ECONOMICS, cost of production

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ECONOMICS, cost of production

Postby Wulf » Sun May 28, 2017 2:40 am

Ascent economics:
1) Add all ‘1 tonn’ commodities to npc space stations (core systems) and set base price.
a. Request warehouse space upgrade to core space-stations to keep up with ship cargo sizes, alternatively increase Apollo’s warehouse (main one for most players) or hook Apollo warehouse to players OSB warehouse

2) Create user friendly SM (stock market) for colonies and OSB’s,
Commodity Stored CoP Sell down to Price Buy up to Price
Iron 5,000,000 50 200,000 55 7,000,000 55
meat 0 100 - 200,000 400
Hydrogen 80,000 0 5,000 2 80,000 1
(lost format)

A simple spreadsheet that can we can select prices and amounts, CoP is Cost of Production and is a CRITICAL component for economics modeling. We currently have it for the core systems (Vulcan has iron at a fixed price and we can sell iron to other location for a % profit) and this has to be applied to full game. OPTIONS: clear all function, 3rd party tools for SM and Cap production (ie halt production of iron at 5M).

3) CoP, we must have a cost of production built into commodities to make the economics work. It’s simply impossible to have a functioning galaxy economy without it.
The numbers can be played with but I think a good spot to start is at 1/3 price at core systems as a base price that it takes to make a commodity. This can be modified by governance style (will explain later) and what a player wants to charge.
You can see an example in point 2 where iron has a CoP of 50, (Vulcan sells iron at 150) the credits going to CoP are ‘sent’ to the colony with a small amount going towards the player, this can be viewed as share or tax, anything generated above this value is profit to the colony owner. This primarily does several critical functions;
a) Gives colonies a functioning economy that can, in turn, justify having demands and contracts.
b) Gives a small income to the colony owner
c) Removes some of the blatant free commodities to dump on core systems. It doesn't make sense and gives impression the game is broken.

edit, clarification: colonies(colonists) make money not the player the player might get a small amount, say 10% but that is not the point the point is for colonies and colonists to have money to auto generate demands and contracts. and if no sales happens the colony does not get revenue and the player should not have to subsidize the colony, it's a game if i want to go broke i know lots of ways to lose cash lol.

4) Change the government system to give CoP some differences, using the current government tab, Laws and redo it. Remove the min wage etc and replace with governance style. Pick a style you want your colonies to run under. This will also feed into the political game nicely. Possible governance styles are Corporate (our current government style), autocracy (more military/dictatorship) and social (more power to the people), possible additional governance style of despotism for abandoned colonies. They can change the basic colony operations by giving bonuses and negatives to colony. Examples corp, current system, has max moral of 120%. Whiles something like autocracy could have reduced cost of production by small amount like 5-10% but also have production maximum of 90%, social could have minimum moral of 20% regardless of any factors but slightly higher CoP of 5-10%.
Cost of production, production cost, inherent pricing or any other word to describe a basic price for goods in the game, not exactly accurate but no need to relive the horrors of economics classes with a bunch of stuff: D
Conclusion to have a complete game inherent pricing for goods (and services?) has to be done; the good news is there is very little graphics with this upgrade, bit of UI work and lots of stuff in the background.

LASTLY: how about the trade game going onto a phone app as well, long stretch but was part of the original game concept, think it would be great part to be online love to be at break and make a few trades.


UPDATE: I recent chat in game I would like to add one thing.. IF you support CoP or call it base pricing or whatever, please stat that at top of post. yes/no i want CoP, i want this instead or want it called this.
Last edited by Wulf on Sun May 28, 2017 11:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: ECONOMICS, cost of production

Postby Mooncrest » Sun May 28, 2017 12:18 pm

Cost of Production
The game mechanics already have this built in. Cost of Production consists of three basic elements:

Cost of Labour
The Cost of Labour is derived from the Colony's population that are directly involved in the production of the item and the Wage Rate set by the Player.

Cost of Materials
The Material Cost is derived from the price paid by the Player for any raw materials and/or components purchased to complete the item being manufactured.

