I am an amateur game designer. I am designing a resource management game involving real money. This is my first time designing such a game. I explain the design and mechanics below. I need feedback from experienced game designers regarding:
i) The sustainability of the core economic loop of this game,
ii) Concrete suggestions to de-risk or fine-tune it (if you can think of any)
My game is about digging up treasure. Treasure is real $$$ players can cash out. The objective of the game is to make as much money as possible.
Players utilize digging machines (excavators) to unearth treasure. The attributes of these digging machines are:
- Digging prowess: Most machines are mediocre diggers. I.e. they unearth small treasure. A few rare machines can dig up really big treasure. And then there are other types in between these two extremes.
- Scarcity: Only a finite number of machines are available in this game world.
- Transparency: Machines' visual design varies in accordance to their digging prowess. I.e. players can easily spot which machine is better than the rest.
When a new player joins this game, they utilize real $$$ to buy one or multiple such machines. Once bought, each machine can either be:
Stored away (unused), or
Put to work. Note that when a machine accumulates 1 hour of digging time, it unearths treasure. The amount unearthed is always proportional to the machine's digging prowess.
Putting machines to work has an upside and a downside:
Upside: Machines that are put to work unearth treasure (actual $$$ players can claim).
Downside: Working machines can be forcefully bought by another player (for the machine's current value + 5% profit). No permission is needed. This permanently increases the value of the machine. Which means, if you want to snatch it back, you pay a further 5% increment on top of everything.
Storing machines away has an upside and a downside:
Upside: Nobody can forcefully buy them from the player.
Downside: They don't help the player earn anything.
How do we finance the treasure-finds?
There is a pool of money in the back-end that finances each and every treasure-finding. We finance this pool in two ways:
The first time a digging machine is bought, 90% of the proceeds are routed to this pool (10% are pocketed by the game developer).
I earlier mentioned that whenever a machine is forcefully bought, a 5% profit is paid by the buyer to the unwitting seller. We route 10% of that profit to the treasure pool, 10% to the game developer, and 80% to the unwitting seller of the machine.
It would be great to get feedback from experienced game designers regarding the economic viability of the game's core loop. How do we:
- Make it sustainable?
- What are the economic risks?
- How can they be quantified?
- Are there any risk-minimization tactics we can bake in?