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NewAmbition

Ingame Bank Interest

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For a game that relies on real-time strategy to play, when would be the best time to calculate interest on the players bank account?

 

For official banks, some would have an annual interest rate of about 9.5%. So is it feasible, for a daily calculation, to have an interest rate of (9.5 / 365)% ?

 

Would daily be too much? Players waiting for a weekly (I think monthly is way too long) might want a more immediate action to their money.

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For a game that relies on real-time strategy to play, when would be the best time to calculate interest on the players bank account?

 

For official banks, some would have an annual interest rate of about 9.5%. So is it feasible, for a daily calculation, to have an interest rate of (9.5 / 365)% ?

 

Would daily be too much? Players waiting for a weekly (I think monthly is way too long) might want a more immediate action to their money.

 

How often you'd want to pay out the interest depends on the game, for a persistent online game where things can take hours or even days to build it is quite common to hand out rewards at a daily basis so it makes sense to have interest payouts occur at the same frequency, you probably also want a unrealistically high daily interest as (9.5/365)% = almost nothing (1-10% per day could be sensible allthough you'd probably don't want to pay any interest to players who are inactive, perhaps make the payout the first time they log in each day (or immediatly if they're allready online when a new day starts).

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Since you use a computer, you can offer continuous capitalization, without bothering with a set of payout times: balance just grows exponentially, there are only discrete instants when you evaluate it (typically when there is a withdrawal or payment). This would be the fairest and simplest option, allowing players to log in and "go to the bank" at any time without distortions, instead of waiting for a daily interest payout at the wrong time of the day.
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Way too much (9.5% per day is more than 2500% yearly, and that's without daily capitalization, I didn't took into account that it is a compound interest, so it will be much higher in reality).

 

BTW, all devs (browser MMOs) I know who had interest mechanic in their games removed it in the end. It simply will break the game no matter how small the interest is in the end. OR they put a cap like $1,000,000 per day from interest max no matter the sum on the account.

 

Don't forget the Einstein's saying that "Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe" :D Play with it extremelly carefully or it will blow up your game's balance :)

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daily capitalization

 

This, exactly. Compound interest. Daily capitalization is crazy.

 

Assuming you get 3.65% per year (0.01% per day), daily capitalization will turn this into 37%. That's why banks which do monthly capitalization are so much better than banks that give apparently higher interests with yearly capitalization.

 

 

I would keep interests as low as possible, if there are any at all. Interest means the player gets money for doing nothing.

 

Reward-for-nothing kills most games, though in a RTS it may be acceptable as long as it doesn't weight in noticeably. But I would rather have a very small constant income instead. Large enough so a player without units can buy 1-2 harvester units, and small enough so it won't be really useful to everybody else.

Edited by samoth
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I also wonder why you want to incentivise not playing. The more interest people get the less people will use that money and the less people interact with your game.

Also inflation is a problem in games and you want to hand out free money for doing nothing.

Btw. you calculated the daily interest such that they get even more through compound interest.

I would maybe even think about instead taking away daily spoilage to encourage continuous and fast playing.

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Banks will have fees (per month or day - depending on interest calculation), as well as transaction fees.

 

The game has a very real RTS element, but the wait to do things will vary among users.

I agree with interest caps. We can't have someone with a remarkably high bank account to buy anything just off the interest he receives.

 

There is no actual reward system for logging in at a certain time (although interest IF you logged in within a day sounds good), other than protecting yourself against the very real danger of another player.

 

I have no idea about bank capitalization or other forms besides standard interest.. So if someone wouldn't mind explaining just how to do so...

 

I've written a backround story for the game here: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/647160-newsretention-background-story-need-feedback/

If that will help bring some clarity to what I'm doing.

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I agree with wintertime, instead of incentiviseing "waiting to win", why not build a multipliers for playing more often and playing longer. For example if a unit in the game requires 3 hours to build. I would make either a resource bonuses or build time reduction for returning to the game before that 3 hours.

