Inflation within your game.

cthulhusquid

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Here's how I solve this issue in my project, Battle Castle.
  1. Make the player fight for every gold piece earned. There is no such thing as a "cakewalk" enemy that can be basic attack spammed without consequences, all battles will have equal difficulty. Enemies drop items realistic to them, like fur/teeth from animals, and gold/items from humans.
  2. Further limit gold intake by making Inns cost a non-insignificant amount of gold.
  3. Make consumables useful so the player actually buys them. Instant healing is expensive.
  4. Make equipment expensive. Merchants know the market value of their gear, and will gladly make the player shell out for even the most basic armor.
My two other projects are still in the works, but follow similar principles. My post apocalyptic game, The Wastes, ramps up the economic difficulty even more, as it's inspired by the S.T.A.L.K.E.R mod, "Misery". You can loot tons of stuff, but it doesn't sell for very much. Good gear is prohibitively expensive, and almost as expensive to repair. You need food and water to survive, but most is irradiated and will eventually kill you if you don't take anti-radiation medication. There is also environmental radiation everywhere.
 

SGHarlekin

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I just wanted to chime in again to say y'all having some crazy idea that sound like they straight up kill the enjoyment of the game instantly. Who wants to deal with 5 or more currencies?

Who actually enjoys having to spend tons of resources, repairing the gear they already spent tons to even get? Who enjoys getting their money stolen by the game itself simply because of some tax?

None of these suggestions offer anything fun to the player.

I can get behind the "Animals drop no money" idea. You can use materials to sell them or even create some sort of barter system. But man, if a game wants me to pay 3k to repair an armor that I spent 4k to even get, I'm quitting lmao.
 
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kirbwarrior

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This is one of those situations where I don't have some big difference in how I do things from what I actually see in general rpgs. I don't have a problem with money getting out of hand in the rpgs I play and there's even this sense of power that comes from the last quarter of a game having so much money I could buy a castle or city. Really, I just have money scale probably at a similar rate as exp and determine things like price of equipment, money sinks, etc. from there. If I wanted anything even approaching a plausible economy then I'd be changing up what money even means in the game to said economy.
 

nbgamemaker

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I just wanted to ask, how do you guys handle your economy in-game? Because after intense testing my project turns out the economy suffers terrible inflation and I don't know how to decrease it. Well I have an idea, but first I wanted to know what are your approaches to this matter?
In my game everything has a fixed price for the entirety of it, and the player is the only one with money plus the money is only gotten through dungeons (and maybe part time job segments) and in universe it's basically theme park money that's only good in the home base.
 

geek42

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Tax collection? The local king has those adventurers running around with all that gold, I'm sure he's going to want his cut... if they don't pay taxes they have to fight guards, and maybe merchants turn hostile (how come that guy doesn't have to pay his taxes?)
 

woootbm

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Just be careful because you- as the dev (and probably a math savvy person)- will likely be way better at money management in your game than a large percentage of players in your game. Unless your game is specifically meant to have economy simulation as a major selling point I wouldn't recommend dogging your players for being good at your game.
 

Tai_MT

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It depends on how "onerous" it is to get money out of your pocket in a video game. Most games, almost every player walks away at the end with hundreds of thousands of currency they can't even spend. Which, ultimately, renders that currency meaningless to a large degree.

It has little to do with how "good" a player is at any given game. It has more to do with how little there is to spend that currency on and how much of it the dev is flushing your inventory with through chests and sellable equipment and combat.
 

woootbm

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Most games, almost every player walks away at the end with hundreds of thousands of currency they can't even spend. Which, ultimately, renders that currency meaningless to a large degree.

It has little to do with how "good" a player is at any given game.
So I didn't really comment about this but the issue here and with OP really boils down to "give the player less money." Since I'm guessing OP's game isn't an MMO where players can trade gold, it is much much easier to tighten the reins on the player's money-making opportunities. So, honestly, the topic is a little silly to begin with.

But your comment does paint a picture, you see. Because most dev's recognize that most players are terrible at money management. People (dev's especially) seem to get misled by internet forums or something. You always see people complain about how easy games are today. People call those who are not able to reach diamond in a ranked mode "noobs". This is completely misrepresentative of the average player.

Any given game usually only has about ~30% of its owners actually beat the game and reach an ending (nevermind a "good" ending). And that comment about diamond in ranked? Usually diamond+ means the top 10% in the games I've played. And in something like LoL, that's <2%.

