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Dynamic "black" Market..


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#1 nik718

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 08:52 AM

I just discovered your project, and pretty much have no idea what is the overall level of the whole thing.

We all know that the most of the UFO economics were run on imagaginary black market simulation. My proposal is to make black market who has DYNAMIC concept. (something like stock exchange).

So that you dont just manufacture and sell the most profitable item, rather you will have to produce (save) different things and sell them arount for the best prize. Some kind of am black market auction could be interesting .. and so ..

I know this is not very well explained and all, but please comment. Tell me what do you think. Or maybe, have you already considered to implement this or similiar idea into the project.

Nik

#2 GreatGold

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 10:45 AM

Hey -

This is an interesting idea, that could most likely be coded for pretty easily. But first we need a concept to work with. Since you posted the idea...the honour falls to you :devillaugh: . Give us some more ideas to work with, and when I have a second to write somethig up I'll post some ideas as well.

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#3 oddjob

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 11:33 AM

ooooo, I've been reading the forums a lot, trying to get up to date (I am new here too, project seems to be getting a lot of interest all of a sudden) and I really like this idea. I never really liked the loop hole of manufacturing and selling for nearly limitless money in the orignal. A black market system would really help this a lot.

Actually, this could come back to bite the player in the donkey. We really need to get behind closed doors, got a good little twist, gotta be a suprise though.

Great idea though.

#4 Breunor

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 12:00 PM

Here's a thought based on that system:

The market will pay full price for a fixed number of each item.
As you exceed that number, the price drops a percentage for each additional one sold.
At the end of each month (or even each day) a certain number is removed from what you've sold, increasing the price again. If you sell less than the demand each month, the price will go up, if you sell more than demand the price drops.

Each item would need to have a base number that the average person would sell in the average month at an average price. For example, Sectoid corpses. If they sell for $20K on average, the average number per month could be 10. You start the game and your first 10 sell for $20K each, but by the end of the month you've sold 14. #11 would go for $19K, #12 for $18K, etc. There are now 14 in the market. Since the average is 10, 10 are removed for "consumption", leaving 4. Now you sell some more, and the price is $20K again until you go over 10.

If you only sold 8 your first month, the next month consumption exceeds your supply, leaving a balance of -2 (8 sold, 10 "consumed"). So your first Sectoid sold in month 2 sells for $22K, the next for $21K, and then the next 10 for $20K.

Or every item could have a break even point and price variations of any dollar amount. Maybe the price rises/drops by $200 per Sectoid instead of $1000, and the break point is 20 rather than 10. You could increase the price by $200 whenever the total is under 20, and drop the price when it's over 20. So the first Sectoid you sell goes for a much higher amount (it's the first one ever caught after all), then the price starts dropping as more are sold. Using $200 and 20 as above, the first sells for $23800, and the price drops $200 from there. Using this finer approach, you could remove Sectoids from the pool each day, rounding up or down for calculation purposes. It creates a very detailed/realistic system, and there could be a calculation done when you enter the sell screen to set the beginning price for each item at that time.

#5 GreatGold

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 12:31 PM

Interesting -

Using that system, should the player choose, they could "beat" they system by screwing with supply and demand. Say the player is having a good economic period...horde the aliens/tech and wait a bit. As the price rises, make a killing when you need too. Could add an interesting economic side, which the player could use or ignore as they please.

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#6 oddjob

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 12:49 PM

Is there anyway to get behind closed doors on these forums, cause i've got a great twist for this....want it to be a suprise for the player though.

#7 Breunor

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 01:33 PM

It would be hard to beat the system by holding back supply. If you have something to sell but don't have to get rid of it asap, you could wait for a while for the price to go up and make a little extra. But if you need the money right away, waiting a month or more might not be an option. How about making a cap on either end, so the max price is never more than twice normal, and the min price is never less than half normal. So the code would just have a min and max value for the variable that affects the price. That could keep you from holding onto an item for months to get tons of cash for it.

A very good point to bring up!

Hey oddjob, what's the idea? You realise this is an opensource project, the only player who will be surprised is one who finds the game after version 1 is out, and doesn't want to read these forums, right? :D (Oddjob pulls out his neurolizer and puts on his sunglasses. "Please pay close attention Breunor"...) :wacko: Huh? What were we discussing?

