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More interesting items/ideas for a Bioshock Rapture MMORPG
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Presto-chango - no longer a Little Sister :
When did Tenenbaum create her Little Sister Fixing Plasmid (the one she gives Jack). When did she have time to develop such a thing or the resources required ? Had it been something she secretly worked on before quitting Ryan Industries, when she finally realized what she had caused for the Little Sisters.
Is it a toxin that kills the Seaslug (though in the game we see them change quite rapidly, so it might include some restorative to undo the various changes). They seem to still be indestructable at that point (or at least for a while we still see them), but then there is a general prohibition of killing children in games (how will the MMORPG handle THAT issue, when we might have 'cured' Little Sisters and other NPC children present in New Rapture ??? )
This 'cure' for the Little Sisters may have given her ideas/clues for the general Cure for ADAMs effects as per later parts of the plotlines.
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The Cure of ADAM is ADAM ?? :
Does Tenenbaum's "the Cure" use appreciable amounts of ADAM to allow a Splicer patient to have all their genetic changes neutralized/eliminated (and damage repaired) ? If so, where does that come from ? DO they still have a bunch of Little Sisters being 'farmed' to produce ADAM (without sucking blood out of corpses) or just numbers of Seaslugs as the supply ?
Perhaps a good part of 'The Cure' is additional methods from Ryan's Vita-Chamber technology. They supposedly 'revitalized' people (before any advanced 'bring you back from the dead' feature was added) which could be energizing all your body's cells so they had energy to rebuild/restore themselves, and probably undo much genetic damage (including 'genetic turbulance' caused by ADAM use). This is a simpler mechanism than Plasmids/Tonics which overrode/modified natural genetics, and instead would make use of the existing mechanisms/abilities of your tissues. The process may have included various 'Anti-oxident' chemicals which assist in removing Free Radicals and other such damage which impairs cells functioning fully.
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Something Worth Seeing - Rapture in its 'Heyday' :
The real magic would be showing Rapture at its height (doing it *right* would be a challenge) instead of as a wreck. Oh, "Ryan is evil, see what he's done". No, lets see what HE built, its greatness before OTHERs wrecked it.
Part of the MMORPG would be showing Rapture in its Golden age, so we can actually see what Ryan's vision was and not its wrecked shadow, disfunctional and fallen largely into disorder (we actually never even there got to see what was left of normalcy as Ryan kept his City alive and running at the end of the Civil War).
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The Mining Exchange :
Mining ventures usually are risky, and to have any chance to grow into something useful (industrial scale) require capital to expand once the resource is found. With Ryan's drive to make Rapture self-sufficent (or as close to that as possible), viable sources of critical minerals/materials needed to be found and operated. One system was to have Citizens speculate their money voluntarily, versus force Citizens via taxation to raise money for the venture (which system do you think Ryan backed ? ).
In the speculation system a 'Bank' or 'Exchange' was setup which organized 'Share' investments in companies which carried out prospecting, sampling development and operation of 'mines' producing the valuable minerals and substances. The Mining Exchange facilitated the issuing, tracking , buying and selling of the 'shares'.
Once Rapture was cutoff from the Surface, these mining operations had much more profit potential (without most of the competition from the Surface sources, and smuggling had significant overhead costs and risks). Of course there are important minerals which you simply cannot get from the Ocean, and Ryan arranged to have sufficient supplies of these built up the 'Hundred Years Stockpiles".
There probably would also be an adjacent Commodity Exchange which would operate as a clearinghouse for actual stocks of minerals and many other bulk raw materials/foodstuffs, a mechanism that regularizes pricings for businesses who require some stability intheir supply. 'Futures' markets helped determine/set stable pricing which established profitability of producing materials.
The mining ventures varied significantly in success of their production and thus profits, as luck and skill/ability were factors in any success.
Underwater mining has overheads in excess of mines on the Surface, but the technicques and equipment used to build Rapture and later new technologies (created and expanded as a byproduct of ADAM use - Brain Boost) could compensate significantly. Still, few minerals could ever be produced cheaper than they were already on the Surface.
