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More interesting items/ideas for a Bioshock Rapture MMORPG
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. Part 25
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Standard Soap Opera plot #17 :
There should be at least one 'Evil Twin' Johnny (the Delta Clone who helped to get New Rapture started) plot in the MMORPG, where the Vita-Chamber (in Adonis Spa) is turned On by accident (during some freak power fluctuations or somesuch) and it generates yet another clone of Delta (except this one has no 'soul' or somesuch).. The Player has to track down this rogue alpha before it powers up too much and becomes a threat to New Rapture (in the end dissappears into 'the Wild' (maybe destroyed/maybe not) to be seen in subsequent Quests/Missions (You should never throw away (never kill-off) a proper bad guy/villain...
Idea - Letting other Players play your Team NPCs on Missions:
One of the classic problems with MMORPG group activities is first getting enough people all online at the same time, and second getting them all to the same location without long waits/delays (many games now have an unrealistic teleport/gatewaying to facilitate their group activities).
In this MMORPG, you take your Team NPCs with you much of the time, so they (warm bodies) will already be on hand to be 'possessed' by a Player. Some kind of reward would be made for such assistance -- maybe (at minimum) THEY earn (accelerated?) skill development experience for the time they serve - for themselves or one of their team NPCs) and/or some achievement that goes to enhancing their own Team other ways.
Since Team NPCs are normally run by the Server or by the proposed Client Driven Team AI, filling out the required full 'posse'/fellowship/raid group is less a problem (as long as the AI does a passable job for the NPCs still on automatic).
With the possibility of renting out 'expert' NPCs from your 'Team' to someone else, the owning Player may be able to/want to run the 'rental' NPC themeselves (this could also help fill in for less than optimal NPC AI scripting for certain difficult 'expert' tasks).
You will still have the problem of grouped Players not knowing what they are doing or acting out and intentionally messing things up -- so you have to 'vet' the other Players as always. Counter-Measures would have to be taken (in the game mechanics) to prevent 'griefer' suiciding/sabotoge as a tactic by those mentally-ill Players (perhaps a systematic recording mechanism which submitted to GMs will lead to punishing the offender severely/blackball them/disempower their Avatar, burn down their house, ridicule them by putting them on dispaly in The Clinic getting Electroshock therapy, etc...).
Now such surrogates dont get any loot directly, so I suppose you could withhold any incentives (payment or development/achievement points) when they mess around (this itself can be subject to abuse, so would need proper protections/enforcements built into the game mechanics).
This all does not preclude a Player normally going on another Player's mission with their one Character Avatar, but some Players may take it as a challenge to try to run a more limited NPC character (or a different flavor mix from their own Avatar).
Anyway, cooperative play adds greatly to these games, and facilitating it can't be a bad thing.
Glue Gun :
An attachment to the Daddy's (Maintenance Cyborg) Rivet Gun would be used to forcefully drive Epoxy Cement (Glue) deep into cracks in concrete walls to make temporary repairs (to await more extensive rebuilding to fix the structural defects). Unfortunately after The Kashmir Incident, most heavy repairs ended, leaving the Big Daddies' stop-gap repairs as the only corrections being made.
The Epoxy was formulated to set almost instantly of being 'fired', so that any pressure would have no chance to force it out of the cracks/leaks it was applied to.
This might make an interesting addition to the various weapons in Rapture, where near-instant setting glue can be used to pin opponents (at least for a while - or 'gum them up' ), as well as use on other objects (like glueing a door shut), as well as for repairs of various kinds.
"We are but the STONES to Pave the WAY" (Lamb-ite stuff seen on wall in AE Depot in BS2) :
I dont think all those people that Sofia Lamb murdered ever got gravestones.
Hmm, what exactly did 'The Family' do with the bodies of the latest "Joiners with the First Utopian" -- "Soylent Green is made out of Splicers !!!" -- good theme for at least one quest/mission (if you see something labeled "Solylent Green" out there in 'The Wild/Ruins', best just leave it where it lies.)
There be Hot Water in them thar Hills !! :
Some enterprising people went 'prospecting' for exceptional geothermal sites (spots that would offer significant power output, as compared to the large but more average geothermal fields near Hephaestus (Plain of Hades).