#8 oddjob

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 01:53 PM

Alright......here ya go.

In the original I always wondered what happened to the equipment that you sold on the black market. I also found it funny that governments would sign pacts with aliens allowing secret bases, etc. I always expected to see more of a correlation. I think that eventually, as missions go on and you start selling things on the black market, you start to see these rogue govt factions come back at you. Maybe faceless, suited troops in black gear who show up to landing sights unexpectadly. Now you not only have to deal with the alien threat, but dealing with these rogue splinter cells in combat. Make it so there is a negative effect for selling off tanks, interceptors, etc. You could end up seeing one of your old interceptors in combat. Kinda like the US running into its own gear in Afghanistan. Be an interesting twist, and the first time the player runs into these guys theyll have no clue what to do. I do think that some of our ideas should start getting behind closed doors though, so we can have plot twists, character development etc. Maybe have rogue generals you have to take down with the aliens at their bases. Be interesting....see what you all think maybe in a nother post......

#9 Guest_blaa_*

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 02:14 PM

depends on the item folks. Sure as you sell more and more aircraft laser cannons the market should get saturated but honestly the market for alien hand held plasma weapons or alien alloy should basically be limitless.

#10 nik718

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 02:31 PM

I think it is crucial to have in this whole "black market" formula some kind of a random argument. After all, it IS a market.

Such modifier should be dynamic and it would change for each item on daily basis (and if sale is made, on basis of each sale per item).

The idea is simple:

- each item has a base price (max price)
- actuall sell price is base price * ran_mod
- once you are selling certain item to the marker for the first time ran_mod=1
- when a market has a hold of lets say 10 items of certaint type, ran_mod would adjust its range to be in (0.9-1 - actuall ingame calibration for ran_mod WILL be needed), and chosen for each item in this range RANDOMLY. now the 11th item of the same type you would like to sell to market (with base price -100$) could have price 90-100. now the market has 11 items, and ran_mod =[0.89-1] --> 12th item price - 89-100. etc.
- I like the idea of "vanishing" items from the market (and therefore somehow reseting the prices)
- for this we can implement another modifier vanish_mod (dependant on time variable for each item) which would decrese the number of available items on market, and this way reducing the range of ran_mod, when vanish_mod hits the null.
- min cap is also OK

I am studying economics and the principle above should be the simpliest simulation of actual trading economic system. And yes, it is VERY easy to implement.

The system needs some effort to calibrate (concerning item atributes and its function in the game), but that sould not be a problem, once the system is implemented.

If you will need a tester on this section, I am volountering! :)

#11 mamutas

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 03:29 PM

Why do you think this is a black market? The goverments having an interest in XCom would prevent any transactions with a black market.

I do not see much more excitment to watch those sectoid prices to sell them at right time. Well, maybe its me only...

I, however, liked the idea of alternative "parties" appearing on the crash site to get goods before you. :)
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#12 nik718

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 03:36 PM

Why do you think this is a black market? The goverments having an interest in XCom would prevent any transactions with a black market.

IMO, "regular market" or "black market", it really makes NO difference, as long as the economic system is realistic, balanced and well implemented.

#13 Deimos

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 03:41 PM

I'd agree with Mamutas. Though it would be interesting it would complicate the process. I like knowing what I can sell and how much I'll get for it. I don't want to wait till there's a demand for say sectoid corpses as when playing I rely on selling stuff for my funding and a fluctuating price may mean the difference between the game continuing for another month and game over. I know that's an extreme example but it could happen especially playing on superhuman where cash is tight for a good portion fo the game.

We could put it as a +v1.0 thing. It'd certainly need playtesting as I think it might unbalance the gameplay, especially if there's a lot going on in any particualr month.

#14 Breunor

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 04:25 PM

Stewart makes a good point about the demand aspect of such a market. Consider just how many buyers there are on the planet who would be interested in alien artifacts. Thousands I expect. It does sound like an unlimited demand for the items. I like the idea of random fluctuations, but that also assumes some balance between supply and demand. There's only 1 place to get the stuff, and thousands/millions interested in it.

