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Abram Jones

Seeking True Economic Games

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I'm creating a list of economic games (video games, computer board games, online board games, etc). If anyone has any suggestions of new or old games that meet the following specifications please let me know! It's much harder to find these types of games than you think. Player side financial investment can include things such as shares of stock, loans, and bonds. An example of a game that does not qualify is Acquire (because it is solely financial with no non-financial industrial input from the player). This includes Speculator for those who remember that game on DOS.
 
MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
*at least 1 non-financial sector and persistent industrial process must be manually done by player
*player side financial investment in other entities must exist (not simply loans being granted by CPU)
 

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The definition of economic games seems a bit hazy here. That list has plenty of Tycoon games which I personally think are not economic games. Those tycoon games are more simulators with money as score than real economic games. I actually think Acquire and Speculator should be among the list.

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11 minutes ago, alnite said:

The definition of economic games seems a bit hazy here. That list has plenty of Tycoon games which I personally think are not economic games. Those tycoon games are more simulators with money as score than real economic games. I actually think Acquire and Speculator should be among the list.

 

What I mean by economic is the inclusion of all economic factors, not just finance. Acquire and Speculator only deal with a financial aspect of business, but the games on this list deal with both finance and industry (such as construction, manufacturing, transport, etc). Investment is also another mandatory tool to be included on this list.

Could you give me an example of what you mean by one of the tycoon games that just use money as score? I completely agree that most of these games have unrealistic currency mechanics, but at the moment that is almost every game in existence. I would agree that many (not all) of the games on this list wouldn't qualify as true economic games in the most strict sense, but I cannot define economic games like that yet because of the lack of these games.

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7 minutes ago, Abram Jones said:

Could you give me an example of what you mean by one of the tycoon games that just use money as score?

Transport Tycoon/OpenTTD/Railroad Tycoon are more about delivering goods than money management. I still play OpenTTD once in a while, and I like that game because of the challenge in creating an extensive transportation network across many cities with complex railroad signals, not because I can earn money. It has deeper mechanics in railroad signals than money. The money is just a score, and it matters less when you start having $1,000,000,000.

What about an RPG with trading aspects? What about Monopoly? What about Civilization? What about Jones in the Fast Lane? All of these have some form of currency.

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13 minutes ago, alnite said:

Transport Tycoon/OpenTTD/Railroad Tycoon are more about delivering goods than money management. I still play OpenTTD once in a while, and I like that game because of the challenge in creating an extensive transportation network across many cities with complex railroad signals, not because I can earn money. It has deeper mechanics in railroad signals than money. The money is just a score, and it matters less when you start having $1,000,000,000.

What about an RPG with trading aspects? What about Monopoly? What about Civilization? What about Jones in the Fast Lane? All of these have some form of currency.

 

Transport Tycoon/OpenTTD: These games barely qualify for the list because technically investment is possible. After a certain number of years a company's stock can be traded, though the stock market system is terrible. The loan system is simple and only done through a non-dynamic AI, so that does not count toward qualification. If the stock market and loan system were upgraded a bit this would be a very well rounded economic game by the current standards I have set.

Railroad Tycoon: The bond and stock market on these games is a little more realistic, so this game qualifies pretty easily under current requirements.

Monopoly and Civilization: There is no ability to financially invest in other companies in these games. Civilization doesn't even have corporations, it is simply 1 person controlling every aspect of a civilization. Monopoly also has no non-financial industrial aspect to the game.

Jones In The Fast Lane: Though a very cool game, investing is completely random with no in game dynamics, there is no real economy behind the stock market. It is more like a casino.

Edited by Abram Jones

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10 hours ago, Abram Jones said:

 

Transport Tycoon/OpenTTD: These games barely qualify for the list because technically investment is possible. After a certain number of years a company's stock can be traded, though the stock market system is terrible. The loan system is simple and only done through a non-dynamic AI, so that does not count toward qualification. If the stock market and loan system were upgraded a bit this would be a very well rounded economic game by the current standards I have set.

OpenTTD for sure does not have any stock/bond trading. It only has basic loans and subsidies. I don't know about the recent Transport Tycoon.

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The X series. Most notably X3:Terran conflict.

 

Although parts of the economy are faked (namely consumption of military goods), monopolizing the economy, then expanding it by creating new demand is the name of the game when it comes to getting stronger.

It also has a stock market with bare bones simulation.

Edited by conquestor3

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3 hours ago, alnite said:

OpenTTD for sure does not have any stock/bond trading. It only has basic loans and subsidies. I don't know about the recent Transport Tycoon.

Have they removed it from the game? Last time I played a few years ago OpenTTD still had stock trading. I'm unfamiliar with the "recent" Transport Tycoon, can you elaborate?

2 hours ago, conquestor3 said:

The X series. Most notably X3:Terran conflict.

 

Although parts of the economy are faked (namely consumption of military goods), monopolizing the economy, then expanding it by creating new demand is the name of the game when it comes to getting stronger.

It also has a stock market with bare bones simulation.

People have mentioned this series to me before but didn't go into details, can you elaborate on the stock market a bit?

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A board game I loved as a teen was Axis and Allies.  The game inspired me to find, or attempt to make, a game that better reflected more aspects of global domination.  I always felt the economic aspect in most games to be weak and gloss over so many strategic elements of globally competitive economic policy.  England was able to win the 100 years war because it was open to a flexible monetary policies allowing for increased debt and inflation, further stimulating economic activity, where as France was rigid and wanted to keep inflation and debt at bay.  In China more than a thousand years ago they experienced hyper inflation of their currency seriously debilitating their trade because they thought there was no consequence to printing endless bills of paper claims on goods.

Anyways, an elegant board game I played recently which, in my opinion, displays a simple but elegant representation of economics and its influence in global affairs is called "Imperial 2030"  Fantastic.  It may have something worth checking out.

Edited by Awoken

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45 minutes ago, Awoken said:

A board game I loved as a teen was Axis and Allies.  The game inspired me to find, or attempt to make, a game that better reflected more aspects of global domination.  I always felt the economic aspect in most games to be weak and gloss over so many strategic elements of globally competitive economic policy.  England was able to win the 100 years war because it was open to a flexible monetary policies allowing for increased debt and inflation, further stimulating economic activity, where as France was rigid and wanted to keep inflation and debt at bay.  In China more than a thousand years ago they experienced hyper inflation of their currency seriously debilitating their trade because they thought there was no consequence to printing endless bills of paper claims on goods.

Anyways, an elegant board game I played recently which, in my opinion, displays a simple but elegant representation of economics and its influence in global affairs is called "Imperial 2030"  Fantastic.  It may have something worth checking out.

Have you attempted to make a game that does this? If so I would like to see it. I am working on one that incorporates all these economic elements that you mention (including multiple currencies)

I did a quick search for Imperial 2030 and it looks like it can be played online. I may check it out... can you give any details on the economic tools the game has?

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