This was a quick sketch done to try and steam punk up the tower, I think it could work.
The idea here was that the tall tower somehow provided power or somthing similar to nearby buildings. I thought a multitude of tubes and pipes reaching down from the tower would look pretty cool.
Another sketch looking at how the scale could work.
A look at how the hanging tubes could appear.
The pipes from the tower could only really reach so far. Secodary buildings could act as substations passing power further from the tower. The reach of the tower could create two seperate zone, those in the inner ring able to buy power direct, while those in the outer ring must pay increased cost to sub station owners.
This sketch looks again at the zones powered by the tower/s, maybe the land out of reach has become desolate, run down and uninhabitable.
This takes the idea of powered zones and applies it to a modern day map of manchetser, the tallest building in the city act as the power stations or life support keeping the zones alive. Id really like to incorporate as much of modern manchester as possible to make it recognizable, albeit in a steam punk style.
The idea of using tall buildings as the centre of these zones could fit well with the concept of a blanket of thick cloud/smog/fog covering the ground. The tall structures would reach through the clouds to gather resources of some kind, maybe fresh air is pumped down the tubes to the citizens below, or solar power is harnessed to great effect to power the city below.
Airships could be another way for people to live above the smog.
Habitable areas are restricted to the near tall towers, various zones could exist within the Manchester area.
Having this blanket of cloud cover would provide two quite differnt worlds. The grimy smoggy city below against the sunny open skies above. I could image a section of the level where the player acends through the cloud layer for the first time, the bright sun light dazzling them before there eyes adjust to clear blue skies and a picturesqe blanket of cloud below.
Another concept, trying to show the city beneth the cloud layer with the tower dissapearing above.