Looking big picture, something that this game will have to deal with is that the economy is contracting. Cash coming in < cash flowing out of the macro-economy.
As I understand it there is a restricted flow of money into the global economy from two sources (1) new players joining the game and receiving ($10-$15) of 'free money' when they do so, and (2) government purchases from retail shops, the specifics of which are unknown to me.
Meanwhile, a lot of money is leaving the economy through (1) land taxes, (2) negative expected value gambling, (3) paying the government to create companies, and (4) advertising (among other things most likely.) To my understanding this money is just leaving the economy, vanishing into the ether, so to speak.
I think this contraction is among the causes of economic depression. One partial solution is a sort of monetary policy or a central bank that prints money and additionally offers a risk-less rate of return on capital invested there. Granted, sticking one's money in a bank is not the most interesting gameplay in the world, but most other economic activity is negative-sum at the moment.
Completely agree, another (easy) partial solution would be more randomized govt. spending (not just retail) to increase cash flow into the economy.
On the subject of new products like the energy drink, I think they are fun and interesting, but ultimately, if my intuition is correct, the equilibrium state of serious wage competition will persist at the end of it. I suppose this new product will introduce an interesting variable, which is people's willingness to grind out working long hours just to make a few extra cents in-game. That said, due to general oversupply dynamics in the game, I suspect the price of an energy drink will quickly approach the price of a single job's wage.
I'm not fully agreeing with the price of the product reaching the price of a single job. As long as production of said energy drink is more than 1 per worker it'll be lower than wages.
If production 2 per worker:
With the new item it will be more profitable to balance the price around (energy drinkk + 1/5th food = less than wage)
While currently food is profitable at a price below 5 x wage.
That's why it should both increase demand for both products as well as reduce consumer prices, but we'll see if implemented :)
Speaking of wages, I think razor-thin wage competition would be reduced by creating some friction between changing jobs. Furthermore, strongly consider incentivizing employers to keep the same laborers. Perhaps the longer a laborer works for a certain company / company type, the more product they produce per work day in that company type. In turn, said laborers can demand higher wages from their employers. Something like this would allow for fun gameplay dynamics in which companies are trying to poach each others' top producers and would generally create a richer labor market. It would also introduce experience-building gameplay which is fun for everyone. People could choose to be specialists or generalists in the type of jobs they take on, etc. This experience component would also make the energy drink dynamics richer and less predictable. The interplay between money earned, time, and experience would be good for the growth of the game in my opinion. If you're interested in this idea, I'd be happy to help develop some more detailed proposals.
I really like this idea, it could also be combined with making new players the most desired workers (to both help spread the game and help out new players).
Would be awesome if you could decribe your idea more detailed :-)
I'm not that thrilled about the long-term success of projects like NPC labor, because even if they follow some random distribution, I think wage equilibria will arise fairly quickly, and we'll be back at square one. That said, I encourage the developers to add new things experimentally as they are able to and see how the markets and economy react. Who knows, perhaps fun gameplay will arise!
That could be sort of 'fixed' with either:
- Seperate wages for NPC's and players
- Make players more desirable (same wage but NPC's produce at only 80%)
- Set limits for the max amount of NPC's you want to work at your company
Though - the NPC workers should also use their wage to 'rent' and buy from shops to prevent more money flowing out of the game.