I'm planning on posting a VERY simple example of an economic simulator. I started off with the idea of a pig farm, where the player raises and purchases pigs, then sends them to the 'meat grinder' to make them into bacon, ham, or sausage.
Although this is a fair start, I want to change it to something less violent. Can anyone think of a product or other commodity that meets the following criteria:
- grows larger over time: more by-products can be produced from more mature specimens than younger ones
- the specimen produces raw material for several different commodities (at least three you can think of)
- there is no loss of (animal) life involved
- expiration date: if the player waits too long, the specimen disappears and cannot produce additional raw materials, reduces their output, or disappears outright at a certain time
I could come up with a make-believe plant or something with a goofy name, but that's no fun. I'm looking for suggestions from you all; I have a few of my own ideas but I want to see if a suggestion from someone else is more entertaining.
Again, this is intended for use as an example of buying low, selling high, and some basic economic principles in effect with Alterable Values in an MFA file. The example will be posted here on TDC when it's done.
You could do cheese, which rewards the player based on patience, the older the cheese is, the more expensive it gets. However, your shop gets attacked every so often by Mongolians, and if you don't keep up with the repairs, your building gets condemned.
That Really Hot Chick
now on the Xbox Live Marketplace!
Perhaps do it with lemon trees instead? You could have it sold for Lemon Juice or Mountain Dew or Lemon Slices for Tea. Then perhaps less mature, or sour, lemons could be sold to produce different products.
Or perhaps do something stupid like ingredients for nuclear reactors, or maybe you grow different types of funky glowing nuclear plants, and sell them to Terrorist or Russians or US Government officials.
Slightly off-topic, but if you're planning to make an economic simulation, you really must check out "M.U.L.E." which is the original and best - very simple (easily do-able in MMF2), but with a huge amount of strategic depth, and fun too.
Originally Posted by Sketchy Slightly off-topic, but if you're planning to make an economic simulation, you really must check out "M.U.L.E." ...
TOTALLY with you on that one. I played the heck out of the NES version, and still do on occasion with an emulator.
However, I'm not going for such in-depth game-making at this point (although a MULE port would be SUPER fun to tackle!). The example I'm planning is just for some basic economic principles as well as adjusting Alterable Values, either through randomness or by player input.
Thanks for the suggestions, folks! If anyone else has a contribution, let's hear it.
The game starts with a born baby. You must feed it milk to let it grow. Eventually it grows into a toddler. Then a teenager. When it turns 18 you can kick it out the house and send it on their way.
Specimen produces raw material for different commodities: It wets the bed and defecates in its potty; the material can be used for compost in the garden. During childhood it throws temper tantrums out in public. This generates sympathetic looks / disgust from other parents. You placate the child with a toy or sweets to shut it up. During teenage years it grows a mind of its own. Thinks its an adult and starts staying up all night. Steals from your wallet. The benefits it brings you are that you can punish it by taking its internet away or throw it out on the street. Frequently it may fall pregnant (if female) and you can either punish it by a trip to the clinic, or start the whole cycle again, raising the kid as your own but never saying anything about it. Upon adulthood the child grows up and is suddenly independant. This brings in rent! Finally it moves out. And eventually you die.
At any stage during the childs life should you not feed him for a day or so, he or she will call for help, and be taken by social services.
When the child reaches adulthood, you earn yourself a chocolate brownie.
Marijuana. No, I'm serious. Hemp can be sold for paper, clothing fibers, strong rope. The current medicinal/illegal drug debate could also put a kind of morality spin in the game where people might not expect it.
Originally Posted by s-m-r You're on the right track there, Shab.
I'm initially concerned about this demo being appropriate for all ages, so I may only go with the hemp version in a stand-alone release that's not intended solely as an example.
Are you talking age appropriate, or "My child can't experience anything I think is wrong because they might do it if someone tells them about it"? I don't see anything inappropriate about being honest with children and teaching them the positive and negative about drugs, after all their only alternative is health class, "truth" commercials and DARE programs, all of which label all drugs as horrible things that make you crazy and only stupid people use them, which by stupid parents is considered a good thing, despite the fact that it is highly inappropriate.
That Really Hot Chick
now on the Xbox Live Marketplace!
For some reason I think I have heard this before... Being a bit more serious now, it's quite a tough question you have posed. I think you are pretty much limited to plant life from your specification. Seasonal vegetables may add a twist on things (like they are harvested in certain times and must be sold quickly) but it does not sound very fun.
You could use a video game comapany. The code base grows larger and larger with more time spent on it, the number of bugs decreases, and the game is more likely to sell well (assuming the development time is not too long that the graphics become old hat). Trouble is software development is usually asymptotic (and kind of an expontial curve) - you can never reach a 100% perfect piece of software - so you have to balance the release date and the number of folks working on the game.
Thinking about it, it could be quite a fun game (Theme developer springs to mind).
@ Chris: Ah, I must have skipped past your message somehow; sorry I missed it! I'll definitely consider all suggestions.
@ Horrendous: Not to dwell on something way off-topic, but I'd say it's not my responsibility to gauge someone's ability to choose between legal activities and those that might have them (or their parents) locked up. I'm staying away from potentially controversial topics for the basic example.
If I really wanted to make an issue out of it, then hell yeah, I would go for a kind of decriminalization game. I know a handful of people who suffer from chronic pain and only alleviate it through self-medicating with marijuana. Then at my day job, I work with literally dozens of people who have had their chances of employment shattered due to using such a substance. Their lives have been destroyed not because they used a currently illegal drug, but because they were convicted of a victimless crime that did not disrupt society in the least, at any level.
I don't have time to involve myself in a drug-use debate. Please don't take it personally.
Meanwhile...any more suggestions for the economic simulator? These are all cool ideas!
Wait longer and they grow bigger.
Chop it down, make lumber, etc.
Less people care about trees dying.
If you wait too long, then an environmental charity agency buys it for chump change.
Disclaimer: Any sarcasm in my posts will not be mentioned as that would ruin the purpose. It is assumed that the reader is intelligent enough to tell the difference between what is sarcasm and what is not.