Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tangent I. The Bigger Picture

Enforcer concept art by Oliver Zavala.
The background on this site only gives you an introduction to the back story and tells you a tiny bit about Breakers and Security Officers. It is a very myopic look at a much grander storyline, and that is by design. Still, I think for those of you who are following this project, its worth giving you insight into the bigger picture.

When I originally brainstormed the idea behind Broken Contract, it revolved around Breakers and Enforcers. The Breaker concept has been fairly constant, Breakers being workers who have broken their contracts with the corporations they work for by attempting to desert and flee towards a new life free of indentured servitude. The original nemesis though, was not the Security Officers, it was the Enforcers. Contract Enforcers come from private bounty hunting firms that are paid to bring Breakers back to work.Though I can think of all sorts of great story lines, cool equipment, and variant scenarios involving Enforcers, I felt like the initial "break attempt" was great subject matter for a stand alone game. Ultimately, starting at the inception of a Breaker's new free life seemed like the best way to go because it gives ample room to build.

This, of course, then leaves room to expand from the point that Breakers exit the confines of their iron mines (or maybe eventually other possible work environments like agri-domes, labor camps, or factories) to a life on the run from newly hired Enforcers. The Enforcers would then be hired to track them down in the desert wilderness outside the mining colony.
Enforcer concept from Colin Swanson-White, or maybe this could be an Exciser?
What is freedom? Where are they running to? These are fair questions. For many, freedom is probably a bullet in the back knowing that for a brief instant they've crawled out from under the corporate heel. For others, it will be something more sustaining. What type of life exists for someone who has broken their corporate contract? There is mention of 'Steader Towns outside the domes populated by those who were able to buy their freedom from the corporations. Most 'Steader towns have sprung up by drawing off the combined incomes of followers of various religious cults, as singly no one could raise the money to buy a plot of land from the corporations, and religious organizations tend to have a greater sense of community. These could be havens that Breakers could run to, or they could be a source of income as either business associates or marks to be robbed to sustain that sense of freedom in the desert. The eventual introduction of 'Steaders creates a whole new wealth of story lines for gaming excitement.

The vision I have for the future involves eventually integrating 'Steaders, Excisers (no 'Steader really wants to pay their taxes so some sort of tooled up private firm needs to collect them), and Big Riggers (because with some Breakers living like bandits to survive, there would be gun toting teamsters to transport goods between 'Steader towns, agri-domes, and mining colonies.) I think there are a lot of concepts that could be fleshed out into a vibrant evolving universe. It all has to start somewhere though, so I paired it all down to a handful of Contract Breakers trying to escape the mines in which they work, and Security Officers trying to stop them. But believe me, if given the opportunity there will be much more to come.

-Nick 

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