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Old 04-05-2020, 02:01 PM   #1
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Mapping a cramped living space (for a spaceship, bunker, etc.)

I've been looking at mapping some cramped living quarters for an adventure I'm trying to run, and while many GURPS supplements seem to have vague guidelines for such things, I'm having trouble translating that into exact dimensions. So I'm going to think out loud a bit about what dimensions are reasonable.

Vehicles gives the standard dimensions of a "cabin" as 500 cubic feet. Assuming an 8' ceiling, that's 62.5 square feet, probably something like 7'6" by 8'. That's tiny by the size of most apartments being built in the US today, but in theory you can cram a lot into a space like that. I once lived a few months in Seoul in a room roughly that size, maybe smaller, and it actually managed to include both a toilet and a shower by making you sit on the toilet to shower. It was a bit weird, but it worked. Actually you could probably assume some of the floor area Vehicles allocates for that room is actually a section of hallwayŚmaybe a 6' by 8' room adjacent to a 6' by 2' section of hallway.

I'm scratching my head a bit more over how to lay out bunkrooms which, according to various GURPS sources, seem intended to have four times as many beds as a cabin and some minimum amount of shared non-bed amenities. Are we stacking the beds four high, so that you can't sit up in bed without hitting your head? Are the beds even smaller than the 30" by 75", the size of a "small single" in the United States? Is there only a foot of space between the two bunks? I'm really struggling to visualize it.

There's also the issue of what to do if considerations unrelated to bed and bathroom arrangement force you to use awkwardly-shaped rooms. What if your rooms need to be 5' by 10' or, worse, 4' by 8'? I'm kind of hoping someone here has more experience with architectural and furniture tetris than I do.
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Old 04-05-2020, 03:35 PM   #2
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: Mapping a cramped living space (for a spaceship, bunker, etc.)

It's not a complete answer to your question, because you will still need to work out the initial scaling, but just a tip: I have found online home design layout sites with copyable floor plans that include furnishings. If you use MSPaint or something like it, you can select and copy individual chairs, tables etc. which will all be to scale of each other if you take them from the same source image.
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Old 04-05-2020, 04:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Mapping a cramped living space (for a spaceship, bunker, etc.)

You might google tiny house floorplans. The smallest I' found in a very quick search was 98 sq feet but that's a house nt just the bed and bath. Cabins would not have kitchen and living room probably.
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Old 04-05-2020, 05:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Mapping a cramped living space (for a spaceship, bunker, etc.)

This sort of thing is what got me started using Google Sketchup. The free version is all you need. The basic functionality of blocking out a space is pretty simple. I had an extension for it that would calculate volume (might be included now?). Their 3dwarehouse site has tons of uploaded models for just about every purpose, and can be accessed from within the program. The more comfortable you get with it, the more "fancy" you can get with the modeling.

That's just the one I ended up with, though. I'm sure others might use similar tools.
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Old 04-05-2020, 10:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mapping a cramped living space (for a spaceship, bunker, etc.)

I found this US Navy document on minimum design requirements for crew quarters useful: https://www.habitability.net/WebData...SP-010_HAB.pdf
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:48 AM   #6
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Default Re: Mapping a cramped living space (for a spaceship, bunker, etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
I found this US Navy document on minimum design requirements for crew quarters useful: https://www.habitability.net/WebData...SP-010_HAB.pdf
Heh. Wonder what the older versions of that are like - I recall back in the age of sail, The Andrew typically allowed 14" of width per man to sling his hammock.
As Patrick O'Brian's Doctor Maturin astutely observed "but surely a man cannot lie in fourteen inches" ů and of course he could not, but with half of the crew on watch at any point, twenty-eight inches gave just enough room.
The same space also being used for dining, socialising and stowage of the ship's armament. Even officer's cabins were dismantled and struck down into the hold when the ship was cleared for action and the majority of the ship's toilet facilities were located just aft of the figurehead, leaving them "a bit exposed" during foul weather and/or when manoeuvring in company or close to shore.

Cultural standards will have a big part to play in what is and is not acceptable.
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Old 04-06-2020, 10:42 AM   #7
ericthered
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Default Re: Mapping a cramped living space (for a spaceship, bunker, etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
I've been looking at mapping some cramped living quarters for an adventure I'm trying to run, and while many GURPS supplements seem to have vague guidelines for such things, I'm having trouble translating that into exact dimensions. So I'm going to think out loud a bit about what dimensions are reasonable.

