I want to produce a video game, (first person adventure) where the world is occupied by two types of nation. One uses almost only to steam powered technology and the other only electric.

I want the story to have a plausible explanation of how this divide could occur.


  • I would like the steam nation to be an underclass.
  • I want there to be a war between the two.
  • Preferably not a cultural reason, and something practical such as limits to certain resources.

2 Answers 2


I'm going to throw a wild card and have the electric country a modern civilisation (but not like us). Otherwise, the electronic society would also be using coal or something similar (like oil, gas, uranium, etc.) :P. I'm also making the electric nation a brand new nation instead of just plopping America or the UK etc. into this scenario because they are just too OP with their nukes, faster than sound planes and near indestructible tanks.

So the electric country is the world's current superpower, they are the richest, has the most military power and endured many great wars without much loss. (kind of like America right now) They made electricity so efficient that they stopped using coal altogether because coal is too inefficient, costly and pollutes the world which most of the people wouldn't be so happy about it.

They built their first satellites and found a new continent that has a lot of concentrated Co2, so they decided to investigate and found a somewhat advanced society (at least in that continent) that ultimately was driven by coal. They immediately seized the opportunity and decided to trade with them, while the steam country, being ripped off by the electric nation. The steam nation starts to become well aware of the electricity nation and its powers, so they decided to make a modernisation revolution but realising that they can't keep up with the rapidly increasing technology of the electric country. They decided to steal from the electric country instead which at first the country was all right with, but they started to take expensive, secret technology, so they demanded the steam nation stop. However, they didn't so the electric country declared war on the steam country.

The steam country just got the technology, however, so they didn't have the time to implement most of them into their military, so they relied on mixing the armies together (mostly steam technology with some stolen ones, so it stays mostly a steam country without being kerb stomped by the electric one)

So that's my idea hoped you liked it. I tried to make it as world war like as possible (like how it was so easy for them to start wars and stuff) without it becoming a cultural conflict, but it still might have some lingering in there ^-^


One nation has the metal, the other has the coal.

For centuries now, the metalworking nation has been leading the world's economy and warfare. Their weapons were better, their agricultural tools were better. They were crazy rich. They advanced science through electricity which, given the crazy amount of copper they have was just an easy feat to develop.

The other nation was always in a background position. The worthless coal in their mines letting them be in misery.

Everything changed with the invention of the steam engine.

Metal-nation, understanding the potential for greatness, conquered coal-nation and enslaved the people to make them go mining. Many died. The revolt was unavoidable.

Outnumbering the Metal-nation colonists, the Coal-nation dissidents quickly took back what was theirs. They immediately seized the Metal-nation's plans for steam machines and started to work on theirs, adapting the machinery to a strong ceramic that imitates it.

Now there is just the war. The rich of Metal-nation want their conquest back. The numerous of Coal-nation saw a path to not being second for the first time in their history. Everybody knows the other camp won't stop fighting until it's over.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I had a similar idea about coal. I was also going to point out that a shortage of oil/petroleum would help explain why just steam and electricity, not internal combustion engines. That doesn't seem enough for an answer, so you're welcome to incorporate it if you like. $\endgroup$
    – Brythan
    Nov 5, 2016 at 22:26
  • $\begingroup$ Using ceramics for the steam engines is a good idea. It does however disrupt the aesthetics. I like it. $\endgroup$
    – PStag
    Nov 5, 2016 at 22:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @PStag You can say they have some sort of metal that doesn't conduct electricity, or just that they lack the copper, or that they already managed to seize some iron reserves and want more. It's up to you. $\endgroup$
    – PatJ
    Nov 6, 2016 at 0:50
  • $\begingroup$ Don't forget that coal can be gasified so it will work in internal combustion engines. $\endgroup$
    – Thucydides
    Nov 7, 2016 at 4:22

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