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Author Topic: Net Gain: Corporate Espionage in 2043. Development probably abandoned.  (Read 41271 times)

nenjin

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Re: Net Gain - Futuristic Corporate Espionage Sim on Kickstarter
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2013, 08:33:49 pm »

I hear you cluckin' big chicken. It's easy to imply that these systems have a lot of depth, that running missions isn't a 2 or 3 event experience, that really all the game is, is just knocking down companies as they show up and acquiring ultimately meaningless resources. That agents aren't just a collection of stats and a trait or two with some passive effects.

I look back Uplink and think "for all the depth the game had, it continually hit the same note for most of the game." Maybe Net Gain will be the same way, but for what he's probably going to be asking, I'm ok with that.

I'd study some of the plot screens a little closer, because that's where I saw stuff that started getting me excited. There's lot of different plots per mission type, different agents will be better at some than others, and then there's the mission events that are total unknowns, which may or may not be directly affected by Agent personality traits. Already on paper, that sounds better than that Omerta did, which was basically just a game about resourcing whoring with some awkward turn-based combat thrown in.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 08:36:29 pm by nenjin »
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Draco18s

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Re: Net Gain - Futuristic Corporate Espionage Sim on Kickstarter
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2013, 09:36:51 pm »

Quote from: From Subversion Devlog part 14
Subversion is going to be set in a modern High Tech environment, with you taking "mission control" over a team of skilled operatives in a hostile High Security building. You will be using Sabotage, Social Engineering and Grifting, custom Electrical and Mechanical devices, Distractions, Hacking, Stealth, Acrobatics, Precision demolitions, Trickery, whatever gets the job done. In the best case scenarios your enemies will never know you were even there. When things go wrong, a well prepared escape plan and well timed precision violence will get you out of a tight spot - or maybe not.
Source: http://forums.introversion.co.uk/introversion/viewtopic.php?t=2313

If thats not corporate espionage i wonder wtf it is. The only robber bonny and clyde thing i saw was from a scripted demo video.

That's....Leverage.  Not a shadow war.
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sparkbolt

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Re: Net Gain - Futuristic Corporate Espionage Sim on Kickstarter
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2013, 09:55:05 pm »

Hi everyone!

Some of you sent me messages so of course I’d stop by! I love DF and have for awhile, and the whole concept of “Narrative Seeds” that are used to make those connected plots feel like a more elaborate story is something directly inspired by DF and interpreting my dwarves weird little choices.

I’ll see if I can hit on everything quickly:

>Subversion/Introversion
It broke my HEART when they shelved that project. Introversion has been another big source of inspiration in my work, from the pseudo-immersion of you as the broker, the interface, and of course that cool aesthetic!
Subversion would be perfect, but i think the lesson from that was those complex systems were taking so much time to develop for just one man that he never got around to the actual gameplay. That’s, what, NINE years of work?  I’m hoping to learn from that and, while still reasonably complex, the systems I’m creating are slimmer and more manageable, and designed to be playable and then built upon as needed.
While this definitely won’t be as detailed as subversion, it’s focus is pulled back and more on running these operations and having them support each other for a grander goal.

>Shadowrun
Hell yes. I know I’m mentioning a lot of inspirations here, but you guys hit on the core of them! Throw in a CKII and we’re golden!
Running shadowrun games for my friends is the origin of the whole Net Gain idea. I wanted to actually PLAY the Johnson and run that web of conspiracies!

>Trailer
It is what it is. I like it, and I’m glad we had the chance to make it, even on the threadbare budget. It’s got problems of course, but worked out pretty well for the time and money available.

>Omerta
I’ve only had some time with the demo, which was enough to kill my excitement for it. This doesn’t really follow the trend of unlocking things, but rather the expansion of the corp, finding targets and engaging them with missions, building support operations where you need them, managing your operative and their particularities, finding new (and cool!) assets and industries to develop and exploit, defending against rival attacks, dealing with any operations you discover, and hopefully a lot of rich narrative rewards along the way.

