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Author Topic: Video Games from a Barter World  (Read 6008 times)

GreatWyrmGold

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Re: Video Games from a Barter World
« Reply #60 on: January 06, 2013, 09:31:10 pm »

Well jewellery is a really popular commodity currency, it's light, it's common, and you can wear it around to keep it safe/show off your wealth. So I suppose he could run around collect necklaces and such, though collecting rings might be a bit of an issue if you don't make him blue and really good at rolling around at high speeds.
Jewelry isn't a commodity. Not every necklace is worth the same; not every pearl necklace is worth the same; etc. There are too many differences between examples of jewelry for that to work. It's a good store of value, and in certain circumstances a decent medium of exchange, but a worthless unit of account.
Not commodity, just money then? Or trade medium?
Money doesn't work if it's a craptastic unit of account. I can't say that my Masterwork Club is worth two necklaces, because some necklaces are worth more than others. However, I can say that my Handmade Robust Walking Stick is worth two dollars because every dollar is the same.
Jewelry and the like are okay trade items, but terrible currency.
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Sergius

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Re: Video Games from a Barter World
« Reply #61 on: January 06, 2013, 10:03:11 pm »

I think the argument that video games would create currency, because you have to assign a value to each item and eventually that value would be the currency, is backwards.

It actually points out a flaw in many "barter" based games: each item has a set price. You try to meet that price with other items that also have a set price, until you come as close as possible (if the game doesn't allow you to get more for your value), but in the end, in the game that fur cloak is worth 1.21 jigowatts.

I don't think that's how barter works (worked) in the real world. Who's to say that a cow is worth 2 sheep? Maybe the guy that raises cows will give you one cow in exchange of one sheep (he already has enough cows, but wants more sheeps), and someone will give you a sheep in exchange of your pencil (they really need another pencil more than they need an extra sheep).
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Askot Bokbondeler

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Re: Video Games from a Barter World
« Reply #62 on: January 07, 2013, 02:04:48 pm »

that is true, but even if you program an advanced ai specifically for barter trading, you'd have too quantify one or more values for the items. some items are more useful than others, and some require much more effort to produce\acquire. these values might be variable, the same item might be more useful for some people than others, and some people might have an easier time acquiring some items, and that's why a number of dollars, despite being a much better money than necklaces, still fail to accurately and absolutely translate into the value of another item, but for the purpose of a programmed trade system there would need to be a form of quantifying value even if that value fluctuated wildly. it would certainly establish the notion of unit of value if there wasn't one before, though it could also highlight the ineffectiveness of a standardized currency unit

Sergius

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Re: Video Games from a Barter World
« Reply #63 on: January 07, 2013, 02:30:53 pm »

You're still assuming everything has a value that applies to everyone. I didn't say anything about fluctuating prices over time, but that value is entirely subjective. While a farmer will want one pencil and be willing to trade two cows for it, another may want 5 pencils for one cow.

If it was dollars, then in a barter economy, everything would be worth $1, and there would be a HUGE multiplier based on bartering skill (as much as 0.1x to 10x or whatever you want), current needs of the individual, etc. Raw "Bulk" items would probably need to be packed in certain amounts (so, i'm not going to trade you a single ear of corn, but maybe a sack, or bushel or whatever thing those things get packed into). Everything else (specially manufactured stuff) is fair game.

Again, if you were making the game you'd base the "AI" in some form of currency, but people who don't know about currency may have an entirely different heuristic in mind (pun? :P) when they program it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomad_(video_game)

In this game, everything is worth the same. One missile, one upgrade, one "unit" of goods. You meet an alien and always trade 1 for 1. They'll just say if they're interested or not.
Maybe too simplistic to be practical (only way to get new items is to somehow "produce" them from the wrecks of your dead enemies).
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 02:33:38 pm by Sergius »
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SalmonGod

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Re: Video Games from a Barter World
« Reply #64 on: January 07, 2013, 04:52:57 pm »

You guys are operating under the assumption that trade must be procedurally generated.  It gets really easy if the circumstantial needs of NPCs are pre-written.  If a game is simply trying to tell a story, it's easy to write into that story exactly what X npc wants for Y item, as in the military deserter example I offered previously.  This can even take place in an open world environment.  That NPC could easily be someone you meet while wandering the landscape in a game like Skyrim, where most NPC interactions are pre-written, despite being a game that tries to feel very open-ended.
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Sergius

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Re: Video Games from a Barter World
« Reply #65 on: January 07, 2013, 05:47:10 pm »

I didn't say anything about procedurally generated. Of course I was including the possibility of having a set number of "merchants" wanting specific stuff and having a completely arbitrary "price" for them. Or basically everyone in a CRPG.

Anyway:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_War_2:_Edge_of_Chaos

There's another game where things don't have "prices". Don't know if the game internally manages a numeric value for things, but you don't sell or buy much as reply in a message board to some who wants "50 tons of textiles" and wants to pay "10 sidethruster missiles" for them.
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Zangi

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Re: Video Games from a Barter World
« Reply #66 on: January 09, 2013, 11:34:30 pm »

My suggestion would be to have a really fragmented power structure and a city-state kind of environment.  Different cities would probably produce their own currencies, but ultimately these wouldn't carry much value outside of the city, and maybe not even much inside if the city's leaders aren't trusted.  Under such conditions it might make sense for people to prefer accepting goods over currency in many cases, and to some degree the different kinds of currency could be part of the bartering system.

To avoid making it so there's effectively an "invisible currency" dictating all items values you'd probably want to make it so that goods are valued differently in different places, and make moving between these places an arduous and dangerous task (having such a dangerous world might explain why it's so hard for any one state to gain too much power) to help justify this.  You could also have fluctuations and stuff based on in-world events.
Basically this...

Barter System, worth of items is based on how much the person you are trading it to wants it... and what they have to trade for it in return.
Actual merchant/trader would likely offer less then a direct client and the the direct client would probably expect to offer less to you then they would the merchant/trader.
Throw in a random variable, based on regional worth for all characters that trade for wants/needs/haves.  Realistically, you'll end up saturating the market with fur/low grade armor if it is a Barter World Bethseda game.  Also, I would wager that the 'economics/trading' grind would be replaced by something else in video games, making 'buying/selling' stuff not really important except for the occasional upgrades and 'extras'. 
I guess more reliance on the Quest based model... do this or get that for me and I'll give you X.
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Max White

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Re: Video Games from a Barter World
« Reply #67 on: January 09, 2013, 11:44:31 pm »

I don't think that's how barter works (worked) in the real world.
That sort of argument could be applied to all sorts of things such as Health Points, Stat Points, score in general, extra lives, and pretty much everything that a game quantifies that real life does not. Programming, by its very nature, tends to put numbers to things.
And it works. Just because something is realistic doesn't always make it fun. Would Super Mario be any fun if his jump height was realistic?

Sergius

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Re: Video Games from a Barter World
« Reply #68 on: January 10, 2013, 12:23:15 am »

I don't think that's how barter works (worked) in the real world.
That sort of argument could be applied to all sorts of things such as Health Points, Stat Points, score in general, extra lives, and pretty much everything that a game quantifies that real life does not. Programming, by its very nature, tends to put numbers to things.
And it works. Just because something is realistic doesn't always make it fun. Would Super Mario be any fun if his jump height was realistic?

Yes, but the argument is how "Real Life People" from an alternate world with no currency (who probably never invented the concept) would come up with a game.
Not how we, who have a currency, would come up with a game with Barter using numbers and an invisible currency.
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