More interesting items/ideas for Bioshock Rapture MMORPG
. Part 4
City Rent collection and late fee enforcement :
- Individual Building supervisors (NPC) collect rents locally and send them to City Accounting Office.
- Simple player interface would be a 'drop box' interface for payments (menu of excuses for being 'late' - a splicer ate my rent...)
- Late Payments are investigated and 'corrected' (many/most rents go to city as income to pay for everything else)
- Players can have a 'pay in advance' interface feature that will pay their Rent out of a pre-paid balance for extended periods (a Bank account ??) and can have automatic incomes from businesses and 'Team' jobs paid into the account to minimize the bother.
- Standard city policies for 'evictions' (city has a storage warehouse place for evicted residence contents) - you can always get a place back in the Dole barracks...
- The transactions would be logged - part of a general money transaction tracking system maintained for every player so that various reports and summaries can be viewed.
Player money tracking Database:
- A simple set of CASH in/out for the player (can be maintained for NPCs also, but mainly for debug)
- Rent transactions (as mentioned elsewhere) with pay-ahead account
- Direct hand-to-hand transactions (the usual 'Trade Window' mechanism to prevent player scams)
- Purchases from Vendors (machines/NPCs/CityOfficials). Sales to customers/merchants...
- Cleanup mechanism would eliminate transaction data after a month(?)
--- Optionally Email a list of the 'cleaned' set of transactions to player (yes, accountants do play these games)
--- May move data to archive on Server (useful for long term debugging)
--- Could also have an export dump of data via Client at any time with SQL format -- for real hard case Accountant type players)
- Players would have several accounts identified (Rent, Company, Personal, TeammemberXYZ)
- Transaction data would include: GUID, time&date, identities, player account, ammount&money_type, transaction type, item info(maybe short description, typeid&count), notation(optionally made by player)
- Authorized payments (by player) done thru fairly simple game interfaces (identifying payee is specified off mail list (mailed bills) or face-to-face interactions to another player or to a NPC vendor).
- Some simple accounting/summarizing tools for players (players 'Company' would good be nice to see if its making a profit, etc...) . Simple spreadsheet mechanism no doubt would be provided (or some player would build a tool).
- All very auto-magical for players who get enough of this kind of thing in Real Life (and really dont want this game turning into Eve_Online).
- Database is useful for Developer debug of various financial mechanisms in the game (players scream when they get ripped off when a server LOSES their money...).
- More than one kind of currency - Dole Tokens, New Money, Old Money, City_Barter_credits, Prestige points(for tracking).
Diving Suits (hardsuits) used as tools (players have access, own or borrow) :
- Require recharging both compressed air and batteries. The infrastructure needed to support the unit must be brought along when the unit is deployed at a remote location (ie- in 'the Border' where external building repairs are being done).
- Heavy enough to requires a small crane to lower into water ( volume of suit displaces something like 850lb water and to have near neutral buoyancy -- it has to weigh about that).
- Human diver units must've had power assist hydraulics (The suit Jack put on mustve had these hydraulics - they shoulda had Tenenbaum have him find 3 or 4 Sports Boost Plasmids as part of that game sequence)
- Big Daddies and Maintenance Daddies have the genetic modifications that give them the strength required (will have to talk about how many calories they burn).
- The suit has to be stored someplace when not in use (bulky and along with all the support equipment).
- Heh - a scenario for player who finds an abandoned 'Diving Suit' and then figures out that they cant move it by themselves and have to leave it...
- The shear bulk/encumbrance/unwieldiness of suit out of water makes sure it cannot become a loophole being used in 'battle'. Underwater on the other hand ...
The Outside - the Sea - whole world 'Outside' :
- Missions and quests - exploration, prospecting, hunting, salvage, rescuing disbabled bathyspheres, sealife to fight, enemies ...
- Sea terrain is large - encompases city area itself (3 miles X 3 Miles) and further out (helps to have that 'auto-generation' to actually create terrain 'on-the-fly' if anyone actually ever goes out to see much of it...) Area of 200 x 200 miles could be 'seed mapped' for auto-generation with numerous 'interesting' locations done in more detail - another task for quests building a scene for a quest.
- 'Outside' jobs for those with the necessary tools/skills :
--- With no new Maintenance Daddies being created, more 'Outside' Citizen work will be required to keep the City intact.
