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December 11, 2012
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Steampunk technology preferences?

:iconlazereagle1:
LazerEagle1 Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, Steampunk, an interesting genre that is close to the hearts of people and artists alike. Where would we be without thou? I am fairly new to Steampunk art. I've always been a fan of the genre and have read several novels and stories. However, I am intrigued because of the sheer diversity of different fans' opinions. Now keep in mind I am incredibly over-complicated, and this won't be for the light-hearted. When I conceptualize, I don't make it look pretty, I think out how it woks and whether or not it is possible. This thread is for all lovers of Steampunk, but it will be easier to answer for people like me. I have several questions for all o you, as follows:

In terms of weaponry, do you prefer the projectile weapons be gunpowder-based or powered by compressed air/steam. (Personally I like the idea of having a mini-boiler of an air compressor attached to the gun, I really like the whole vibe of complete domination by Steam Engines. Notice, I excluded Ray Guns. While Ray Guns are ever popular in Steampunk works, they are simply not a viable or possible weapon. Even today we can't make one. Of you have a Ray Gun-esque design, feel free to share it, but I want at least a decent explanation of how these work.)

2) For Airships or Aircraft in general, should they be specifically lighter-than-air, and all be zeppelins, or are other methods of flight acceptable? Such as the Biplane, or perhaps a rotary copter powered by a Steam Engine. Basically, are Steampunk Aircraft supposed to be Zeppelins exclusively, or are other methods of sustaining flight okay? As stated, early Aircraft or Helicopters. If other methods are okay with you, how should they be propelled? Should the aircraft gain speed by shooting compressed steam out of a nozzle to cause forward thrust, or are simpler, gasoline or similar engines acceptable?

Note: In no way am I going to let your opinions influence me. I have my opinions, so don't feel afraid to alter mine. I am simply interested in the diversity of the Steampunk community, and want to see how they feel on issues such as this. Thank you for taking the one to answer my questions.

As always,
~Lazer
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Dec 11, 2012  Professional General Artist
Tbh I think all these things should be decided based on the story and less based on worldbuilding.

Like you mentioned Zeppelins vs Biplanes, well in some stories an Airship is needed, it fits a lot of people inside it and so you can have a cast of characters interacting on it. Or a Biplane is often much more of a war vehicle or a small transport and so if your story needs 2 people to get somewhere quickly and efficiently maybe you need a biplane.

Or maybe you combine both, like an aircraft carrier and a fighter jet you could use a zeppelin and a biplane.

Porco Rosso for example would not have worked as a story had it used Airships, and Final Fantasy (pick any with an airship there's a few xD) would not be able to transport all your crew in just a biplane.

Tbh I'm mostly fed up of overdone steam-punk aesthetics. Corsets with cogs on and men with top hats and monacles, and would rather people tried something new with a story that the world supports, not a world with a hastily created story in the middle of it. The author/artist might as well provide me technical drawings for their fancy gun or their airship and forget the character and story all together if that's what they're really interested in.
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:iconlazereagle1:
LazerEagle1 Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
SORRY! I replied to the wrong message.... Here's what I meant to post to YOU: Yeah, a lot of the "Steampunk" stuff does get very redundant.
However, that doesn't mean it's not interesting. I feel the vast majority of people who make "Steampunk" stuff is because they're either new to it or aren't ver skilled craftsmen. That kind of makes me angry, considering there is a whole lot more crappily-made Steampunk props than Steampunk drawings or non-photographic artwork. There are several facets to the Steampunk genre, and sometimes people are only interested in one, but are mistaken. Some people want to draw machines or technology, but not necessarily make a story. They do anyway. And vice vera. Personally, I am working on a Steampunk story, but I won't start actually writing it until I have my tech concepts on paper. I had some, but I lost them... But yes, a lot of the stuff on DA that is supposedly "Steampunk" is very redundant. I am sick of Nerf guns poorly painted Copper with some gears glued on...
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Dec 11, 2012  Professional General Artist
I like steampunk as an alternate reality victoriana kind of thing, I'm just a little fed up of everyone being dressed in brown leather and cream shirts. Victorians wore colour! Just the Queen who was a little black obsessed... I'd rather a story than an aesthetic.

I also like a kind of alternate history aesthetic when it is so random it just sort of doesn't make sense but it does. (like the webcomic Nimona, some characters are dressed in full suits of medieval armour, Nimona herself is in like miniskirt armour and there are also guns and a fridge and a computer system/TV network. But the story itself is fun and so all these elements just work without too much explination.
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:iconlazereagle1:
LazerEagle1 Dec 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That sounds... Interesting to say the least.
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:iconlazereagle1:
LazerEagle1 Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
If you're looking into stuff to read, I highly recommend the "Leviathan" series by Scott Westerfeld. It's sorta half-punk, but it's pretty awesome nonetheless. It's in an alternate-history World War One where the Allies use fabricated and genetically engineered animals, and the Central Powers use steam-powered machines.
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Dec 11, 2012  Professional General Artist
I have Leviathan sitting around somewhere. I just haven't gotten round to reading it.
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:iconravenofpoe14:
ravenofpoe14 Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I am fairly new to the whole steampunk thing, but I already love it! I am trying to read as many steampunk novels as I can, like the Girl in the Steel Corset series and I am considering reading Cinder. I haven't come up with a preference yet, because I do not know what all is out there. I saw this discussion thought I would jump aboard to learn a bit more! <3
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:iconlazereagle1:
LazerEagle1 Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
If you're looking into stuff to read, I highly recommend the "Leviathan" series by Scott Westerfeld. It's sorta half-punk, but it's pretty awesome nonetheless. It's in an alternate-history World War One where the Allies use fabricated and genetically engineered animals, and the Central Powers use steam-powered machines.
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:iconravenofpoe14:
ravenofpoe14 Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have read some of his stuff, like the Uglies series and Midnighters series but I haven't given Leviathan much thought. I will give it another look. Thanks for the info!
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:iconcrimsonmagpie:
CrimsonMagpie Dec 11, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
As much as I agree with - and also do myself - your method of trying to make things work and look plausible, I think steampunk hardware works better when it's ridiculously implausible; the genre's whole look is inherently based upon impossibilities really. Even the most plausible looking steampunk devices are incredibly impractical, so one may as well push the craziness a little further.

To me, steampunk is about applying an exaggerated Victorian aesthetic to devices from a more advanced time. I regard it as pure fantasy, in that, visually at least, it's about escapist fun rather than speculation or serious conceptualisation. Saying that, I do more of what you do than what I've just said. :B

For flying machines, people have been designing heavier-than-air craft since long before the Victorian era, so I don't think there's anything wrong with including them in steampunk stuff. Hell, some Victorian aircraft designs were more steampunk than steampunk! :lol:
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