Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Day 19: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 19 - Lens 52: The Lens of Economy
Giving a game an economy can give it a surprising depth and a life all its own. But like all living things, it can be difficult to control. Use this lens to keep your economy in balance.

How can my players earn money? Should there be other ways?
The closest thing to money that exists in FotLC is the citizens of the last city. They are a limited resource that players can access through controlling bases. Adding more to do with the citizens, treating them more literally as currency, and adding other ways to earn them is an interesting idea but deviates from the base simplicity of the game significantly. You could perhaps earn them from a betrayal or a fight... you currently already earn them from an alliance, a rule that was added to sweeten the ally action and speed the end of the game.

What can my players buy? Why?
Currently they can only be spent on Warriors to be immediately placed on those bases.  The other resources in the game; paths, bases, and friendship tokens are given out to the players equally at the beginning of the game and can then be taken, for the cost of the taking action, at any time during the game.

Is money too easy to get? Too hard? How can I change this?
I think the utility of citizens and the rate that you can get them is balanced. If I added more uses for them I would probably want to add new ways to get them.

Are choices about earning and spending meaningful ones?
Yes, whether to get a citizen each round is one of the core gameplay choice.

Is a universal currency a good idea in my game, or should there be specialized currencies?
I think that having a single resource keeps the game simple and fluid. The economy is a tool in this game not the focus. You could argue that friendship tokens and city heads are also currencies, exchanged for victory points... and maybe that's true, but I think the system as it stands now is the right choice.