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More interesting items/ideas for a Bioshock Rapture MMORPG
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. Part 54
What kind of (Player Interface) indicators for Skill advancement :
We dont commonly have a 'Research Camera' to award us so many skills (in the MMORPG ). We may have some 'Camera Use' to help in research that DOES advance specific skills (including Objects for repairs, as well as various opponent types) -
Anyway, the *Ding* and reward popup works OK in a Solo game, but in a Multi-Player the World doesnt just stop for you to read a popup window. The skill/training advances likely will be an indirect/subsequent result, as the Collected Data would be processed and researched to fulfill the advancement. (of couse the Eyeball is the best Camera of all...)
A skill advancement log will exist so the player can track results of their efforts (a sign of forward progress is important to many Players). A (competant) Skill Tree viewer of all those Skills you can have/get/plan -- listed probably with added 'watch' (check) markers mechanism, for a 'Quick-List' of Skills you want to be monitoring progress of. The entire list is very long, so useful filters could be set to *View All* or to view *only relevant skills*, and ones player is currently proceding with. Team NPCs have a similar interface. These indicators are not precise (not going to tell you you have a "+3 with a Broadsword"), but mainly general competancy doing some action or using some object.
('?') QuickLinks to Documentation on all the skills - what they affect and how, what they overlap with, what actions make use of them and whether they have major/minor impacts. (Players like to delve into such things and that subset should get what they are looking for)
One thing though - a players decisions to do something appropriate to the situation (possibly being creative) should count alot more than some magic number they accumulate by repeatings something ad nauseum . Making use of their own intelligence rather than some artificial 'Skill' development would be the goal for the game (and probably a challenge for the game designer to provide).
The Miniature Turrets :
Machine pistol ammunition limit
Self Destruct - rather wasteful. What exactly are they going to do with it - throw it at you ?
Originally designed as Quick-deploy 'force multiplier' for Ryans Security forces and for Big Daddy 'Protector' munition. Inexpensive sheet metal mechanism for the gun. 'Smart' system to not shoot the person who deployed it quite a bit more expensive. McClendon 'smarts' - exactly how cheap could this be made (preferably to leverage off of 'smart' consumer items mass produced). Painting a target? Might not be quite as automatic as seen in the games.
For the Player in MMORPG - Recycling - recovery/reloading/recharging (battery powered, some model may have mini 'model engine' powered generators, the guts include the computer...).
Smarts (sensors + controller) inside to guide firing at target - discrimination/target tracking (picking the Right target to blast away at is NOTso easy to solve.) Simpler system would be to fire at anything that moves (within a give arc) with a simpler cicuitry (and a potential hazard to the one who deployed it).
Smart Phone gaming - MMORPG Mini-Game interface :
Common Interface on many of these devices - Top half use for the display and lower half can fit 3 rows of 5 buttons large enough for touch-screen (and for text words labeling the buttons). Others have actual keyboard - but with those tiny buttons you eventually get Repetitive Stress Disorder.
3D interfaces can work on some of the high end smartphone devices, but 2D (or 2.5D as isometric is labeled) would be the common 'least common denominator' graphics. You dont want to have too hold the thing 6 inches from your face to see 'critical' detail.
Again, the 'off-line' Mini-Games would/should have direct effect in the MMORPG game (time/effort spent there gives resource/skill/rewards in the main online game). Internet connection used briefly to pick up game selection/scenarios, and to deliver results back to server.
Exploit the creativity/abilities of Mini-Game making Players (provide a good toolkit to allow those Players to create without alot of the bother, supply templates to do the working guts of many typical patterned games, so the common Player (not required to be a programming genius) 'mods' the game defining content and scenarios.
Games of this type are generally of short duration (5 min or less) but can have a series of progressing scenarios, (which take a few minutes to play) or continuous monitoring/managing game world tied situations (ex- farmville-like). Perfect for the modern 'person on the go'...
An explanation as to why some Tonics are drunk like Vigors instead of injected like in the original BioShock :
Its called "many people just dont like needles" (particularly ones the size of knitting needles), and even have a phobia concerning them. Second, people have even more trouble injecting themselves using needles. So for ADAM products to have been consumerized (as much as shown), it would be logical for some orally taken delivery mechanism (liquid/pills) to be developed for consumers to self-administer them (Suppositories we wont get into...)
