kaeroku wrote: ↑Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:00 pmQUOTE: " (a net flow of 0 is the ultimate goal)"
At some point the system may be 100% efficient in using and supplying all of its resources, but that doesn't mean that a flow of zero is ideal. Shouldn't systems be considering when to invest in new infrastructure which will pull flow *away* from zero, but provide new opportunities for growth?
An economic simulation in a game is tricky. Not only do you want your sim to capture some of the most typical behaviors of economic activity, it also has to be fun to poke as the player of a game. Doing either of those well is hard; doing both well together is so perilous that most eventually give up (or are advised never to start) the idea of a closed system and just implement a magical faucet/drain system.
Deciding to support growth in such a game/sim system makes it even trickier: if growth (without the player) is permitted, how do you tell the sim when to stop growing? If you don't, for how long will the economic part be fun for the player as a game?
What growth rate is best? Should the growth rate be mostly evenly distributed, or should there be pockets of failure that are outweighed somewhat by pockets of success?
And if you introduce the idea of money, all this gets even trickier still. Where does that money come from? If you allow money as a representation of value, and you permit economic growth (increase the amount of value), then doesn't money have to be created somewhere, by someone, in order to avoid deflation? Can all money come from a single source if there are multiple "civilization" factions who don't connect with each other, and who thus have very different amounts of total civilizational value? Josh has said he prefers a single galactic currency even if that isn't plausible, because it's necessary for fun... but how does the creation of money from a single source provide an appropriate amount of money to Factional Domestic Products that may vary extremely widely in different places?
I'm not suggesting these are impossible questions, or trying to squelch the idea of growth or a closed economic system in a game by peppering those ideas with objections. If anything, this stuff is so much fun that I can't resist trying to think of some of the design questions.