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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 9:24 am 
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actually as a Fifth Resource, Money Might work to model all Soft production (ie production of intellectual services/light material goods that are not Research in a game sense, like entertainment, market research, accounting, advertising... Trade as an actual Good that could be 'generated' by building 'markets' on your planet.)*


Although I still remain officially opposed to any more than the current 5 resources.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 12:18 am 
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I just figure that a government NEEDS to have some form of taxation to pay for...things. Thus research, fleet maintenance and of course pork barrelling.

Also who edited over my post, was it your drek?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 2:02 am 
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Well if the government/player controls the whole economy then taxes are unnecessary. (effective tax rate =100%) (after all the government needs to pay for fleet construction as well as maintenance.)

On the other hand, if a % of the economy is allocated for the people (even if the only thing they do with it is make themselves happy, ie production allocated for Consumer goods) then the amount NOT allocated to the people can be assumed to be the amount taxed.


Now I'd prefer the people did more than just spend stuff on luxury goods, that they actually fed themselves and invested some of their resources into future production, ie buildings, that they would fuel with their own minerals. But even simple spending on luxury goods can be assumed to be .. 'untaxed income'.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 2:17 pm 
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I need to collect my thoughts on this for a while, but after skimming the last few pages:

- I agree with Drek;
- There is no point in talking about currency exchange rates. That's just way too much. I don't care if different Alien races call it different things, but to have 'one unit' mean something different to Empire A than it does to Empire B is pretty silly; the only exception might be inflation, but I don't even see that as being necessary just yet.

We have not decided for or against the idea of morale yet, although it seems to me that most of the games we're claiming as influences do have morale.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2004 11:26 am 
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Could you elabourate on "I agree with Drek". Skimming the last few pages, Drek seems to have made two points

A) that tax income should not be based directly on output of the four resources, but rather on something relatively stable like population in order to smooth your income.

and

B) That he doesn't like the idea of using PP to (perform the functions we're considering money for) , and would rather use minerals.

Whilst I have misgivings about A, I can see the reasoning and wouldn't be too upset to loose the argument on that point. On the other hand using minerals for this purpose, given the game mechanics we have at the moment, as I understand them, makes even less sense to me than an arbitrary fifth resource (i.e. 'money'), so much so I'd be tempted to join the 'lets have money, who cares if does anything vital' group just out of spite. :P

p.s. as for the suggestions about Exchange rates / inflation etc. I agree entirely. All I can say is "Good God No!". How ludicrously overcomplicated would they be.[/b]

p.p.s. Perhaps the reson for the circular arguments we've been having ha to do with the question asked at the beginning:

Aquitaine wrote:
Do we need it? What are some uses of it? (paying leaders? accelerating things? paying off other empires? events?)

How should it be generated? (taxes on existing production? pillage? natural/local resources ala EU2?)

If we have things to spend, will we also then have expenses? Military expenses?


This seems to me to be slightly backwards - i.e. "do we want money?, if so what shall we invent to do with it?". Which inevitable makes the first part based purely on personal preference.

Perhaps it would be better to ask - "What do we want to be able to do?" and then "What will we use to do this, and how?" since then the answer that makes sense from a game point of view will drop out naturally, and we will have actual game mechanics to base the discussion on.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2004 2:24 pm 
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emrys wrote:
This seems to me to be slightly backwards - i.e. "do we want money?, if so what shall we invent to do with it?". Which inevitable makes the first part based purely on personal preference.

Perhaps it would be better to ask - "What do we want to be able to do?" and then "What will we use to do this, and how?" since then the answer that makes sense from a game point of view will drop out naturally, and we will have actual game mechanics to base the discussion on.


I couldn't say it better. (that's why I didn't :) )


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2004 4:38 pm 
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emrys wrote:
A) that tax income should not be based directly on output of the four resources, but rather on something relatively stable like population in order to smooth your income.

I was attempting to divine Aquitaine's thoughts on the subject. I myself don't care for taxes.

Quote:
That he doesn't like the idea of using PP to (perform the functions we're considering money for) , and would rather use minerals.


Minerals are already in a stockpile. You'd use excess minerals already produced by the v.2 economy as money. No taxes or extra mechanics involved.


Quote:
"What do we want to be able to do?" and then "What will we use to do this, and how?" since then the answer that makes sense from a game point of view will drop out naturally, and we will have actual game mechanics to base the discussion on.


