Floating Markets Revisited

Thu, 25 Aug 1994 23:18:20 -0400 (EDT)

> Scott Turner writes:
> The idea here is that if a city is offering something for sale at a
> particular price and isn't selling any, the price will get marked
> down. If it is offering something for sale and is selling it, the
> price will get marked up. Buying works just the opposite.

> David desJardins writes:

> In concept this is great. However it's *very* hard to make markets that
> behave well and can't be manipulated to do very bad and unbalancing
> things. Just look at many failed economic games, like Supremacy, to see
> that.

> Rich Skrenta writes:

> It appears to be quite difficult to get this to work well in practice.
> Just as amateur cyptographic efforts wilt under the scrutiny of experts,
> so most floating market schemes disgorge vast amounts of gold to clever
> but devious players.

My proposal was to have a % chance (10% ??) of a 1 gold change in the price
of an item. I do not see how this can possibly be manipulated to
yield any kind of reasonable gain.

For example, city A (the Imperial City?) sells wood at 110 each. NO ONE
buys any. There is a 10% chance that the following month, the wood will
sell for 109 gold. It's gonna take one hell of a long game time for
this price to change significantly. And vice versa for buying items,
like fish. Keep glutting the market, and there is a 10% chance the
price will drop next month. One person alone may, over 10 game years
time, be in a position to manipulate the price, 1 gp every 10 turns.

Rich did bring up a relatively good argument though. What if, 80 game
turns from now, I find an item, say fish oil, selling for 1 gp each
in a newly discovered city. Then I will need to travel 1 game year
to where it sells for a much higher price. It seems to me that the
distance traveled may justify the limited financial gain involved,
remember there is a quantity limit too.

Would some ingenious deviant out there present a reasonable scenario
where this kind of system can be excessively exploited?

Over time, prices will stabilize, and come into line with what the
market will bear. This would add an additional flavor to the game
for those marketeers out there. Or so it would seem.

And what about have cities buy the same items they sell, say at 50%
of the selling price?

Comments? (personal flames to me directly. :-) )

Rick Socia

Main Index  |  Olympia  |  Arena  |  PBM FAQ  |  Links