One limiting factor was the size of Rapture, and the limited market which headed off the advantages of 'striking it big' when Supply could easily exceed Demand and prevent extra profitable mass exploitation of a newly discovered resource.
As with an 'old time' stock market' shareholders could be required to pay 'assessments' for their Shares when the company needed more capital to operate. If you did not pay the assessments your Shares were forfeited. The people who ran the companies were beholden to their Shareholders who had voting rights and could change the companies operators or effect decisions about the operation.
New Rapture has not really grown large enough and is much too disorganized to have much of the old scale of financial operations to handle a real 'Stock Market', and any Share type investments would be on a much lesser scale. Most businesess would have personal investment and control .
For the MMORPG there could be various related Missions to get info from the Mining Exchange and the offices of various companies to locate a mining operation for some resource New Rapture needs, or to go get a shipment of some critical materials or some intact equipment to be employed for some project. Related Missions would be to recover the needed materials from one of Ryan's dispersed 'Hundred Years Stockpiles" or some private stockpile some Citizen was rumored to have kept.
Volcanic regions are frequently the sites of certain mineral deposits, but oftenare limited to what they are. The Water emerging from geothermal vents often can contain recoverable amounts of different minerals and an area known as Fumerole Alley (west of Hephaestus) with extensive small deep vents was the site of this type of 'mining' operation.
What difference would the BS1 endings make ? :
"Evil" Jack didnt seem to do much past BS1s end. Maybe what we saw was just delusions from insanity from Splicing several dozen Tonics and Plasmids is so short a time. A USN Ballistic Missile sub would NEVER be sent to investigate a plane crash EVER (this was the midddle of the Cold War after all, and there are plenty of much better surface ships that would be used for that purpose - so sorry no Nukes for Evil Jack). Any sub or ship poking at the airliner wreckage right next to that Lighthouse would have reported on it in detail exposing Rapture (so it would never last for Lambs little shenanigans years later). And such ships have marines, machine guns and cannon plenty capable of blasting all them Bathyspheres (which CANT float on the surface like that anyhow), and any Sun bedazzled Splicers.
"Good" Jack got away somehow back to civilization with a bunch of reformed Little Sisters (assuming THAT wasnt also just an ADAM derived delusion). Maybe HE was the one who dreamed about that warped fever-dream about that bizarro-fantasy-land Columbia and all that lame quantum anti-religious BS stuff.
Whatever happened, Rapture was still there for the events of BS2 to happen, and it even survived after that (including the Minervas Den events) leading to the MMORPGs situation.
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The MMORPGs Tools could be used for Evil... :
Or at least used to create unsavory things that might potentially cause various legal problems.
Question is : How much protection should there be for the Tools, Assets and conglomerations of Assets which could produce uncontrolled content, to be subsequently distributed in a general way (openly published on the Internet outside of the game).
Hinges on whether parts of the game system could be used as an unrestricted 'Player' outside of the game. Can a game content 'Player' be a stand-alone .EXE that could be distributed unauthorized outside company channels (and Legal Player Agreements), or could tool Sources Code allow plugins to emulate and function as a Player. Static extraction (screenshots/video capture of objects or scenes in-game/in-tools) in other formats which can be viewed on independant tools should not be an issue, as that happens endlessly on the Internet.
Such a 'Player' would be fairly complex because of the dynamic way viewable content is stored -- requiring rendering 3D from some proprietary data formats, scripted content requiring the games complex script drivers, and generic behavior scripting templates (extensive game data). Much of the Client display system would have to be installed to make it operate.
Transfer of intermediate content (raw Assets) should be open to facilitate Collaboration between Players using the Asset Creation System (simple open file transfer), but if needed a server-side mechanism could be used as an exclusive clearinghouse - required to transfer asset data between Players (where inappropriate materials could be noticed/reported, intercepted and active EULA enforcements could be made.
