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More interesting items/ideas for Bioshock Rapture MMORPG
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Proper Task for The Thinker :
A real task for The Thinker - not running the Bathyspheres by remote control, but creating efficient 'on-the-fly scheduled movements to move the most customers using the fewest Bathyspheres. Taking the destinations either prescheduled or specified by customers at the stations. Routings thru the maze of Metro cable lines, with multiple possible paths and picking up/dropping off passengers (and potentially bypassing thru stations). Full passenger loads skip unneeded stations, Premium 'express' or 'private sphere' service make priority transits, etc... The System would adapt to down cables or saturated stations (they never have enough docking bays in the stations) and loading/unloading delays/queues. Setting the arrival/departure times on the station schedule signs would be part of the job. Making dynamic adjustments to the movements as situations change (additional passengers with different destination requirements).
Systems like this have been added to modern buildings to run the elevator systems and have greatly increased their efficiency by 'intelligently' skipping stops when the elevator is full or loading sets of floors together and then letting the elevators accelerate to more efficient cruising speeds a further distance.
In Rapture, as time went on, a smaller computer trimmed down for just this function was developed after tracing the logic units the Thinker used in the task. Of course when the communications lines started getting flakey from lack of maintenance during the Civil War, the auto-scheduling system stopped functioning (but by then few people were using the Bathyspheres anymore).
Inbound and outbound queueing of Bathyspheres (and independant subs) - traffic control - would be a sub-task of this system.
A different procedure would be used as there is no fixed schedule for destinations. Customers would buy a ticket (with a possible variations of more costly 'priority' service) which would be entered into the Smart Scheduling System (SSS) and wait in the 'lounge' area to be called to the Bathysphere (at a announced dock) when it is ready.
"Pardon our Dust" and "Please Excuse Our Mess" signs will be all over in New Rapture ... :
Rebuilding going on everywhere. Please dont blast your way thru weak walls to make a shortcut in someone else's restoration project.
Watch out in the Ruins (the Wild), you blast a wall and the whole thing might collapse on you.
Popular subject :
Everybody in Rapture seems to have become an amateur geneticist - if you go by the 'recombinant series' blackboards all over the place (like in the Drafting room of the AE Depot). No doubt it was a popular subject in the popular media, and TV shows about the subject were common. Chldren's books featuring Mr. DNA and Dr. Gene and their Adventures were read by many a schoolchild.
In New Rapture the subject still has great public interest and routine announcements are made of 'advancements' in the Cure process (part of which happens because of player involvement).
"Rapture Colony" - mentioned in various places :
(Proclamation by Official Council reward for information about smugglers) seen in Neptunes Bounty MP -- and mentions "300 ADAM reward" (so it was late usage - not in 'early days')
"Product of Rapture Colony" seen on some brand signs.
Terminology would make clear that Rapture was a place to 'move to' and not just visit, and that it was going to be something substantial and permanent. Useful to get that idea across without divulging too many details about Rapture to prospective immigration candidates.
Also saw "Rapture Sea Community" on a Sterner Sea Meat sign (and other places)
Those signs will still be around to be seen in the MMORPG (maybe in a bit less good shape - was odd to see so many from BS1 era still there in BS2 - woulda thought they would be targets of anti-capitalism by Sofia's followers).
Adapt or Die :
Some of the original Atlantic Express passenger stations (ones not converted to freight stations) were modified as small submarine access stations (used by the Cab/Limo services and private subs) and made use of the original monorail track modified as an overhead crane to pass the subs thru the airlocks and lift them out of the water.
MMORPG would allow expanding on these many mechanism and facilities.
Stress Failure on Bathyspheres :
Constant transitions from 280+ psi while out in the ocean (600ft depth level) to the Metro station docks (at 1 atm 14psi) caused hull failures as the hulls were repeatedly compressed/decompressed. Several fatal incidents forced the Metro company to fix the problem or face bankruptsy from lack of ridership. Designs had to be modified and the hulls assembly joints strengthened to withstand this constant source of stress and resultant metal fatigue. The most successful design simply used an greatly overengineered hull that was stiff enough to withstand the changes in pressure (and made the Bathyspheres mass close to the 30 ton range, which forced operational/equipment changes to safely decelerate that mass).