The “unlocking” aspect some of you talk about isn’t quite like that. It’s more that you can only run missions on Targets, and you investigate corps to uncover those targets. so you investigate a corporations lab to uncover their existing assets, then you can target the research for a theft mission!

>Complexity/depth
The game will be only most of the core features for the prototype release in June, but the rest of the year (and with funding going as it is, for quite awhile after!) will be spent developing those into the full 1.0 I’ve planned and beyond.

It IS important to me that the interactions remain intuitive. So there is more depth in things like the operative (as mentioned in today’s post) that, as the player, your interactions are mainly limited to that internal war of balancing resources and comparisons and intellectual thought. Like an operative’s traits are incredibly complex, and you should consider who they are whenever you use them, but it doesnt add an extra layer of buttons and switches and whatnot you have to go through.

Same with gear. The system is actually fairly simple, but that’s to keep it from being like trying to create a new shadowrun character every time you start a mission. Of course, I will respond to the community and add complexity (to a point) where it’s desired (i see resources being one of these), but I’d much rather make novel systems that can PERFORM complexity in a intuitive fashion. For example, I’m pretty proud of the loyalty and bonds system, that on the surface are easy to interact with, but due to the various things they tie into and all the ways you can modify it through *other* gameplay actions, it’s incredibly complex and important. Yet the information you need right away is a simple graph with a max loyalty, min loyalty, and any bond you might have.

The event system is a pain in the ass to make, but it’s actually hooked into a lot of the other systems in its interactions (traits, perk gear). Every new “rule tweak” added is another bump in development, but adds a wide range of unique events that can be made with all the variations and combinations of rule tweaks.
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Net Gain: Corporate Espionage.
Cyberpunk Espionage Strategy by Level Zero Games!

nenjin

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First off, thanks for stopping by this corner of the Bay.

I was a little hard on the trailer, but I actually really enjoyed it once I stopped being so picky. It was well structured and someone clearly has a director's eye. Once I realized it was kind of just a labor of love, it grew on me. I think I've watched it about 10 or 15 times now (for the music if i'm being honest.) The CG effects with the windows was pretty sweet. Anyways, I don't wanna bum anyone out about it, it was cool and while I certainly didn't need it to sell me on the Kickstater, it definitely started getting me immersed in the game world. For a shoe string budget you did pretty well.

Secondly, whoever has done your music gets my unadulterated thumbs up. (I'm the guy clamoring for more music in the Kickstarter comments.) It's got that exactly right mix of synth, distortion, melancholy and that 80s sense of dystopia. When I heard the trailer music, my brain went straight to Shadowrun. If you're not offering a digital soundtrack to the game as a reward or after release, strongly consider it. I'd buy. (Unless, you know, all the tracks are in the game directory....) Absolutely can't wait to hear more.

Quote
Subversion

I don't talk about Subversion anymore. It hurts too much. Although Delay really needs to do something with that city generator, if nothing else.

An important question! As a fan of Dwarf Fortress, have you played Toady One's Liberal Crime Squad? Setting aside all the political themes and silliness, your game strongly reminded me of it.

And OMFG, that is a hell of an update! Neonivek, if you need game play info.....go read the Kickstarter update. I'm tickled pink at the descriptions you have of traits. Where many games would opt for something like "Aggressive: Do 10% more damage blah blah blah", it looks like you've linked traits to various activities and "rolls." That's what I was hoping for.

You said missions were dynamically generated...and now I'm starting to see what you mean. So what happens during missions is in part based on gear and traits? Or do they define your options when something does happen? Or....?

Couple last questions for you: I haven't seen a Rock Paper Shotgun article on Net Gain yet. Have you tried talking to those guys? Because if you want hardcore indie nerd monies....some exposure there can really help.

Following that, are you thinking about stretch goals at this point? Or is it that more money will help the game continued to be developed after release? Or possibly an even more glam-filled trailer of more corporate badassery? :P
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 10:45:13 pm by nenjin »
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If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the Gods, and the nights will flame with fire.
Quote from: Viktor Frankl
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Quote from: Sindain
Its kinda silly to complain that a friendly NPC isn't a well designed boss fight.
Quote from: Eric Blank
How will I cheese now assholes?