Likewise the extended Collaboration process (I've outlined previously) allows creation and improvements of Tools used for the game which would expose much data and code used to implement the Tools (and facilitate outside building of new tools compatible with game data). The highest level MMORPG Tools which simulate operation of the server/client so that creations can be properly viewed (such as running Quests/Missions with fullgame mechanics) whould have most of the elements to make this potential unrestricted 'Player'. Restrictions could be made requiring interfacing to a company owned server component for this 'simulation' operation, but that increases complexity and lowers versatility and adds extra server resources required to be paid for.
The idea of these Tools is to easily make creations for others to view/interact with in-game, but that means also that it will be easy to create content that might be illegal (copyright infringement or worse), which would be something to be prevented. A seperate issue would be the tools to be stolen and used without permission by other companies/individuals not associate with the game for financial gain - another thing to be prevented.
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Concrete --- Concrete is Rapture and Rapture is Concrete :
Millions of tons of hydraulic (underwater setting) Cement - and many times as much aggregate and rock, were used to build Rapture. Why is the concrete so thick ? Because for every ton of concrete in the structure there is 100+ tons of water sitting ontop of it pressing in at every angle on every surface. Steel might be stronger, but similar construction would be far more expensive (its why things in the Real-World likewise are made from concrete and not just steel).
A suprising statistic is that for every person in Rapture, there would have been something like 1000+ tons of concrete. (THINK about ALL the infrastructure that exists in the Real-World to make your modern life work and you might realize that the real amount is something similar). So, cheap production and employment of concrete would have been a neccessity.
Cement plant operation :
- Mass of raw materials brought in and finished product (powdered cement) going out
- Huge amounts of electricity/power used in the calcination furnaces (heats upto 2600 F) - some Ryan power tech may have improved the efficiency (electric furnaces, plasma technology) and power from Hephaestus was plentiful.
- 4 to 5 times as much sand and aggregate(broken rock) are added to cement to make concrete.
- Volcanic sand was available in nearby deposits (from current erosion) and Aggregate was made by crushing appropriate igneous rocks (from the ancient volcano's (Mt Ryan's) lava flows).
- Concretes strength is limited by the strength of the aggregate (filler rock). So the material used would be carefully chosen for strength, as well as dimensional stability, chemical neutrality, and to have litle temperature/water expansion qualities.
Purified fresh water is used to mix the concrete to avoid contaminants that can accelerate corrosion (of common steel rebar), or would weaken the cement itself.
Mixing on-site (portable concrete mixer units with short working time, to which the raw materials are transported from the various sources - via trains and trams)
Pouring Forms to hold the cement while it sets.
Cement crane to hydraulicly pipe the fresh cement into the construction points.
Setting delays - it usually takes months for the cement to set and achieve its full strength, so buildings would wait before being pumped out and subjected to the stress of full water pressures. In the mean time, waterproof windows/doors/mechanisms/pipes would be added to the building.
Bulk/mass fillers :
Plum stones (large chunks of stable/strong rock - capable of withstanding the forces the building would be put under) are imbedded in large solid masses of concrete (saving on the amount of concrete required for the buildings volume). Foundations which anchor building to the seabed are usually bulky.
Tunnels (voids) inside the cement structures are used to lower the amount of concrete needed to fill the required volume. They also are used for drainage and inspection.
Structural Reinforced Concrete - Ryanium and steel - to increase the concretes tensile strength (which concrete by itself largely lacks). As long as the cement seals properly, the steel can remain largely uneffected by the Ocean salt water (various sealing compounds increase the corrosion resistance).
(Watch one of the documentaries of how they built Hoover Dam to last 1000 years - how specific/careful the process was to get the best quality concrete and to form/pour it correctly).
Concrete contracts in dimension as it sets and is usually cast in layers and in seperate blocks, which are later 'grouted' in between to fill the gaps. The concrete also gets stronger as it sets (over years), so Rapture's foundations and concrete buildings/structures are actually stronger in BS2 than earlier. They were made several times stronger than needed anyway, as per normal engineering practices.