Overheads
Overheads are more difficult to quantify. They will include the salaries of all colonists not directly involved in the prouction of an item; viz. University staff, Hospital Staff, Researchers and other support staff. They should include an amount representing the cost of the infrastructure, but, since this is taken directly from the Player's Bank Balance at time of construction, this can be written off straight away to simplify the calculations.

I do not believe that we need to implement a pseudo-government type. Whatever 'government type' the Player chooses, the Player will be in control. As it is, the Player can affect Cost of Production very well. Cost of production can be increased by increasing the Wage Rate. Cost of Production can be lowered by researching Production Enhancements.

There does need, at some future time, to be a 'Contract Board' for a player's colonies and Starbases. This is where colonists can generte demand for products using the credits derived from their salaries.

We do need for the colonists to have the ability to move between colonies. To allow them to move to colonies where there is a population shortage and the Wage Rate is better for them. At this time everyone can pay their colonists the minimum wage. There needs to be a mechanism to encourage Players to increase their wage rate.

A problem we have at this time is that the amount of materiel one colonist can produce in one day is far too much. Hence it is perfectly possible to sell a material at 1cr per unit and make a profit.

There are at least two problems with the current economic model:
  • Production per capita is extremely high
  • Unlimited demand from NPC stations provides too much new currency

The first prblem can be resolved by a blend of increasing population requirements and encuraging the setting a higher Wage Rate.

My solution for the second problem was shot down in flames, but I still believe that removing the Local Market and increasing the number of available contracts on the Contracts Board would be a valid solution. Players would just sell to the Contracts rather than the Local Market. Demand would be limited, but currency would trickle into the game.
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Re: ECONOMICS, cost of production

Postby RAM » Sun May 28, 2017 1:26 pm

I have learned a lot about sandbox games playing Minecraft.

Minecraft economy ... there ain't one. There is a village and you can trade a little, but there is very limited on the items and what those villagers will take.

You can produce so much food and other items and have no use for them, except to do it. It is not so much about the economy, but the fun of play. You can only go after the Ender Dragon so many times and it just looses the purpose. Ender City is fun the first time, but all the hings you get from it are basically useless, because you have already beat the dragon.

After a while, you realize Minecraft is just about being creative. Making things with what you have. Spending time with like minded generators who just want to be silly.

I see a lot of Ascent that way. You can build massive colonies if you like. No, there is not much to do with all the raw materials you produce. You can haul them to the market and make so many credits, that credits don't really matter anymore, because the game really is not about credits. It is a sandbox. A vast pile of sand that we can shape to what we want.

Some people like the build a castle then go on to fish or go back home. Some like to see how they can modify that sand castle and enjoy making it very detailed. Some just enjoy running the sand through their fingers and finding shiny things.

I do not think that Ascent economy can ever be fixed. It is a faux economy. Yes, things can be done to improve it, but it can not really stand on its own. Too many people come and go. The system is open. If it was dependent on solely the players, we would see radical shifts. It would shift from being play and make believe, to becoming like playing the real stock markets and winning and loosing everything.

Ascent is designed that we do not loose anything. No risk because it is a game. We also have high reward, because it is a game. Jam designed it so people could come and go over long periods because he could not imagine anyone who would be insane enough to stay playing it for 4+ years straight. It was not designed for that. Only a greatly disturbed person could do that.

Yes, it would be much better for production to be throttled or much more demanding. Many would enjoy the struggle, but Ascent has never been a game of struggle. It has always been a refuge from that kind of thing. The economy is just a small part of the game, not really the core of the game.

Yes, I do think we could do things that improve it so it enhances game play. Making it where we have to struggle more to produce does not sound like fun to me. And any time Jam has done anything that throttled production, asteroid field yield, or cost of production, he has been met with a lot of hostility. Most want high yield with little cost or effort. I remember when HoN was introduced and production dropped by 25%. Production was still massive, but there was almost a revolt. I seem to remember a Wulf who was upset about it too. :P

Mooncrest's comments about colonists moving from colony to colony was always part of Jam's long range plan. I think that OSB hospital transportation is a first step to that. Yet, like so much in Ascent, it takes time and effort to complete.

