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Reputation Economy Simulation Game

I have been working for quite a while on the reputation economy system Quantified Prestige (QP), but of course it also needs to be tested somewhere. This was one of the reasons for creating this small community platform. Sooner or later, I want to have a QP module in this forum, but that’s still a relatively restricted test.

Yesterday I had an idea about creating an economy simulation role-playing game in which QP could be tested within a simulated economy. It would be a browser game that people could register on. Then they can create one or more game characters.

The idea is to let the players participate in a simulated economy as workers, entrepreneurs, or freelancers, or as independent value providers. The players can participate in classical markets, but also use the game-internal QP system. Players can create goods and provide services. These can be sold regularly on a market, but exchange and distribution can also be handled with the QP system. They could provide digital goods for Prestige, for example. The Prestige would then generate the Fluido currency in the account of the player. Fluido can be traded for goods and for the standard currency of the game.

Ok, when players create products and sell them, there need to be buyers who purchase those game products. And those buyers are other players. Now why would these players want to buy game products from other players (for game money)? Because they have certain needs which they must meet! These needs would be a part of the game, and these needs will be modelled so that they are relevant to digital goods. Of course, it might also make sense to model basic needs like food and shelter/comfort, but there need to be in-game motivations for buying digital in-game goods.

So, my first ideas for such needs which can be met by certain digital goods are:

  • Happiness: Relevant for overall product creation performance
  • Inspiration: Also relevant for creation of certain goods, but may be a bit more specific to product types.

Furthermore, the consumption of certain digital goods could increase the player’s skill levels. With a higher skill level, players can create better goods.

And finally, some products might be tools (computers, software, etc.) which enable or support the creation of goods.

There’s of course the question what kinds of goods should be simulated. I definitely want to include digital goods which can be distributed for free, or sold. Nevertheless, it might make sense to also simulate non-digital goods to get a wider and more realistic simulation of the economy. It may also be interesting to see how those non-digital goods could interact with the reputation economy. So, there would be a distinction between digital (freely distributable and copyable) and non-digital (non copyable).

Here are some examples for digital goods that could be simulated:

  • Books
  • Software
  • Art/music
  • Data/knowledge (needed for certain products, and perhaps scientific research)
  • Blueprints for 3d-printed objects

And here are some possible non-digital goods:

  • 3d-printers and other machines used for production
  • Food
  • Apartments/houses/other buildings
  • Computers/phones
  • Clothes
  • Medicine (for curing diseases, or augmenting the attributes of the players)
  • Luxury goods (unspecified)

Ah, yes, there is the potential to also simulate human augmentation, so it would be a game that can be used to simulate the consequences of transhumanism :sunglasses:

For that we need some base attributes for players, similar to those known from various role-playing games out there. Here are some ideas for those base attributes:

  • Happiness set point: Determines how easy it is for a player to become happier.
  • Creativity: Necessary to create certain novel high quality goods.
  • Intelligence: How fast can a player learn and improve skills.
  • Perseverance: Determines how little willpower is used up for difficult tasks.

These base attributes would be randomized when a player creates a new character. They can be re-rolled during character creation as often as desired until an acceptable outcome is reached. The only way to increase base attributes after character creation is through augmentation medicine.

Ok, I could go on describing the game, but I hope you get the basic ideas. It’s basically a game settled 10-20 years in the future to test out how a futuristic economy might work out when a reputation economy (and also basic income) is used.

Now I got some questions for you:

  • Do you think this game ideas makes sense overall?

  • Would you like to play that game?

  • Would you like to develop that game?

  • What goods do you want to see in the game?

  • What name should the game have?

  • What (base) attributes would make most sense for the game?

  • Do we need certain game mechanics to make the game a success?

  • Do you have any other ideas?

It seems complex, I suggest to start from the smallest module and bootstrap from there.

One stepping stone is “what kind of game would that be?”, as in strategy or RPG? I can see this is an strategy game, so you could look for an open source spreadsheet generator and work from that on if your focus on the economy (“nationstates” anyone?).

I may work on a “spreadsheet emulator” kind of game in my spare time. With no need for fancy graphics to start easy, and if this is configurably enough, you will gain the interest from people.

Oh, yes, and I have other social games ideas for this forum if that is of interest:

Futuristic, text-based RPG: Because you know you want to be a cyberpunk detective solving the puzzles over AI going rampant through mega cities.

T.E.G. and other Risk-like wargames: Any idea how many hours people would spent if you have one of these on the forum? Look after T.E.G., its open source and a very good idea, it comes with an irc.

If you want, you can make an spreadsheet right now and we’ll see how this works.

It’s supposed to be a game that is complex enough to simulate the approximate dynamics a real reputation economy should produce. So, it needs to be an economy simulation. But it also needs to be a kind of RPG in order to make playing the demand side interesting. It might be possible to leave out the demand side, but then you wouldn’t get any real reputation economy dynamics, because the demand side is responsible for determining reputation in the first place! So, it really has to be an “Economy RPG”!

Leave the crucial complexity out and you are left with nothing interesting. Same goes for the QP system which has its own requirements for being complex.

Obviously, the QP system needs to be developed in order to be able to be an essential component of the game. Apart from that, the RPG dynamics would probably contain the highest degree of complexity. Perhaps there also needs to be some basic “AI” for the NPC companies which provide the foundation for the simulated economy.

Maybe it might make sense to start working on the production and consumption code before QP is fully implemented. After all, the game should be able to work without the QP component as basic economy simulation.

There needs to be a market component for trading products. It’s probably the easiest to start with that. Products would later on get production side and consumption side properties.

The market could then be extended with auctions, or even a stock trading system. There are so many possibilities into which this game could develop.

Anyway, I think the complexity of this game is too high for “spreadsheets” to be able to emulate it in any meaningful manner. It might be possible to start with a single player game, though, for testing the basic RPG mechanics. But at least later on it should be a proper multiplayer browser game.

Sure its complexity is the key, but to help kickstart your project take part of that idea and commence sharing a prototype.
QP seems be needing an open source package for some prototyping platform to get things running. I therefore recommend an spreadsheet to be an introductory prototype to your idea, it will be more easy for getting people involved.

It seems to me that we actually have no clue how to initiate attractive open source software development projects. This suggests that we might need to do research into this direction. The first logical step would be to google for related references. I’d also like to know what successful open source software projects did right.

Looking through internet, those with a single individual creating the software themselves, and then sharing it on platforms like github, gained collaborators. Otherwise, only projects in some forums that claimed urgency gained speed, and I mean things like anonymity (many which, if you pardon me, I have my doubts it was really done for urgency and not an implanted feeling by third parties involved).

On the last point, one could argue that someone used social engineering to create an artificial motivation, and, without mention what case it was, you can try to use this same strategy.
In my opinion, only with a piece of software already created one can start a collaborative campaign. Otherwise, try making a paper like bitcoin did and implant a buzz, artificially.

PS: Not been an active programmer myself, I do reasearch of these topics for journailsm, but recently I went to comprehensibly learning for creating a prototype of the project I mentioned some time ago.

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Interesting thoughts and observations, Maximo! Yeah, there seem to be these two basic approaches, and probably the can be combined in a synergistic way.

Anyway, my current strategy lies on me increasing my programming competence and starting with demo versions of the software I want to implement. It seems to be easier to create some buzz with an actually working software prototype than only with a paper.

And in fact, there seems to be a good strategy emerging for taking software ideas to their ultimate realization on the thread “Attractor patterns and attractor tokens”.

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