--- Work requires use of Diving Suits and/or submarines and a variety of other specialized tools/facilities.
--- Players also get to remote location by tram tunnels - player may want a tram to get their suits from their 'lockup' to airlocks
--- Actually a good idea - tram tracks would be logical to go into all the maintenance airlocks (another reason for all those secondary 'basement' tram lines. Ditto for 'freight' elevators to get from Street Level)
- As usual "Player Created Assets" used to help fill 'the Sea' with interesting things to see and do.
- Many industrial/raw material sites outside the City are reachable via long transport 'tunnels' (hope you like long 'tram' rides - miles long - no underground highways like in THX113
The Surface :
- Some quests/missions deal with things 'On the Surface' (water, waves, sunshine, storms, rain, boats, etc...)
- Some dealing with the Lighthouse (including City effort to eliminate that monstrocity pointing at Rapture)
- Some with Smugglers in boats/subs
--- Official - Rapture still has connections with Ryans old Global Organization.
--- Law enforcement - Constable missions intercepting illegal smugglers
--- Clandestine as part of quests with shady 'mafia' types (hmmmm, actually could have a whole 'underworld' set of quests...)
--- Some quests may go as far as 'Land' - quest to intercept a Splicer causing trouble up there
--- Pirates ...
--- Remember what I said about making it possible for players to use their imagination to add to the game...
The City Weather System:
- Simulated weather on the Surface would be part of the game (some quests deal with going up to the surface).
- The book hinted there is a weather reporting system mounted on the Lighthouse which was used to coordinate operations on the surface. Ryan had his security minions operating boats to interdict smugglers and to organize operations for new arrivals (and to intercept boats that 'found' the Lighthouse/Rapture).
- New Rapture still has issues with 'smugglers' and probably would also have some carefully planned missions to go to 'The Surface' to go get critical items the City needed (Porter for example might be a channel to arrange for purchase and transport of certain goods - there may be a whole intelligence/procurement apparatus in operation to facilitate this).
- The risky HUGE Lighthouse has been slated for removal by the City (probably to be replaced by a submergable unit) - A surface installation is still needed for the City Air Intakes, the Weather System and the Entranceway are still also needed to function.
Maintenance Daddies (what were their official name? Maintenance Cyborgs?) :
- What do they eat? Fish is a primary component and they operate several semi-automated fishing facilities to meet that need (they also burn alot of calories moving those heavy suits).
- Standard service stations are located all over Rapture to recharge their systems as needed (compressed gas/air).
- Do they consume EVE? (Better not or they would have shutdown and Rapture fallen apart long ago)
- How do they get around? (Can use the Metro cableways as transport - have a cable clamp like the Bathyspheres do)
- Where do they go - do they ever sleep? They should have bases where they can store tools/materials.
- How do they know what to do? The Thinker coordinated their activities. A simpler system of repair markers was also used. And they have been known to coordinate more complicated repair jobs
- How many were/are there? At least 300 were created (exclusive of Big Daddies) most of them survived and continue to function (they werent attacked the way the Big Daddies guarding Lil Sisters were)
- Is there any hope for them? Tenenbaum thinks maybe in time - to rehabilitate them.
- Has anyone ever proposed that everyone in Rapture be turned into these Cyborgs who seem to be the only ones truely adapted to the depths ??? Yes, and they were then hustled off to the Sanitorium for renewed treatment.
"Vox Populi" - Atlas's 'newspaper':
- Another channel for Fontaine's efforts (as Atlas) to build a following amongst the 'down-trodden' of Rapture.
- Most of the distributed copies went to a better use as TP...
- The Newspaper folded immediately following Atlas/Fontaine's death (and his Lieutenants fighting over his fiefdom)
- Some issues to be found in the historical section of the City Library.
The Adventurers Club :
- Membership requirements are certain exploits in the Game - city exploration surveys, bringing 'interesting' things to the Zoo/Museum, bringing back various 'trophies' from certain quests...
- Assistance and resources for intrepid Citizens do the work of conquering the 'wild' for civilization
- Training school with missions demonstrating techniques for safely going into the 'wilds'
- Target range in then basement with a variety of weapons (good for basic training).
- The (classic image of a) club lounge with trophies - a place to compare your exploits with your 'peers'
- Place to organize 'expeditions' (various NPC assistants/porters) and to get the latest mapping information/rumors.
