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Deckplans.
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Aabh
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 27 Aug 2011
Posts: 134
Location: Arvada, Colorado

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow.. that sort of set my head a-spinnin. Very Happy

I'm not sure I follow the Traveller scale thing... but really I'm good with ANY deck plans, regardless of scale. We've been using the McMaster blueprints (Long loved and beaten and sadly out of print) for the Destroyer that the main crew is on, but we have no idea what the inside of, say, a Lyran CA even looks like... Is this simply a "We haven't gotten there" sort of thing? Or a "We will never get there". Would it help for me to make some up? I'd volunteer my time for these things as we assaulted Lyrans or Orions or what have you, is there a template we need to use? I have the old Star Trek blueprints from FASA that I have been using to make maps for interiors of bases and the like. I figure that's probably not reproducible (Since that's really rather copyrighted). Does anyone have a standard set of "greebles" that are used for interior map-making?
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Guy Davis
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
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Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doing deckplans for the SFU involves equal-parts drafting skill, deep knowledge of the SFU techbase, and working in software ADB can digest. You'd need to have all three for it to be worth their time to review (if they can't put it in PageMaker on an old OS9 Mac, you wasted your time, also if you put too much stuff into an established hull, etc.).

Not trying to be discouraging, but others have already gone down that path and been disappointed, IIRC.
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Aabh
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 27 Aug 2011
Posts: 134
Location: Arvada, Colorado

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pondered all of that too, after I "hung up" and walked away from my computer...

Well, let's see what I can offer: I've been a graphic artist for 20 years now... er... not that I've been a GOOD graphic artist, mind (That's up to everyone else to decide, I guess) ... But I could probably be okay with the actual execution.

And if I did all high resolution JPEGs, that might work fine in PageMaker...

The only thing I think I might be missing is the extensive knowledge of the SFU... I've been out of pocket for... well... most of the time I've been a Graphic Artist, and I'm just coming back in. I'm die-hard TOS trekkie, but that is only a small part of the SFU. I was sort of thinking that last night after I posted the offer, how does a Kzinti live? Could I be creative there or did someone establish their living conditions in a Captains Log back in 1989? If I decided that it'd be cool to have tubes for the Hydrans to whiddle down instead of hallways, would there be an uproar? What if they already DO whiddle down tubes and I draw hallways?!? There ARE escape pods in a Federation Heavy Cruiser, right? Where are they? They don't show on McMaster blueprints or on the Original Blueprints from TOS... but we know they are there (And would be critical for any PD game)...

Um, I see your point: this could be a real minefield. o.O
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Guy Davis
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Sgt_G
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 286
Location: Offutt AFB, Nebraska

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have programs such as TurboCAD and QuickCAD, but I've found the learning curve too steep for me to really get into them. They wanted me to use SmartDraw (if memory serves), but I found it just horrible to use.

I still use a program called Floor Plan Plus (ver 2) because I can do most anything I want with it. It's very limited as far as the tool set goes, but it's so easy I can find ways around most of the limitiations. The problem is ADB can't read in the native formats. I can copy-paste to paint Shop Pro and export as a GIF, but if I ever get anything "final", I'll have to send it to Nick Blank to trace over into his program that ADB can read.
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Garth L. Getgen
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Steve Cole
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Joined: 11 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a good day for a long discussion, but we have to have plans we can edit in the office. Remember how many years we've been in business and how many people have come, stayed a few years, and moved on. If we're stuck with something we cannot change without tracking down the original artist (who may be unavailable, dead, out of the country, or not speaking to us any more) we cannot publish them.
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The Guy Who Designed Fed Commander
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aramis
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 25 Jul 2011
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SVC: putting the deckplans vector-based into a PDF results in scalable plans; Reader X will tile large images automatically if you set it to, or reduce to fit a single page.

And Traveller scale is 1.5m per square, not 3ft. That's approximately 4' 11".
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Aabh
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 27 Aug 2011
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Location: Arvada, Colorado

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah... this becomes an ever larger minefield... o.O

Seeing as how I'm not using a Mac, this may be simply out of my reach.

I'd still like to tinker about and see what happens if that's okay, I'll post results here Very Happy
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Guy Davis
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djdood
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not so much not using a Mac. It's that you need to use software that produces source files that ADB's (old) Macs can read.

ADB can and will need to change things on your work. Labeleing at the least, wholesale changes to compartments, etc., if something went really wrong. They also will need to repackage things for different publication form-factors, etc. They don't (and won't) have time to try and manipulate your art in Photoshop to change a compartment that needs to change shape, etc., , if your output was a flat bitmap.

As SVC noted, ADB needs to protect their ability to publish these things years and years out. If the artist who did them in StupendousDraftingMachinePro disappears, they'd be hosed, as they won't have that software or the experience using it.

