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Author Topic: Setting Ideas: Brainstorming  (Read 42409 times)
zenbitz
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2009, 08:28:40 PM »

ooh maps... I likes.
I would go ahead and extend the map to the North Sea - natural borders = good.  Northern border = too cold, even for you tough guy!" 

I like this much better than "polar survivor" - for the simple reason that there are no Ruins to explore!  Can't have PA without ruined cites filled with Rats, radiation, and loot!   Also - if the southern regions are too hot - why would you go where it was super freezing cold... just stop when the weather is nice (Canada / Siberia?)

One thing I like about "post WWIII in europe" is old battlefields...  I doubt we can imagine hordes of Red Army tanks in Sweden... but Kiel region of Germany, sure.  Finland also very probable invasion target (recover old Imperial Russian territories).

No berlin - though. Undecided

Another (slight) disavantage of this map is that it might be too diverse for a small game (starting out).  If we have 4 locations - 1 germany 1 USSR 1 Sweden  1 Norway....  PC must be very good at travelling!   

So... in this world - if we start with Nato/Pact war, what happens to Sweden?  Norway?  Especially big cities...  Would we want to say that Scandanavia survived better  And the rest of Europe/USSR/US are +totally+ obliterated?

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Lamoot
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2009, 08:52:10 PM »

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I would go ahead and extend the map to the North Sea - natural borders = good.  Northern border = too cold, even for you tough guy!"

Good ideas = good. Wink
+ southern border is too radiated and has too many mutants and evil things and traps and and.. and stuff that prevents you to travel outside the world the game designers have set Smiley

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Can't have PA without ruined cites filled with Rats, radiation, and loot!   Also - if the southern regions are too hot - why would you go where it was super freezing cold... just stop when the weather is nice (Canada / Siberia?)

Yp. The polar region idea was a try to see how the US setting could be made different from fallout with a new twist. I guess it doesn't work as well Smiley

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No berlin - though.

One city less to make Smiley Then again, it would just be a large crater, I figure it would get love from more than a single atomic bomb .

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Another (slight) disavantage of this map is that it might be too diverse for a small game (starting out).
We can always limit our initial scope of what gets done. The first stage is to make a demo game anyway and then see how to proceed. Even the demo will be a large undertaking, but we should always have the game world defined, so it's easily extended, if later generations decide so Smiley

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So... in this world - if we start with Nato/Pact war, what happens to Sweden?  Norway?  Especially big cities...  Would we want to say that Scandanavia survived better  And the rest of Europe/USSR/US are +totally+ obliterated?

Quote from: my wiki
pre-war major settlements destroyed by nukes. Medium settlements couldn't handle the shift in climate and were abandoned, reduced in size?

Quote from: my wiki
prewar population density: http://www.catsg.org/cheetah/07_map-centre/7_1_entire-range/thematic-maps/global_population_density.jpg areas with dense population received heavy nuke bombaredement and are thus extremely hostile environments for regular humans. (if it's red on the map, it received at least one nuke)

So yeah, Central Europe is really destroyed, sweden and norway got only their major cities bombarded. Since they weren't as populated pre-war, they weren't such important targets, despite the whole world becoming one big target anyway. When you have 30.000 nukes at your disposal and an atomic war starts, you really don't hold yourself back. Collapse of society means medium cities cannot function the way they did. What is left are the rural areas, the rest is in ruins. Some stuff was also destroyed by conventional warfare.
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zenbitz
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2009, 09:24:27 PM »

I am going to quibble with the "certaintly" of your nuclear war scenarios.  Please don't take it the wrong way - I am just pointing out that we have lots of room for flexibility.

1) Using population density is misguided.  Otherwise, India gets saturation bombed!
2) 20 years after - I don't think even cities like Berlin are 1 big crater.   First of all - who is targeting Berin/Oslo/Stockholm?  Oslo - maybe a Pact target.  But like 9,000th on the list.   Soviet ICBMs were (are) targeted at military targets and population centers in US, maybe UK.    This is distinct from "battlefield" / tactical nuke scenarios we can invision for a Pact invasion of western europe.
3) I guess Berlin could be nuked by the US in this scenario... if they were losing.  But again - why kill Germans?   If US is losing a limited nuclear/conventional war - they are going to try to wipe out the soviets.
4) Just because we can guess at 30,000 warheads, doesn't mean they all get used.  I mean, it's maybe likely but as "storywriters" we can pick any number between 0 and 30,000
5) Some US nuke target lists I found (I mean, maybe they are totally fabricated) put basically 1 550kt or 1MT warhead on major cites.  This is enough kill ~1/2 the people in it, but not make the whole city (certainly not including suburbs, etc).  Also - only military bases (including missile bases and C&C) are really primary, population centers are secondary targets - even NY, LA, Chicago.  A huge sprawl like LA might be hit by 10 550kT warheads.  Maybe.

