At the first stages of the development of the game, we decided it was time to start creating the story for the game. We knew it would be about hacking and that everything should be realistic (for us something was realistic if it could happen in the reality). We also wanted to create a quite complex story.
A lot of concepts crossed our minds before getting one of the best ideas for the game, that ended up becoming one of the most important part of ExPlOiT: Make a story in which the player has to investigate and go around the world in order to get the information he wants he would unlock information by completing levels).
I started designing how the mechanics could support that idea of "investigation" when I realized that(like in real life) when you hack a computer/system you will find a huge amount of information (that you may or may not care about), so we decided that the player must go around a huge amount of information to find what he wanted. Then we added the concept of making a "world" for the game, so he would find people in the game buying things, getting paid, sending messages... (living their normal lives) and that the player could try to know more about them (investigate about them).
In that moment, my first objective was to create a world with fake people, companies, relations... All this trying also to add "secondary" stories that the player could try to investigate. The fun of creating this world was that the player could decide to know more about someone that has been hacking people, or maybe about a couple that has been suffering to pay their mortgage, or maybe just skip that part and play the next level.
A whole digital world is available for the player, but we don´t obligate the player to see it.
After designing the "main story" we decided to mix the video game with the reality, we have been making real websites for the fake companies in the video games. The player could hack someone and get his/her bank account and password, for latter getting in the website of the bank (the real web of the fake bank) and log inside the account to look for information.
The main story is still a secret.
Thanks for reading!