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-   -   [GAME] Incorporate a Cyberpunk Megacorp (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=161255)

Daigoro 12-25-2018 10:29 AM

[GAME] Incorporate a Cyberpunk Megacorp
 
As per (E)'s request and my own hankerings, and in spite of ericthered's warnings...

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Incoming pirate message from GURPSnet.
Countermeasure scan eliminates 147 trojan attachments.
Open message? (Y/N): Y

Systems greedings, World Hackers!
That jolly ol' fixer in a crimson fedora and duster coat, Shanty Claws, decked out in half a million euyen of backstreet modded gear from Northpool, has dropboxed a gift-module for you under the blinking lights of the File Directory Tree. Ripping off its RFID tags and anti-static polymer sheath reveals…. A glittering new megacorp!

Well, get to it, cyberpunks! What does it look like?
Chip in, slot up, pysch out - time to hack together a setting!!
Regards, D41-60r0xx


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This is a collaborative setting building game, this time with the objective of making a cyberpunk megacorp. Megacorps are an essential part of the cyberpunk genre, such as Bladerunner's Tyrell Corporation and 2049's Wallace Corp, Alien's Weyland-Yutani, Mr Robot's Evil-corp, Neuromancer's Tessler-Ashpool SA or Robocop's Omni-Consumer Products. They may be benevolent, malign, ambivalent, or a mixture of all three simultaneously. They might monopolise the economy, be the only one worth mentioning, or be one of many sharks swimming in the sea.

For this iteration of the game, I'd like to try an experiment. We can't fully describe a megacorp without knowing the specifics of the cyberpunk setting we're installing it in, but I neither want to use an established setting nor vaguely handwave a too-generic cyberpunk background. Therefore, we'll try to build the setting and the megacorp in two parallel question streams. These can cross-reference and cross-germinate each other, with the intent that the megacorp will fit into the setting as we build the setting around it.

Thus, the method will be like this:
- Answer the preceding question(s) with your awesome cyberpunk world-building skills
- Pose your own setting question and/or megacorp question
- Question numbers will go sequentially across both question streams, so no doubling up on question numbers. Mark setting questions as [STG] and megacorp questions with [MC].
- We'll start off with one setting question [STG] and one megacorp question [MC] per post, but we'll allow more when we have some of the setting basics hacked out.
- To make it easier to read through, clearly mark questions and answer titles in bold, and quote the question you're answering, in the below format. Also try to use line breaks to break up wall-of-text answers.

Post format:
Quote:

Originally Posted by ericthered
Question 8) [STG] What's the main currency?

Answer 8 [STG]- Currency
The government-backed currency is the euyen, but the crypto bashcoin is very popular for tax-free, street and black market purposes.

Question 9 [MC]
What's the standard issue firearm for corp-sec officers?

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And here's a rundown of some previous efforts-
Spoiler:  


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So, to initiate the process:

Question 1 [STG]
What is the location and scope of our setting?
Are we going to focus on just one city or the whole globe?
Is it on a future Earth, elsewhere in the solar system, somewhere else in space, or a completely fictional cyberpunk secondary world divorced from Earth-based history and geo-politics (I see no reason why only fantasy can have made-up worlds, so this might be a cool avenue worth exploring).

Question 2 [MC]
What's the name of our putative megacorp?

benz72 12-25-2018 12:39 PM

Re: [GAME] Incorporate a Cyberpunk Megacorp
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Daigoro (Post 2230876)
As per (E)'s

So, to initiate the process:

Question 1 [STG]
What is the location and scope of our setting?
Are we going to focus on just one city or the whole globe?
Is it on a future Earth, elsewhere in the solar system, somewhere else in space, or a completely fictional cyberpunk secondary world divorced from Earth-based history and geo-politics (I see no reason why only fantasy can have made-up worlds, so this might be a cool avenue worth exploring).

Question 2 [MC]
What's the name of our putative megacorp?


A1[STG]
The increasingly connected nature of the world ensures that effective operators can function anywhere on Earth. Some hyperspecialists are able to conduct missions off planet, but the call for these sorts of operations is extremely rare due to the expense and time it takes to reach anything of interest.

A1[MC]
One of the most lucrative is Tio, having correctly anticipated the rise of corporate opportunity in South and Central America the Technology Innovation Organization incorporated at just the right time to ride the rise in consumerism in that region to the top.