- A seperate Prestige system for 'Adventurers' - 'the exceptional amongst the exceptional'.
- Published articles in the Clubs Society 'Journal'
- Maproom for exclusive intelligence on interesting 'adventurous' places (an obvious 'quest-giver' location.
The Massive City Foundations :
- The massive Foundations of the city were built into the irregular seabed (Rapture is located on the side of an ancient undersea volcano) to support the city's buildings and other structures. In some places they go deep into sediment to reach bedrock.
- The Foundations are built out of water-setting concrete and have a significant volume/mass to properly support/anchor the heavy buildings.
- Shiploads of the special cement were needed for the huge volumes of concrete used (concrete is a combination of cement, sand and aggregate(rock), and water).
A cement making plant at the site was later set up but finding the required materials was delayed for much of the city construction.
'Cement' usually composes 10%-15% of 'concrete' and even that meant huge volumes were needed.
- Hydraulic dredges were used to remove the loose sand and other materials down to bedrock. Sand pumps sent the materials to a sand processing unit to recover sand useable for the concrete.
- Just like was done on Hoover Dam, large chucks of rock (called plumstones) were imbedded in the foundation concrete to fill out the mass without wasting as much cement.
- There is a aggregate crushing plant that was used to generate all the 'gravel' added to the cement to make the concrete.
- Rock from the tunnel cutting machine was also used (and it was found to be simpler to use as a source over the in-ocean water operations). The tram system was used to move the gravel and rock to the construction sites.
- There is a quarry for the 'plumstones' on Mt Ryan of the appropriate type of igneous rock required.
- Some building have an appreciable amount of inhabitable Volume within their Foundation, as it was cheaper to build the solid concrete structure than the windowed structure (which was pretty pointless for industrial and manufacturing facilities). Many of the industrial building use this technique (who needs alot of 'windows' for a refinery??)
- The Earliest Geothermal power generation units in Rapture were built to power much of the construction equipment and the habitats for the construction crews.
- Trams moving thru tunnels criss-crossed the city to provide the needed bulk transportation (more convienent than subs for everything).
A journey through 'the Catacombs':
- There are numerous tunnels/chambers in the foundations employed to reduce the amount of concrete required (and to assist in the cements proper setting). The early construction tram tunnels running everywhere also are largely intact.
- These passages were usually sealed after construction was completed, but many were later opened for storage or 'other' uses.
- Many of the construction plans were lost and the networks of Foundation tunnels are largely unexplored.
- Players can access the tunnels as the openings are usually in the basement level of most buildings and structures.
- Expeditions into these tunnel complexes should include surveying them for City Achievement credit.
- Alot of abandoned and forgotten equipment and other 'odd' items have been found in these tunnels.
- More than a few of these sealed 'Catacombs' are filled with icy water from slow leaks. Others are kept dry by the drainage systems originally built into them (or just were well water-sealed to begin with)
- Warnings about stagnant air and poisonous gases accumulating should be observed and proper precautions taken.
The Sub-Level of the City is generally the areas below the 'Street' level
- Includes the Foundation 'Catacombs'
- Much of the Industrial and bulk Manufacturing (factories/warehouses) located below rest of cityscape.
- "Below the Tracks" is a term refering to less desirable levels generally below the Street level (and Trolley Tracks) . Some residences were built in that part of various buildings.
- Basement machinery in buildings as well as sumps (draining rest of building)
- Also location of building airlocks to access seabed.
- Secondary Tram system at 'basement' level for garbage handling and freight/maintenance service.
- Maintenance power systems (redundant to power mains) usually located down there. Power cables from the construction era run adjacent to the trams can be used sometimes if a building is otherwise cutoff.
Its too bad the player liquidated so many members of the computing staff (in Minerva's Den incident) .
- One of the Big City Projects is to restore 'The Thinkers' functions (and extend them).
- Mini-Game of solving logic puzzles (wiring type pipelaying) to build 'programming circuit boards'.
- City Bounties for certain components needed for 'computer' repairs.
- Electronics skills are in demand for hardware work on this project (ditto for 'software').
- Interesting advancements had been made in the intervening years when Minerva's Den was 'cutoff'.
- Restoring the automatic environment regulating systems would free up alot of City maintenance staff.
- The old communications lines linking the computing center to the city need to be restored.
