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Calling all economists: How to create a fun/simple/realistic world market economy?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Creation & Customization' started by Padmewan, May 24, 2006.

  1. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    Scotland, Sounds to me like you have ambitions of uprooting the economic system of Civilization 4 and redesigining it from scratch, rather than amending it. If you do that, all bets are off. You can definitely make it work, but it takes a lot more work than just amending it. I hope you have a team as committed and skilled as Firaxis.
     
  2. scottland

    scottland Chieftain

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    Thanks for the advice Padmewan, does it apply to your own mod? Is there any point in balancing a system after one small change in a planned series of hundreds? The amount of work in change the existing production mechanism to make the game playable after any one component doubles, or possibly triples the amount of changes made. After each change I have been playing the first few turns to check for crashes, but other than that, I'd rather wait until I've made a coherent system of changes for balancing.

    BTW: I'd have said cost of production rather than maintenance costs, workers will be the key to production, not bulidings - buildings only represent the maximum number of workers allowable in a particular industry. There might be a small building maintenance cost, but as you say, we don't want the AI to be paying for unused buildings - perhaps they could just disappear when not used (and get a slight refund in the resource cost of the building).

    dh_epic: thanks for the encouragement, even if it is sarcastic. If this mod ever gets made, my main hope is that it influences the design of future Civ games. We want to show that a more realistic economical model doesn't have to be boring.
     
  3. Padmewan

    Padmewan King

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    To some extent yes, and to some extent no. Of course no doctor ever takes his own medicine :) We've definitely bogged down on a relatively minor aspect of the mod and not address larger issues.

    I guess I wasn't half as worried about balancing as making sure that you've chunked the project down enough to capture potential failure points and, quite honestly, give yourselves a viable place to bail if you don't have the ability to move forward. If you even complete any one component of what you've laid out, that will be a major contribution to all of us, but if you wait until all the components are assembled before releasing, we may never see any results at all :( I was laying out one possible way of doing the chunking so that each chunk would itself be valuable to others who may want one or another aspect of the total mod. (The number of requests you see here for limited resources, for example, is quite astounding).

    ... and that's all that I was asking for. I, personally, see that as a really important goal. But as someone who was just fishing for ideas and clearly not willing to commit to doing work on the project, at best I can give ideas that may or may not be useful. Take them for what they're worth (very little, I suppose, at this point!)
     
  4. scottland

    scottland Chieftain

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    I guess being new to modding makes me naive and idealistic. You could divide our project into a few distinct ideas (I have tried to do this when explaining it without much success), but those ideas are so interrelated that it makes very little sense to isolate them either for players having the option to take one or the other, or for the benefit of making the programming easier.

    I do appreciate all the ideas that have been advanced on this thread - especially the idea of starting this thread in the first place; the idea of breaking one big mod into several smaller ones is always a valid suggestion, I'm just trying to explain why it wouldn't work in this case.
     
  5. Maniac

    Maniac Apolyton Sage

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    Yes it would.
    You could already achieve a lot by giving modders the XML option to let terrain improvements and specialists provide/use resources. No need for resource stockpiles etc.
     
  6. scottland

    scottland Chieftain

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    Maybe so, but that's not what my mod is about and making such a function would be a waste of time that I could be making this mod (as is posting this)
     
  7. chef pablo

    chef pablo Warlord

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    scottlands right ,so much of this mod is intrrelated and the basic structure from what everything will be based off of is so different from the model in the game, its going to be difficult to seperate the different aspects of it.
     
  8. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    I think a holistic approach will be tough, but not impossible. Whether you go this route or not, it might be a good idea to start with something smaller, if only to build up support. A lot of people love to talk, but it seems that a lot more people get on board once there's some action. If you were to release a small but working mod that reworks one aspect of the economy, you might be able to build on that support. Something this big will require a lot of talent.

    Just thinking outloud. There might be other ways for this to work out.
     
  9. scottland

    scottland Chieftain

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    OK, here's a trial run...

    1. Cities have individual stockpiles of resources (coded & working)
    2. Production of any buildings or units will consume those some of those resources - no resources, no production (not coded yet)
    3. Cities will automatically transport resources between cities in your empire where required, and between cities of different civs for a gold amount calculated on supply and demand. (not coded yet).

