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Details about Rapture Construction Issues

See Also Columbia Construction

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Rapture : "Established" on November 5, 1946  :

Dedication

"Established", that is what ? Laying the keystone of the first real building, or when the first viable section was ready to start accepting immigrants ? (It is probably NOT the construction start because the Novel has preparation work starting immediately after the A-Bomb use in Aug 1945, and possibly the survey being finalized upon the locations found previously.)

All kinds of preparations would have had to be made before occupation to make it livable, much more than just for housing work crews finishing interiors.

The Novel indicates that Ryan gave the Green Light within days after the A-bombs dropped on Japan (Aug '45) (( I prefer the story to allow as much time as possible for things to be accomplished, and not like Infinite BS or its DLC where things get developed far to quickly. ))

The site's geothermal formation would have been critical, so the survey results would have been likely from long before (when Ryan already had started advancing his dream), and the concept being proven technologically to provide the city's power (Perhaps on Iceland which has many Geo-Thermal sites). Interesting that it would have to have gone on during WW2 or even before that. (We Can have more backstory on this in the MMORPG.)

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Blocky is It (Rapture Construction) :

Why Are My Rapture Buildings (seen in my Amended Level Maps ) So Block-like and Well Anchored to (and into) the Seabed ? (see the maps with their 'basement' and 'foundation' levels)

I've drawn the buildings with Monolithic shapes because their structures are mostly walled with thick reinforced concrete. (Any bits that stick out, if they include inhabited space, NEED a similarly thick structure to hold OUT all that water pressure - making them typically blocky).

Many buildings would thus be shaped fairly SQUAT to maximize internal living space, in ratio to the external walls. Buildings would also be sturdy/solid because you don't want them to sway, shake and shimmy in ocean currents (( Like Columbia would have been while floating in the air - Booker would be vomiting in no time, and throughout the city you would find Barfbags for sale in every vending machine. Watch the early scenes were you walk past buildings bobbing up and down. )). Less height also means less force leverage, from Ocean currents bearing upon building surfaces, which unless strengthened could otherwise topple the structures.

You also want different building sections to stay attached to each other (most were prefabricated in parts, assembled in whole sections up on the surface) to maintain proper seals. Even when flexible joints are used, you don't want them shifting out of alignment and exceeding their rated sealing ability. So standard large FLAT interface surfaces are common in the design.

If you look at the ORIGINAL interior level plans, and superimpose their floors (within the same 'level' map set), you see too many irregular bits sticking PAST other parts of the floors above/below. The external walls NEED to encompass ALL floor's existing dimensions. Those irregularities are (on my maps) simplified (filled out) into more basic contiguous flat surfaces and boxy volumes. Simple volumes/walls/joints are also simpler to construct.

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Rapture's Standardized Construction :

Even for other 'Investors' (rich people who ALSO paid to build Rapture) construction - the Primary structures all had to meet significant safety standards and compatible interfaces/interconnections to the rest of Rapture (portals/passages and utilities).

Standardization helped minimize costs and ease construction difficulties (interchangeable/modular parts at several component levels made Surface Construction more efficient/costeffective).

Rapture was largely built within the same priod of time, and so wouldn't reflect as much eclectic differences which most cities accumulated over many decades of regrowth and rebuilding.

Internal construction/decoration could vary significantly within the primary/external structure (which was mostly what we saw playing the games).

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Building Structures vs Water Pressure:

  • Water depths (like ~600-800 feet at base of buildings)
  • Looking at those square Rapture buildings (real submarines pressure hulls are built as tubes which withstand pressure  in a simpler way).
  • Tall buildings would need huge interior support struts every couple of floors to support the huge forces of pressure  pressing inward on those flat walls (pressing in at 280psi.)
  • Fortunately concrete can withstand alot of compression force, add Ryanium rebar (all the lower quality stuff generated  via production difficulties...)
  • Some of the tall buildings have thick support columns outside alternating with the windows which could distribute the  forces between the interior compression struts running crosswise between the exterior walls.
  • Blind walls can be solid reinforced concrete more than a few feet thick.
  • Large picture windows are the most problematic as the stress in the middle has to be passed out to the edges and the  forces increase linearly with the window size.
  • Many of the skylight windows are barrel vaults which at least take some of the pressure forces as compression (like an  arch or tube would). Curved glass windows might be used in various places.
  • Exposed metal should be brass or stainless steel to avoid corrosion (and eventual structural failure). Many large  pipes/girders were more conventional steel but required Zinc treatment to avoid corrosion.

