Net Gain: Corporate Espionage is GO!
We've hit our goal and the project is now guaranteed for development all the way to 1.0! I have to admit I'm surprised we hit our goal so soon, as I didn't think such a niche game as this would attract so many fans! I knew there were others out there who wanted the same game I've been wanting to make for years. I'm glad that we were able to find each other and build this up together!
I've been doing everything I can to get the message out, but without excited backers like you spreading the word we wouldn't be here today, just over a week after launch! Thank you, everyone, for finding our allies and building our community! Thank you!
Beyond the Goal!
Of course, the question is where do we go from here? As with any game as complex and rich as Net Gain, there are a lot of things that didn't quite make the cut for 1.0. Expanded features, different complex mechanics, and all sorts of cool ideas that just weren't quite in scope for the amount of time the goal would allow me to develop for.
Now that we've hit our goal with the core game, extra funding can be used for more development time, and/or contracting programmers/artists to join the project! Funding above $16k translates into more Net Gain! There was one big set of features that I was really hoping to include in the game, and now we might still be able to!
Stretch Goal #1 - $25000 - The War Room
As described in the previous update, the War Room is your base of operations high in the Corporate HQ Tower, where you can see your office and the people who work behind the scenes to make your missions successful!
This stretch goal is all about expanding your broker's power and influence. It's the literal expansion of the offices, building a support staff tailored to your particular brand of tactics, and gaining more influence within the corporation as you are promoted up the chain!
When you start a new game, you've just signed on with a corporation, starting out as an Associate Broker. After being vetted, you're given a lot of freedom to do whatever makes the corporation more powerful, but you're not the only broker in the division! Your success in the field (and perhaps a few other tricks) will earn you more favour with the corporation, leading to raises (to furnish that lovely new penthouse you acquired. Just like the operatives get their toys, now so can you!), and promotions.
With promotions come more influence in the department, each new rank allowing for new staff members to be hired or new choices for expanding the facilities. The staff you hire will give you small passive bonuses based on their skills related to the position. You'll be able to assign your own lead analyst to handle the Intel you're collecting, hire instructors to help your operatives develop their skills, Lead Security to keep your operatives safe from your rivals, a personal bodyguard to keep you safe, and so on.
Anyone you hire can be from the world, or one of your own operatives! Perhaps the operative is just better suited to a desk job than field work, or maybe you want to offer an operative something to wait out his last few days until retirement (a feature added with the "War Room")... though you might pull him off the desk for one last job, when he was just a week away from collecting that sweet pension!
As you get more influence in the department, you'll be able to expand the facilities to suit the needs of your operatives and staff. Expand the pit by adding more analysts or handlers, add training facilities to give your operatives a better place to practice (with your hand-picked instructors!), build perks like Slip Dens to keep your staff and operatives happy, or upgrade to new screens and servers and equipment to give your operatives an edge in the field.
Keep up the good work and building that influence over your peers, and you might just get promoted to the coveted Director of Operations!
The War Room stretch goal reaches beyond your HQ Tower, expanding corporate "executive" positions, giving you new targets in your war against the competition! Scheme your way into flipping an executive, and they'll provide you with a steady stream of Intel, or you could exploit them as you need: Get a rival's Head of Security in your pocket, and you're one (tense) call away from letting captured operatives walk right out of the cell! Trap the Head of Research in your conspiracies, and you can exploit them to cause a "set back in the latest tests", damaging their asset development.
Stretch Goal #2 - $32000 - Mobile Ops or #TheFeed
The War Room is aiming high, but if your support and voice gets this Kickstarter out to enough people, we could reach even higher! IF we make the War Room goal, the backers will be able to vote on the next stretch goal: Mobile Ops, or #TheFeed.
#TheFeed is all about giving the operatives more character and life! At the core, it's about adding a Feed to the operatives where they'll post little updates about the things they see or do, or thoughts on recent events, or the world at large. Beyond that, it's about giving them a voice everywhere: seeing them have quick exchanges of dialogue during a mission, having them occasionally talk to you directly, making them more alive and responsive and... well, chatty.
Mobile Ops involves taking the core elements of the Canon Generators and the Operative life simulation, and bringing them into a portable phone/web application! You'll be able to design and tweak to your hearts content, making different characters and companies as you like. Backers will be able to use these new fancier generators (or the web version) to update their canon creations. Then, you can play a sort of limited "tamagotchi" kind of game with the operatives, directing their training, or just checking in to see what cool stuff they're up to!
Since app stores have a nasty habit of forcing people to pay twice, the application will be available for free. People who don't own the core game will be able to play around with the generators and watch their operatives go about doing interesting things, but the core Net Gain game is a separate thing. Hopefully, it will encourage more creative fans to get the full game and join our community!
Remember, we won't be voting on either option until we get through The War Room first! If this really takes off, we can do both options!
The Syndicate Grows!
As always, thank you so much for your support. Without your pledges and spreading the word, we wouldn't have gotten where we are today! If these stretch goals sound like something that you'd want, then keep pushing the message out there! Every pledge goes to making the game better for everyone, and keeps development progressing well past 1.0!
I'd like to invite everyone to our Facebook Page, which I have open all day. Post your thoughts, comments, or questions to the wall and I'll get back to you!
You can also follow the LevelZeroGames Twitter! While mainly used for trying to get attention at the moment, it's usual purpose is to talk about the game development as it progresses.
Once the Kickstarter business dies down and I can get back to focusing on development, you'll be able to follow the twitter for bits of information of the progress, and our Facebook page for the full story and big update news!
As an extra Thank You, attached is the latest song from our composer, Richie Palys!