Inhalers probably wouldn't deliver enough volume (and absorbtion issues...). High pressure 'Jet' injectors also might not handle the required volume (and are overly complex for personal use).
Another Asset Type - Animations fixing an injury/wound :
With the expanded role of wounds effecting the Player (limiting abilities/mobility and forcing different behavior/actions) there would be a need for more visual representations, not just in appearance but also of animations of the characters.
Plenty of appropriate motions to be animated -- created by the Player Creators to add to the game to replace initially supplied placeholder animations. The human animation editing tools would make creating these open to many Players.
Different wounds themselves would be additional Asset creations (many being variations).
Complementary animations would be various combinations of limping, etc.. which even if the Player doesnt see it of themselves, similarly effected NPCs and even opponents would make use of the same animations.
Applications of medical care matching various wound types by a second person (versus self-administered).
As with the rest of the game, various skills and tools would allow additional variations in the ways these actions are taken (crude efforts versus skilled medical techniques).
Vita THIS Sucka !!! :
The Vita-Chambers did basic 'revitalization' as a (probably pay) service and the new super-duper "bring you back from the dead" function was just a new feature. All those machines (you see all over) hadnt had that feature added yet for use by the consumers (the VC Platinum Circle Customers...).
My theory is, that the Vita-Chambers were meant to help remove some of the ADAM side-effects -- so in effect would be Ryan's version of 'The Cure'. As it is a machine technology, Ryan would have an exclusive product (to facilitate making money from it, ontop of stabalizing his city's citizens).
Get all the Splicers to regularly use the machine (and with even more improvements) and his City's Citizens might have been back to normal --- to pick up the pieces after Atlas/Fontaine tried to destroy everything.
One logical gaff -- if they were only keyed to Ryans 'genetic code', then how do you test the "bring you back from the dead" function without killing Ryan for the test ? I dont know about you, but I think I would want that thing thoroughly tested before I ever 'proved' it on myself.
U-Invent is Back :
In the MMORPG, the U-Invent mechanism will be a little more realistic in the components the various standard 'invented' items would require (example - the "Heat-Seeking RPG" will take a bit more than : 3 Distilled Water (huh???), 2 Kerosene, 1 Brass Tube). The skill(s) to properly use the machine will also be subject to Player's development for the different items (higher yield, as unlike the simplified BS1 version there is a chance of failure).
These machines are handy to use up all that trash you keep picking up as loot (now with the encumbrance/capacity mechanics in the game).
When was the last time you saw a Splicer using one of the U-Invent machines? They then (if they did) would also value the machines, and would likely keep them better protected. Of course, damaged/inoperable ones would be strewn about the city, and to a Player possibly be worth you hauling away (easier said than done) to repair them (move them to a common 'safe' location, repair them, add a coin slot, and voilà! 'instant' business.
The U-Invent unit might not do as quite a complex operation as composing a RNA modifying plasmid/tonic any more (maybe the one in Langford's lab was a special model ??)
Survivor Splicers (not really Splicers) :
I would have thought there would be many people in Rapture who after seeing what happened to those using ADAM would have either stopped or never started using it. They would retain their full mental abilities (an important component of their survival) and likely organize themselves (strength in numbers and of cooperation). Many would isolate themselves from the chaos and try to continue their lives. Ryan may have relied on many of them to keep his City functioning, and would organize things to support them (as they would be his chief hope in rebuilding his City).
We would not have seen much of them in the 2 Bioshock Solo games as they would be smart enuf to head the other direction form Jack shooting up the place, and wouldnt be as interested in the 1000 ADAM Bounty Ryan had put on Jack. They would avoid Sofia Lamb's murdering little regime we walked through as Delta (and would probably have walled her off from the rest of Rapture). Whole small sections of the old city might be controlled by them.
Producing food would be their base need, so I would expect them to be fishermen and farmers. They likely would buy off nearby Splicers with excess food production (and the many not-quite insane Splicers would go along with this deal). Cooperative organization gave them an edge in production and defending their holdings. Various groups in different locations probably traded with others in a lose network.
