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Accounts and banking

#1
I was thinking about it last night in my half sleep state and I got to thinking about accounting and investment and general economy stuff and I thought about how in pretty much every game you simply have "Money: " as a simple flat variable with little to no thought or complexity. There was a web based game a long time ago I used to play that was like a space trading game and because it was actually a multiplayer web based game one of the features it had was that you could create a bank account separate to your main account. Then you could give out varying sorts of access to it so if you had a few friends you could all be depositing into this account. Even though it could be used for that one of the other nice features of it was that you could use it to organize and separate funds for various purposes. While LT isn't multiplayer in the player sense it is multiplayer in the sense that executive actors share your capabilities. So I thought about how it would be interesting if such a feature existed in LT for the purposes of organizing and separating funds. Furthermore as you delved deeper into sovereignty you could have a tax or tariff system in place where it didn't necessarily go straight into your main account and went into a nominated account, which you could then have a certain segment of your business accessing for their funds. Keeping it excluded from your main fund source. That way you could pour funds into it as needed or have it completely sectioned off and self-sustaining. Such as have an account for your mining interests. An account for your trading interests. An account for your military and so on. One of the things I hope is in LT as well that would compliment this system is really good transaction records similar to how EVE has. Simple but effective. That way you can see everything going into and out of an account.

From everything I've seen of LT there has a pretty massive potential for passive income. Passive with respects to you sitting back while others bring in your money. This sort of stuff intrigues me greatly and I'd love if the economic model in LT didn't consist of something strictly bland with regards to accounts and income/expenses or visual markets with no complexity to the accounts and balances. I'd love to be able to build a complex trade network with the potential for market forces to actually impact my bottom line. With the ability to separate it to different accounts I could have the whole thing collapse and still have a separate fund source in case I needed it as a backup.
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Re: Accounts and banking

#3
IronDuke wrote:Hey, great idea! :thumbup:
So great, in fact, that I shall almost certainly use in my space game. (Nobody tell TGS... :shh: :lol: )

I hope to see that idea implemented in many games in the future!

--IronDuke
Lol! Well the idea of actually separating finances in any game where there is a economy just kind of makes sense to me. In the game I was referring to, I can't even remember the name of it. You could actually set up disposable accounts then close them when they are no longer needed. Similar to how real banking works, without all the hassle anyway. One of the things that would be amazing about a system like this if it were implemented on a broader level is that all money could be created from a central point (Issuers) and then from there that currency (credit(s)) is always simply moved from one account to another. What account is irrelevant. Each actor/player could have as many accounts as they want, though there could be conditions placed upon it so that you don't end up with 200 accounts all with some silly low amount in it.

Then if you wish to apply current modern monetary theory you could then have a taxation system at colonies (As they should probably be the only true monetary sovereign that issues and removes currency). Each transaction that occurs at the colony level or colony owned stations is taxed and that money actually gets taken out of existence entirely as a means of combating inflation. As the colony itself doesn't actually need money if it is a sovereign issuer of currency. This could even be expanded in that each player/actor has a "home" colony and that colony itself is the issuer and custodian of its currency. But all currency is respected throughout the game. Regions could have central banks and have appropriate trade interactions between regions. So you could have a region that respects x currency and the systems all use this currency at y value so every colony/station/ship in every zone of that region respects that currency at that value. Each region would have a central colony that acts as its currency issuer. Not all regions, colonies, ships, stations need to have their own currency to utilize currency. As the currency in question is only responsible for the value of said currency based on the productivity and growth of the region issuing its currency. For the sake of simplicity it is all called the same thing "credit(s)" but could be valued differently based on the productivity of the region and the colonies within the region.

The second part is taking it a bit far, but the idea of having colony based taxation to remove currency from the pool to help regulate inflation is a good one. I'm not really sure Josh has given it much thought really. I get the distinct feeling this topic has come up in the past but I'm not even sure what the best way to search for it would be given that my previous attempt at searching for a similar topic yielded 20 odd pages worth of posts and I couldn't be bothered going through lol.
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Re: Accounts and banking

#4
TGS, this is a great suggestion. I'm very interested in the economic side of Limit Theory and if this isn't in LT by default I do hope that someone mods it in. I'd love to manage costs and work out of a budget for my space based business (or businesses). This was one of the aspects of Alien Legacy that I enjoyed quite a bit; always trying to keep colonies supplied with what they needed while demands grew.
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Re: Accounts and banking

#5
If I understand the suggestion correctly, there is actually already something of this nature in place! Remember way back when I talked about creating 'projects' and assigning your assets to them? Well, each project actually has a separate 'bank account' allocated to it. If your assets need to acquire something in order to continue working on the project (e.g., patrols needing repairs or restocking ammunition, mining projects requiring outfitting ships with transfer units, hostile 'damage' projects required replacing lost ships, etc.), it comes out of the project account. This way, you make sure that a single project can never drain your account. Similarly, the project's income is deposited back into the project account. If a project is just bleeding everything that you put into it, shut it down and reconsider your business model :P OTOH, a successful project's account will just keep on rising and you can withdraw as you see fit :)

Sound good?
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: Accounts and banking

#6
Firstly, Josh in Suggestions?! :o :)

Secondly, if LT is going to have this kind of bookkeeping then there's going to have to be some way to forecast future cashflow, or a way to stagger capital spend. Or is the intent that each project requires the entire future capital expenditure to be deposited in it's account before it starts?

