 800t Broadsword mercenary cruiser, and have plenty of evidence that it should actually be 1400t. The center of the ship is a circular cylinder, while the exterior is a sphere. If you consider deck heights to be 3 meters (on a 1.5 meter grid)on the plan, the diameter is actually 33 meters. The proof is found on deck H, where the exterior hull is actually drawn.

    The ship only considers the volume of the circular cylinder to get 800t (By the Brilliant Lances design). I would love to see if you could render this, and fix a long standing mistake in Cannon.

    I'd be willing to pay for such a thing, if your too busy. Thanks.

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    1. Hi - Glad to hear you are enjoying my work. I wish I had more time to work on this kind of stuff.

      You are correct. I did a rough volumetric massing model of the Broadsword (from JTAS #8) as a precursor to the model shown in the illustration on page 13 of Starship Geomorphs. The volume model is based on a 110' (+/- 33.5m) sphere diameter with rounded landing legs (my final model has square legs), but did not include any volume for the ship's boats that extend outside the sphere. That model has a volume of approximately 692,000 cubic feet (+/- 19,600 cubic meters) which converts to approximately 1,384 or 1,400 dtons depending upon units and how you round. No need to go much further than the volume of a sphere if you want to make your case.

      I'm not familiar enough with Brilliant Lances to comment on that work.

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  9. Where you using software relative to your Architecture firm, like Chief Architect? I'd love the chance to try my hand at it, with your recommendations please.

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    1. I use AutoCAD for deck plans, SketchUp Pro for 3D modeling, and Photoshop for post production/illustrations for almost all of my Traveller work. These are also what I use professionally, so they can be expensive for someone looking to start off with.

      There are a variety of free 2D, 3D, and graphics programs available, but I don't really have much experience with them. SketchUp has a free web-based version and I've heard good things about Blender as a 3D modeling tool. GIMP is a free, open source software that does pretty much everything Photoshop does. I don't have a consensus of good, free 2D software, but a Google search would probably set you in the right direction.

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  10. Thanks for the info, and I'm sorry to bother you. I understand how work can get in the way of our fun. I just loved Traveller, and GDW's other great game Traveller 2300ad. That was a "hard sci-fi" game, set in 2300 (obviously), so not so far future. Had spin habitat spaceships, and a 50ly "near star" list that was very cool. Did you ever play?

    I need to get a second job, so I can just afford to pay your company to draw that 1400t Mercenary Cruiser. I just loved the GDW stuff, and your work brought it to life better than anywhere else I have seen. Thank you, and I pray for a wealthy retirement for you, so you can return to what you love.

    Cheers!

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  11. Hello, I hope that everything is going around for you my good sir. Me and my pal is playing FRP Sci-Fi and are using your design for a game, loved the ship and ideas, thank you for making our imagination to have place where it can grew

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