[Map Idea Discussion] An Economy Map

Monsterous

In the Shadows, Lurking.
Right, i've had this idea simmering in my head, so bear with me - this could be a long post.

Why?/Goal

I've played economy/trading type games before and i adore them, but one thing i usually find lacking is the incentive to Trade. Trading to me is what makes these games dynamic, and as a trader yourself allows you to gain the upper-hand against your opponents.

So, for my version - i would place a heavy emphasis on Trading. Thats my key, #1 goal.

Trading

To inforce trading, materials would have to be hard to gather, and they would have to be needed. Theres no point gathering X if nobody wants it. So, my idea to encourage trading is to have three split economic paths. Agriculture, Metalworking, and Industry. These three paths would require each to trade to allow them to make the most money, for example - Industry needs iron from Metalworking, but requires food from Agriculture.

An immediate problem here, is that Agricultre could just not trade, causing the other two sectors to fail completely. No food = No work. So, i would combat that problem, and potentialy others, with two ideas.

1. All three sectors can grow food - Agriculture can do it much more effectively and can yield better crops.
2. There are "state traders", who will buy for dirt cheap, but sell exceptionally high - this would be a last resort, as this is economically bad. This would also be an outlet for any excess material.

How the game works.


Since each sector is critical to eachother, the sectors are divided equally; with Agriculture being the first to be taken. If there are 3 players, it would be 1/1/1. 4 players would be 2/1/1. 8 players would be 3/3/2 or 3/2/3. Over the course of the game, players utilize they're sector, trading their materials for money or other materials, and everyone progresses and teches up. At the end of X amount of time, everyones resources are sold to the State Traders for double the price (The players could still make more if they traded it), and added to their money count. The player with the most money would win.

Now. Heres where i need YOU. I need feedback of course for whats said above, but mainly for my Idea List.

Green = Positive Feedback. Orange = Mixed. Red = Negative.

THE IDEA LIST!
Workers and Houses
For players to utilize their sector - they need workers which they either 1. Buy outright for money or 2. Have money deducted from them every X amount of minutes. (Like a wage), as well as food. You can only have so many workers, and the workers have to be put into Tents/Houses. (Like Supply). The more workers you have until at full capacity, the higher the output of the building they are assigned to.

The Warlord and Armed Forces.
One idea that im not 100% on is the idea of the Warlord. Basically, one person is assigned to attack anyone else - to raid they're stuff, take over their buildings, and use them for their own ends. The Warlord could get creative and demand protection money so they dont attack.
Now, for players to defend theirselves, they could have workers be assigned to guards. Players could also build defenses, which would help stimulate the market for materials, and not just make them a neccesity for teching up and trading.

Should players attack other players?
Besides the Warlord, i don't think players should be able to attack eachother. Alliances would become way too strong possibly, or in the case of odd-player games it could end up as a 3v2 scenario. However, they could cause some level of disruption, such as worker unrest, or instigate strikes in buildings which would equate to lower production.

Random Events?
Like life, luck can be a bitch. Floods? Well Agricultre is happy, but industry levels would drop slightly. Maybe these events could happen for players with a low amount of income to get them back in the game.

Automated or Manual?
Should some things such as cutting down trees, or harvesting grain be done with a mouse click when ready, or do it automatically when the time is right? Personally i'd go for manual - it would inject an extra level of play into the game.

So yes, give me your thoughts, your ideas. I thank you for reading this! I haven't gone into much detail on the inner mechanics - because in the end its currently an idea. When its fleshed out, i will attempt to make it!
 

Miz

Administrator
I do like the idea of people having to specialize in their trade category given to them, (or selected in the beginning of the game, but there are limited number of spots for who is who). However I think there should be further specialization in the groups themselves.

Like in Agricultural for example, you could choose which products to grow, somethings for food, others for products in industry. You would also be able to decide how you will grow your crops. Will you do it by slower human labor, or do you go to faster machinery that relies on you to trade with the industrial player and metalworker, because not only do you need the Tractors and other Machinery that makes your production faster but you also need the oil/whatever powers these machines. As well you would have to continually trade as Tractors would break down as they would probably only last for a certain amount of time.

