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Subject: Competing Monetary Systems rss

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David Debien
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Been toying around with an idea recently where each player starts with the same amount of cash. The catch is the money they have is their national currency.

Once the economy gets rolling, players will have a mix of other players money, the value of which will vary based on several factors, not all of which are as of yet determined. One way the currency value will go down, will be when a player choose to "print more money". Which, in essence will give them more of their currency, but the value of which will go down. Which is not a bad thing if they don't have any cash at the time, and it simultaneously reduces the value of their money other players are holding.

Your currency will always have full value when other players use it to buy YOUR products, but will suffer exchange rates when used to buy other products.

Here is where I am afraid things will get too complex. I want to keep the economy relatively simple, as the focus of the game will be the currency itself.

So, I am struggling with how generic to make the products players make. I could just have each player make a generic X color cube product, which other players will require in order to make more of their product. Alternatively, I could have oil, lumber, machinery, cars, etc and let people build up a more complex economy.

Wondering what yall think of the basic premise and if something like this has already been done.
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1 Lucky Texan
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do what Earth did up until around the late 60s or so, have everything convert to gold.

(or possibly something like man/hours of labor.)
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Pater Absurdus
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It would be interesting if everyone were trying to achieve something like the space race and they would do best if they bought things from each others countries to pull it off.

So everyone can make the shuttle, get the fuel, etc but they can do it faster or more efficiently when trading with another country.

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maf man
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I, unfortunately, am no master of world economics, so take my thoughts for what their worth. I think to make it work well you'd need a decent dose of complexity. The value of money is what you can do with it. Thats why simple goods and trading are used so commonly over currency. I think you may need a way or reason to spend money internally on products or whatever and have need to sell with others.

The idea can go a few ways so maybe look some games like stock holding, commodity speculation, maybe even some video games (im picturing AoE2 right now, my cousin would always try to rule stone or gold and screw with supply and demand at the markets)
Maybe think of how some play catan when a player has a useful port. Say I have a 2:1 brick, think of that as my currency. Others want to use my "stronger" currency as more can be done with it.
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David Debien
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1 Lucky Texan wrote:
do what Earth did up until around the late 60s or so, have everything convert to gold.

(or possibly something like man/hours of labor.)


I like this idea a lot. People can flip cash to gold, but as they do so, the cost of gold goes up. Using currency to buy gold removes the currencies used from the economy, thus increasing that currencies value as it will become scarcer...
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Michael Berg
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I like the idea, and I second using something like gold as a unifying price.

Are you thinking of an engine building game? Something like Splendor, but with a currency level? Here is what I envisioned:

- A player purchases resources (cubes) from other players. They can pay in any currency they like. All cubes are purchasable. After the purchase, the price of the resources purchased increases.

- The player activates any production facilities (cards) that they can, which convert cubes into more cubes.

- The player may select a card from the table to build. The card has a cost in cubes.

- The player prints money, devaluing their currency.
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David Debien
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Redward wrote:
It would be interesting if everyone were trying to achieve something like the space race and they would do best if they bought things from each others countries to pull it off.

So everyone can make the shuttle, get the fuel, etc but they can do it faster or more efficiently when trading with another country.



I also like this. I was thinking of making this another vp salad with a kicker based on currency value on game end. However, I love games with a clear cut end in mind. First to the moon wins! But, you know, more in tune with the theme, which would be based on currency...hmmm.
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David Debien
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CasualSax wrote:
I like the idea, and I second using something like gold as a unifying price.

Are you thinking of an engine building game? Something like Splendor, but with a currency level?


Yes, exactly something like this. I love the idea of the engine being Splendor level simple, with the added complexity of the competing currencies, which tie back to the players.

CasualSax wrote:

- A player purchases resources (cubes) from other players. They can pay in any currency they like. All cubes are purchasable. After the purchase, the price of the resources purchased increases.


Exactly this, yes.

CasualSax wrote:

- The player activates any production facilities (cards) that they can, which convert cubes into more cubes.


Yup, with the addition that it will cost X many different cubes to activate an industry. Sill not certain that the goods cubes should be player specific.

CasualSax wrote:

- The player may select a card from the table to build. The card has a cost in cubes.


Kicked this idea around as well. It could be deck builder-ish in that regard or the cards could be one shots and purchased from a card row where newer cards cost more - a la Through the Ages, Concordia, etc.

CasualSax wrote:

- The player prints money, devaluing their currency.


You are reading my mind. Want to design it with me?
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1 Lucky Texan
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if the game has banks or similar institution, small fees cold be collected for currency conversion - then, there may be funds available for loans, investments, expanding bank services or w'ever.

but, it's gonna be very tricky to precisely mirror reality - certainly modern times with central banks and fiat currency. But having national 'specie' convertible to gold gets around most of that.

the issue with 'printing' curency is, there 'may' be no 'wealth' behind it. Sorta like, only the Government has a license to counterfeit.

