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polyfrag

Marxist RTS

35 posts in this topic

This topic is to discuss Marxist RTS's that use Labour as one of the game resources, like Corporation-States, the game I am currently working on.

This thread is also to discuss MMORTS's that span many platforms, like my game, which has a Java client for Windows/Mac/Linux and an iOS client for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch (and in the future might expand to Android, Blackberry, Windows phone and Symbian).

http://www.gamedev.net/topic/607514-mmo-corporation-states/page__pid__4843001
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Maybe you should bring up some more specific topics of conversation, or ask a question, or something.
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What do you think of this economic model.

http://www.gamedev.net/topic/608268-do-i-need-a-gambling-license/page__view__findpost__p__4847828

[url="http://corpstates.myftp.org/?Design"]http://corpstates.myftp.org/?Design[/url]
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Carefully?

A central figure dictating what people do and when and how with their immediate and unhesitating obedience (which is how RTS games typically go) doesn't have anything more to do with Marxism or capitalism than any other RTS. RTS games generally don't have much of anything to do with economics anyhow. A supreme leader oversees the extraction of resources, which are converted directly into buildings and weapons. It's hyperauthoritarianism, more like Soviet Communism than Marxism or free-market capitalism.
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[quote name='polyfrag' timestamp='1313460327' post='4849664']
Yes, because all RTS's are based on WarCraft.
[/quote]

A lot of them do follow in that mold, yes. Since your post gave absolutely no context and no direction, what else would be reasonable to draw as a comparison besides the overwhelmingly dominant model of the game genre you've chosen? Not to mention this little nugget from your own website:

[quote]
[color="#808080"][font="Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica"]This game is going to be like any other RTS like WarCraft or Age of Empires but it will have money[/font][/color]
[/quote]

So regardless of whether or not all RTS's are based on WarCraft, it certainly sounds like yours will be.

And your snide, unreasonable, topic-ignoring comment aside, you haven't addressed my point at all. A game in which the player has special influence or dominance over the simulated citizens is one in which you don't have Marxism, you have a dictator. For real-world instances of applied communism on a large scale you have central dictators with government distribution of goods-- on the whole not especially Marxist. Marxism isn't just a collectivist economic distribution system, it's also a deep social and political philosophy.

You can definitely have a system where simulated citizens contribute to decision making in addition to supplying their labor, but the more decision making power is devolved from the player the less of a game it is, and the more of a "watch and see" proposition it is. Additionally, it's hard to make simulated citizens complex decision-makers able to participate in the political process in a meaningful way. The less meaningful that interaction is, the more of the traditional dictatorial gameplay there will be.

The easiest route to including such a philosophy into a game without the above would be to adjust metrics of the population for any collectivist settings, i.e. adjust productivity and happiness metrics for citizens as a direct result of the decision to lead a nominally Marxist society. That's a doable but shallow approach, and doesn't really incorporate Marx into the game. But it would provide some difference between different economic systems which the players could select.
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I wish people understood my economic idea.

[quote][quote][color="#808080"][font="Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica"][size="2"]This game is going to be like any other RTS like WarCraft or Age of Empires but it will have money[/quote][/size][/font][/color]
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]So regardless of whether or not all RTS's are based on WarCraft, it certainly sounds like yours will be.[/quote][/size][/color]

I was using that as a way to gradually introduce my idea lulz; Workers will be able to own money and spend it on what you sell.

And I wasn't talking about Marxism as a social philosophy but about the hardcore economics.

I found a way to simulate it all. Like, you can increase automation in your buildings by upgrading them, which will require less Labour. Forget about Civilization III. It fails to realistically portray different economic systems at all. As the building requires less Labour, there will be less money going to the workers, and the workers who have lost their jobs (or those that have increased time-spent-looking-for-work) will be willing to work for the second-best job (that has a lesser profit ratio for them), bringing down the price of Labour. So other will be able to hire workers for a smaller wage. A slightly smaller wage, depending on how dampened the effect of the building upgrade is.

I could simulate taxes too, but I'd have to include some benefits that everybody gets, like education and healthcare and police, which I haven't figured out how to elegantly simulate yet.
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[quote name='polyfrag' timestamp='1313466465' post='4849684']Forget about Civilization III. It fails to realistically portray different economic systems at all. [/quote]

Would it be possible to have an enjoyable strategy game like Civ or an RTS that accurately simulated economics?
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It will be like StarCraft but better. The only thing that's different (in the interface) is that you will adjust wages for your different buildings, at what price each building sells its products, how much you want to pay for construction projects, and soldiers will be recruited to work on a contract for pay. And you will choose suppliers for each building.

