Space Setting: Economy

This is the second part of my blog on the cool, dynamic setting in our upcoming space action RPG. In this blog I'm going to talk about the economy in the game.

In our previous games there really wasn't much of an economy other than finding lots of loot and selling to the vendors who have infinite gold (DoP was slightly different). This is fairly typical of RPGs in general. In our space game though this going to be different by necessity since all of the races are competing against one another. They can't just have an infinite amount of credits and items to provide to the player. It just wouldn't make any sense.

So what kind of resources are we talking about? Well in this game I believe we are going keep it relatively simple and have just food, minerals, technology, and credits. Most of the time the player will only care about the credits part though.

Each planet that a race controls generates food, minerals, technology, and credits for that race. Planets can vary quite a bit. They have different types from inferno up to paradise, sizes from tiny to huge, and can even have bonuses like fertile, mineral rich, and gold deposits. In other words you can have great planets, worthless planets, and anything in between. Food and minerals are a local resource, meaning that only the planet that gathered the resource can use them unless a freighter takes them somewhere else. Technology and credits goes to the races' accounts.

Food greatly effects the planet's population growth. Too little food and the population starts dying off. Any extra food helps the population grows, the more the better. If a planet has so much food that they can't get any more population growth or they have maxed their population, they can use freighters to bring the extra to a more food starved colony.

Minerals are used to construct buildings and space ships.

Technology controls what components and buildings the various races know how to build. It will also likely add bonuses here and there once researched.

Credits are used for pretty much everything else. The player might be able to haul food and minerals around and some times find or trade technology, but credits usually are what they will deal with directly. Quest rewards will be in credits and buying and selling will be in credits.

So how does this effect the player? Well you can't sell an infinite amount of goods to any specific race, they will eventually run out of credits. Although they might very well turn around and use the items that you just sold them. The different races also might have resource problems here and there and ask their nearby friendly mercenary for help. You can even handicap an enemy race by destroying an important colony of theirs. Think of how much damage you can do when a race has a main food planet.

With an actual economy this leaves a lot of room for quests that are real requests filling a specific need that actually matters if you accomplish it or not. It also allows the player a lot of room to effect the outcome of the galactic space race on what they do from little things like selling items to an ally or from big things like destroying colonies of enemies.

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