Tying Up Loose Ends
I realized this morning that I still had to tie up a few loose ends in the encounter I added a couple weeks ago. There were two outcomes that required some adjustments to other encounters in the game.
So I spent most of the day working on those encounter revisions. One of them involved DMC authorities, so I ended up doing some research on prison systems and rehab. I was curious whether cryonics would play a part in future incarceration, since it could conceivably be cheaper to keep prisoners in stasis. A technologically advanced city which is pressed for space and food, but has ample electricity, might prefer prisoners who don't need rooms, toilets, food, and beds.
Of course, this raises the question of rehabilitation vs. punishment, and whether being preserved without conscious awareness really is a punishment at all (provided one doesn't care about family and contemporaries). Or, for that matter, whether it even solves the problem of removing criminals from society (since they just get deferred until later). There's also the question of mind-altering or mind-wiping, either accidentally during hibernation, or deliberately (e.g. Demolition Man).
Of course, cheap labor is also a valid approach for a place like the DMC. Meager accommodations could still be managed, especially if it meant a cheap, semi-skilled workforce. Perhaps such prisoners earn their keep working in facilities such as recycling plants, where humans separate more complicated garbage (e.g. electronics) into easier-to-recycle components?
In the end, I decided getting into that topic would mean a whole chain of encounters, which was more than I had time to do right now. The DMC is my main task, and this was just something I needed to clean up before continuing. Furthermore, a death penalty, while perfectly dystopian, is a bit unfair for an encounter the player may not see coming.
So I decided to go with exile from the DMC. It's not so far-fetched, it leaves the player a chance to keep playing, and it's a really simple encounter chain to model, so I can move on to the remaining DMC services sooner. Plus, it still leaves the door open for me to add sneaking into the DMC in the future, if I have time. (pun intended)
Anyway, I think I got both loose ends dealt with now. And when testing them, I also managed to find and fix two things in the game code. So it wasn't a total loss.
Hopefully I can start on that medical facility tomorrow!