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Better Concrete :

The RIGHT Formulation of Concrete (with timely placement and careful mixing/handling) is needed to meet the strength requirements for deep water structures. With surface pre-construction, sea-compatible hydrolic cement need not be used there, allowing MUCH BETTER cement application properties.

As much construction as possible would be done to maximize efficiency/quality and to minimize expense/construction-time

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Uh, Aluminum ? :

ref find the BaSx declaration that Ryan would build using aluminum instead of steel ...

That game reference to Aluminum was some weird (wrong) things to have Ryan say - 'the Steel supply will be watched so I'll use Aluminum ...'. Aluminum was far more expensive, and was watched even more closely as a resource (so its nonsensical). Millions of tons of Steel, in a postwar boom, is far easier to lose-track-of/to-obscure/sidetrack ...

Alleging Aluminum to be used instead of Steel is faulty anyway, because you couldn't really afford to build the whole City out of metal. Remember that this statement is ALSO from the BaSx DLC, which has to (very) often be "taken with a grain of salt" as to what is stated in it (much detail is sloppy in it). The same goes for Steel, which would be only reinforcement for the concrete which made up the vast majority of the construction material.

Steel still would be 'it' (for REBAR reinforcing of concrete), if properly material-engineered. That might be somewhat advanced for that earlier city construction period though. Ryan likely would have underwater construction in his Industrial Empire -- HE BETTER ALREADY HAVE THAT TO EVEN THINK OF BUILDING RAPTURE ('underwater' city).

Aluminium CAN work a bit better as rebar (reinforcement bars) in concrete exposed to Salt Water, than using Steel rebar. Water does seep slowly through concrete and can cause internal corrosion and structural weakening -- doubly bad if it is Salt Water. SO for the building shell, Aluminum helps a bit for the concrete rebar (when ordinary steel rebar can still be used in the interior supports which are far less exposed to salt water).

To handle the 'salt' environment factor, there are problems (anyway) requiring special concrete formulation and rebar plating/coating, whether you use Aluminum or Steel (elsewhere I've had Basalt (rock) fiber rebar mentioned). Ph control additives, not mixing different metals, and other types of corrosion prevention can also be done. Still, Aluminium does a bit better.

Aluminium has stress deformation/breakdown problems which might be less an issue for this, if for physical flexing/temperature differentials which would be minimized with massive concrete construction (8+ feet thick structural walls, and internal reinforcements which wouldn't flex). You would hope Rapture was somewhat sheltered, ie- located INSIDE a volcanic crater (but it still would get some turbulence, even when out of direct ocean currents). Better with most buildings being quite a bit shorter than those Manhattan Skyline-like views (looking good for a window game view is that height's only reason). The top half/third of many of those tall buildings might even just be for show (Art Deco tower ...) and might be more flexible (not concrete/pressure-tight, and with ship metal corrosion techniques applied there).

Concept art showed curved buildings (resists water currents more), but we got mostly squared/rectangular in the game views.

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Rapture Tunnel Construction Process :

First task is to survey, discover and verify an adequate expanse of a quality rock formation. Some areas in the volcanic 'crater' surface were deeply filled with loose debris and were not suitable. (These would already have been largely avoided for the 'Building' type construction, as those required adequate/stable support and anchoring of themselves into solid seabed).

Intervening bad rock, when detected, would be avoided (tunnels can be built in any direction), or if required would be bridged with conventional heavy concrete tunnel construction. Best was large thick monolithic beds of solid volcanic rock which had been deposited in one flow from the ancient undersea volcano.

The tunnels had a consistent 'standard' geometry (ie- a basic 20 foot usable interior diameter) which allowed semi-automated machinery to do a bulk of the work, including transporting the bulky waste rock away to disposal sites out in the Ocean (Earlier waste rock of this type (being solid/strong), was used as basic and filler aggregate for the concrete building construction -- another place the plasma 'fracturing' technique was developed). Prefabricated liner and other components could be efficiently made elsewhere in Rapture.

