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Community Campfire for May 26, 2015

Posted by dunkelza , 26 May 2015 · 1,593 views

Community Campfire for May 26, 2015 Howdy, folks!

I think y'all saw this picture last week in BlueDog's blog, but I wanted to talk about it just a little bit.

This logo mockup shows some of the various ways that megacorporations might be represented in the game. In Descent: Underground, nations as we think of them today are pretty much nonexistent. Sure, there are contiguous political areas, but their governments are largely powerless and ceremonial- at best.

Instead, your megacorporation is like your nationality. Each has a culture, a heritage, goals, and methods. While none of them are exactly "good", they are all unique and "better" in different ways- based on their corporate culture.

We wanted to make sure that you could fly your corporate colors, and the art team is doing an awesome job of figuring that out.

Keep watching this blog for more megacorporation reveals in the future, and take a look below the cut for a look behind the lore.
Also, remember to tune into our Twitch Channel at 11am CDT (1600 UTC) on Friday, May 22, for another fun-filled Wingman's Hangar, and be sure to submit your questions for FFFForum FFFFeedback!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to get the latest updates as soon as they appear!

Thanks for your support!

Fly Safe, Folks!



Daily Life in Descent: Underground

What is it like to live on Earth in the time of Descent: Underground? How do people make a living? What things do they need or want? Why are so many people obsessed with the escapism of the Underground Games? This was an important set of questions to answer. While life on Earth is not really shown in the game itself, it sets the backdrop for story elements and flavor text that will appear. So what is Earth like?

Short answer: It sucks.

Let's start from the outside in-

The Barrens
Also known as the Wilds, the Wastelands, the Dead Zones, and by similarly colorful nicknames, these are parts of the Earth that the megacorporations don't really care about. In higher latitudes, they are cold, dry, dark, and polluted. In lower latitudes, they are hot, dry, scorchingly bright, and polluted. The best of them resemble places like Siberia or the Mohave Desert today. The worst of them are not far off from Mad Max or The Road - though with a lot less gasoline. We stopped producing gasoline when natural supplies of petroleum ran out in the mid 21st Century.

People don't tend to live very long in the Barrens. If they aren't killed by wild animals, they'll probably be killed by wild humans. In either case, they run a good chance of being eaten. Assuming they make it to the ripe old age of thirty without becoming someone's dinner... well, cancer or some other environmental disease will likely punch their timecard. No wonder these folks are often called "The Forgotten".

The Outlands
Sometimes called the Frontier or the Outzone, this is the lightly populated (but controlled) parts of an EOZ or "Economic Opportunity Zone". We used to call EOZs states, provinces, or nations... back before the "governments" pretty much handed everything over to the corporations. Sure, if the "Most Favored Trading Partner" (the corp in charge) misses too many deadlines or fails to deliver the supplies they promised, the "government" might get overthrown and a new megacorp placed in charge. So yeah, sometimes folks get to pick a new overlord, but they don't exactly have the option to vote "None Of The Above".

Life in the Outlands is brutal and harsh, but no more so than life for peasants throughout history. It's a toss up which causes customers living in the Frontier more misery- occasional raids from the Barrens or daily exploitation by the corporations. Jobs in the Outzone are typically manual labor tasks like dirt farming, dump mining, recycling of ships and aircraft, or industries too dangerous to operate closer to the Arcology. Not every megacorp maintains the Frontier though. It is not unheard of for a new "Most Favored" corporation to dispossess the Outlanders and replace them with robotic workers. For most of those unlucky souls, the Barrens await...

The Campus
Also referred to as the Metroplex or the City, this is the densely-populated ring that surrounds the Arcology at the heart of each EOZ. Crowded, dirty, and loud, the Campus provides the bulk of an EOZ's workforce and population. These areas can easily cover hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands of square kilometers- even the smallest house tens of millions of customers. Campuses are diverse and divided, containing neighborhoods of unimaginable squalor and violence as well as working class districts and even some relatively pleasant areas that house lower-level managers.

Life in the Campus exemplifies the darker side of cities. Those with even a little more than their neighbors often hoard it jealously, or at the very least guard it carefully. Walking down the street, customers living in the Campus will see both those they envy and idolize, as well as those they fear and revile. Ethnic and religious divisions play out in inter-neighborhood rivalries... and sometimes violence. Poorer neighborhoods are often built around heavy industry, transportation, and services, while less impoverished areas tend to be anchored by intellectual sweatshops staffed by engineers, artists, and software developers.

The Arcology
Typically called the Arco, or occasionally the Acropolis or the Spire, this is a single, city-sized building at the heart of every EOZ. Tens or even hundreds of square kilometers in area, these fortresses tower over the surrounding Campus. Though theoretically self-sufficient, Arcologies do import supplies and products both from the surrounding EOZ and from other EOZs. While controlled by a single company, most megacorporations worthy of the name will maintain at least a small presence in every Acropolis.

Life in the Arcology is generally clean, safe, and relentlessly organized. Those with the money to dwell here do so not just for security from violence, but for the security of clean "Blue" drinking water, of aeroponically-grown food, and of modern medicine. That said, the Arcologies are gilded cages- those lucky enough to live here have heard the horror stories about what lies beyond the walls. Competition is ruthless and feuds are resolved in the most brutally efficient and plausibly deniable fashion possible. One's place in the world is easily discerned from one's elevation in the Spire- and the higher one climbs, the more people who will be trying to orchestrate one's fall...

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Void Stalker
May 28 2015 01:18 PM

Hey Dunkelza!  Have you written any books?  You have a real talent and if you have any fiction out there, I would like to read it.

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No books... yet.  Thanks for the compliment, though!

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Void Stalker
May 28 2015 06:52 PM

No books... yet.  Thanks for the compliment, though!


It's a well deserved compliment.  I enjoy writing myself, and if you ever wanted to get into it as a hobby or more, I will be happy to help steer you in the right direction.  

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