As we are talking about economics, Jam stated in passing to me that it has been a year since he has had a salary from the game. Now this is a real economics problem. One man has a dream to create something fun. He does not have millions like ED or SC. Both raised multimillions on Kickstarter and Ascent outplays them both. Jam struggled to raise $35,000. The only way he got the full amount was calling in some personal favors.

The game players are the same in game as they are in real life. They want high yield and reward with little investment. One coder can only do so much while at the same time trying to survive, run a business and find a way to get financing to keep the development, not game since it can stand on its own as is, going. It takes capital to continue development.

Several years ago, during the Kickstarter, I was crushed by the lack of support financially. Yes, the active players were doing their best, but I watched SC and ED both receive millions on the promise to produce what Ascent already had. If I had funds, I would have dumped it in. I had little. All I had was time. I made a commitment then that I would pay with time. Every day I try to pay my fair share with time. I am still trying to pay off my Kickstarter commitment of time. Why? I realized what the real economy was in Ascent. Community. Read the reviews. This is the gold of the game that outshines them all. Why? because Jam makes it so we can. Community IS the core of the game. It IS the economy. Time is the real investment and reward of the game. Time matters, credits do not. Production is just a silly small reward, like mining skill or trading skill, we develop while we play. Its only purpose is to give us more sand to play with on a beach full of sand. Who fights over sand on the beach? It just becomes one of the things you enjoy while out with friends.

Okay, I just wanted to ramble on longer than Wulf to keep my rambling creds intact. Wulf, I do not disagree that these things could be added. I think they would change game play a little, but not really solve an unsolvable problem long term. You enjoyed building massive colonies, but do not like to haul materials to the market. I get it. It can get tiring. I also know that the coding time to develop a better economy could be spent on algae, or combat, or Autopilot, or NPC pilots, or asteroid field yeilds ... the list is about endless. Where to start? Where to start?

It starts with funding to pay a developer Not funding to keep the game going as is, but it costs for new things to come in. This is where Jam's time is being spent right now. He is trying to get funds to pay for new stuff. He is playing a game where there is real risk and little reward. I would much rather deal with Ascent economy.
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Re: ECONOMICS, cost of production

Postby davh62 » Sun May 28, 2017 2:39 pm

As usual I'm going try to simplify & repeat some of my earlier comments in threads.

We have to be careful not to over complicate things & create a whole heap of work for Jam. Would we want his time spent trying to implement a massively complex economic side of the game for weeks/months? Personally no. This is by no way a dig or reflection of this thread & the comments posted.

Overhead, costs etc, etc. All come down to Top & bottom line in business speak. This is something that we as players manage & should remain so. I like my spread sheets I don't want in game reports to show me stuff that I should be doing myself. Jams time is better spent elsewhere.
As Ram/Wulf say it's a broken model. Infinite demand is the issue here & always has been. T2 will be like a breath of fresh air but compound this issue further. Demand needs capping period.

Having said all that, things I would like to see which could affect economics

Health
Law & order
Immigration
Emigration
Black Market
Political Instability
Crime & punishment
Consumer Confidence

Alternitavely lets have a massive dust up with a rival npc faction to drain us of resources. BOOM! :D Bring on the nukes!
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Re: ECONOMICS, cost of production

Postby Wulf » Sun May 28, 2017 4:04 pm

Mooncrest wrote:Cost of Production
The game mechanics already have this built in. Cost of Production consists of three basic elements:


Cost of Labour
Cost of Materials
Overheads



Completely do not work in any fashion and could be removed. this is completely broken and unusable and unused. (we have to set some numbers so i guess it's sort of used but it's a straight drain on player to further make colonies beyond worthless to that of a giant money sink hole of pointlessness)

Mooncrest wrote:I do not believe that we need to implement a pseudo-government type. Whatever 'government type' the Player chooses, the Player will be in control. As it is, the Player can affect Cost of Production very well. Cost of production can be increased by increasing the Wage Rate. Cost of Production can be lowered by researching Production Enhancements.


not sure what you are talking about we don't have ability to set government types, and it's only an option we could just have the current one, corp. and every single player just has that crap set at the minimums because that is how the broken system works.

