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Visualising the world

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  • Visualising the world

    How do you describe what the setting looks like to the players? Are there any good pieces of writing that help me out here?
    I'm talking about standard clothing (not just armour), what cities and buildings look like, what it's like travellingo n roads? What do cars look like etc?
    Stuff people would take for granted if they actually lived there

  • #2
    Which aspect of the setting? The modern setting from the Trinity Continuum core looks just like our world.

    Ian A. A. Watson
    Onyx Path Community Manager
    Trinity Continuum Content Lead


    • #3
      Sorry, I meant the Aeon setting


      • #4
        You should probably design it the way you and your players would like it to look. Take one of your favourite science fiction worlds and tell them it is more or less like that. I haven't run Aeon myself but if I did I would probably imagine Mass Effect but more grimy and run-down.


        • #5
          Surely there is an intended design aesthetic.


          • #6
            Just speaking personally and off the top of my head, to some degree or another:

            North America, which is one of the easiest as semi-dystopian post-cyberpunk is fairly prevalent in science fiction cinema from the past three decades. My own take involves a lot of lifting from Blade Runner (1982), District 9 (2009) and Chappie (2015) [while these are set in early 21st century South Africa, a lot of what they deal with and the visuals fit aspects of Aeon's North America], Elysium (2013), and to a lesser degree Total Recall (1990), AI (2001), RepoMen (2010), Dredd (2012), Pacific Rim (2013)[mainly the wall-construction stuff at the beginning], Robocop (1987), Real Steel (2011), Hardcore Henry (2015), Upgrade (2018), and Demolition Man (1993).

            South America is a little harder, as in Aeon it is an economically booming powerhouse, effectively part of the new First World. My own imagination tends to borrow certain aspects of Avatar (2009) and Zootopia (2016) [especially the incorporation of the living plant life/biosphere with architecture and civil design], as well as the conceptual work of architect Vincent Callebaut. Also Siamak Hariri's Baha'i Temple of South America in Chile.

            Africa is the same as South America, now part of Aeon's First World. The nation of Wakanda from Black Panther (2018) is an obvious source of imagery. Also a lot of the film's concept art for the nation and how it looked is available online. I also draw some inspiration from some of the glimpses Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space 9 gave of Earth, and some of the more futuristic-looking architecture you see in parts of Southern Asia and the Middle East.

            Australia is also First World, or at least extremely close to it. If North America is the semi-dystopian sci-fi films, then Australia is the semi-utopian ones. I tend to pick and choose the cooler bits from stuff like Minority Report (2002), I, Robot (2004), Big Hero 6 (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) [the Xandar stuff], Pacific Rim (2013) [the more military oriented parts], Lockout (2012), and a lot of the Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine era glimpses of Earth.

            Europe is the worst off, really. Stuff like Doomsday (2008), Terminator: Salvation (2009), 9 (2009), Metropia (2009), The Book of Eli (2010), Monsters (2010), The Darkest Hour (2011), Hell (2011)[especially fitting as it was made and set in Germany], Automata (2014), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), Hardcore Henry (2015), Chappie (2015), and Mad Max (1979) all offer ideas and images. Also photos and film footage of Europe - especially Germany - at the end of WW2 and in the late 40s. This is the really busted up parts though. The better areas resemble some of what you see in North America, just with a bit more Continental design style.

            This isn't touching on anime or video games. I'm also omitting Asia and the Moon, mostly because I've sadly never done a lot with them anytime I've done anything with Aeon over the past twenty years.

            Added: I also lift a lot of stuff from The Fifth Element (1997), as it's very pretty, and runs the gamut from middle class metropolis apartment living and middle of nowhere archeological dig to high class luxury vacation resort and high tech labs.
            Last edited by No One of Consequence; 02-18-2020, 06:30 PM.

            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)


            • #7
              Originally posted by ghost whistler View Post

              Stuff people would take for granted if they actually lived there
              In most parts of the world: You are always connected, The Agent of your Minicomp you have since your teens, knows you maybe better than your friends and family. You are used to rely on your Agent to handle everyday stuff. It´s mostly always on. When you are talking with a friend when to meet, it will discretly show automatically your available time slots. When you agree on a time it´s automaticaly in your calender, and the minicomp might have even analyzed you voice pattern, to discern how eager you are to comit to the date with your friends. You don´t own a car.
              Awelfare state. A "Fulltime Job" is about 20-25 h a week. You expect to live up to the age of 130 years. People who are 150, are the old 100 year olds. You have a hobby that consumes a lot of your time. In Nihon and Brazil or Oceania noone is to suprized that your skin is green or even if you have cat ears. You hardly have met any Psion except for the Vitakinetict that healed your Asthma as a child. But the orders are everywhere. Augemented Reality is everywhere. You probably have contacts that, if you focus on a thing or person it will display all public information.
              Biotec is chic! But in many cases it´s not a moral choice but an asthetic one.
              The chaos of the past at first initiated a kind of neotribalism. Many fashion designs are very regional and many people look for fashion inspiration to Brazil, the UAN.
              Hard-tech cybernetics - especially visible ones - are suspious or perceived as plain ugly. Someone with an hardtech replacement arm must be from the lower levels of luna or from central europe and potenitally is a criminal.
              China is still an one-party system with more or less semi-authoritarian regime, but is perceived as a benevolent one. They are the world police. They hardly use force.
              FSA is not openly fascist. If you are rich enough you can do almost do all the same stuff you could do everywhere. But the Military is everywhere. They conquered most of Canada and Mexico jsut a few years back. "Hunting parties" of the Military go into the blight and like to kill anyone they see. Instead of neutralizing the pre-abberants with an expensive procedure, they are jsut rumours. But you don´t see it in the vids.