For the most part, all I am saying is you could go much more advance in the concept, and make a skillful game.

I know you are entirely keen to the idea of Combat, but I think a game that mixes both Combat and Trading would be interesting. Yet Trade should be the main focus of the game, Combat should only be one of the tools of the business. Then it would be similar to real life conflicts between groups. You might want to fight somebody in combat that is getting ahead of you in trade or destroy/take over some of his production, but you would still rely on other people for resources that you can't always obtain.

Meaning not only would have to sacrifice some of your own resources, you may end up risking losing that trade with that person or anyone who relies on him. As well you couldn't just blatantly attack whoever, because it disrupts the fragile system of trading, you attacking someone who produces one thing, the others might have to resort to attacking you because they need the same resources.

As I said though, Combat should be one part of the game, nothing major.

Random Events?
Like life, luck can be a bitch. Floods? Well Agricultre is happy, but industry levels would drop slightly. Maybe these events could happen for players with a low amount of income to get them back in the game.
As for a Random Events mechanic, I think that it too would make the game more realistic. Not everything is going to go exactly as planned. :p
 

SerraAvenger

Cuz I can
>2. Have money deducted from them every X amount of minutes. (Like a wage)

I can tell you that wage is a bitch to players, and that's the reason why in most games wage is minimal and the most you pay is a one time fee.


> Automated or Manual?
Depends on how large your economy shall grow and how large the intervals are. If trading takes time, but players spend all their time clicking on wood, that's bad.
I'd rather change the other mechanics and make it manual, but it would slip off into the mini-game area then.

If you want, you could always make it MMORPG and have save games, and make this trading/harvesting/buying and placing new stuff into a complete game. It would make for a wonderful game spiral, but I'm not sure it is what you were going for.

Ofc MMO is not really needed to make it a game, though. Would just be more interesting as a long term game, I'd think.

If you need some tech behind realizing MMO, I could give you a small outline; But I'm relatively clueless concerning how SC2 handles some stuff atm (which is crucial).

As for your state traders, take a hell of care. Too cheap and they won't help at all. Rather make their amounts limited than the prices too high/low.

Warlord sounds cool, but I don't like players attacking each other.
If anything, they should pay the warlord to do that : )
Another thing: Warlord and player might know each other => Grief squared.
The warlord might become a kingmaker, and that's a bad thing. Maybe players can opt in to band, ie when one player is attacked, the troops of other players will come to their defense. This helps to reduce the grief, but also makes the warlord less powerful. If just all players band, the warlord has little means to go in and wreak havoc.

I personally would even make the combat purelely statistics based, like in old-school browser games. Having to control hordes of workers + gunmen might scare the shit out of a big base of your players; And having them just stand there for an indefinite amount of time is quite dull.

Also, more advanced combat systems can be developed more easily, eg ones where attackers can pillage, retreat, besiege, ...
Once your team has more time, you could even re-enact battles and show the reenactement to the confronting players ; )
 

Monsterous

In the Shadows, Lurking.
@Miz
Indeed, i was thinking of going into it heavily advanced such as different methods of production - but of course all things in time.
I see your point on combat, it could unravel the economy of the game. I say perhaps a more underhanded sort of combat, a more indirect approach, such as instigating strikes.

@Serra
Duly noted, ill make it a one time fee then.
I see your point, perhaps make it semi-automatic? For example - have your basic stuff automatic, but if you click on it you get extra (such as excess seeds from the crop).
Its possible, i could carry on over stuff and make it into an MMO - but im not concerned with that yet.
For the warlord idea, i see your point.

Thanks for the feedback!
 

SerraAvenger

Cuz I can
I see your point, perhaps make it semi-automatic? For example - have your basic stuff automatic, but if you click on it you get extra (such as excess seeds from the crop).
I've thought about that too, and I'm unsure about it. I'd say: Make it modular/create a prototype, and see what is more fun : )
 

Bloodcount

Starcraft II Moderator
Staff member
Make it semi automatic and make backstabbing mini games.