Bathyspheres come back into use (operated by the City) but limited because of the damage and lack of maintenance.
Rapture's Founding November 5, 1946 :
Enough construction was completed (probably the area around the Welcome Center, and Hesphaestus was operational) to hold a ceremony declaring the city ready to accept the inflood of its intended population.
Construction seem to have been underway most of the year and the initial stages were already started in 1945 ( VJ-day August 15 after A-bombs, was when Ryan made his decision to build Rapture) with Surveys for a location and start of marshalling the resources/technologies it would need.
One of the commemorative displays would be moved to the City Center as part of the 'back to the old days' efforts.
Quest mode Simple/Full story :
Might keep some portion of players happier if long detailed backstories for quest/missions can have a short version and a long version for the descriptive storyline. Likewise, the choreographed 'staged' play-acting can be more than some players will care for. So allowing a cut down version of the descriptions and fabricated cutscene-like machinima play stuff would be a useful feature. Some players just want to get to the action and just need the basics of the situation, while other will want to hear the full story. It might be possible to have an additional reward for those ready to sit thru the full form (as the Player Creator actually went to the trouble of crafting it). Generally quests wont be able to be run more than once (which is different from allowing multiple attempts within the quest) so there wont be the 'bypass' that many games use to eliminate long tedious sequences the player has already seen. Of course there also is the text 'log' entries that describe the current quest(s) in sufficient detail the player can get reminders from.
How much different BS1/BS2 would have been if Ryan had said -- "Would You Kindly .. go crush Fontaine's Skull with this, AND Would You Kindly now ignore anyone else who says 'would you kindly'... "
Duck and Cover :
School educational (indoctrination) film about the atomic bomb menacing the surface world... and the threat of contact with it (it is still shown in New Rapture where people STILL have to be dissuaded from trying to leave before 'the Cures' final goal can be reached). This is not the 'Duck and Cover' type material, instead it is the footage from the 'our town' test demonstrations of effects of atomic blast on typical America town settings ... Actually many of Rapture's people were convinced the threat was real and accepted the reasoning that smugglers imperilled everyone. Atlas's propaganda didnt speak for the majority, but convinced enough people (many being unstable Splicers) to make murderous trouble and in the end was losing the 'Civil War' after Fontaine lost his initial advantages.
Big Uncle ? :
The 'late' Fontaine's minions, for a while (after their bosses demise), continued activities in the Big Daddy facility (Point Prometheus) and used the BD Suits on some of their members who didnt have the Big Daddy 'mind conditioning' (they retained their will) and employed them as walking tanks. This faction had some significant fights with Lamb's and others factions. They eventually ran out of critical parts and ADAM (multiple Brute plasmids were needed to be strong enough to operate the heavy suits). There are still a few of them wandering around Rapture -- some as 'bosses' of their own small factions.
'Big Uncles' who are not as limited as Big Daddies in their tactics or use of allies (for you 'running away' can be a acceptable tactic). The improved AI used for the player's "Team" NPCs can just as well be used for coordinated actions/tactics of Splicers.
Facilities make the 'Trains run ontime' :
Carbarn for Trolleys - The Metro was a large system - originally there would be at least 100 trolleys needed for Rapture's Rush Hour and more to serve as replacements and those being repaired/maintenanced. Carbarns were de-centralized to be close to the lines they served (there were originally several trolley companies before the buyouts and Metro merger). New Rapture would be rebuilding this system (for the sectors in Rapture it controls) as fast as possible to bring back efficient public transportation for the Citizens. Fortunately, Trolley systems are fairly simple technologically (dates back to the 1880s) and it is more an issue of clearing debris and repairing the damaged Trolley cars . Automatic operation can wait til later.
The Atlantic Express Depot has the major repair facilities for the AE train system (one of the reasons it was 'reclaimed' early for New Rapture - to make use of its machinery and repair equipment, and to deny its use to 'the Family'). It was also a major transportation hub for the city. The 'Family' faction's influence largely disintegrated at the AE Depot, being so far from the rest of Lambs old Collectivist Realm. 'Johnny' (Delta's clone) was fully capable of leading a 'mop up' operation of the few that were left and securing it. Full restoration of the AE system is a substantial task, but important to New Rapture's future.
