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  High Plateau

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  High Plateau - Desert of Winds
  • High Plateau is bounded by the Cliff Rift along the Western side and by a sharp drop to beach on North and East side and by normal cliffs to the South
  • Upper middle area of the island is desert in various forms
  • semi-void of vegetation due more to the freshness of volcanic terrain than to precipitation etc.
  • wide open views more possible with out the detailed vegetation - this will be the 3rd biome the participant hits and still may not have stumbled on any human structures - terrain means the view changes to macro just after getting used to the closed in environments - can plainly see the slow transition from forest to desert - such as scraggly scrub pine stands in dry areas for variety and transition from forests to desert
  • contains the 2nd set of dream structures near the east edge of the volcano
  • For navigation the explorer can see the 3 Sisters and the volcano when on high points.   Unitl on the high desert the explorer does nto have these references so ther is more exploring and less straight navigation.
  • Size of desert and plateau big enough to hide small "Poison Water" lake and is discovered later by underground river in mini-sub "Dolphin"


  • the wide open view automatically transfers to the feeling of isolation and self exploration the desert brings - much aboriginal art is associated with deserts where it lasts longer - desert is also an environment that has always been inspiring especially the high desert - the desert makes you remote and more inner explorative - inner exploration is Nemo’s Mind 
  • because of the distance at which things can be seen in a real desert - much of the landscape can shift and change as you approach it - a magic place to see things from - could look down on the desert floor from the plateau and see dinosaurs (shadows only) moving around for instance


  Mesa   -    Desert of Winds
  • In the middle of the High Plateau is a large mesa surrounded by several smaller plateaus
  • heat waves with mirages in them - disorienting terrain that moves in the heat waves
  • Mesa has a lone tree on cliff edge with a forked branch both curving toward each other and forking - that hang below the cliff  - if position just right so the branches frame something below then you get a cool vision that only one person at a time can see - like as if the branches are arms holding something that is far below...
  • three boulders on top of plateau with points on upper side line up and pinpoint a suggestive point of interest on the desert below - if you go to that spot...
  • lots of dead trees and other desert preserved artifacts
  • looking out from top of big plateau, rock formations suggest shapes of animals etc. - so wandering along the edge of the plateau is a bunch of rock gazing - interpreting shapes - could animate some - when you investigate these rock formations closer when off the plateau you notice that the aboriginal pictographs and petroglyphs from around the world are thematic to what shape you saw from above.  The art is fresh as when first made
  • the lower plateaus may be recognized from the air as the shapes of continents and the primitive art associated with those are accurately geographically placed within those
  • for instance some rocks loosely arranged so from above looks like salamander -  is too big to interpret as salamander up close - the carvings up close on human scale are all salamander paintings and carvings from around the world
  • could have animated bushes and scrub pine in highest points showing wind effects - could also do sand storm fogging in certain areas
  • big dinosaur sized fossils would be cool - like one that can only be noticed from on top of the big plateau and then go look closer later on
  • some exploration required to get to top of big plateau
  • The explorer stands on the edge of a plateau and notes the smaller plateaus below seem to have animal shapes in the cliffs.  The explorer locates the one with African animals on it and enters a cave full of African petroglyphs and wall paintings.  This environment is a walking conversation piece and like all who get enthralled in anything with such exploration, the user will want to explore with others.


  Lava Forest   -    Desert of Winds
  • To East of Crater is the Lava Forest that contains the 2nd Dream Structures
  • jumbled rock and disorienting terrain with lots of surreal suggestive shapes and impossible physics
  • from special viewing spots (marked by something noticeable like an indented circular shape in the ground) the explorer can rotate view until they see a whole scenery in the silhouette of the rocks like dinosaurs running through a forest.  View is lost as soon as angle changes
  • explorers can share coordinates to favorite viewing spots