 

Or on the topic of the interest rates, instead of keeping a locked interest rate, make it variable interest. If a player, plays for an hour the interest rate maxes out (9.5%) and the more a player is inactive the more the interest rate drops (maybe half every hour of inactivity), that way your players will be encouraged to play more often earning a higher interest rate for playing more and playing more often. You could create interest rate boosters which the player could earn by completing challenges as well, that way players don't feel oppressed by having to log on every 45 mins just to keep their interest rate up. Try to challenge players at least once every time they log on.

 

Creating build time reductions can be done "in fiction" as well, saying that your factories are "inspired by your presents". This also encourages focused play, separating hardcore players from casual players. 

 

I would only explore interest rates and other banking complications if you're going to build fun game play challenges around them. Banking isn't fun (at least I don't think it is). So if you're going to add banking elements make sure you have a reason to add it and not just to ensure you're player has resources, because their are always way more fun ways of gathering production resources then just waiting for them to accumulate (for example: salvaging ruins, recycling lesser units, completing exploration/gathering/combat/puzzle tasks, etc:)

 

By the way I like the back story, its a fun fiction and it does draw me in. My only suggestion would be to create a personal layer of story. To connect the player to a handful  of individuals. It's challenging, but it separates good RTS from great ones. 

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Interesting read, Mratthew..

 

I'll definitely look into making the bank element much less of a hassle than it is.

I don't like the idea of the game rewarding you because you get to play more than me...

 

The reason you need to come back (primarily) is so that you can keep your account secure, trace-back any hacking attempt, or hack something for yourself.

If I have life commitments, that shouldn't be a punishable offence (saying that because you have commitments, the game will not reward you in any way).

 

Although, as you said, I do need to challenge a person when they DO play.

A harmony needs to be found - might just take some trial and error...

 

The user will be able to play as a protagonist (now), and as a company in future releases of the game. I have been finding ways of connecting users to their character, but so far have only found ways in a very base level..

 

Thanks again for your input, some very valid points you have there.

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There's also the difference between getting a lump sum of money and getting an income stream. IRL, $30K will get you about a day's pay every month in interest. About twenty of those will set the average American free from the need to work for a living.

Edited by AngleWyrm
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There's also the difference between getting a lump sum of money and getting an income stream. IRL, $30K will get you about a day's pay every month in interest. About twenty of those will set the average American free from the need to work for a living.

 

My idea would lead to the interest being calculated per day/week. This means they will get the money at that time, and not over a longer period.

 

So the interest will be calculated with whatever is in their bank account at that time, and deposited in.

This would lead the game to having an income stream.

 

But, the deeper we get into this, the less secure I feel about having money for free (wintertime) - as this wouldn't add value to the game.

However, if the global currency starts at $1000000, and there are 10 players, this money would need to be split evenly between companies and players.

If more players start the game, more money needs to be added to this global repository.

 

In my mind, this 'free money' would do just that. So the user would be added to the game with a set amount of money, and interest will take care of the rest.

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But, the deeper we get into this, the less secure I feel about having money for free (wintertime) - as this wouldn't add value to the game.

 

One possible value that could be added to the game is the temptation to spend the money now vs saving it to earn interest. It would be a balancing act to find a point where the player feels the need to buy stuff with the principle instead of waiting for interest to accumulate. If interest gathers very slowly, the player is likely to just say 'screw it, I don't wanna wait.' but if the interest is a significant increase, then the player may be tempted to hold off on buying something with the principal, and use the interest instead.

 

Sort of related is that infinite/renewable resources are fairly common; mob loot drops are a continuous stream of unending stuff, tree logging, farm growing, animal breeding. So if the game employs any of these things, and they are convertable to money, then there is an infinite supply of money.

 

Civilization V has a process that seems similar to this: The player can put a citizen onto a forest hex and receive an infinite stream of logs, or they can chop down the forest and recieve a single lump sum of logs.

Edited by AngleWyrm
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