This could very quickly get complex and dry... but is also necessary for the "projects" vision that Josh is going for. Tough one. :think:
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Re: Accounts and banking

#7
mcsven wrote:Firstly, Josh in Suggestions?! :o :)

Secondly, if LT is going to have this kind of bookkeeping then there's going to have to be some way to forecast future cashflow, or a way to stagger capital spend. Or is the intent that each project requires the entire future capital expenditure to be deposited in it's account before it starts?

This could very quickly get complex and dry... but is also necessary for the "projects" vision that Josh is going for. Tough one. :think:
The idea is that, if the project is a viable / 'good' one, all you need to place in the account is the 'startup capital.' If, for example, you already have a bunch of mining boats fitted out and all you want to do is set up a mining project, you've essentially no need to deposit into the account. Part of the idea is that capital expenditure will be based on your funding of the project to the extent that it's possible. No money to repair ships? They don't get repaired. No money to outfit patrol ships with the latest-and-greatest? Patrols with cheap equipment. It's definitely a deep subject and I've no desire to make it much deeper than it already is...projects is already a pretty complex idea in and of itself.

For projects that are purely loss-based (war against a faction), there should be an option to set up regular deposits into the project account from your main. In this way, you control how much capital expenditure (at max) you allow per unit time on any given project.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: Accounts and banking

#8
JoshParnell wrote:
mcsven wrote:Firstly, Josh in Suggestions?! :o :)

Secondly, if LT is going to have this kind of bookkeeping then there's going to have to be some way to forecast future cashflow, or a way to stagger capital spend. Or is the intent that each project requires the entire future capital expenditure to be deposited in it's account before it starts?

This could very quickly get complex and dry... but is also necessary for the "projects" vision that Josh is going for. Tough one. :think:
The idea is that, if the project is a viable / 'good' one, all you need to place in the account is the 'startup capital.' If, for example, you already have a bunch of mining boats fitted out and all you want to do is set up a mining project, you've essentially no need to deposit into the account. Part of the idea is that capital expenditure will be based on your funding of the project to the extent that it's possible. No money to repair ships? They don't get repaired. No money to outfit patrol ships with the latest-and-greatest? Patrols with cheap equipment. It's definitely a deep subject and I've no desire to make it much deeper than it already is...projects is already a pretty complex idea in and of itself.

For projects that are purely loss-based (war against a faction), there should be an option to set up regular deposits into the project account from your main. In this way, you control how much capital expenditure (at max) you allow per unit time on any given project.
Next to regular deposits, it would also be nice to have regular withdrawals so that you don't always need to manually withdraw money from profitable projects.
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Re: Accounts and banking

#11
mcsven wrote:OK, it sounds like it's all in hand.

I strongly recommend that there is a way to roll all of this up to CEO level, as it were, or it will be impossible to track if total cash flow is going up/down/flat and whether you can afford any new projects.
Well...ideally it will all be recursive so that it's manageable when you're at a point where you have projects that are related + projects in different systems.

I.e., create a project 'group' that groups together a project to mine in zone X and a project to patrol / secure zone X. From tracking the group wallet, you'll then have an idea of whether the mining is still profitable (in other words, is your patrol operation using up all the revenue from your mining operation such that, taken together, it's simply not worth mining in X until you've dealt with competing factions). This will also be useful to group all operations in a certain system.

Now I'm getting a little deeper than I really want to, but at the same time, it's pretty much necessary to have this kind of project hierarchy in order to maintain a large empire. And yes, at the very top of the tree ('CEO level') would be your main account, or at least your overall wallet and cashflow information for all operations. The nice thing about recursion is that it's often seems a lot more complex than it is. I don't doubt that this is very much feasible :)
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: Accounts and banking

#12
I understand. I guess where I was coming from was that at some point you inevitably will want to use the income from Project 1 to fund Projects 2 > n and that you'll need to be able to somehow estimate if Project 1 is going to be man enough to cover all of the spend in Projects 2 > n.

It's kind of boring, but in order to manage multiple projects of any complexity I think we'll need some rudimentary Business Intelligence tools. That means being able to plot revenue from any project combined with any other project all the way up to the top level - which is the discussion we've just had - but ideally the game would also be able to figure out future spend profiles based on project build queues and then add them to the end of your historic cashflow plot as a projection. That way you can at least see if historic cashflow would cover future spend or if you need to either: (a) grow the existing business; or (b) inject some cash from another source.

This could add some nice tension to project gameplay, because you'd know that three years out you're going to need more money that you currently make... so it may be time to do some piracy, take on a few missions etc.

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