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More interesting items/ideas for a Bioshock Rapture MMORPG
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Another Disinformation Campaign to protect Rapture :
Ryan's operatives on the Surface put out alot of confusing materials (like the 50s Sci-Fi B-movie "The North Atlantic Project") to obtusify rumors about Rapture and all connections to it.
A Sci-Fi book was published which talked of a Floating Sky City called "Rapture". All kinds of strange events were attributed to it, as the 'Rogue Metropolis' traveled throughout the World. A lot of Flash Gordon-like high technology was written up for it (not quite as outlandish as Flash Gordon was in the 30s though). A warning to 'Watch the Skies' was coined (predating the "Keep watching the skies" from "The Thing from Another World" movie - more often known as "The Thing"). Various rumors having to do with Machu Picchu and Templars, etc.. continued to be spread for years to be somehow associated with 'Rapture'. A 'secret' fanclub for this book calling itself the "Purple Unicorn Continuum" continues to exist to this day. (When Ryan paid for disinformation - he GOT disinformation.)
Somewhere in Rapture's Ruins :
Museum/exhibition with Pictures of Cats with Funny Captions (a unique Rapture cultural advancement) - exhibit was rejected for Dionysus Park (which is probably a good thing) - Sofia Lamb just didnt 'get it' or it didnt fit in with her plans to destroy humanity (face it, once your 'human nature' is gone, you are no longer human -- that is if there were all that many people left after she 'collectivised' them into her "Utopians").
Selling Rapture :
What kind of Sales Job did Ryan do on so many people to convince them to quit the Surface World and come to stay in Rapture ?
For most people it would not be Blind Faith. But people in the World had many things to worry about and consider escape from - Nuclear war and a looming Cold War for example, miserable post-WW2 conditions for others.
Some who knew Ryan well enough would take his word that Rapture existed and was what he said it was.
This would include employees who knew fisrt-hand what Ryan was capable of and that he had the resources, know-how, and drive to make it happen.
Some would come from war-torn Europe where those people's world had already crumbled and there would be along climb out of basic subsistance to get to a point that would reward any kind of exceptionalism. Some would be from parts of the World where tyranny was newly imposing itself (or old tyranny for that matter) and threatened any outstanding individuals and would cause many to seek escape.
Some would rely on testimonials of others already in Rapture, to give assurances it was real (since immigration continued upto 1952 there would have been many there resident for years already).
Many would have to be shown (being from Missouri) before they committed themselves. There would have to be some 'test drive' process that allowed keeping Raptures location secret (and reasonable deniability well short of killing people who might not keep their mouths shut). Those impressive cityscape views on arriving were one big 'Sales Job' (assuming that people at that point were not already 'locked in' ).
No doubt, motion picture evidence would have been produced that didnt give away key information. Convincing because of the extent/detail/realism of what was shown, it would have been too expensive to be faked. (this of could would have been shown to already pre-vetted individuals - no need to give so much away to obvious rejects). For a few key rich people special features like this would have been created showing them exact things they asked to see and the film/pictures able to be produced/transported to them inside a week would make it extremely unlikely to be faked).
Convenience of converting/bringing their worldly goods to Rapture itself would be a big selling point as would the creative ways that Ryans Surface Organization was able to 'plausibly' disappear.
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Visibility in Game mechanics (awareness of things from a distance) :
- More detailed terrain (more things to obscure/partially obscure, a more 3D aspect with movement abilities to climb). More effect of lighting upon visibility.
- Requires more processing to check visibility in terrain (both server and client processing)
- Require more competant AI (Team NPCs have to be nearly as capable as the Player).
- The MMORPG would go for quite a bit more realism in visibility and cover/blockage (and AI usage of them) - its for good reason that I would plan to farm out some AI to the Player's Client machines...
- More tactics employing control of visibility (turning out the lights on somebody, smoke screens, equipment to counter such effects, etc....)