What type of sealant used for leaks? (alot of hairline cracks in concrete and between concrete and metal structuaral elements) :
- Would have to handle the high water pressure and prefeably would be used from the inside (rather than outside)
- Alot of pumps are constantly engaged handling this continuous leakeage and it would be advantageous to elimiate at least some of these leaks (a job the Maintenance Daddies are largely not trained/equipt for).
- Prefer to do such repairs BEFORE Citizens inhabit an area (as one method is to hack a section out of the concrete and then replace/patch it, which will make a wet mess of the adjacent inside areas.)
Transit for the Rich and Famous:
Most of the original city was reachable by the transport systems (Streets/Trolley/Trams/Atlantic Express) even though some 'Ritzy' locations prefered to think that they were 'exclusive' and only reachable by the Deluxe Metro service. The Utilities Tram lines run everywhere in the city to service the maintenance systems (and to deliver freight where the Trolley systems did not extend). It would be hard to 'fathom' (punny) that Hoity-Toity establishments like the Adonis Spa would use Metro Bathyspheres to haul away the inevitable garbage accumulations or be the only method that the staff used to get to work every day. Bigwigs might travel by Private Sub, but their trash would take the tram.
The Leaning Building (seen out window in the Museum training grounds BS1 - lights still on - blinking/flashing) :
- Seabed subsidence (cant be Foundation failure or it would be floodsville) ...
- The structural integrity held, including the whole 20 story building (which is a good commentary on how well built Rapture's structures are and why after more than 20 years and a decade of negelct Rapture is still largely intact)
- Would be an interesting place to visit and see how the Game Engine would handle the slanted 'terrain'. Game Engine normally has the 'building blocks' genericly set to upright orientation to simplify the math calculations. This case would have to be handled specially like 'vehicles' are -- in a more flexible way in orientation and position).
- Bring your climbing ropes when you visit.
Manufacturing 'Storage Crates' :
- Where did all the Wood come from (pressed synthetic wood made from seaweed ???)
- Need more styles and colors and sizes (an easy asset to clone and modify/decorate).
- Players should be able to label their 'crates' (and other containers) which will help when your company grows and you have lots of equiptment and spare parts to organize.
- Locks optional (at added expense) -- block access - normally other players cannot take items placed in containers, but may be able to look at the contents. Also would be way to control access to 'team' members borrowing thing you would rather NOT have them borrow for their tasks)
- Add dolly-cart (handcar dolly) to list of tools that NPCs can use to move these Storage Crates around...
Operating Without Voice Input (Game VR feature) :
- A likely feature that wouldnt happen (VR (Voice Recognition) as hard to do on the non-PC platforms)
- In any case, alternative would have to be offered to player who wouldnt/couldnt use it anyway.
- Menu driven interfaces - point and menu (with mostly single letter actuation inputs (few to match limited console controls))
- With non-keyboard system then a list selector mechanism (hopefully with fairly short option lists)
- Dialog Tree mechanism takes care of the more intricate NPC interactions (usually yes/no/short list selections).
- The slower this kind of input is the harder it is to use in 'combat' situations (which is one of the more significant uses).
- VR could still be created by enterprising PC player-programmer as a seperate Client add-on (the programming DLL interface and Open Client AI scripting system would fill in the required links to pass NPC commands to Server).
This game has more details, more interactions, more potential tactics (more things to solve) than the BS1/BS2
- The more there is in small places, the larger the game world seems. In reality it cannot be more than a caricature (reality can be too boring anyway - I have a feeling players will get tired of semi-realistic transit times - may need to give them mini-games to fill some time).
- Splicers are expected to use more tricks(tactics/strategies) to make them better opponents and often will 'get away'.
- Partial results to missions will happen. Its not just the loot but the experience that will be interesting (and a goal of the player).
- More decisions to make with multiple goals involved and more unexpected outcomes.
- More varying situations, more suprises...
Securis Safety Doors :
- We saw, playing BS1/BS2, several Securis doors fail/partially fail (dramatic but would spell doom to the City if they failed that easily).
- A standard engineering Rule of Thumb is to over-engineer to 300% (at least in the old days). Much of Rapture would have been built to something more like 600%, with redundancy built into ALL critical systems/structures due to the potential disaster of any failure (its another reason why the place is still largely intact).
- Thus those Securis doors actually would have an intergal second automatic emergency door (2 inch steel plate that slides across and seals the opening in a slot on one side).
