Let me start this off by being very clear about something: If you haven’t had any experience actually (And I don’t say that lightly) making a game, please do not respond to this thread. When I say that, I don’t mean the initial development process; that’s just another layer to overall game development. I would like feedback from people experienced with managing the release of a game with a consistent playerbase. In my experience, this is one of the most difficult tasks when making and planning a game.
I’m making this thread because my old game, Liftoff, had major economy balancing problems. In fact, I am 100% certain it is one of, if not THE, biggest reasons the game ultimately failed. I am in the process of developing a new game, and this is something I am set on getting right.
Just about every game has its own economy. If the game has any sort of currency system where players acquire currency and spend it, the game has its own economy. I can not, for the life of me, think of an effective way to balance this.
The economy of the game needs to make sense, in that the things players buy shouldn’t be too cheap or too expensive. How do I take into account every way to make money versus every way to spend it? Tycoons are a prime example of what I mean by this; they’re a balancing minefield. Things you are able to buy shouldn’t take too long to get, but should also take a reasonable amount of time to avoid the player progressing too fast. I genuinely have no clue how to go about this, and it seems easy, until your game flops because the economy was unbalanced and unfixable.
Testers? Forget it. I tried playtesting Liftoff 4 times for this. I specifically told the testers to look for balancing inconsistencies. All the feedback I received was predictable, generally unhelpful responses about things irrelevant to balance.
I also find it very difficult to test this internally with myself or other team members. We’re the ones making the game, we know everything about it and what to do. I can’t emulate the experience of a new player with no experience.
I realize that it’s near impossible to get balancing right on the first try. I would just like to get closer to that. I found myself, and still find myself with my new game, planning completely arbitrary number values based on close to nothing.
How do I balance the economy of my game while taking into account every possible income source and every possible way of spending money?