This could be very interesting in a multiplayer situation however. Especially if you both were defending the planet using competing agencies, and one agency's sales could then be bought by the other.

#15 red knight

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 04:54 PM

One thing that bothers me in the original game was that i built thouthands (ok is spelled wrong i know) of the same item and selling them (it didnt need planning not even lucky, just plain automatic)... Even though i agree with Deimos that this is post V1... (and remember this is the laboratory so most of the discussed stuff here is not even taken in account for V1)...

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#16 nik718

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 05:28 PM

As I said, if the in-game item (or items) would have such argument that they could be considered always in demand (alien corpses, alien rifles and so), you just set a extremly small random modifier range expand per item and you will always have price in range of 0.999-1 of base price. Simple.

Also, I would like to see a prices and demands on market to jump up in the days the major battles are fought - victory. Also, the prices should fall when aliens make massacre or something. Always, solution is simple, add fixed amout on ran_mod for that period of time and voila!

Idea is to made up a system that could easily be used to simulate almost ANY situation in in-game planetary economics!! Once that is done, you just play with numbers and fine-tune the stuff ..

Edited by nik718, 13 May 2003 - 05:30 PM.


#17 Micah

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 11:17 AM

Remember what the point of xcom is? To kill the aliens. I agree with deimos that I don't want to be returning from a mission and worry about how much money I will be getting from these alloys and how I will be paying for the scientists' paychecks that are due in a few days. Having rogue cells drop in would be fun, and I don't think it would alter the game too much, but creating and having to worry about a complicated economic system just to sell the equipment would get very tedious. I also agree with stewart: Who wouldn't pay a million bucks for the plasma rifle? It's like buying and selling gold and silver. Because these substances are so rare, their price rarely fluctuates, and when it does, it's only by a few pennies. I don't think the 'market' would ever be affected significantly by the couple of thousand sectoid corpses that you sell (and that you are the ONLY supplier of.)

#18 Breunor

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 02:20 PM

You could put little variables into the price so that it varies just a little for variety, just have it vary from the normal price up to 10% above normal. Set the original price as a minimum. That way, you know you'll get at least that much when you sell, but the price can vary for fun.

#19 Guest_blaa_*

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 02:23 PM

Okay but we need a facility that builds M. U. L. E. 's! :D

#20 Breunor

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 06:26 PM

Hey Oddjob, coming back to your idea of rogue groups showing up at the battlescape, that's a good idea that I think would work well. How about this: when a UFO is shot down over a country that's under alien influence, there's a certain amount of time before a rescue team shows up from that country's government to recover the UFO and aliens. If you get there first, it's a regular battlescape. If you get there after, there could be several agents in addition to the aliens to deal with. Perhaps 1-2 agents for each alien you could normally find. Just imagine shooting down a battleship and assaulting it in hostile territory! 12 aliens and around 20 agents all gunning for you!

This would give players a bigger incentive to keep coutries friendly, even if the financial support is no longer needed. You wouldn't get any extra mission points for killing agents, but maybe if you stun one you could do research into this aspect of the game, maybe even get "bonus points" for regaining the country's friendship (through counter intelligence).

#21 hArk

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 03:14 AM

Breunor addition to the idea is very interesting might actually enhance the fun factor quite a bit in my opinion

#22 mikker

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 06:36 AM

It would be great if you could regain cuntrys gone bad. By taking those agents (MIB anyone?), you had perhaps a 50-75% chance of revealing the command center of the cuntrys alien opperation. You could fight off aliens, with should either be sectoids, or ethernals (PSI), and agents. The fights should stop however, when all aliens gone, or some central PSI emitter is destroyed...they are not under mindcontrol anymore! ^_^

Also diplomats should be there...maybe with guns? Either way, there should be penelty killing them.......

Edited by mikker, 15 May 2003 - 06:42 AM.

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#23 Breunor

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 08:28 AM

Very nice idea mikker! A hidden base could be generated when a country is taken over, and for each agent you capture there's a chance you learn the location of the base. Maybe once you get psi control that chance is higher. The base then appears on your radar, and you can assault it at any time. The base could have hangars for UFOs, storage, med facilities, etc. Once you destroy the base (which a country wouldn't admit to the world as having), you have a chance to regain that country's allegience. Perhaps for storyline, you could tell the country's special forces, and they 'remove' the alien influence from the country. Then the country returns to you. For game mechanics, that could translate as, after you destroy the base, you have to keep alien activity low for the following month, then they rejoin you. If you don't enough aliens return to get back into power, and another base is built.

