Tuesday, July 26, 2011
SINGLE PLAYER ECONOMY
Many times I’ve read papers regarding how to handle virtual economies in online worlds. Lots of great minds are thinking about it, and so far (especially when considering the success of many free-to-play models) they’re doing a good job.
But what about economies in single player games? I’ve been playing Red dead redemption lately, and a funny economy issue has arisen. I’ll try to explain it without spoiling anything: At some point of the story, the main character complains a lot during cut scenes about how poor he is…. But since I was very active finding hidden treasures, in fact he had a really wealthy position. Or he should if he would have paid any attention to his inventory/wallet.
This is not the first time it ever happens to me. While playing GTA Vice city stories, and quite early in the game, the main character justifies all the violence around him with the need to get some money to help his sick brother. Thanks to certain side missions, I’ve managed to make him so rich he could have afforded not only to provide his siblings the best medical care, but to buy a brand new brother from some third world country (if you know what I mean).
A similar situation has arisen in the project in which I’m currently working. Since it lacks of any story I don’t think we’ll have inconsistencies between story and in-game economy, but still seems to me an area that most developers leave for late in the project, and not always solved effectively.