Sunday, 11 June 2017

Types of Resources in Games

Hello everyone,

Things have begun to settle down and I can begin thinking on continuing the blog and progressing on my personal projects. Something that during my research has come to mind, as well as when I continued reflecting on how to better design and develop Foundation of Civilisation was regarding Resources. Something which I will be discussing today.

As I researched certain concepts of Economics, and began to reflect on their application when talking about digital game economies, I began to think that it may be worth distinguishing between different types of resources. A possible way to distinguish these is based on their ability to impact game-play;

Short Term [Here we talk of Execution]
E.g. Consumables
Ability to affect game-play now. Whether it is by affecting specific parameters such as Health and Mana, or by apply certain effects such as Invisibility or curing conditions.

Medium Term [Here we talk of Tactics]
E.g. Currency
Ability to affect game-play outside of now. Such as the ability to purchase items like potions to prepare for combat.

Long Term [Here we talk of Strategy]
E.g. Attribute Points
Ability to affect game-play after a long period of time. Such as the ability to specialise the player character in specific ways.

One does need to look at the game in question - for instance, a sword in a game where upgrading equipment takes a very long time - might be considered a Medium or Long term resource; if a game however uses durability, and the sword needs to be replaced regularly, one might consider it to be a Short term resource. Why would making such distinctions be useful one may ask? Simply put - it can allow you to make better informed decisions on design choices and what players will likely be thinking about when they are planning their characters. This can help you guide new players, or offer better choices and alternatives to existing players. 

Another reflection was the idea of how do resources behave in game economies? Resources can be consumed, they can be Exchanged or Traded, or they can be Refined into other resources. This is nothing special per se - it's pretty straight forward. However, when dealing with resources is such a prime activity within Foundation of Civilisation - this will likely allow me to better optimise my code, and think along the lines of what players could potentially do with resources - opening up opportunities to use the resources in a variety of different ways, and ultimately providing players with a more interesting experience whilst playing the game!

Until next time,

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