A First Look at Products

Posted May 13, 2014
Last Updated May 13, 2014

In an economic simulator like Dominomics, the type of products, their creation, and their use are the core of the game. Here are some preliminary thoughts on products, and what this means for both the rules and programming of Dominomics.

Let’s take a look at just one product, which we will call “Food” for the moment.

  • Food is used to increase energy, and must be eaten every day to maintain a healthy denizen.
  • Food has a level of quality. The higher the quality, the more energy it provides.
  • Food is manufactured from other products (such as grain, cattle, etc.)

Nothing too new here yet. But Dominomics is about domination, after all, so there are some other features you may have not seen before.

  • The quality of the Food will not typically exceed the quality of the ingredients.
  • However, unscrupulous manufacturers can put Additives in the Food that artificially increase quality.
  • Additives have a small percent chance of causing side effects. For example, there may be a 0.1% chance that the Food decreases health when consumed.

As mentioned before, Dominomics will have a strong information gathering component. Governments may enforce labeling laws for Additives, and manufacturers can choose to lie, under penalty of being caught. All of this will be under player control.

Products may also degrade in quality as they age. Food will degrade in quality, meaning it becomes less effective as it spoils. Other Products, perhaps a refrigerator, may be purchased to slow the degradation.

Product categories (not exhaustive):

  • Food - Energy (used for taking actions)
  • Medicine - Health (used in combat and high-risk jobs)
  • Housing - Affects max Energy and max Health
  • Infrastructure - Provide civilian and military bonuses
  • Military Gear (used in war)
  • Civilian Gear (used for labor)
  • Agent Gear (used for spying)
  • Raw Materials for all of the above

Programming

It means that each item in the game will have it’s own unique database record. You can see this in many MMORPGS such as SWTOR. In that game, each crafted item tracks who manufactured it, which means that each item must have it’s own record. This is significantly different to a game like eRep, where all items are identical. In that case, you simply need to keep track of the number of each item in someone’s inventory.

Rules

Items will be scarce. It should be very uncommon for someone to stockpile thousands of food. Storage space will be limited, and manufacturing will produce just a handful of units, instead of hundreds.

Shopping for items will be interactive. Because each unit has it’s own quality and possible additives, shoppers will have to make more complex decisions than just “buy what is cheapest.”

Because some manufacturers may choose to be additive free and use only the best ingredients, brand recognition may emerge as an important part of gameplay.

There can be interaction between government and manufacturing beyond just taxes. Governments may choose to regulate both the labeling and the use of additives. It will be up to players to debate whether or not to have their governments regulate business in this manner.

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