I guess random nukes being lobbed at Sweden seems bizzare to me... but we want to make a good story about it.

From a meta perspective (see other thread) it's quite useful to have big cities be nuked... otherwise, we have to write them in, and they are big and complicated.   If we are postulating some kind of Bio weapons - or general plague out of control then there is the issue of keeping the PC out of places we don't have time to develop in game.  More on this should probably go in the META thread.
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egalor
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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2009, 11:20:52 PM »

I don't mind against the North European setting, but the one suggested by Lamoot bears too much water.

Lamoot,
On the other hand, could that be a frozen desert? What the region would look like in your eyes?
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zenbitz
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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2009, 01:17:20 AM »

Baltic could be frozen, or ice-pack some of the the time.   But why are you worried about so much water?  Don't think "Southern Sweden" is enough land mass to design your epic maps?
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zenbitz
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« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2009, 07:18:13 AM »

Story Hook / Alt-history for Canada/North Midwest (say, southern Ontario to as far south as we make locations)

Timeline (just a rough cut - note the politics and "economics" here are VERY tongue-in-cheek)

1984 Walter Mondale elected President over Reagan.  He is a Communist plant (kind of a double-reverso Manchurian candidate)
1985-1991 - Mondale lowers tensions with USSR... moves troops out of W. Germany.  Peace and Prosperity at last - due to massive shift of defense budget back to tax payers and social services. USSR secretly builds military strength, aided by massive information flow from now "Red" white house.   Old guard US anti commies grumble, but hey, taxes are so low...
1992 - 22nd amendment repealed, Mondale elected to 3rd term.  Taxes begin to incrase
1993 - CIA/FBI are subverted by the USSR.  Recreational drug supply is slowly increased to inner cities, with large measure of crazy.
1994-1996 - USSR plans to destabilize US are working beyond wildest dreams.  Mondale declares martial law to "protect citizens", habeas corpus suspended.  Economy crumbles due to medium term effects of 10 years of socialism.  Taxes increased to crushing levels to pay for police and "drug rehab centers".
1997 - Manhattan is turned into a maximum security prison (OK that was just to see if you were paying attention!)
1998 - Constitution and Bill of Rights suspended.  Southern US revolts, backed by National Guard.  This didn't happen until 2nd Amendment ("Right to Bear Arms") was suspended.   
1999 - Soviet troops, from bases in Cuba, land in Florida, Texas, Louisana, Alabama.   Mondale claims they are "allies" to help quell Rebellion.  Food shipments from the midwest are stopped to states in rebellion.  Midwestern "Bread basket" states begin to chafe under martial law, as food supply is used to control population of US.
2000 Resistance in southern states is driven underground by Soviet armed forces. 
2001 Mondale assassinated.  Rest of US plunged into civil war.   "Commie" forces - both Russian and American control the middle and south of the country, while "Loyal Americans" control west of the rockies and eastern seaboard.  A secret cabal of US Strategic Air Command officers reveals that they did not dismantle the US's nuclear arsenal and super secret biological WMDs, and threaten the USSR with destruction.  Soviets call the bluff, missiles launch...  Soviet missiles strike pre-programmed targets throughout the US and Western Europe.  No one bothered to reprogram the targets.
2001-2005 The world plunges into chaos.  Billions of tons of soot, earth, and ash from hemisphere wide nuclear war cause spectacular sunsets... but reflect too much sunlight back into space.  At least 1 of the biological disease agent mutates in an unforseen way.   Over 95% of the world's population eventually succumbs to disease, starvation, or murder.
2006 Is the coldest winter anyone can remember....
...
2021... The glaciers are creeping south - most of Canada, Northern Europe and UK, Chile/Argentina are barely habitable.


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egalor
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« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2009, 09:05:18 AM »

Baltic could be frozen, or ice-pack some of the the time.   But why are you worried about so much water?  Don't think "Southern Sweden" is enough land mass to design your epic maps?

I don't speak about making epic maps, yet. If I'm not mistaken, the idea was to incorporate different portions of European states into the setting.

Story Hook / Alt-history for Canada/North Midwest (say, southern Ontario to as far south as we make locations)

Timeline (just a rough cut - note the politics and "economics" here are VERY tongue-in-cheek)

Sounds interesting Smiley That reminds me of Red Alert series somehow Smiley

A few thoughts:
1) Why don't we leave it as an unknown fact - the side which actually launched first warheads?
2) Post-nuclear history might need some more research - I suggest we search the web for post-nuclear projections made by various scientists.
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Lamoot
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« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2009, 02:15:00 PM »

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On the other hand, could that be a frozen desert? What the region would look like in your eyes?