Q2[STG]
What is the nature of the relationship between the largest corporations and governments?

Q2[MC]
How many GigaCorps are there on Earth?

TGLS 12-25-2018 01:51 PM

Re: [GAME] Incorporate a Cyberpunk Megacorp
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by benz72 (Post 2230899)
A1[STG]
A1[MC]
One of the most lucrative is Tio, having correctly anticipated the rise of corporate opportunity in South and Central America the Technology Innovation Organization incorporated at just the right time to ride the rise in consumerism in that region to the top.

I think you got the question mixed up; we're fleshing out one megacorporation, not several. I'll answer both anyway.

Quote:

Originally Posted by benz72 (Post 2230899)
Q2[STG]
What is the nature of the relationship between the largest corporations and governments?

A2[STG]
Depends. In China or Arabia, they're all state-owned anyway, so it doesn't really matter. In the West, they ostensibly have to answer to the government, but after Kilosys brought down the Dawson government in New Zealand, everyone's to afraid to go against them. In the kleptocracies of the global south and Russia, the corporations are in bed with the government. There are a couple of space colonies where the corporations are the government, but there are barely more than ten thousand people up there. North Korea is literally a puppet government run by a few corporations.

Quote:

Originally Posted by benz72 (Post 2230899)
Q2[MC]
How many GigaCorps are there on Earth?

A2[MC]
Well, if a megacorp has a revenue of a million million dollars, and a gigacorp has a revenue of a billion million dollars, then there may be two, maybe three gigacorps. If you mean hegemonic, powerful corporations, there's probably twenty to fifty, depending on who's counting.


Q3[STG]
Money. Are central banks still important, or do corporations issue scrip? Or maybe something else?

Q3[MC]
Does Tio dominate any particular market niches or technologies? Or does it make up for not having any through sheer dominance in Latin America?

(E) 12-25-2018 03:26 PM

Re: [GAME] Incorporate a Cyberpunk Megacorp
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TGLS (Post 2230904)
Q3[MC]
Does Tio dominate any particular market niches or technologies? Or does it make up for not having any through sheer dominance in Latin America?

TIO is a dominant player in the area of mid volume consumer products, that is to say the electronic devices that are issued to security forces, the control panels installed by automotive manufacturers and the like. Their activities are not restricted to just this area however. Since Stiener Aquisitions lost its ICC* membership and was taken over by TIO they diversified into "vertically integrated regional services" where they buy up and get contracts for public and commercial services in a single area and source as many resources as possible in house. For example a single city might have TIO owning the water supply, the power company and contracting some of the postal, telecommunication and security services. Aside from these two areas of focus the corporation is a small player in most fields of consumer products, TIO's ownership of several critical and lucrative pieces of intellectual property ensures their wealth and position. They have a firm hold in South America and are expanding north.

*International Corporate Court

Question 7 [MC]

Is TIO one of the big three corporations or is it one of the more numerous merely vast corporations?

Tyneras 12-25-2018 07:36 PM

Re: [GAME] Incorporate a Cyberpunk Megacorp
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TGLS (Post 2230904)
Q5 [STG]
Money. Are central banks still important, or do corporations issue scrip? Or maybe something else?

A5 [STG] Central banks have experienced a recent resurgence of importance after several other megacorps issuing company script had catastrophic financial meltdowns. These central banks are now aggressively seeking to cement their power and position, putting them in a highly antagonistic position with bashcoin which is still the dominant currency of the black market and small businesses.

Q8 [STG] What was the most recent disaster (natural or man-made) to dominate popular dialog? Was it everything it seemed to be? How did it effect business?

Quote:

Q9 [MC]
What's the standard issue firearm for corp-sec officers?
A9 [MC]
Electrolasers and vortex-ring launchers are everywhere, they can be used with reckless abandon even in crowds without any public outcry or government response. Even fatal accidents caused by these weapons tend to get shrugged off with little more than fines (which are nothing to a megacorp).

