After my episode with Generating Light Efficiently, it is dawning on me that technical problems are becoming too much of a distraction from actual content development. (You know, the problems I'm supposed to be causing/solving.) So I am marking this date as when my attempt to make the science right ends, and storytelling in earnest begins.


I know I keep saying that I'm going to stop futzing with the code and the design of the ship and actually get around to writing the actual game people will play. At this point I'm even starting to annoy myself. And my family. Especially my poor wife who has to listen to me explain the bits of this that are too hair-brained to have even made it to my blog.

This is going to be a messy process, full of mistakes, and full of plenty of things that I'll probably be embarrassed about later. But I think I've finally hit the point where I just don't care anymore. Well I don't care about the mistakes, the gaffes, and the undoubtedly dodgy science. I only care about the game play, the story, and my reputation as an artist and programmer.

So, if you all will excuse me for a few day/weeks/months, I'm going to get down to brass tacks and start hammering this out with the ship I have, the basic premise I've laid down, and the technology I've researched until now.

This page is where I will refer to for the "definitive" design of the ship.

Aesthetic Theming

The theme of bees, hives, and honeycombs emerge throughout the design of the vessel. Partly to inspire a sense of community. Partly because hexagonal forms solve a lot of structural and spatial allocation issues perfectly.

Overall Shape

This is a preliminary sketch of the Vessel. Obviously, I'd need to do 3d renderings for a video game title. But... this isn't a Video game. It's a text adventure with the occasional map or graphic.

This vessel will differ from the designs I've discussed so far. Instead of 6 spheres, this ship has 3. The spheres for this vessel are larger than the 6 sphere design. My thinking is that 3 spheres involves a lot less in the way of critical infrastructure, and simplifies the navigation for people on board.

Facts and Figures

I have prepared a spreadsheet

The highlights are

Overall Diameter 1430 Meters
Overall Height 540 Meters
Ship's Mass - Dry 9.564E+10 kg (130.7 Musashi)
Ship's Mass - Fully Loaded 1.03E+11 kg (140.3 Musashi)
Habitat Surface Area
  • 3.62E+07 square meters
  • 14 square miles
  • 6699.0 American Football Fields
  • 8939.0 Acres
Agriculture area 12655140.4 square meters
Fuel Deuterium Oxide and Lithium Carbonate
Starting Population 900
Design Population of Ship 4000
Star Distance 45.7 light years
Travel Time
  • 15.1 years (on board)
  • 95.2 years (Earth)
Number of floors per sphere: 84
Sphere diameter: 520.00 m
Head of Cattle 1200
Reactor Modules 3
Electrical Output (each module) 1.95E+11 watts
Agriculture lighting demand 2.87E+09 kilowatt hour/day
Other lighting demand 1.12E+08 kilowatt hour/day


The players will not have interactions with the propulsion system. But... people will ask. Propulsion utilizes fusion. The ship has 3 engines adjacent to the three reactors on the gravity ring. The ship is also propelled by the engines of the 6 utility vessels where are docked to the aft and of the vessel.

The utility vessels are named after mythical monsters:

The inside of the habitat is broken into hexagonal tiles. No portion of the floor is more than 35.3 meters from a supporting structure. Each tile is 809 meters squared (0.2 acres).

Compartment numbering has been simplified slightly. The first number is still the level number for the deck. The radius and angle have now been abbreviated to the ring (0-6) and the tens digit of the angle (00-35). No deck has more than 6 rings. There is a 4 meter gap between the hex tile walls which act as corridors and utility passages. Passages, if numbering is required, lists the two compartments they separate.

Compartment 000 for all decks is packed with utilities and elevators. Level 250-265 in each sphere contains the connections to the rest of the ship in compartments 600 and 618. (The compartment spans multiple decks to accomodate the massive bearings and hatchways.)

Interesting floors

The bulk of floors in a sphere are dedicated to agriculture, and most are 5 meters apart. Levels below 46 are machinery levels for water treatment and life support. The non-mundane floors of each sphere are:

Level Usage Grav Height (m) Tiles Area (acres)
485 Forest 0.27 15 37 7.4
470 Forest 0.29 15 37 7.4
455 Parks/Recreation 0.32 15 61 12.2
290 Future Use 0.58 5 127 25.4
285 Manufacturing 0.59 5 127 25.4
280 Manufacturing 0.60 5 127 25.4
275 Manufacturing 0.61 5 127 25.4
270 Future Use 0.61 5 127 25.4
265 Commerce/Logicstics 0.62 5 127 25.4
260 Commerce/Logicstics 0.63 5 127 25.4
255 Commerce/Logicstics 0.64 5 127 25.4
250 Future Use 0.65 5 127 25.4
235 Parks/Recreation 0.67 15 127 25.4
230 Residential 0.68 5 127 25.4
215 Parks/Recreation 0.70 15 127 25.4
210 Residential 0.71 5 127 25.4
195 Parks/Recreation 0.74 15 127 25.4
190 Residential 0.74 5 127 25.4
175 Parks/Recreation 0.77 15 127 25.4
175 Residential 0.78 5 127 25.4
155 Forest 0.80 15 127 25.4
35 Parks/Recreation 0.99 15 37 7.4

Other Images