#24 LordT

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 09:11 AM

Then I think the "saved" (:P) country should have a very low funding level (1/4? 1/5?).
So people won't think "Bah, I can just get it back anyway."
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#25 GreatGold

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 10:42 AM

Hey -

I also really like the idea of other operatives, from other organizations and with other agendas, at the crash sites. For one, if this is implemented and works, it is a great sampler for other concepts. A big one I was thinking of a while back was Alien rescue missions, by the aliens for the aliens. Lets say you shoot one down, but take a longer than usual while to get there. When you do, you find a SECOND UFO attempting to rescue the survivors of the first, and you need to take em all out now.

If it works with simple operatives, than it could open up a host of future possibilities. But as to the operatives, I do like that idea, as it will certainly add a new spice to the flavor. Plus, if you can do it with badguy operatives, then you could also arm civilians accosionally, as I have a feeling would happen in real life.

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#26 Breunor

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 10:50 AM

Depending on the type of ship shot down, they could have a backup come from a hidden alien base if there's a commander down.

#27 Kix4Trids

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 01:45 PM

Also, that keep UFO presence low in country could be made more difficult, because they (the aliens, and perhaps even the country itself) will increase its attempts to resecure the country.

read: LOTS of Battleships, and agents at crash sites.

After all, we are talking about trying to regain a country. It's not easy folks!

#28 Guest_alex the greater_*

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 03:34 PM

maby just make it like an action and pepple bid on items and how much thay pay is determined by how many items of that tipe is on the market and hwo is buying

and i like the idea of stuff resurficing on the market like if you sell firestorms to the us airforce thay might start using them (search the threads for topics on govermints defending themselves from aliens)

#29 Paladin

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 06:34 AM

Then again, They'd probably pay a few hundred millions for a Firestorm... :D

[edit]
Or just try to grab it... :cussing:

Edited by Paladin, 03 September 2004 - 06:34 AM.

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#30 Guest_alex the greater_*

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 07:03 AM

yah new tech is expensive

#31 Paladin

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 07:57 AM

I mean, I can hardly imagine the US military to just stand idle and let us take the spoils, even if we did all the work... :huh:
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#32 Snakeman

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 10:26 AM

I like the notion of not just a dynamic black market, but also others' thoughts on the reprocussions of selling items on that market i.e. Manifesting in the occasional helpful/hurtful contingent of other country's splinter cells.

One point to the politics of the game I wish was there, was as you succeed, and then spread the wealth as it were to other countries via that market...gradually, over time, governments should be able to theoretically fend for themselves better militarily (with the thought that some of them might actually support X-COM's mission by lending a hand, allying with the aliens as turncoats, or at other times remaining neutral about the whole affair, or even simply fighting the occasional private war with the aliens).

I also wanted to look at other aspects to the political climate. What if more worth was applied to scientists and engineers? By this I mean, if you have quite a few and you sack them, its logical to assume they'll get recruited by other countries or rogue cells. Its not as though they got fired for being worthless, on the contrary. They are supposedly the best in their fields, so anyone with the dough would pay top dollar for them. Just realize that by letting them go, they might be backing that splinter group that's been giving you trouble :)

Heh, I wonder now would there be another research item to deal with admistrational affairs with regard to X-COM : Research Topic - Non-Disclosure Document (every new hiree has to sign it to offset industrial/military espionage a bit heh)

#33 Paladin

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 12:15 PM

I agree with all of that, especially the part about having less scientists, becasue thay can't be experts on all fields, and the same goes for engineers. Besides, I like UFO: Aftermath's idea of having research projects handled by the Engineers, like weapon use/building... (fundamentals is more for the Scientists). It does need a bit of overhaul... Let's concentrate on 10-20 scientists at a time, each with their own names and specialties, staff and equipment needs (and budgetary requests), and THEN I'll be happy :D
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