In reality, it takes a while (number of transactions or degree of visibility?) for 'printed' money (non-representative of real wealth) to inflate prices. Like, the first 'spender' gets almost full value, but as time goes by and more paper is chasing the same number of 'goods', prices go up. HOWEVER, there was no increase in the number of man-hours it took to produce the goods.

money is weird stuff.
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David Debien
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1 Lucky Texan wrote:


but, it's gonna be very tricky to precisely mirror reality - certainly modern times with central banks and fiat currency. But having national 'specie' convertible to gold gets around most of that.

money is weird stuff.


Not my intention at all to make this a simulation game. I will leave the to Mr Eklund. I'm a flip this cube into those cubes to score points type gamer.
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Pater Absurdus
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casualgod wrote:
Redward wrote:
It would be interesting if everyone were trying to achieve something like the space race and they would do best if they bought things from each others countries to pull it off.

So everyone can make the shuttle, get the fuel, etc but they can do it faster or more efficiently when trading with another country.



I also like this. I was thinking of making this another vp salad with a kicker based on currency value on game end. However, I love games with a clear cut end in mind. First to the moon wins! But, you know, more in tune with the theme, which would be based on currency...hmmm.


Or country with the most money when the last player (or second to last player) gets to the moon? Person who didn't get to the moon cannot win.

You have to get to the moon to win. Doing it efficiently is important. sometimes it may be better to get their first and sometime it may be better to get their slightly later. Thematically getting to the moon slightly later could represent doing it more safely or being able to achieve more once there.

These idea's may be taking your money idea too far but they interest me.
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1 Lucky Texan
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suppose players revealed at the end of (or forced under some 'challenge'/'audit' during) the game to reveal how much or how little they inflated their currency? receive some adjustment to their score accordingly?


extreme currency inflation is horrible, get paid in the morning, go to store after work, spend entire paycheck for package of gum.


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Sheldon Sandbekkhaug
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CasualSax wrote:
- A player purchases resources (cubes) from other players. They can pay in any currency they like. All cubes are purchasable. After the purchase, the price of the resources purchased increases.

I had to think about this for a bit, but now it makes sense. As the price increases, players print more money, leading to a price equilibrium in the long run.

Though I wonder, what encourages players to buy and sell each others' currency?
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PurpleGorillaColonel wrote:
CasualSax wrote:
- A player purchases resources (cubes) from other players. They can pay in any currency they like. All cubes are purchasable. After the purchase, the price of the resources purchased increases.

I had to think about this for a bit, but now it makes sense. As the price increases, players print more money, leading to a price equilibrium in the long run.

Though I wonder, what encourages players to buy and sell each others' currency?


trust that that government will not inflate their currency. Do you want to be paid in Swiss Francs, Greek Drachma - or Zimbabwean Dollars?

but, that gets into fiat currency again.

Take a look at the mechanics of Sheriff of Nottingham . there's issues of 'trust' involved, plus a lot more.
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James Wahl
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casualgod wrote:
Your currency will always have full value when other players use it to buy YOUR products, but will suffer exchange rates when used to buy other products.

Here is where I am afraid things will get too complex. I want to keep the economy relatively simple, as the focus of the game will be the currency itself.

So, I am struggling with how generic to make the products players make. I could just have each player make a generic X color cube product, which other players will require in order to make more of their product.[...]


I have a design very similar to this, and instead of using explicit exchange rates, I let the players choose the values of currencies simply by accepting them. The Green player (for example), is the only player who can make Green product. No other player can hold Green products. The Green player also issues Green coins.

When a Blue player wants to make a purchase which requires Green product (from a common pool), they can demand a Green product from the Green player by giving them back one of their Green coins, and immediately use that product to purchase from the pool (they still cannot hold Green product.)

To make it more interesting, I allowed players to issue "1" coins, "2" coins, "3" coins and "4" coins, using a Period Track with spaces 1-4 and advancing every round. Players could only demand a "1" coin on a "1" turn. Also, I've thought about trying having 1,2, and 4 coins, with the 1 coins redeemable during any period, the 2 coins on either even period, and the 4 coins only redeemable during the 4th period.

Part of the tension is that each player has to produce enough of their own product to back their currency, or people holding it wouldn't be able to get the resources they wanted from the pool.

Players are encouraged to trade, but only coins.

I don't know if I'm explaining this well...
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David Debien
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PurpleGorillaColonel wrote:
CasualSax wrote:
- A player purchases resources (cubes) from other players. They can pay in any currency they like. All cubes are purchasable. After the purchase, the price of the resources purchased increases.

