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  Terrain   FX
 

As governments, we stumble from crisis to crash
program, lurching into the future without plan,
without hope, without vision.

           Alvin Toffler  -  The Third Wave

 

 

  Terrain Effects
  Art and Terrain
 
  • the full design of Nemo's Mind fully anticipates the long distance vistas of the evolving 3D engines - this will be one of the greatest  strengths of the virtual worlds
  • true art is true nature - the more detail in the flora and fauna the more beautiful and more mentally interactive - much of the flora and fauna will come from other virtual worlds etc. in the far future as they all evolve
  • there is the terrain and then there is the art - we will be evolving both on Nemo’s Mind to the most beautiful level possible - at this time the bulk of the island is natural terrain specifically making layouts to enhance vistas - anyone who has a magical spot of natural terrain they treasure is encouraged to send as much info as possible and we will fit it in - the island will be that big and the scale of the island can always be increased through the years while leaving the magical mini-terrains the same scale as the real terrain (just expand the land around already well designed and favorite spots)- enough special areas that they will be memorable and each of us will have favorite spots through out the island - the design through out the island is that someday the explorer will have reason to come back to previously explored parts of the island because of either favorite spots or hasn’t seen it all yet.  Same impact in reality as in Nemo’s Mind  - most will miss more than half the island in the rush to see and accomplish, but knowing they will come back
  • as you get deeper and deeper into Nemo’s construct it will become more and more surreal - landscape will become dreamscape and the terrain becomes conscious
  • To breath life into the environments the movement and sound must be maximized by wind, water, or even surreal forces
  Geography
 
  • the placement of the biomes is somewhat logically sound - the jungle is very low where it can get some moisture through morning dew/fog - and jungle generally in the low and shaded parts of the island - altitude and less water dictates coniferous - high altitude goes to desert - the arctic environment of the 3 Sisters is pulled off by being a portal transformation that is surreal
  • environments driven by altitude and lay of the land - underwater, jungle, pine, desert, snow
  • lower zones are tropical due to being on south side of island slopes (major shade)  (upper island is a giant plateau including the cliff rim) - jungle gets moisture from early morning fog all along the shore areas - so the shore along the along the east side of island is dryer because of less shade from plateau - closer to volcano is geologically young rocky area so little vegetation - so you get to walk in the mist or view from above or see it burn off in the day - dynamic vistas in future versions - have some areas dryer or wetter depending on water seepage from above or rocky ground that is unfavorable - so good mixing of biomes/variety
  • size of island is dictated by being big enough for transparent biome transitions - trees get smaller and sparser in jungle and evergreen - thickest is near beaches - 3 Sisters area needs transitions from forest to tree line to snow-line due to altitude
  Exploration
 
  • terrain principle - visual mystery is everything - seeing cliff house from observatory from 3 Sisters Mountains - wondering how much of a drop off that edge (of rim rock cliffs) is and not knowing until right up to it - flashes of INMO island entrance on mainland from the cliffs or the telescope at observatory (should be able to survey land to find best route to the indicator) - INMO island and reef visible at low tide - seeing poison lake city from highest point of volcano rim but not the other way (rim just barely sticks above horizon for this one thing but not noticeable from distance as a high point anywhere except by its lack of movement relative to rest of terrain as you travel - seeing the 3 sisters from a ridge or mountain in the desert
  • thick terrain is a cause for exploration and then at higher altitude when the flora thins then you are into a new desire to explore because you can see land features - nature inherently drives us and both modes of exploration will need rewards of discovery - observation is everything - such as wondering if there is water in a far off ravine seen from top of the plateau...
  • cues that remind of other areas of island to remind where been - such as same architecture or sound or art theme or music or interaction with another part of the island like artifacts or a vehicle that reminds you of where it was found
  • size/exploration of island will be, as or more important, than the physics and later additions to 3D engines that will be real ‘wow’ factors
  • people may automatically seek the indoor stuff in night and the outdoor in the day - nice pattern that would come naturally - to reinforce that pattern the outer dream structures will age through the day and disappear by night - there will be plenty to appreciate at night with moon effects and different sound and ambient effects but to interact at the subliminal level it is a good experiment
  • look at program through eyes of the exploring participant through the terrain not over it - and at same time through Nemo’s eye’s - what does a pirate's shipwreck at beginning of journey mean? - make the land alive and living with an agenda from Nemo "you can't go there until you have seen..." as directed by Nemo etc. - make it alive - use shadows of animation to make story - or surreal events from Nemo’s past
  Controlled Terrain Visuals
 
  • don’t realize on an island? A participant may not know unless reads design doc or word of mouth - until getting high on the island or full exploration or even when on the Nautilus or dirigible
  • the overall layout of the island will ensure ability to see a far off objective or to hide others below the horizon or to make for surprise vistas as you walk around a land feature - within that original macro lay out, the contributor can fill in the details that will really maximize the use of flora, sky, clouds and their shadows, sunlight, rock, and water
  • profile of terrain make sure the explorer can’t see obvious objectives like tallest mountains on the island etc., - highest points should be hidden in the desert - from the beach make it so the 3 sisters can be seen and the mystery that showing that barren terrain versus beach and jungle will give - put several mini peaks in desert that can be false objectives and can’t be climbed to see the real mountains - the real mountains could be darker than the desert mountains so they both look same distance with haze - and atmosphere is so clear in the desert that only morning haze may help tell distances or the last peak with sun on it in evening etc. - a string of mountains in the desert to lead astray in a crescent shape- the final plateau with the real mountains on it could be a barrier and its height could be used to shield real objectives - combine all these tricks!
  • some mountains could appear taller even though all same height when comparing to local terrain around it!!
  • make some things previewed - seen from a distance and some things seen only when stepping into a breath taking view - some surprises - this is the principle behind the glass wall to the reef
  • bad weather used in a timely manner to hide a land feature or obscure the view at first on the cliff rim or when you can see the whole island!! - can see weather and cloud shadows and rain from a distance as it passes over the terrain
  • Need art and shapes and colors of terrain that can only be seen from the air
  Physical Scope
 
