Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mechanic Brainstorm: Currency

With most ideas, they usually start out raw and unusable no matter how genius they sound at first. They usually have kinks that need to be worked out and the best way to do that is to run them through someone else. I tend to throw my brainstorm ideas at my brother and we’d bounce them back and forth. One of us would suggest a mechanic and the other would point out what might not work, and what we like about it to refine further. This goes back and forth and we’d write it down in our idea document.

Recently, I just threw a new idea to him and was waiting on his response. Then I got to thinking, I have a blog now. Why don’t I throw some of these ideas on it? I’m not afraid really of someone ‘stealing’ my idea. As a matter of fact, I would prefer someone use them because I don’t know if I’ll ever get a chance to make the game I always wanted, and if they can better the games I play, that would be a major win for me. Let’s get to the idea.


What if currency were temporary?

What if currency only lasted for about 24 hours upon collecting? The implications of this could would change how game economies work.

For starters, people would need to find something that is a long term currency storage. This would lead them to store resources, like crafting material and equipment, which means they would need a reasonable amount of bank storage.

This would also mean when someone has something to sell, they need currency now to buy  or trade. That would probably mean most items sold on the market can’t be ridiculously expensive because no one will ever have that kind of currency built up to buy it. Most things would be rather cheap, and trade of resources would be far more common.

It would also have the side effect of making stuff scarce because people wouldn’t leave something up for sale for a week because they won’t want to lose that currency, unless the countdown is set when you pick it up.

Problems with accepting this

Obviously, there is a major problem to work out here. How will people accept this? Most people will probably be hostile to this idea because most people hate losing money or to mess with temporary stuff. I can completely understand.

A currency like this would have to be explained well ahead of time when the player is learning the game. That way they don’t lose a lot when they try and sell off all their resources.

This currency would also need to have a good reason why it’s so temporary. Perhaps it’s some form of energy that will dissipate if not ‘stored’ in a system. But upon storage, there is no retrieval of it so once you use it, it’s used.

Why would this currency be valuable?

Maybe this currency is a form of unobtanium in which large corporations really want this stuff, so you collect a lot of it (within it’s expiration date) and hand it over to these corporations for valuable stuff. Things like equipment, resources, land, titles, power, etc.

This currency can double as a resource itself for crafters that can use it to power equipment.

In the end, I think this system would put more emphasis on resource diversity and inventory management. Perhaps it’ll remove some of the reason for grinding in games and possibly help balance inflation because now money has a cap depending on what you store and how much of it you store.

Any Ideas?

I love talking mechanics and coming up with new ones for games, or modifying existing ones. If you liked any of this, please feel free to use it yourself, or help me whittle this idea to something more usable.

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