A complex of interconnecting tunnels would be planned out to meet the requirements for that city expansion cluster. Sufficient extra space was allowed for likely 'bad' sections of rock which would not be used. The tunnels would be built progressively in segments, with transport for the growing tunnel construction being well planned (equivalent of mine tracks or the 'Tram' used by Fontaine's smuggling tunnel to Arcadia). Tunnels were circularly connected - always with two ways in (and out), and with many alternate paths through the tunnel network. They could be stacked into levels, with vertical tunnels for stairwells/elevators, and where needed tunnels could be sloped to serve as ramps.

Cutting rock with plasma cutters (narrow extremely hot electrically-ionized gas jets (like a welding rig) followed with a water jet causes the rock to shatter. This allows you to cut out blocks to form the tunnel space with fair precision. (The technique had already been utilized to cut the huge basement/anchoring holes out of bedrock for Rapture's buildings - done from the city's construction start.)

Work was often done at above Water Pressure before the tunnel segment was sealed (you dont want leaks/sprays of water fouling the construction process).

The Rock around the tunnel space was heated and melted to form a single surface.

Bore holes (another plasma technique) radiating out from the bare tunnel face would serve to find any potentially weak/leaky rock around the tunnel. If needed, weak sections could be 'annealed' via remelt using the plasma-heating techniques (solidifying any fractured rock around the tunnel space to assure pressure/structural integrity). Loose rock in the walls could be reinforced by melting and 'welding' the rock together and 'pinning' with melted and filled bore holes.

The Newly created tunnel segments would be depressurized to one atmosphere, and for a period the bare rock face was inspected for any leakage or shifting - identifying any weak points. Detectors with pressure and sound sensors would be used during the 'proofing' period. Reinforced linings would then be added to further seal the inside (and reinforce any minor weak points), These would be well fastened to the rock facing and to the reinforcement rod/post filled borehole anchors. Sampling sensors (tap traps) would be left in place outside the wall shell to allow periodic inspections for new leak activity/instability.

Emergency Pressure Doors were added at regular intervals to contain potential failure. (Done at many junctions to sufficiently Safety-Partition the tunnels.) Depending on use, additional safety systems would be added appropriately (ie- Residential areas got the most extensive measures).

After the full set of the concrete and confirmation testing, the interior was built up to facilitate the living space. Utility areas were blocked off and filled with all the required conduits/pipes/vents/lines/machinery (again standardized and prefabricated as much as possible) . Interior walls/floors/false ceilings were built-up and furnished/decorated appropriately.

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Some larger 'Cavern' spaces could be built using a similar process, with the large volume expanses requiring greater interior support (more like the interior force distribution structures of the 'buildings' above). Dome shape designs would be logical, as they provide an 'arch' type support of the rock walls. Internal support pillars and ribbing would be needed for the larger open spaces.

A network of transport tunnels would be built containing normal walkways (bicycle and electro-cart accessible), and others connecting into the City Tram system (which already had more than a few 'tunnel' segments built in the ~1950 Rapture Transit Trolley consolidation rebuild.) Utilities would be connected through the same tunnels.

The city's tunnel expansion might be considered as the 'suburbs' of Rapture. Designed to fit the needs of an expanding population, and having some improvements evident from the first Phase construction. With the use of standardization to lower costs they might also be called Raptures Levittown (Levittown NY, 1947, was the first truly mass-produced suburb in the USA).

Some long tunnels crossed longer distances between the Tunnel Clusters and the rest of the city. A few were even build as 'roads' sufficient to operate small automobiles (that trend was soon stopped by the Terrorism, Chaos and Ruin brought by Fontaine/Atlas).

Sewer and seepage control systems would be integrated. The usual system of safety bulkheads would be done to protect from catastrophic flooding.





ActualBuildingFoundations

Concept picture which shows actual foundations below the typical building structures seen. Also there is more utility stuff down near the seabed. Generally in-game Window 'Out in Ocean' views they just extended the same visible building pattern down ridiculously far so they wouldn't need to draw anything else (BS1 with a limited render budget looking at a space that was secondary anyway - but it can't be taken as what would need to be there, which the MMORPG would have).

