--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --
More interesting items/ideas for Bioshock Rapture MMORPG
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- -
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
EVE is Cheap :
To have EVE in those EVE-Dispensers (like in Atlantic Express Maintenance in BS2 times) for free, it must have been relatively inexpensive. And for us to find those Dispensers still full, meant that it was still plentiful and being manufactured at that later time. In the MMORPG, plants that contain EVE were to be found throughout the City and were being cultivated by many Splicers. Apparently anyone who could 'boil an egg' could prepare useable EVE from that source.
EvePlants in Rapture eventually got common pest infestation resulting in the biggest aphids you ever saw.
(actually would make more sense if it was an ADAM-Plant, but if THAT existed things in Bioshock would have got plain rediculous...
Now if mosquitoes even got to Rapture (they probably did with all the smuggled fruit and such) and they drank ADAM contaminated blood.... Flybots might then have a little competition.
--- --- --- --
TV commercial (New Rapture public service announcement) :
This is Rapture (views of nice clean original magnificent City of Rapture).
This is Rapture on ADAM (pictures of mass death and destruction, insanity).
Any Questions ???????
Dont do ADAM.
--- --- --- --
The Thinker 'lost' the 14th Century .... (Rollerball reference) :
Or did one of Wahl's staff just drop the pile of punch cards ??
NEEDED - Storage media for 'The Thinker'... (microfilm data storage - definitely denser than punchcards - just his OS would take a large roomful of cards by itself )
Upright magnetic tape machines with big spinning reels (the classic image of a computer in the 50s/60s)
Need something with much more capacity and speed for what 'The Thinker' is supposed to do...
A recently developed technology (back before the Chaos began) - a ADAM-based (biological) self-organizing 'memory' soup, that the eggheads are still trying to figure out how it works. But it DID work and was useful in expanding 'The Thinkers' storage needs.
Wahl had continued development the technology, in his attempts to achieve his impossible 'ultimate predictor' goal (for someone supposedly logical, such an assumption/obsession could only be the product of insanity).
--- --- --
- The Amusing Rumor system - create a rumor via a NPC and see what happens :
Rumor is passed between NPCs (might be an amusement/popular rating made by players that reinforces the recommunication). Newpapers are infamous for printing many such unsubstantiated 'rumors'. Vetting for invalid/prohibited content would be enforced (and is traceable to the source).
The 'rumor' would be in text form (unless the MMORPG comes up with a phonetic based voice synthesis) with 'talk bubbles' over NPC's heads. Standard voice clip lead-ins might still be employed (there aught to be a large number of those).
All those City Ex-Splicers need something to say (like the GTA snippets that fill in alot of crowd activities)
Splicers likewise 'talk amongst themselves' when secretly observed and we can always use more variations.
Years ago I came up with a text mutator (a simple script language) that can (easily) vary 'canned' NPC dialog text with optional/substitution wordings/phrases (and context fill-ins) that can greatly vary (combinatorics) the resulting text, to avoid (a bit) the repetitiveness you see in too many games)
Similarly - a graffiti system to randomly place odd graffiti would help fill in details in and out of the City.
Hand-drawn images can be generated (for pictograms as well as textual content). With 'graffiti fonts' these can also be auto-generated as filler details. A players 'company' (his gang of 'Team' NPCs and his business intrests may have an informal 'mark' to place in their territory (Splicer gangs/factions have a similar use).
--- --- --- --
Hotel Monseñor - A Case of Murder -- Rapture Noir :
The World could be a cold place, but nowhere was colder than at the bottom of the North Atlantic. I sat in my office slowly nursing a bottle of Cheap Scotch waiting for my next client, contemplating the long strange road that brought me to this place called Rapture. Then in walked a dame dressed in black, with quite a tale to tell by the look on her face. She spoke for not more than three minutes before I knew this was the 'big one'. Ryan? What could Ryan possibly want with that scoundrel Le Boche and his associates. And he thinks I'm the one to take care of this? This thing so big that could shake Rapture to its core...
- LA Noir-like missions in Rapture (this MMORPG system will be the NEW Holodeck...) ***
Hotel Monseñor has become a grungy dump since so many people moved to the suburbs. All sorts of unsavory characters hang out here now, planning their next move or awaiting a sucker. Private Eye Dan 'Diver' Smith has his office here and this is one of his adventures -- in those old days before Rapture really went to fish-@#$*....
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- -
Mini-Scenario Builder :
Players use editor to define a Splicer lair/hideout/base with deployed/placed assets, which will be run on automatic by the Server. A standard scenery block (defined area) would be used to be easily substituted in many possible locations -- as needed by the auto-generator. They become Mini-scenario to be used randomly in-game as small 'situations' in Quests or just "random encounters" to subject players to.
