Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 31, 2013.

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A strategy video game of Near Future Corporate Espionage! Investigate, plan missions, hire operatives, and dominate your competitors!

Stretch Goal: #TheFeed - $38000

(Even if the total goal isn't hit, the closer we get the more elements of #TheFeed we can include!)

Net Gain is on Steam Greenlight! VOTE HERE!

Update #6: $25 or higher pledges get the soundtrack! Check the reward chart below for updated information!

NOTE: For accurate Rewards info, see the section below!

Update #5: More on the Economy!

Update #4: The War Room! (Read Update #8 for Mobile Ops and #TheFeed)

Update #3: More on Operatives!

Update#2: More on Missions, and the state of development!

In Net Gain, the player takes 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…

Corporate Review Screen
Corporate 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 screen
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 screen
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 screen
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 Net Gain setting is Co-Written by Joe Locastro and John Gosling

(Here's some of the game's music, by Richie Palys)

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 and 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.

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 our backers.

Net Gain is a big project that will require a significant investment of time, attention, and resources. This 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! 

BONUS: All pledges of $25 or higher get the Net Gain Soundtrack!

CLARIFICATION: All reward tiers of $75 and up come with a set of specialists /corporations and an asset. Even Persona, VIP, and Special Edition! Also, if you would like to make a Circle, Headline, or Mission, you can add them for $20 each, added on your pledge  Click manage your pledge and add $20, $40, or $60 depending on which ones you want. Note: Only one of each per pledge!

SWAP: If you would like to trade your asset for another specialist/corporation, you can! Just send me a message with the request.

The rewards are mainly things that will be added to the game, making the game more fun and rich for every backer who pledges! Of course, keep in mind that content should fit the setting of cyberpunk life in 2043, and we can't use any trademarked/copyrighted content that you can't legally give us the rights to use!

Also, for those pen-and-paper gamers out there, feel free to use the name and/or picture of your Player Character from Shadowrun, Cyberpunk 2020, or so on. I know the runners from my own games will be making an appearance!

Let's clarify the details on the rewards:

  • +Cheers: Thank you! Some people just want to pledge a bit to a project to show support, and every little bit helps!
  • +Net Gain: The Game! You receive the prototype as soon as it's ready in June, and all the Content Updates to the core game. Q1 2014 is when the full Net Gain 1.0 is expected to be finished, but the game will be fun and playable before then, and developed for awhile after! (Think: Minecraft)
  • +Soundtrack: You get access to high-quality downloads of the Net Gain OST!
  • +Name: Your name is put into the game's generator. When a player begins a game, your name will be used for one of the people in the world.
  • +Operative: You get to make a operative! We'll send out a character creator where you can fill in the name, skills, and other details for an operative of your own design. The operative will be part of Net Gain canon, running about in everyone's game... but you'll get to start with them!
  • +Company: You get to make a company! We'll send out a generator for this as well, where you can fill in the name, industry, and so on. Just like the operative, the company will be a part of the Net Gain canon, but you'll start with it!
  • +Specialist: The specialist is like an Operative, but with higher skills (and salary to match!).
  • +Corporation: You get to make a Corp! Just like the company you'll design it, and it will exist in everyone's game.
  • +Asset: You get to help design an asset! These are the key things in the world that the brokers are fighting over. We'll work together to make sure it fits the setting, and find the right balance of any special effects it might have.
  • +2Pack: Create two items! Any combination of Operatives, Specialists, Companies, or Corporations.
  • +Circle: Your own group of operatives! These are the clubs, groups, associations, guilds, or collectives the operatives in the world are a part of, and that the broker hires from. We'll work together to fit it to the setting, and you'll also get a +2Pack and an +Asset!
  • +Headline: Your very own news story! These are the headlines scrolling along the bottom of the screen. We'll fit it to the setting, and you'll also get a +2Pack and +Asset that you can tie into your news story.
  • +Mission: A customized mission! We'll work together to create one of the special "conspiracy", a unique mission that tells a specific story with its own custom Critical Events, plots, and objectives. This also comes with a +2Pack and +Asset that you can work into the mission.
  • +Portrait: A portrait drawn just for you! Instead of using one of the default Broker portraits, you get to use one that looks just like you, drawn from a picture you send in. This also comes with +2Pack and +Asset.
  • +Node: Our card game, Node! This card game is a fun "hacking" competitive card game for 2-4 players. We'll ship it to wherever you are!
  • +Persona: Your name and a custom pixel portrait based on your picture will be used to create one of the story characters in the game, that the player will encounter during the main story-line of the game.
  • +VIP: Like a Persona, your name and likeness are used for one of the central Net Gain canon characters! These are the shakers and movers of the Net Gain universe: the hackers of the Choir, the executives of the top Conglomerates, the brilliant innovators... the characters that really make a mark on the world!
  • +Special Edition: This special edition of the game has everything you need! In addition to +Net Gain, +Name, +Portrait, +VIP, +Node, you also get +2Pack, +Asset, +Circle, +Headline, and +Mission! The Special Edition is packed in a very nice metal suitcase, complete with a set of cuffs to secure the package (can never be too careful). It's filled with goodies like art prints, dossiers with secrets about the world, a [REDACTED] with your portrait, a set of [REDACTED]'s for your VIP that comes in an awesome little [REDACTED], a set of [REDACTED], a bonus [REDACTED], and of course a physical [REDACTED]. If there are at least 5 editions sold, we can even add a [REDACTED]!

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Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Like all software development, there can be times when problems arise that have to be worked through before more content can be added to the game. As the sole developer in charge of art, code, and design, if I get sick progression might slow down for a bit. Also, while the game's core concepts will always be there, the mechanics might shift and change as I respond to community feedback and make the game more fun!

This Kickstarter covers the costs of developing over the year, and time has already been allotted to address any problems that might arise. If things go as planned, then the extra time is used adding more content and polish to the finished product!

FAQ

  • My first goal is to make the game. It's still early to be talking about mods, but the game is built with most of the content exposed in data files, so it'll be easier to make mods when it comes time. I am *all* about involving the community in the development and growth of the game and setting, and after the core game is built I will do what I can to encourage modding and community involvement!

    Last updated:
  • Net Gain 1.0 does not have traditional multiplayer.

    It's about you, rising to the top at the expense of all others! I would like to offer some pseudo-multiplayer options, though, such as sharing game-saves to play in someone elses' world. It's not entirely out of the question for some future expansion, but the current build is focused on making the single player a rich gameplay experience.

    Last updated:
  • When the time comes, backers will be sent a character generator which they can then fill out to build their item! The creation will be sent back and included in the game.

    The backer will also be sent a code/file that will give them their creation when they start a new game!

    Last updated:
  • Just like the +2Pack, you get 2 creations, that can be any combination of Operative, Specialist, Company, or Corporation. Unlike the +2Pack, you also get an asset!

    Last updated:
  • Sadly I cannot promise any localisation right now. I'm just one (English-speaking) guy, but I would definitely like to get the game in as many languages as there are fans! The data is all in files so that will be easier to localise and could be opened to the fans, but I haven't built any such systems for the rest of the GUI yet. It's something I will be adding but it wont be in for the prototype release and I'm not sure if it fits in the schedule for 1.0. If there's a large fanbase that wants the game localised to their language, we'll figure out how to make it happen!

    Last updated:
  • I have no intention of adding DRM, as it's a waste of my time and yours!

    I *do* plan on pushing this to steam and integrating it with steamworks for achievements, etc. While they do occasionally have Non-steam-DRM games, I cant guarantee I'll be able to make a similar deal, and I'm counting on Steam's system to keep the game current with the constant content updates.

    Last updated:
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