- A SIMPLE pressure differential mechanism would activate the second door closure no matter what state the primary door was in. Opening it later after this emergency door was once triggered would be a significant effort, but that would be under controlled (supervised) circumstances. The doors automatically closing and locking securely - reliably is its primary function.
Pneumo (Vacuum) Subway :
There is an abandoned project that might still be seen. In the early days constructing Rapture, a single specially built tunnel and Pneumatic mechanism link was built between the Welcome Center (near Bathysphere link to the Lighthouse) and the Administrative Offices. It was built to quickly move Ryan and his important planners/supervisors back and forth in the days when they frequently commuted to the Surface World. The project eventually failed when the single subway car kept jamming in the precisely cut rock tunnel, when it iced up from the cold. A later correction (tunnel heating being retrofitted) was abandoned when the City construction was completed (1951-1952) and the need for that route for the intended passengers was no longer relevant.
Sewer gas suppression :
Methane gas is given off by decaying organic materials, a substantial amount would be generated by Rapture's sewer system. Since Rapture is a closed system the gas cannot be vented as it is in a surface city. To prevent methane accumulation and potential methane explosions, Rapture was designed with a system to prevent this problem.
- Some Sewage is pumped directly into the ocean at the earliest possibility (another function of those large Pumping Stations).
- Other Effluvium is promptly sent to a sewage plant (located on Mt Ryan) for processing and fertilizer extraction (needed for the many farms).
- The sewage pumped into the Ocean accounts for the abundant sealife seen 'Outside' on the seabed in these dark depths and the constant presence of fish, because of the extra nutrients.
- Byproducts of the sewage plant are used to improve the yield of the SeaWeed farms - most also located on the shallow depths of Mt Ryan.
The Face of Ryan on the side of Mt Ryan :
- There were rumors that Ryan was having his face carved in monumental scale on the side of Mt Ryan where half the city could see it when it was lit up. This was one of the many rumors spread by Atlas/Fontaine in attempts to stir up discontent amongst Raptures citizens.
Golf Course :
- The Rapture 18 hole golf course and Private Club was located in a series of caverns inside Mt Ryan (its stable monolithic rock structure made large caverns possible).
- The Club Membership Fees were fairly exorbitant because of the cost of constructing and maintaining the facility.
- Ryan was a frequently seen here in the early days.
- The Course has many interesting 'hazards'and a Par rating of 72.
- The 19th Hole made the Kashmir's decore look shoddy (with prices to match).
- Electric Golf carts provided (wonder if any Splicers ever got ahold of some of these...)
- Several other golf Putting Greens and Mini-Links were located in small parks in various places around Rapture.
Big Daddy Play (actually Maintenance Daddy Play) :
- Similar Idea to the Splicer Play
- You assume the roles as a Big Daddy and play out a bunch of quest/missions
Repair the Leak (have to get there first - Ride the MetroWays cable lines)
Fight the Giant Squid (or the Midget White Whale)
Learn about the life of a Maintenance Daddy (fix stuff, eat, fix stuff, sleep, repeat)
Talk to 'The Thinkers' repair tasking and prioritizing system 'Waldo'
See Rapture the way Big Daddies see it (you thought the way Little Sisters 'saw it' was 'trippy....)
- And again the PCA (Player Created Asset) mechanism would be used to flesh out the whole thing - Quests, facilities, outside maintenance props, monotone command msg recordings, tools, etc...
Bot Play - play the controller of one of the flying bots (a bit more interesting than playing a turret...)
- Fly patrol and intercept missions as a 'bot' as part of New Raptures vigilant security system.
- Interface View can be a Terminator-like green contrast picture
- Signals from Security Cameras/electric eyes/broken window alarms/Bot Call Alarms
- Can call on turrets to assist (in security areas)
- TV view can be sent to security center to report intrusions (part of skill is NOT sending false alarms)
- Warnings can be issued to Citizens to vacate danger areas.
- Does this system represent a remote control system or some kind of AI ??
- Recorded 'gun camera' footage saved for players while they play 'Cat and Mouse' with Splicers and other miscreants.
- Possible weapon upgrades after 'experience' (and mission progression)
- Tablet Minigame could be done because of simplified graphics (bots dont care about decorations and have a simplified vision system) Bots would operate in a limited area, so conventional 'level' could be generated/uploaded to Client.