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market mechanic

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Greggatron
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Joined: 04/21/2012

So my friend was making a space game using a market mechanic I made but it doesn't quite work for his game.

The player can buy resources during the buy phase and obviously the higher priced resources have more power reserves. These prices were static. The resource is used up over time when connected to a machine during the work phase.
A random roll is used to determine how fast the power is drained from each resource hooked up to machines during this phase. Bigger machines potentially drain much faster but yield a bigger payoff to buy more resources.

The payoff rates DO fluctuate during sell phase.

2 issues:
1) if the player spends all starting money on average resources, then they stupidly choose to connect to a high power cost machine and bad rolls drain their resources completely before work is done they get no payout. Now it is near impossible to catch up since their resources are gone and they have no money.
There may be no fix for this, just "don't be dumb!"?
2)he is unsure the static nature of buying resources OR the dynamic nature of selling payoffs is enough strategy. Anyone had experience with similar mechanics?

Thanks

HandwrittenAnthony
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Joined: 12/01/2011
Market mechanics.

Hey Greggatron.

So I'm not overly experienced with market and auction mechanics. However, reading your post, I wondered if your problems might exist somewhere else in your system, that is resulting in the lack of strategy?

Firstly, have you modeled out your system in a spreadsheet at all? I find this incredibly useful when trying to problem solve apparent imbalances in a design. Even my maths-light games end up with some pretty heavy spreadsheets.

In the problems you laid out in your post, I'd consider looking at the random consumption rates of your machines. If there's too much "chance" involved, players might end up just going for the best min/max combinations and gamble for the best payoff, which really limits the number of strategic choices a player can make.

If you require more strategy in how the player buys and sells, perhaps look at adjusting or reducing the random consumption rates. Less chance in resource consumption means the player should have more significant and informed choices to make.

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