Your biome ideas

Discussion in 'Clockwork Empires General' started by dbaumgart, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. dbaumgart

    dbaumgart Art Director Staff Member

    Hey, I had a thought from some of the comments on the Steampunk Central America post in various forums -- what biomes would you like to see in Clockwork Empires? What would you find in your suggested biome, both on the surface and lurking, sinister, in its farthest reaches?

    Some of the cool ones I saw suggested were "Steampunk New England" for the proper home country of Lovecraft as well as "Steampunk Deep South" with barrier islands, swamps, "tidewater coast, the bayou, cabbage palms, live oak, Spanish moss", etc. I think there were some more less American-centric too, like "Steampunk Southeast Asia" and I imagine "Steampunk Australia" where everything is poisonous and wants to kill you would be appropriate.

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  2. Turbo164

    Turbo164 Member

    This might be something that only happens after digging up that Exciting Onyx Colossus... but some unlikely-to-occur-on-any-real-continent biomes could be interesting, such as Pine trees on sandy beaches or ferns growing in the tundra.

    Somewhere with lots of fog (Steampunk non-New England) could be Fun as it allows various eldritch visitors to stand unnoticed in a turnip field for a few hours, rather than being restricted to just the spooky woods.

    Steampunk Australia sounds awesome!
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  3. Hell Grunt

    Hell Grunt Member

    I'd like to see swamplands and arctic tundra for that extra challenge of irregular soil that could sink your poorly positioned Imperial Eldritch Jewel Manufactory and mountainous terrain so I can build cargo bridges and dwellings suspended off the ground via platforms and heavy duty cables. Volcanoes are included in the latter, I just want to have to grab nature by the throat and beat it up until it matches the Empire's vision of civilization.
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  4. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    How about dense jungles with ancient ruins hiding unspeakable secrets.
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  5. LionsDen

    LionsDen Member

    Don't forget those crazy flesh loving squirrels! Seriously, it seems some squirrels in a pack will attack animals larger than themselves sometimes (if news stories on the web are to be believed) and kill them for meat to eat. It might not be true but I think it might be cool to have them as a menace in some regions. :)
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  6. Xyvik

    Xyvik Member

    Since tundra was mentioned I'll go just slightly south and suggest the Treeline Taiga, preferably Russian. A trade-off between the barren tundra to the north and the more boreal regions to the south, with a lessening of wildlife.

    The Amazon Basin: you think everything in Australia wants to kill you?? In the Amazon even the frogs are poisonous! Not to mention the world's largest snake, caiman, Piranha and Arapaima

    Atoll: a water-locked raised sandbar would present very interesting challenges to an aspiring Bureaucrat, methinks, and would enable Fun Pirates as well! Also, Kraken. (Crack-en! "It's a mythological creature I can call it what I wants!")

    Yellowstone: otherworldly formations caused by extreme subsurface volcanic activity. There are similar places across the globe, but Yellowstone is probably most famous. In this location it's the environment itself that is the most dangerous, but there's plenty of options for Sulphate Monsters.

    The Nile Flood Plains: Desert with seasonal oasis and the most dangerous large semi-aquatic animals on the planet. Also, pyramids and long-forgotten burial grounds.

    Black Forest: Large Germanic forest with plenty of wildlife and timber. What could possibly go wrong? Oh yeah, the packs of wolves and the sinister creatures hiding in the darkest regions that just might be the cause of the Lycanthrope legends...

    Nepal: Enormous mountains blocking off many trade routes but with gold and other precious minerals hiding the deeper you dig. Also, Yeti!

    Glacier Valley: Amazingly rich soil with the ever-present threat of avalanches and that giant wall of ice. Did it just move?!
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  7. Wootah

    Wootah Member

    Or more appropriately Desert 'Wetlands'.

    No I am not joking. Ironically, when I googled Desert Swamp, one of the suggested images that pops up is gaslamp games picture posted earlier captioned when 'desert meets swamp'.

    Now you might be incredulous, but I live in Utah, and there is a Large swampy region in the middle of the desert bordering the Great Salt Lake. This water is runoff from the mountains that enters a swampy region that very slowly drains into the Salt Lake. When the pioneers got here, there were tons and tons of swamp lands/Tall grass lands in the valleys. This isn't your traditional swamp though, as there are almost NO trees. A majority of the plants are cattails and tall grasses.

