Net Gain: Corporate Espionage

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Welcome to the year 2043. Information drives the new economy. Secrets can create and destroy empires. Corporate Brokers lead the shadow war, manipulating secrets to grow their own power while devastating their enemies… they’ll do whatever it takes to come out ahead.

The Game

In Net Gain, the player take on the role of a corporate broker, hired by a powerful conglomerate to sabotage their competitors by any means. You’re in charge of investigating targets, planning missions, assembling teams, and leading the operation to success. All in a world that’s rapidly changing every day…

Corporation Review

The Corporation Review screen

As a broker, the player works for a corporation, running their shadow war against all competitors to bring down their enemy, claim more of the global markets, and expand into an increasingly powerful conglomerate!

The Corporation is built upon a foundation of Companies: Laboratories, factories, and offices that develop, produce, and utilize ”Assets”. Assets are the cutting edge of the economic world, and encompass a vast range of things: shiny new gadgets, novel marketing campaigns, brilliant scientists, land claims to rare earth minerals, political candidates, military defense contracts, celebrities, security systems, virtual reality programs… All can be used to gain unique advantages on the market, or to gain more power and wealth.

mission planning

The Mission Planning screen

Of course, with competition as heated as it is, the Broker is always looking for a way to steal the advantage… The core of the game is building and completing missions to gain more power, secure your own fortune, or to steal from a rival! You’ll use missions to collect intelligence on your competition through a variety of means, earning enough to expose a target of opportunity! The main targets are your rival’s assets, which you can destroy or even steal for your own.

You string together “Plots”, small moments during a mission with unique challenges that your operatives must overcome to progress. The kinds of plots you use to reach your target can vary depending on what your target is and what exactly you intend to do! If you wish to “steal” a Personnel asset, you could choose plots that lead your team to befriend them, convincing them to flee and join your side. You might use plots to uncover dirt, blackmailing them into working for you. Or, you might just simply bribe them (simple, that is, after you sneak your operatives through layers of corporate security to get the offer to your target)!

Active Mission

Active Mission screen

As your talented operatives attempt to follow the mission guidelines you plotted out, they may face unique dilemmas that range from setbacks that can derail the mission, to unexpected opportunities, or anything in between!

If your operatives fail a plot’s challenges, they may be derailed into new plots involving firefights, car chases, or other not-very-covert problems that they’ll have to overcome to get back on task. As the broker, it’s your call what path they will take, and how much to risk on obtaining your objective!

Operative Review

The Operative Review screen

The operatives you hire are trained professionals from all walks of life: loyal bitizens trained by the corporation, hackers that have made a name for themselves on the net, svelte and charming con men, rough street thugs, ex-military looking for another war to fight, or grizzled detectives just looking for another paycheck… each has a unique combination of skills, traits, contacts and so on that define who they are.

Anyone you hire is on retainer, and one of the advantages to being the spymaster is knowing where everyone is at all times! Check in on your hires whether they’re running missions, training at the range, or reading the news from the comfort of their 50-story penthouse. What they do, how they interact with others, even how they decorate their apartments is determined by the combination of elements and traits that make up their personality.

Don’t get too attached, though; the team you organize is on the cutting edge, but still mortal. Part of the job is risking that an operative might be captured or killed, but it’s an acceptable loss as long as you keep growing the corporate accounts!

The Setting

Welcome to the year 2043. Humanity has bridged the gap between man and machine, pulling us into an age beyond the reach of conventional law. Megacorporations now govern their own territories within nations, and the benefits of the corporate lifestyle are enjoyed by the “bitizens”.

A global epidemic known as Synaptic Separation Syndrome hit the world, causing Alzheimer-like symptoms of personality shifts, memory loss, motor control failure, and eventually death. With the introduction of the “Plug”, humanity gained a tool to fight this terrible disease… and also opened a gateway to the human mind, sparking a new renaissance of technological growth. Perfect memory recall, heightened mental faculties, even fully simulated reality delivered in programs called Slips. The intricately designed programs can simulate every sense, allowing immersive experiences recorded by others, or created entirely out of the designers imagination. Memories, senses, emotions, and even complex thoughts can be stored and shared, and there is a booming new market for novel experiences.

Technological growth has reached a state of critical mass, expanding faster than people can society can adjust, causing flashpoints around the world: Cultural, societal, legal, even philosophical. Paired with the ever-expanding Energy Crisis, the world has become a tumultuous place. In the chaos, corporate powers seized independence, creating the right to semi-autonomy and developing micro-nations within the existing federal powers.

Accepting a corporate citizenship leads to job security, personal security and a comfortable day to day existence. The corporations have a lot to offer in terms of employment, education and even recreation, and the middle class world is at a time of perceived peace.

Though “life is good”, the economy hangs in careful balance as corporations vie for power. With expanded independence, corporate espionage grew into a full-fledged shadow war. The monolithic companies fight for their share of the market, and the brokers are leading the charge.

The world of Net Gain emphasizes advancement, and encourages confidence.  By giving players the tools to shape a global economy through a few subtle decisions the sense of agency is greatly enhanced, and something new is brought to the table.  The cyberpunk perspective has usually been street level, but with Net Gain you get the penthouse view.

Platforms

The game is being created with Unity, which gives us a ton of options for platforms! Net Gain is being developed on Windows, and will port to Mac and Linux.

When the time comes, we’ll push to get Net Gain on Steam and Desura with keys for those who already purchased the game.

Kickstarter

Net Gain is a big project that will require a significant investment of time, attention, and resources. Our Kickstarter and my own resources will enable me to work on Net Gain full time over the year, bringing the game up to 1.0, and by then we’ll have enough momentum to grow Net Gain to even greater heights!

This is the perfect window to start this project, and the public has a growing fascination with cyberpunk. However, strategy games are still a niche market, to say nothing for cyberpunk espionage strategy games! Net Gain is a unique game, and just like the recent reboots of long-dead IPs, a game like Net Gain can only be made with the support of the true fans: You!

Kickstarter Tease

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