Anyway, when I said "good at the game", I just meant players who are confident and not struggling to get through content. Not some really high metric like speedrunning or something. I realize that's what some people consider "good". My point is, even my "low" metric still accounts for a minority of your players. Meaning that messing up their gold farming (a basic skill, usually) is going to make a majority of your players miserable.

Which is fine... if you want to make a game that's overly invested in its economy mechanics (and hopefully advertises it as such) OR if you're the type that wants to make a "hard" game for "real" gamers. I just feel like I've heard players my entire life complain about things like repair costs or consumable costs in what I considered easy games. Which is anecdotal, but I'm pretty sure it's true for a lot of people.
 

Tai_MT

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@woootbm

My comment on whether or not a player is "good" at a game isn't a subjective thing. I'm not utilizing some weird metric of "the average amount of players who finish a game" or anything similar.

I'm utilizing "If you play the game without grinding, doing the main story and about 30% of the sidequests" as a metric. How much currency do you walk away with? How much extra junk is dumped into the inventory of the player? Gold? Consumables? Equipment?

Every piece of Gold given is a piece the player doesn't have to earn. Every consumable given is one the player doesn't need to purchase. Every piece of equipment given is one the player doesn't need to purchase.

Every enemy slain likely drops gold or something equivalent to be sold. RPG's, in general, just don't require you buy much of anything to complete. These games are flush with consumables you'll never use. Flush with equipment that's stronger than what you can buy. Overflowing with money you won't really need to spend much at all (except for new equipment! So, once per new town visited!).

Even if you give your player "less gold", it doesn't solve the underlying problem of most of these games:

The Currency is basically worthless.

It is spent on so few things of actual value to the player, that it never really gets used up. It accumulates uselessly in the inventory. The player ceases caring if they're even EARNING money beyond the first 4 hours of the game, because by that point, they can afford any and every new thing in the path until the end of the game.

It's often 6x more efficient to heal with Magic than with Consumables, even when you half the healing power compared to a consumable and double the MP consumed for the magic. Most players will heal with Magic instead, as a result. So, no money spent on consumables except maybe an MP restoring item or two.

And hey, they'll only buy those consumables if your combat is particularly dangerous or you've got your "heal points" spread out far enough. Most RPG's do neither of these things... Combat doesn't tend to be that dangerous and "full recovery" points are very frequent, so you expend few of your resources and then get topped off before you even need it.

So, that leaves buying equipment. Which you'll do once per town, because shops don't change their wares and you won't ever be coming back to this town again unless a quest or something asks you to come back here. So, you'll spend your 5000 Currency here to outfit your party and move along. Stockpiling every piece of Currency you get from here until the next town.

And since equipment is usually your largest bump in stats anyway, there's not really a need to "grind levels" unless a player wants something. Like a rare drop from an enemy. Or to fill the bestiary. There's no reason to grind from Level 6 to level 10 in most RPG's. You'll hit that naturally and your equipment at the next town drops stats on you that are equivalent to having those extra 4 levels anyway.

All of this is coming form a player who is "average" at pretty much every game he plays. Including RPG's. I play them "naturally" and that's about it. I grind because I want to grind out for something, or because there's something I want/need from this area I'm grinding in. If there is no reason to grind, I simply don't. I rarely ever buy a consumable because the game fills my inventory with them. I buy equipment fairly rarely because most of it is garbage and only the "most expensive" stuff is worth a crap. Which, ultimately, saves me money.

If you give me a game where spending my currency nets me stuff that I want, I will probably be broke most of the time. This is pretty obvious when I play "incremental" or "idle" games. I'm almost ALWAYS broke in these games because I can spend my currency on upgrades! CONSTANTLY!

RPG's, on the other hand... there's very little to spend your currency on. Or at least... nothing worth a crap.

Even in Zelda. As old as the NES days, I had this problem with currency. I'd accumulate it and never spend it. Buy the candle once, never need purchase it again. Buy the shield in Ocarina of time once, never need it again. On and on. Never bought hearts. Never bought ammo. I didn't need to. Standard combat with enemies and opening chests gave me enough of everything that I never needed it.

But, the Zelda games sure are happy to dump a lot of money I won't ever spend in my wallets!

I play normally. Most people probably play normally. And, they're almost always flush with cash they can't spend by the time the game is over.

The issue is that there's nothing to spend it on.
 

woootbm

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@Tai_MT

Ah, you're right. I forgot about bad game design (although in the case of Zelda they probably figure it's a game meant to be accessible to young kids and kids lack the patience to grind). I assumed the dev had things worth buying, and that they found that players could buy everything too easily and with money left over.

