Game World

Game World

There is of a cold, rocky network of chasms carved out by mining operations; Massive enough to house the unfinished city, suspended in the air on a frame of causeways. It forms the network of a planned metropolis, now abandoned under unclear circumstances. The world lacks consistent electricity. When it is out, the world is grey and bleak, appearing almost as a ruin. When it is on, it’s overwhelmed by artificial light blaring from nearly every city surface, sound is projected into the chasm, indistinguishable from its own reverberations. It is a city that was once bombarded by a cacophony of media, nearly therapeutic in contrast to it’s natural state.

Cityscapes from above

Membrane broadcasting walls
Throughout the city, structural envelopes are comprised of a membrane, broadcasting imagery and light. All Special effects designed to counter the bleak outside environment. 

When electricity is activated, various elements throughout the city are lit up with artificial recreations of earth like phenomenon, such as the sun.

Interiors [Image by Atelier Olschinsky]
 When electricity is down the city's true character reveals itself.
Interiors [Image by Atelier Olschinsky]
Unfinished [Image by Lebbeus Woods]
Staircases and access routes are laid out precariously unfinished throughout the city.

The Forest
An amorphous mass of movement appearing as trees from the distance is uncovered to be some unknown swarm of plant life. A key moment in the story.


First there is the world: Barren icy tundra and what looks like a forest further out in the distance. The locale appears to be some cold northern setting on earth, but is actually a small planet or moon, with a similar atmosphere.

There is a network of recessed channels left behind from mining operations. They are what constitute “the city.” A collection of research facilities, apartments, and leisure. The city is relatively small. However there are facilities dotting the landscape for various purposes, which cover a large range.

A distance away from the city is another collection of facilities for the mining operation. There are apartments, cafeteria, and warehouses. housing is meant for temporary residence. It’s quite sparse, and quite bleak. There is a port connected to this section which sends out whatever it is they’re mining, and receives personnel.

The tundra spreads out as far as the eyes can see in every direction. The forests appear indistinguishable from earth’s at a distance, up close they look completely different. Long tendrils resting into the ground branching into millions of extremely small particulates. The particulates look like very small lichens or moss connecting to tall veins which eventually reach the ground. They are so numerous and small, that they resemble a cloud from up close.

The Tundra is rocky and covered in blankets of snow. These are actually vast pollen fields coming from the forest. Mining and colonization is actually taking place at one of the poles, the forests are residing along it’s borders. In dream sequences, the forests appear as earth’s forests. It’s how the collective subconscious thinks about this world, how to make it into earth.

The recessed channels are very large, and cover long distances, often intersecting each other. Built into the recesses are most of the structures comprising the city. Structures are built within the recesses to avoid “white outs,” pollen clouds that overwhelm and clog up everything.


Battered concrete slabs are anchored to the walls of the channels.The slabs anchor large trusses which connect the parallel walls of the channels. These trusses then have another frame connected to them which is more or less a grid. Buildings are ‘hung’ onto the grid, so they appear to be upside down. Everything is engineered to avoid having the pollen clouds sweep into the “outside” areas of the cities, so in effect, public spaces are almost always under some kind of immense concrete ceiling. And since the walls of the channels are covered in slabs, the view from the city is almost that of an entirely cold and concrete world. There are attempts to mitigate the harshness of it all with big open spaces and widespread accessibility. But the effect only makes the harshness look like a big open and accessible monster. Which is exactly what we want. The architect character will have been the one responsible. He has a sanctimonious rationalization of the ideal cityscape, and that falls into their particular agenda.

This city is undergoing a massive construction project to expand capacity well beyond it’s current state, so the “framework” extends far out past any of the usable buildings. Still, there are numerous structures, and a transit network providing trams running to/from all areas of the city. Catwalks connect the many levels and spaces. The frame itself is accessible, but it’s exposed to the outside environment, so it doesn’t become so much an active or lively street.

There are some facilities above the channels. Primarily solar energy systems (almost completely covered in snow at the beginning of the game) and various research stations, or small structures housing some kind of ongoing research. There are exits throughout the city which are excavated through the channel walls (at city level) and up to the surface. They are numerous. They appear to be engineered as a mass emergency exit system. At the surface of the exits are “garages” where people and vehicles could enter/exit. Which they would frequently to work on the solar arrays, carry out research, etc.

The city is always referred to as small, and developing in any of the literature found throughout the world. Characters refer to the expansion as modest. But the expansion will appear like an immense project to us. Since this is a prospective future, there could be a huge population. So a city to be built the with the size and complexity of Manhattan is considered to be modest.

There is one very large causeway which leads away from the city and towards the mining areas. Along the way are blocks of apartments. These are clusters of small, utilitarian cubes designated for the mining personnel who are constantly cycling in and out. There is an expansive cafeteria which serves as the only recreation facility, therefore it has a scattered population of non cafeteria related objects. Industrial facilities are close by. Most of them are processing raw materials. Store houses are also numerous. There are a few other completed facilities, and an extensive construction zone where other buildings are underway. All of this is feeding back to the causeway which ends at the port. The port is really just long flat strips which connect to the causeway. At the intersection is a large building. Freighters are docked. It should be fairly obvious that there is a large export operation in conjunction with the mining.

At this point the recessed channels fork off into multiple directions far more numerous then what led to them. There are smaller rails connecting to each of the channels, where vehicles would carry raw materials. Most of the mining is automated, but the “miners” are required for managing the entire operation. They would be an army of button pushers, parts repairers, trouble-shooters, etc. They are referred to as miners, but it’s really the sub-society on which the researchers’ end of the city is built upon and dependent on. While the researchers city seems harsh in its uniform cement texture, the industrial zone is left exposed to the tundra.