You may notice on my various extended level maps (redrawn from the solo games), the buildings outlined by black which is the primary structural walls of reinforced concrete. Where those walls penetrate the seabed, an outer layer shown as dark grey represents mass concrete (mostly non-reinforced), to wedge/anchor the structure into the sea-floor. The standard practice was to dig out the seabed for the foundation, often a fairly irregular hole, with sufficient working room (mostly dozens of feet down into the seabed rock). The structural walls were then carefully build up on pilings (or positioned when sections were prefabricated closer to the surface), with reinforcements tied/woven together within the pouring forms. Once that structure was properly filled, shaped and had set, the seabed would be backfilled with mass concrete to further anchor the building. Tall buildings require especially deep foundations and concrete pilings would be laid much deeper into the seabed rocks to strengthen the foundation further.
Transportation - the Atlantic Express built Rapture :
All the construction materials in million ton quantities had to be moved across Rapture, first as raw materials, then after processing to work sites miles away. It took years and many trains with many traincar loads moving day and night to move such quantities. Quite believable that many parts of the original AE were pretty well worn out in this process. Other construction materials (and the workers) were likewise transported, but the concrete was by far the largest cargo. The railroad was rebuilt (Mk1 -> Mk2 around 1950) and carried even larger concrete material loads to finish building the City.
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Why do the Trolley look like something from the 1880s ? :
Those brass handrails which held no function other than decorative (and dont seem to be stylized to be like Bathyspheres like some of the other decorative features), went away in modern Trolleys 30 years previous to Rapture (1920s) - their interior spaces were maximized instead. The new designs offer much more spacious seating and can hold more passengers to minimize 'straphanging' and having to wait for the next non-full Trolley.
Anton Kinkaide consolidated various local Trolley companies and standardized their equipment (we may have seen old equipment in the Olympus Heights/Apollo Square levels which had to be brought out when more modern units were damaged/destroyed by the Civil War fighting (certainly were close enough to Atlas's destructive operations...)
"I begged Mr. Ryan to hand Fontaine Futuristics over to Atlas's boys..." - McDonagh
Why? Confiscating Fontaine Futuristics from a dead smuggler (traitor) and nationalizing it (in the middle of a Civil War). Fontaine had no relatives and probably no real business partners. But why turn it over to ATLAS -- the new enemy that was ripping Rapture apart and murdering citizens in the streets ??
This is an example of the people who Ryan was supposed to have on HIS side ?? The game devs stacked the deck pretty thoroughly against Ryan. And even then, Ryan was on the brink of winning when that bizaare 'Im gonna kill myself because Im SO disappointed' thing is foisted on us. Inconsistant, illogical - but --- "The Plot Says So" to fabricate that half a 'twist' we got.
"I don't know if killing Mr. Ryan will stop the war, but I know it won't stop while that man breathes."
With friends like this .... Wouldnt getting rid of Atlas the agitator/murderer have been a little better idea? Seriously, McDonagh mustve been sniffing a little too much plumbers putty over the years....
Why might it take so long for Eleanor to 'make' Delta ?? :
Lots of difficulties involved :
- Took a while just to come up with the idea, to find out how it might be done ...
- Find and Get Deltas DNA (and maybe brain recordings)
- Had to find a safe place to do this little project
- Modify the Vita-Chamber machine (more than just repair/break genetic lock) - need to learn how to do that - what to do, how to fix it, parts, tools ???
- Get an Alpha suit there (thats not part of his DNA) and whatever 'material' you need to reconstitute an entire body.
- Possibly retry again and again to get it to finally all work (messy failures that needed to be cleaned up)
- All of this while doing it remotely thru the hands of 7 year-olds (and maybe some help from some big Daddies) in between the LS normal 'Little Ghoul' activities and bed times.
- All the while under the radar of Sofia Lamb and her lackeys (and any Splicers that might wander by).
