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Economic Game Design Problem

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Am trying to fully design this monopoly/settlers game. It is going to be multiplayer. It is all economics: no war at all. The model for growth of each player is finished. However there seems to be no conflict between the players (in theory of course)... I am really in the need of an economic conflict model. Till now I only have bidding as a pressuring tool. Maybe competition through sales.. But other than that, what do you suggest? I need one player trying to drive the other bankrupt..

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Off the top of my head... here are some ways that companies could compete with one another in terms of economics and marketing:

Product wars, concept of adding more and more features to their products to win over consumers. Patents and copyrights stopping competition from using your technology. Risk involved in making new products (8/10 normally fail) so why splash so much money into a new one when you can make a new line or upgrade/extension of an old one for cheaper? Establishing brands etc.

Price wars, elasticity of demand (increase in price could mean decrease in demand and vice versa), reduce price and get market share, increase price and consumers feel your poduct might be high quality. Some products desensitive like Fuel, Insulin etc, even when you increase prices people must still buy them. Directly affects sales!

Place wars, try and get more of your products to major retailers, strike exclusive deals with suppliers and distributors to handle your products and yours alone, bribe?

Promotion wars, getting your products promoted. Splashing more money at sponsorships, promotions, advertising etc to increase consumer awareness. Competition to sign up and sponsor celebrities, secure TV slots for adverts etc.

The government however does its fair share of regulation though. Like enforce laws and legislations promoting healthy competition (no forcing another company into bankruptcy!) and they privatise natural monopolies like water, electricity, fuel etc.

Those are pretty much legal ways to compete, how about illegal? Bribes, blackmail, Mafia; make them an offer they can't refuse! ;)

Not perfectly sure how this would translate in your game though because you haven't given that much information.

[Edited by - hexgear on May 22, 2006 7:19:33 AM]

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There is a board game call Settlers of Catan (quite a fun game. check it out). It is sort of like the type of game you seem to be describing.

Init there is no war, but it is a game of resource "monopoly". The players are competing for resources (building space, ability to collect resources, etc), and this is where the conflic come in. Players can not "attack" each other, but they can sometimes moce a piece called the "Robber" that can hamper another player's ability to collect resources from a particular location.

If your game is about economic (resource) monopoly then this is a good model for you. the conflict in a game should be over what the game is about. If you game is about settlement then the players should contest buildng space, if it is about economic/resources then they should be compeating for the ability to collect those resouces/money.

If you have a bidding system that allows players to slightly hinder another player's ability to produce/collect resources/money (like the Robber in SoC), it could become an interesting game mechanic (should I put a lot of resoucres into hindering another player or should I spend them on attempting to expand my territory and risk getting stuck with the hinderance myself). If the players bidd for the location of the hinderance/robber and the place with the most bids get stuck with it (untill the next bid for it) and if multiple people can combine bids (so several weak players can gang up on a more powerful player), it would allow aliances to form between players (which could then be broken at a later time :D).

So, in summery:
Have limited resources/ways of making money that the player's can choose, and have the players have to spend money/resources to attempt to gain a monoploy on that resource.

Have a way that players can hinder another player, and alow several weaker players to be able to gang up on a more powerful player to act as a defence against the more powerful player and to even force the hinderance on them (maybe instead of a robber, it could be the "Tax Man!!!").

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A tax collector IS a robber, no matter how expensive the costume. And he even reverts to musclemen when you refuse to pay... You're just playing on words.

But the idea is sound. No wonder this game won more than three "game-of-the-year" awards on the same year...

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A tax collector IS a robber, no matter how expensive the costume. And he even reverts to musclemen when you refuse to pay... You're just playing on words.

LOL. Yes that is true. A Tax Collector is just a governemnt sanctioned robber. :D

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This is a little bit distracting but since the theme is related i thought to put it here. Please forgive me if i should have make new thread.

I also thought of making ac economic simulation game.

--World and plot--
The setting is a fantasy land. A blend of modern technology and medieval setting (like arcanum). Each city has generator (yes a generator) which has different characteristics. Generator failure means dead city. Plot revolves on young man journey to fix his small town generator. This is not a simple journey since parts and engineer to fix it is only exist on rumor. War is not useful in this situation since information to fix is only known by trading.

The game mechanics is focused on trading and manufacturing. But this is not just about building and transporting goods. I want it about
#discover and exploit market opportunities
#manage employee
#improve people life quality
#Create a full product campaign war
#break a trade blockade
#Topple a megacorporation regime
#Destroy human and drugs traficking by trading not by violence
#Disperse your factory to create unique product

$create a factory plan to create a product in limited space
$Auction system
$hire bazaar booth to sell your products
$create advertising campaign
$research to open newe production path
$smuggle goods

in my opinion i think this game is unique. However i still thought that this game lacks fun. Therefore i welcome any suggestion and question. Furthermore if you want to read a vision document, just ask :-)

Oh yes, when in highschool (couple years ago) i've seen a game about managing a factory. A combination the sims and managing factory layout. Anyone remember the game name? i want to analyze it.

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