Players can usually do a better more creative/clever job of setting up things than an auto-generator can - more coordinated/cohesive/inventive/creative .... potentially more challenging. The mini-scenario/scene should not be too gimmicky/unrealistic (example - a boobytrapped door is supposed to be passable by the boobytrapper without too much effort to deactivate/pass/reactivate and it should have a believable reason to exist).
Patrol/activity patterns (creation of logical waypoint paths for NPCs and machines and tasks to do at different locations -- the MMORPG's better NPC control logic makes this easy).
Varying elements to be used - Surveilance points, boobytraps, hidden paths, code-protected controls, Splicer NPC mix...
AI scripting appropriate to control a flavor of behavior for non-static NPCs/machines ('programming' is more often choosing from available behavior modes and setting some control attributes/priorities, etc...). Example- the NPC defending his turf might be set to abandon it after a certain amount of fighting or run off but return unexpectedly, or trigger something nasty. If the Splicer is 'at home' it should be doing normal activities when the player comes upon it, etc...
Lots of 'Splicer Tech' type props to make use of for that 'Splicey-goodness' ambience. All kinds of things that can be on substitution lists to be 'fitted' in when the instance is auto-generated (making each one different at least in appearance, but with more significant variation if the substitutions are made fancier).
Uses one of many Faction group identities for 'local theme' filler (graffiti, Splicer gang colors, characterists items based on the 'tech-level' of the faction and the NPCs role, etc..)
A Scenario Creator Ramp (creation experience based) progresses up thru larger assemblages of additionally available resources (with some kind of asset point scenario limit) -- increased as player proves their ability to first create simple scenes.
Possibility (MMORPG feature) of a 'recording' when THAT scenario is executed (players play against it) and later the Author can watch the interactions of real players playing their scenario (recorded as a symbolic log of movements and actions instead of a video - to save data space). The Scenario Creating player can watch and get tips as to what works or might be gaps in their tactical setup (too obvious/easy) and can then revise and resubmit a modified upgraded/improved scenario (learn/adapt/improve).
The result product (a scene Asset) of this Tool can also be used for situations to test Team NPC AI scripts (Arena Scenarios). The same shared mechanism can also be used to create Quest/Mission situations (I would have one tool to do all these to avoid 'reinventing the wheel' and more efficiently produce a COMMON useful 'easy to use' interface - flattening the learning curve and lessening the required documentation and tutorials). Ditto for setting up the choreographed 'canned' situations for Flashbacks and 'Dreams' and ghost memories.
This tool also overlaps on the Terrain Creation Tool - to create groupings of props with substitutions/options for generating widely varying auto-detailing (ontop/within a 'standard' block profile -- the common part that cant change to allow easy placement into the Server World). (Example- a 8x8 standard 'closet' for a residence setting that has something private (and probably odd) that a Splicer keeps for themself -- Trophies ? Their own private barnacle deep-frier ?? A collection of Sammy-the-Seaslug figurines ?? A Ryan shrine ?? One of those Sander Cohen bunny mask mobiles ??? Or just a esoteric collection of more mundane objects....
A variation of this same idea is being able to compose alternate scenarios for the many Mini-games (pretty much the idea from the start was for players to be able to do this) . Different Mini-Game frameworks have their own data (many very different) but the editors will exist for them as for everything else. There could be competitions for creating some adversarial mini-game situations/scenrios, where some allowance of standard opponent points (for boobytraps, nasties, obstacles) is used to build the scenario. The Mini-Game players try to beat it and the difficulty (time taken or damage inflicted) is scored as a measure of the authors skill of creating a challenging scenario. Of course at typical problem is HOW to come up with standard points for different game elements which have to be handled by uneven/asymmetric game mechanics.
--- --- --- --- --- --- -
Wanted (for MMORPG) - targets to destroy :
Since Splicers are now to be 'saved' and Big Daddies things to be pitied, what else might we have NOW to blow to smithereens without having to be concerned with 'disabling the target' and 'disturbing its psyche' or 'Offending the Faction'.
- Various mutant vermin - Rats, bats and cats (and biggest roaches you ever did see...)