From Tyreth:
Quote:
* buy a fleet of ships off another empire - buy with money/buy with minerals
* pay leaders - pay with money/pay with minerals
* maintain a fleet - pay with money/pay with minerals and PP
* speed production - pay with money/pay with minerals
* give a tribute - pay with money/pay with minerals
* purchasing technology - pay with money/pay with minerals


From me:
Quote:
A: limiting the number of ships via imposing a maintaince cost
B: limiting the player's ability to switch Focus via imposing a cost
C: providing a common item that can be used in trade
D: providing a stockpiled valueable that can be influenced by events
E: giving a carrot out (mo' money) in exchange for the player willingly risking rebellion/low moral (high taxes)


Excess minerals can cover all of these situations except for E. I've got some different ideas on how to handle Unrest instead of basing it on tax rate, so it's not the end of the world.

So basically, if you want a tax rate, best idea would be to have a fifth resource: money. If the game isn't going to have taxes, then using the stockpiled minerals makes sense to me.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2004 6:05 pm 
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emrys wrote:
Perhaps it would be better to ask - "What do we want to be able to do?" and then "What will we use to do this, and how?" since then the answer that makes sense from a game point of view will drop out naturally, and we will have actual game mechanics to base the discussion on.


I think that is a very good point.

What are we going to Want to do in the game economically/potentially resource wise

1. Build Ships (and maintain them so you can't have an infinitely sized fleet)
2. Develop Planets (and maintain them?/impose cost for redeveloping)
3. Reflect the Biological needs of people
4. Have something to make people "happy/not unhappy" besides survival
5. Have some way to 'centralize' production
6. Develop Technologies
7. Trade with other empires (both for resources and to pay as tribute)
8. Model Trade (benefit to peaceful relations with many planets)
9. Have 'stockpiles' (ie reflections of multiple turns of their economic strength) that can be affected by events.
10. Generate Spies,etc.

(If any one can think of anymore, then please)

But as for the Natural Resource
1,2-Production
3-Food (or Minerals in some cases)
4-I'd say Production (allocation to Consumer Goods)
5-Minerals
6-Research
7-Here is where I think Minerals fail Because you stockpile them... they are only useful if Someone is running a deficit (ie no stockpile).. but I'd say this can easily be fullfilled by ANY of the four resources (particularly if you can promise a multiple turn payout (ie 1 Research/turn for 20 turns instead of 20 Research right now)
8-Here we have a potential problem, but I think the way Civ3 did it was an interesting start (model trade mostly as happiness from getting rare resources)
9-Here are the Stockpiles for each resource
Minerals/Food..Standard Stockpile (although if you have a big stockpile you don't care about it because you have excess)
Research*..Technologies that you are researching right now
Production*..Buildings and Ships
*These ones could also have a standard stockpile, but it seems a little strange for Production and VERY strange for Research.

You could drop taxes all together and just say allocation to making people happy/stopping them from being unhappy is untaxed goods.
However, I'd make sure that this must be a Major portion of your spending at any time in the game... ie empires that are spending the majority of their economy on development and military should have Major civil unrest problems...although those problems might take some time to develop so you can put all your effort into a short war but if it drags on then you will collapse internally.

Just thought of 10 myself, I think Production should work for spies/spy jobs with a Major 'Diplomatic Discount' ie its a lot cheaper to insert/maintain spies/spy networks in nations you are at peace or trading with. (although a lot more costly if they are caught)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:53 am 
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I've just had an epihany. It has finally dawned on me that so long as you have a mineral shortfall, minerals and production are effectively the same thing as they are totally interchangeable. Therefore, so long as the game is designed such that you can always use up all your minerals then Krikkitone and I, who are leaning towards production as the 'costing resource' should be equaly happy using minerals for this. AND this would be naturally achieved by saying it was nearly always possible to convert minerals into more production by overdriving ("immersive justification" = less careful,more wasteful, but quicker and easier use of the minerals in the production process), i.e. that you could 'buy' production speed up with minerals, which is what we want to do.

So, as long as the game is balanced so that it is exceedingly rare to constantly have a stockpile of minerals much larger than you could possibly use (which will only even be an issue if we have a cap on the rate you can buy extra production (e.g. the 2x limit suggested earlier)), I'm happy that it makes sense to cost things in minerals, since everyone would always want more of them. And if we do use minerals as the 'costing resource' then you'll have lots of things to use them for, and so hopefully a huge and persistent excess should be rare.

So, minerals will hopefully be intuitive and comfortable for people to view as a stockpileable tradeable resource, and give the same practical effects as the more "supply and demand economics" biased amongst us would like.