Such individual 'bonanza' wells when drilled could put out 20X the power of one of Rapture/Hudson Power's standard wellhead power installations (which there were hundreds of). Many such sites existed far from Rapture 'City Limits'. The local availability of cheap power opened the door for other ventures, as well as allowing many outside communities to have control of their own power supply. 'Insurance' was often taken with a hookup back to Rapture for 'backup' utilities (more than one 'wildcat' well failed or lost much of its capacity).
A few remote sites relying on local power that failed dot the landscape 'out there', and such 'ghost towns' give a good idea of what Rapture would soon look like if its power ever failed. Needless to say, Ryan put much effort into making that very unlikely to happen to HIS City.
"Bwahahaha" <<<<< where can this be used in game ? (needed - a Dr Evil styled bad guy -- who never gets killed - always escapes just out of reach - Blofeld (and his cat) who always filled in the first 5 minutes of those old James Bond movies...).
Little Shop of Rapture :
Langford's experiments with flowers gone bad - encounter with a carniverous Rose (ghosts in Apollo Square arent the only ones who yell "feeeeed meeeeee"....). It might sing or not.... Players are warned about drinking before going out on adventures....
Reasons the (Mk1) Atlantic Express was rebuilt to the new mechanism (Mk2) :
The track structure of the earlier design, after hard use (City Construction) was wearing out - not able to take the expanded loads/use by the growing City (expediancies of an early construction 1946 period - rebuilding whole sections of railroads is nothing new in the real world). Problems and limitations were discovered which were not apparent in the time of the original design implementation.
The newer design allowed for larger Traincars (with improved capacity per car - and a less cramped interior), The original clamshell symetrical drivewheels had structural limitations that did not allow application for larger units. Better streamlining for efficiency was used in the new Traincar designs - much better that the original Mk1 ones which had it more for show.
The Mk2 design allowed for higher speeds and accelerations without undue wear on the improved track structure and car mechanisms. Passenger comfort was able to be maintained for this higher performance.
The new Mk2 track was more modular, bringing down building and maintenance costs, as well as improving reliability. The new double tracking (often at little extra cost) increased traffic capacities greatly.
Many sections (stations/customer locations) were no longer relevant and were not profitable to connect to - the lines would have to be relocated/rebuilt. Significant shifts of passenger traffic patterns. Realignments and more direct routes shortened some sections (including additional use of newly inexpensive tunnels).
Many stations were too small to handle double-end car sets (and turning at end-of-lines had efficiency(cost) problems). New (much larger) Mk2 stations not only all allowed the larger cars, but double-sets as well.
Additional/expanding freight traffic required extending of the original system (which was actually cheaper with the Mk2). Expanding the existing system in many places was too difficult because of local congestion/preexisting structures that would need removal at much greater cost.
Some of the old system could be retained (like the low trafic Short Line) and other parts salvaged for industrial/secondary reuse (the 'used' railroad business), where the limitations were not so important.
Newer and Shinier. (Less expenditures on decorations still would not have saved the AE Passenger Business from bankruptcy a few years later).
" Hop*Up! Cola (since 1949) - Now more CAFFEEN(tm) than ever" ... :
Uses a caffeine substitute?? The same company might have also offered a coffee surrogate (you cannot grow coffee beans like you do potatoes - which actually grew well in Rapture). It predates ADAM, so no whizzbang genetic modified plants as the source (it probably comes from something the customer would really rather not want to know... or maybe just out of a testtube of some scientist who never 'made it' on the surface.)
Genetic Fluxions - Suchong and the Calculus of Genetic Modification :
The calculation that allowed changing physical attributes of a human and to create non-natural structures and abilities. Allowed theorizing a desired effect without excessive incremental trial and error testing -- greatly accelerated the development process.
Plasmid and tonics - main difference is plasmids require EVE to function/power.
Computer aided computations greatly accelerated the genetic technology, and as often happens allowed further improvements in bio-electronic technologies reulting in even more capable computers. (Wash, Rinse and Repeat)
New Genetic understanding led to tailoring pharamaceutical chemicals to effect corrections/compensations (versus genetic modification). Being able to alter organisms to synthesize the various bio-chemicals greatly decreased the expense of producing them and made other possible that previously never could be produced outside of the laboratory. Even new processes for esoteric industrial chemicals became common.
