Building Spaceships: The Hawking.
HAWKING (From the Design Document):
Marachecks ship, The Hawking, is a small craft, with most of that being engine compartments, fuel, oxygen gardens, and storage space. The living compartment is the size of a caravan, with a small cockpit control deck.
The cargo bay ,the largest area, has a basket ball hoop, and a miniature golf course drawn on the ground in paint-now faded from quite a few years of dragging cargo over it, or just playing. Through the cargo hold is a decon chamber, which leads to the airlock.
From that short description of The Hawking, I knew EXACTLY what it would look like. Images of The Millennium Falcon, Icarus II, and Serenity swan through my mind. The thing that those 3 ships had in common was a believability. Everything was connected in a logical way…the corridors all led to actual places. You felt like you could walk through them…live in them. That sense of real world believability was essential in constructing The Hawking.
I started off knowing that I wanted The Hawking to be divided up into several levels, with an elevator system in it. Deciding on 3 levels, I worked out what each level would house. Level 1 would be a control deck. The cockpit, generator, and oxygen garden would be housed here. Level 2 would contain the captains living quarters…a small, comfortable area with a bed, kitchen, bathroom, and a work bench. The lower level would be the cargo hold, and airlock system.
With this basic ‘layout’, I constructed a crude 3D model of each area, making certain that they all could exist in 3D space with each other:
After some adjusting, all of the levels, and the rooms, worked perfectly togteher. I had to keep in mind what was sitting ‘above’ in order to make sure it did not interfere with what is below. A good example of this is the GENERATOR. The living quarters space is dictated by the fact that the generator couldnt be directly above the bed. If you take a look at the ingame model, you will see that the generator sits halfway into the floor…so having it above the bedroom would have ment that a large, spinning, noisy engine would have been hanging from the room above the bed…not really sound design!
Another example is the bathroom being on the same ‘side’ of the ship as the oxygen garden, the idea being that ‘grey water’ from the bathroom could be used to water the fungus.
Its things like this that I honestly dont think that people would notice, but NOT having them there would kill a sense of believability from the universe.
The ‘skin’ of The Hawking had to neatly wrap around the inside-but when I did this the ship looked VERY much like The Serenity…an awesome spaceship, but I didn’t want to be seen a ripping off another design! Using my ‘kitbash’ method, I started building up The Hawking. I thought of it as a really big Tugboat. It would have to be able to tow large objects in space, and go on extended deep space trips-so a very large engine was a must. Then, aslong as the cockpit was in the front, and cargo bay at the back (dictated by the previous design choices), I could very much make it look like anything.
I detailed each level using the same techniquies described in