And you don't own workers. You just pay them to do jobs.
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[quote name='polyfrag' timestamp='1313468420' post='4849694']And you don't own workers. You just pay them to do jobs.
[/quote]

But how are the workers created in the first place?
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When there are no workers, 5 are randomly spawned. Each has 100 Consumer Goods (you can think of it as food) to keep them alive for a while and 10 Labour to spent doing work.

When they buy enough Consumer Goods they split and divide like microbes. Otherwise, they die of starvation and their money gets taken out of the game economy. This will only happen though if the players suck and can't maintain a working economy. Workers die when they can't reach the Shopping Complex in time to buy Consumer Goods to *eat* (path too hard too follow, buildings in the way), or can't reach Apartments to rest to recharge their Labour, or if the prices for those are too high, or if there aren't enough jobs reachable. I've tested this out with a previous version of the game so I know how it works.
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I think part of what has left me confused is having it compared (by yourself and by others) to games like Warcraft. As you've described some of the subsystems, I haven't been able to conjure up any gameplay style that resembles that at all.




Your ideas are sounding much more like an economic simulator (which can make for extremely fun games as well) akin to [url="http://www.enlight.com/capitalism2/"]Capitalism[/url] or [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railroad_tycoon"]Railroad Tycoon[/url].

I haven't ventured to your other posts though so maybe, in one of the linked posts/documents, it's cleared up.

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[size="2"][color="#1c2837"][img]http://corpstates.myftp.org/images/resourceflow.png[/img]
[/color][/size]

[size="2"][color="#1c2837"]* Resources have been fictionalized to make this game futuristic, like how StarCraft uses Vespene Gas.[/color][/size]
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You don't have to simulate a Marxist economy in an elaborate way. You just have to establish a system that seems to operate well initially, but runs itself into the ground after a while.
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This kind of resource management will not work well in a Warcraft like RTS setting where games are often won before the 10 minute mark. The game length is too short for this system to produce interesting results without the player frantically trying to keep their people happy and breeding like rabbits to crush the enemy. You would need the timeframe to be much longer, a few hours at least.
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4. You're still not giving us anything to discuss.

Try these steps.

1. Write a brief summary of your idea. 2-4 sentences at most.
2. Explain what effect this would have on game play.
3. Explain why you feel this is a good idea.
4. Ask questions or offer guidance to what direction you feel the [i]discussion[/i] would be most useful to you.
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1. Workers eat Consumer Goods. Workers rest at Apartments. Workers work at your buildings.

[img]http://corpstates.myftp.org/images/labcyc.png[/img]

2. You have to build what is in demand. You have to find the right price for everything you sell and the cheapest suppliers.

3. Unlimited strategy. Interesting to observe.

4. I will only know how this dynamic system behaves when I finish it. Can you imagine how this game will work?
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I would think that you would need to shift your focus from money to labor.

The value of a thing will be defined in several different ways under such a system. Exchange value will fluctuate based on relative amounts of commodities, for example. The value of a thing will be the labor power invested into producing it, as well as any precursors that need to be produced. The use value of a thing will be what can be accomplished with it. You would need to keep a dynamic assessment of all of these for your simulated workers to respond to.

It will be difficult to have the player set arbitrary prices and wages in light of the above without sliding into a more capitalist mode. Any currency you have will have to be pretty tightly controlled based on labor your system could spare. The chief engines of economic growth will be population growth and technological innovation, with the latter requiring a substantial investment of labor to support.
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The only things with use-value are Consumer Goods and Housing.

[quote]It will be difficult to have the player set arbitrary prices and wages in light of the above without sliding into a more capitalist mode.[/quote]
I don't know how I'd price in a Marxist economy. I know I said it was a Marxist RTS but the name is Corporation-States.

And I don't know if they are really corporations or socialist states.

Here's another way that my economic model is interesting: The government in the real world subsidizes the mining industry. Cheap prices can help stimulate economic growth, even if that industry is running at a loss. In my game, players might be running some building at a loss but it might be essential to their economy too.

As for technological innovation, I was thinking I'd have 10 levels to upgrade to each building. Upgrading will increase efficiency and productivity but require a high investment.
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