Player is sent out into the 'Wild'/'Ruins' to place pro-New-Rapture propaganda - posters along with special graffiti and to set up local repeaters for Radio-Free-Rapture, which would spread the New Rapturian message of the cure and rebuilding and cooperation. Many Factions dont like this 'interference' and may take actions against the mission (besides destroying the message). More challenging versions of this ongoing project are to place similar propaganda in newly explored (and dangerous/hard to get to locations).
An interesting phenomenon was some Factions indirectly delivered Splicers who were real headcases (imagine how bad that must be considering the 'normal' Splicer Community) to get rid of the ones disrupting their own agendas --- not so unlikely when the City was giving substantial rewards for them. So in that way, New Rapture was indirectly stabalizing the rest of the City - changing the environment to be easier to get many of those Factions to eventually join or at least trade with the New City.
Glowing red algae. (its NOT not lava - lava hardens quickly and any pipe would become useless almost immediately).
That atmosphere reminds me of what some Third World cities look like these days.
Dual playing 'mini-games :
Idea for 'mini-game' would be : to have one that could be done 'off-line' as well as in-game (the main game) so as to not force the Player one way or the other (for something that might have significant rewards). Example scenario is : the in-game Player comes upon a locked/blocked door and has to work the usual actions to force it open (and not just a few knocks with a gun butt) and comes upon a room full of junk. The Player would then have the task of untangling and sorting the goodies from the rubbish. This kind of situation is limited enough for a 'mini-game' interface to handle (simple 3D stuff, simple physical behaviorsof objects, simple drag interactions). In-game you could uncover such a place and then save it for some off-line time (and go do more interesting things only doable 'in-game'). Part of the fun of this scenario is discovering something really good amongst more mundane 'just good' stuff (stuff still useful for other game activities). Mix in the possibility for some 'just plain weird' findings for the amusement factor (and a few hazards that might require decisions) and you wind up with something likely more entertaining than the usual jewel tetris game you play on your palmtop.
Bad Booze could make you go blind - bad ADAM could .... :
After the initial discoveries of the ADAM technology happened, no doubt a large market was quickly realized for the various products and many companies launched into production of their own. There had been more than a little sea-life research previously and once the source of the miracle drug was known, others would get in on the gold-rush. Reverse engineering would probably not be illegal (remember -- "no laws" including patent laws) and soon many simple products had competition. The more complex products required careful production to be effective, and it was likely that boot-legging attempts resulted in more than a little of the negative side-effects which effected many citizens.
A Spider Splicer, Stanley Poole and a Little Sister walk into a bar - and the barteneder says .....
Bad Jokes - yet another realm of creativity for the MMORPG game ....
Random Name - http://www.behindthename.com/random/ :
Example of a tool that could be used by an auto-generator to fill in some game details (for Player Avatar names(?), NPC names, extinct company names, etc...)
Design Issue : of whether Players are allowed to create their own names/identities (and bios?). It may be preferable to NOT have some Players restarting their one allowed avatar character over and over (and over) til they got one random name they would accept (and they often still would not be pleased with it sometime later).
A philosophical question is do the Ex-Splicers have or even want their old identities?? (maybe a possible justification for allowing the Players to choose new ones..). Im not sure yet if there should be any remnants for them (including skills) from 'the before time'. It certainly would add more work to do it right, if there had to be pre-made identities - rather than starting them 'tabula rasa' (Brooklynese for 'blank slate').
Vetting a Player's self-created bio might take a different type of work (all that Lore/Canon Compliance and dealing with all the people claiming to be Ryan's/Cohen's/Fontaine's brother....)
Another feature would be nicknames for Player's avatars (and NPCs). With the more detailed 'social' interactions being simulated in the MMORPG, you could have nicknames used between 'friends' or other informal associations instead of a simplistic(boring) 'one name fits all' system you see in alot of games.
Similar selection problem exists also then for 'nickname' assignment to a Players avatar (possibly alot more variable/creative).
I preferably would NOT have 'earned' nicknames', like in other games where they have 'titles' and 'ranks' awarded. Kinda lame to have 10000 Players all with the same nickname for doing exactly the same 'achievement' (or having them change day to day).....
Rapture pick-up lines :
Post-Splicing -- "Nice Tumor"
"Is that a Thompson Machinegun or are you glad to see me ?" - female Splicer talking to her gun...(then laughing maniacally).
Angry Jellyfish :
Game for your New McClendon Home Computer... (I suppose you could play that style of game on a text graphics display).
But this thing (the computer) better have more uses than just playing games.