- Insane robots (who knows what kind of things crazy Splicer Scientists/technicians/hobbyists might come up with that you might run into)
- Cobbled together equivalents of the Security devices (we could have MMORPG contests for imaginitive creations of these)
- Denziens of the Deep (the ADAM may have effected them also to produce real monsters and not just the natural ones)
- Agents from the Surface - Nazis are always a favorite bad guys to slaughter mercilessly
- Criminals of various flavors
Since now we are no longer alone (in the game, in Rapture) and better organized, the City will encourage is Citizens to be trained in the use of weapons. Training facilities (at a modest cost) will be made availabale to any interested Citizen and will include live-fire at 'realistic' targets with many types of both lethal and non-lethal weapons.
"THERES A LIGHT, OVER AT THE RYAN PLACE" :
The cult classic "The North Atlantic Project" ( the UFO B-movie created and shown in the US as part of Ryan's disinformation project) is shown every midnight in Doctor McKay's Moviehouse -- kind of like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and had previously a regular 'youth' audience who repeated the dialog (and lyrics) and dressed up like the characters to act out scenes. Ryan once commented of the shows being odd, but that the profit spoke for itself. Some nostalgic Splicer now gives his own showing somewhere deep in 'the Wild'.
--- --- -
There once was a thing called Auto-Train (actually still exists) ... :
AE 'sub carrier' cars -- for long distance movement of private subs out to the Suburbs. Another 'idea' project in an attempt to get more business for Prentis Mill's Atlantic Express. Its utility made it last upto the time of the City's collapse. Traincars in which a standard passenger sub can fit were tranpoerted via the AE to a distant location quickly and conveniently.
Oh Noooooos... traffic lights for private subs in congested areas (usually at dock approaches) with incoming/outgoing lanes. Cops in subs with flashing lights and sonic sirens to give tickets for safety violations ??? Warning lights on buildings and utility structures (even the Bathysphere cables) to facilitate "Submarine Safety" (I think Ive seen 'Nader Lights' on some of the Bathyspeheres you see in the game).
Towing Service Subs, Ambulance Subs, Sub Chases, Sub 'drive-in' restaurants -- all depends how prevalent private (automobile-like) submarines became -- or whether they remained mostly the toys of rich people ....
Some sections of Rapture pressurized to Sea Pressure :
Some local inhabitants faced with unfixable and deteriorating leak problems decided to run their air pressure upto above that of the sea outside. It can keep the water from flooding the area (as long as they can provide the gas that escapes the leaks now). A few (?) pounds differential would be alot easier on a faulty structure than holding out the 9 to 18+ atmospheres in the rest of the City. Much easier to patch that instead of getting the pressure of a firehose in the face.
Of course that 'high-pressure' area cannot easily be entered by outsideres without diving suits and depending on the local compression the suits worn might not be able to be removed while there (you get the bends when you return to normal pressure and it can take days of slowly decompression to prevent it).
Another effect is what happens when oxygen is present at many atmospheres of pressure - things almost explode because they burn so rapidly.
Air from the City O2 generators/air regenerators can be compressed upto whatever the local pressure needs to be and the heating system still flows in its closed system (it is pumped from Hesphaestus at above sea presssure already).
The environment is not pleasant and would only be tolerated by those who were desperate (inhabitants who's pressure integrity was slowly failing). Sound thru the denser air sounds odd, and various senses are greatly effected by the high ambient pressure.
It would likely be a place that had been well isolated, without a useable haven to move to and transportation blocked to prevent escape/relocation from the deteriorating area.
Such an environment also affords some protection as it is not easy to operate there for denziens of lower pressure areas (who have to move/interact always in those heavy diving suits) - giving any local defenders a substantial advantage.
You can also directly access the sea to do fishing/farming/machinery, and use ordinary scuba gear (instead of the diving hard-suits).
Various Quests/Missions in the MMORPG would deal with people in such odd places.
Bright and Shiny :
New Rapture restoring partial Train Service between various points would be a big deal, with commemorations, and probably a new paint scheme to symbolize the New City's achievement. Nice shiney new looking cars running their routes would be a change from the Traincars the Splicers had scrawled their inane graffiti on (inside and out).
New advertisements would again be posted inside to replace the 10 year-old Steinman Plastic Surgery and Accu-Vox ads.
The 'new car smell' is more the artifact of having to fumigate many Traincars after being used as residences or garbage dumps by Splicers since 'The Fall'.
Different things to different people :
This MMORPG seems to be a combination of XCOM, GTA, Bioshock and Minecraft (and Angry Birds) with its multitude of different elements :
XCOM - player has a 'Team' to coordinate and to equip matching their individual abilities and for specific missions . The player might directly interact with only a handful at onetime, but have many others that are useful for other situations or in supporting roles.
Bioshock - all the mutant goodness and our favorite setting of Rapture - the wonderland below the sea.