Neonivek

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I was a little hard on the trailer, but I actually really enjoyed it once I stopped being so picky

It is a fine trailer. Given that the improvements I suggested was for it to remove scenes and not to add more of them. It says something.
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sparkbolt

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First off, thanks for stopping by the Bay.
My pleasure! I admit I'm not much of a forum guy... hence my last and ONLY other post here being back in 2009!
Quote
I was a little hard on the trailer...
Man, no one was harder on that trailer than me. I hate hate HATED it. Our post process got hit with all sorts of snags, we lost special effects guys and had no more money for more, and so on... That cable and antenna still bug the bajeezus out of me, but now I've come to love the rest. :) Speaking as someone who has never done film stuff before, it's heart wrenching to see your precious script get ripped apart and stitched back together. I think we hit pretty close to the original concept, still, so I'm happy about that... Realy I'm just happy people are getting the "feel" from it!
And yes, the director (Mike Chait) Has a great eye for action scenes, and plotted out that one-long-shot very well.

I'm also glad we had it because honestly, the game isn't pretty to look at in its current state (seen in update 1), and there are only so many mock ups I can make before it feels like cheating. :P The trailer provided some much needed OOMPH in the visuals and to give people the right sense of what we're going for.

Lhasa Mencur did the music for the trailer. We actually have a different guy doing music for the game, Richie Palys. you can hear one of his songs in the "Settings" part of the KS page.

Have you seen... aw whats it called.... Synekism! city building game. he's going for generated structures so it might get some of that same feel, though without the delicious cyber aesthetic that introversion does so well.

The first game of his I ever played was WWI medic, and I LOVED it! A few years later i started DF, then awhile after that I realized he was the same guy and tried all his other games! It's been awhile, though... I'll boot up LCS again and give it a spin.

the beauty of traits is it HAS that simple aggressive, +10% damage... but it doesnt end there. It's hooked into all the other systems that mean its not just some damage boost, but this guy is seriously aggressive and you'll have to deal with the problems that will have with the rest of the team or his personal life, or times he needs to keep his cool. (as in, the Bloody trait described!)

You should check over Update 2, it covers how missions and plots work a bit better (and my wrists are hurting from the 18 hour days at the keyboard :P)
But as far as events, both. they effect the events that come up and what choices you have. traits moreso than gear. gear is used to spend resources on challenges to make sure the op passes the test.

I've been trying RPS from the very start. They ARE my core fanbase, but they havent responded to anything yet. Honestly I think unless fans keep bothering them about us they're not going to listen to me shill it.

All the KS money is going straight into more development time, or possibly contracting programmers/artists as needed. So the higher the goal, the more time I can spend developing and building and adding on to Net Gain. This is my BABY, and I want to spend as much time with her as possible. The first stretch goal was teased in the last update: The War Room + Staff!

Depending on backer reaction and momentum to see if we even get anywhere near that one, I think the stretch goal after next will be prettttyyy interesting. Who knows how people would take it, but basically [REDACTED]!!!!
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Net Gain: Corporate Espionage.
Cyberpunk Espionage Strategy by Level Zero Games!

Robosaur

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The best part of Shadowrun was having a petite female 9 strength 9 body changeling adept with killing fists that do blast damage.
Will that be in the game?
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nenjin

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Quote
That cable and antenna still bug the bajeezus out of me, but now I've come to love the rest.

I keep looking at it trying to process what it means when I watch the video. It's like a compulsion at this point. :P

Quote
The trailer provided some much needed OOMPH in the visuals and to give people the right sense of what we're going for.

Pretty saavy, that. I didn't necessarily need the visual link to find the game concept interesting. But I can appreciate not everyone would make that leap. I guess that explains why you run so many parts of the trailer during your intro.

Quote
Lhasa Mencur did the music for the trailer. We actually have a different guy doing music for the game, Richie Palys. you can hear one of his songs in the "Settings" part of the KS page.

I meant both. I've been playing the crap out of the one on the KS page at work. Give. Moar. Muzak!

