Visualising Qing Long (and others)

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evapor8 evapor8's picture
Visualising Qing Long (and others)
I am attempting to differentiate between certain habitats in order to give players a sense of being in different places. Page 68 of EP core notes that "the differences between one habitat and another are rarely overwhelming. In addition, all of these stations are large enough to hold offices for all of the major hypercorps, who further promote uniformity by providing the same services from identical hypercorp offices. Since most of these habitats are major centers of commerce, travel between them is frequent, so there are various facilities for travelers such as hotels and sports clubs that help reduce the disorientation of travel by offering identical experiences, regardless of their location." There are notable differences that you can suggest between Mars, Venus, and even places like Tethys. But what additions have you put forward to colour the players view of habitats such as Qing Long, or the Scum Barges? I am keeping the lack of any old world national identities at the forefront of my mind, which leaves me asking: What replaces this? There are different interpretations of the interior of O'Neill cylinders here: http://www.nss.org/settlement/space/oneillcylinder.htm (taking the example of Qing Long), but these do not feel adequate. Should I be using the above text and viewing many places as merely 'Travel Lodges' in space?
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Visualising Qing Long (and others)
evapor8 wrote:
I am attempting to differentiate between certain habitats in order to give players a sense of being in different places. Page 68 of EP core notes that "the differences between one habitat and another are rarely overwhelming. In addition, all of these stations are large enough to hold offices for all of the major hypercorps, who further promote uniformity by providing the same services from identical hypercorp offices. Since most of these habitats are major centers of commerce, travel between them is frequent, so there are various facilities for travelers such as hotels and sports clubs that help reduce the disorientation of travel by offering identical experiences, regardless of their location." There are notable differences that you can suggest between Mars, Venus, and even places like Tethys. But what additions have you put forward to colour the players view of habitats such as Qing Long, or the Scum Barges? I am keeping the lack of any old world national identities at the forefront of my mind, which leaves me asking: What replaces this? There are different interpretations of the interior of O'Neill cylinders here: http://www.nss.org/settlement/space/oneillcylinder.htm (taking the example of Qing Long), but these do not feel adequate. Should I be using the above text and viewing many places as merely 'Travel Lodges' in space?
Modern national and political identities, of course. Expect to see a circled A permeating an anarchist's ship as the crew shows pride for their anti-governmental beliefs. Expect to see Ultimates tattooed with there ever-so-awesome logo (at least I hope that symbol on page 82 is their logo; I'd better get confirmation before I get that as a tattoo like I plan to). Expect to see Barsoomiams wearing red at other locations, to show pride for their Martian heritage. Just because old-world national identities have largely disappeared, doesn't mean that there aren't new national identities.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
evapor8 evapor8's picture
Re: Visualising Qing Long (and others)
Decivre wrote:
Modern national and political identities, of course. Expect to see a circled A permeating an anarchist's ship as the crew shows pride for their anti-governmental beliefs. Expect to see Ultimates tattooed with there ever-so-awesome logo (at least I hope that symbol on page 82 is their logo; I'd better get confirmation before I get that as a tattoo like I plan to). Expect to see Barsoomiams wearing red at other locations, to show pride for their Martian heritage. Just because old-world national identities have largely disappeared, doesn't mean that there aren't new national identities.
I quite agree. Perhaps teasing out the details surrounding NPCs and their affiliations could happen in-game rather than set up before. Maybe the players have affiliations, and have a vision of how their character may look or engage with the rest of the population. Nostalgia jewelery comes to mind, which in turn develops into group iconography. It also notes on p.42 "This mixture of reverence and nostalgia for Earth". This gives me a sense of how the habitats may be internally constructed. The 'darker side' reacting against this and playing up the difference between the new and the old (in game terms). Food for thought for me. That tattoo would look pretty cool too!
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Visualising Qing Long (and others)
evapor8 wrote:
I quite agree. Perhaps teasing out the details surrounding NPCs and their affiliations could happen in-game rather than set up before. Maybe the players have affiliations, and have a vision of how their character may look or engage with the rest of the population. Nostalgia jewelery comes to mind, which in turn develops into group iconography. It also notes on p.42 "This mixture of reverence and nostalgia for Earth". This gives me a sense of how the habitats may be internally constructed. The 'darker side' reacting against this and playing up the difference between the new and the old (in game terms). Food for thought for me. That tattoo would look pretty cool too!
