View Full Version : Advanced Base

04-15-2009, 06:39 PM
Traveller Book 3:

"Advanced Base, TL8, Cr50,000, Modular pressurized quarters for 6 persons, with airlock, and atmosphere recirculating system. 2 by 6 by 6 metres. Can be carried in the hold of a starship."

The base includes two ventilated double-bunk berths in the fashion of a budget 'coffin hotel', A combined shower and W.C. popularly called a 'fresher', a kitchen unit suitable for preparing occupants' meals, and a recreation area including dining facilities, a viewscreen and soft seating. High-level storage cupboards are omitted from this plan for clarity.
The power supply and life support units are situated in the corner of the main room behind the seating.
There is an airlock and separate hatch, each having docking facilities to allow expansion and modularization of the base.

04-15-2009, 08:46 PM
If it houses 6, shouldn't they be triple bunks, not double?

04-15-2009, 09:03 PM
They rotate bunks. 1/3 are always on duty, they aren't using a bed. (My guess)

04-15-2009, 10:27 PM
Yeah, but hot bunking is just nasty.

I forgot to comment on the map itself the first time around.

I like the general layout, but question the value of the rear hatch. (If I had to serve in a station built of these, I don't think I want to have people walking by my bed every time they move through the station, exterior corridor sections would be easy enough.)

What if you move the brown unit in the kitchen area down a little, knock out a bit of the counter in the kitchen so you can still get in to it, and move both bunks so they're side by side, and shove the shower down a notch.

This would give you more usable space for the crew to move around and work in.

Also for the way your bunks are, flip them around. Give them a grab bar and enter the bunk feet first.

I'm also not sure if I'm liking the colours/textures used, they feel busy. Would it be hard to replace the floor and counter with a less noisy surface?

I would also suggest you do a few more of these to go along with it. Could make for useful tiles to build a rapid deploy base for military or mining operations. You could do things like Full bunk rooms, basically a hall with sets of bunks on either side, mess hall (with pairs of hatches on either side from the main airlock so two or three eating rooms can be linked up in rows, and attach to kitchen units).

And don't forget your tubes for corridors!

04-16-2009, 05:12 AM
Thanks for the feedback - and the rep. :)

Like a mobile home/RV, the settee can be opened into a double bed. This unit isn't designed for home comforts, it's one step up from a pressure tent.

I hadn't envisaged a shift pattern; that might require a re-think, though thinking as I type, whilst you have a point about disturbed sleep, I'm not sure that that problem can be solved by rearranging a 6m x 6m space - it's gonna be noisy, get used to it. I imagine opening and closing the hatch would reverberate throughout the structure. PS my missus thinks reducing the size of the kitchen is a bad idea. ;)

The bunks could be placed side by side where the coffee pot is, and the whole kitchen moved up, but I imagine the airlock recycling would create a disturbance too. I pictured the airlock as the main thoroughfare, with the hatch only coming into play for emergencies or if there is another unit connected.

As you say, other accommodation types are available and an extended base would have zoning to make life more comfortable. I may draw more later. This beast just puts your typical party of travellers on a planet surface where the GM can do nasty things to them... er, I mean provide them with interesting adventures. ;)

I haven't learned how to change colours yet and this is the beginning of my meagre collection of 'modern' elements. The steel table is the only thing I have at present that resembles a kitchen top, I don't have the skill to crop it without it looking a mess, and if I scale it, it will be too narrow. The floor was a choice between steel plate, wooden planks or stone paving, and the brown unit in the kitchen is a fridge. The other two 'fridges' are the engineering devices, but I only have the one 'big box' element. Making one white and two blue would help, but...

The only things I made from scratch are the cooker, the shower and the hazard strip, using Gimp. The rest are just downloaded elements arranged in Viewingdale.

Redrobes, if you're lurking, the hazard strip is 50% transparent to let the treadplate pattern through and consequently it floats above everything. How do I nail it to the floor?
(the treadplate pattern hasn't jpegged very well, but it looks fine on the original).

If anyone has links to top-down home design elements free for personal and map display use, I'd be much obliged - a proper sink/drainer and a bath are top of my hit list. :)

04-16-2009, 06:46 AM
Funnily enough I was hoping that someone would make a Traveller accommodation - thanks for obliging!!

Making your own elements for the map is a good thing to learn - I find that vector is usually easier for making symbols with clean lines and edges - might be worth downloading Inkscape?

Just throwing in some ideas here:

How about making the base octagonal rather than square? It just gives the impression of something more geodesic / far future / built on the fly etc.

