Monday, June 10, 2013

Corps and Criminals: Macroware

With the Corps and Criminals design contest underway, I thought it would be a good idea to showcase a little of what I've written for the book so far. Here is the book's entry for Macroware, the largest (indeed, one of the only) electronics companies in the world.

As a reminder, the Corps and Criminals design contest is running until July 7th. Remember to submit your entry by then to earn a chance to win a free PDF copy of Psi-punk!

Finally, note that the following entry is still unedited and subject to change. Enjoy!

Macroware

Macroware is the result of over 50 years of technology company acquisitions and mergers. What started as two major computer hardware and software companies joining forces eventually be-came the world’s leading computer company, a one-stop monopoly shop for all of the world’s computer needs. Though their industry dominance is profound, Macroware keeps their prices low to ensure that the public, governments, and other corporations don’t try to form any start-ups that might challenge their position of power.

This is the company responsible for the tablet computers that nearly everyone in the world carries around with them, in addition to the global network that links them all together. Macro-ware also writes the software for nearly every functional piece of technology from automobiles to complex security algorithms. It’s no wonder that this is the world’s wealthiest and largest company, employing more citizens worldwide than any other corporation on Earth.

Though enormously influential, Macroware sees little benefit in attempting to take any sort of governmental power. It is more prudent for a company which supplies security software and hardware to every country on earth to remain neutral; taking some political stance would certainly cause them to fall out of favor with many of the countries in which they operate.

Many unsuccessful attempts have been made by rogues to infiltrate Macroware for a variety of reasons, but few of them ever get away with it. In most of these circumstances, the infiltrators are after valuable information that the company might have on a rival company, person, or nation; indeed, the world’s largest software giant may know a little something about everyone in the world, but that information is next-to-impossible to get to thanks to the company’s high-tech security. They employ fewer private guards than most companies in their class, and their data security is second-to-none.

Macroware employs a large number of highly skilled Ghosts to secure their computer systems, meaning that anyone who steps into the ‘Net and attempts to infiltrate their network is sure to meet with fierce, and sometimes deadly, competition. It is also rumored that a number of their top security experts are Wraiths who patrol the Astral Plane and watch for invaders from all angles.

Corporate Culture

Macroware employees the world over enjoy a high-tech lifestyle; not surprising considering who they work for. They enjoy small discounts on the company’s tech, from personal computing devices to high-end vehicle gadgets, and for many it’s a point of prestige to show off their new toys before everyone else can get them.

Nearly every citizen, from entry-level workers to top executives, is decked out in streetware and the company even hosts an annual “Mod Your Bod” contest to showcase the most unusual or extreme chromejobs. Last year’s winner was an accountant who programmed her case lights to flash green every time her department earned some amount of revenue; it was a simple mod, but the judges loved watching their company make money.

Macroware employees are encouraged to work closely together to improve products across all lines. The result is a culture of openness, and they pride themselves in being one of the most widely accepting corporations. That’s not to say there isn’t occasional in-fighting and rivalry, but as big business is concerned Macroware is perhaps the friendliest place to work.

Macroware in Your Game

As one of the only computer manufacturers in the world, Macroware is sure to touch the lives of every character. It would be rare to find anyone not living with the Amazonia Luddites who didn’t own at least a few Macroware devices.

The company is dominant in the tech industry, but they aren’t completely ruthless—at least not outwardly. They keep their prices low to keep people complacent; nobody likes a monopoly which uses its power to suck people dry, but a monopoly which seems to act fairly and in the best interest of the people goes unnoticed.

Behind the scenes, Macroware likes to pull the strings. They supply tech to every country in the world, but that means they can cut off anyone who doesn’t play by their rules. It’s a quiet game of dominance, but one that doesn’t go wholly unnoticed. Many other corporations and nations hire street runners to infiltrate Macroware and uncover secrets that may be used to put an end to their power.

Macroware Player Characters

Characters with backgrounds as Macroware employees are probably some form of technology-minded individual. They may be hackers, psi-jackers, or even ghosts. Characters with a Rank of Good or better enjoy access to some of the company’s unique hardware and software, but the company’s biggest secrets and most tightly-secured systems would still be off limits to them.

Not every Macroware employee is a tech-head, though. The company still needs accountants, customer service reps, marketers, security guards, and so forth. While even these employees enjoy some amount of technical knowledge, it isn’t necessarily their focus.