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Saturnine on the Cusp in the First House (Astrology Gibberish ?? ) :
Members of the 'Saturnine' cult are still around (even after Jack seemed to slaughter at least half their numbers -- but then look at my expanded Arcadia level map that shows how extensive the cavern system in Arcadia actually was). After many years (post BS1) of 'voting' for their leaders by throwing bombs at each other, they have reorganized (as much as anarchists can) and are again causing trouble. Various pamphlets on how to handle Houdini Splicers are available at the City Hall information desk (for a nominal fee).
Why would anyone follow the Saturnine (Chaos and anarchy are usually ineffective in 'buying off' followers or organizing anything beyond meetings where the participants continually argue about the rules for the meeting or the shape of the table). This requires something more 'mind-control' to prevent the crazy Splicers simply just turning on whomever tells them that they have to follow orders. Perhaps it is someone they fear - someone with real power over them to keep them (loosely) in line. There were many unknown side-effects of various Plasmid/Tonic combinations and perhaps one individual emerged with the 'right' combination to seize control and organize this group
"Walk of the True" (someones fan fiction mentioned Saturnine ideas..) - Saturnines wouldnt care about any 'heroes' of Rapture -- it would more likely be a Museum to Themselves and their fictional 'Great Achievements' (Saturnine Culture apparently is largely formed around the ability to BS others and is an admired skill).
Expect disorganization and half-hazard accomodations, as anarchists usually leave any real work to others (being those who never seem to be able to agree on what is to be done). Likely they largely subsist on stealing from other Splicers, and their ability to run away when things get difficult is their major advantage. Their inability to cooperate has kept them a minor threat to others in Rapture (til now?). Appearance of Saturnine symbols in new locations are to be reported to the City Council information department (who are developing a dossier on a new Saturnine 'boss) .
You need a Houdini to catch a Houdini ? Sounds like a potential alliance (and mission) with a 'less crazy' Houdini Splicer mercenary....
"Tiny Rapture" ( like that commemorative display we see in the Lighthouse)? or the 'Foundation' building at Ryan Amusements Museum display? :
Some of the game developers art pictures do make Rapture look small in area (Sander Cohen really lives only 130 feet from you ? Oh great !! ) Ive used a Disneyland example as a way to illustrate that size...
Much smaller sized City means trains can be in tunnels (and not in the sea - though there would be some site-seeing routes that would extend outside) or have them hanging/running above the crowded strees below.
Most things would be within easy walking distance (and elevator travel (400+feet) is a higher percentage - with vertical movement in all those tall buildings ). You might as well have Big Daddies pulling Rickshaws in the 'streets'. Networks of moving walkways would be possible/plausible.
With the way Players could create things in this MMORPG (and using alot of Assets that would already exist) a few 'alternate reality' versions of Rapture could be built up by creative Players with nothing better to do.
Consider a Rapture with nothing but Clones of Andrew Ryan walking about.. (easy enough...). Whose nightmare would that be? (EULA states that no external copyrighted characters can be used... but face input to put on your avatar is something I hadnt mentioned as a feature ..... hmmmm)
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ADAM would still be a 'currency' amongst Splicers (particulrly organized factions). Weaker Splicers might be deprive of it and losing their Plasmid powers would make them able to be coerced by those who still had the powers (and thus would 'work' for them and be paid in other things like food and relative stability).
Assuming most existing Splicers were the less 'unstable' ones that didnt implode and have survived the DNA disruption the early ADAM products caused (and had major improvements added especially after Ryan took over the majority of production).
EVE might be another such material if it wasnt so easy to produce.
ADAM does get used up, so the source of the ADAM supply would be a Primary resource to control, whether it is from Seaslugs directly or Little Sisters (with or without corpse 'angel' harvesting, which isnt as possible/prevalent as in the 'boom' Civil War times).
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Making something 'hack-proof' :
- Whatever damage you could inflict directly on the perp has to be such as to not damage the machine or its contents.