Boiled Barnacles $1.50 (sign seen in Paupers Drop) :
Figure that rubber bands actually taste better than your average barnacle .... Barnacles are filter feeders and at most of the depth of Rapture with no light, very little grows - a fairly sparse ecosystem. Unless you look at what normally grows around spots that are nutrient rich - like sewage outports with all the bacteria and organisms that feed on that bacteria and up to things (plankton) large enough for barnacles to eat.
How many Splicers out there are still eating this and worse.
Farmers Market established 1948 (sign seen in Farmers Market) :
This was soon after the first farms were operating (~1947) to supply Rapture with fresh produce (after many people grew tired of canned food and 'fresh' food that had arrived after a long sea voyage).
The first farms looked more like warehouses (actually like the pod factories in Invasion of the Body Snatchers) full of hydroponic equipment. Later they would be greatly expanded into specially built tunnels. With inexpensive power and heat from Hesphaestus (probably with some special deals in exchange for the Oxygen being produced) the greenhouses could have the plants growing 24 hours a day. Farming specialists in Ryans surface organization scoured the world for appropriate varieties of crops that grew well in Rapture's environment.
Fruit trees take a bit longer to mature, but also can be accelerated by various methods.
Farming in Rapture got a significant boost when Ryan discontinued most trade with The Surface in 1952, and many new farming ventures were started. At the same time, much construction equipment and workers were freed up as City construction was slowed.
The tunnel boring machines carved out huge underground networks of tunnels for the 'farmland' around Ceres Green. There also were major expansions of the seafarms in the Shallows north of the City, which harvested kelp to turn into fertilizer for the farms and other products.
This was before ADAM agri-technology expanded many food plant yields further.
Oxygen farming became an industry as many of the large corporations (including Fontaine's) cast about for additional opportunities. Geneticly enhanced plants were developed to improve the O2 yield (including algae that could grow in vast vats).
The Farmers Market expanded (that new wing you see in the BS2 MP) as Raptures population grew and more products became available. It also became an important purchasing site for much of Fontaines smuggled goods, which crossed from his smuggling base near Neptunes Bounty via a clandestine tram tunnel he had built for that purpose.
Dwarf Corn (maize) varieties were found to do well and had a high yield of both the grain, which was important as animal feed as well as the stalks that could be used as silage, also for animal feed. The 'corn on the cob' stall was always a popular stop in the Farmers Market. Eventually a variety of popcorn was also introduced.
Reestablishing a presence with the large farming areas to the east of Arcadia is an important goal for New Rapture, as the food supplies will be needed as the 'saved' population expands.
Wounds (that which does not kill you ....) :
Memorable animations(s) from Farcry 2 - when you were injured sufficiently, there were first-person animations of you doing crude surgery/injury fixing operations (pulling a bullet out with pliars, cauterizing a wound with a cluster of matches, etc.. besides the usual sticking in a needle or popping some pills) that would make neat additions to this game. Doubly because you can watch/see other players/NPCs/Splicers doing it as well.
Whatever happened to ... :
Sander Cohen (whether you killed him or not -- or thought you killed him in BS1) later sealed himself up Fort Frolic (Jack utterly trashed his appartment and drank all his remaining absinthe) -- having all the passages dynamited or welded shut, so that his 'great' work in the Atrium would never face any nay-sayer critics. His madness continued to grow (he had taken more odd combinations of plasmids than most). A viking funeral was staged (on his theater stage of course) while he was still alive (and the fumes of which finished off the last of his minions). The burned out theater complex is still there as his tomb, and even insane Splicers fear to try to enter that place. Most of his fiendish plaster creations sit mutely as his final audience.
Sound like a place you would like to visit ?? (ever see a giant plaster rabbit before??) I forsee twisted/fiendish boobytraps of all kinds.
Player-creation contests can be held for this popular setting (and new rooms ccan be progressively opened to reveal new strangeness.)