They're two sides of the same coin. Things to buy, money to buy things. A dev can decide to increase or decrease either side to adjust the issue. The reason I went with "too much money" is because making more things to buy means making more content. I generally advise dev's scope DOWN, which means not adding more content constantly. Hence, reduce the amount of gold.
 

Tai_MT

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@woootbm There's nothing wrong with scoping down either.

If there are things worth buying, your money remains relevant and will be spent decently often. At that point, it becomes a "learn to manage your money" affair. In my experience, there just aren't that many games which do that. Most have the issue of "scaling up" and so you're inundated with tons of cash... and nothing to spend it on.

It's one of the reasons that as I've "scoped up" or even "scoped down", I've operated with the intention that there are things you WANT to buy and then things you NEED to buy.

Trying to keep money relevant in most games is very difficult because you need to balance what is given with what the players desire and what the players actually need.
 

geek42

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To that end, you could have the party be able to buy things with very large amounts of money--as I recall, in FF7 you could buy a Shinra beach mansion. They could get a seat in the rich people's club, maybe even buy a few aldermen depending on whether you wanted to make a statement about political corruption--or it could be completely normal, plenty of historical cultures had assemblies of the rich. Maybe to get the last dungeon open, the party has to finance a mining expedition, or buy the land it sits on. ;)
 

Zalzany

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Yeah, I do it, so only human mobs drop coins. Rest have loot; bosses have better junk loot; the more manageable the mob, the worst the loot is. But I also want them to get quests to kill things to make the real bread and butter; that way, I have more control as you need to do x quests to have too much gold and need a nice dump for coin around then for your coin unless you are a masochist and want to kill 300 low-level mobs for like three gold a pop, to buy that 5k gold item lol.

Another neat trick I saw was using plugins for rare times that change daily. I plan to use that at my current project's Adventurer guild in town. It will be RNG using a script I got what it has every day, and the prices will be crazy high. Also, Ripping off is a fun idea. I saw a loan shark. You can get a loan for crazy high interest, but you have seven days to pay it back or get a game over. Oh, plus, the way the game starts well after the intro. You must pay to sleep every night, so you always need to make some kind of money, then later have options to get your place but then pay a town tax every seven days or like a mortgage on it still deciding so you have to spend money in-game to keep inflation at bay and force the player to do things.

Granted, adding things like you can waste all day till nightfall helping out the Farmer or the Blacksmith for the coin, but the best money will be quests to kill or fetch things. I also got a plugin for crafting that might dink around more with that and get used to it, making inquiries to make things for people and using items found in the dungeon. But I like that just being alive costs you some basic upkeep every day, no silly "ok, I just pay for an inn to heal and grind coin till the end of days on respawning mobs!" My goal is you need to take part in the town to make money.
 

geek42

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Yeah, I do it, so only human mobs drop coins. Rest have loot; bosses have better junk loot; the more manageable the mob, the worst the loot is. But I also want them to get quests to kill things to make the real bread and butter; that way, I have more control as you need to do x quests to have too much gold and need a nice dump for coin around then for your coin unless you are a masochist and want to kill 300 low-level mobs for like three gold a pop, to buy that 5k gold item lol.

Another neat trick I saw was using plugins for rare times that change daily. I plan to use that at my current project's Adventurer guild in town. It will be RNG using a script I got what it has every day, and the prices will be crazy high. Also, Ripping off is a fun idea. I saw a loan shark. You can get a loan for crazy high interest, but you have seven days to pay it back or get a game over. Oh, plus, the way the game starts well after the intro. You must pay to sleep every night, so you always need to make some kind of money, then later have options to get your place but then pay a town tax every seven days or like a mortgage on it still deciding so you have to spend money in-game to keep inflation at bay and force the player to do things.

Granted, adding things like you can waste all day till nightfall helping out the Farmer or the Blacksmith for the coin, but the best money will be quests to kill or fetch things. I also got a plugin for crafting that might dink around more with that and get used to it, making inquiries to make things for people and using items found in the dungeon. But I like that just being alive costs you some basic upkeep every day, no silly "ok, I just pay for an inn to heal and grind coin till the end of days on respawning mobs!" My goal is you need to take part in the town to make money.

Great ideas, but game over? You just have to fight the mafiosi. I mean, they're powerful, but if you're far enough along in the game... ;)
 

cthulhusquid

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The Currency is basically worthless.
This is something I really try and tackle in my games, I want the player to feel proud of earning money and feel like that money is well spent when they do spend it. If you get a ton of money and have nothing to spend it on, then why bother? That sucks the fun out of the whole looting experience.
 

RianQuenlin

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