- Accidental activation of 'hacking' counter-measures needs to be prevented (most of the time). Audio warnings for minor reactions...
- The 'hack' protected item has to be sufficiently built so as not to be vulnurable to 'smash and grab' attacks or the whole machine itself being easily stolen.
- Calling an 'enforcer' to deal with 'hacking' is a more complex system (and greater expense)
- Psychiological methods might be useful (at least be cheap if partially effective)
- More valuable items would warrant greater hack-proofing counter-measures (where mnor items might be a waste of effort to 'hack-proof')
- As always there is no such thing as really being 'hack-proof', you just make things hard enough to dissuade most of the attempts as is practical.
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Source for additional more Rapturesque-type names :
"The Kickettes – 2 Weeks Only" and then where were they going to go ??? :
They 'missed the boat' in BS1 where Cohen could have had a passel of Splicer 'Kickette' dancers still doing the act in his Fleet Hall theater (they're not all completely insane, and Cohen if anyone would be likely to keep them 'organized'). They still MIGHT all have been coated in white plaster to do their dance performance though...
Sophia Lambs New Little Sisters:
Kidnapping them from the Surface seems a bit risky (along with it being done by Big Sisters who likely arent that easy to control precisely). Were people still dying in Rapture at the old rate to make it worth it to employ LS to harvest corpses? This might be an indicator of ongoing Faction Wars in Rapture (where Lamb really only controlled a fraction of the City)? Of couse, Sofia may also simply be systematically killing off her 'followers' to satisfy the supply/need and the Little Sisters are needed to facilitate that collection). Little Sisters sitting home (no corpses required) also can produce ADAM 20X-30X faster than just stand-alone Sea Slugs - THAT might just be the steady ADAM source for Sofia Lambs 'project'. But then, why all the new Big Daddies and Little Sisters we see wandering everywhere with their Protectors?
Lots of things need explaining, and only vagaries presented in the Solo games. "The Diary of Sofia Lamb" (pages of it) might be one of those ongoing 'finder' Quests for Players in the MMORPG. LOts more Lore to fill in.
Vita-Chamber - A few more logic checks for content would have been nice :
Suchong - "Transcript: Initial Deployment, Vita-Chamber/Client Ryan Industries. Stage one is complete. Sinclair and Alexander tried to explain the science to me, but Suchong does not believe them. They keep saying Plasmid reconstruction this and quantum entanglement that, and then poof, dead people come back to life. Bullshit! Of course, Ryan will only allow it to be tuned to his genetic frequencies for the testing..."
How does one test without accessing a killed/maimed test subject and then verifying the 'revitalization' (or further hwealing effect) ?? I doubt Ryan would be the subject for any initial testing of repairs of severe body damage. The Vita-Chambers were deployed at what state of testing ?? If there is a much lessor function to do minor 'revitalizations','invigorations', etc.. then that would have explained an existing deployment of the machines, which we saw all over and in some very odd spots. So commercial use was probably already in progress and this newer function is an experimental upgrade. Even after successful early-stage testing of an advanced function, it hardly would be deployed to the City's machines yet. Bad side-effects happening to customers would kill it as a commercial project.
The Vita-Chamber's details may have been added hastily and with little checking done to see if the game material was cohesive within the rest of the story.
Possibilities are endless ... :
Sinclair was intelligent (Suchong said that Alexander and Sinclair tried to explain how the Vita-Chambers Resurrection mechanism worked...) and also clever -- and one likely to hedge his bets. Might it be possible that he too (in the MMORPG) joins Ryan and a few others who still come to the regular friday night poker game at Ryans Secret Bunker ??? It could have happened that Sinclair, dying of 'trauma', was reconstitued by a Vita-Chamber he had Secreted in Persephone - which he had opportunity to turn on (keyed to HIS genetic markers) before Sofia Lamb grabbed him. (Interesting how rather quite rapidly she converted him to a cyborg - well the plot says so, so thus it was done).
