Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lowell Was Right! Update

I am going to start Alpha playtest of Lowell Was Right! on Saturday. The game is now playable, though it lacks severely in several areas. Albert and I are working on space ships, but we are starting to nail down the aesthetics.

Life on Earth in Lowell Was Right!:

With virtually no radio - only spark-gap all frequency broadcasts - and no electronics, life on 21st century Earth in Lowell Was Right! is very different from ours. All recordings are in analog. Images are on film, sounds are on tape and wire recorders, and on platters played on gramophones. There is no amplification other than electrical and pneumatic/acoustic horns and speakers.

It is much more common to go out to see movies and musical performances than in our world. Most clubs offer live music rather than recordings. Computers are analog and mechanical‐electric rather than digital and electronic. They are large, specialty instruments with cams and shafts, designed to calculate ballistics and other unwieldy mathematics.

Phones are connected by wires, and long distance calls are manually switched at switchboards by operators. Most vehicles use external combustion steam engines instead of internal combustion
engines, except where power to weight or speed is vitally important, where turbine (jet) engines are used, even on motorcycles. The IC engine was never properly developed in Lowell Was Right! All machines are run by cams and levers, or manually operated. Even kitchen appliances. There are no microwaves, no turbo ovens.

Even so, there are compensations. Anti‐mass jet dirigibles lift great amounts of weight, and air travel is very cheap. Materials are available which could never exist on our world. Spaceflight is not uncommon. Stirling cycle steam engines are extremely efficient, and environmentally friendly. There are no radioactives. There is no detectable human engendered climate change. People read more ‐ newspapers and magazines thrive, and books are extremely popular.

Fashions have gone in different directions than on our world. Hats are universally worn by both men and women. Skirts are longer ‐ flowing and accentuating shape ‐ slit, and layered. Men’s clothing also emphasizes shape, texture, and draping. Waists are set high - Empire fashion. Waist‐length jackets are common, though longer thigh‐length or calf‐length coats are common as well, and both are often worn with vests and bustiers.

Collars tend to be high, open, and stiffened. Neckties are typical, but in the form of scarves worn around the neck, inside the collar. Clothes are more formal in public. No one wears jeans and t‐shirts where people can see. Balanced asymmetry is fashionable. Capes are worn frequently in bad weather. Buttons are more prominent, and zippers are generally used only where hiding the fastener is preferred.

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