IIRC correctly, ADB is using FreeHand for vector drawing stuff (an old platform itself, long since superseded by Illustrator, when Adobe bought out Macromedia) and MacDraw for bitmap/raster stuff.

Anything an outside person does as "technical art" that is prone to markups/changes (such as deck plans, exterior "blueprints", etc.) needs to be in a file format they can open in those programs with no errors or file-corruption.

Also, as you noted, you need to understand how SFU ships (not "Trek", SFU) work internally. Sadly, that means having read the vast majority of the products as the that kind of universe/setting data is sprinkled throughout the 20+ year history of SFU publications. It also means owning a lot of the miniatures, to understand how exterior details are made common on empire's ship and across the SFU as a whole.

If you don't know Hydran ships have launch-tubes for their fighters and put your bridge where they need to be, that would suck. Etc.

It's complicated, but it is what it is.

I specifically went out and found an old copy of FreeHand 9 a few years ago, to try and make sure my work would be usable by ADB, if they ever wanted to publish any of it. As it turns out, 99.9% of the time I don't miss the extra bloat of Illustrator for the work I'm doing. For basic technical illustrating, FreeHand 9 (2000-vintage) is plenty capable. The *only* thing it won't do that I would want is gradient-driven-by-outline shapes and that's not a factor for line drawings.
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Aabh
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 27 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I completely understand. I'll stick to drawing fiction Wink
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Guy Davis
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Aabh
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 27 Aug 2011
Posts: 134
Location: Arvada, Colorado

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, on a whim I bought some Traveller deckplans and looked them over...

Then I took the old Star Trek RPG deckplans I have and scanned them in and put 3 foot hexes all over the place...

Did you know that Deck 7 ALONE is 139 hexes wide?!? (being 127.1meters) O.O

That's a sheet that's 11 FEET by 11 feet (121 square feet)!... or 192 11x17" sheets.... Each sheet being about 800K jpgs, you'd end up with 154 megs for Deck 7 alone. Add all the other 21 decks and you have probably only 12 times that (Because no deck is as large as Deck 7)... it's just a guess. You'd need 1,452 square feet of room to lay out the deck plans, it would be 2,304 11x17" sheets of paper, which would be a booklet 9 inches thick (Presuming 20 lb paper and with the pages not folded), double that if you wanted to make it folded and weigh in at 46 pounds! Very Happy

So CA deck plans in Traveller scale: an 1.8 gigabyte .pdf file that when printed out would be 2,300 pages at 11x17" weighing in at 46 pounds Very Happy

I can totally see what Steve is talking about now. Very Happy
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Guy Davis
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Aabh
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 27 Aug 2011
Posts: 134
Location: Arvada, Colorado

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Aramis: The traveller deckplans I just bought says "1 hex (1") = 1 yard, 1 square (1.5") = 1.5 Meters" All of my tests were done using hexes.
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Guy Davis
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard some folks have been quite successful using scans of the Franz Joseph or FASA Fed CA deckplans and a custom Flash-based overlay graphics interface for player character icons, projected up on a screen. Neat, if you have someone who can assemble the software tools, the projector, and a nice big wallspace.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, better idea...

Mount multi-media projector on ceiling, pointed-down.
Put white board on table top...
Project deck plans on white-board, move minis around table and shift deck plans around as required by character movement.
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aramis
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 25 Jul 2011
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aabh wrote:
@Aramis: The traveller deckplans I just bought says "1 hex (1") = 1 yard, 1 square (1.5") = 1.5 Meters" All of my tests were done using hexes.
Those are GURPS deckplans, not Traveller. Especially Loren's stuff.

Traditional Traveller deckplans are 15mm scale, not 25mm, as well, for 1/2" squares. The 25mm stuff is all either GURPS or 3rd party. And at 1/2"=1.5m, the FASA Constitution and D7 plans were quite workable. At 1/4"=1.5m, it's under a dozen 11x17" sheets for the whole ship.

Note that the Mongoose Traveller (MGT) deckplans all use 1.5m square-grids, as well, but Mongoose put them in as raster images, not vector. Which means they don't scale well.
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Aabh
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 27 Aug 2011
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Location: Arvada, Colorado

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, but it was the GURPS deckplans that Steve was talking about and you corrected him on. Prime Directive is a GURPS product (Well... and a d20 product...), thus it'll be at GURPS scale.

The maps I have ARE 1.5m per square as well. The squares are on the back of the sheets (Hexes on one side, Squares on the other), so though there would be fewer squares on the square side, the squares are bigger... thus it would be the same, massive map set for traveller at 1.5" squares = 1.5m... it would still be 127 inches across for the primary hull.

I'm not trying to be difficult, this whole thread was about making deckplans for GURPS scale, and in GURPS scale it's just unweildy.


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Guy Davis
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