Gaming Massively

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Mobile Gaming and the Virtual Economy

With CES going on, folks are talking about gadgets. Tobold has a post on multi-platform gaming, with a specific reference to auction houses.

However, it was a later post, about material production in PotBS, that really made me think about the mobile possibilities. Why not go beyond - create a real (game based) economy, complete with loans, stocks, etc, all accessible in the same way real markets are. Since clearly people seem to enjoy participating in (fake) economic transactions, let the game become literally two games. Pure traders need never set foot (so to speak) in the game. It would be a way to create a profit center as well - you could let people buy the currency with real money. To prevent inflation, however, it might be better to limit this exchange.

But there's also the game, whatever it's based on. Putting some production limits in place (like PotBS does), and making everything player produced, allows you to control the availability of higher level items. Allowing them to be permanently destroyed is another limit.

Then, for giggles, allow natural disasters (to keep investors on their toes). Combined with the natural chaos a market will induce (runs on certain items, etc) the game will never be the same twice.

I think the biggest key is not to let the level of the characters determine the value of items - make sure that the lower level stuff stays valuable, even as the upper level stuff gets out there.

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