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     Post subject:Enhanced Corporate Investigation
    PostPosted:Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:11 pm 

    Joined:Mon May 29, 2006 6:11 pm
    I'm getting major deja-vu right now. I feel like i've talked about this before, but after combing through my post history I can't find any reference to it.

    Everyone knows how goofy it is with those early 'destroy data on a fileserver' missions, where you can quickly break into the system, and the second you finish deleting the target file you can contact your employer, whereupon they will almost instantly respond with your payment.

    Thinking about how the employer could know that you had completed the mission led me to consider a few things;

    Firstly, it would be cool if there was some interaction with employers, and they acted a bit more realistically. Take a job, let a reasonable amount of time pass, email the employer and tell them that you've completed the job. Some jobs it would be clear immediately that you haven't completed the job, for example any situation in which you need to provide stolen data. However with destruction missions, you would email the employer and they would reply once they verify that their terms have been met.

    I feel this could lead to some interesting ways to interact with employers; high rated agents may get paid once they inform the employer that the job is complete, before the job is verified. Perhaps the player could become favoured by a particular company, who seek the player out rather than posting on the Uplink mission list, and they too would be willing to pay out earlier than it takes for them to verify mission completion. This then gives the player options to betray the trust of corporations for profit: you could take the money and run without actually finishing a mission; sell information you have been privy to, or inform a rival corporation of a pending mission. This then gives the player potential enemies in the game that aren't tied directly into the storyline, and expands possible mission types.

    The other thing I was thinking about was how employers would verify that missions had been successfully completed. Stealing data is obvious, but the destroy data missions? With the bigger versions of these missions where you destroy the targeted system, and that is made public this is easier, but when the target is a single file, or perhaps the company that just lost their system chooses not to make that public, there needs to be something more behind it.

    One solution is to consider how the employer knew about the targeted file to begin with. Perhaps an informant within the target company. The mole informs the employer about the existence of the data, and the employer then uses external agents to deal with it. This provides a more authentic mechanic for verifying the success of a mission of this kind; the player destroys the target data, informs the employer, and then waits until the man on the inside has confirmed that the data has been deleted, which would then prompt the mission payment.

    This then paves way for slightly more interesting mission types. The player accepts a job to destroy data on a mainframe, the existence of which has been discovered by a mole. The target system is owned by a corporation the player has good relations with, which leads the player to a choice; continue with the mission as normal, or inform the target.

    One outcome of informing the target could be a double-agent mission. The player is tasked with secretly backing up the data (or this could be done independently), and then proceeding to fake the destruction and reporting to the original employer. The employer needs to verify the destruction, and so the mole is called upon, at which point the target company catches him where he shouldn't be and now knows who the mole is, granting you big time favour with them. Of course, the original employer is going to be none too happy with you for that.

    They might be so angry with you that they outsource missions to other employers, intended to bait you into breaking into systems with sysadmins ready to catch you, giving you a real need to be wary of who you piss off.

    I feel this would give more depth to how the player chooses to select their missions, and would provide some much needed authenticity to the experience. It also provides more open mechanics and systems for the player to interact with, rather than just expanding the list of missions.

     Post subject:Re: Enhanced Corporate Investigation
    PostPosted:Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:27 am 
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    Joined:Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:21 am
    This is all very interesting, and I'd like to see it in the game. Let's wait to hear from our glorious overlords about the feasibility of it.

    I'll see you on the dark side of the (ferrous) moon.

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