View Full Version : Asteroidal Pirate Caves - 3D experiment...

12-29-2007, 01:14 PM
I was intrigued with RobA's sci-fi Pirate Cave entry for the December challenge - I mentioned the idea of working in 3D to create pirate cave on an asteroid, was something that crossed my mind.

Of course, 4 hours is impossible for most 3D projects, so I'm trying this outside the challenge.

Now this "map" is really a 3D 3/4 view of the pirate station and cave system. More like a 3D model than a map, but I'll pursue this just the same. Actually creating the asteroid, caves and cutaway view is actually easier than creating the structure and furnished chambers - so I thought I'd start on the hard stuff first, to get it out of the away for the rest of the project.

All I created here are "crew quarters" area of the pirate station. I plan to create a galley/dining area/recreation room, an operations center, armory, stolen goods treasury chamber, powerplant, life support, infirmary and pirate ship bays/maintenance area.

Finally I'll create the asteroid itself, with internal caves and then I'll place the structure within this and cut-away to expose what I plan to show.

Again this is totally experimental and I may eventually steer away from 3/4 views and stick aerial view maps, I just wanted to try this...

WIP so far... 8)

Ravs mentioned in a past post, that mappers always seem to forget the toilet facilities on starships, with this in mind, I created a "mobile home shower unit" where the toilet is actually inside the shower. I created "fold away toilet seat" notice down position on left side crew quarters, vs. the "ready to use toilet seat folded out" in the right side crew quarters... :)

12-29-2007, 02:04 PM
That's awesome, GP. I love the folding toilet idea. I never really thought about it until I'd seen Firefly, but in space ships and stations, where space is at a premium, it makes lots of sense.

I'm interested to see how the rest of this turns out. Cool!


12-29-2007, 02:44 PM
I think the best way to take advantage of the 3/4 view 3D model/map is when I'm completed, to create a standard aerial view map of the same complex, one that is useable in a standard battlemap format with a grid (and without for VTT usage.)

This way the 3/4 view becomes more of a player's illustration than the only map available.

Of course, this makes it twice the work, but oh well... 8)

12-30-2007, 12:19 AM
They would most likely Murphy the bed as well to save even more space. Just a thought

12-30-2007, 12:34 AM
Now that you mention it... Wouldn't this area probably look more like the berths in an aircraft carrier than steerage on a cruise liner? Bunks, I mean. Not private rooms. Probably too much work to un/redo, but while the topic was under discussion...


12-30-2007, 05:09 AM
I thought of that, but I thought that long periods in space away from civilization on a station might get you serious cabin fever overtime. By having individual rooms pirates on station can have some level of privacy and have better spirits because of that. For the privacy reason, I placed shower/toilets in each room as well, instead of a common commode/shower room - as is in military situations.

I see my pirates as less a military unit, rather rogues hired on over time, so some level of civilian necessities outweigh pure military efficiency.

I haven't fully decided. Regarding the trouble to create bunks instead of state rooms, that's easy enough. If I started right now I could model a 3D bunk bed in about 10 minutes, replacing the single bed and re-rendering would add another 5 minutes and replacement complete.

So its a matter of choice, not really any extra work... 8)

01-01-2008, 12:36 AM
I would think space pirates would be very similar to old world pirates. So the privacy / time away from civilization would be pretty much the same, and therefore the bunks and common areas would be similar. In fact, the lack of "niceties" would be a good impetus to getting them out and working... er... pillaging and plundering. ;)

01-01-2008, 03:19 AM
I've decided my initial crew quarters are just too lavish for my pirates, so...

If space or the lack of it is a concern, how about influence from a Japanese Capsule Hotel! Here's a smaller "state room" version. Perhaps these individual chambers are officers quarters. You can see the toilet (this one is a sliding drawer commode) just beyond the bed on left side of the chamber. Also a "television/monitor" can be seen on the left center wall.

I'll create a common bunk room / common commode area for the general crew. In fact, I'll make the common bunk room the chamber outside the officer quarters in the image below. So its really one barracks room with officer capsules attached on one wall.

Note the "pin-up girl" on the wall - its really a topless girl with a cubs jersey painted on... (give you a little thrill...) :P

01-01-2008, 03:13 PM
How about a bunk contraption for 20 crew members? Now I just need to figure out how many people man this station, to decide how many bunks to create...

WIP so far... 8)

01-01-2008, 10:23 PM
Nice! Hammocks! I like that slight touch of anachronism. A little nod to the swinging canvas sleeping arrangements so often seen in movies. Cool.


01-02-2008, 12:05 AM
Yeah, when I started to think about spartan crew facilities - good ole navy hammocks came to mind. I "teched" it up with the yellow metal framework and the plush and pillowed hammocks themselves - but its still reminiscent of a bygone era. I will look to see what other nostalgic or anachronistic features I can add to the complete map - just for further experimentation.

I'm giving the station commander a state room, officers get the modular wall cells and the troops will be bunked in two parallel rows of hammock lines for 40 troops, 4 officers and the commander, for a total crew of 45 pirates. Perhaps 36 aboard the heavy armed pirate corvette, with 9 maintaining the station - maintenance personell, operations managers and infirmary physician...