    While only a small amount remains, it is still fairly beautiful. You can google
    Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area

    And take a look at the pictures.

    If you were to do this biome, there is a huge variety surrounding it as well.

    The surrounding area/mountains vary greatly based on how much water they hold, partly from lakes and partly from altitude and carry over snow caps. You can get mountains that are almost entirely desert, others that have mostly brush, small trees and sage, and others that are covered with large trees, both deciduous and coniferous. One of the more unique aspects of this climate is scrub oak forests. They are oak trees with stunted growth due to limited water. They are all over:



    Finally, there are other desert wetlands that super famous that you should consider adding.
    I used to live in Maranhao brazil, and there is a famous park there called

    Lençóis Maranhenses National Park

    And the images are truly stunning.
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  8. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Let's not forget Steampunk Underwater Continental Shelf and Steampunk Underwater Great Lakes. Just to really make things hard on you.

    Also, Steampunk Machu Picchu -- with funicular rails going up and down because funiculawesome -- and Steampunk Glacier Bay, with living spaces carved out by melting the ice with torches and freezing water with Hoarphlogiston or something.

    Oooh, oooh, and of course you have to have Steampunk Pacific Northwest/Temperate Rainforest, one of the few biomes in the world so wealthy with food and drink that even the natives who lived here centuries ago didn't need to be nomadic. Which can come with or without the incredibly vital Steampunk Fjords -- because forget Norway, Washington State does it way better. :)
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  9. LionsDen

    LionsDen Member

    Don't forget the steampunk space station and airplanes and dirigibles. How about a pneumatic subway system to cross between towns/cities or just a type of subway. Don't forget the steam powered mechs. :)

    EDIT: There are vehicles that are powered by compressed air so why not have some cars like that and maybe some other things. Oh, I just remembered as well the Nautilus, Jules Verne's submarine! And how about some Tesla coil cannons or some such. We can go on for years with ideas. :)
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  10. Niknud

    Niknud Member

    I want to see some sort of chaotic aftermath biome. Some settlement or city were a terrible experiment or death cult caused some horrific explosion of chaotic energy that has warped the surrounding area. A wasteland of mutant plants and animals. Possible location of extremely valuable resources that you can't find anywhere else. By putting a settlement down in these areas you are putting your colonists at risk to not only the dangerous flora and fauna but also to the energies that mutated them.
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  11. A lot of the cool places have been mentioned already but might I suggest steampunk Italy with olive groves and sinister snake monsters that sleep in the shade. Also steampunk japan with bamboo forests and monsters that lurk within.
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  12. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    I think I would like to see a biome composed mostly of rock, with a rare tree on a rare patch of grass here and there (I'm assuming it is possible to replant trees or at least import wood, and if not then it's just going to be more challenging) but with most of it being grey, dark grey, and red (or reddish) rock with pillars of it in twisted shapes growing out of the ground.

    Outside of that, a giant mushroom biome (the sort we can see in the oldie Mario Bros) with giant "woody" mushrooms instead of trees (or with trees growing on giant mushrooms, your choice) and with occasional killer mushrooms.
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  13. hihohe

    hihohe Member

    Ancient Steam City: Salvageable metal, steam, and goods.... but what brought its ruin and what lurks in the dark corners of this mysterious place
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  14. Wolg

    Wolg Member

    (One does not simply zeppelin into) Steampunk Mordor.

    (Yes, it's just volcanic. Yes, most of your food needs to be imported. But what is in the volcanoes and mud pools that makes the empire so insistent on colonising the place? Are those jars and spheres of stored steam pressure and lightning exportable, from the Great Natural Engine that is flowing lava?)
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  15. Ruigi

    Ruigi Will Mod for Digglebucks

    I would love to offer my thoughts on biomes, but I have a few questions:

    1. What are the biomes currently in the game? Much of this info is spread throughout multiple posts.

    2. What game design features should we consider when offering our biome ideas? Flora, Fauna? Doodads (a term used in starcraft maps)? Goods? Natural disasters? enemies? Climate? Food sources? It would help if we had some sort of template for offering up our ideas.
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  16. Zentay

    Zentay Member

    A "norwegian coast" biome. Fjord-like coastline. Valleys embedded between tall mountains. The ocean plays a central role: sea monsters are more frequent and nastier, the sea is also more important for food supplies. The mountains contain deep caverns in which horrible things lurk. Lots of iron ore can be found.

