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NewsRetention: Feedback on the concept

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The writing / history for this story can be found here: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/647160-newsretention-background-story-need-feedback/

Check out http://user.newsretention.co.za/ for updated on the site (if it is down or erroring out, pelase dont flame about it.)


NewsRetention as a whole is not a unique or original idea, but rather one that will take a concept and build on it in a way that will make people more eligible to play - and keep on playing it.
The idea behind it comes from some particularly well-known game titles of 'company hacking and defacing'. As the game goes, you will be a protagonist in a digital and real time world of red-door hacking. Companies and general members of the public will pay you to use your skills to help delete sensitive data, or even move it from one place to another.
Most of the games generally get more interesting by allowing you to 'hack' other protagonists bank accounts, personal data vaults, etc to steal their identity and do devious things on their behalf. Or simply take their money.
Unfortunately, most of these titles are based on solo-play, with a very linear story.
NewsRetention aims to change that by bringing this concept to an online browser based game.
The reason I feel this will work is because there isn't a need for a 3D engine or a downloadable client. Users can play this game from anywhere - at any time - on almost any platform.
The data will always be real-time, users won't feel updates, and based on the technology used, servers won't be too expensive to run.
The three very apparent rolls in the game will consist of CompaniesUsers, and Protagonists.
The Object (usually just confidential information) will be in the form of a User-Produced template. ('Templates' are not covered in this initial post) (A very brief overview of what templates are to be discussed)


Companies are entities that store templated in a hopefully secure vault. These entities are the only ones that can manage the outcome of a template. Note: Companies can create templates too.

Users create templates. They then send the templates off to their preferred company to get processed.

Protagonists are users who have the skillset to hack into companies, manipulate templates, and other dubious doings.


Templates are a vessel that contains data on anything the user desires. Companies then process the template and send it to the party at hand. Note: Templates were initially used to store information about each person.


The technology will consist of a server, and a Website front-end for users to play the game.
The site will be coded in C# and JavaScript, with SignalR used as the real-time broadcaster.
The Database will be MSSQL.

I would like any feedback on this concept - whether you feel it may or may not work - or any constructive criticism you have on the idea.
I've tried to accurately write out as much information as possible. However, it may not really make sense to you. I will update this post with any relevant news to help you decide.

Edited by NewAmbition

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These entities are the only ones that can manage the outcome of a template.

What is this outcome ?

Am i correct to assume that users(and sometimes companies) send a template to a company to get processed and then it gets send back to the user(or company) ?


Is the role of protagonist the only role a player can take or can he also play as a company or user ?

In which way do companies differ from each other ?
Same question about users and about protagonists.

I haven't read anything about the game-play yet, but that's good, because before going into that i should to ask:
what kind of commitment are you aiming for the game to expect from the user ?
Online browser-games come in all kinds, some you can play for hours and then not touch for weeks and then pick up again and have fun again.

Others will penalize a player for not logging in for a day, or for two days
(or reward for logging in everyday, personally, i 've never seen these two as different in a multiplayer-setting)

Some regenerate action-points at a steady rate, expecting some commitment but more flexible for the player.

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Constructive feedback? That isnt a flame..? Thats a good start in any book :)


I've just posted a link (On top of the original post) that leads to a writeup of the story. I think that it may provide some clarity on the outcome.

But for simplicity, the 'outcome' is ~anything~. It can be a document, or a bar of platinum. The story will explain it further.


Yes, you are correct. Templates are merely data holders. Anyone can have and use them, for different purposes.


In the initial release of the game, players can only be protagonists. However, not too long after, a user can choose to start and manage a company of their own.

A company can be run by multiple people pooling their resources together - This will add dynamics of very well set protagonists buying shares into companies.


A 'user' is what all players will start off as. This paves a way for everyone to start equally, and have the same opportunities. Banks can provide whatever initial resources a player may need in the beginning.

Companies and Protagonists differ from themselves only by the way they play.

For a company, it can be that they offer very cheap services. Or one may be more secure than the other. Some companies can process faster than others, while some may be in 'better' standings with The Hall.


For protagonists, it will all be about the style of their play, how much disposable income and information they have, and how long they've been a member of The Hall for.



I need to say that I'm not expecting players to pay per month, pay for ?worthwhile/game changing upgrades, or pay for any penalties. I am creating this purely because I can, and because I love creating things for the community. IF players feel they want to give me any sort of monetary contribution (Which will primarily and foremost go toward upgrading the look, feel, and general style of the game, they will be able to donate **whatever amount** they feel is right.


For commitment, and based on my previous rant, the user isn't forced to play 24/7 just to get anywhere. Due to The Hall's rating system, a user is however needed to put in the appropriate amount of time to get anywhere worth being.

Smaller jobs will be based on a 'single player' feel. It'll be dispensed by bots, and there may even be repeats. This is until user-run companies come into play.


The game is mainly governed by the players. While technically you can leave the game for a year without fear of loosing your account, I cannot promise some hacker never tried to break into it and take your money / information. You will be able to purchase some security though, if you feel you need to go on a 6 week holiday.

There will be no game-based penalty for not playing.

I dont believe that just because you've logged into the game for 6 days straight that you deserve a reward that could potentially overpower you. Any reward system will be based on jobs done, and how The Hall feels.




I am fully open to (non game breaking) ideas that I can incorporate. 

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