You can’t just like… put a price on things, man.
Creating our in-game economy has been an interesting experience. I’ve finished penning a second draft of it, and it’s still not quite adding up right. The cake is the most valuable item in the game, while a table is more valuable than a finely crafted sword.
What I’ve been doing is creating algorithms for calculating the market value of each item. I’ve started by giving each raw resource (there are approximately 20) a core value so that I can give values to all subsequent parts those resources can create. For example, a wooden log is worth 8, but can be broken into two wooden planks, which are worth 4 apiece.
Then there’s the complexity of the crafting of each item which adds a multiplier. The more complicated the crafting table used to create the item, the larger the multiplier.
The wooden planks would attract a multiplier of 1.5 for being an item you can craft on the most basic table: the woodworking table. If, however, you’ve created an iron stove and cook a soup using ingredients you’ve farmed yourself and had to grow and protect manually, it’ll attract a 5 times multiplier.
Swords and other military equipment is crafted primarily using your own two hands and a furnace. The furnace is a rather essential element, as it’s used to break down pretty much all mineral resources into more useful and practical shapes.
So vital that I let it only attract a 2 times multiplier.
Hence the lower value of most military equipment (which primarily uses the furnace) versus foodstuffs which require cooking.
The main problem I’m facing is that once I’ve come up with an algorithm for calculating value, I have to apply it to each of the 200 odd items in the game before I can look over the 6 pages of finished numbers and see if everything lines up how it should.
So in-game economy Mark II was actually seeming pretty darn cool for the first half. Everything was working perfectly until I got to the military hardware. But it’s like that – the individual sections tend to value things in an internally consistent manner, but section vs section it can get a bit weird.
Back I now go, to the drawing board, to try and figure out a way to balance it all out.