Mooncrest wrote:There does need, at some future time, to be a 'Contract Board' for a player's colonies and Starbases. This is where colonists can generte demand for products using the credits derived from their salaries.

We do need for the colonists to have the ability to move between colonies. To allow them to move to colonies where there is a population shortage and the Wage Rate is better for them. At this time everyone can pay their colonists the minimum wage. There needs to be a mechanism to encourage Players to increase their wage rate.


terrible idea and would be a total kick in the .... we all payed BIG bucks to have our indentured servants, to say they will leave, really? want to make colonies even less attractive (if that is possible) or just a rich person game, i have more money then new players so i can rob them of there colonist because i can afford to lose money.

Mooncrest wrote:A problem we have at this time is that the amount of materiel one colonist can produce in one day is far too much. Hence it is perfectly possible to sell a material at 1cr per unit and make a profit.


not if it changes to CoP

Mooncrest wrote:There are at least two problems with the current economic model:
  • Production per capita is extremely high
  • Unlimited demand from NPC stations provides too much new currency


not if we add CoP

Mooncrest wrote:The first prblem can be resolved by a blend of increasing population requirements and encuraging the setting a higher Wage Rate.


only if forced, and we know Jam has no problem forcing stuff, like the hated moral thing or the useless laws, and keep in mind only a few player haul or mine and only one person makes ships so that means MOST need colonies to be self supporting or make a profit on there own.

Mooncrest wrote:My solution for the second problem was shot down in flames, but I still believe that removing the Local Market and increasing the number of available contracts on the Contracts Board would be a valid solution. Players would just sell to the Contracts rather than the Local Market. Demand would be limited, but currency would trickle into the game.


it's and interesting thought and you would need a long explanation for others to see how it would work, it's more complex then a simple cost of production, but if colonies would be profitable, this idea of massive demands (outstanding buy orders, no contact necessary) and contacts would be very interactive. perhaps if you added demands on top of contacts it would be an easer sell. But fairly complex and a balancing act to get right, CoP is simple
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Re: ECONOMICS, cost of production

Postby Wulf » Sun May 28, 2017 4:12 pm

RAM wrote:I have learned a lot about sandbox games playing Minecraft.




this is not minecraft designed for 10 year olds, it has to compete with other space games. about the only thing it shares with mindcraft is your overlay of comparisons and general physiology of games. I am not interested in playing mindcraft and if i was i would not play ascent for a mindcraft experience.
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Re: ECONOMICS, cost of production

Postby Wulf » Sun May 28, 2017 4:25 pm

davh62 wrote:As usual I'm going try to simplify & repeat some of my earlier comments in threads.

We have to be careful not to over complicate things & create a whole heap of work for Jam. Would we want his time spent trying to implement a massively complex economic side of the game for weeks/months? Personally no. This is by no way a dig or reflection of this thread & the comments posted.

Overhead, costs etc, etc. All come down to Top & bottom line in business speak. This is something that we as players manage & should remain so. I like my spread sheets I don't want in game reports to show me stuff that I should be doing myself. Jams time is better spent elsewhere.
As Ram/Wulf say it's a broken model. Infinite demand is the issue here & always has been. T2 will be like a breath of fresh air but compound this issue further. Demand needs capping period.

Having said all that, things I would like to see which could affect economics

Health
Law & order
Immigration
Emigration
Black Market
Political Instability
Crime & punishment
Consumer Confidence

Alternitavely lets have a massive dust up with a rival npc faction to drain us of resources. BOOM! :D Bring on the nukes!


