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Barsoom: World Building

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Steampunk Scenario' started by Blue Monkey, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Microzones - It was King Arthur providing a link to Civinator's explanation. I guess lately I've been misremembering who told me what. Oh well, at least I'm thinking of "core" creators even if it's occasionally the wrong one.

    Gullivar Jones is not quite as well written a story as John Carter. OTOH Alan Moore did think highly enough of it to put him into LOEG. Gullivar Jones - like Edison's Conquest of Mars - is available as a free audio download from librivox.org.

    Wasn't aware of the crossover graphics novel - am aware of Jusko's artwork from some of his Barsoomian illustrations. & just learned that Jean-Marc Lofficier has written a novel with Gulliver Jones & E A Poe as protagonists.


    EDIT: May have mentioned it elsewhere but it's worth mentioning again: In The Courts of the Crimson Kings by S M Stirling.
     
  2. Supa

    Supa Out of Cheese Error

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    I'm not surprised: J.M. Lofficier is no stranger to such crossover. That's another book for my reading list, then.

    I'm not that familiar with his works, unfortunately. The Sci-Fi book collection he founded, Les Rivières Blanches, isn't easily found in Belgium.. at least, I haven't found a retailer carrying them, they aren't always available on Amazon and the official website only accept cheques as payment. France must be the last European country where they're still widely used.

    About Mars fiction, are you familiar with J.-H. Rosny aîné's Les Navigateurs de l'Infini (1925, The Navigators of Infinity) ? It's also a Mars discovery novel, but it's a story a lot less adventurous and a lot more melancholic, whereas three men land on Mars for the first time to discover a dying world, where a peaceful and resigned race are slowly pushed back by a younger animal (quasi-shoggoth) race, the zoomorphs. The later could be a nice Barbarian unit (or AI-only Civilization). It's a very good novel and worth checking out.
     
  3. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Thought I hadn't heard of him. Then looking him up discovered that he wrote Quest For Fire. Many of his writings seem to have been translated/adapted by Brian Stableford - a series of books which place multiple stories into a single volume.. For some reason the one you mention is translated as Navigators of Space. Adding it to the list.
     
  4. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    While reading Quintillus' thread on changing minimum water percentages for random maps has a thought about canal graphics. Make rivers secondary canals: straighter & abruptly ending at what would be the headwaters of the normal graphic. Locks instead of deltas. Then irrigation graphics could include tertiary canals of a similar look.
     
  5. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Thanks to Balthasar posting his Mars cities (& his terrain) I've been inspired to do a bit of work on the "four seasons" maps, in breaks from ongoing research projects. Still early days, but hopefully I'll have some wip images to post soon.
     
  6. Balthasar

    Balthasar Wise Man

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    Blue Monkey nudged me to remind me that I'd promised to publish some of the background work I'd started on my own Barsoom Mod. Inasmuch as the chance that I'll ever get around to completing that project anytime in the next few years is growing less and less likely, I submit my humble plans to this thread to use as you wish. This could get lengthy, so sit back and smoke 'em if ya got 'em.


    1. Techs

    All of the Techs in these sample tech trees either appeared in Burroughs' Barsoom stories, or were strongly suggested to exist based on the text. Just one is my own invention, as I note below. To create this, I relied extensively on lists of Barsoomian technology I found online.


    Era 1


    Most of Era One is self-explanatory, tending to promote military and scientific discoveries early, and cultural achievements later. It begins with Ancient Secrets, Canals, and Religion, the remnants of times lost. Then the player can research Theoretical Mechanics, which will lead to Hydraulics and allow Defensive Housing to be built. After the player learns the ancient arts of Optics he can learn The Eighth Ray, which, with Commerce will allow the Player to build Airships.

    About the Rays: While the Burroughs books describe the Rays' effects, he understandably doesn't go into detail about what they are, scientifically. That allows me to fill in the blanks myself, so I did. This is the order of the Rays that I came up with:

    1st Ray - White Ray - Spectrum
    2nd Ray - Black Ray - Anti-Spectrum
    3rd Ray - Infrared
    4th Ray - Ultraviolet
    5th Ray - Radioactive
    6th Ray - Radio
    7th Ray - Gridley (subspace) Rays
    8th Ray - Gravity
    9th Ray - SunRay - photovoltaic power

    To understand the relationship that Barsoomians have to light, imagine if, on our world, early man had discovered optical lenses before discovering fire. How much more would we know about light than we do now? I've thought that if I wanted to turn this into a Science victory, I would include one more ray - perhaps a temporal Spacetime Ray, which could create the sort of wormhole that John Carter fell into (accidentally activated?) in the first place.

    Era 2


    In Era Two, the tech tree divides between Air techs (Aerodrome, etc.), Science techs (Education, etc.) and Challenges, the latter reflecting how very important 'The Games' were to the Barsoomians. The games enable the player to get to the Council of Jeddaks (analagous, perhaps, to the way that the ability to shine on television or sports can lead to the halls of power in our own society). It is amazing to note that all of these modern-sounding technologies appeared in the Barsoom stories.

    Era 3


    Era 3 is a short but intense era of technological innovation that culminates with interplanetary contact (Gridley Waves). In this era are also some powerful (Laser Cannon), useful (Robotics) and awesome (Megaships) techs with good unit potential.

    Era 4


    In Era 4 the science is pumped up to 11, while the details are still very much Barsoomian. Here we find the only tech that doesn't derive directly from the books: The Tur-Jed, meaning God-king or Emperor. I imagine it being a government that removes all restrictions.

    In my next post I'll discuss my ideas for Improvements and Wonders.
     
  7. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Thanks for posting this, Balthasar! Keep it coming.
     
  8. Supa

    Supa Out of Cheese Error

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  9. Balthasar

    Balthasar Wise Man

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