GTA - the 'huge' World map with alot of interactions everywhere you go. Extensive 'sandbox' activities.
Minecraft - players construct/reconstruct things in-game usung standard components, and can create outside the game in the Asset Editors/tools (making stuff for other players to play in-game with). There are far fewer limitations on how things can be constructed and more creative combinations.
Angry Boids - the plethora of Mini-games that connect/interact with the main MMORPG game activities.
Return of 'Fun' (if you have to ask what that is, you've been playing those other MMORPGs for too long...) :
You can trust in your luck and/or skill and sometimes come back in a bodybag, but have fun doing it. Hint - when you are outnumbered, run away very fast and they might not follow you - do something strange and it might confuse them. Splicers are wary of running into something blind/unexpected, like you should be.
--- --- --- --- ---
Voices from the Past :
New Accu-Vox diaries(Audio), TEXT messages/speeches/interviews(easier as text), TV recordings and films(Audio+Visual), still photos(Visuals) ...
Various characters from the previous Rapture games (example - everyones favorite "Sander Cohen") would be available for use as 'puppets' using the stage direction Choreographing Asset Editor (used for Flashbacks, Cut Scenes, canned Quest presentations, TV/News shows, etc... with generic characters). This would be to create various Recordings from 'The Past', back when they were alive,years previous.
Recordings newly found/rediscovered, which presented in the MMORPG, can help fill in some of the old story lines (really shouldnt make them repeat mission 'loot' (or clues) because the first person to find it will blab it all over the Internetz faster that you hit the button to loot a corpse). Any finding players will be able to turn them in (unique) for a Bounty, most lilkely. The New Rapture City Library will probably be a good place to find alot of them. Creating players will get credit and some undisclosed non-monetary reward.
For creation - Directing body motions is fairly easy (with all the emotes and actions the normal NPCs will have for their behaviors. If needed, new custom ones are composable with a poser-like animation editor. It will be the voice component that will be harder to create properly. No doubt, out there in the potential thousands of players, there will be some good enough voices/mimics to do the character voice recordings needed. Add use of the existing game recordings that can be sliced-and-diced (edited/recombined) for many useful phrases/words/sounds.
Those old characters could be brought back to life (figuratively) and their lives/stories fleshed out/expanded -- to reach new depths and to test the creativity of the players (and give many players something they very much want).
No doubt there will be much opinion, contention and controversy in the Creation Community about how far to go with those personalities pasts (and the presentation of ANY new speaking by/story about them). All would be (very) heavily vetted for those key characters of course, for adherence to the Lore/Canon and guidelines for additions.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Stock Market in Rapture :
No reference to it ('Crashing' or otherwise) or a 'stock exchange' found (Rapture's population is a bit small to need one or to support one).
Bank Crash -- yes (after Kashmir Incident and another earlier 'depression' in the economy), with a limited money supply (low confidence and much caution) and Ryan loath to simply 'print' money to attempt to fix a economics problem.
"Joint Stock Company" - where investors can buy-in to a company for a 'share' (a way to spread the risk, rather than have only a few owners) would be more likely mechanism for old Rapture (besides the more basic direct loans from banks/individuals). Stock Exchanges originally grew out of Joint Stock Companies. Of course the owners of those 'shares' may also (as they did in the old days) be called on to provide additional capital for the business venture (an 'Assessment') or lose their share.
Reed Wahl in Minervas Den DLC makes a reference to 'stock market' (in his plan to be able to predict everything), but it might not be Rapture he is talking about - but in the Surface World..
--- --- --- --- --- -
Voice Input Limitations (Voice Recognition use for game interface) :
Interferes with MP voice communications (between players)
Limited vocabulary is OK for one/two word 'canned' commands (system can be trained to improve recognition of individual words ...) but falls down for general Voice-to-Text conversions.
Consoles may not have enough CPU or input options available (does not mean that PCs should ditch the feature if it is a useful enhancement)
Voice-to-Text VR ?? For teh talk bubble over-the-head communications - would minimize voice transmission data bandwidth both ways (allow many conversations at once and all those NPCs talking ). -- that is if it could actually convert without errors every 10 words (typical error rate) .. it may require a new phonetic form language for English (that could take a while to get used to).
People do simply get tired of talking all the time (it would be optional in any case). Could be reserved (by player choice) for action-intensive situations like battle versus mundane activities (or maybe mundane stuff might be the use if it gets rid of more than a little pointing and clicking).
We may have to rely on creative/expert Player Extensions to the Game for this feature (facilitated by making a 'program interface' available to channel the context and resulting data).
