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Economics In a Game

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I''ve been trying to design a economic system for my next game. I just wanted some extra input on what I''ve come up with so far. A quick run down on the economic system so far: The player can own shops and sell items at prices he sets: Gamer doesn''t have to be present for the deals to go though just merely has to set up asking amount and taking amounts for all the items they have. (This part is the main part of the engine for the economic system, because it would allow the player to be away from the shop and still have buisness conducted regularly) Is there a better way to have this done? Prices - The player will have constant compition with computer-operated shops, this should keeps the prices down, but how would I know when to remove a shop from the area, aka the shop goes bankrupt. I figured a preset amount that when that number is reached the shop just sells inventory at cost and shuts its doors. But this would give the gamer a open oppertunity to simply slash its prices until the computer-operated shop hits that preset amount. What would be the best way to prevent this from happening? Other than that its a pretty simple economic engine, but I didnt want to goto the old time-honored econimic engine and have the shops never change owners, prices, and inventory. While this makes it easy on the gamer and the programmer, I''d rather have a new type of engine. Thanks for any input. Glandalf

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The best way to ensure that the player doesn''t just slash prices until a competitor goes out of business is to make them react to price wars.
The gamer can only slash prices while they have enough cash in the bank to support making less money on their produce. Whoever has the most money would eventually win this kind of war but few competitors would be willing to damage themselves that much. It might take out a couple of shops once in a while but if the gamer employs these kind of tactics then so can the AI shops.

Just try to copy real life as far as you can.

Mike

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Yeah that sounds good, and I''ve thought up another way to fight against that as well. If the player does get the shop to close down, there will be a timer on the shop and when the timer reaches 0 the computer will check to see if the player has hiked up their prices, if so the computer will put a new shop w/ lower prices than the player. This should keep the players from slashing very often because if would only work for alimited time, or if they keep their prices resonable.

But do you have another way for the player to set their prices, cause I can''t seem to think up a better way. Thanks for you Input.

Glandalf

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You could layer your economic engine. Of which the player would only interact with one layer of this engine (the retail/top layer). The lower layer could represent the primary production. So if you lower your prices (top layer) then the primary production (lower layer) will react in a way the will balance the game.

I believe that this would improve the cohesivness of your economic engine elements using layers/levels rather than patching it.

Just a thought,
Paul C

Edited by - Paul Cunningham on June 18, 2000 9:45:36 PM

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