The above brings up an interesting idea - that some of the early testing of the Resurection feature was used for Ryan's security troops (another force multiplier to give Ryan back the advantage in the Civil War). Unfortunately something as complex as "bringing a dead person back to life" is not so easy and would have taken more than a little 'trial and error'. Thus, partial results very well could produce process damaged individuals who might still be useful for conversion to Big Daddies (which Rapture needed to stay in existance). Ryan didnt murder his opponents (except for a few who tried to assasinate him directly) and likely wouldnt want to 'put down' loyal troops when the Vita-Chamber Resurrection process didnt quite work. We also are not entirely sure how much/what mental activities remain in a Big Daddy's mind. Repair work requires more than a shambling zombie to accomplish, and they may have at something of a conscious life after all.
Were all the Cats in Rapture clones ?? (beside all being in a strange stiff death pose) :
We can probably put that one down to minimal asset creation for a low-priority game detail.
Smugglers would have no problem picking up strays up on the surface, and cats are actually a practical method of handling the inevitable vermin that would (not might) get into Rapture. Cats are survivors and there likely would be more than a few still living in the City. Assuming a reasonable production of fish, cats would probably ingratiate themselves with at least some Splicers.
Realistic (living) cat animations/behaviors would be in the MMORPG to address the shortcoming (after seeing all the 'rat' animations, you will say "oh cats, yeah sounds a good idea")
Little Sisters Grow UP :
The Little Sister gets older (the age of magic ends around the age of 7 for children and they start to see reality more and figure things out). Their implant and conditioning (and constant re-conditioning?) may slow this down, but its obvious that it eventually becomes ineffective. The game (BS2) has them jump to Big Sisters who are teenagers (and all that goes along with that state) but the transition isnt explained, and what happened to the Big Daddy(s)? The later BDs werent linked to a particular Little Sister, but eventually there were few new Little Sisters remaining (before Sofia Lamb started kidnapping them from the Surface) . The Daddies would still do the maintenance, but would they have any interactions with the Little Sisters as they transitioned.
New MMORPG 'Lore' could explain and illustrate all of that (with alot of vetting of course by the Players/company to make it fit in properly). There probably would be additional Little Sisters transitioning at the time of the MMORPG, which is set about 2 years after BS2 (when Sofia had lots of Little Sisters roaming around - kidnappings supposedly started early 1967 - thats from SitS detail, and there may have been earlier ones).
Another element would be what happens to the Big Sisters, who by the point of the MMORPG may be transitioning out of their 'teenager' mode. Players imagination will likely find a solution.
Imagine ... :
Splicers have lots of time on their hands in a generally unfriendly world (even if they can find some 'friends').
So they spend lots of time creating things to make their lives safer/easier/interesting - weird exploding doohickeys, traps for the unfriendly, ways of producing sustinance, etc....
Imagine a game system where you can EASILY create objects combining parts made up of ordinary objects (lots of them) for looks and sophisticated custom scripting to do interesting actions/effects, and which are cloneable and allow fitted auto-placement in the Game so that a whole lot of other Players can experience your imagination also.
Someday there will be a game like this (if you think any game really has this now, you arent using enough imagination yet.)
"ADAM denies us the excuse for not being beautiful" (with The Cure thats in mind and body):
When the Players become ex-Splicers and their ADAM caused deformities are eliminated, they will be back to being what/how they were before they started using ADAM (though they may be missing things like scars, ravages of various diseases, etc.. having been rebuilt significantly from their genetic patterns which would no longer reflect environmentally caused changes.) The genetic rework/rebuilding done may put them in a better condition than they started out as years earlier.
And interesting part of the Cure 'therapy' would be muscle stimulation, because muscles change with use. A basic fitness would be the product of activations of the muscles after any genetic damage was removed (muscles grown according to environmental factors). Vita-Chamber 'revitalization' technology may fill-in this part of the 'Cure' process.
