The Mall

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Wip location.png This article covers a work in progress location.

Work in progress location get currently fleshed out and are not ready for review yet. Once they have been fleshed out in detail and are ready to be reviewed, they become submitted locations.


Techdemo1 will contain a single location or small set of locations (multiple maps) and a few simple dialog + inventory driven quests. The quests should be integrated and consistent.

Contents

Main location "The Mall"

The action all takes place in a bounded location, roughly square, called "The Mall". It is based on a split-level mini mall.

Split level - bottom is parking + gym?? + 2 stores on side. Two car and 2 foot (sep) entrances. Low fence all around (turned into barrier w. 1 gate + backdoor). Downstairs is wood pile + storage + dump

Upstairs - some parking + 1 large super market +3 mid clothing stores + 8 other shops (food + offices). All converted to living areas, store rooms, work areas.

Mall this is based on is is about 250x250m. It is based on 2300 16th Street, San Francisco CA (you can put it in google maps, check out the street view as well). Obviously, we will be transporting this structure to Suburban or even rural Finland or the Baltic States. For the purposes of the game, just consider this structure surrounded by post-suburban wilderness. The complex is on a slope that runs down left to right and front to back. So the front left corner is basically ground level + a few meters, but the front right corner top level is 1 story (~4m) up. Hence you could walk into the lower level on the right side, but have to take stairs down (from ground level) on the left

Overhead: Mall overhead.png Makette Mall: MaketteMall 01.jpg

The parking lot has many abandoned, junked cars and trucks. They are arranged in a maze-like configurations (which would slow down any raiders and allow them to be killed).

NOTE: I have some more shots of the "real" mall from the map on site, but the images are crappy and have to be photoshopped. Sadly, my photoshop install did not survive OS upgrade, and I am out of the office until the New Year. But in the unlikely event someone has need for more detail on them, ask me... Zenbitz

Buildings / Locations

This is a list of locations within the Mall compound. Some suggestions are floated as to where they should go in the map.

Upper Level

The upper level has basically one large very large "L" shaped building (top and right side of diagram). The large building is divided into several stores Dead center is a large supermarket, on the left side is a sporting goods/ski store, on the right are a series of small boutiques and cafes (about 3), then a clothing outlet.

Along the right side are 4 stores, with another clothing store in the center and a couple office like stores on the sides.

The upper level has the guardhouse, watchtower, inn, and all the living quarters, and any crafts or light manufacturing areas we come up with as flavor. There are long "skylights" in the parking lot that open to the lower level (the cistern is at the end of one of them), and there is a wide ramp to the lower level.

There is a loading dock at the back of the supermarket that does down to the farm. It is hard to reach.

Outdoors
  • Graphical Assets needed heavily (Any artist who would like to do one? Can be super simple)
    • Parking lot (floor)
    • Sidewalks (floor)
    • Abandoned Cars (blockers) - this might be too much work for lots of cars, remember they should be late 80s cars
    • Storefronts (walls, windows, doors, signs - all decrepit)
      • Storefront1.png
      • Storefront2.png
    • Loading dock
    • flat roof (for big buildings)
    • tile roof (for little corner buildings)
    • various bits of scenery, light poles, vents, fans and smokestacks on roofs
    • Fence/Barrier (improvised)
    • External walls
    • Gates

Main storefront area.png

Inn

The inn is in the far right hand corner of the parking lot, the rear wall looking over the farm. There are some spare rooms, a bar, and a small kitchen. It is also the primary social gathering place for the compound.

  • Mall inn and denizens
  • Graphical assets needed
    • Chairs
    • Tables
    • Bar
    • internal walls, doors
    • beds
    • kitchen implements, stove, pots, pans etc.

Inn and secondary store front area:

Secondary store area.png

Guard House & Gate

This is a little shanty with a wood stove built near the front gate. It is guarded at all times (rotating shift?). The guard will tell the player not to leave (or that he cannot).

  • Graphical assets
    • shanty shack (outdoor)
      • Walls
      • Roof
      • Window (few, small)
      • Door
      • smoke vent
    • shanty shack (indoor)
      • wood burning stove
      • cot
      • table or desk or something
    • Gate - this should be something jury-rigged and post war, but sturdy. It doesn't have to open in the game


Picture of the gate (before war!):

  • Main gate stairs.jpg.

There is a stairwell to the lower level at the left

Overhead of gate Area Gate area.png

Watch Tower

In the corner of the compound, there is an elevated (2-3 stories0 that serves as a watch tower and redoubt. At the bottom is another stairway to the lower "parking" level Guardhouse.jpg

Overhead of Watch Tower area [[File::watchtower_area.png]]

Lower Level

The lower level used to be a large parking lot. There are a couple old storefonts downhere but they are just ruined. Most of the area is taken up by the wood pile and the "dump" (which is also a junk yard). There are little footpaths that wind among the piles of wood, garbage, and junk. This way the NPCs can move around rather freely without being blocked by random obstacles.