Likely one of first really useful (Real Life) programs will be available - Spreadsheet - a tool that many businesses would be willing to buy computer time for. Imagine 'batching' spreadsheets using punchcards ahead of time (to save from wasting data entry work on the main system). Printer paper for output would likely be being made again (newsprint paper is sufficient for normal uses).
The New Rapture City Hall has one (a computer) used by the 'government' (Ryan rolls over - in his fabricated artificially narrow philosophical grave) for various accounting, etc.. (The City has employees with wages/salary and job/work schedules are processes)
There is a Major Bounty out (offered by the City) for additional MHC units and for spare parts (the units are fairly rare as they were expensive and people in Rapture didnt yet understand all the uses they could be put to, as well as the limited programming being available). More large companies had them than individuals.
Other computer systems are also still available, useful for accounting/billing, including some 'timeshare' systems run out of Minervas Den (which survived largely intact during 'The Chaos' and the Faction Wars.)
Is New Rapture still too ramshackle and small to need computers? The Player comes on the scene at the time of the 'great expansion' where the City is exploding with the new critical mass of ex-Splicers, and the return of a 'normal' environment. This requires many of the old systems/solutions to be able to 'scale up' to the new civilized complexity, and the City Council is also looking forward and is taking actions now to be ready to to meet needs which soon will be required.
4.5 Million cubic yards of concrete used on Hoover Dam project - How much was used to build Rapture ? :
http://stargazers.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/sun_images/sunspots_cmes_occur/aerialcarpt.gif (a diagram of rewiring a Splicers brain ??)
Stageplay Editor :
Editor for precanned 'scripted' Machinima (3D presentation using actual game characters/props) used for Flashbacks, quest interactions, Dialog tree branches, and in-game media presentations (like those advertisements we saw). One advantage of the collaboration model is that Players can see/play with/edit existing presentations and can submit improvements/variants which can later be incorporated into the Servers active game assets.
Another use is as part of tutorials to add a visual presentation/demonstration - game playing tutorials and asset creation tool tutorials and documentation. Some asset submissions could include scripted 'plays' that show off the object's features. The same mechanism would be shared/integrated into the 'test rig' system that is used to command an object to act out its behaviors for Testing/debugging. Testing 'scripts' would normally be provided with a submitted asset to save time/effort for the people who review/inspect/test them for acceptance.
- Timeline editing interface (to correlate/coordinate different components/agents)
- Sound and action synchronization (many objects actions cause their inherant sound effects)
- Scripting for keying off gestures/emotes (activating already existsing motions/sounds)
- Can be used to force move Players Avatars/Team NPC's to fit canned interactions/dialog (quest starter scenes)
- Branching Tree-logic can allow different sequences to be played depending on situational factors or Player responses (or even random subsequences to vary the content some).
- Various particle effects can be incorporated and effect overlays (like funny sub titles ?)
- Speech generation (we are getting there with available programming) would allow easier to provide generated speech rather than requiring pre-recorded audio clips (which are limiting and more work to create and distribute).
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Too bad the Twilight Zone was made too late :
Might Ryan have arranged to import certain media items to show to the population to reinforce his ideas (like why people probably wouldnt want to go back to the surface world). Some entertainment might be neutral enough to fill in for the limited local production (TV repeats are bad enough up here). It would all be heavily vetted for content, unlike the items the smugglers brought in.
Fonts for signs and such :
Will have to see how existing Fonts are handled legally - ones in public domain, etc...
There would be many Player created signs and the game asset creation tools would use a variety of fonts for the right 'Rapture look'. (as would the Server's Auto-Generator that makes a variety of signs from standard templates with 'random' names inserted).
Potatoes grown in Rapture - Potatoe Chips return :
One of the more resilient crops that could grow reasonably well in many bad/poor situations/environments... (Splicers needed all the help they could get with growing anything -- ever see 'Water World' - a reason you see jars of dirt throughout your adventuring in Rapture).
Frying oil a little harder to come by (fish oil is pretty yucky for this purpose)... Farm production of vegetable based oils continued.
Salty's Chips never quite stopped production even during 'The Chaos' and became a popular trading commodity between some of the City's Factions.
Used also to make Potatoe Batteries to power those commonplace/run-of-the-mill bioluminescent lights.
You can actually live off of little more than Potatoes, compared to other foods, and you can also make booze from it.