Wasn't Art Deco enough I guess. Note the rounded building corners which would be logical for underwater construction. And NOT the array of windows (though still too tall - too many floors)




Paneforces


Forceonrectangularpane

Window Fun In The Deep Blue Sea. Diagram of pressure forces stressing a square window pane. Note -- in the middle it is MANY MANY TIMES AS GREAT as at the edges -- its the leverage of the force pushing in at the middle of all the unsupported 'glass'.


Platetectonics

Tectonic plate which causes the volcanic activity that raised the Sea Mount (undersea volcano) which Rapture is built within (at a far shallower depth than the ocean seabed which is more than 3000 feet deep at this point in the Atlantic Ocean).




Drainagetunnel

Big Daddy wandering through the subterranean Foundation levels (where various utilities existed, and the structure seepage was drained to for extraction -- you cannot stop the seepage, only minimize and then handle it).

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DaddyAtWork

Viaducts made for pretty Sea Scenes, linking buildings (better hope that glass is REALLY strong)

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Building shape - Geodesic Dome or Sphere:

There should be at least one 'theme' building built in this shape. The curved surface allows the whole building to be one curved pressure wall with much less internal bracing. Unfortunately the same curves limit and complicate the internal space (reason why you don't live in one today or house with curved walls).

Cylinder :

Cylinder shaped building would also be built. The design is not as simple as slab sided buildings, it works better for the internal compression struts that are required for ALL the buildings to not collapse in on themselves from the oceans pressure. I could see at least one of the building cluster 'Centers' in Rapture built around a concentric circle theme (including cylindrical buildings and curved viaducts to link them.

If you look at various examples of Art Deco buildings, you often see the use of curved sections in the architecture.

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Rapture's Warranty hasn't run out yet :

Interesting to see some buildings (in external window views) with substantial external damage but with lights still on inside (already mentions that leaning one you see out window in Proving Grounds). SO the structural integrity held up (maintaining the pressure seals - in at least sections of the building), which shows how Rapture was properly built over-engineered --- Planned to last for 100 years -- which would be the time Ryan might expect his people to be able to emerge back into the World after it blew itself up (and all the 'ant people' were dead) and then was safe again to rebuild it.

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Interior Construction :

Once the watertight structure segments are locked together into the building (below at Rapture), and the inside is watertight and stable, then ALL the rest of the work takes place in the interior.

All the :

  • scaffolding/equipment/transport/forms/construction machinery
  • interior walls
  • floors
  • stairs/ramps
  • doors
  • windows
  • columns
  • elevators
  • pipes/conduits/power/wiring/lights/ventilation/pumps/communications/connections (all utilities)
  • brickwork/tiles/woodwork/stone/plaster/metal/glass/carpets surfacing
  • paint and polish
  • decorations

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Assembling Rapture's Tall Buildings from Large Pre-made Sections :

Sections built on/near Surface (where its easier and assembled from smaller premade components), are made buoyant and are floated (neutral buoyancy) down to the construction sight.

To make a tall building (like those more than 6 stories) you must join stacked sections, matching them up with great precision to properly fasten and seal them, to become structurally sound.

The joining needs to be carefully guided and controlled, being anchored against any Ocean currents, and guided/winched into exact place and held securely while being fastened (Rebar tied together and more concrete added to solidify the joint).

Sealing the sections at their join points must be done completely -- when you have water pressure outside at upto 280 lb/sqin (a hairline crack will have water spraying in and can fill any space in little time).

A similar process is done to assemble horizontal sections of the shorter/sprawling buildings, and the 'Street' viaducts.

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Mass Replicated of standard building (exterior) sections on dry land would be most efficient/least-costly. Made using the concrete poured into forms (pre-filled with carefully positioned/tied-together Rebar (steel reinforcement rods/bar/wires). Care would be taken to have the concrete Set completely, for minimal defects (much easier done out of water).

The sections would have Temporary Seals plugging all interconnecting (including utility) ways. Those would be later dismantled after installation on the seabed. Such temporary might be put back(rebuilt to close a building for flood repairs (unfortunately alot of the installed interior work/utilities/etc.. still can be ruined after being flooded with sea water).