For example I send 10-15 people to work at the plantation of player A where they add poison to the plants and ruing the reputation and production of that plant :)
 

Miz

Administrator
For example I send 10-15 people to work at the plantation of player A where they add poison to the plants and ruing the reputation and production of that plant :)
I think Sabotage/Espionage goes a long with Combat in that it should just be one of the many tools. I don't think it should be an entire mini-game in its own but I do agree it should have some mechanics to sabotage other peoples economies.
 

Monsterous

In the Shadows, Lurking.
At the moment, im working on the lists of what each sector have. Throw in some ideas of what each sector could build and what it does!
 

Ioannes

Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face.
I think that, conceptually, the most important element of the gameplay is competing but not trading with each other.

I think that in the map several players should be competing to produce for a third party. Imagine warlords in South America. There's several of them in the jungle and they;re about to cultivate some land and grow drugs on it. Warlords kidnap people from the villages and make them either guards or corvee laborers. Drugs are grown and periodically trucks or whatever of the mafia in the USA come in a convoy and buy up the produce. The warlords try to make money through producing for the mafia and use the money for armies or more production. The goal is to make $1million.

As a map, this will be something like competitive Founders of the North. In FotN, players start with a single hero and then make money either through gathering sell-able stuff from fixed points, from buying and selling items from different parts of the map, or from making a little tycoon/simcity-like base where they grow crops in a mini-economy. They also can maker armies, or go RPG and develop their hero. In this map, things could be similar. Players develop an economy and make armies for defense/atk and try to make 1 million green ones :D


Economy:
Economy is centered around growing drugs.
-There's a main base, which is the hacienda of the drug lord, and around it are the other buildings.
- The drugs are like the crops from FotN: items that summon "plant"-units and the "plant"-units have a timer indicating how much until they are ripe. Players, using the hero or the workers, plant the drugs and after a couple of minutes come back and pick up the produce. After the timer is out, the "plant"-unit is replaced by a stack-able item that is worth money. They are then stored somewhere until the mafia trucks come. There's different types of drugs that cost differently to buy the seeds for and that take diff. amount of time to grow.
- Also, the more players grow the same drug, the less money they get for it. Some species of drug plant may have special requirements to spice up gameplay (like "only found in the dragon cave" or w/e)
- Probably mines for silver, gold or something can exist. The ore that is mined is sold in the NPC villages (for less money than drugs are sold to the mafia convoys due to the fact that mining is more dull than horticulture).


Fighting:
The warlord has money and with it he recruits and pays for troops.
- Every troop costs money for food and salary, so there's a limit on those according to your income.
- Troops come in different forms, and probably this will be the equivalent of marines, firebats, marauders, etc.
- They are used either to defend the plantations or to attack other players' plantations, destroy their crops, steal their crops, and possibly destroy the hacienda.


NPCs'
NPC's are:
- The Mafia, represented by a convoy every 5-10 minutes. There's a road in the map that the convoy passes through. The players have to bring the produce (the stacked "drug" items in a unit's inventory) to the convoy, escorted by the warlord's troops. The convoy stops, takes the drugs and gives money in return, then proceeds until it finds another player's men near the road, waiting to sell the drugs.
- Several neutral villages, where peaceful latino peasants live their lives. The warlords can send troops to pillage the villages for a small amount of money, or to enslave some of the villagers and turn them into workers.
- The arms dealers, which are randomly appearing and wandering indestructible NPC heroes, who sell upgrades and small fighting machines. Like Yuri Orlov.
- The corrupt general's agents: NPC units in towns that are officers of the corrupt army general. The general sells a few of the country's war machines (i.e. tanks, thors, helicopters) and has send his officers to the region to strike deals with the warlords. The purchased units appear in the villages and are brought back to the plantations.

So, basically, it's a jungle and people try to control a territory where ganja is safely grown, using drug lord kind of army. It's like Commando or Predator in a way :rolleyes: Periodically, players try to safely escort the produce to the road and money is collected. Victory depends on fighting skills, through controlling los soldados, and through simcity- or tycoon-like managing the plantations.

IMO if you make the map my way it will be really good. Write me if you need advice, my MacBook is old-ish and mapmaking is horrendously annoing (not to mention that it is physically impossible for me to micro in-game during battles), but it would be great fun to help.
 