The elements (beds etc), although nice individually, look like they've come from someone's 21st Century living room rather than being science fictiony / futuristic - a good reason to make your own perhaps?

I think you could have real fun with this in finding ways to maximise the space as much as possibe - e.g. a table that folds into the wall (maybe the beds too?), having multifunctional spaces etc.

Anyway, great work and fun to see a traveller entry!

04-16-2009, 05:05 PM
Yes, Ravells, drawing my own elements would be useful - if I'd been born with an art gene. As it is, I'm very much dependent on what other people produce.

However, since you are the lucky 1000th customer who's suggested I try Inkscape, I just downloaded it. It might beat Word Draw for feeding stuff into Gimp. :)

Folding table is good, I'm on it.

I'm curious - how do you make a futuristic bed? The things have looked pretty... well, bed-like since Roman times. I thought those did look pretty futuristic - The only other bed I had available was a gnarled wooden one from a fantasy set.

04-16-2009, 06:03 PM
You don't need an art gene (I don't have one either). It's more about function than form (IMO) with futuristic stuff. So with the bed, the way I see it is that as a double function it should be a bed and, say a life pod, as a last form of defence against the elements if the shelter fails. So I guess that would mean an external hard shell that could be completely enclosed, something on the outside showing life signs and some sort of designator. Maybe a transparent top so you can see the face of the person sleeping in there (I'm thinking the low berths from Alien). Come to think of it, you have a wealth of references just from films alone.

Since this is traveller, it would probably need a locator beacon....you know that kind of stuff. Here's an example I knocked up in Drawplus (which is like inkscape) - to make these things you just add, subtract and overlay shapes on top of each other - it's fun!

If you start adding repeated elements across all the items (might be a texture, text, colour etc) then it all looks like it belongs together and makes the image more cohesive.

Maybe the chairs could just be moulded studs coming up from the floor? (Could double as supports to hold the shelter above ground or something) Stuff like that really.

04-17-2009, 02:20 AM
Hmm. I thought you said you didn't have an art gene...

Having had a brief look at Inkscape, I could probably create a line drawing something like that given a few days, but the texturing, gradients and shadows will have to wait for a future challenge, I think.

I hadn't thought of beds doubling as cryoberths - good idea.

The basic layout of the cabin is from a quick sketch I did for a game 20+ years ago, and the furnishings are just whatever elements I found on the net.

That smooth metal texture you made would create good floor plates, too.

Yes, maybe I could make a few more of my own elements when I get the hang of Gimp and Inkscape properly, but at the moment my 'flying hours' on both of them are probably still in single figures!

Thanks for the advice and encouragement. :)

04-17-2009, 06:38 AM
Yeah its looking good, and I very much agree with Ravells, you don't need an art gene to make vector images. You may dred doing so but when it comes down to it, if you practice a bit and get better at drawing some things (enough so that you can bust out some simple shapes and such quickly) you don't have to worry about finding or asking people to build something for you. Such textures that Ravells made are quite easy, from what it looked like it was a simple gradient, and would take a few seconds to create... thats whats nice with a future setting... things can be smooth.

As for ideas for your room, what about having moveable beds-pods? they could dissapear into the floor or somwhere else where they don't take up space. Another thought is to make them vertical, it'd save you a lot of space if they were upright with doors. I don't know traveller, but they could also be used for strap down pods if you are "dropped" places like I've seen in many scifi movies.

The floor texture could be usefull as a clean, white or very light aqua colour, not metal or tile, but something smooth, and most likely synthetic. I would imaging many, many stripes and symbols to act as instruction in the room, things like symbols for bed, cooker, bathroom, etc... I'd imagine the future is full of the "this is used for that and that only" style of istruction.

Also, if this is meant to be a low budget space pod thing, then it by all chances may be a lot less orderly then it seems... Depending on the setting, think of many Sci-fi space movies and series... Alien, Star Wars, Firefly, all of these has ships that looked like a 20 year old beetle that is ready to fall apart, but still somehow runs. If that is something you want to try to recreate, make things dirty, remove the shiney smooth covers from the objects and make some (or all) of their inner workings poke through to the surface. And in that aspect, they would rather save a buck then make things safe, so it is possible to have hot gas pipes etc out in the open, with a simple sign that says "Hot! do not touch!"

The other way is to be sterile, make it look like a hospital. Thinks should looks smooth, and very little inner workings of the room should be shown.

