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POLL: The Feed or Mobile Ops?

Near Future Corporate Espionage!

The Feed or Mobile Ops: Which is our next Stretch Goal first? (Details below!)

Poll ended at Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:46 pm

The Feed
9
24%
Mobile Ops
29
76%
 
Total votes : 38

Post Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:46 pm
Admin User avatar
Site Admin

Posts: 60
Location: Chicago

Here it is! The poll for the next stretch goal!
The winner will be added if the Kickstarter hits $32,000, and the other will be added if the Kickstarter hits $38,000.
The poll ends when we hit $32k, or if the Kickstarter ends before then(not reaching the goal). In the latter case, I'll use whatever was raised to try and implement at least some of the key elements of whichever was winning.

The Feed
The Feed makes the operatives more talkative! The operatives get a twitter-style private feed, where they’ll log missions, activity, and a whole slew of posts about whatever is on their mind! It could be fallout from a recent event, thoughts on another operative (based on their traits or their loyalty to each other), a happy comment on something they bought for their apartment, excited reactions to headlines or world events, or just the idle musings inspired by their traits or situation. This also includes “barks” for the operatives during missions, short comments or quips that they’ll pop up as they run the gauntlet of plots in your missions!

While it’s not as much as Mobile Ops, building a dynamic phrase system and providing enough variations in text, plus providing extra text for most events/missions/traits/etc, combinations of those, and for every new content update is a pretty massive undertaking. Even dynamic phrasing (“I hope [broker] breaks out the [asset: weapon]s for our next run!”) gets old fast, so it’ll take quite a volume to keep the same thing from showing up too often, give them the appropriate range of reactions, and tailor the language for different personality types.

Mobile Ops
Mobile Ops makes the operatives mobile, increasing their autonomy and gives them more options for what to do outside of work (and during!). They can engage other operatives to hang out, have more options for activities to engage on (preferences determined by their traits), get involved with their circles, can go “deep cover” and operate independently, and possibly do some work of their own on the side...

With this, Mobile Ops also increases your interactions with the operatives, instead of simply directing their training and picking gear, you can set policies on night-jobs, offer raises or pay cuts, set up procedures for deep cover, and a whole new set of events that trigger between the broker and operatives like company retreats, requests for help, cutting you in on side deals, and more!

The second major component is a major upgrade to the Canon Generators. Instead of a simplistic form, the generators will be small programs in their own right, upgraded and expanded as new content and features are added to the game! Because they’re standalone programs, they can be updated like software with the content packs, giving you instant access to the latest features, traits, industries, and more. With these new generators, it will streamline the process of implementing backer content on my end, allowing us to collect and update your creations more frequently.

The “mobile phone” portion of Mobile Ops is a free application that ports the Canon Generators to Android and iPhone (and web), and a small portion of the operative simulation, allowing players to create and tweak different characters and companies, and to follow them with the engagement brokers tend to have with operatives (assign training, side jobs, etc).

Note that the phone game is just a small portion of the full game, and none of the bigger economic simulations or missions (the side jobs all being “off camera”). The core Net Gain game has all of those features, generators, and much much more on the trusty desktop! It’s mainly a way to give players a new platform to play around with the generators and have some of that “tamagotchi” fun of the core game, to bring a part of your Net Gain game with you on the go!

Another key aspect is offering a free taste of the Net Gain world to a whole new group of players. That means more people contributing to the community and getting interested, which means more people buying the core game, which means more development time, which means more core game for everyone!
President - Developer
Level Zero Games

Post Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:55 pm

Posts: 58
Location: Birmingham, England
I absolutely adore both of these ideas, and I'll be happy whichever wins!

I, however, have put forth a vote for 'The Feed'. I feel it would add a further insight into the psyche and mindset of each individual character.

Mobile Ops would be awesome, too. Perhaps whichever one is unsuccessful would find it's way into the game further down the line anyway!
I'm British, and thus fuelled by tea! Naturally!

Post Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:05 pm

Posts: 1
Mobile Ops sounds a lot more deep and interesting than just giving your operatives twitter accounts. Of course I may be biased since I utterly loathe twitter.

Oh and congratulations on this clever ruse to get people into your forums.

