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General Forge Forums => Game Development => Topic started by: Sp4m on August 21, 2011, 10:46:12 AM

Title: Service Co: Generations of Excellent Service
Post by: Sp4m on August 21, 2011, 10:46:12 AM
Pitch: Paranoia meets Idiocracy meets the Matrix
AKA Office Space in Space.

Players are service desk team for a galactic megacorp, where all other characters are so specifically trained, they are incapable of problem solving and creative thought. Despite being the only ones in the Galaxy who can do more than turn on and off a computer, because the players are indentured servants for the corporation, they belong to the lowest possible rung of society. They are given weekly missions of a mundane origin, whose ultimate resolution is anything but. Meanwhile, players are competing with each other for promotion, , and equipment, while other Mega Corps are looking to steal their business.

Why is this worth playing (Secret GM Only knowledge)?
During the course of the first adventures, players are given a slow reveal: they are smarter than everyone they meet, and everyone they meet is unhappy.Though players  are treated with disrespect by the world, they overcome adversity and are made to feel empowered. The rest of the characters in this story do not have adversity. The players slowly find out about the culture of their own people, and get an identity independent of their profession. They are given fantastic powers, and full control over how to use them. Then they discover that the entire world is a lie. Not only is all of man kind depressed and dissatisfied, but the players (and other servicer teams like them) are the only ones who keep everything going. Unfortunately, man kind is no longer capable of caring for itself, and if they stop, billions will die.

Until this reveal, the game plays as a light hearted dark comedy. Office Space in Space. Players struggle to get the bare minimum within a company whose mantra is "Do more with Less."

Title: Re: Service Co: Generations of Excellent Service
Post by: Zachary_Wolf on August 21, 2011, 12:10:58 PM
Overall I like the idea alot. I've been trying to think of some other way to present Paranoia style situations, where the characters are supposed to be working together on the surface, but secretely plotting each other's hilarious demise, and I think this is a pretty creative way to present that. As far as the "big secret", it seems interesting, but I'm not sure how it will support the original premise of "the characters are competing for promotion and getting sent on crazy odd jobs that lead to hyjinks". In other words, how would transition seemlessly from paranoid office space to the matrix?

Title: Re: Service Co: Generations of Excellent Service
Post by: Sp4m on August 21, 2011, 12:50:46 PM
Transition is planned over a 3 mission spread that slowly reveals a pangalactic servicer plot for revolution.As players breach the corporation hq with the intent to destroy it, they realize that there is no corporation, no level 2 dispatch technicians, no managers. There is only TODD, the big computer that runs everything.

intergroup competition needs to be fleshed out, but i'm afraid too much in fighting,and it will just be paranoia with a different shirt on.
Ideally, the players will band together to face teh adversity of a world that hates them because of their birthright.

Title: Re: Service Co: Generations of Excellent Service
Post by: Zachary_Wolf on August 21, 2011, 04:34:27 PM
Cool. I like the idea of TODD. What is the acronym for?

Okay, I see what you're aiming for now. In that case, not so much paranoia style backstabbing by vaporizing the other service crew, but inter-office competition for promotion akin to Dwight vs. Jim, but more over the top?

I'm interested to see how you present the game along with the presumed adventure path. Make sure you post a link to something on this forum too.

Title: Re: Service Co: Generations of Excellent Service
Post by: Kashlaor on August 22, 2011, 12:25:27 AM
If you wanted to be particularly dramatic you could make the player whos character "wins" the jockying for promotion the first to find out how hollow the corporation is.  Imagine him being invited up to "the 78th floor for commendation" only to find a deserted office covered in papers and a few spare pieces of drywall.

Title: Re: Service Co: Generations of Excellent Service
Post by: Sp4m on August 23, 2011, 01:06:04 AM
In the current build, no one can actually get promoted. players are all indentured servants, and the slightest error adds additional generations to their servitude.
It's intended to piss off and frustrate teh players, to make them realize they're obviously chasing an impossible carrot.

The surprise reveal is that they actually have the best jobs in the universe, doing the most important thing possible.
(unemployed layabout not considered).

ill have something up "in a bit". i'm burning a few worlds and writing some fluff right now.
There's a lot to this idea, but I don't want to write a lot. I want it short and sweet.

Title: Re: Service Co: Generations of Excellent Service
Post by: Josh Porter on August 23, 2011, 07:41:15 AM
There are a couple of questions that spring to mind.
A) How many sessions is the game designed to run? It definitely seems like it's more than 3, but it doesn't sound like it would go much past 4 or 5. Am I close?
B) How does each game guarantee that the characters join a rebellion, meet TODD, etc? Is there a script, or is it just assumed that that is what the players will want to do. You did mention that they would be frustrated for multiple sessions and that the frustration would drive them to rebellion. How is the game designed to handle player frustration and keep the players having fun, even if their characters are not?

Title: Re: Service Co: Generations of Excellent Service
Post by: Zachary_Wolf on August 24, 2011, 09:40:02 AM
Hey Sp4m,

Hopefully you're still working on this project. Josh had some really good questions. I'm also a little curious about how you plan to package this game. I've had similar ideas for games like this, but I've always been stumpted on how to deliver them. So, from the sound of, you're not planning on creating a role-playing game in the standard sense ("here are the rules, here is the setting, make your own story"), but almost like an adventure module with a built in system and setting ("here is the story, with a setting and some rules to facilitate it"). Is that what you're aiming for?

Title: Re: Service Co: Generations of Excellent Service
Post by: Sp4m on September 03, 2011, 11:35:06 PM
Sorry about going Idle! I was on my Honeymoon. Back from Hawaii, and sunburn is healed!

Okay, Questons!
Service Co is more of a Module than a game intended to be run indefinitely. The Experience I'd like to create has to have a particular arc, though I see no reason why a GM couldn't create their own stories with the tools and worlds provided.
The "Module" in question is designed for 3-5 sessions, though it can be stretched, and more missions can be created if appropriate.

After a couple successful missions, players know that other Mega Corps Service teams have been deliberately sabotaging equipment. They are contacted directly by the Resistance, and told about the rebellion. joining the Rebellion is players' choice, though it's intended to be a very appealing option. This will get fleshed out more as I develop the idea.

Frustration will be issued in small amounts. Not getting requested equipment. Being talked down to. Being given incredibly unjust punishment. But! Players are supposed to (generally) win. Overcome ridiculous odds, and feel bad-ass. In a world where they get no respect, and are literally slaves, the satisfaction of being able to do something that no one else around them can should be empowering.