Stephen King once said: “We’ve switched from a culture that was interested in manufacturing, economics, politics – trying to play a serious part in the world – to a culture that’s really entertainment-based.”
True… But I would say that today some spheres of entertainment, particularly gaming industry, become so realistic that you have all the chances to learn some real life lessons: in military, in economics, business, strategy, whatever. Seems like already very soon there won’t be any bounderies between the real and virtual world at all.
If you ever ask me which is the most challenging and complicated task in the development of the SKIES MMORPG, I would say that one of them is definitely economics.
Creating the real world economic processes in the virtual computer world is the task that can be compared with the computer realization of the human’s brain by its complicity. There are so many factors that impact the world market. Probably, there are no less of them than neurons in the cerebral brain cortex. In the game world the role of such neurons can be performed by the players and the task of the developers to provide ready instruments that will help the players to interact with each other.
Price formation. Supply/demand
We understand that it is impossible to take into account all the factors that impact the prices in real life. That is why we make the emphasis on the most important ones.
Economic server during the long time period collects the statistics about every purchased and produced good. Based on these two curves, at every time moment, the economics server counts current “ideal market price”. This process is running for every game item.
Every time the player enters the shop he can get the new actual price for that or another item. The more item is popular the bigger extra charge will be. The more of such items are getting dusty on the shelves, the less such price will be.
By collecting statistics during the long period of time we minimize critical impact on economics by one certain purchase. But in general, every even minor good’s production on the fabric or the purchase of one item in the shop will make its impact on the overall price formation.
Automatic management on the plants
This was our other one complicated task. But the first solution appeared to be also the solution for this task. Automatic manager was supposed to decide which goods should be produced on the fabric and which of them shouldn’t. But after we’ve developed the market price for every good, most problems were resolved. A manager of the plant can compare the market place with the prime cost and choose the most profitable item for production.
Connection between goods in the game
Most of the elements in the game are connected. Some of the subjects are the parts, details of the other ones. For example, the iron is being produced from the iron ore. And the iron it its turn is the part of the armour, weapon. Thus, the rise in the price for the material causes the rise in the price for the new weapon and armour.
Players who have the aim to develop their business in the conditions of the in-game economics, can set the prices for the goods purchase and selling, number of the working places, salary.