Dialogs (a game Asset control mechanism) to support Rapture Bureaucrat-isms :
Unfortunately New Rapture, like any modern city, runs on paperwork and requires the players to supply and access information.
The tedious role of a Bureaucrat - NPCs need to be able to fulfill that function (So as to NOT require players to).
The Dialog mechanism is the appropriate avenue, with :
- Its capability for the player to navigate interactively thru selections of options
- For scripting to intelligently control (logic) the available selections depending on situational factors
- Versatility to present information different ways (including annoying attitude of petty functionaries).
- Another Dialog feature would be the collection of inputs from the player -- not just from the selections made, but text/numeric inputs that can fill in a 'form' that would become 'paperwork' used in various City interactions (and pulldowns populated with options gathered from the players game situation).
- Registering a Business Name
- Submitting a Claim of Salvage (map location entered or some kind of 'claim' flag marker placed previously)
- Submitting a Claim of Rebuilding
- Signing up for Training Programs
- Candidacy for a Public Office
- Searches thru public records
- Job assignment (player signs up for city job or a job from an NPC)
- Request for City Resource
- Collecting on a City Bounty
Standard Paper forms (and instructions) can be supplied to allow player to see any required fill-in information types so that they can be ascertained ahead of time (the paper forms can also be filed independantly (in-person and by mail)
Fees may apply for filing various paperwork (fees largely pay for government operation).
Reciepts added automatically to players records.
Updated Emergency Access Map (Emergency Access Panel in Medical Center) :
(compare to original - )
I corrected the "Emergency Access" map from Medical Center in BS1 to match the same locations indicated on the Austen Bathysphere Co (Metro) map and some on BS2. The original maps arrangement of locations made little sense - not even as a abstract symbolic map. The Map represents paths used by Security personnel to reach many significant locations in Rapture - via secondary Bathysphere Stations and tunnels to allow quick movement (bypassing public transit) of emergency/security/safety personnel.
This Map is easily changed to expand to fit the full extent of Rapture represented in the MMORPG.
Perhaps the original map was kludged together as the city was constructed, with new indicators added as buildings and plazas were completed -- with additional paths placed wherever they would fit reguardless of the actual directions/positions. After being accustomed to looking at it, nobody bothered to have the indicator map rebuilt correctly. Nah, was just created by developers before positions of things (and plot) in the game were known (and who knows how accurate the Austen Bathysphere map is either).
Can be used as an asset for the Constable/City Security missions (with working indicators...).
Why would an 'artist' come to Rapture??? :
I wonder about some of the 'artists' who came to Rapture, when the 40s/50s World already largely leaves them alone in most of their 'expression' (weirder ones looked on with derision/ridicule more than anything else) and had freedom to move to places more tolerant of even fairly vile art styles. Political artists could escape from any oppressive country just as easily as go to Rapture.
What was the criteria for them being accepted in (and on their part being willing to limit their venue to a city of only 20000-40000 people -- which is really only a towns population)? Especially performers -- "The Kickettes - 2 weeks only" ... and then WHERE would they be going ??? - there is no 'circuit' for an act to move to around between venues (school stage in a satelite suberb/farm community??).
Were many 'refugees' claiming lack of success on the Surface due to 'oppression' or just were bad artists (would an acclaimed 'good' artist need to come to Rapture?)?? Are they accepted as window dressing then for Ryan's ideals to welcome people who probably would have the same success (lack of it) in Rapture and have a chance to 'starve' there too (not find buyers for their art = become pennyless parasites) . Some 'artists' may be rich and may only have been run out of the worlds art community and have come to Rapture to afflict a captive audience with their 'art'.
The New City Museum has plenty of space for the less frightful 'artwork' that the players will find in 'the Ruins'.
Player created Mini-Games - just more of the same?? :
Sure, coming up with a new (and good) style of minu-game is difficult (and rare), but look at all those copycat games out there (that noone even wants to pay for). At least with the Bioshock MMORPG mini-games they feed back INTO the main game and give you credit in quests/missions/commerce so that whatever stupid thing the game has you do (prefereable without too much mind-numbing tedium) you get advantage for doing it.
