"Pardon me, but has anyone witnessed an ectoplasmic entity?"
Meet Egon Spengler, circa 1890.
Steampunk is "a genre of science fiction set in Victorian times when steam was the main source of machine power" (thanks, Dictionary.com!). It's also a style of art, a role-playing game, and a way of life. Additionally, it's one of those things that strikes my fancy- probably the elaborateness of the machinery, coupled with the... properness... of the Victorian-era settings (whether it takes place in the past or the distant future, they all seem to wear Victorian-era clothing, of a sort).
==Overly-Elaborate Explanation Follows. Proceed at Your Own Risk==
Fans of Steampunk will often take current genre staples (Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, etc.) and re-imagine them in a Victorian setting. Since that's world-building, and a style I really like, that's what I did here. I took the basic concept of Ghostbusters (guys with crazy backpacks and guns who trap ghosts) and tried to imagine what they would like back in the 19th century, Steampunk-style. One of the hallmarks of Steampunk materials is craftsmanship- every piece of equipment very much looks like a piece of art. I tried to get that across a little bit by making the gun more elaborate, and using wood- trying to make it look more like a rifle. I also had some fun with the backpacks. The idea is the vacuum tubes are originally flat out, like the spokes of a wagon wheel. As the pack powers up, the wheel begins spinning and the tubes begin to pivot upward until they hit a 45 or 55 degree angle. This would make a nice visual effect, if nothing else. The ghost trap is kind of a reverse of the disappearing bird trick (seen in 'The Prestige'). It lies flat on the ground until the ghost is overhead. The switch is thrown, and it springs up around the ghost.
==Overly-Elaborate Explanation Ends.==
Oh, don't forget the goggles.
For more steampunk fun, please take a look at 'Brass Goggles', listed to the right under the Links o' Doom.
That's it for now. See you Friday.
Music: "Also Sprach Zarathustra" - Richard Strauss