Yes, the Baltic sea would be frozen. To make things a bit more interesting you could find on the icy surface:

  • nomad villages
  • submarines trapped in ice
  • ships trapped in ice

In addition, this would be a great place to use stuff like this for transportation http://www.isabella-iceboat.com/paubox10.jpg

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I am going to quibble with the "certaintly" of your nuclear war scenarios.  Please don't take it the wrong way - I am just pointing out that we have lots of room for flexibility.
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it's quite useful to have big cities be nuked... otherwise, we have to write them in, and they are big and complicated.

The reason why I said nukes would be all over the place is so we wouldn't have to make any of the large cities and that we could have more of a decayed society post-apoc setting. A single metropolis would already be big enough to fit a single rpg in it and we would have to deal with many big cities this way.

It's not as much that I'm certain everything would be destroyed, but about me wanting everything to be destroyed in this PARPG world, to get a more extreme setting. I agree that many scenarios are possible, but I always try to see things from a perspective of a game maker and be constructively lazy Smiley

Do you perhaps have a source where you got all that information about nuclear targets and such? I'd like to read it and get a different view on this whole atomic war thing.


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If I'm not mistaken, the idea was to incorporate different portions of European states into the setting.

Yes, the idea was to have ice and snow and to include both the western NATO allies as well as the USSR in this setting. This way there are different factions and cultures involved and everyone can find something interesting to work on. Us westerners can feel more comfortable with the NATO states, while you (egalor) still have the option and freedom to work on a more USSR part of the game world (underground subways included).  Do you think this is a fair compromise?

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Story Hook / Alt-history for Canada/North Midwest (say, southern Ontario to as far south as we make locations)

Timeline (just a rough cut - note the politics and "economics" here are VERY tongue-in-cheek)

I dunno about this one, it doesn't sound as plausible. It complicates too much to get a war started. This was cold war,  Nikita Khrushchev's bad-hair day could start a war (lucky us he was bald).

All in all I'm more in favour of the war starting in the 70s-80s. If the war started around 2000, the overall design and technology would have progressed a lot further from the 60s-70s tech level we'd like to have in this game. egalor had some thoughts on this earlier and it sums up my point of view on this matter:

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a) At the time, both US and USSR were more or less equally strong, and an atomic war could have happened then, quite realistically, and much devastation would have been wrought.

As opposed, 1991 Soviet coup'd'etat and 89/90 German Reunification - that all took place *well* after the much feared USSR has lost its power, and there was simply no realistic reason for US to launch nuclear warheads at an almost harmless (but very natural resources-rich!) country.
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b) That epoch strongly corresponds with that Falloutish 50-s Americana touch that made Fallout Fallout to a large extent.

As opposed to 90s - that aroma would be most likely lost.
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Lamoot
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« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2009, 02:23:18 PM »

Ah yes.

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1) Why don't we leave it as an unknown fact - the side which actually launched first warheads?
2) Post-nuclear history might need some more research - I suggest we search the web for post-nuclear projections made by various scientists.

1.) I agree with this one. it follows the KISS principle - Keep It Simple, Stupid. no need to complicate if we don't have to. Smiley

2.) Can you do some research on this and present us with possible scenarios and predictions?
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egalor
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« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2009, 04:28:38 PM »


2.) Can you do some research on this and present us with possible scenarios and predictions?

Yes, I can. I have participated earlier in a group of enthousiasts, who have done exactly the very same research already. I will dig out what I can tonight.

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On the other hand, could that be a frozen desert? What the region would look like in your eyes?

Yes, the Baltic sea would be frozen.


A perfect idea then. In this case we are dealing with an icy wasteland. I support this kind of background.

Us westerners can feel more comfortable with the NATO states, while you (egalor) still have the option and freedom to work on a more USSR part of the game world (underground subways included).  Do you think this is a fair compromise?

Deal. However, we will need at least 1) a more or less precise timeline and 2) know of any major events which have led to the apocalypse before we actually start working on something.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 04:30:22 PM by egalor » Logged
zenbitz
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« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2009, 06:22:28 PM »

thanks for the comments guys.

