Economic involvement in games

  • As always, games created nice and interesting economic systems.
    I want to hear your thoughts and ideas: things you've liked or not in the in-game economic systems and some interesting points you've noticed and how far a mostly economic game will reach.

  • Economy is a really hard thing to get right in a game. Make it too realistic and often times it becomes too hard for players to get the most out of it. Make it to lax and players become disinterested because they have huge piles of cash.

    You also have that very video games problem of an economy starting off balanced between the player and the game then after several hours the player has the upper hand and can basically do what they want within it. Think games like Skyrim where you quickly learn what items are worth picking up and who to trade them with. At the start of the game stores are long lists of items out of your prices range. But cut to 20 or so hours later and Skyrim's merchants are effectively paying you to clean out their stock.

    One of the best economies I've seen in recent years is the one in Breath of the Wild. While you can horde lots of rupees quickly things always seem to be priced right for what they are. Resources for cooking and ammo are reasonable. The best gear and rarer items have premium prices attached to them, or alternative currencies. Then you have the weapon durability/breaking system which is another sort of economy within the game.

  • The Souls games handle economy in an interesting way by having “souls” be the currency for just about everything: purchasing weapons/armor/consumables/keys, leveling up, upgrading weapons... Coupled with the fact that you can potentially lose them upon death, they become an extremely valuable commodity that you feel the weight of. In a way, obtaining and holding onto your souls so that you can save up enough for an item or level drives the entire gameplay loop. It also makes PvP that much more harrowing, as they are, in effect, trying to steal your money in addition to killing you.

  • I always liked the economics of buying property in GTA Vice City and San Andreas. There was a good deal of diversity in prices, and I remember seeing the price tag on the nightclub in Vice City at the beginning of the game and realizing "Wow, someday I guess I'll have that much, but right now I barely have 1G".

    My eternal dream is to have a Rockstar game (preferrably GTA) where you can procedurally rob banks and all the overlapping systems are rich enough to make the experience slightly different each time, and so the amount of money you have isn't really tied to where you are in the story (or bonus, the amount of money you have actually affects the story). GTA Online was the closest we got but trying to play cooperatively in that world is pretty difficult, and even then it seemed like the heists themselves were heavily scripted. But if they can somehow bring that to single-player next time around I'll be content.

  • Thanks a lot for your replies!
    You are always welcome to contact!!!