Q10 [MC] How do corporate employees get around? Are the skyscrapers self contained or do workers need to commute significant distances

Daigoro 12-26-2018 12:51 AM

Re: [GAME] Incorporate a Cyberpunk Megacorp
 
Bookkeeping:
Sorry if I caused some confusion with my initial explanation. We're on the right track, but just to clear up two things:
Quote:

Originally Posted by TGLS (Post 2230904)
I think you got the question mixed up; we're fleshing out one megacorporation, not several. I'll answer both anyway.

Correct. The MC questions are not about megacorps in general in the setting, but about fleshing out a single megacorp, which we now have defined as TIO (Technology Innovation Organization) dominant in South & Central America. So further MC questions should focus on aspects of this particular corporation, while STG questions can ask about the setting in general, including what's happening with other megacorps and who they are.

Secondly, for question numbering, I considered going with two separate number streams, but decided that it might cause confusion down the track. Instead, let's number MC and STG questions on the same axis, so that we can refer just to Question 17 instead of having to specify Q17 (STG) as different to Q17 (MC). The question numbers that have gone before should look like the below.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Numbering fix
Q2[STG] --> Q3[STG]
What is the nature of the relationship between the largest corporations and governments?

Q2[MC] --> Q4[MC]
How many GigaCorps are there on Earth?

Q3[STG] --> Q5[STG]
Money. Are central banks still important, or do corporations issue scrip? Or maybe something else?

Q3[MC] --> Q6[MC]
Does Tio dominate any particular market niches or technologies? Or does it make up for not having any through sheer dominance in Latin America?

Question 4(5?) [MC] --> Q7[MC]
Is TIO one of the big three corporations or is it one of the more numerous merely vast corporations?

Q6 [STG] --> Q8[STG]
What was the most recent disaster (natural or man-made) to dominate popular dialog? Was it everything it seemed to be? How did it effect business?
Quote:

Originally Posted by Daigoro (Post 2230876)
Question 9 [MC]
What's the standard issue firearm for corp-sec officers?

Q7 [MC] --> Q10[MC] How do corporate employees get around? Are the skyscrapers self contained or do workers need to commute significant distances?

And as my example question was included into the question stream, let's leave it at Q9 as above and make the latest question Q10. Next question is Question 11.

It might help if posters could go back and quickly edit question numbers. Thanks!

Daigoro 12-26-2018 04:38 AM

Re: [GAME] Incorporate a Cyberpunk Megacorp
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by (E) (Post 2230924)

Question 7 [MC]

Is TIO one of the big three corporations or is it one of the more numerous merely vast corporations?

Answer 7 [MC] - Corporate Rankings
TIO is one of the bigger sharks in the sea, but not in the world's Giga Three. It ranks a strong 3rd in the South and Central America (SACA) sphere, behind Brazilian Imperador Integrated and Civ-Peninsular from Macau. Annual global rankings put it hovering between #15 and #18, jumping from #30 after the takeover of Steiner Acquisitions 11 years ago.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyneras (Post 2230965)
Q6 [STG] --> Q8 [STG] What was the most recent disaster (natural or man-made) to dominate popular dialog? Was it everything it seemed to be? How did it effect business?

Question 8 [STG] - Eco-disaster
Locally, the most notable disaster has been Agent Gold, an ecological disaster of the highest order afflicting the Amazon Basin and the whole region's forestry and agriculture. Agent Gold is a bioengineered mycoplague defoliant that has caused a 30% loss of remaining rainforest since its release 5 years ago, and is threatening a much greater impact against regional agriculture. Pan-America Compact forces were originally blamed for its release but the PAC Parliament redirects blame to the guerrilla groups they were supposedly fighting, while guerrilla propaganda names malfeasant corporate actors as the culprits.

Business, as always, has profited from the situation, variously by stepping in with safe agricultural imports, by claiming government grants and tax breaks for preservation and rejuvenation projects, and by manufacturing fungicides and mycophages to combat the plague.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyneras (Post 2230965)
Q7 [MC] --> Q10[MC] How do corporate employees get around? Are the skyscrapers self contained or do workers need to commute significant distances?

Answer 10 [MC] - TIO Commuters
Even within TIO, this varies greatly between cities and with local conditions. For example, their Perla Andina corporate arcology in La Paz, Bolivia, claims the record for world's highest arcology. It houses 20,000 employees in decent conditions who can walk, elevator or travelator to work. Compare that to their Santo Domingo offices in Dominica, which are a trilogy of squat glass towers sitting in the bay accessed by high-speed rail, quadrotor and ferry from disparate corporate communes around the island.