In the MMORPG the New City would be interested in contacting and affiliating with these 'Survivor' groups.
Just didnt get It :
The Multi-player level for Dionysus Park is still filled largely by advertisements ??? Sofia was 'not amused'. There were plenty of 'bad art' Assets which could have been used to make it look like Sophia would have had it (as a revolt against the consumerism/capitalism/common taste which the rest or Rapture was built upon .... (Heh, even just having them all upside down would have been a 'social statement' appropriate to that place).
Vending machines... Kind of anathema to Sopfia's whole theme ??? You'd think?? But then her aims were not really for 'The Freedom of Art' she hoodwinked many affluent citizens and the 'hoi polloi' with her various ploys.
Not sure why there should be a "Stay With Your Group" sign in that place ... Or why there should be "individualism,' and "Independance" banners strung there ... (except as a deception) 'Creativity' and 'Liberty' also dont seem to jibe with Sofia Lamb's collectivist ideas (but then she played false to the 'sophisticated' folk, just as she did to everyone else, just in different ways).
Those High Chairs at the fancy tables - a psychological necessity for those who think themelves more 'sophistcated' than 'Those Others' ?? Yes, Sofia knew the buttons to push on those with low self-esteem.
Sign "Warning - Protected by Ryan Security" -- truly absurd. (but then its 'thrown together' DLC ..)
Building Complexes Sprawling sideways are actually inefficient :
In Rapture's environment, with the high water pressure out in the sea pressing in on every side, a large sprawling complex of single floored buildings is inefficient. The roof and walls (and even the floors) have near equal pressure forcefully trying to push them inward. Stacking two floors and making the side walls a bit taller (like 16-20 feet) gains twice the living space for significantly less that twice the building structure construction (and its expense). Cube-ish and stubby cylindrical shapes are significantly more cost-effective. Tall thin tower shaped buildings are similarly bad, with very high wall (surface) to floor space (volume) ratio, they require more construction for the floorspace they provide.
But players are not used to constanlty going up and down between floors, and representing 'levels' maps in 3D has many Players continually confused. Making Players walk horizontally gives the impression of distance/size to the perception.
Ryan did not have endless money, and even if certain parts of Rapture were 'wasteful' in their design, most of Rapture could not be. So be ready to see more vertical-ness in the MMORPG.
Smuggers Den #2 ?? :
MP level of Smugglers Hideout was a better representation of how large Fontaine's facilities would have to be as he expanded. Perhaps this is the Smugglers Den #2 which Fontaine had operating or transfered alot of resources to when he was planning to 'die'. It really should have more than the one Bathysphere/dock (actually THAT should have been a sub like what was shown in the original Smugglers Hideout in BS1), many more to handle the scale of Fontaine's Smuggling operation.
More Detailed ? A different way :
You notice I dont go that much beyond the mechanisms used in the Solo games (no 50 new kinds of Splicers, no piles of new Plasmids/Big Daddies/weapons (which from many postings Ive seen usually would be just recombinations of existing ones). No tentacled mutants wandering the halls.... the game company opted out of having those (see some of the original BS concepts) much because of the difficulties animating them properly - it also kept the game from being too alien looking - more disturbing to have them warped humans.
There is more than enough existing things to use for the MMORPG - plenty of objects (to make work better and have a bit more interactable detail). You still will get that nostalgic 40s/50s feel/theme that made the original game stand out.
The graphical detail for objects/scenery (the basic meshes/textures) were mostly good enough (some oversizing that might be adjusted a tad). When you make the detail alot finer, it becomes too easy for things to just look wrong (your eyes and brain pick mistakes up instantly). The MMORPG is to expand on how the objects interelate and how the Player can use them in many differnt ways.
"Welcome back to Sanity, Citizen" :
You get to experience starting from the bottom, but there are many opportunities for any Citizen willing to take them...
The 'barracks' on the edge of City Limits' and basic food (fish, potatoes) at the commissary (take all you want, eat all you take)
The routine work (You dont work, you dont eat - The John Smith Rule) - cleaning windows, mopping up puddles, emptying garbage cans (picking up litter), your turn preparing food, cleaning toilets (faint memories - wasnt the army like this..).