Out back is the farm, but it is not accessible from the parking lot area. The cistern is in one corner, with easy access to the wood pile. There are two entrances to the lower level, one is permanently blocked and the other has a very heavy gate with fencing to keep out small animals. There are two stairways at the "front" of the compound and a double stair way where the main entrance of the supermarket meets the upper parking lot. The actual structure has a large two lane ramp that connects the two parking lots, but we might want to leave this out.

Wood pile

Much of the (lower) parking lot is taken up by an enormous woodpile. During the warmer months, the compound dwellers collect as much wood as possible for the the long winter. Chunks of wood can be picked up and used by the PC.

Dump

This area takes up most of the rest of the lower parking lot area. doubles as the town's refuse pile, and communal junk stash. There are various useful items hidden or otherwise findable at the Dump.

Cistern

The compounds water supply is stored in an enormous cistern. During the winter, snow is shoveled through large vents and a fire underneath melts the snow. A smaller accessory boiler provides steam power to pump water for drinking and steam heat. Currently there is a dead body in the cistern, shoved through a snow vent.

Idea for the cistern: Use the back of a tanker truck like: Tanker.jpg

Farm

The compound gets most of it's food from the small farm behind the main buildings. It is covered with glass in the winter held in place by a crude scaffold. This makes a primitive green house during the winter, and the glass can be removed in warmer months. One of the big winter jobs is cleaning the snow off of the glass. Although the farm is on the lower level, it is not acessible from the parking lot. It is walled in on 4 sides and only accessible via the loading dock and ramp at the back of the supermarket area. The ramp/loading dock is not on the main overview at the top of the page (I accidentally filled it in green)

Farm loading dock area.png

Background

The mall was a busy commercial stop along Finnish travel routes before the war, near Sodankylä*(Too far north, see below). It was a place where someone on the road could stop for a good meal, spend the night or even relax an hour or two from the driving. There was no theather because most travellers would rather not waste much time, but otherwise the several small stores had a regular flux of customers from the constant traffic on the nearby freeways.

Near the end of the WWIII, soon after the nuclear warfare started, Colonel Kimmo Pentinpoika, in charge of the Jaeger Brigade felt he would be better off fighting for himself, family and friends than for his country. As commanding officer, it wasn't hard to select a few of his best and most loyal soldiers and escape with just enough weapons to defend themselves. He took only what he felt was needed, for fear the army would come after him if he had taken heavier equipment and vehicles.

Occupation of the mall was easy enough. The only actual effort was to clear the area while keeping the parked cars (the colonel thought they could prove useful in the future), but the civilians soon understood that walking their way out was better than discussing with fully armed soldiers. A few of the commerciants who had kept their stores open decided to stay, felting secure for the first time in a while. The closed stores were used as housing for the few soldiers and their families.

The first years were the busiest time for Kimmo, who kept a firm grip over his men, who still looked up to him as leader and overall manager. In that time, they had to learn how to survive without support from nearby towns, for fear of retaliation from the finnish government, and set up the standard defenses, which resulted in the mall's actual distribution (watch tower, fences, gates and so on). This was when the farm was created, so they could have food for everyone.

Some time after this, Jacob wandered in with his daughters, and several other survivor types. They helped build the cistern system and steam heat which makes the location so valuable and hard to leave - even though it gets colder every year, and the glaciers are creeping south.

And so the years have passed without much happening, and the population of this haven kept steady. From time to time a food shortage would hit, or small bands of Swedish allies and Russian invaders would find the place and settle there, sharing their dream of leaving battle behind and live as peacefully as possible in the post-war world.

Up to a few years back, all was stable as could be - but the colonel was getting old, and some of the russian newcomers thought it was their time to lead the place. Fortunately, the colonel´s soldiers had more experiece and hence superior tactical skill (after all, they were chosen by him for being the best), and obliged the russians to leave unnarmed with some of the cars that had stood the test of time and cold. However, their primary target (Niklas) and some men fell on battle, as they were taken by surprise. After his death, his wife, Ma Pentinpoika, who had been his second in common for all matters concerning the mall, was set up in charge of everything.

Nowadays the roads are hidden beneath the snow, and you can rarely see them, much of the weaponry and cars are ruined from the constant extreme cold and the fortified community has roughly 50 people. Ma Pentinpoika is still the official leader, but she is growing senile, the actual responsabilities being took by her sons as a sort of familiar heritage.

Comments

The Sodankylä region was chosen by the number of major freeways nearby, qualifying it as a sort of "pre-war commercial outpust" (explaining why the hell there's a huge mall out of nowhere) and it is also located at north Finland, as Zenbitz originally suggested.

Just one problem with that: northern finland is pretty far north as much as north goes, and the setting draft states that "The northernmost reaches might be glaciated or ice packed". Does that mean that the mall is ice packed or that it should be further south or not?

  • Yes, Lapland is off the main world map. What about something on the outskirts of Seinajoki

Otherwise, I guess all things have been considered: why the Elder is the leader the place, how come they are fortified and have weapons, the farm, the whole bunch of abandoned cars, etc... The only major problem is there isn't a timeline to follow, so I don't know if the background's time span is adequate. If not, it can always be rewritten.

There is also a forum thread, EGO created several mockups for the area: here

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