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Dr Smiths Weather Theater (Old Rapture) :
Simulates Weather which changes in moments :
Antartic Ice Field (where 20 below is 'balmy weather'), a Snowy Blizzard
Humid sweltering jungle
Hot desert with beating sun, sandstorm
Rain thunderstorm, lightning, hail
Hot and cold, humid and dry, blasting wind or stultifying dead air.....
Protective clothing and headgear is provided, Patrons tied into their seats for their own protection
Another one of those 'Let them eat Surface' presentations partially funded by Ryan to make the Citizens a bit less enamoured with the Surface World. Makes them glad of Rapture's controlled 78 degrees...
Dramatic theme music included in the performance.
Perhaps an enterprising New Rapturian will find the establishment and recondition and reopen it.
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New From Ryan Industries :
Theory - Vita-Chambers function included cleaning up genetic garbage (kinda like anti-oxidents do free radicals) using a whole different technology (Ryan was an electrical genius in his own right). It was completely seperate product/service giving him an exclusive for a 'Cure' (maybe with the pheromone stuff he could get all the existing splicers to use it and eventually recover - or even long term have it allow ADAM to be used 'safely' ).
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Choreographing 'cutscene' Editor ( using the thing should not be tedious and painful) :
Camera control - movements of the camera eye (first person view) . Edit on-the-fly recording the POV (point of View) progressively for playback. Records your movement/facing within the scene (moving as you would in the First Person game as the props/NPCs play their scripted dialog/actions). Also allows you to look at the scene/playthru and see if it looks right (like in a stage production, alot of things need not be there behind you as they are never seen...)
I recall the Neverwinter Nights editor having a very clumsy terrain editor view of the scene you were composing.. Moving around on the scene surface as you would in the game (they didnt have it) would have been SO useful to visualize the composition (chunks of precanned scenery with many optional variations linked together, and possible large number of added props).
It would be desireable for all the MMORPG editors to have 'real views' (from the intended Players viewing perspective) to see how the scene/assembly/prop/presentation Assets actually would look like in the real Presentation.
Fancier Flashbacks allow the Player to interact within them, allowing views of the scene from different locations, to manipulate objects, carry out tasks/actions along a scripted plot to get more of a feeling of taking part. You would want to test alot to make sure everything worked the way you planned it to.
You could be in the Kashmir Restaurant at the time of the bombing incident, and try to fight off the swarm of Splicers attacking the party-goers, perhaps as one of Ryans security men. The outcome is history, but you feel it much more if you played as if you were actually there ... NPC AI making it more than a a bunch of clockwork pawns moved about by a giant hand -- which is what we usually get in most games 'combat situations' and Boss Fights).
Various sections of Quests have a presentation phase which is largely static (but it could be less static than a true rote cutscene). The game engine acts out the situation using real renderings of Assets and could be highly interactive with the Player/props/NPCs/Players Team Lackeys/etc...
"Your Friend the Big Daddy" :
"Your Friend the Big Daddy, He has important work to do, why should you get in his way ? Yes he lumbers along but he is carrying Raptures safety and well being on his back. He goes out into the crushing depths and fixes things without a complaint all day and all night. Truely this hero should have a place in our hearts" - Public Service commercial on TV (showing pictures of a Big Daddy (rather a Mainenance Cyborg) welding a damaged structure and another fixing a hole leaking water. )
The Council decided that painting 'happy faces' on the Maintenance Cyborgs would make them a little too approachable, when what was desired was non-interference with their functioning.
Missing from Persephone - Workhouse :
Common to have Inmates do various kinds of work in attempt to pay for their upkeep by their jailers (Prisons cost money in the Real World too, which taxpayers prefer to pay the minimum).
Sinclair could see yet another advantage to pay cents-on-the-dollar for work being done (and if he ran the place, then he also likely had to largely fund the place beyond what little Ryan and the City Council would shell-out.
I did add the Agriculture and Fish pond section to at least have the Prison partially suupply its own food.
Rapture 3D Screensaver (for your PC or Smartphone) :
Kind-of like that Fishtank screen-saver - except its a view of the Cityscape of Rapture.