Since much of the homages of Earth are nostalgia and reverence, be sure to play up the fact that it is likely inaccurate in nature. I'd expect to see people who can trace their lineage back to Russia waving facsimiles of the Soviet Union flag, despite being anarchists. I'd expect to hear people using our slang inappropriately, and even doing things that are trendy to us as a "throwback retro" style. For all but the very old, Earth is a world they likely knew only most recently, and of what little salvage comes up from the surface on occasion, some of it will be from before their time.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
benji benji's picture
Re: Visualising Qing Long (and others)
There are also new cultural differences that probably don't come as naturally to players. Think of the AR differences. I imagine someone going from a hypercorp to an Anarchist hab would be highly disconcerted by the fact that most of the random AR messages that pop up aren't sleek professional ads, but simple messages from individuals offering or asking for favors or expressing views about local issues. Also, remember that different morphs are going to be fashionable in different places. Keeping the same example, our visitor is from a hab where the wealthy are probably in beautiful, customized morphs, and most everyone else is in simple, respectable, non-outlandish splicers. On the anarchist station, people probably look a lot less samey. Let's say beards are out of fashion and have been for a while. Most people in the middle class in the native hab are probably in splicers that have been modified to grow beards more slowly (so you only have to shave once a week to keep a smooth face). Our traveler has maybe a couple times in the last decade seen someone in person with more then a simple mustache. Now, the guy he's meeting has a large, burly, unkempt beard just because he likes it, and his associate has sleeved in to a neo-sapian for some reason, and before they can really help they want to ask this other guy in their collective who has a goatee with the horns to match. After that, he goes to a techno-socialist hab where 60% of the population are in government issue splicer morphs, of which there are only 3 standard models of each gender, so besides cosmetic alterations, one in 10 of the people he sees on the street look exactly the same. Walk down the street for long and this gets very disconcerting. After that, he hitches a ride on a Scum Barge, and the people he met in the Anarchist hab seem morphologically conservative by comparison.
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Visualising Qing Long (and others)
I usually look around for random things to mix with the plausible extrapolations. For example, a particular habitat may be big on climbing plants with grandiose bioengineered flowers that covers the mediterranean style architecture. Besides looking good, some plants are actually hives that release protective pollen. Another habitat might have a streamlined chrome aesthetic like old 50's cars, but applied to architecture and environments - and then the rude youngsters and misintegrated post-Fall refugees make use of it to skate around. Just like in real places the interaction between planning, tradition, fashion and human nature produces odd results - and then these results produce further reactions. I love thinking "how could this go wrong?" and using that to embellish. For example, a corporate business park on Luna might be a dome-shaped cave enclosing what looks like a park. People stroll around, doing online work or sitting at small picnic meetings. Behind low painted fences there are what looks like cafes, but are actually the foyers and meeting rooms of the companies. More serious stuff go indoors into the faux-Tudor buildings surrounding the dome. People can see each other and there is no great secret who goes where. Contrast this to the more paranoid, closed and secure environment on Phobos, where mirrors are everywhere and many of them are one-way. People often wear bulky clothing or a "healthy" breathing mask that hides them to some extent. In the Luna place networking is easy, but rumors spread rapidly. On Phobos they have a plan B for everything, including an Exsurgent eruption in the foyer. Too bad a lot of workers invent security holes all the time just to get their job done. On a scum barge coordination for boring, menial tasks may be tricky, so one one a local tinkerer team is producing lots and lots of quirky little cleaning and maintenance devices (think Agatha's clanks in "Girl Genius"). On another there is a lot of group pressure to get it done, so there surly youngsters are pressurised into doing it ("Yes, son, we are autonomists, but you are not autonomous yet and this needs to be done. Here is the bucket and nanopaste.") On a third there is a "tolerated" extropian cleaning firm that does all the menial stuff dressed in gold, dollar signs and rubies.
Extropian
King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: Visualising Qing Long (and others)
My conceptual take on them, would be related to shopping malls, airports. that sort of thing. Same facilities & types of shops at almost every spot. Like they were clones or something. The rulebook say that travel are frequent between the habitats, thus most of the visitors would be similar. In EP companies & shops can ensure that the customer will have a identical experience regardless of where they visit. For example, Forked sales clerks.
Quote:
'I'll sell it for less, and that's cutting me own throat.' Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, Discworld salesman, suspected fork :)
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Visualising Qing Long (and others)
King Shere wrote:
My conceptual take on them, would be related to shopping malls, airports. that sort of thing. Same facilities & types of shops at almost every spot. Like they were clones or something. The rulebook say that travel are frequent between the habitats, thus most of the visitors would be similar. In EP companies & shops can ensure that the customer will have a identical experience regardless of where they visit. For example, Forked sales clerks.
