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Kihmbar
12-04-2008, 07:38 PM
I am working on a map of a ship in our Star Wars RPG campaign. It is a Barloz-class freighter (from the Stock Freighters sourcebook by West End Games) which our group has customized to our campaign. Using Gimp, I traced the outline of the ship and the general arrangement (as found in the sourcebook). Here is what the "stock" ship looks like (from the sourcebook):
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Here is what I have currently:
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Our group splurged on hardwood flooring for the crew's section. [The non-wooded crew area is the medical bay.] We also added some "hidden" cargo holds in the cargo bay and a brig on the side of the cargo bay.

I am planning on adding the "random stuff" to the crew section and cargo section as I go along. Before I get in to adding that stuff (some of which are present around the cockpit), I wanted to get some comments and criticism on the basic map. Specifically, how should I handle the ramps and cargo lifts (shown in dashed lines and with arrows on the WEG arrangement)?

Also, I am having difficulty with the escape pods. I found this image online of an escape pod for a C-3PO action figure. 8187
I am fairly new to Gimp (what you see above is my first full project) - what would be the best way to go about making an escape pod object so that I can use it on future projects? It doesn't have to look exactly like the picture, but close enough that folks will know what it is.

RobA
12-04-2008, 07:56 PM
I'd use your image or the diagram here: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Escape_pod

and scale it down, then use the bezier tool to draw paths around the key shapes. Then use solid fills, textures, and gradients to colour it in.

Save it as a transparent png then you can just bring it in as objects like the others in your map (the chairs, etc.)

-Rob A>

Pandora
12-05-2008, 05:31 AM
Starships are always in danger of acquiring a leak and thus endangering the crew. IMO the ship could use a really good and solid wall between the cargo hold and the crew quarters. That way you could intentionally open the cargo hatch to get rid of some non-robot invaders or to take out a fire. A single-wall doesnt fulfill that requirement well enough IMO. Also: Is there a hatch so your crew can get outside for some repairs in space?

ravells
12-05-2008, 03:35 PM
Or you could blow a god***n Alien out of the airlock!

Bishop Odo
12-05-2008, 07:45 PM
Also, why have the crew go though half the ship and though the cargo bay to get to the escape pods. I love ship plans, but it seems that the art work in most cases dictates the plans and not the relative reality of the situation.

I say, have fun you are doing the work anyways make it better, change the scale, fudge it a little. I’m a Traveller player and I live for the 20% fudge factor in making ship. Most of the time the “factory” or stock ships straight from the rule book violate the standard rules for construction, and Star Wars is even more forgiving.

Kihmbar
12-24-2008, 12:58 PM
Thank you all for the suggestions. Here is a brief update shot with the escape pods, an airlock, and a thicker wall between the crew and cargo areas. We've been playing with this layout for a few months now, so I would have difficulty with the other gamers if I started moving rooms or escape pod locations.
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Since we use Wizards of the Coast (WotC) maps sometimes, I have put their door symbol (the blueish rounded rectangle) in all the doorways. [That keeps the symbols consistent from map to map.] Some of them are lighter, which depict hidden doors or not-often-used doors. The original layout (from West End Games, see original post) used a black-to-white gradient for the ramps. I felt that a black-to-transparent gradient worked better for this drawing.

I cannot think of how to better distinguish the cargo lift (in the center of the cargo bay). Currently I have a hazard strip around it. But that doesn't make that area look like it is a cargo lift, just like an area with a hazard strip around it. Any additional criticisms or comments are welcome.

Midgardsormr
12-24-2008, 01:00 PM
Put a crate on it, maybe?

ravells
12-24-2008, 01:16 PM
Maybe a drop shadow to make it stand a little more proud? Or better yet, an inner glow so it looks recessed. Also I'd suggest redoing the brown texture at the top of the ship, the pattern repeats horribly. If you're after wooden flooring there are tonnes of hi res textures on the web you could use instead.

Kihmbar
12-24-2008, 03:30 PM
Maybe a drop shadow to make it stand a little more proud? Or better yet, an inner glow so it looks recessed.

I tried a drop shadow and it only works on one corner of the lift. I'm not familiar with the inner glow technique. The recessed look would be good for my purposes. Any Gimp tutorials that would help step me through it?

Talroth
12-24-2008, 07:22 PM
Random little point here. Maybe it is just me, but wouldn't you sleep better knowing you don't have to run half way across the ship to get to an escape pod if someone was trying to blow you out of space?

ravells
12-25-2008, 08:50 PM
Sorry Khimbar, I don't use Gimp, but hopefully a Gimp user will be around shortly to point you in the right direction.

Kihmbar
12-26-2008, 02:37 PM
I appreciate the comments. As for the escape pods - yes, they are halfway across the ship from the cockpit. Fortunately for me, our crew doesn't have any problem with that. However, I'll keep that advise in mind for when I draw up my next starship - Keep escape pods in a easily accessible location.

Here's what I've got so far. I put a new wood floor in - one that doesn't repeat infinitely. I've added furniture and stuff to each of the rooms to better designate their purpose including some cargo to the cargo bays. Also, since we're a pirate ship (in the Star Wars Universe) I added some flags. We can put a marker on which flag we're flying at the moment so we don't "forget" (as if the GM would let us).
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Just a note - we have two environmentally controlled cargo areas (just above the main cargo bay). I arbitrarily selected one to be on hot and one to be on cool, but both do hot and cold. Any ideas on how to better portray a heated area and a frosted area?

Talroth
12-27-2008, 11:26 AM
I would suggest an airlock on your environmentally controlled bays, and then put a unit beside them with a "Temperature Gage" basically a Red/Blue gradient that you can then place a marker on to say what you currently have the bay at. Basically a box 2 tiles tall and 1 tile long, flush up against the wall by the airlock door.


Also there appears to be a random space behind those bays that isn't hidden, but is too narrow to use for anything. Is that suppose to be there?

Korash
12-28-2008, 12:20 PM
I posted something that might work for the glow around the recessed cargo lift.

I used a rectangle select the size of the lift (inside the warning band) , added a new layer and filled selected area with black. Invert select and filled with white. Inverted selection again and saved selection to channel. Removed selection and then Gaussian blur (100 in example) and applied inverted mask to layer. Then with color>levels adjusted the dark to match the background.

at least that is what I think I did :) I forgot to save the gimp file after saving the attachment jpg.

:edit: you might want to look through this link for a tutorial on layer masks by JfrazierJR http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3143

number7
01-02-2009, 06:30 AM
The WotC 3.5 edition Starships of the Galaxy book shows a large arrow on the ramp and the letter "R" indicating which way it opens (and also that it is indeed a ramp).

Would that look too unrealistic?


By the way, it looks great so far.

Talroth
01-02-2009, 12:10 PM
Oh, something else you can do to increase the contrast between the floor and the lift is to re-center the tiles on the lift area, scale them to fit only whole tiles in the area. This way it looks more like there are two pieces of material there, and not just paint on the floor.

Redrobes
01-02-2009, 01:26 PM
Just stole the image at the top...

I am a bit light on scifi tokens ;)

Kihmbar
01-02-2009, 05:32 PM
Thanks for all the critiques and recommendations. I've had some time to work on the ship this week and feel good about what is done. Therefore, here is the final product:
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Since I am relatively new to these forums, I don't know what is appropriate for posting finalized maps. Should I start a new thread in the Finished Maps forum with the final map and a detailed description? Or is this post enough for folks to easily find a finished starship map?