Windows and a Docking Bay for My New Spaceship
The windows are the most fun part of the work I have been doing on the spaceship mesh so far. Each window is an aperture punched through the hull of the spaceship, and they immediately give the spaceship a sense of scale.
Windows are an element that we all have experience of from real life. We may not know how big a FTL engine is, or how big a turbo blaster is, but we all have an instinctive understanding of how big the windows are that the crew will spend time looking out of. The bridge, of course, will have a bigger bank of windows so the captain can stand, legs akimbo, arms clasped behind back, to gaze at the progress of the latest space battle the starship has become embroiled in.
Establishing just how big a spaceship appears is hugely important to making stories in space work. Space is all about scale.
As T. G. Cramer says on the blog Provocative Praise:
"This sense of space is to a large degree a sense of scale: The hugeness of moons, planets and stars, the endless void between those, the small or big (or gargantuan) spacecraft traveling. And the emotion instilled by all this has to fit in with the tone and style of the story: Cheerful, adventurous, mysterious, or dark and dangerous."Scale isn't the be-all-and-end-all, of course. There are a lot of other important aspects of 3D spaceship design, as this artist nicely summarizes.
The next thing I probably have to think about is how well does the ship convey its abilities and role? Does it say it's a transport, point defense, luxury cruiser? I haven't definitively even decided if this is a military or a civilian design, and these things are important to know. Should I be suggesting armored strength, or a spaceship that needn't be quite so robust? Watch this space.