I am assuming the combat is to be done regardless,
I was trying to keep it a simple fix and not the complexity of all things. sure if Jam wants to hire an economist and 6 mnts of work, that would be FANTASTIC. but CoP is a quick and dirty way to fix stuff like colonies not being selfsufficent (and making a profit)
reduce the profit per haul without it feeling like a claw back, who would argue that the colonist and colony owner should not get something for there products. the spreadsheet (or any data enter system you want to dress up) is more for folks like me that have spelling issue and for all the non english writers out there trying to enter precise code into the SM to make it work.

some of you have lots of credits I do not, I hate pointless hauling and mining needs changes to asteroid aging so i could mine more then once a year.
I have a gate building habit that cost me every credit i have so don't speak for me on needing a credit dump. :lol:
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Re: ECONOMICS, cost of production

Postby BoshingTong » Sun May 28, 2017 5:02 pm

As I see it the biggest problem is not infinite demand it is infinite production. Things should run out. We don't need to move out further in space because we have enough planets that produce right here. Because I can mine the same field forever why look for more. Why build new colonies when these never run out. The only way you could fix this economy is through production limits on the fields or planets. Farms are unlimited but iron, carbon etc...should be run out. This causes need both for exploration and new building. Doing anything else is just an adjustment to what is and does not fix the problem.
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Re: ECONOMICS, cost of production

Postby RAM » Sun May 28, 2017 8:43 pm

BoshingTong wrote: Farms are unlimited but iron, carbon etc...should be run out. This causes need both for exploration and new building. Doing anything else is just an adjustment to what is and does not fix the problem.


This would make a lot of sense. The drawback is closer in planets would become drained and newer players would have to go further out to find resources. I guess many go out there just for fun, so maybe not a big issue, but the reality is it would take a millenia to mine all the asteroids or raw materials on a planet.

Wulf wrote:this is not minecraft designed for 10 year olds, it has to compete with other space games.


Well, this is your vision of Ascent. It is okay if it is, but I am not sure it is Jam's vision of Ascent. While he wants to make a fun game, he spends little time in developing the lore or quests to make this more than just a sandbox game. It can not nor will ever be an end all to all games. Maybe if you dropped a few million in Jam's account, it could be, but until there is more finances, it is what it is.

I have also seen a lot of videos about Minecraft and what can be made and done with it that were not 10 year olds doing it. They were grown adults. It has a place. Sandbox games have a place, but they are not quest or mission lined games.

I do not disagree that some of what you have presented would improve the game. I just doubt, with current finances, that much of any could be implemented. Keep dreaming, but it is not really Jam's mind that would reject it, it is his wallet that forces him to reject many of our ideas.
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Re: ECONOMICS, cost of production

Postby Mooncrest » Sun May 28, 2017 10:07 pm

Wulf, I think you have misunderstood my previous post.

CoP is already in the game mechanics. It does need augmenting. We can call this addition element Running Cost. It will be a value associated with each mine, farm or factory. It will be applied each day a particular mine, farm or factory is operational. If a mine, farm or factory is powered down the Running Cost will not be applied in the same fashion as the colonists have their labour suspended.

The effect of this Running Cost will be the same as what you listed for your CoP, except there will be no benefit to the Player. Cost of Production is an expense to the Player not an income. The Player will recover the entire Running Cost as s/he does Colonist Wages, when the item is sold.

Cost of Production is a drain on the Player. That is why it is called Cost of Production; it is what the Player pays to have the item produced.

The value of what a colony or OSB produces can only be realised by a Player when it is sold. The Player cannot benefit from producing an item and storing it in a warehouse. The product must be taken from the warehouse to a market and sold. If colony owners are reluctant to do this themselves, they can employ NPC Pilots to take the item and sell it at another Player's Stock Market, or must rely on other Players to buy the item from them. The Player Stock Market needs to be fixed to encourage Players to do this.

You were the one who suggested introducing government types. I was saying we do not need to do this because the CoP can be easily varied by changing the Wage Rate at the colony or OSB and/or enhancing production through research.

I am not going to continue the debate on the other items you picked up on at this point in time. The reason for this is that I really think, as you do, that it is vital to have this addition to CoP implemented with the relaunch and the rest of my suggestions were more for future development and we should not dilute the argument for having an additional CoP by adding other things to it.
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