1) The history is "contrived" so that we can have soviet artifacts in the midwestern US.   I am presenting this as as alternate to "euro" war.
2) Details like "who fired first" not important - I also think "detailed timeline" is not at all necessary for pre-game dev.  Just a vague guideline so we can keep things internally consistent (unless we get Japanese developers?).  Eg. if (big if at this stage) we put the game in the US, and we want to have soviet BMPs, migs, Ak-47s (well that one we could work in), we need to postulate some kind of soviet invasion.
3) Regarding cities - my point is that we should just leave it open.  if someone wants to design a bunch of ruined city maps, that's cool, we will work it into the story (dud nuke, bioware only).   If we have a 1000 x 1000 km map... we are going to be abstracting lots of the world "away" where player won't see it.

2000 tech - yeah, I didn't like how that worked out either.  We could, of course, postulate technology stagnation after 1984.  To be honest, I just was poking fun at US politics by making WALTER MONDALE a soviet plant, who's election caused the destruction of the world.   There is a big "Cult of Reagan" in the US.  Again - the key is to get soviet hardware in the US in a "plausible" way.

It's clear that this timeline has NOTHING to do with "Baltic" game world, necessarily, right?  It's presented as an alternative ("always have 2 alternatives")

50s vs 70s vs. whatever - this is technically not decided yet, that's why it's "Brainstorming"
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zenbitz
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« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2009, 06:39:45 PM »

Quote
I don't speak about making epic maps, yet. If I'm not mistaken, the idea was to incorporate different portions of European states into the setting.

Sorry, just making a joke.  I just didn't understand why you think the map has "too much water".  More water = less stuff to design.

Lamoot - I PMd you about source material.
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egalor
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« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2009, 08:31:22 PM »

Zenbitz - I would appreciate if you could drop a link here for everybody to see Smiley that's noted in our Wiki guidelines by Mr. Barra.

Besides, I'm curious too Smiley
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zenbitz
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« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2009, 09:37:11 PM »

uh oh, caught.   Here is text of my PM to lamoot:

Here is an old PnP rpg that takes place 200 years after:
http://www.millionmonkeytheater.com/MorrowProject/MorrowProject.html
This page has a map:
http://www.thesupplybunker.net/morrow.htm
and links to
http://www.thesupplybunker.net/Morrow/hitlist.txt
and
http://www.thesupplybunker.net/pdf/soviet-nuclear-missiles-2.4.pdf

I have other source material from a PnP game called "Aftermath!", it also has a slightly different nuke hit list for the US. and a cool fallout chart (free hint: Don't be down wind from missile silos)

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egalor
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« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2009, 11:50:36 PM »

Too bad I haven't been able to find some old stuff of our previous researches done, but here are some scientific projections we can definitely use to keep to the game science-oriented at least to some degree.

Although a worldwide biowar is really tempting, I'm only considering nuclear holocaust here (for now). However, I suggest we turn to other types of holocaust later.

In order to make any post-war climatic projections, it is needed to know how much soot will be released after the bombings. There are different projections on that, being Min = 50 Tg, Max = 150 Tg. In any case, because of that soot, as you may know, the nuclear winter will ensue.

Considering the setting which we currently consider (North Europe) the surface air temperature will fall about 25 degrees (by Celsius) below zero.

The sky will be covered with smoke, the Sun light will be severely obscured (and invisible for a few first days or even weeks after the smoke injection). See: Assuming the particles reach 6-9 miles above the Earth's surface as modeled, the absorption of sunlight would further heat the smoke, lifting it into the stratosphere where it would become a global solar barrier; with no rain to wash it out, it would theoretically continue blocking out the sun for years. Furthermore, the resulting smoke would be primarily opaque to solar radiation but transparent to infra-red, cooling the earth by blocking sunlight but not causing any Greenhouse Effect warming. Taken from http://www.helium.com/items/1310270-nuclear-winter-theory?page=2

The ozone layer will decrease significantly, exposing Earth surface (after the smoke settles) to hazardous UV radiation. This means, one must be protected from the direct sunlight at all times.

This also means that a "black rain" phenomenon will take place some time after the war. This is the soot washed down with the precipitation. Please refer to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ageNFDB49os&feature=related for more detailed explanation (on the sad example of Hiroshima).

The nuclear winter will last for about 10 years, its coldest time being in the middle.

However, judging by what I have managed to gather, there is no guarantee that Baltic Sea will freeze in this case (although a large portion of it might be evaporated after the blasts). Therefore, I guess, for the sake of the gameplay, I suggest we make an assumption that the sea freezes up. This assumption will save us the effort of building ships, which is, most likely, we do not want. Smiley



For more info, please refer to a PowerPoint presentation on the Climatic Consequences of Nuclear Conflict (very easy to read):
http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/nuclear/

and a good article in Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_winter

That's it for a start.

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