Vehicles gives the standard dimensions of a "cabin" as 500 cubic feet. Assuming an 8' ceiling, that's 62.5 square feet, probably something like 7'6" by 8'. That's tiny by the size of most apartments being built in the US today, but in theory you can cram a lot into a space like that. I once lived a few months in Seoul in a room roughly that size, maybe smaller, and it actually managed to include both a toilet and a shower by making you sit on the toilet to shower. It was a bit weird, but it worked. Actually you could probably assume some of the floor area Vehicles allocates for that room is actually a section of hallwayŚmaybe a 6' by 8' room adjacent to a 6' by 2' section of hallway.

I'm scratching my head a bit more over how to lay out bunkrooms which, according to various GURPS sources, seem intended to have four times as many beds as a cabin and some minimum amount of shared non-bed amenities. Are we stacking the beds four high, so that you can't sit up in bed without hitting your head? Are the beds even smaller than the 30" by 75", the size of a "small single" in the United States? Is there only a foot of space between the two bunks? I'm really struggling to visualize it.

There's also the issue of what to do if considerations unrelated to bed and bathroom arrangement force you to use awkwardly-shaped rooms. What if your rooms need to be 5' by 10' or, worse, 4' by 8'? I'm kind of hoping someone here has more experience with architectural and furniture tetris than I do.

For really cramped quarters like that, the 8 foot ceiling is a waste, and most vehicle cabins won't have it. The hallway is also a huge waste of space: combine it with that space between the beds you were struggling to find, or accept that hall-space isn't included in the 500 cubic feet per cabin.



Yes, people won't be able to sit up properly in their beds. I come from an oversized family (both in height and in numbers) and grew up on bunk-beds. You lay propped up on your side to converse with the world, or propped up on your stomach to do something that requires your hands and a surface. Getting in and out of the bed is done by rolling rather than sitting up and standing. You get used to it.


But to be honest, I'd expect a spaceships bunk-room to be an 8 by 8 by 10 with two sets of bunks, some wardrobes, a hallway portion not included, and a tiny bathroom, perhaps shared with another room.
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Old 04-06-2020, 10:55 AM   #8
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Mapping a cramped living space (for a spaceship, bunker, etc.)

A bunkroom is the density used for mass transfer. If you're fitting 4 bunks, you might have a room that's 7' wide, 7' deep, 7' high; each bunk goes the length of the room and is 2.5' high, the remaining 2' of height is used for storage. The other 150-odd cubic feet is for shared spaces.
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Old 04-06-2020, 12:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Mapping a cramped living space (for a spaceship, bunker, etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
I've been looking at mapping some cramped living quarters for an adventure I'm trying to run, and while many GURPS supplements seem to have vague guidelines for such things, I'm having trouble translating that into exact dimensions. So I'm going to think out loud a bit about what dimensions are reasonable.

Vehicles gives the standard dimensions of a "cabin" as 500 cubic feet. Assuming an 8' ceiling, that's 62.5 square feet, probably something like 7'6" by 8'. That's tiny by the size of most apartments being built in the US today, but in theory you can cram a lot into a space like that. I once lived a few months in Seoul in a room roughly that size, maybe smaller, and it actually managed to include both a toilet and a shower by making you sit on the toilet to shower. It was a bit weird, but it worked. Actually you could probably assume some of the floor area Vehicles allocates for that room is actually a section of hallway—maybe a 6' by 8' room adjacent to a 6' by 2' section of hallway.

I'm scratching my head a bit more over how to lay out bunkrooms which, according to various GURPS sources, seem intended to have four times as many beds as a cabin and some minimum amount of shared non-bed amenities. Are we stacking the beds four high, so that you can't sit up in bed without hitting your head? Are the beds even smaller than the 30" by 75", the size of a "small single" in the United States? Is there only a foot of space between the two bunks? I'm really struggling to visualize it.

There's also the issue of what to do if considerations unrelated to bed and bathroom arrangement force you to use awkwardly-shaped rooms. What if your rooms need to be 5' by 10' or, worse, 4' by 8'? I'm kind of hoping someone here has more experience with architectural and furniture tetris than I do.
Spaces like this are not so easy to map because they are very crowded and use all three dimensions, often with things folding up or sliding inside other things when they are not needed. On a boat or in a cave its likely that all the walls are curved in three dimensions. You might be better off with a sketch and a note of the penalties to combat for anyone in the space and the structure's cover value.

Aside from tiny houses, read Farley Mowat's The Boat that Would not Float for some typical early 20th century cabin space, or look up photos of u-boats and H.M.S. Victory. Bunks stacked four deep is not unusual!
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Old 04-06-2020, 12:37 PM   #10
dcarson
 
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Default Re: Mapping a cramped living space (for a spaceship, bunker, etc.)

WW II US subs used a hot bunk system where you have 2 bunks for 3 crew since one is on duty at any time.
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