  • huge open long distance visuals, even if the technology can’t handle open visuals it can still be in place hidden behind fogging, so psychologically the scope is there and later on the sweeping views will be possible too
  • even enclosed areas such as caverns or other structure will have huge vistas
  • an example of what sheer size can do for you - can actually get lost and have to rely on celestial aids (sun moon and stars) using shadow as a direction reference
  • size/exploration of island will be as or more important than the physics must restrict the scope to make a great one - must have a limit
  • sheer enormous size of the island is what drives everything - from detecting the pirates camp by fire to water sources and natural protection dictating home-base
  • sheer size equals mystery - seeing long distance=beckoning onward=seeing different areas
  • curiosity/exploratory needs driven by scope drives use of physics
  • big enough in physical size to excite and not run out of places to explore for quite a while, small enough to make quality landscapes, always option for others to add more islands seen from a distance with more attractions for the chatters
 
  Flora
 
  • General environmental ideals: Movement and sound in every scene!  wind movement and sound - at night must have play of light on every scene! glowing surfaces, firebugs, wavering stars, aurora borealis etc.
  • we will avoid the standard 2 and 3 plane trees - hopefully we can go sparingly with real trunks and 3 or 4  branches in dry environment areas by designing them to be more surreal than real - maybe transparent textures wrapping leaves around the tree
  • eventually must have absolutely beautiful trees and plants
  • eventually when the engine and the machines can handle duff and leaves as ground cover then an editor will be needed where you can literally sprinkle objects within the running engine and let gravity and breeze settle the ground cover - polishing should be done in a running program  (real time) - this will make terrain design fun and that will come through to the end product - and it will be attractive to many more terrain designers - same as editors do now only they haven’t evolved to intuitive programs yet -  where you can put down the tree of choice and bend the branches and trunk at any time - the same engine that allows wind behavior on the trees and morphing/animations for surrealism etc. - an artist's play-ground -  move, paste, copy, change bark or leave color for the season etc.
  • every year the top environment programs will evolve more details and plug-ins and this evolving chat program will take advantage - keep porting files to the useable and upgraded engines
  • flora details may be a limiting factor since it has to match up with the amount of detail put into the rocks and terrain
  • flowers that point to and track the sun - moon flowers that open at night when others close - flowers restricted to shade or moisture - so on an E-W running stream should have different flowers and growth on each bank due to a predominant sun to the  north
  • use chaos math to make random branches and tree shapes? - in the wind all trees of different types should sway differently - if strong enough wind some types and sizes will sway from the ground not just bend
  • when a large tree dwarfs over another one the little one doesn’t grow much on that shaded side - editors at some point will randomly plant trees and account for proximities like this
  Fauna
 
  • other than avatars - this is the modelers chance to show off and add real interest
  • surreal events could tie these in to images from subconscious - animals are often used as symbols and dream personas through out history and the dream structures might have some animated models - such as a lion becoming animated and then becomes a part of the architecture again
  • interactive fish and animals - follow and lead the explorer
  • fish, dolphin, etc. for water environment
  • huge bumble bees and butterflies etc. would be endless amusement for observers in the tropic and coniferous zones - plants frogs fish amphibians - anything small is less of a drain on the frame rate and requires close inspection and the detail can go wild when explorers view from top to ground perspective enhancing the frame rate - a great way to increase detail of leaves etc. would be to blur all else in screen when getting a close-up of a detail
  • creature sounds and calls constantly going in the background - a creature should be found at every source of sound - unless travel at night with the noises of the night creatures - some that you never get to see - a little mystery
  Music
 
  • the ultimate for atmosphere 
  • at least half the mood and expression will come from this arena - probably a mix of classical pieces and anything that has a strong feel that applies to a particular environment
  • there are many tracks ideal to emulate the mood off of - and solicit from instrumental/synthesizer artists and maybe even get the original tracks of a few songs from published artists- please see the list of tracks so far suggested by contributors and please tell us about some of the great music you think belongs in Nemoís Mind! and show the kind of moods we will want to take our cues off of
  • Cocteau twins has cool water music - shimmering reef music - track 1 and 4 of their "Otherness" CD - track 4 "behind these" is a great one for the reef window - Vangelis "Voices" CD has a military track or 2 that would be fitting for the Nautilus and the 5th is a great sunset song -  lots of good stuff on Moby too - track 14 of Animal rights is great freedom music for lift off in dirigible at top of volcano - he is a (track 8) global/animal rights etc. 
  • any known artist might just bite for a new art
  • Shostakovich piece - dig out your old Cosmo soundtrack (Carl Saganís TV hit) that reminded of the Nautilus going through the caverns
  • The first "art-house" style simulation - needs music - lots of no copyright classical music - Aranjuay/Tomita and the Toccata/organ music in the Disney movie

     

  Navigation
 
  • set up terrain so chatters will have to get good navigation directions to something like the fire rock all by its self in middle of no where
  • Must have some significant spots that can only be re-found with pace and heading for the web word of mouth!! - this is a good one for re-finding strategic water sources too - along with ways to mark the trail to get back to a source!! Although water will have trails leading to it
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