I am working on the design of a Game development tycoon style game, and trying to figure out how to effectively simulate consumers. The player will be competing against, and cooperating with AI controlled companies for the sale of consoles, games, and game engines. I want the market to flow similarly to the real market. An example of this is Halo for xbox, it kinda started the boom of FPS games becoming mainstream. Another example was Final Fantasy VII for RPGs.
My current Idea is creating consumer objects to represent a smaller part of the market. Each consumer would have a tech and value score for deciding which consoles to buy. It would also have a budget for each month to purchase software, and have a list of liked genres, and minimum game score. if the player or AI release a game and its above the game score and in one of the liked genres list the consumer will buy the game, if they still have room in their game budget. Multiple games with a really high game scores in the same genre being made in the same year or two can influence the liked genre list for consumers.
The market as a whole will trend from great, consumer growth at 80 to 100% all the way to bad consumer decline at 5 to 10%. I was thinking that each consumer object would represent 1000 actual consumers, with some randomization so all sales numbers aren't exactly 1000. My problem is the size of the consumer base. I mean its probably not too bad when the game begins and there are only 1 or so million and I need 1000 consumers objects. When the market grows to something like it is today with 300 million or more consumers.
My current Idea to deal with market growth would be to boost the number of actual consumers each consumer object represents when the actual base reaches certain milestones. At 10 million actual customers the objects would then represent 10000 customers, and at 20 million objects would represent 20000 customers. This would keep the max consumer object number at 1000.
Does anyone else have any ideas for representing the consumer market in a semi realistic way?