Quote
Update 2

Yeah, I hadn't received the email notice for some reason. I'm caught up now. Again, I just like that traits tie to so many aspects of performance, outcomes and options. It makes a trait believable, it makes the character itself believable and like you said, makes for good story threads.

Also...cybernetics. Awesome. So I gather their growth and resources and equipment ect...are all things they manage themselves? Any places for the player to individually upgrade or change them?

Quote
I've been trying RPS from the very start. They ARE my core fanbase, but they havent responded to anything yet. Honestly I think unless fans keep bothering them about us they're not going to listen to me shill it.

They should be drooling over this and punching their grandmas to be the first to write a clever title about it. Maybe that's what's taking so long. They're haven't come up with a clever enough title. They've admitted to being badgering into posting about games before. I've never pestered them to cover something, but I might have to for this.

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If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the Gods, and the nights will flame with fire.
Quote from: Viktor Frankl
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Quote from: Sindain
Its kinda silly to complain that a friendly NPC isn't a well designed boss fight.
Quote from: Eric Blank
How will I cheese now assholes?

sparkbolt

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petite female 9 strength 9 body changeling adept with killing fists that do blast damage.

Hah! Decidedly not! This may have just been my evil GM side that I kept from killing all my players, but one of the reasons i wanted to elevate play to the Broker was that i wanted people to DIE. This is *dangerous* work, and every time they go out for a run it's a serious risk. This will probably sound morbid, but I wanted people to form attachments to these characters only to have them captured and/or executed because the player fucked up, get that hardcore X-Com feel going on.

>Trailer
Yeah, we mainly did it because we had the opportunity, but it is a huge boon to appeal to a largely visual marketplace when your game is a super-niche strategy title.
I know my core fanbase just wants info on the game, the trailer helps bring in those edge cases that we need to get a game like this made, and hopefully expand the strategy demographic in the process!

I actually just got off the phone with Richie, who's going to be sending me a new song tomorrow!

they will automatically request or come with cybergear that is for their primary skills, and automatically pick up the gear they need as you assign them challenges in missions. Give them a surveillance challenge that they might not be skilled enough to pass? they'll grab a pair of multi-wave depth field binoculars (which allow them to use "resources" on surveillance tests). You can override their choices, of course. so if you're expecting things might get ugly, you might tell them to leave the binocs and hope for the best, while slapping a rifle in their hand and armor on their chest!
As for growth, yeah they'll autofocus on their main skills, but you can tell them to take a painting class instead.

I would greatly appreciate if you DID babger them to post! I love RPS and honestly it's the only news source I read with any regularity. I'td be an honor to get on there, and this game was made for adam smith to enjoy!  :D
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Cyberpunk Espionage Strategy by Level Zero Games!

Robosaur

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last time I lost a PC in a TRPG I had to take a bathroom break because I didn't want to start crying in front of my TRPG buds
wait why am I telling you this.
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nenjin

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So after really, really reading the monster updates you've done (which I'll now spoiler for lazy people)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

There's something I'm a little unclear on. You allot resources to each Operative. Do you pull that from a general resource pool, i.e. your warchest? Is there a cap on the amount of resources an Operative can have? I was thinking it was all "go in, roll against your stats, have a random event, succeed or fail..." but it reads like even an ill-suited Operative can accomplish a lot with a ton of available resources.

Like, I'm kind of staggered by how complex you've built this up to be. The video can't even begin to describe this stuff. The heat on Operatives, Locations, Corps and the player. The interplay between an Operative's contacts, circles and their loyalty, how their loyalty is fluid based on a ton of stuff if it interacts with their circles, rep with different circles affecting hiring, losing Operatives screwing up rep with circles, how you can plot against your own Operatives....can you point to a % of what you talked about as implemented vs. not? I was excited before, now I'm frothing at the mouth a little. Is there a cap on Agents? Difficulty modes?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 01:15:57 am by nenjin »
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If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the Gods, and the nights will flame with fire.
Quote from: Viktor Frankl
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Quote from: Sindain
Its kinda silly to complain that a friendly NPC isn't a well designed boss fight.
Quote from: Eric Blank
How will I cheese now assholes?

sparkbolt

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so operatives have a "resource" value, and gear. gear is what lets them spend resources on tests. both are limited by Body. And yes, resupply costs money from the slush fund to stock Resources. its mainly go in and roll against stat/skill, and on occasion a random event (not every time) that youll need to choose. the resources are mainly for SAVING rolls, if you roll too low. or, if youre a daredevil, for taking on challenges you shouldn't and spending resources to let an op reach a high challenge. IF an op had a ton of available resources (They dont) the could do a lot... but only in the skills their gear lets them. if they get in a firefight with no weapon, they're on their own.