Of course my aquiessence in this is mostly because I've convinced myself that I get what I want any way, but that doesn't make it any less a surrender. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2004 2:16 pm 
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(repost)

Let's look at this from a different angle. I think we've been going after KISS a great deal while neglecting rule #2 - Steal What Works.

-Most- strategy games do have some sort of money resource. All the MOOs have them (I'm not too sure about 1, but I know 2 and 3 do). I liked how MOO2 did it; simple, straightforward.

The only game I can think of that doesn't use money is HoI, and their needs are quite different from ours.

I guess I don't see money as a fifth resource. I see it as a fourth resource: food, minerals, RP, money. PP is not a 'resource' as it represents capacity rather than a finite quantity of a physical thing.

(another use for money to add to the list: building maintenance.)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2004 3:57 pm 
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I have to confess that I'm still running around in circles on this issue, although I am leaning a little bit in one direction, there's too much up in the air for me to be sure about what direction we should take on this.

So I'm going to talk with our Oracle of Delphi, aka Alan Emrich, about this sometime later this week. If you can come up with a specific question about this topic, email me with it and I'll see if I can get it answered.

-Aq

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:37 pm 
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Well, one thing you could do is just rename Production Money. (and then the diminishing returns of how much Money can be spent somewhere depends on its local 'Production of Money'.. as well as the overall economy)

That way Minerals, Food and Research would be the 'specialized' economic resources and Money would be the 'generic' economic resource

But the idea is that Money (or Production or Overall Economy Points or whatever) is what would support the Construction and Maintenance of Ships and Buildings as well as 'Consumer spending'. (Money might also be better since it avoids the 'Heavy Industry' connotation.)

Of course in this scenario Money still requires Minerals+'Factories' to make.

If 'Production' is simply the Local generation of (and also ability to efficiently spend) Money, then I think we might be getting closer to what we want.


Actually, I think that is the question, to us rather than AE, How much do we want to specialize our economy?

After all you could just have each planet Generate Money based on population and buildings and Everything would cost Money. Feeding/Maintaining the population, Constructing/Maintaining Buildings and Ships, Getting Techs, Making people Happy.

I think that would be a good question for AE then, What are the reasons to (or not to) specialize out a resource?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2004 8:00 pm 
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Quote:
The only game I can think of that doesn't use money is HoI, and their needs are quite different from ours.


There are many strategy games in which money either is not a resource, or is combined with a physical resource:

Risk: no money
Chess: no money
Warcraft: gold is money, equivalent to our minerals
SMaC: Combined with energy

Obviously, just the tip of the iceberg. I'd bet that *most* strategy games don't have a money resource.

I don't like the idea of a separate money token because it implies yet another mechanic to FO's economy: tax rates. Tax rates happen to be sliders; I don't like sliders. FO's already got two foci to set plus a build queue to fill for each planet: more than enough work for me. But I'm certain that other people like the idea of a larger degree of control over each planet, so it's largely a matter of taste.

Far better, I think, to model tax rates as a part of government picks. For example, "Socialism" might be a high tax rate.

I'll be an optimist and say that the sooner v.3 is specced out, the better. I'd say just pick whichever idea seems best and go with it.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2004 8:27 pm 
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drek wrote:
Far better, I think, to model tax rates as a part of government picks. For example, "Socialism" might be a high tax rate.

This is an interesting idea. Though it would be better to make it a range. So a "Whatever" government can only move their tax rate between
5-10 percent.

We should just use money, imo. We are starting to go off on a tangent trying to think of a replacement for money. We could always just use each of our other resources and have no money, eg research, production, etc.

It depends on what we like.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2004 9:36 pm 
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Quote:
This is an interesting idea. Though it would be better to make it a range. So a "Whatever" government can only move their tax rate between
5-10 percent.


The government picks would not result in MOO-ish taxation. Rather, the line between holdings of the state and of private citizens would be erased. Money and other concepts of property are abstracted: as the "guiding force" you control not only the resources of the government, but also of the people. Who cares which pot the gold is in, if you own all the pots?

For example, if you pick "Socialism" people would be happier--less Unrest but also less Industry. If you pick ""Laissez Faire", industry (and perhaps pollution) would be higher.

See? Modelling the effects of taxation instead of pretending there's a large coffer that taxes flow into.

Besides, for many alien and futuristic cultures, the idea of taxation is silly. Do the Zerglings and hydralisks pay the overmind taxes? Does Captain Kirk pay the Federation every April?


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