I had to think about this for a bit, but now it makes sense. As the price increases, players print more money, leading to a price equilibrium in the long run.

Though I wonder, what encourages players to buy and sell each others' currency?


If you are buying Player A's resources frequently, then you want to buy his currency since he is forced to give you a premium for his currency.
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David Debien
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pharmakon wrote:
casualgod wrote:
Your currency will always have full value when other players use it to buy YOUR products, but will suffer exchange rates when used to buy other products.

Here is where I am afraid things will get too complex. I want to keep the economy relatively simple, as the focus of the game will be the currency itself.

So, I am struggling with how generic to make the products players make. I could just have each player make a generic X color cube product, which other players will require in order to make more of their product.[...]


I have a design very similar to this, and instead of using explicit exchange rates, I let the players choose the values of currencies simply by accepting them. The Green player (for example), is the only player who can make Green product. No other player can hold Green products. The Green player also issues Green coins.

When a Blue player wants to make a purchase which requires Green product (from a common pool), they can demand a Green product from the Green player by giving them back one of their Green coins, and immediately use that product to purchase from the pool (they still cannot hold Green product.)

To make it more interesting, I allowed players to issue "1" coins, "2" coins, "3" coins and "4" coins, using a Period Track with spaces 1-4 and advancing every round. Players could only demand a "1" coin on a "1" turn. Also, I've thought about trying having 1,2, and 4 coins, with the 1 coins redeemable during any period, the 2 coins on either even period, and the 4 coins only redeemable during the 4th period.

Part of the tension is that each player has to produce enough of their own product to back their currency, or people holding it wouldn't be able to get the resources they wanted from the pool.

Players are encouraged to trade, but only coins.

I don't know if I'm explaining this well...


That sounds really cool. In a lot of ways, what I was shooting for.
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JT Schiavo
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pharmakon wrote:
casualgod wrote:
Your currency will always have full value when other players use it to buy YOUR products, but will suffer exchange rates when used to buy other products.

Here is where I am afraid things will get too complex. I want to keep the economy relatively simple, as the focus of the game will be the currency itself.

So, I am struggling with how generic to make the products players make. I could just have each player make a generic X color cube product, which other players will require in order to make more of their product.[...]


I have a design very similar to this, and instead of using explicit exchange rates, I let the players choose the values of currencies simply by accepting them. The Green player (for example), is the only player who can make Green product. No other player can hold Green products. The Green player also issues Green coins.

When a Blue player wants to make a purchase which requires Green product (from a common pool), they can demand a Green product from the Green player by giving them back one of their Green coins, and immediately use that product to purchase from the pool (they still cannot hold Green product.)

To make it more interesting, I allowed players to issue "1" coins, "2" coins, "3" coins and "4" coins, using a Period Track with spaces 1-4 and advancing every round. Players could only demand a "1" coin on a "1" turn. Also, I've thought about trying having 1,2, and 4 coins, with the 1 coins redeemable during any period, the 2 coins on either even period, and the 4 coins only redeemable during the 4th period.

Part of the tension is that each player has to produce enough of their own product to back their currency, or people holding it wouldn't be able to get the resources they wanted from the pool.

Players are encouraged to trade, but only coins.

I don't know if I'm explaining this well...


Is there a way to get coins other than trading coin for coin?
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David Debien
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crinaya wrote:


Is there a way to get coins other than trading coin for coin?


Players issue more money as the game goes along. Issuing money will devalue the currency though, so a good player would take steps to strengthen their currency prior to making more of it.

This leads me to thinking that the game end score would be the total value of all of your currency in the game at game end. So, having a lot of really debased currency might not be as good as having less, high value currency in the game...

Edit: oops I answered this in respect to the idea I am working on. Realize now it was asked in regards to James's game.
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James Wahl
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casualgod wrote:
crinaya wrote:


Is there a way to get coins other than trading coin for coin?


Players issue more money as the game goes along. Issuing money will devalue the currency though, so a good player would take steps to strengthen their currency prior to making more of it.

This leads me to thinking that the game end score would be the total value of all of your currency in the game at game end. So, having a lot of really debased currency might not be as good as having less, high value currency in the game...


Trading multiple coins for multiple coins, or with the Period variation, trading more then one far off coin for one right now coin (or vice versa.) You have an infinite number of your own coins so, for example, during the first period you can trade three "4" coins of your own color for one "1" coin from another player (that you can use now.) The Period thing was largely to encourage trades like that.

I've entertained trying to design and balance the game so that VP = sum of foreign coins. That would mean that when you issued a coin, you would be introducing a victory point into the game that you couldn't get. Or if VP = your foreign coins + units of your own color product.

As of now, however, VP cards can be purchased from the pool.
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