Friday, March 29, 2013

Unnamed Post Series: The Estate

Haven't been idle on the Estate, either; though I don't really mention it much anymore.

I recently redid the arboretum a bit -- setting it up so that when it "rains" every night (the irrigation system runs), it also plays rain sounds. Now, I could have slapped one big ambient on the cell with a fuckhueg radius; but that would be boring. Instead I took two different rain loops of different intensities, set them up to adjust their sound level up or down by ten percent at random, and put out a dozen plus sound emitters all around the cell; so that it will sound different both from day to day, and depending on where you stand in the room. Still fine tuning the exact attenuation so that it's loud enough to be distinct but not overpowering.

And then, I went and did this:

Since I couldn't get an exterior cell to work right; I laid in panels textured to look like the night sky, and scripted them to enable at sunset, and revert to the normal copper roof at sunrise.

The idea worked out so well that I'm going to end up doing two more sets -- one of a blue sky for the day, and one overcast for when it "rains" every night.

So set up, it should look like the center of the ceiling is open at any given time. I figure something like that would help keep people from going insane during long-terms of being stuck in the Estate. It is a survival bunker, after all. Combined with the proper ventilation, sun lamps, and a little air freshening and dehumidifying, it would probably go a long way towards tricking your subconscious into thinking you had access to the outdoors.


  1. Without a doubt the nicest survival bunker I've ever seen. Shame you can't get the actual sky to work there, though.

    1. "Shame you can't get the actual sky to work there, though."

      Never had designs on it, to be honest -- the cell parts themselves are the Ultralux bath house, which has no windows.

      The terrace was originally supposed to be outside (hence the name) on the mountainside overlooking either the desert, or Jacobstown. Sadly, I could never find an outdoor building mesh that was scaled correctly, and would disappear into the mountain without having random stuff sticking out.

      Had the outdoor terrace worked, there wouldn't have been an arboretum; instead there'd be a garden patch planted nearby.

      Didn't work out that way; both ended up underground; so I wanted some way to make it seem more outside-y. Ventilation and humidity control are all well and good; but if you can't see anything but walls, it still takes its toll.

      Personally, I'm not prone to cabin fever; but I remember reading studies on long-term isolation and strictly indoor environs (deep space travel, fallout/bomb shelters, underground complexes) and it was cited several times that it tends to mess with most peoples' heads really badly. I figured setting up something to look like outside would at least help; as some studies have shown that even hanging nature paintings and photography tends to knock the edge off for a lot of people.

  2. Oh my, but that false sky makes a huge difference on both the look and feel of that cell! O.O I absolutely love the look of it! Your bunker would most likely have a more subtle effect on how its inhabitants deal with being in there than say, a Vault. To paraphrase a character in the original Resident Evil film, "It makes it easier to work underground, thinking there's a view".

    1. "To paraphrase a character in the original Resident Evil film, "It makes it easier to work underground, thinking there's a view"."

      While I didn't steal the idea directly; thinking it over after getting the "sky" up and running leads me to believe I probably got the idea originally from the first Resident Evil movie (never played the first game). I always thought it was neat how they had digital screens behind the "windows" to project a city-scape. I always wondered whether the people who worked in the Hive actually knew it was a projection; or Umbrella had messed with them until they actually thought they were in an above-ground, high-rise complex.

      The idea seemed sound either way, though; and it was way simpler then trying to create a new worldspace and whatnot.

    2. Also both Maeva and I are suckers for starry skies; and I couldn't figure out a way to get the planetarium dome from FO3 to work in the Estate without major rebuilding. So stars to go with the garden seemed like a neat idea for someplace to escape the "bunker" for awhile.