  Crescent Mountains   -   Desert of Winds    
  • The Crescent Mountains take the shape of the present moon phase.  A constantly changing terrain.
  • the Crescent Mountains were originally designed to set in a curve and with certain heights to disorient the participant to give non-linear feel - then later the above view was constructed to be a curve of mountains and color of terrain to look like a crescent moon - mountains need to be tall enough in later versions of Nemo's Mind when whole island can be seen at once - so the top of the island doesn't fall into line of sight and become a navigation guide
  • at the base of an old desert tree at an obvious observation point - perhaps a piece of pottery (when dropped in the dream sphere becomes whole and then pours out water and something in the water 
  • if the explorer must navigate in the desert by retracing steps, getting lost - then this will be a new experience in interactivity
  • darkest parts of the volcanoes are the freshest and highest - so as you get higher in the desert it all gets darker textures so it goes from desert to dark lunarscape - lower desert is ochre reddish to tan  - this scheme is another detail the observant player can notice as an aid to navigation or just for variety too - of course the areas intermix in transitions and pockets exist within each other -  darker area at top of island also makes that area dryer and more wind due to heat from the dark - but this also makes the volcano look tall and therefore a navigation target - need to find a way to make sure volcano isn't a beacon to lead to other half of island in funneling by the cliff rift
  • desert and moon are related and surreally connected in the game - also the string of mountains is an obvious crescent moon (using color of terrain to define shape not necessarily the color of moon) as seen later from the air - a part of the desert to north of crescent mountains (adjacent to the beach) that is very moon like in gray color - as you step inside a certain radius it surreally turns gray (total gray scale) and sky goes to pitch black with stars and sun/moon turns into the Earth
  • surreally cool with moonscape and waves crashing or at least murmuring on shore depending on the engine
  • howling wind in the highest areas 
  • wind chime or instrument that sounds when wind grows high enough to blow through a funnel cliff opening etc.
  • a big mechanical that swings an instrument through the air on fixed/rotating/length changed on the fly by interactant for eerie tunes and echoes - a spinning whip through air and moan like the wind - changes pitch determined on wind direction etc. - 
  • in high desert exposed to wind need a natural vortex funneling in a canyon that funnels wind into a whirlwind - participant could throw dirt or smoke into air or powder and if using a twirling air stream you will produce a tornado - how can the participant tell their is an air stream to play with - maybe a wind moaning human like attracts attention - cool to track by 3D sound -  - maybe animated bushes tilted toward the middle of vortex - bowl in the ground where it is at and the player is spun around in it - perhaps a hole in the bowl to make a fire to get sparks and smoke into whirlwind - very cool at night - maybe a free spinning fan blade turned downward at end of a tunnel that funnels and wind turns it and makes the funnel - maybe need funnel going upward then prevailing wind moves it over the fire pits - if you put a round river stone in the bowl it would spin around indefinitely in the bowl and add sound - at night the wind pushes the dervish along cliff face and reveals dancing images on the cliff
  • desert during day you have heat waver - limited seeing ability on surface - use heat waves as fogging -until engines and machines more powerful - things that can only be seen from above may only be useful by dirigible in earlier versions
  • sand dunes to the north of crescent mountains put patterns in the sand dunes and recognizable macro patterns from above -blends into the adjacent moonscape coastal area - make the dunes the famous signing dunes with the wind
  • to north west of crescent mountains - arches and stone bridges, pillars, plateaus meld into an impenetrable cliff -  5 foot /2 meter wide canyons - but  extremely deep - if participant is on foot from surface it could be a puzzle to find way down and then see Indian art/American mythos - and get water and hear echoes - some water down below (underground water way for mini-sub travel


  Cave Pool and Mysterious Vent
  • to west of crescent mountains - a part of the cliff, mostly impenetrable barrier to going further into the island
  • a mysterious lone leopard - takes you to an indicator of something else - if it keeps its distance it can be cheap animation
  • the centuries old paths the leopard uses combine and "Y" to point to water - water source in an open cave of the cliff - the pool has a mysterious pulse (from the pulsing pressure inside the condensation sphere) - level pulses up and down - if this is near the middle of the sphere altitude wise and the vent is at the top and further along the cliff then maybe it won’t clue the participant in that the mysterious pulsing pool is related to the vent
  • mystery element is the up and down pulsing of the pool (from the steam plant inside the condensation sphere) - several pools of water in a cave and one has a variable water level - an indicator that something on the other end is fluxing the air or water pressure (like a toilet bowl exposed to wind)
  • this pool in a cliff side cavern  is located more towards desert - in the arches and stone bridges, pillars, plateaus part - put mysterious vent in same kind of area so its not associated with the volcano - so there isn’t a hint that there is something inside the mountain/volcano (don't want the participant to be anything but surprised when they pop out in the crater later on)
  • cave wall paintings that move and really do tell a story (by way of the reflections of the pulsating pool) and then a new drawing begins over top of others for layered chronological effect or the layers of drawing as they were put on chronologically - make the ones in this cave relate to the tiger
  • token note for far future interaction: notice tracks of a follower of your tracks if you back track (say that 3 times fast) - leopard
  • when crossing over an underwater passage - should here gurgling or something - very mysterious - more vegetation - following sound would lead to cliff of cliff rim near the observatory house in one direction and the whistling vents and peter out (underground river goes deeper)
  • a low whistling coincides with rising tide - heard from a distance - less noisy with falling tide/have to be closer to hear it - its a vent on the cliff face- mysterious vent is for an enclosed area with changing pressures (later in game can come up to inside of this)- in cliff house is a pool with deep drop and tunnel turning horizontal toward the crescent mountains - pool level in observatory visibly fluctuates (should remind of the cliff pool)- later on you find with sub that both are connected to the condensation/dream sphere - tube feeding water to the observatory pool could be seen under the observatory from spiral staircase area going away from the glass window/cliff face
  • the vent is far enough away from the volcano that the participant doesn’t connect the 2 - thinking something is under it - later even after seeing  vent from the inside they are still surprised when they pop up in crater lake later - they are taken surprise and may even wonder where they are at as there are no indications of a crater from outside of the mountain
  • may even see some steam come out in occasional wisps in the vents from the outside view (so may want water stains flowing down from it) (make it so you can’t see into the vent and ruin any surprises or assumptions) (this game really watches allowing assumptions and gives surprises such as not letting the crater be known until you swim up into it or popping up by sub into poison lake - as the lake may not have been seen yet)


