We are now developing the economics system for qilania and we find there are lots of considerations to be taken into account in order to create a stable economy in a virtual world.
Some of the basics rules are:
- The more effort an user puts onto your virtual world, the more rewads he must earn.
- The more easy the user can earn money (ie, an easy game), the less money he must win.
- The more valuable are the goods and services, the more money the will be worth.
- You must update all the time the goods and services the virtual world offers to the user (otherwise, the user will acquire all existing goods and services and will become a boring world for him in a few days/weeks/months).
Just as in the real world. 😉
One trick: the first step we used in order to create the system was creating a symbolic “monetary unit”, which can be any basic good or service in your virtual world: it can be bread, a gallon of beer or whatever you consider. After that, you can invent the name of your currency and apply a price to your “monetary unit”, then develop around that consideration what items and services cost and how much does it take the user to gather that money.
Appart from that, you can add some tweaks to the system to make it more interesting. For example, dynamic prices for items and services, depending on offer and demand or a monetary system based on goods owned by the virtual world (for example, if your virtual world produces less petroleum and your entire economy is based on petroleum, that will affect the value of basic products, such as bread or transportation).
I’d say that the development of a virtual world is as fun as complex.