Similarly, mental abilities may have to be 'reinforced' to fill in gaps left by the ravages of ADAM addiction. Fortunately the effects of ADAM largely does not rewrite brain patterns and the needed therapy is more a matter of 'kick starting' those that are still present. Fortunately we have TV technology to apply this audio-visual stimulation therapy.
Ex-Splicers do not forget their experiences as Splicers, thought those memories can be fogged to different extents, some unintelligible, others starkly plain. Part of the "Cure" therapies are psychological adjustments required to 'normalize'/'stabalize' the persons dealing with the memories they retain. Some Splicers need to be later adjusted if their memories continue to destabalize them (nice Mini-game of "Hunt the Demon in the Mind" - all very abstract and alot like 'Angry Birds' actually). Citizens are warned to keep an eye out for behaviors that might indicate instability and the need for some remedial therapy.
The Mini-Game/Offline mode of the MMORPG - benefit by future 'handheld' advancements :
More and more capable to run better programs (CPU processing with multiple core and larger Memory/Storage)
Much better 3D visuals with near powerful GPUs (Doom is prefered to SpaceInvaders style)
The communications links are getting better, allowing more interruption free usage and higher bandwidth for data (burstiness still limits realtime data flows). Games are still largelyto target 'standalone' playing, but those integrated with the GAme World do shuffle some amounts of data back and forth.
Still there will be limitations of the screen size (physical, if not resolution) and touch input surface (cant really rely on the horrendous keyboards and no fine pointing controls).
Battery life - especially when the unit is running full processing power (CPU + GPU) for extended periods.
More common form factors and programming to unify development with more standard features - less mutating and tuning for too many platform variations leading to 'dumbing' down the programs to a 'least common denominator' utilization.
Red Rho - Cheap Booze that never caught on (in Old Rapture) - made from fermented seaweed (Rhodophyta) :
Later made by desperate Splicers who probably had lost most of their tastebuds. Similar to the story about the peasants who brought crude oil to a Polish chemist asking if he could make vodka from it - thus inventing kerosene, some bright boy though he had a great idea. Booze has always been a popular consumable, unfortunately the seaweed based products were pretty bad (but then a gain the available food probably tastes worse).
Quadruple distilled - if you want to go to the effort (many Splicers would not). You might be served the 'better stuff' when you have that mission to negotiate with a 'less' insane 'Boss' of some local Faction, for a trade deal or attempting to convince about the advantages of 'the Cure' (take one of these pamphlets).
Molotov Cocktails - it doesnt matter what they taste like - and that gel-like byproduct from the seaweed makes a great 'sticky' additive (a bit like Napalm).
Flame throwers ditto. Likely even back when Ryan had the 'chemical throwers' developed for the Civil War, the flame throwing versions used renewable alcohol instead of hard to get and supply limited petro-chemicals.
Actually the physical/physiological mechanism used for 'Incinerate' was a metabolic production of alcohol and forming a jellied glob to be hurled at opponents. Fire-Eaters have done such 'tricks' for millenia without the advantages of ADAM.
The Rhodophyta seaweed can be grown INSIDE, where the nice light and warmth provided by Hesphaestus (and ugh sewage) without having to go out in the cold ocean in a Diving Suit that one doesnt have. Of course, this would use excess capacity beyond growing stuff to eat, which usually gets first priority (remember all those bathtubs full of green goop .. yum yum ???).
Game Within a Game (Satire) :
To demonstrate how versatile this game system is, within the Bioshock MMORPG you could fabricate a sub-game with the Player in a virtual 'bubble' (Server Simulation partition - which would normally be used for instanced Quest/Missions and be part of the fundamental On-the-fly composing of the Players normal Terrain and Objects around them).
This sub-game would have its own Game Mechanics where Players get lots of points for doing next to nothing, achievements for just showing up/being online, and various other ego-flattery. Add meaningless grinds with fancy titles being 'earned', with lots of useless advancements and unlocking of further even more meaningless/challengeless grinds.
Sadly the above is a description of what many successful games ARE these days.