    Also required: massive amount of changes in the XML files for buildings and units - BonusProductionModifier (we'll just use it for Bonus Production Consumption).

    Anyone want to help with this?
     
  10. Glutius Maximus

    Glutius Maximus Chieftain

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    How about using an economic model that is already present in gaming? Namely the RTS economic model? The fundamentals of that model is that each player collects resources, each resource location gives a certain finite amount of the resource, everything the player does, consumes some type of resource(s).

    Let's adopt, amend and expand that model for the Civ4:

    - In Civ, the resource locations contain infinite resources but can only be extracted at a fixed increment per turn

    - Each resource location gives somewhere between X - 5X increments of the resource per turn if the resource tile is suitably improved

    - For Strategic Resources: Most units produced will consume an amount of appropriate resource or resources (eg. Battleship will consume X amount of IRON and Y amount of COAL/OIL)

    - For Luxury and Food Resources: The implementation can be based on the size of the cities

    - If a city is 10 big, then it will need 10 units of, let's say, fur to produce one smiley face. That city will also need 10 units of cow to produce one health. etc. This way, the size of the civ is directly related to the amount of resources it's consuming. Civs will need to make sure that they don't expand beyond what their available resources can support.

    - If a civ is producing excess resources, that will have the option of selling the excess to a "global marketplace" of that resource. The selling price of that resource will be set each turn based on supply and demand.

    - The civ will also have the option paying a certain amount per turn to store the resource in a "strategic reserve". The price paid per turn to store the resource is based on the size of the surplus, market price, and size of the reserve. Eg. it will cost more if there's a large amount of excess, if it has a high market price, and if the reserve is already large.

    - Another option for the excess resource(s) is not to do anything and just let it go to waste each turn. This option will not cost anything nor will it pay anything to the civ.

    - Civs that need/want certain resources but does not have those particular resources on their territory can buy increments of the resource from the global marketplace. The price per turn will be based on the supply and demand of the particular resource.

    - If a civ doesn't want or can't afford to buy resources from the global pool, then the civ would also have the option of having bilateral agreement(s) with other civs to buy certain increments of wanted resource(s) for gold per turn. Or a civ can barter increments of wanted resource(s) for surplus resource(s) it already has. Getting resources from the bilateral method is more desirable because it allows for haggling and bartering and locks the price for a certain number turns. Where as, buying resources from the global marketplace has the risk of fluctuating prices from turn to turn and must be paid in gold.

    - The price in the global marketplace would also be susceptible to shocks from wars. If a civ is selling, let's say, grain to the global marketplace and that civ is attacked and its grain squares are pillaged or lost, the price to buy that resource will go up because it just lost some supply.

    Well, that's basically the skeleton of my economic model. Later more meat can be added. I don't want to get into processing one resource to get another because I believe that gets away from the Civ concept. It's a game based on the relationships between nation states and not an economic simulation game like Railroad Tycoon, etc.

    Please post comments and critiques.
     
  11. scottland

    scottland Chieftain

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    That's pretty much what we've come up with so far. I don't think I've heard the strategic reserve idea before, though, it sounds good. Do you have a formula in mind?

    A few people have mentioned the global marketplace concept. I'm not so sure it adequately represents international trade over 6000 years and want a to develop a different trade model based on trade between cities and merchants. Also your bilateral agreements sound like a lot of work for the player.

    The idea of manufactured goods is because historically some cities/nations have had poor access to natural resources but still flourished economically because of strong industrial capacity. I'm still thinking about how exactly this could be implemented so that it is not too micromanage-y and becomes important to the development of your civilization.

    Thanks for your ideas, Glutius, it's good to hear from some different people for a change.
     
  12. scottland

    scottland Chieftain

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    Removed - see post below
     
  13. TheLopez

    TheLopez Deity

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    Post removed, I have talked to scottland.
     
  14. Trade-peror

    Trade-peror UET Economist

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    Quite an amazing thread. I hope to find some time this month or next to join this discussion/project. Keep up the good work! :thumbsup:
     
  15. scottland

    scottland Chieftain

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    Great. Despite the inactivity on this thread, much progress has been made in implementing the changes discussed. However, there is still plenty to do and anyone who wants to contribute would be very welcome.