Entertainments - token allowance for booze (Library Cards are FREE)
Training center is available.
Extra Tasks available for those who want to get ahead, just see the bulletin board.
The City is rebuilding, do you want to be a part of it?
Why doesnt Jack become a Splicer ?? after uses an abundance of Plasmids, EVE, and Gene Tonics... :
First how could you tell you dont see him to see if there are any changes (his hands being the part you usually see and then they are warped by the plasmids he is using). Somewhere it says that you start to mutate when you dont keep taking ADAM (more like your original genetics try to assert themselves conflicting with the partial RNA in the remaining ADAM).
Crazy part of being a Splicer? He walks around slaughtering people wholesale, sounds alot like typical Splicer behavior to me.
He isnt really there for very long so the genetic damage might not be resulting yet (repeated ADAM use is mentioned, else most people would never have used it if the tumors and such manifested themsleves that quickly).
Later plasmids/tonics may have been improved by Ryans research - its not like Ryan would want MORE crazy deformed people in Rapture when his intentions were rebuilding his city.
McClendon Products In-Development :
- Robotic Receptionist (also attempted Robotic Blackjack Dealer, but hacking to cheat was too much a problem)
- Voice-controled Telephone Menuing Answering Service
- Self Driving Golf Carts (some people sont even want to walk 100 feet to their Water Taxi)
- Automated Sub machinery - Actually used a great deal way back when the city was being constructed, but there are still alot of maintenance tasks that had to be done continually
- Robotic-Farms both indoor and in-sea (like kelp) cutting labor in hydroponics could drasticly reduce prices
- Lil Sentry (reusing parts from the ill fated Robotic Little Sisters, multi-legged spider model was promising)
- Pocket Calculator - unfortunately still the size of a suitcase
- Window Cleaning and Toilet Scrubbing Bots
Along with improved models of : Automatic-Chef, Electronic Baby-minder, Security Flybots, Home Computer, Vacuum Bots
The Wizard of Rapture :
Little Sister Dorothy along with :
- The Tin Daddy
- The Cowardly SpiderSplicer
- Security Fly-bot #7
- and Tiddles the Cat
Are "Off to see the Wizard" of Rapture
Pursued by the Wicked Witch of Persephone
Will Dorothy 'get home', or Will it all again be an odd dream caused by severe head trauma ??
Thinking of all those small Leaks we saw :
At least in BS2/Minervas Den we could have had some player activity plugging those leaks with our rivet gun (which might be more like a 'sealant injector' mechanism (as you dont install most 'rivets' from only one side...) Targeting and applying a 'rivet' to seal the leak, to allow operating something-or-other to get thru an obstacle...
Delta is Alive ?? :
Sigma faces a pile of 'TNT' as big as Delta had explode near him, so why wasnt he turned into hamburger (why wasnt the 'Lifeboat' for that matter ?) So Delta might still be alive?? Sounds like an interesting mini-plot for the MMORPG where you play Delta AFTER you fall back down to the depths, minus a bunch of your ADAM (Eleanor didnt do the usual full Little Sister vampire act)
Where he wound up and what he did while things moved forward with New Rapture is a story waiting to be told.
Rapture buildings should have had more curves ??? :
Curves distribute forces better (needed to hold out massive sea water pressure), but they are hardly used in the game despite their common use in Art Deco architectural styles.
Possibly it was a computer graphics issue --nit is generally easier to make square edged/straight edged 3D Assets than ones with curves.
Alot of the concept art showed far more curves than are present in the finished game
Adonis no longer part of Davey Jones Locker :
Adonis Resort (large sections of it) seems to have been flooded at one time (previously) for all that seaweed amd coral/barnacles to grow inside. With all the water leaking about, the pumps must still be working (or the place would long previous have been filled again). Since it would have taken Eleanor more than a little time to do her Delta 'project', the place must've been pumped out for a long while (long enough for it to be infested with Splicers again and for many things water would wash away to be replaced). Perhaps Eleanor had something to do with getting it repaired and pumped out. But Why there ?? -- The Adonis Resort may have had an INTACT Vita-Chamber with the more advanced feature modifications ( Adonis was a more exclusive venue, with its customers willing to pay premium prices to be the first users of advanced revitalization features).