  Outer Part of Volcano
  • reddish and blackish and purple volcanic rock - the volcano is just another mountain (although the tallest) and tall enough that participants can't see any indication of being a hollow crater topped volcano - so very little indication of a flat top and the island side (versus the ocean side) may need to be the tallest to hide all


  Atlantis Road
  • a mysterious ancient intermittent road goes by the observatory and drops off the end of the cliff rift to the North - later on the sub will show where that part of the road and land dropped a couple hundred feet into the sea and it continues underwater around the volcano until it goes into the underwater dream structures - this road can also be an indicator of or hint of Atlantis as it passes the underwater dream structures - Atlantis is in the book (20,000 Leagues Under The Sea) - the road shows where ever mud or flora or sand hasn’t disrupted 
  • on land going east from the observatory - Atlantis road is a possible way to find  Poison lake  - a clue that something else is out there - obvious road from cliff house slowly peters out so that you get used to interpolating its path with out realizing it at first and then following the broken up road becomes a game to follow 
  • old road would be a tracking experience - projecting from one hint of it to find another - could tell where it was cut into a rock ravine - a rest stop - extrapolating by accounting for the terrain - "maybe it goes through that saddle of 2 hills" etc. that could be recognized for return trip - recognizable landmarks in huge terrain to navigate by would be strong attraction to revisit
  • Old Atlantis Road is carefully constructed in the Roman style from rock of local area unless areas source is too porous
  • Should be evident where the quarrying sources are
  • Road is decayed and or collapsed in some spots
  • According to research the Roman roads that we pattern here are bridged at low spots (built up to fill in cavities) and curves are very slow and as straight as possible.  So plan contours carefully.  This will make it easier to interpolate where the road continues when it is lost to landslides to pick it up again
  • Some artifacts to pick up here could be pottery and ancient coins for the Dream/condensation sphere


  Cliff Rift
  • cliff rift - cuts the western 1/3 of island from the rest - it artistically developed just because monstrous cliffs are scenic from both sides but it also effectively divides the island for exploration purposes
  • Goes with the fresh volcanic nature of the island - "you can’t just get there from here"
  • The user will discover that walking off a cliff does not allow you to reach the ground.  This is useful for the navigation constraints such as using the "Cliff Rift" as a complete barrier (unless in dirigible).  The user will find that they fall almost to the bottom and then fly back up.  "Cliff flying" on the Cliff Rift can actually be a form of fast traveling along the Rift.  Cliff Flying is a surreal mechanism to keep explorer from simply leaping to the lower west side of the island -  instead of falling to the Western part of the island they can navigate horizontally along the cliff by bungee jumping like motion.  This provides a fast transit along the full length of the Cliff Rift and also along the Southern cliffs dividing Genesis Beach and the High Plateau
  • Supposed to look like western part of the island disconnected and sunk down and even pulls away a little as the "River of Life" even goes along the base of the rift in some spots 
  • It is the entrance to the under-ground river on the southern side - and its a chance to cliff dive on the northern side near the slave docks - so only way to get to the western part of island for the first time is by swimming from the northern part of the cliff rift


Keep Following the Trail..

The Southern High Plateau holds the 3 Sisters Mountains




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