    Actually, looking over your UET II, the phrase 'much progress' might be a bit misleading. I've only really begun to make the slightest progress towards what you've proposed (most of which I agree should be included eventually). Still, one has to start somewhere.
     
  16. chef pablo

    chef pablo Warlord

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    Ive been out of country for 7 months on a consulting job,has any progress been made on this or was this just dropped after warlords came out.
     
  17. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    Padmewan wrote:
    This has been discussed a lot including in the pre-Civ IV discussions, as well as 'resource pooling' and banking (e.g. Refrigeration allowing food pooling between cities).


    I would look to Civ3 Conquests for the answer (The Age of Discovery scenario). Basically have buildings that convert the raw material to gold. The challenge is then how the finished product building communicates with the raw source.

    A suggestion is to have a raw material building near the raw source (e.g. the farm or mine), and possibly scale the output of the raw material building to the local sources (e.g. number of bonus tiles within the city perimeter that the raw material building is built at). So more bonuses equals a factor that gives more raw material net.

    Then make the communicating finished product building produce gold in proportion to the raw material quantity it is fed (up to some cap, which can only be raised by building extra finished product buildings, or factory specialists, etc..).

    Tile improvements are also an idea for concentrating the raw material output. E.g. a plantation improvements means specializing a tile (like the Mine does by default). Plantation on a raw material bonus (e.g. plantation on bananas vs. plantation on jungle) is an even higher factor.

    The raw material building could then do initial processing to make the true raw material ('separating the wheat from the chaff').

    The finished product building would make the actual valued consumer or industrial product---e.g. bakes the bread, or makes the steel widgets that get used to improve a factory building.

    A big question is how does the network communicate---physically (e.g. victory point caravans), or abstractly (trade routes)? Can it be semi-physical? If I sink a random caravel, is there a chance that I raided the economic network (stole some wheat or bread, bananas or jam?)?



    An international market driven by supply and demand would be great. Especially if additionally limited by the number of other civs that are on speaking / trading terms with you. A national market that limits the gold point benefit of redundant finished products would be good too. E.g. the gold benefit of your Nth+1 baked bread goes down as you make your Nth+1 baked bread, that turn.

    Also a civ should be able to nationalize part of the resources/products so they aren't up for international bidding. There should be political consequences to that action as well.



    I think this would be doable. RTS's that are simpler than Civ use market systems.


    EDIT: Oops Necro-thread. Still a cool idea for an expansion mod.
     
  18. Bahmo

    Bahmo King

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    A while ago someone posted a "fast-food" religion mod, which replaced all of the religions with fast-food corporations.

    I don't propose replacing the religions, but I still think the religion system is the best bet for founding major corporations, so long as you modify it slightly so that businesses aren't exactly the same (i.e, you can't adopt a state business :lol: ). My opinion is that it shouldn't be completely based on refreshment businesses. I figured that it could work like "First to discover assembly line founds Ford," "First to discover combustion founds Mercedes," "First to discover electricity founds Edison," "First to discover radio founds Tesla," "First to discover steel founds Carnegie," "First to discover computers founds Microsoft," that sort of thing.

    Once a corporation spreads to a city, that city can build an "outlet," similar to a temple, except that it produces money rather than happiness or culture, although in some cases, they could produce other things.

    There would also be one more building, buildable only in a business's "holy city," which means that while all civs with the business present profit, the one that actually founded the business would profit the most.

    I think it would also be cool to be able to outsource production, but I have no idea how that one would be done.
     
  19. Trade-peror

    Trade-peror UET Economist

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  20. zappara

    zappara Mod Designer

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    One thing that slightly annoys me in Civ4 is that once you get food resource all cities have access to it instantly and you can even sell it to other civs. How can fish or any other food can be delivered to half across world during ancient times without the food getting spoiled on the trip? I think food resources should be local resources or access to it with in limited radius. How far you can take this resource from its plot location should increase once you get the required techs like roads, railroads, biology, refrigeration etc. Another way to expand radius for cows, sheeps and other animals could be breeding extra "animal unit" that you move to another city and merge it to city (like great specialists merge to cities).
     

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