Varine

And as the moon rises, we shall prepare for war
I didn't really read all of the thread because it's long and I'm tired.

But about your trading system. All three require food in order to have people work, making agriculture the obvious backbone. While the other two would I assume act as some kind of research system as well as resource gathering. So you could just intertwine the tech tree. So in order for metalworking to get things like firearms or combustion engines or whatever, some kind of combustible material needs to be created. In order to develop that, it requires metal. Then in order to further create these new developments, you require that material from industry (gasoline for cars, gunpowder for guns/cannons, ect). Whoever advances fastest will likely have the greatest edge, and assuming alliances are allowed it would make sense to trade off excess for other material (i.e. you need food or something because you didn't expect a population boom, and someone else desperately needs whatever. Someone who is maybe getting their ass kicked has a low population, thus low consumption so have a lot of unused food and need metal or something from industry to get back into a good standing. You have it and need food to keep everything going good and just need to hold off for a bit longer to equalize it. Or you play with two friends and one focuses on agriculture, one on industry, and one on metalworks and they just share material and have a lot of it).
 

SerraAvenger

Cuz I can
would certainly be a boring game if the only thing you could do is trade - nobody wins, nobody loses...
When the OP states that trading should be the core element, and one of the posts proposes a gameplay completely devoid of any trading whatsoever, then something went wrong : )

On a slightly related note, I dislike the tendential nature of your post... Just saying.
 

Vicboy

Ultra Cool Member
Workers and Houses. - Good idea. 5/5

The Warlord and Armed Forces. - Still a good idea, but I don't really trust the system much that much when factors like out-of-the-game friendships comes along. 4/5

Should players attack other players? Mixed. This would pan out well if there were more than 6 players. Other than that, this could ruin the game. 3/5

Random Events? - Well, how is it random if you'll be basing this on leverage. Besides, this doesn't really apply well in multiplayer games. Sim City, Tropico and etc have random events but they aren't exactly multiplayer. Just imagine having a jammed gun in CS/COD... Wow, ain't that a game ruining bitch.

Automated or Manual? - I prefer a little more automation. You know those games like Diner Dash? Screw that. Even when things are more automatic, winning all depends on the player's choices.

I'm really interested in your game. Keep this thread updated on that map, please ;)
 

Siretu

Starcraft 2 Editor Moderator
Staff member
I remember thinking of something simmilar for a WC3 mapping contest but I never even started it since I couldn't figure out a fun concept.

Monsterous, how's your mapping skills? Will you be able to create this map? I would help you but I got so many projects atm so although I'm interested, I just don't have time. Good luck with this though.
 

Monsterous

In the Shadows, Lurking.
Im fully capable of making this map, yes. I haven't made much progress because of coursework ;D
But im fully conisdering attempting to make it.

EDIT:
After searching around, it appears there are only 4 resources avaliable.
Now, would it be better to simplify ALL the materials down into four? (Food/Metal/blah/blah)
For example, in the topright corner it would be [Food: X Metal: X etc etc]

OR

Shall i complexify it so as to make all the materials more useful, and put the amount you have into variables and show it in a tables of sorts.
For example:
[Apples: X]
[Bananas: X]
[Copper: X]
[Steel: X]
[Tractors: X]
(etc etc)

If i did this, i could make a table next to each possible building, making it easier to determine if you can actually build it (As you can only have four resources shown to make something normally - i'll have to type it out inthe description)

For example: (As shown in a dialog box to show if you have the resources avaliable)
Factory
[Copper: 20/25]
[Steel: 150/100]
[Wood: 85/80]

Whilst in the actual building description:
Factory
(BLAHBLAH this does BLAHBLAH)
(Requires: 25 copper, 100 steel, 80 wood)


Personally, i'd much rather go with the 2nd option. It keeps the whole thing complex and much harder to determine the "correct price" of things.
 

Bloodcount

Starcraft II Moderator
Staff member
Imo food should consists of shit. For example an apple plantation will give you +3 food units cuz apple is aweosme. A Bread factory though, will give you +10 food since everyone needs bread and it is more valuable. You can use the priority to detirmine the points that it will give each player.
 
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