Basically its easiest to start out with the sterile setting, and then trash it to make the old dirty spaceship style. But the colour schemes are usually much the same. A green/blue steel pain that you would see on a battleship, with a mixture of white throughout important areas. Yellow/red/green/blue for the markings, usually color coded for severity.

of course these are all just personal prefs... it just what i think of when i think of spacecraft.

04-19-2009, 05:16 AM
Thanks for the feedback, Loogie. I'm just a noob at this drawing stuff, so most of your suggestions are way beyond my skill. No doubt I'll improve a little with experience, but I still think that people with an 'art gene' start out at a level that others (like me) can only aspire to - and most of the regular posters here have it.

One person's 'easy' is another person's 'hellish difficult'. I've seen 5 yr olds with better hand drawing skills than me! I'm just taking part here for the fun of it - and to kick my own butt into not giving up.

I can't even make 'sterile' textures yet, much less 'grungy' ones! Yes, it would be good to put a few scratches and smudges and dirty footprints here and there, but probably not yet awhile. :)

When I get a little time, I'll try reworking a folding table, some twin-use chairs and maybe a cryo-bed, a new fridge and a more realistic 'engineering module'. There's a few weeks to go yet. :)

Ravells, I've poked about with Inkscape and found a couple of online tutorials about gradients, but I can't figure how you did the control panel on that bed - the way it looks bevelled and blends in with the rest of the bed curvature.

Any chance of a mini-tut? :)

04-19-2009, 05:30 AM
Ah I'm not an inkscape user, but in Drawplus there is a bevel command which just does it at the click of a button. I did a quick google and found this tutorial (http://ryanler.wordpress.com/2007/02/06/24/) for bevelling text in inkscape but it's a lot more involved.

04-19-2009, 07:42 AM
Redrobes, if you're lurking, the hazard strip is 50% transparent to let the treadplate pattern through and consequently it floats above everything. How do I nail it to the floor?Bit late to the party here... As you know the app puts transparent items on top of all others - well all other not entirely transparent ones anyway. So you can change one or more pixels of the image to fully opaque and then it will act like a 'regular' mix of transparent / opaque icon. I could add a feature to checkbox something in the import to say treat the image differently than the default but that should be used really sparingly otherwise it would render incorrectly in some instances but for these cases where the icon is a modifying type instead of an item by itself then its probably correct to override it. You could get a transparent icon out, put some floor on it and then the hazard stripes on top and make a screen created icon out of it which would permanently affix the stripes to that bit of floor.

04-19-2009, 08:00 AM
I can't even make 'sterile' textures yet, much less 'grungy' ones! Yes, it would be good to put a few scratches and smudges and dirty footprints here and there, but probably not yet awhile. :)
Ah well this is where that same 'problem' with the on top transparency can be used to your advantage.

I use a lot of cgtextures.com stuff and they have a whole section of grunge maps.


So take one of those, scale or cut down to a sensible size like say 1024x1024. Then create a pure black, brown or rust colored square of the same size and use that for the color and the grunge for the alpha. Before you import the alpha just darken it quite a bit so that it has values from pure black to very dark. Then when its added it will be completely transparent to mostly transparent so the grunge will sit on whatever you put it on. Instant grunge.

Saves having to mess about with filters, painting and effects to create the grunge. You can also do the same thing with metal perforations, rivits and other things like that. See pic 2 for super grunged up plate.

Pic3 - ok so I am just messing about now. This is more cgtextures stuff - looks like pidgeon poop to me...

Actually just noticed that pic3 is an excellent example of why the transparency is always on top. The poop is not a fully transparent image and has some pure opaque poop in it - as anyone who drives a car well knows... If the transparency of the tread board was on top of the Hazard layer then the poop would be on top of that. But since the tread is on top of everything then it shadows both the Hazard and the poop at the same time so giving the effect that the poop follows the embossed surface of the Hazard floor as well. The addition of those two textures on top of the floor really brings it alive as a working industrial floor.


04-19-2009, 10:43 AM
See? - art gene! All the regular posters have it. ;)

Thanks Redrobes. I'm juggling 3 new drawing apps now. I could be some time...

04-19-2009, 12:32 PM
lol. i'm going to put that to experience... been here long enough to know these guys know their damn programs.

I can't say I'm artless, but I'm not super good. I've found if you take things slow, you can get some good control over what your going to do, then the next time you do it you can make it a bit faster. Hang in there, you will get better.

Besides all that transparency stuff flying over my head, it was a cool effect.