Sinclair Solutions Protector Munitions :
60mm Sensor-Released Trap Rivets (seen on boxes in AE Deport Managers office and in Minervas Den)
Yet we never saw any of the Big Daddies using these (mini-turrets and proximity mines... yes) Brute Splicers and other corpses had them as loot also.
It might have been interesting to see some of these used by the BD/others or even just deployed in a few places as if they had been used by a Splicer or Big Daddy (possibly blocking a door or putting down a defense perimeter around a Little Sister or Some-such ). Having them in some of Sofias 'security' areas might have shown some imagination. (You could have tbe 'Unfriendly' ones glow a different color)
In the MMORPG, the logic/programming used by Splicer Opponents and the Players NPC allies would be designed to be Player improved and tap into the clever tactics and strategies -- to use all the tools available in the game.
Idea - - A pocket of self-sufficient people somewhere near Rapture..... Once were suppliers ?? hiding ?? Hermits ? Perhaps they have : an Actress, a Scientist, a Farmgirl, a Sub Captain and his ditzy First Mate, a Rich man and his wife. All who managed to escape Rapture's Chaos and were marooned at a remote industrial station and all somehow managed to survive. Lucky they found that sunken freighter full of coconuts ( which will finally answer the eternal question of whether "Art Deco objects can be made out of coconuts". )
Art Deco lives on :
Just like the maker of the original Bioshock games, all the existing REAL Art Deco styling and objects are available (google it on the internet...) to be mimicked/borrowed/copied with significantly less imagination required to invent something new (and good). Replicating such things still requires artistic and technical skill and some creative application. It does drastically simplify the work needed to create things for the game, producing recognizable items with predefined guidelines and ideas.
Old Rapture lives on in New Rapture and the ARt Deco still shines thru in the ruin and chaos.
Quantum Cat Theory :
Some people will claim that the universe is based on the properties of small 'strings', which exhibit various properties required to define the observable operations of energy and matter. They are WRONG !!! The actual model to base the fundamental being of EVERYTHING is the existence of teeny tiny purring cats.
What? It doesnt make sense? There isnt any proof? Is that not the same with 'String Theory' which is just a visualization mechanism to try to impart ideas about the hidden systems which define the universe?
The little purring cats can do everything those 'strings' do, and more. They can even 'play' with tiny strings...
No doubt, Sinclair, on hearing this theory applied to Vita-Chambers technologies he was involved in creating, at once declared against mentioning it and suggested substituting 'Quantum Entaglement' (alluding to String tTheory) as a marketing device. His reasoning was : why cut out half the possible customers who were 'dog people' ?
Quantum Cats also are too smart to go for that 'Multiverse BS' some people believe in.
Gravity Well plasmid (Uhhhhh.... Yeahhhhhhh.......) :
Sorry 'genetics' doesnt justifying breaking the laws of physics.
SO how might it work ??
Polyp that explodes throwing liquid fibers in all directions which when they instantly dry contract and pull objects towards the center (pulling things on all sides to offset the forces). THis also explains why the 'gravity' doesnt work thru walls (and why they had to have those absurd holes above the walls the player had to cast the Gravity Well through to make them work on the other side).
As with several other Plasmid effects, nerve janglers (high frequency vibrartions) are employed which disorient those nearby and obscure what is actually going on.
Tasty explosive center then goes off/ Or splashes nice fun acid about --- who thought of that little gem?? Why not on 3rd upgrade have whatever it was thrown at DISAPPEAR putted into a momentary balck hole (direct hit only) ???? Seriously... acid ??? Why not radiation burns. You could still have the nice glowy effect linger afterwards.
Aethetic Achievements - a goal for Players :
Idea is to have social oriented goals - for players clothing/premises/possesions (rebuilding and acquiring 'upscale' stuff for a reason...) ie - in apartment having symetrical decorations of Art Deco style (or theme x) complete wall paper of the same pattern on the fully repaired walls. Proper aesthetic decorations etc...