I should think that not all businesses would exist identically on every habitat. For instance, I'd imagine that a hab ran by a hypercorp would consist solely of businesses controlled by that hypercorp. Those same businesses will have no presence on an anarchist habitat, however. I think it's more of a case of "competitive conformity", where the success of a habitat design forces other habitats to match the design in order to compete for popularity. For instance, if one habitat moved its body bank and morph broker next to the egocasting center, it might be positive for business (since people don't have to track everywhere to get their body needs taken care of). Other habitats would notice the success of this design, and likely follow suit. By doing so, tourists and visitors feel more welcome, and it increases trade. It also means that travelers have less difficulty getting suited to other habitats when leaving this one. This is exactly what happened to the early U.S. car industry. Successful car models in America had the driver situated on the left side, and this forced all competitors to build similarly so people would be enticed to purchase their product without feeling like they have to learn a significantly different vehicle. On the other hand, it was government regulation which set the standard in Europe and other places.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Visualising Qing Long (and others)
Decivre wrote:
I should think that not all businesses would exist identically on every habitat. For instance, I'd imagine that a hab ran by a hypercorp would consist solely of businesses controlled by that hypercorp. Those same businesses will have no presence on an anarchist habitat, however.
Actually, go to any big corporate compound and you will notice plenty of other companies doing work. I doubt an encryption hypercorp find it economically efficient to branch out into food services, clothing or communications. Similarly, the book actually points out that many hypercorps do have representatives in the outer system. A single person per hab is enough to provide access to all the services of the corp. That actually suggests a new form of mall in the smaller habitats, perhaps a bit like the venture capital cafe in "Annabel Scheme": a bunch of tables where the representatives of various corporations hang out and network. Some people represent several corps at the same time. You need to get some Exodynamics services, you walk up to their local representative and ask for their offerings. Sure, you can contact them via mesh too, but this way you can try to get the Teratech guy to outbid Exodynamics.
Quote:
I think it's more of a case of "competitive conformity", where the success of a habitat design forces other habitats to match the design in order to compete for popularity. For instance, if one habitat moved its body bank and morph broker next to the egocasting center, it might be positive for business (since people don't have to track everywhere to get their body needs taken care of). Other habitats would notice the success of this design, and likely follow suit. By doing so, tourists and visitors feel more welcome, and it increases trade. It also means that travelers have less difficulty getting suited to other habitats when leaving this one.
This works in regions where people travel a lot, so this would be strong in the inner system and especially around Mars. Setting up a recognizable space syntax is already something architects and mall managers think a lot about. Conformity is a way of giving security: you have gone somewhere else, but you can always rely on seeing a SomaStore close to a Hertz Body Rental, a Cognite TravelShop and a fast food place for those post-resleeving munchies. But just like coffee places compete by being similar, they also try to be unique enough to stand out. So the end result is the same mix of identicalness and studied uniqueness one finds in malls. Meanwhile the real differences in habitats show up in the uncontrolled social spaces: how people dress and behave, the set of morphs around, the grafitti, the nanosecurity, the layout of personal spaces, the sound and smells. There is a great deal of difference between this drive for conformity and the real utility of standards. There are no rules that say there has to be a Hertz Body Rental close to the TravelShop, but if Hertz doesn't pick up the place Teletouristic SA will snap it up. Some habitat may have more or less sensible appearance rules (in Valhalla every store front and public mesh interfaces must have a soft wood-glass-concrete Alvar Aalto look, while Chrysoprase demands organic architecture with a faux Tudor feel), but often people also adopt/construct local rules spontaneously - in Jade Heaven the old Chinese hutong style has been reinvented in 3D for microgravity and people have invented iridescent jumpsuits as their local uniform.
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nick012000 nick012000's picture
Re: Visualising Qing Long (and others)
Personally, I imagine that what they meant by that statement that all the big habitats are quite similar is sort of analogous to how all the big cities in the first world countries are basically the same nowadays. They might have differences in layout and architecture, but that's basically it; a city in a first world nation is a city in a first world nation.

+1 r-Rep , +1 @-rep

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Visualising Qing Long (and others)
nick012000 wrote:
Personally, I imagine that what they meant by that statement that all the big habitats are quite similar is sort of analogous to how all the big cities in the first world countries are basically the same nowadays. They might have differences in layout and architecture, but that's basically it; a city in a first world nation is a city in a first world nation.
At least some parts are amazingly identical. Here in Oxford (which of course has some very unique places literally around the corner) Cornmarket street could be located in any European city. A pedestrian shopping street surrounded by the big chains of clothing stores, fast food and coffee places. The crowd outside McDonalds looks identical to the crowd outside McDonalds in Stockholm or Milan. But this kind of convergence is sensible only for the things everybody want in the same way. In a pure synthmorph habitat things suddenly look very different - no food places, clothing becomes purely aesthetic and optional, bodyshapes much more variable, the average salary is noticeably lower. In a neotenous beehive ghetto things get really different.
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King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: Visualising Qing Long (and others)
Speaking of England, I am reminded that some things could look the same, but isn't. Things confused due to similar appearance or other subtle, but significant differences. Take for example the different scheme & praxis of elevator floor numberings.