04-20-2009, 08:13 AM
But... but... I didn't draw anything ! Well apart from the hazard floor example surface. All the grunge was already made.

04-21-2009, 06:57 AM
Well here's version 2.

It's still WIP, but I've taken note of some of the comments and some of my own dislikes.

The pub table has been replaced with a smoother, lighter table. I toyed with the idea of a table that folds out of the wall, but decided it wasn't as versatile as one you can move anywhere. I made this myself in Inkscape.

The dining chairs have been replaced by some dual-purpose cushioned storage barrels (Inkscape again, with seat texture from Gimp).

I've replaced the old brown fridge with a similar white one, and having made it myself, I was able to change the colour to make a couple of proper power/life support units.

I replaced the plain black doors with some proper hatches, again in Inkscape.

While I had the shape available, I used it as the basis of some cryo-capsules doubling as beds. The downside of this is you can't convert the settee into a capsule, so the cabin is now 4 berth instead of 6 berth.

Next up is probably those steel tables, and maybe the floor, and just possibly some grunge.

It'll remain just 'objects plonked down' though - It's not a work of art, it's a working mix n match diagram that beats graph paper sketches and bits of cut up cereal packet for gaming with. :)

Inkscape is really great! Thanks to everyone who recommended it. :)
I can see me using it more than Gimp; it's more suited to the stuff I want to draw.

I'd heard it was difficult to learn, but I'm picking it up ok. I had to look up a couple of tutorials on how the gradients work, cos they're not intuitive, but it's easy enough now, and they're very useful.
If only you could do linear gradients in two dimensions...

04-21-2009, 07:55 AM
Looking much better! I'd lose the cooker hob though....not very SF!!

04-21-2009, 02:46 PM
Sorry, Ravells, I like the hob. We've been using pots to cook in for 10,000 years, I think they're here to stay, and one heat source is as good as another. :)

Here's version 3 with a better kitchen and a nicer floor. Yes the kitchen is contemporary, but I'm not sure where things might go in the future - you still need preparation surfaces of some sort.

Kitchen made today in Inkscape/Gimp. Still WIP. :)

04-21-2009, 05:49 PM
Microwaves man!!!! LOL! If you like the hobs then they're there to stay!

I really like the new scheme. What are the blue things behind the couch?

04-22-2009, 06:32 AM
A microwave is on my to do list, but it's not real cooking. ;)

The new scheme is largely down to having more elements available - due to making them myself. That 'kitchen vinyl' flooring appeared from nowhere when I applied 'cubism' to a plain yellow tile in Gimp. I thought 'I gotta have some of that!' :)

Unfortunately I'm hitting the Art Gene Limit now: Inkscape draws round, square and smooth shapes for me (tables, pods, fridges, thrones, etc) so I can create those without any talent, but I just tried drawing a bathtub with limited success (flat rim and flat base are fine, but I can't blend the curved bits to look anything like realistic) and I tried a settee with no success at all (floppy, fabric, complex irregular shadows that have to be added by hand).

The blue things behind the couch are the Power and Life Support units. I'll try to make that a bit more obvious in the next version. :)

I'm getting an artifact where I join several floor tiles together, the jpegging has actually covered most of it, but part of it can be seen as a dark line extending to the right of the table. Not sure if I can fix that. It wasn't noticeable on the dark floor, but it plagues light ones.

04-22-2009, 08:27 AM
I'm getting an artifact where I join several floor tiles together, the jpegging has actually covered most of it, but part of it can be seen as a dark line extending to the right of the table. Not sure if I can fix that. It wasn't noticeable on the dark floor, but it plagues light ones.Is this what you were describing in the mail about it. I think this is a fixable. I am guessing that the size of the tiles is not exactly the size required to tile them. If the tiles are sized in meters then it should be easy to just open up the floor tile icon in notepad and look at the value of the size - or use the graphical sizing tool in the app. You can zoom in to the crack and see how big it is. If its really not there then ill have to have a look for you. I suspect that its a sliver of an amount less than required tho. If you have set the anchor point at the corner then you can set the grid to the tile amount and use snap to grid to make sure that they are all aligned and locked together. Short of that I don't know.

04-22-2009, 04:26 PM
Yes, Redrobes, this is what I mentioned to you. I haven't exhausted the suggestions you gave before, yet, I've sorta got distracted with Inkscape and Gimp for a while.

This time, instead of putting the tiles on a clear background, I used the first tile as the parent icon and placed children alongside it, using no background at all, but there is still a gap around the periphery, though none between the tiles within the 'megatile'.

