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Old September 18 2010, 06:53 PM   #7
Location: York, New
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Re: Just Another Bridge Design

Thanks for the replies, everyone. Your comments are already being helpful. :)

The Axeman wrote: View Post
It does look more like a central command centre rather than somewhere you would command and fight a starship from. That requires some immediacy and proximity for the heat of battle. Yours is so large people would have to shout across each other to be heard, and too many people to make quick decisions.
Hm, I had tried to avoid that issue. If you look at the size comparison, I scaled it to be approximately the same size as an Intrepid-class bridge: the front and back walls are congruent, and the captain remains roughly the same distance from all of the key stations (a little closer to some, in fact, since her chair is more centered and more forward than Janeway's). I was left with some extra space in the "wings," but even so, I think it ends up within the square footage of several bridges of the Enterprise.

As for people, that's a little trickier. I should make it clear that the "25" number is definitely not for normal operating status. While I wanted to make it scalable, the ship I was imagining while I drew this is closest to an Intrepid, and as such, the standard bridge crew is the same size: 8 people, including the captain and first officer. All ship functions are divided between six officers, and in anything but a crisis or heavy combat scenario, those six officers can do the job.

The extra stations, on the oher hand, are very much ad-hoc: in other words, I just decided not to waste wall space wherever an extra person could fit. This is a reaction to the annoyance I felt when Trek started covering the back wall of their bridges with that massive MSD - why not put a couple of hidden chairs there, like the Galaxy did, and use them when they're needed? But even so, they're not meant to be used regularly. You wouldn't double-up on the main consoles except to accommodate a temporary training or relief officer. And you'd only want to use the far ends of the modular screens, keeping the centers clear for common displays. All told, I wouldn't expect to see more than 13 or 14 people on this bridge, even in a combat scenario. 25 is a ceiling figure for extreme contingencies: if most of your stations are damaged and inoperable, or if you've got an admiral directing a battle and he needs a whole row of nothing but communications personnel.

I made these decisions before I started sketching, based on the following comparisons:
  • Enterprise-A (TUC): 1 commander, ~5 main crew. May add ~7 additional crew. Total: 5 min, 13 max. This is one of my favorite bridges, behind only the Intrepid's, and has always been an influence - I try not to stray too far from its efficient simplicity.
  • Enterprise-D: 2 commanders, 3 main crew. May add 5 crew and 3 advisers. Total: 5 min, 13 max. I have long thought that the main crew of Picard's bridge had way too much on their plates, especially given the sheer size of the Galaxy-class. Worf alone is responsible for weapons control, damage control, security, communications, flight control, and some degree of proximity sensors. And he doesn't even have a chair, much less a cup holder for some well-deserved prune juice. The extra six stations in Generations helped, though: assuming at least two of them were in regular use, that brings the main crew up to five.
  • Defiant: 1 commander, 5 main crew. Not scalable. Total: 6 min/max. Completely appropriate for a ship of her class - and, by the way, she still has a larger main bridge crew than the Galaxy. Although my bridge is meant for something a little bigger than the Defiant, this division of duties remains ideal in my mind.
  • Enterprise-E: 2 commanders, 6 main crew. May add 1 adviser and 6 crew. Total: 8 min, 15 max. While I don't much care for the layout of the Sovereign bridge, I think the numbers are about right.
The ready room seemed more luxurious and spacious than the one on a Galaxy Class starship.
On this, I definitely agree with you. My next draft will probably do something about the general waste of space behind the desk.
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Last edited by Kaelri; September 18 2010 at 06:55 PM. Reason: Typo ("not including" --> "including")
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