I'm a bit worried about that really... i tried to tell people I was talking about our goals for 1.0, NOT what was in the prototype or current build, but im not sure if that sunk in.

The core systems are designed to start simply, and grow into the things I have planned. for example loyalty by the time the prototype comes out will probably just be for circles (as it is now), and mostly only factor in to if they hit the bottom and quit. I'll put in as many links to it as I can, performance on missions and salary definitely, but other links will have to come later.

The heat system will be in but with limited effects: it does raise security in the area, require extra plots, etc.... but the systems that put heat on the broker (i.e. operatives being captures/turning, enemies spying on the corp) will probably not be in by prototype.

rep with circles is mostly in, i think it should be mostly implemented by prototype. plotting against your own ops is *techincally* possible but the gameplay systems that give you a REASON for doing so aren't in, and that feature is actually probably a few months away as it's not a core feature.

Hopefully that doesnt sour your taste too much!
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Net Gain: Corporate Espionage.
Cyberpunk Espionage Strategy by Level Zero Games!

Fniff

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Always great when a dev stops by.

So, out of curiosity, does the game start out at "cyberpunk dystopia" or can you start out at 2012 and run into the ground as a horrific dystopia in a reverse Liberal Crime Squad fashion?

nenjin

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Hopefully that doesnt sour your taste too much!

Not at all. It might explain why you may not have gotten coverage though, if it's unclear what's actually developed and what's not. I saw the mockup thinking that was it. Mockups are ok if you're upfront with them, which you were, but mockup isn't quite a demo. FWIW, it doesn't seem to have dissuaded people so far. (Your funding goal has a ton to do with that, I think.)

That said....if you've been following what Banner Saga has been going through, you know people don't necessarily read the updates or even the fine print. I actually didn't, before I backed. And your updates are pretty meaty. If you're going to do another large update with stuff that isn't core to the game, in and working right now, you might want to open up with that fact. Or maybe the topic warrants an update all its own. (But possibly after you've hit your funding goal ;) .) I wouldn't worry too much, but the more you reveal of your design doc to people, the more they will begin to question how much is done/your ability to do it. Because in a sense you're promising features when they're bullet-pointed out.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 01:53:36 am by nenjin »
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If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the Gods, and the nights will flame with fire.
Quote from: Viktor Frankl
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Quote from: Sindain
Its kinda silly to complain that a friendly NPC isn't a well designed boss fight.
Quote from: Eric Blank
How will I cheese now assholes?

sparkbolt

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This whole thing was a bit of an unfortunate situation, because I WANTED to lead with a prototype. Like release it at the BEGINNING of the kickstarter... but the problem was I was so strapped for time that I had to decide between working on this or making a living. So I went with launch early. if it fails, give up and find a more stable line of work.

Lucky for me, it didnt fail!(knock on wood?)

Maybe I should link to the updates on the front page? I thnk that will help, ill try that tomorrow. I have no desire to make people think this is something more than it is, I just want to let them know where we're going... And I figured people would rather take the ride with me than do one of these kickstarters where you don't get to see the game for a year and a half!

So, out of curiosity, does the game start out at "cyberpunk dystopia"
...Dystopia? Dystopia... I don't know what you're talking about, but this is cyberpunk Utopia! Sweet desk, infinite wealth, beautiful view, a company car, ultimate power, that sexy lady in accounting, stealing thirty years of research, close parking spot, dental... this is the GOOD life.
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Net Gain: Corporate Espionage.
Cyberpunk Espionage Strategy by Level Zero Games!
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