This property is condemned - enter at your own risk! :
How many early buildings in Rapture had to be abandoned in the first few years because the construction was insufficient (Wales brothers designs leaked - requiring costly/extensive retrofitting of pumps/drains).
"Let the buyer beware" isnt too good when hundred of people can die because of one catastrophic defect, so some building standards had to be used/enforced (and if you routed City Utilities through the building it had to meet a number of minimum requirements). More companies than just Ryan's constructed the building, so he could not in those cases self-enforce the standards. Eventually better designs were created and used (largely before any majority of Rapture's building were built). Some of the 'ruined' buildings we saw from a distance in BS1/BS2 may have been that way (derelict/condemned) for a very long time - back to the 40's.
Such buildings might have other (less safety restricted) uses - where the sound structural elements could still be useful, despite other defects. Sinclair bought more than a few for pennies on the dollar for such alternate uses - one a fish farm where being open to the sea made a leaky structure irrelevant (and he made back his costs just salvaging building components first).
No lame 'endless leveling' system for this Bioshock MMORPG :
The MMORPG will be a system of Individual skill increments fronm doing activities and training. A flatter "get something useful done" experience curve would eliminate the dim grinding that players in other games HAVE to do. There will be many skills, instead of basing ability on a few generalized traits/stats. That would include specific tasks/actions (a mechanism similar to the 'FORMULA' system used for Crafting/Fabrication that spells out required sets of skills and effect on probabilities). NPC 'Team' members would use a similar development system. This skill system relies more on what the players learn is appropriate to do, than on (overly and overly) repetitive use of simple actions with fancy names which mostly all have the same result (That is OK for lame MMORPGs where you have little real variation/choice of actions to do from one end to the other - but NOT for THIS one).
Also there will be no feeble 'level-appropriate' content. which renders large world areas worthless/off-limits to players at any point in time (nasties/enemies standing there and ignoring you if you are 'too high' is one of the stupidest things Ive seen in current MMORPGs). And none of that "Too high a level difference and they kill you in seconds " rubbish, so artificial - intended to control/direct players access to a fixed path with grindy level-centric content.
This game will be constant discovering new places and things (and things to do) all the time, and not just the same old crap with different names/look and higher hitpoints.
Day in the Life of a Big Daddy :
Mentioned previously, that in the MMORPG there would be 'roleplaying' missions becoming various denziens of Rapture (someone besides your ex-Splicer avatar). Whole different worlds exist from those 'others' point of view.
Maintenance Cyborg #129, report to SeaGate 6 in Poseidon Plaza ASAP for minor structural repairs.....
Big Daddies are still active in their Maintenance Tasks and you would get a bunch of those as sub-goals - either by opportunistic 'noticing' a problem to fix (extra bag of Captain Salty Chips as a reward) or being directed to a repair task by 'The Authority' (the Central Maintenance Computer -- funny how Minervas Den never seemed to have ANY leaks compared to the rest of Rapture ??? Or how lots of victuals and luxury goods were available there, even when nobody there actually ever went out collecting them (let alone make them). When you are upto your neck in cold water you have an incentive to 'pay' those 'insurance' installments (bribes), and to disauade troublemakers from bothering those hard working Cyborgs.
Other BD activities :
- Visiting one of the Big Daddy repair facilities for supplies/tuneup
- A Little Sister Escort (they are still active in parts of Rapture)
- An outside repair utilizing machinery or just your trusty Rivet Gun
- Corpse cleanup (a new directive added to the Central Maintenance task lists)
- Friday night poker games (" Arrrg OOOHARG" (Ill raise you three Cap'n Salties...) )
The BD's visual interface would likely have some interesting visual distortions and various BD suit instruments/controls could be shown (HUD - old 50s style indicators/guages).
I suppose like some of the PvP 'Monster Play' mechanisms which some MMORPGs have, there could be (in this MMORPG) ramps of skill enhancements/skills/tool use, achievements and rafts of Quests for the various Roleplay character types (Big Daddies, Little Sisters, Fly-Bots, Splicers, Criminals, etc..). They would allow players to be creative with adventures of favorite game entities, and offer the normal players some optional diversions (and possibly a better understanding of Rapture -- from a different viewpoint than the mass-killing psychopathic fugitive we've played previously).
Players of course will create alot of the content to make this happen. There can also be alot of overlaps/reuse. An effort by some player to create the Spider Splicer's "Cartwheel of Death" maneuver for 'Splicer Play' then makes it available for some other user to incorporate it into the Sever-run NPC Splicer's (big) bag of tricks.