01-02-2008, 12:35 AM
Don't forget that hammocks aren't always going to be filled at the same time either. Depending on space requirements, it could be likely that hammocks are actually shared as there will always be at least one shift "on duty" whatever that might be. So you could theoretically reduce the number of hammocks to even 20 if half the pirates are always on duty.

01-03-2008, 03:09 PM
How much gravity?

In a near 0-G environment, hammocks aren't that useful. IIR, some of the micro-G beds used in the space program were more like sacks that you could hang off a hook to sleep in.

And in the future, I'm sure cabin fever would be overcome by VR, or at least A/V headsets to provide a fully immersive "not stuck in space" experience...

-Rob A>

01-03-2008, 03:48 PM
I understand that in reality, the pirate station, would ideally be somewhere less than 1 G, so space sickness is lessened between life between station life and extra-vehicular activity.

However, for fantasy/sci-fi gaming 1 G is pretty common on stations and aboard ship (at least what you're used to on TV - Battlestar Galactica, Trek, Serenity, etc.)

So I guess I'm designing a facility using normal earth gravity. Whether this is created through centrifugal spin of the asteroid, or by artificial "grav unit", I'm not sure - I think the latter.

Is this realistic? Probably not, scientifically, but for gaming I think its the direction I'll go and gamers would expect...

I'm not trying to create the type of beds found on the space shuttle or MIR station. That's low tech for my perceived sci-fi setting. 8)

01-11-2008, 12:47 PM
I would probably go for something a lot more junky and primitive for a pirate base. Possibly crudely cut tunnels in some asteroid with heavily-patched pressure tents and cans scattered about, an old war-surplus Chinese air scrubber in one corner and some scanning gear jerry-rigged from equipment stolen from a freighter somewhere. A few old field pieces inexpertly lashed into inappropriate locations. It's hard to make a space pirate base appropriately primitive, but certainly it should be grimy anarchic and dark in most places. Graffiti, pornographic ads for local girls(and possibly boys) providing services trash strewn about and lots of old patches and quick and dirty weld jobs seem appropriate.

The pictures so far seem more like the base for the Patrol boys hunting the pirates. Of course grime and disorder are about the hardest things to do in 3d art.

01-11-2008, 07:42 PM
Su Liam - you are so right! Its just that I lack textures for rust and corroded metal. I have a few, but I'd need much more variety of that kind of texture material to skin my 3D models.

I like the idea of the war-surplus gear to operate the covert pirate base. I'll have to give it some more thought - good suggestions! 8)

01-11-2008, 08:16 PM
More rust than you can shake a stick at here... all free too.


The Cartographist
01-12-2008, 02:06 AM
su_liam - couldn't have said it better myself.

redrobes - fantastic resource. I'm curious--did you happen to come across it, or you do know them?

RPMiller makes a great point about the pirates "on duty". On a fast attack submarine, where space is extremely limited and where I lived for 3.5 years, the vast majority of the crew live in a condition where they "hotrack" meaning that they share the bed (rack), because one will be up and working while the other is asleep. On ballistic missile submarines, where the space is much larger and I lived for 2.5 years, that is NOT the case--every crew member, except for the very most junior, gets his own rack.

Ultimately, it depends on how "realistic" you want the pirate base to be, and how wealthy these pirates are. If they have had a string of successes, they might have had the time and resources to carve out huge living quarters from the body of the asteroid. If not, then less so.

But I am definitely looking forward to seeing this develop.

01-12-2008, 12:31 PM
More rust than you can shake a stick at here... all free too.

REPPED! Thank you.

01-12-2008, 03:40 PM
did you happen to come across it, or you do know them?They have been around for ages. I had them bookmarked on my list but I have lost that with a OS reinstall but if you google for texture then they are near the top now. I have some similar photos I could give them but I think that all their stuff is self taken to avoid any copyright issues. I take a texture now and again as its not my day job but if I used them a lot id buy that DVD. What I like about the Mayang is that they give access to the high res versions. This is why id consider buying the disk - I know id be getting the res. Even if the texture I need is low res you need to work in high res and drop down.

I have used the marble (green, light brown and now the black and white) in my Jan challenge entry. I made them into seamless textures and then put them into my texture compositor before using the single final output texture as the drape in the 3D package.

The sort of textures id like to get access to even for fee, is top down aerial photos from low altitude so that you get mapping trees and stuff like that. I reckon a balloonist might be able to do it but aircraft are too high. I'm always leaning over tall buildings and bridges with a camera pointing down.

Also, if anyone knows somebody who has or visits bonsai shows that have small scale trees that look like their larger versions then id be interested in some photos of them from the top down.

I know there are places like the Dundjinni forums, RPG Map Share and other mapping places as well as my icon download areas but generally most other peoples icons are so very low res. If you know of ones that hold the original photo then that would be much better. Maybe this guild should start a repository of public domain images for mapping bits / textures.

01-12-2008, 04:06 PM
Maybe this guild should start a repository of public domain images for mapping bits / textures.
You mean like this? ;)


02-17-2008, 05:41 PM

I do a 1936 WWII era meets starship setting. Hammocks are a great touch and very much a part of our world when it comes to ship designs. You might swing by our forum and peer at some of the books if you decide to go a the retro route.

In particular the Betty starship modeled after the Mitchel bomber has some good technical drawings of all of the various parts of the ship that might lend you some ideas. =D

You do cool stuff I must say. Wish I had those skills.