    A "ruined jungle city" biome. Many ruins, deep in the jungle (just google "maya ruins"). Sacrificial altars and the spirits of humans who died on them. Corn as the main crop, plus exotic fruits and herbs. The dangers of this biome are the dangerous animals (snakes, panthers) and the lingering influence of the evil rituals practiced by the ancient civilization that once inhabited the place.

    Also, the "Atoll" biome could be fun. Caribbean climate and vegetation, lots of sea, little land. A volcano. Build vertically and space-efficient. Plus hurricanes and sharks.

    Generally I think it's a good idea to make every biome unique not just in looks but functionality. It could be a simple as modifiers such as "all citizens have increased propensity for madness", but it could also be complicated like volcano eruptions (in the Atoll biome) or horrific creatures similar to The Thing appearing only in one particular biome.

    A while ago I wrote a post about biomes, economy and unique experiences:
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
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  17. Wolg

    Wolg Member

    Less a biome, more a modifier: Lost Stahlmarkian Colony.

    You get your instructions to set up a colony, but upon arrival find that in the gap between discovery and now, one of the other factions has already settled the place. Buildings, supplies, the basics for living are all in place, in varying states of repair. Except... there's nobody here. At least, nobody *alive*...

    Anybody sensible would get back on the airship and leave, but the senior bureaucracy is not renowned for being sensible themselves, nor tolerating sense when displayed by others. There is a proper time and place for that sort of thing in private, after all.

    In exchange for a fairly substantial head start on infrastructure, assume there is something in the area that has already killed a settlement once, and may be more efficient at it the second time around.
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  18. SangerZonvolt

    SangerZonvolt Member

    Yeah, a lsot city biome with an ancient (or not so ancient) abandoned city waiting for salvaging.
  19. dbaumgart

    dbaumgart Art Director Staff Member

    This is so cool! I should just steal all your ideas ... I mean .. concurrently come up with original ideas that happen to be the same as what everyone here just said. Ahem.

    @Ruigi -
    1. The current biomes are pretty ... open. Our approach was just scatter-shotting a bunch of random stuff we thought would be cool as a first pass and this suggested a lot of biome features for implementation. Having done that (and created a big pile of assets, see Shrub Week) and a bunch of completely random biomes (grassland/mountains, swamp, desert), we started taking a more directed approach to evoke strong themes for entire sets of biomes (a biome or "microbiome" being an actual chunk of map, a set of biomes or "uberbiome" being a collection of biomes that tend to fit together), starting with Steampunk Colorado, then Steampunk Central America which each have a heck of a lot of components. .... which perhaps only vaguely answers your question.

    We have a huge range of /stuff/, some sets of biomes are better developed than others. We're focusing on developing strong sets now more, and as each is done the overall process for making them gets easier and the code features involved get more refined.

    2. Yeah, all of those. My approach is to imagine a climate, then break down the major microbiomes in it and what interesting things would appear in these, from natural resources to animals to very dangeorus animals to crops to appropriately thematic Mysterious Fun Stuff.

    @Wolg -
    Funny story, Daniel was talking about something similar to the lost Stahlmarkian colony just the other day, but with a slightly different angle and then he started rambling about Stargate 'til I lost interest ...

    @Kazeto -
    We might have giant mushrooms somewhere. Maybe. (As well as a selection of smaller fungus which may be familiar.)

    Hah, actually it comes back to me that the very first plants we started with were indeed for Steampunk Pacific Northwest because, well, Vancouver!

    ... okay, gotta get back to work. Sorry I didn't reply to everyone yet, but I daresay I'm a huge nerd about terrain in general so this is all terribly fascinating.
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  20. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    Yeah, I think we're all fine with you stealing all these ideas, you know.