Short Question: How do I calculate market values for different resources in the game?
I am building a game around the concept of resource gathering and manufacturing to gain different resources. Those resources can be traded with other players or with a "game market", meaning auto generated trades that get created on a certain time interval (undecided on the interval yet). Because it would be too complex to create different exchange rates for each pair of resources (there are currently just under 100 types of resources and plans for a few hundred in total), I have come to the conclusion that there needs to be a "game currency" (lets just call it GC for now). Each resource would have its exchange rate to GC and this exchange rate would, on a certain interval, be impacted based on what is going on in the game. How would I calculate this exchange rate or market value of a certain resource every interval? I assume different things would effect it like popularity of trading within previous interval, previous exchange rate, abundance of resource currently, etc etc. But I am not sure how to apply this methodically.
Update: Some of my concerns are around the value of a resource:
- Some resources can be mined directly from the environment. Other can only be obtained from manufacturing the mined resources. Other resources may be manufactured for other manufactured resources. How do I create a stable starting point to account for these factors? Obviously manufactured resources would be worth more because they are more time consuming to create.
- Should players be forced to observe the market value or place their trade requests at what ever value they desire? If the value is forced, what happens to trades after a market value changes? If the is opened ended, what stops players from gaming the market to boost or fall prices? Should I only calculate the value based on successful trades and consider that open request haven't been filled for a reason?
- How do I calculate what will happen in a large multiplayer situation when the game is only in development and I only have myself and a few AI players trading? The market values could be effected differently in different situations and I don't want to be caught in a situation where I have to change game mechanics after a game in live which could potentially upset players who have figured out the predictability of the market and over night, the rules change.