Sorry in advance for the long post, I hope it makes for a worthwhile read and justed wanted to get some things off my chest.
So RE: making the corporate experience a genuinely fun and immersing one, I�ve come up with some ideas to help reduce the day-to-day burden of GMs and yet keep individual players busy:
1 ) Vehicles moving from location to location, delivering packages between offices, high-tech research materials, experimental chemical compounds, office supplies, whatever. This would be automated, but could result in tons of RP. You could have armoured cars delivering large quantities of cash to banks on an automated but difficult to guess schedule to make it harder for potential criminals. Players could act as guards watching over as goods as they are brought from the street into the office buildings and laboratories, in addition to automated security in the form of judges, etc., to seriously discourage even the most hardened criminals. From what I�ve seen it would appear that this kind of implementation wouldn�t be a far stretch for the current coded systems. The system might open itself up to abuse but players capable doing a heist would be experienced enough to know how to police themselves, and security can always be beefed up and contributed to by GMs. Security would obviously depend on the type of thing being delivered. Additionally, you could have players driving corporate vehicles between locations in a more advanced Withmore Wholesalers type set up.
2 ) Factories and robots. Yes, everything in the year 2090 is automated and the human element is minimal, but let�s not overdo this aspect of the game. We still have auto mechanics, we still have people working at the counter of the local coffee shop, not everything is automated. A factory on Gold would be completed automated, of course, with a production line and robot arms, etc. moving in and doing all the work right down to the most detailed levels testing and tweaking. The activity in a factory room would be displayed by a steady, constant scroll of messages describing the workings of robotic arms, etc., with several of the objects being produced appearing and disappearing from the room as they move along the conveyer belt. These industrial robots have multiple capabilities (e.g. they can produce multiple types of automobiles at an automobile factory, multiple types of optical products at an optics company), all automated. My point here is that there is a place for corpie players in the form of mechanics and engineers. The player job would be based on the electro tech and systems skills. Jobs would include �fixing� defective robots, updating control software, monthly maintenance checks and diagnostic analysis. This could also be implemented on Red in the vein of SHI, but with obvious differences: work is a lot more dangerous, involving raw industrial processes like metallurgy or toxic chemicals or something, with there being a very high risk of industrial accidents and injury to players, whereas on Gold it would primarily be assembly of advanced electronics. So toxic chemical, heavy industrial, and other nasty work for Red factory robots, and sterile, precision electronics, cybernetics production for Gold factory robots. Robots would not all have to be industrial, of course, and it would be along similar lines that you have agricultural robots working in greenhouse like environments, that would also require looking after and maintenance work. So in short, robot engineers.
3 ) Further to this, the corpie economy is obviously not completely self-sufficient. I imagine internal agriculture and industrial production makes the Dome almost self-sufficient, but that doesn�t eliminate the need for import and export with other economies in other countries and other parts of the world. Where do the raw materials come from? Where do the massive quantities of steel, polymers, and raw chemical compounds come from? Where does all the food to feed millions of people come from? I�d imagine very long distance import to a large degree, unless there are mining operations and huge greenhouses nearby Withmore or something. In order for the factories to run, you need raw materials. Goods would be transported via massive transport shuttle systems from all over the globe, and while the actual job of piloting a transport shuttle shipping goods to and from a foreign location is far fetched at this stage, an automated, �one-sided view� of the process, involving operating perhaps robots that move palettes and massive shipping crates from docked shuttles to trucks or something , would keep players busy. Security guards could also overview similar automated processes, like the first idea of security guards watching deliveries to office buildings.
So these are long descriptions, but to put it concisely 1) Automated delivery vehicles moving between corps requiring security and supervision, 2) Perhaps player driven corporate vehicles delivering packages of various types for particular companies, even perhaps large scale trucks delivering raw materials to factories, 3) factories with industrial robots and production lines that require player interaction in the form of mechanics and engineers, and 4) import/export control, involving in a similar vein security guards, the movement of goods to and from transport shuttles to waiting trucks or street-based transport vehicles for shipment to the above mentioned factories.
These are far flung ideas, but how else can you immerse players in the corporate experience without these kinds of activities? Factories I think are a good idea and the possibilities extending from them are numerous. This seems to imply the need for an entire goods based economy, but the basic structure is there on the �small level� in the form of our buying and selling stuff on the street in Red and shopping at stores and so on. Think of the RP! A ViriiSoma transport shuttle containing tons of various chemical compounds lands at the shipping port only to be attacked by a team from a criminal cartel on Red. The security guards and WJF put up a good fight, but are defeated and the thieves make off with a crate of raw chemicals, hijacking the company delivery truck. The poor thieves make it down to Red, where they ditch and burn the truck, open up the crate where they find to their dismay that, instead of extremely expensive Hemostax patches, they�ve got a ton of a strange, glowing, radioactive powder that they don�t know what to do with. They try and get rid of the product by going to various clinics and approach a pharmaceutical company�
(Edited by BuddhaBrand at 11:00 pm on Mar. 15, 2005)
(Edited by BuddhaBrand at 11:53 pm on Mar. 15, 2005)