Many of the 'games' could also really be 'creation' tools where the task is to create some kind of simple in-game content that would be used to help fill out 'unique' (placeable) things for the City Auto-Generators to use (of course still subject to vetting to avoid inappropriate content).
An escalating set of mini-game scenario difficulties (with increasing in-game rewards) would be employed to allow players to find their 'comfort zone'.
The mini-games should NOT become a 'cash machine' for the main game (payoffs should be limited appropriately). Management of in-game resources should add efficiency as the bonus (so players dont HAVE TO use the mini-game to get things done). There would be in game involvement and advancement as prerequisites for various mini-games (Ex- you would have to set up a 'farm' to play the continuous farming mini-game and buy additional materials in-game for expansions/improvements, even though it could be managed in the tablet interface.)
The Abyss is a isolated pocket ecology cause by a collapsed magma chamber on an ancient volcano which inside drops to a significant depth of 4000+ feet. The volcanoe's rock structure completely surrounds/encloses it at a depth of only 1000 feet.
Geothermal activity within the old volcanos structure heats the region well above the normal freezing temperatures of the local ocean water, allowing greater diversity of life to survive (lucky for us to be able to go visit it).
Unusual bioluminescence activity in the biomass ... (like weird glowing things and mutant seaslugs).
Various resources were taken from the Abyss, several useful minerals, flame coral, Sea Slugs, bioluminescent materials, all gathered by remotely controlled mini-subs and machinery (with manned subs only being sent down to fix something).
Tourists descended to various depths in a special deep dive sub to view the unusual glowing growth formations and sealife.
Eventually (as New Rapture expands) the Abyss will play its part in quests/missions.
Burial at Sea ? :
Twilight Fields Funeral Home price board has 'Burial at Sea' listed -- isnt that a bit weird when that usually is just dumping the corpse into the ocean in a shroud (usually with chain or something heavy to make sure it sinks). So somewhere near Rapture you will find a bunch of corpsed sitting there on the seabed with fish nibbling on the corpses.... Maybe they at least cover you up with silt (another interesting 'setting'/scene for the MMORPG --- the underwater graveyard (haunted or haunting ?? Lots of space for monumental grave markers). Hmm, torpedo launch funerals like the end of Wrath of Kahn ??
"New Rapture" founded, at Fontaine Court (originally Beowulf Gulch) which becomes 'City Center' of New Rapture :
Picked by the New Rapturians for its defensive attributes rather than its grandeur, and proximity to vital resources.
Fontaine Court had been converted to a 'company town' for Fontaine's workers back long before the Civil War, and anything beyond basic services had fallen into disrepair. Neptunes Bounty workers were coerced into living there and buying Fontaines commissary food and goods (so that he was swindling them twice).
Many of the fishermen and fish processing workers who lived there were less than enthusiastic in joining Fontaine's "Splicer Army" after years of his abuse and his cheating them, so the location did not suffer as much damage as other Splicer bastions.
After Fontaines 'death', Atlas didnt have much of a foothold on people who could make their own way, without needing his handouts and victimization propaganda.
Atlas and Ryan (and later the factions) largely left the fish workers alone as they continued to work and feed much of Rapture before/during/after the Civil War. When Lamb came to power, Hesphaestus blocked her attempts to have 'the Family' seize control of Fontaine Court along with Neptunes Bounty (using the 'We will turn your power off and you will freeze to death' Veto). Hence, the workers were in a good position to survive and maintain their organization/security and created a extensive food trading network across what was left of Rapture. Besides Fontaine Court and Neptunes Bounty, the 'Brotherhood of Fishermen' (as they were sometimes called) also controlled/maintained The Submarine Yard and kept Port Rapture operating.
The workers largely stayed (at Fontaine Court) after the New Rapturians 'took over' control of Neptunes Bounty ('Johnny' actually drove away a faction attempting to blackmail the fishermen) and benefitted by the new influx of Ex-Splicers and the resurgence of 'civilization' with the new status of 'City Center'. The City would eventually turn the area into a 'showcase' of what they planned to do in restoring all of Rapture.
The new City Center would grow fast and have substantial efforts made to restore the old Rapture 'look'. It would be the heart of the new city being rebuilt from the ruins.