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Wavinator

Nanotech item sales as gameplay?

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Imagine that you're a one-person business, capable of using nanotech to create items and distribute them. How would you make this gameplay interesting enough to keep you coming back for more? Say that you're a citizen of an orbitscraper (vertical city that goes into space) or space station. You have the ability to obtain and combine different types of nanobots which, with the right tools and skill, yeild different items. You can then find a reseller who will buy your stuff, or try to sell it person to person. Your goal is to grow from a small scale door-to-door operation, to a kiosk, to a store, to a large enterprise. The general gameplay I see possible revolves around leveling vs. survival, NPCs interaction, exploring habitats, and making deals. But I'm interested in twists or specifics you might see possible.
Here's more detail: Survival: You're always under the gun to stay afloat. First, everyone owes The Man a Habitat Tax, payable monthly, varying by habitat & government. If you're a human, your health, energy and morale naturally fall (gameplay relating to food, sleep and R&R restore). If you're a 'borg, you only have to deal with slowly declining morale. If you fail survival it's harder to level/skill up. As a human, you'll be running around in poor health (easier to die from wounds/nanotech/disease/etc.) and fumbling skill tests. Poor morale means bad social interactions, which can limit your opportunities for trade and/or missions. Ultimately, this means less money, which is the primary access to leveling/skilling up. NPC Interaction: In this society, just about everyone has a pas, an electronic PDA/personal assistant. In this future culture, people heavily rely on the pas to broadcast a wide range of interests along open or coded channels (which belong to a range of clubs, factions and secret societies). So when you walk in public spaces, you can fine-tune your pas to attempt to attract or find potential customers. Once you find a customer, there should be some gameplay to get them to buy your goods. But I'm a bit fuzzy on how to make this fun. Would straight haggling be interesting enough to do hundreds of times? Exploring Habitats: Stations and vertical cities are often self-segregated into helices (plural of helix), groups that identify with each other on the basis of genetic similarity (heriditary or engineered). There should be some risk/reward in exploring these areas, but I don't want to imply that it's violent (that's for the dangerous slums at the lower levels of the cities). Any ideas on how to make this more challenging would be most welcome. Deals: You make an agreement with an NPC, with penalties if either breaks it. This gives you a guaranteed customer for a certain amount of time. But what would make for interesting gameplay here? This could be as simple as having a trustworthiness rating you find out online (the chance they break the deal), or more complicated.
Any thoughts?

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What exactly is the end goal?
If it's power, maybe the trades can help increase your overall influence?

Maybe trading could be made better by giving the player choices between trading for money, other items that could be enhanced and sold, or some third option.

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What does the player really have to offer?

If the nano can create any object then why would a middle man be needed. Is there a limited usuability on it or does the nano last forever? What is to stop you average homeowner from owning(or replicating) the needed nano and just manufacturing items directly from it? Time constraints? Energy constraints? Legal constraints?

Speaking of which... is there only one type of nano which does everything? Or will a wide variety be needed?

Sorry- more questions than answers.

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Original post by The Regent
What exactly is the end goal?
If it's power, maybe the trades can help increase your overall influence?


The main goal here is leveling, in the form of rank, equipment and release from limits.

You can do this in a freeform fashion (setting your own goals), or follow the story, which is about affecting the course of history and opposing specific NPCs.

Quote:

Maybe trading could be made better by giving the player choices between trading for money, other items that could be enhanced and sold, or some third option.


What if, in a future where every monetary transaction is subject to a microtax, people instead barter to get around the tax? This suggests that you could be trading for components to build bigger things.

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Original post by Thermodynamics
What does the player really have to offer? If the nano can create any object then why would a middle man be needed.



What I'm assuming is that "nangineering" isn't a slam dunk, plug-in affair. Like computer programming, there's good nangineering and crappy nangineering, but with highly regulated versions of "compilers." So the player can skill up to create increasingly more useful and complex items. (This is in an environment where humans have survived a nanotech apocalypse, btw, so not only are people more docile about regulating it, they're in oppressive, crowded environments)

Also, at this phase, the processing power and know-how released to the public place constraints on what can be created. I envision parts creation with mechanical or human assembly. This goes away as tech advances, and you get more complex items straight from raw materials, but by that time gameplay will have changed as the game moves into another time period.

Quote:

Is there a limited usuability on it or does the nano last forever?


I'm thinking evil DMCA thoughts and limited licensing rights. So items remain disposable, in order to support a destructive consumerist leisure society. [lol]

Quote:

What is to stop you average homeowner from owning(or replicating) the needed nano and just manufacturing items directly from it?


The law and knowledge for doing so, mostly. Aggressive / intrusive policing in civilian areas, legal actions around intellectual property rights, and aggressive marginalization against fringe elements of society (EMPing their equipment, sending in interrupting nanotech, starving them of power or even air, sometimes using goons and guns).

I'm envisioning the game's starting era to be a mix of a cheerful fascist dystopia (think Minority Report) mixed with Fallout's wasteland societies.


Quote:

Speaking of which... is there only one type of nano which does everything? Or will a wide variety be needed?


Since we're talking bots, and at an early phase, no one size fits all. There are specific categories and functions, with levels of quality, matter conversion / waste ratios and time and energy costs.

Quote:

Sorry- more questions than answers.


No, most appreciated. Helps me refine![smile]

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