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dktekno

Would you play this game?

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Let us imagine there is a PC game on the market that simulates the politics and economics to the smallest details, even world stock market has influences on your export, import and thus your country's finances, but the drawback is that it is not very graphical, in fact it looks incredibly boring, with just endless lists of political, economical and social measures with various effects. Would you play such a game? What are you willing to pay for it?

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That would be a good candidate for an online CGI type of game (like Utopia or something), where nobody expects graphics. They also don't expect to pay, but they expect some advertising in the margins.

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I do like the idea of an involved simulation, but as for what I would be willing to pay, that all depends on whether that simulation is enjoyable and addictive. Have you got something together? Something to show? Or is this just an idea?

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if(GameIsFunToPlay) WouldIPlay = YES;
else GameSitsOnShelfNextToGallopRacer = TRUE;

Sounds boring to me, but then again so does the concept for The Sims and it's brilliant. It's all about execution. However, one of the big things you need to consider is how to open all of this up to the player. If the economy is a hugely complex system but the player can't figure out how it all ties together, choices made by the player are random: equivalent to rolling a die. If you can present it to the player in a way where they see direct consequences for their actions, you may be on to something.

How much would I pay for it? As much as it's worth. That's totally subjective, and dependent on the quality and perceived value of the game. I'll tell you right now: I'd pay more for it if it had a well-designed user interface and decent art to supplement the simulation. Despite my constant insistence that gameplay takes precedence, bad art can ruin an otherwise interesting game. Nethack is an anomaly: most games don't have the luxury of improving by being ugly.

If you plan to make this, really think out your simulation and UI before you ever write anything. Make sure it's easy for the player to get into and see the depth, and make sure it's visually pleasing (even if it is all menus). If it's the game you want to make, don't worry so much about how much people will pay for it: if it's good, you'll find an audience. Your goal is to make sure it's as good as it possibly can be.

Good luck!

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I will love to play such a game if you can...

- M ake a GUI that is intuitive and easy to use. Bottom line, I don't want to feel like overcoming a challenge just to use the interface.

- Feedback for my actions are clear and easy to understand. In C&C when your soldiers fire upon the enemy you know you are killing it, in your game if I reduce my interest rates, I want to know what will happen.

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I have to say that I, personally, am a great fan of freeform politics in multiplayer games, providing it allows the players to take full advantage of all the dirtiness, manipulation and ruthlessness that are the key part of political power play appeal in reality.

However, I've also seen many games that had a developed political enviornment gradually "soften" the rules, add various caps and limitations, and eventually turn into bland number-crunching games.

I would play such a game if it had, and kept, that element of ruthlessness and competition which I find terribly lacking in most modern games with such a (unused) potential. In short: don't suck up to the players, let them feel the pain.

I don't think it would be the most marketable product ever, though. :)

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The gameplay problem there though is that a lot of games with heavy costs, especially when the cost makes the game harder on you making it more likely that you loss more ground, is that once you lose just a little, you often lose the game. First blood in such conditions is the game winner.

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How about letting players set the condition for victory?

Example:
1. First to reach networth of 10 billion.
2. Dominance over continent A.
3. Total victory over all opponents.

Allows more flexibility, since some players may like the competitive nature of such a game.

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