All posts tagged with "david attenborough baumgart talks about nature"

Steampunk Central America: Adventures in Sort-of Verisimilitude

Well, we just wrapped up a two-pitcher lunch at the Sewer Brew Pub with a fan (hi Kris!), so you  know that means: time to write a blog post! So Daniel has been cranking through biome stuff and asked- no, let’s start this over.

The sky above Vancouver was the colour of a television tuned to a dead channel. Daniel entered the gently cultivated chaos of the art room and recoiled slightly. The chaos recoiled slightly back at him. 

“After Steampunk Colorado, what’s next?” — Oh, well then: we could do a desert. Lots of bones, dust, salt, jagged rocks. No? Really? I thought it’d be pleasant. Then perhaps a swamp, something lovely; Lots of plants, molds, miasma, large insects, fevers. No? Not a swamp? If we must then, let us set our sights on:

Steampunk Central America

White sand beaches, tropical forest, volcanoes, cenotes, deforestation, strange statues buried in the sand at the low elevations and giant, scowling basalt heads at the higher; beetles grazing in tropical meadows before wallowing in warm streams. It’ll be lovely. And we still get those fevers in.

It starts with a palette of colours, the right colour for the right sub-biome from the top of the topology to the bottom. It’s all layered like some kind of terrible cake full of dirt and growing trees. Below is a quick sketch I did to give an overview of what could be going on in a roughly Central American biome set:

Literally the broad strokes.

Literally the broad strokes. (And with apologies to our Central American readers — this is all about capturing a certain interpretation of a feeling of reality without being much arsed to be real reality. Which is about what CE is doing in general but with more steam engines. Would it help if I said the word “verisimilitude” here and waved my arms around? Good. It made me feel better too.)

Erupting with enthusiasm.

I’m erupting with enthusiasm for top-down concept maps for biome generation. (If you enjoyed that, I’ve got more. So many more. Er, to clarify: I’ve got both terrible puns *and* biome concept art.)

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In Search of a Better Pine

or: An Example of Artistic Iteration in the development of Clockwork Empires

The majestic redwood

The much-improved pine forest as surveyed by one Mr. Rooster Dynamopipe. (“Rooster”? Who’s been screwing with the name list!)

Rome: Total War forest

The trees for the forest in Rome: Total War

Yes, we pine for the majestic redwood towering over the domain of Nature. But if the tree towers, how can you very well see what’s behind it? The majesty of nature is lovely until it means you can’t see what the heck is going on in your game.

I have flashbacks of Rome: Total War which, apart from being a very enjoyable game, was not enjoyable when you ended up fighting a battle in a dense forest. Look to the right there; That’s a very sparse example of a forest and it has troubling issues with blocking your line of sight already. The denser forests got pretty packed and made fine maneuvering of units rather frustrating. This is what we want to avoid.

But still: the allure of Majesty! We can’t give up now!

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Concerning The Kingdoms Of Beasts And Fishes

The uncivilized reaches of the Frontier teem with Creature great and small from wind-swept steppe to miasmatic bog to roiling dark seas! What hold these wilds for the enterprising Adventurer, the industrious Bureaucrat of the Royal Charter Antipodean Seas Trading Company?

A happy Potemkin Forest render demonstrating what it’ll look like before the player shows up with a pack of naturalists and a Big Game Hunter to ruin the gentle State of Nature.

Why yes, we’re stumbling back into consciousness from the holidays and need to fill a post with pictures of stuff so we don’t need to think too hard about being terribly clever. Bear (heh) with me here.

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