Vehicles

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Vehicles in the game world followed a different path from vehicles in the real world.

Ground travel

Operator-powered land vehicles were invented much earlier, giving horseback riding less time to catch on as the primary means of personal transport, at least in flatter areas. Lack of a legacy of horseback riding caused vehicles similar to real-world bicycles to have step-through frame designs to accommodate long tunics, skirts, and coats.[1]

Transport of goods too heavy to carry or tow on a bike was originally on the backs of pack animals and in wagons pulled by harness animals. In the real world, a "horseless carriage" incorporated an internal combustion engine into the body of a wagon, often with rear-wheel drive, and it typically burned fossil fuel. But in the game world, a one- or two-seater diwheel electric tractor (like the old-timey "horseless sulky")[2] towing a trailer is far more common. This also allows for converting wagons to sleds during winter and for replacing the tractor with a vegetable oil-powered one for longer trips.

Air travel

Most flight in the game world is on an airship filled with hydrogen produced from water or with hot air. It's not uncommon to see people lifting off from a town center in a one-seat hot air balloon either.

In the real world, the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin had an excellent safety record, but the crashes of the R101, USS Akron,[3] and LZ 129 Hindenburg in the 1930s ("Oh, the humanity!") caused engineers to shift focus to Bernoulli flying machines. There were airship disasters in the game world, but they didn't get so worked up about disasters. Instead, engineers treated it as real-world engineers would treat a plane crash or the 1912 wreck of the RMS Titanic: as a learning opportunity to research safety measures such as non-flammable envelope fabrics, better containment for the drive props' fuel, hot-air-filled designs, and (importantly) a ban on burning things in the passenger compartment and on shooting off fireworks near the flight path, like in Cracked's #2 drunk text from a famous moment.[1]



References

  1. RainbowCrash. "15 Secretly Brilliant Reasons Stuff is Designed That Way", #9. Cracked, 2015-03-18. Accessed 2015-03-19.
  2. Chris Bucholz. "18 Hilarious Modes of Transport Science Gave Up On Too Soon". Cracked, 2009-10-20. Accessed 2012-11-13.
  3. Steve Shapiro. "5 Famous Historical Events You Won't Believe Happened Twice". Cracked, 2013-05-10. Accessed 2013-05-10.
  4. Leon Gettler. "Aeroscraft dirigible airship prototype approaches completion". Gizmag, 2012-12-04. Accessed 2012-12-10.