Any sci-fi or fantasy property worth its salt has a fantastical portal to another dimension; Stargate has the titular Star Gate, Harry Potter has Platform 9 3/4, while The Chronicles of Narnia has that amazing wardrobe.
Readers expect a snazzy portal to a snazzy realm. That is fact.
So, what does Enchanted Assemblages have? A cube. THE cube.
Simply described, “The Cube” is a virtual reality machine; it contains the programming for Vingaard, 120k HD 3D, and a connection to the web. Players enter The Cube vis-a-vis a “Cloister”, a compartment within The Cube just large enough to accommodate a single person. Each Cloister is loosely inspired by Tad Williams’s virtual reality sci-fi epic Otherland, which used coffin-like, gel-infused pods to immerse the player in a reality indifferentiable from the actual reality.
The Cube is ideal for team-oriented gameplay. Why is because each Cube can synchronize up to six players. Once in-synced, players can easily communicate in-game and receive a few bonus perks– such as shared experience and collective questing and progress– which are otherwise inaccessible to people playing Academic Mode.
At its core, Assemblages is a Lit-RPG sci-fi novel. The real attraction to readers is the game world. Because Lit-RPGs, then, must have a means of the player being immersed in the game world, I figured that a cube would be a perfect fit for my needs.
I am sure that as I continue to write and engage with my world, I will find new avenues of exploration and use for The Cube. For now, though, I am happy with finding a gateway which is relatively unused by the larger Lit-RPG community (at least to my knowledge).