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Footings for buildings and misc other structures (like Viaducts and AE track support towers) :

  • Added to stabilize below foundations dug into into bedrock (My Level maps show many of them).
  • Extensive footings are needed for tall buildings to handle the sideways forces of water currents and eddies.
  • Before planning for construction even is halfway through, the location has to be checked for a solid seabed by drilling a pattern of deep exploratory holes to verify stability. (The holes can double as footings later.)

This is a another reason why short buildings would be less expensive, as they have less strict requirements as there are for tall buildings.

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Efficient External Decoration :

Lots of cast cement architectural decorations in Real World (Up On The Surface) Art Deco. Art Deco used various CAST decorations, used repetitively (in modular combinations) and fastened to the main structure.

Logical for Rapture with its lack of local supply (or the high cost of importing during its build phase) additional materials. Cement supplies used by the majority of construction is available.

Monumental decorations like those big statues seen at the entrance to Persephone had to be concrete.

Note - Rapture's Location Water Depth means that exterior decoration have to be only a short distance away to be seen.

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Lots of Floors in Tall Buildings :

Because of the need for Rapture building's pressure withstanding structure (with the ~ 600ft depths involved) there is a greater separation between building floors to accommodate thick floor plates (of reinforced concrete) which extend cross the building to support the opposite massive forces pressing inward on both sides of those exterior walls.

Thus all the stairs are a bit longer in order to climb a greater than normal floor separation.

Unfortunately the building views you see through the windows don't reflect this extra spacing (besides they're often having at least twice the number of floors which buildings in Rapture should be limited less than (20-25 floors, instead of 50), which can still look plenty enormous, particularly when a majority of Raptures buildings shouldn't be much more than 5 floors).

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Thousands of Wooden Water Tanks (Local Water Systems) :

Water Tanks Existed on Roofs of Most multistory city Buildings pre-20s (tanks were integrated into upper stories of skyscrapers later). City water routinely was low pressure (and pressure went down the higher the buildings became). A building needed to have sufficient water pressure for the buildings occupants, so they pumped water to the roof into a reservoir which raise the pressure significantly. The tanks often were made of wood and raised on legs (a small water tower). You can still see such tanks on buildings today.

YOU didn't really fly in Infinite BS (definitely NOT freely), so you couldn't see so much roof detail (Ooh, peaked roofs, Wow, How old-school). Realistically (assuming the gamemakers care about 'realistic'), there could be huge amounts of possible detail in such a 'cityscape', in plain view under those bright and pretty open skies.

The Infinite BS gamemaker barely represented them, no matter how interesting such detail would be (to have it be like a REAL city, instead of one made of shiny gingerbread). Columbia's Skybox views were more distant and conveniently made even more indistinct by clouds/haze-effects and such.

Rapture's narrow window views Skyboxes (like at Hephaestus BS1) were made of 2D pictures which COULD show alot of detail. MMORPG Rapture would have no external water tanks, the water systems would be integrated into the buildings (the height/pressure thing still comes into play).

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Bronze fittings for seawater immersion (bronze resists saltwater corrosion)

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How an Automatic Sliding Door Works

Note - Its even less likely for any automatic opening doors to exist in Columbia.

Door is hanging (rollers & track) or surface sliding (and is in guideways), slide up/sideways (down jams too much with crap falling into the works)

Sensor/activator mechanism (floorplate or electric eye or manual button) - single action mechaisms are fairly easy via a triggered latch and a spring/weight driven movement, but double action (ie- reversing the movement/motion and reset automatically) is ALOT more complicated. Engagable/disengaging mechanisms require much more complexity.

Sliding-way surface (slot/rollers - low friction) door slides into recessed space adjacent to door.

Actuator (both directions) pneumatic piston, motor drive (small motors), possibly counterweighted

Lock (if any) disengages activation as well as physically locks door closed

Crap can block the doors movement (unless actuator is capable of huge force - hopefully with an override safety 'crush-prevention' sensors)

Rapture-depth Pressure doors extremely complicated (very strong seals often for both directions) and very heavy - huge motor/mechanism needed to operate it.

