How Video Game Economies are Designed - Deepstash
How Video Game Economies are Designed

How Video Game Economies are Designed

Game Maker's Toolkit

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Game Economy 101

Game Economy 101

A game is a simplified economy. In Doom, you collect power by killing demons, which you can use to power weapons to kill more demons. etc... It can be looked in terms of:

  • Taps: The generation of resources. Some taps generate resources on a timer (health) others have to be harvested by the user (gold).
  • Inventory: Holds the resources the player has gathered.

The game can have 2 feedback loops: positive & negative: 

  • Converter: exchange one resource into another. Gold for swords.
  • Drain: removing resources from the economy

Lastly, a trader can act like other players, buying&selling resources at will. 


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Positive & Negative Feedback Loops

In a positive feedback loop, aka the converter, the output is fed into the input to reinforce the output. The more money you collect, the better weapons you can get, so you can kill more monsters and make more money. This process can be a mindless grind or some sort of a puzzle. Making this process fun.

A negative loop, aka a drain, is removing resources from the economy. Units die, resources rot etc... Drains can become an element of frustration: like when you die and loose all progress.


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Life-long learner. Passionate about leadership, entrepreneurship, philosophy, Buddhism & SF. Founder @deepstash.


A simplified version of game economy.

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