Judgement mechanism using templated goals and rules that can test conformance algorithmically. Objects will already have a 'quality' attribute as part of their definition, and acquiring 'better' is simple.
Combination and placement are simply reversing many of the 'auto-generation' mechanisms used to compose terrain for the game.
The City Center is trying for this itself, to try to show New Rapture can be what Rapture once was - to inspire the Citizens. Parties/Events being social functions which demonstrates the return to normalcy.
How many games did you play in where what you wore made no difference at all? All kinds of crappy loot with no real rhyme or reason? Sorry you dont wear a tie, you arent allowed into The New Kashmir Restaurant!! NPCs to react appropriately even if other Players do not. Egalitarianism is not an excuse for Bad Taste.
Lest people be left out, there are expansive ramps for this element of the game, and as always Players can completely ignore it, but just not earn the gains following thru can achieve.
Its actually an interesting idea that some players wont bother to go get dirty out in 'the Wilds' of Old Rapture, but would concentrate on the socializing in the aesthete venues instead. The more I think about some of these specialized niches, the more it may be likely to have one big gameworld server, or some bizarro subsets which cross server worlds to have enough interested Players.
Steroids fit into the ADAM/Genetic Technologies :
Biochemicals which regulate many aspects of metabolism and structural formation of an organism.
Synthesizing steroids had been going on since the 30's. So Rapture research utilized a technology which already had much previous work.
Plasmids/Tonics were not the product of simple changes to humans, but consisted of complex structural modification and maintenence/stabilizing of those modifications. ADAM genetic modification broke thru the limitations of previous manipulations made possible by steroid application.
Its all intertwined with 'the Cure' and undoing side-effects and damage of all of the above. There would be many MMORPG Missions to go find research and materials lost in many places in Rapture. It wont be as easy as seeking a sample of Rosa Gallica conveniently located nearby. Do a favor for 'The Clinic' and your usefulness may put you further up the 'reattach arm' surgery priority list.
Those pathetic Trolley Trams should have had a Control Stand :
Their (those old Trolleys - usually wrecked/on fire) decoration was an attempt to make them resemble the Bathyspheres. So it would have been a no-brainer to have the same or similar Control Stand there in the front as the Bathyspheres had in them. (And which chaos in the City 'automatic' control would be the first thing to start failing.... causing reverting to manual control and an operator.)
We already had the control stand model, just stick it there in the front.... (why would the Bathyspheres even have them.. so the Trams could have them following the same logic).
No sign of any seating in any of those cars, and I cant think of any likely use for having them ALL gone (except they were so rediculously tiny inside you wouldnt have room to stand in the game).
Drugs are bad... :
The original Bioshock game impies somehow that Capitalism and Objectivism are at fault, when neither of those was the reason for Rapture's ruination. Projecting modern PCism on the 50s era is a Lose:Lose proposition by those who attempt it. ADAM's effects were capable of overpowered any societies controls, its as imple as that.
The developers of Bioshock had to portray a 'Dystopia' for a slaughter-shoot-em-up game, and weren't too careful when it came to logic/reasoning of how such a 'created to fail' setting was justified in coming to exist. (Its funny, because Individualism and Capitalism is what their own game dev livelihoods are based on).
How Ryan was portrayed, was in many ways not Randian Objectivism (was in many ways an illogical hack job).
Any reasonable attempt to judge 'Objectivism' in this game comes to naught, as it is all a potemkin village perpetrated by a pandering to liberal PC mentality actually driven by 'bucks', instead of any serious honesty. Its a fabrication to the point of Fantasy, instead of decent Societal Science Fiction as it could have been.
Addictive substances are hard to control. In 17th century Japan, an attempt to ban tobacco caused the normally honor-bound Samurai class to be on the point of killing their lords. Tobacco had a measley addictive nature as compared to what ADAM is portrayed to have. No Police state could control it without wiping out half the population, if even then.
ADAM in our World in ALL political/economic systems would see criminals selling it despite any ban (and destroying our civilization even easier than it did in Rapture). Our world, if anything, has magnitudes more hypocrisy and is far along the road of 'no individual responsibility', which was one of the major points of Rapture.