Diagram of the Cosmetic vs Pressure doors (which is more like an emergency bulkhead)

Mistake that level designers make is missing doors that DON'T have enough space adjacent for the doors to slide into (I saw some in BioShock (which slide up) actually extrude through their frames at the top because the door was not inset deep enuf in the wall). Other places, the doors are too close to exterior walls and windows putting their mechanisms outside the structure.

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Technologies

Remote Closed Circuit TV Camera :

This got an early start in Rapture because of its use in the City Construction (a whole lot of remote controlled machineries, working with pre-fabricated building sections/components, in lieu of many more Suited Men grunt workers). That at least gives the tech a long prep time for its use later in those Security Cameras seen in the games - many not necessarily being quite 'automatic'. Instead, as suggested in the Novel, having some kind of 'flasher recognition' type friend/foe mechanism could be a good/workable solution (ignoring the game not mentioning/having any such explanation/elaboration).

Construction Automation (also elaborated upon in the Novel), being an important factor in building Rapture, would need to SEE to direct the work going on.

Consider : when steam shovels were first being employed in the US - one shovel did the work of over a hundred laborers using pick/shovel/wheelbarrows, and were so cost effective that they paid themselves off within a year.

Consider that Deep Sea Hardsuits (required for the depths involved at Rapture) were very complicated and extremely expensive to use (and required highly trained men to both be in them and to maintain/operate them).

SO A work multiplier like the Remotes used with automation to build Rapture would have been one of the early achievements. NO ADAM REQUIRED

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Problem With Any External Rapture Building Decorations :

Darkness. Little point of decoration if not visible (or of limited visability).

You cannot see them from very far away -- light visibility dwindles VERY fast in (even pure) water (and even faster in polution-murky water like probably existed around Rapture). Graph

So no matter how blindingly lit, such decorations just won't have the impact a well lit high tower would have in a city in the open air .

External decorations should be mostly clustered where they can be seen from VERY CLOSE to adjacent windows, or from submarines which pass closeby (and the whole automobile-like private sub idea has already largely been eliminated for any significant traffic beyond seaborne public transportation)

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Pollution-murked Water Like There Probably Was Around Rapture :

Sea current near the surface clear the water, but eddies (Rapture is down in a 'crater' like bowl shaped formation)

Settles down in between buildings

Prevailing Currents have must washed in one direction

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Elevators Stop Working and All Those Ridiculously Tall Building Are Doomed  :

You try walking up and down 20 floors to do routine things. Maybe if the buildings could be self-contained (food being the needed item, assuming the utilities stay on).

There is a cost to 'high-rise' type building, which includes the extra maintenance. In real cities it was the scarcity of land space that drove tall buildings (and if you look at a picture of NYC/Manhattan you will see that even today the vast majority of buildings are 6 or less stories tall).

SO corrections to Rapture for the MMORPG would reflect similar logical building practices.

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Lighting in the Murky Depths :

Rapture's Ocean Signs need to be close to the observers/viewers because of the way water absorbs light over even short distances. BIG illuminations (bright enough to be seen any real distance) would be VERY expensive, and would eat the profits of a small company (even if Electric Power is relatively cheap in Rapture - it takes ALOT of Light, and there is no daylight down there, add to the original cost and maintenance as well). OMG you take all the fun out of the game !!!

If you wanted fantasy THAT MUCH it should have been playing a Shooter called "Land of The Killer Easter Bunny", with sprays of candy instead of blood, and pretty colorful splodey gibs, and fanastic weird FUN weapons which make funny noises.

(Saw an interesting billboard signs of 40s and 30s - but then those to be seen in daylight)

Signboards30s

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Those able suspended Light Globe Things :

You saw out in the Ocean near buildings in BS1.

To be of any use the would have to be very bright (better than brights shone from near you that would obliterate view (more) in the murky water). Of course this means that close to them you get blinded by them.

There's no reason they are just cables with warning lights - normally run along seabed for that is more likely/simpler. For that it would be a liability to submarines, and they would be red lights as well.

Actually maybe the Skyline in Columbia coulda had some fancy lights to liven things up. Imaging going along a skyline level loop in the dark with things like that.

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