Post Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:11 pm

Posts: 58
Location: Birmingham, England
I also detest Twitter, though it would be nice to hear what my operatives think of me and my leadership! :lol:
I'm British, and thus fuelled by tea! Naturally!

Post Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:24 pm

Posts: 12
Location: 19th Floor - Logistics
I was leaning towards The Feed because I'm a curmudgeonly non-mobile type person...but it honestly sounds more engaging. It also sounds harder to achieve. I compare that against the relative ease of building up a few hundred phrases and the dev time of working them in....in the end, mobile ops has the best chance of getting more funding in the last week than the Feed. So I voted for it. Plus, the standalone app will be good to bring more players in post-release.

Post Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:33 pm

Posts: 58
Location: Birmingham, England
Yeah, those are some very good points actually.

I might change my vote...!
I'm British, and thus fuelled by tea! Naturally!

Post Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:13 pm

Posts: 5
While I find Mobile Ops to be a fun idea, I don't have a smart phone, nor do I feel the need to get one. That means I wouldn't be able to enjoy the addition to the game. And besides, I really like the idea of the Feed, so I'm all for that one.

I also think that Mobile Ops is capable of a stand alone funding. My thought is that, after Net Gain get's it's playable versions pre-release, and people are able to use the new Steam pre-purchase play thing going on with them now, and awareness of Net Gain is out there... Well it would be possible for a new Kickstarter for Mobile Ops to be made since it is technically not a part of the Net Gain game proper. By offering similar prizes aside from the actual Net Gain game like you have for the original Kickstarter (+Name, +Asset, +Persona, etc.) you may be able to fund Mobile Ops independently of the Net Gain game. Though this would most likely be in like October or something, but I really think the Mobile Ops would be able to be a stand alone funding project.

That's why I'm all for the Feed for this particular Kickstarter.

Post Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:46 pm

Posts: 58
Location: Birmingham, England
From the description of the element, the mobile phone aspect is a small addition to Mobile Ops - the major part being the development if your agents into characters with more autonomy and an actual life outside the confines of the corporation.
I'm British, and thus fuelled by tea! Naturally!

Post Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:24 pm

Posts: 3
If mobile OPs is possible I would definitely like to play this on my phone or tablet (if I get one in the future). I also like the added gameplay elements included in it. The feed is nice and if it is easier to implement then I'm perfectly fine with it.

Post Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:58 pm
Admin User avatar
Site Admin

Posts: 60
Location: Chicago

Hey Brokers!

Kaje: Well hopefully with continued sales post kickstarter I can revisit adding these to the game (though a good portion of the first wave of post-KS sales is already tabbed to pay for some of the LZG operating costs). I love em both, and I'll see what we can do with the development time I've secured so far, but hopefully this GDC and "KS closer" push will get us some traction on pledges.

Velijan: Heheh, well it was either this or Facebook... and while the extra facebook likes would actually help more with marketing, I figured this would be a good way to seed the forums where people can talk with each other and share more easily than the "timeline" format.

Nenjin: For The Feed, adding "a few hundred phrases" is actually quite a bit of work to make em unique, rewriting the same idea a dozen different ways... and it'd probably end up at quite a bit more than a few hundred! Mobile Ops is still estimated to be more development time, but as you say, it'll help bring in more people to offset that (and probably more!)

Kelly: I'm not forgetting about you brokers without a phone. :) Mobile Ops is actually a lot about Net Gain Proper, giving interaction and autonomy to the operatives. The mobile phone element is just an extension of that (and subsidizes its development). It's about making fancy generators and operative interactions. Both stretch goals will give the operatives more life in the core game, just in different ways!

As for second kickstarters, I dont think I'll be revisiting Kickstarter unless it's for a separate project, as I think the Net Gain fans would be pretty tapped out! It's hard to say what is on the table 1+ years from now, but one of the ideas was if net gain was starting to wind down on it's funding at that post 1.5ish stage, but it was well received, then I'd launch a new kickstarter for a big expansion/semi-sequel, adding in all the cool stuff that was out of scope this time, like multiplayer, and "Field Work", where you can play as an operative! But again, that's all in the nebulous future, and who knows what options Net Gain will have by then.
President - Developer
Level Zero Games

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