In other words you could (within the MMORPG system) simulate the games that most MMORPGs and Solo games are these days. Im sure some equally pointless/meaningless 'moral choices' can be added to give the game some pretended worth. For bonus points, there could be a simulated 'Store' selling in-game advantages and frippery that various Players can spend real money to obtain. An online forum full of fanbois and endless game gossip/prattlings can likewise be simulated. Imagine how great it would be if we could do all of this....
"The Key to Rapture is a special stylized card like device which presumably contains Ryan's genetic code and gives the bearer a certain level of control over the underwater city."
Why would Ryan in a million years ever make one of these?? HE contains his own genetic code, so needs no key (scanners elsewhere show genetic IDing to work with no 'key' needed).
Who would/could Ryan trust with it. There might be limited access keys with non-gentic passcodes in them (ie- Grace's station key you get to get past Paupers Drop).
Again, more of "the plot says so".
When Jack used the key to stop the self-destruct in BS1, how exactly did THAT give total control to Atlas/Fontaine ???
Assuming such a key existed, there should have been a scene with Jack 'hypnotized'/knocked out ("Would you kindly, go into a deep sleep") and had Atlas slip in to take the key (or simply order Jack to bring it to him in a safe well lighted place.....) "Would you kindly, Pneumo Ryan's "Key to the City" to this mail address....."
"In the original design, the vending machines and other computer-run-devices were actually Splicers whose brains had been transplanted into the machinery." :
This was an idea for the 'hacking' mechanism, where you somehow 'bribed' the device to your advantage.
Maybe parts of human brain tissue might find their way into Raptures bio-eectronic mechanisms, but thats more as components (ie- memory functional circuitry) than as 'a complete will-possessing brain'. Sea Slug brains (or parts of them) no doubt were easier to train for the logic/processing functions needed (their whole input-processing-output structure is magnitudes simpler than the same cell logic/data paths in a human brain...)
See Red Dwarf - the Artificially Intelligent Toaster ("Lets discuss the meaning of Existence, but first, would you like some Toast ?")
Schrödinger's Cat was used to test the Vita-Chambers ? :
In one accident in these experiments, the test machine started cloning the Cat (thats why we see so many that look exactly the same all over Rapture...) SO thats a third option to that 'Thought Experiment' - every time you open the box there is ANOTHER live cat that climbs out (well, Schrödinger never really considered all the aspects of that parallel universe stuff...)
Homing Rats ? :
Homing Rats used by some Factions to send messages (the Pneumo hasnt worked for quite a while...)
Rats dont work all that well - too many Splicers find them too tasty.
Splicers who know how to repair the Phones were in high demand (and at one point formed their own Guild, recognized by many factions).
No doubt, once your Avatar (or one of your Team NPCs) is trained in 'Phone Technology'(level 2) you can get a mission that is to go out and tap into some Splicer Faction's phone system to gather intelligence for the City Council.
- Ideas like this remind me how limited the missions were on so many games, and if there were better tools to create missions easier how much better ALL those games could have been.
Happenstance - Idea from a Typo :
Nachinery - machinery invented in Rapture to manufacture 'Nachos' (nachos were invented in 1943). Corn based - so I guess we have corn being grown in Rapture somewhere (actually alot of it in some interesting dwarf strains - Corn can be a high yield crop.... Including strains with significant Protein). This item became popular in more than a few restaurants and bars in Rapture especially after a machine was invented/manufactured to make them with minimal labor/fuss. The machines are actually rented as the limited customer base would be rather small for a manufacture-only business. Nachos Inc.
Even Leisure pulls the Great Chain ...
Amusements, tourism, entertainment, art appreciation... Civilizations are often judged by their leisure time.
All work and no play, makes Sander Cohen impossible.
Consumerism is multi-dimensional. If all there was was Subsistance Production/Services, Rapture would be a pretty meager place (and there would be little need for excellence or achievement or advances).
It also give LOTS of interesting opportunities for Player Creations...