I didn't think of looking at the values in notepad - in fact I haven't looked at any icon in notepad yet, I'll have to see what they look like. :)

04-22-2009, 04:35 PM
I'm not familiar with inskcape so I don't know how the transparency and gradients work on it, but if I want to get shading in Drawplus I just create a black copy of the object and then apply a gradient transparency to it.

04-22-2009, 08:32 PM
I didn't think of looking at the values in notepad - in fact I haven't looked at any icon in notepad yet, I'll have to see what they look like. :)They are little text files which state the image used, the size, the rotate point and a few other little bits then a list of child icons.

You would need to look at the icon for the small bit of floor before you amalgamated many of them into the whole floor. The size is in meters so its dead convenient if your map is too but you can convert with the ole 0.3048 for meters to feet. Anyway, if the tile was supposed to be 1m then set the value to 1.0 for X and Y (the second and third lines) and then set the grid to 1m and put snap to grid on. Reload the tiled floor icon or refresh it and all the tiles should become tightly aligned - assuming that the image for the tile has opaque edges.

If you need help with this then ill write it up more verbose.

04-22-2009, 08:41 PM
This time, instead of putting the tiles on a clear background, I used the first tile as the parent icon and placed children alongside it, using no background at allAhh this would be a problem. All the child icons should be within the extents of the main icon. I think I know what is going on now. When the extents of the main icon go out of bounds then it assumes that all child icons must also be off screen and it does not draw them. This is also true when you print it and (crucially) when you make a screen captured icon where it does the same process.

Basically - you need a clear base to put them on or maybe a copied (icon from existing one) enlarged floor tile as a base for them. Size up the base to be as big as required for the small tiles to fit on. Since a clear icon is never rendered then this is the preferred base but if your going to screen capture it anyway then it makes no difference what you use.

04-23-2009, 05:41 AM
Cheers Redrobes,

Putting child icons alongside the parent was an experiment I tried after putting them on a transprent background had previously given me the artifact.

I'll try putting exact numbers into the icon text next, though I can't see this being the problem since the 0.5m tiles join together into 2m tiles perfectly - its just the 2m tiles don't join with each other.

I think the most likely of your suggestions was the anti-aliasing, and I haven't had the time to investigate that yet.

I could always do a whole-floor icon, it would solve the problem for individual maps, but it wouldn't be transferable.

Thanks for the transparency tip, Ravells, I'll give that a try. Inkscape has something similar. :)

04-23-2009, 04:36 PM
Here's the new version. Just a few minor adjustments. It's probably nearing completion now.

I finally made a half decent couch following Ravells' tip, so I put it in this pic just as a demo. I'm not convinced that it's the right style for the room though. ;) I'll change it back for the final, I think.

I made sure the small tiles are exact in the text file (they were) and I made the large tiles slightly oversize to make sure there was no gap. The lines have dimmed, but they're still there. I'll try something else later.

Not sure what else to do now, any more suggestions?

04-26-2009, 06:01 AM
Some sort of computer terminal?

04-26-2009, 06:54 AM
Computer done.
I'm figuring by this Tech Level, everyone will carry a 'Tablet' like the one now on the table, and it will also act as a remote to operate the videoscreen if you need a bigger image.

I've replaced the old metal sink with a white one (actually the bath I made, but somewhat compressed) and I messed about a bit more with the couch and added a figure to one of the beds, courtesy of Steel Rat. I just wanted to see if I could get a figure 'inside' the capsule, and I'm happy with the result. :)

Never thought I'd say this, but there are only a few items left that I haven't drawn from scratch, and I could probably replace those if I really wanted to (except for living things - there's absolutely no hope of that!)

Not sure if I'll add any more now, I've got distracted by another project that's become possible thanks to the skills I've developed on this one. :)
Inkscape and Gimp make a powerful team - even for a beginner.

04-27-2009, 07:16 AM
Kewl....the sofa looks a little blurry though. You may want to put some black lines where the shadows are deepest to give it some definition.

04-30-2009, 09:58 AM
Kewl....the sofa looks a little blurry though. You may want to put some black lines where the shadows are deepest to give it some definition.

Well, I said up-thread I was having some problems with the couch due to its complexity - it doesn't draw itself like the appliances. I couldn't even attempt a bed, clothing, or anything alive!

But I've had a go. Some of the blurring was from adding blur to make shadows, but I've sharpened them up a bit. Thanks for the feedback.