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Portalus Games | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Historical | Status:Final  (rel 01/22/08)  | Pub:Portalus Games
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:Free | Pay Type:Hybrid | Monthly Fee:Free
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Dev Log: Economy

Posted by Jon Wood on Mar 30, 2006  | Comments

Dev Log: Economy -

Yarr, thar be a new dev log available at the Pirates of the Burning Sea website. This time around, isildur lets us in on the game's economy system in an article titled: Player-Owned Economy. As usual, we have given you just enough to whet your appetite, click the link below to read the whole thing:


One of the things we've never been entirely satisfied with has been our economy. Our original plan called for a complex supply and demand model based on the nature and size of every port. While this model was sophisticated and interesting, it suffered from one minor and one major flaw. The minor flaw was that players were not as involved in the process as we would have liked; much of the activity of the economy happened 'off-stage'. The major flaw was that the system would require a small army of designers and several years to create all the content, and then the whole thing would still need tuning. For a small company, this was not an option.

So we wrote an economy that, at the time, I called the 'Simple Economy'. It was a very basic supply and demand model; the more of a good you supplied to a port, the less it wanted that good; the more of a good you bought from a port, the less of that good they would sell you. The goods were meaningless, just period labels slapped on an array of dynamic numbers. Nobody wanted 'sugar' for any particular reason; they just generically demanded it across the Caribbean. The benefit of this system was that it was easy to put into place, and could be globally tuned. The drawback, of course, is that it was boring. Even as I was writing it, I was planning the next step up.

I called that next step the 'Player-Owned Economy'. Confession time: I'm a die-hard libertarian. I looked at attempts to manage and control game economies, saw them failing, and thought 'duh, of course they fail. You can't make a planned economy work.' Games are pretty far from real life, of course, which means it isn't as simple as tossing a bunch of resources into the world and letting people sort it out, but there were still many applicable lessons to be taken.

To read the whole log, click here.

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