# Optimizing Tax Revenue In City Builder Game

I am currently developing a city builder game that incorporates a tax revenue system, allowing players to redeem their city's tax revenue every 24 hours. I want to create a mathematical model for tax collection that optimizes the players' experience from a game design perspective. The game targets a wide demographic of players, ranging from young children to adults, so I aim to make the system intuitive and engaging without discouraging players. Additionally, I want to incorporate a progression curve into the model.

Some of the variables that need to be considered in the tax revenue system include:

• Fixed tax rate (I am unsure about the appropriate range)
• Service coverage (fire, police, health stations)
• Average land value
• Population
• Players experience (level, xp)

I would appreciate guidance on where to start mathematically in order to develop this tax revenue model. How can I strike a balance between intuitiveness and complexity to ensure an enjoyable gaming experience for players of all ages?

Thank you!

• Fixed tax rate (I am unsure about the appropriate range)

The "appropriate range" for the tax rate depends on how the rest of the economy is balanced. Here's how I'd approach determining this value:

First, decide how much you want things to cost and implement the economy for buying/building things. You can base other numbers around these values, so there's no "right answer" here - pick numbers that you think are appropriate.

Before you've implemented any form of revenue, simply give the player a massive amount of starting cash. Play the game for a while, get a feel for how fast you want the game to be paced (e.g. how much the player can build per day). Watch how fast you're spending money to get an idea of how much revenue the player will need per day (you might want to record your daily spending so you can create charts/graphs to help you analyze it).

Once you've determined how you want to pace the game and how much cash the player will need to spend in order to maintain that pace, you can start balancing tax revenue around those target numbers. If you're aiming for a broad player base rather than hardcore realism enthusiasts, I'd say that it's important to achieve specific numbers but not how you achieve those specific numbers.

Of course, this is an iterative process, since as the city grows, the player's tax revenue will increase. You'll most likely find that you have to be constantly tweaking and rebalancing numbers as you go. For example, you might come up with a rough balance that you like, and later realize that roads are too expensive relative to buildings, but find that lowering the price of roads has a butterfly effect on the overall balance. Or you might determine that the player is making far too much revenue in a large city and you need to increase services costs to counter this.

You will be doing a lot of torturous analysis and balancing (or equally torturous, developing an algorithm to analyze and balance for you); to quote Boromir, "you will beg for death before the end!" The more complex your tax system is, the harder it will be to balance. I'd recommend starting simple and adding complexity later if you have time and feel that it's necessary.