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Question 11 [STG] - Giga Three Corporations
Who are the Giga Three, the world's dominant gigacorps?

Question 12 [MC] - Corporate Myth
Many corporations had humble beginnings, starting in someone's garage or by selling a nerve tonic for 5c a bottle. What is TIO's "corporate mythology"?

(E) 12-26-2018 08:00 PM

Re: [GAME] Incorporate a Cyberpunk Megacorp
 
Answer 12 (1 of 3) [STG] The three Gigacorps

The least well known of the big three is Morgan Oceanic. It can trace its roots back to london in the 1830's when the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company* was founded. It's more recent rise from a huge company to a global corporate power dates back to the marriage of Sofia Morgan and one of Dubai's princes. The prince was fascinated by all the sciences of the sea almost to the point of obsession. Sofia on the other hand is now one of the more heavily studied figures in corporate lore. To cut a long story short the combination of business acumen and maritime research led to a corporation that has financial, political and technological domination of worlds oceans.
Corporate activities include
- Submersible transport ships that monopolize arctic winter shipping
- Ownership of the foremost oceanic spaceport.
- Undersea mining, with near total control of the rights to several minerals.
- Aquaculture.
- Ports and transport
- Anti-piracy policing
- Arcology ships
- Maritime research and exploration
- Man made islands.

*which eventually became P&O which became part of Dubai World.

That's 1 out of 3, I'll provide more unless anyone beats me to it.

Question 13 [STG]

The largest of the Islands constructed by Morgan Oceanic serves as the place to be for corporations, why is this and what else is there of note about this artificial landmass?

TGLS 12-26-2018 10:28 PM

Re: [GAME] Incorporate a Cyberpunk Megacorp
 
Answer 13 [STG]: Gateway to the Pole

The largest of the islands constructed by Morgan Oceanic is Mu-Sigma. A just north of the Antarctic Circle, near Marie Byrd Land, the artificial island is the premier locale for corporations interested in exploitation of Antarctica. As all of the other claims of Antarctica are wrapped up in various conflicts (environmental protests, overlap, small size, etc.), Marie Byrd Land is the only area that is likely to receive development as Antarctica melts.

Many large corporations control warehouses and offices that are used to mount expeditions to Marie Byrd Land. The island had occupancy problems as Antarctica melted at a slower pace than expected, but the relatively isolated location helps corporations do lab work that they want to be kept quiet. Morgan Oceanic is all to happy to ensure that nothing (information or otherwise) gets out without a specific request by a renting corporation. This is being threatened by increased traffic along the "Southern Passage", which is bringing more considerably traffic to Mu-Sigma, for shore leave and as it is a convenient midpoint. The friction between shipping and secrecy is already causing trouble, even inside Morgan; rumors say a high-level exec was killed in a murder for hire by another exec...

Question 14 [STG]
What's the internet like? 80s style cyberspace and VR or modernish glowing rectangles and command lines?

(E) 12-26-2018 11:57 PM

Re: [GAME] Incorporate a Cyberpunk Megacorp
 
Answer 12 (2 of 3) [STG] The three Gigacorps
General Analytics
Almost the sole survivor of the internet boom General Analytics (G.A.) rose to power in the aftermath of California's "Big One". Alastair Rawlings had founded a successful tech company that had gained high market penetration and developed some unique software that both used users devices as a sensor net and predicted trends from undiscovered nuances in the data. His company was subject to a fierce bidding war between three of the tech giants of the twenty teens, he eventually sold his company for a ludicrous amount of money and began working for the buyer in the interim. Just before the 8.4 magnitude quake hit the San Andreas fault Alastair used the entirety of his wealth to short sell primarily California based tech stocks. This business deal, the infamous picasecond takeover and even more infamous fractal ownership legal defense exponentially increased the size of Alastair's wealth. Gone are the tech giants of the early twenty-first century, in their place is General Analytics. There is a book, Independently published using entirely non electronic means titled "Rawlings; the most successful psychopath" but that's just the work of a paranoid kook....
General Analytics is the big player in a number of areas even though it may not be obvious to most observers.
Activities include
- Big data
- Cybernetics
- Consumer electronics
- Consumer software
- California


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