Uncharted Waters

For this new game, I’m having to go where I really hadn’t before.  You think you know Greece?  Nuh-uh.  The stuff I got taught back in school barely touched on it at all; teachers seemed more interested in the “beginning of Democracy” and the Pelopponesian Wars.  And then it was off to Rome for us… so yeah, I knew only small bits about Ancient Greece.  Trust me, I know even less about the culture and the world of Steampunk.  So why am I choosing to base the two lands of my new game on those two things?  CHALLENGE.  I love to learn.

I have a very long to-do list set up for the development of this game – i MEAN HUGE.  I’m ok with that; I’m figuring it’ll take me through the end of this year and that’s just fine.  Anybody who knows me knows I love to be thorough (and hell, game designing is nothing if not all about micromanagement*G*).

It’s paying off in huge dividends.

Last week I finished a couple weeks’ worth of studying Ancient Greece.  And volcanoes, can’t forget that.  I have a huge eruption to attend to, complete with monsters, so I had to get that solidified.  It kind of made me shake my head in amazement reading how a lot of the Pompeiians were fascinated by the eruption, and went to watch – kind of like when I was a kid on the North Shore I used to love going out on the seawall during Nor-easters (true story).

This week is much more complex, I found. I wasn’t figuring on that.  Then again, I honestly know less about Steampunk than I did about Greece!  So you might laugh, but I had no clue how many different kinds of it there are.  The stereotypical one with Victoriana is only the tip of the iceberg.  I realized fast that I actually had a version of it in my other world – remember Zagga, where my first game ever is set, with the dwarves and all?  That’s a completely different version of steampunk.  More close to cyberpunk, it seems, but trust me, I do NOT have cyborg dwarves in Zagga.  They use (low-tech, huge) computers, they fly in zeppelins and ride trains through their plains, but they have to fight off basilisks and lions, chimaeras and other nasty things.  Yeah, they’re different.  The people of Shiend, which is neighbor to Glana where the volcano blows, wear bustles and bowlers, subscribe to all the etiquette of Victorian England (but they don’t have tea because there’s no tea trade, and they don’t have colonies… I figured I’d try it this way and see what ended up different).

Lol, but due to the complexity of things, I have only scratched the surface of this after a couple days!  I’ve literally only been studying Victorian society so far… need a base for my electrics to plop onto.  It’s EXTREMELY complicated.  I thought I was a micromanager; these guys do it to the extreme.   Everything from the amount of time you mourn for WHAT RELATIVE, to how to greet someone properly in the street (dependent on what the gender is), and the languages of fans and flowers, which were apparently used as code for talking to the opposite sex!  (and which, duly, I am going to use in here).

…and then I realized that I at least need to incorporate some of India.  There’s no East India Trade in this game, but Shiend’s eastern end is partly like India, and there are explorers who go to unknown parts of the world gathering plants, animals and exotic stuffs for the wealthy and for museums.

…and then, I get to take a good look at the other end of it, and see what engineering/science stuff there is.  I don’t just want to throw a gear on a top hat, after all!  I want there to be evil mechanical merchants doing black market deals on this or that machinery, or something like that.

This. Is. Fascinating!!!

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