              People are not comically evil nor good.

              The worldwhide mood is mostly: optimistic - Humanity is getting to the stars, Europe and the former US are rebuilding, most of the world is progressing also. The last war was long ago.

              An Abberant is an hellscape-level boogeyman to most. And worst: Anyone could become one.

              Gamelines: Requiem, Lost, Awakening, Trinity Continuum: Aeon, some V5.
              Likes cheesecake (quark-based)


              • #8
                Maekkel made a great description.

                I would change the interaction with Psions in my game.

                Psions are rare, but there are a good amount of them and they do a lot of moving around, enough to most people have interacted with more than a few of them thru their lives, not personal relations, off course, but interacting casually. There are Legionnaires doing the recruit process in schools the same way the military does in US today, Rexes do a lot of health campaigns, much like those for vaccination and people awareness about some diseases. Teleporters probably can be seen once in awhile in the town centers and maybe even be contracted for long jumps if you have enough money (they are “everywhere”, or the closest to everywhere anyone will ever be).

                If you live in Luna or some big city you probably met a few of them on their daily lives, like shopping and traveling.

                If you live in a colony you probably consider at least one Psion a known person, maybe the Psion even know your name.

                House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux


                • #9
                  Vacationing tourists wanted for Glass Domed Utopia in Russian Freezer:

                  An April Fools piece from 2011. A decent visual of what martian and lunar settlements might look like. Or indeed Siberia.


                  • #10
                    I'm gonna try and revive this thread rather than start a new one to ask; does anyone have any good inspiration for what arcologies are like and look like? They're the one big part of the setting that I just can't seem to wrap my head around. What would it be like for the people actually living inside of them? I know they're meant to be big, but my brain can't seem to parse what a "city in a giant building" would look or be arranged like.


                    • #11
                      My view of the inside of an arcology start with living in a big ship. Have you ever been in a cruiser or a oil platform? At first it’s all the same, long corridors, lots of similar doors, no or little windows, but it’s big, big enough to have golf cars moving around like horizontal elevators. That is the residential middle class space, you probably can find small shops for convenience around too, but not many.

                      Most of the commerce is located in shopping centers, that are not much different of the most traditional ones, again not many windows, but much more glamour. Maybe there are a big window with a good view, or a large space working as a square, with many floors opened for it.

                      There are the industrial parts, with larger paths for trucks and industrial elevators, where there are more ducts crossing Caring water, air, electricity, sewer, etc, that are hidden in the other parts, but don’t need to be here.

                      Finally there are the functional parts, where people work on the maintaining of the structure, smaller passages more ducts and control panels around.

                      The way they look vary from country to country, and even from arcology to arcology, but I would inspire on Portal and Portal 2, not much on the test areas, but on the spaces you reach when escape them. There is also much to bring from Wall-e, not the floating chairs, but the passages where people go and where only robots go, also the big open spaces (yet closed) that looks like a huge cruiser or shopping center.

                      This is pretty much my view of a hard tech arcology, the living ones are aesthetically different, still following the same base idea, the walls are a bit more rough, but yet smooth in the edges, no hard corners anywhere, some of the walls may look like wood, vines and giant leafs, others look like organs of animals (soft and wet), and some looks like hard plastic, according to the place they are or the function. While the hardtech have buttons and controls, and operate on voice over commands, or interacting with your personal SI, living ones have not many visible controls, interacting with you in a gentle way, sometimes reading your needs directly from your body, other times requiring your intention to operate, like a door that open not when you approach, but when you want to cross it, or a light that turns on week when you wake up and slowly increase the luminosity to help you to get out of bed.

                      Thats my view in general and how I try to describe to my players. Like said before, it varies from arcology to arcology, sometimes even insere the same arcology, but that are my references.

                      House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                      Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                      Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux


                      • #12
                        Thank you for the insight. Reading that made me think that another good idea for reference could be the Citadel from mass effect. All indoors but made to provide a sense of openness.