Awarded on the Player's Diver Achievement (talking the City Council into letting you use (risk) one of their few Diving Hard Suits to go out into the Eternal Sea/Cruel Depths/Wine-dark Whatever in it. (recently radio controlled explosive bolts have been added, which can trigger expansion of emergency floats, sending the unit to the surface for recovery, whether the occupant is alive or not -- you did sign that waiver....)
Big Daddy walking by, Bathyspheres move about, AE Trains run past, all the neon lights and illuminated buildings, denziens of the deep glide by. Golden Age Rapture at its height...
A mode allows historic views of New Rapture showing it coming back to life, growing bit by bit as its Citizens restored order to the Chaos. Real assets from your Game World are shown (externally at least) as they are.
3D models and animations, behaviors
Put it on your computer at Work .....
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Memory Banks (Our Modern Miracle) :
"So much of your convenience is made possible by Rapture's modern Computer Technology. These machines not just think, but remember facts and figures perfectly for later use. Your telephone call goes thru in seconds? The Pneumo package gets to you without fail or delay, that Trolley's schedules is followed to the second, your billings are handles efficiently and without error?? Thank the might computer brains and those who have brough them to you " -- Commercial on radio/television - brought to you by Rapture Central Computing
Required for the first bio-based super computers (wow - 640K of memory - nobody will ever need more than that). Program AS data - self modifying code - "computers are modern miracle that will change the World"
Then for 'The Thinker' which had to process 'faster than thought', a need for magnitudes more memory ...
"Your Rapture Scientist at Work - Taming the wild braincells structure to bring regularity and system (if only we could do that to our own brains, what might WE achieve...)"
Large grids of 'memory' cells, grids of grids, wall upon wall of grids ...
"Every possible thought held simultaneously - that is the Thinkers advantage" (Radio advertisement)
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Rapture Mail - how it worked before the Jet Postal was operational :
Mailbox with manual pickup/delivery. Mail carried to Post Office, is sorted for various destinations. Mail is transfered, sometimes with several intermediary sortings. Manual final delivery. Special handling of various kinds. Long distance transfers to communities outside Rapture City - Atlantic Express had the mail contract for that.
Jet Postal fully operational 1956 (dedication plaques... seen in game)
Modern mail systems deliver to individual houses/businesses and there just are not that many 'Pneumo'
Kiosks (certainly not in any of the individual apartments we saw). Rich people might have had them, but I didnt spot any (auto-sorting into rows of individual mailboxes would be a typical system - cheaper per unit the larger the number of boxes).
So there would still have to be mail carriers (mailmen) to deliver (and possibly pickup) mail the last stage of the delivery path. Items that were not machine addressed (numbers punched in at the Kiosk) would still have to be sorted by hand at centralized Post Offices (though transported via 'Pneumo'), and since that costs more there probably would be some kind of address marking scheme to allow some basic automatic routings))
Any of the apartment buildings had even a Kiosk within them (Sinclair Deluxe did)
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Sander Cohen's musical "North Atlantic"
Some talented Player might take a crack at this....
That version of "Eastside Story" - gangs with bunny ears, was never completed.
Note - Take off on 'South PAcific'...
Various alternate themes for decorations :
Mayan, Egyptian, Babylonia, Minoan, etc... possibly integrated in with Art Deco .
Those were all the products of monarchy which Ryan abhored, but still were symbolic of outstanding human achievements (as most things in the world have roots in earlier times).
GTA San Andreas - all those things the generic people said :
Can phrases be mixed up more (with word/phrase substitution patterns to randomize them more)
Do not have the NPCs blurt out nonstop, the existing combinations shouldn't get repeated too often
Voice synthesizing tricks to vary what they sound like and weave/mutate the phrases?
Have more mumbling effects overlaid to mask whats being said if heard from a distance. Ambient noises can halp. You just hear murmuring - has to be carefully handled how the transition to discernable talk .
Talk appropriate to the current location/activity to add to the 'City' atmosphere (and all places therein) - the GTA talk was largely funny gibberish only with a general locational context.