Monday, July 18, 2016

Sea Trading Game- Getting demand just right

This week hasn't had a lot of visible progress, but I have been making good progress on the real heart of the game, the trading goods model.

There are two things in particular that I'm working on modeling, the supply and demand. Together, these will create a price for a good. In theory, the higher the demand, the higher the price, and the higher the supply, the lower the price. Of course, it sounds really simple to put it like that, but there's a lot more behind the scenes to make it all work.

This week in particular I worked on the demand piece. I've added a lot of items that will cause demand variation. Certain things will be in higher demand in certain seasons, for instance, or temperature dependent, or even days of the year (Holidays).

The one thing that's been causing me a bit of grief is demand related to novelties, or even addiction. This was quite important in historical, or even modern, markets, and I'm trying to get something that feels realistic. I've got a reasonable first pass at a model, but I'll no doubt have to refine it several times.

I also dusted off my old unit tests, and found a bunch of bugs. I managed to fix all of them, and my unit tests all pass! Unit tests are helping quite a bit with getting the supply/demand formulas correct.

Going forward, here's my rough plan. This week I plan on getting the supply piece figured out. The supply piece is quite a bit harder than the demand, because each city will have to make it's own decision as to what to work on. I'm not quite sure I'll get it to that stage, which is where I'd like to see it, but it'd be awesome if I did! I'm going to use resources such as the following graph, copied from the Wikipedia Supply and Demand Page.

The next major task is to figure out the pricing based on supply/demand. That is going to be rather difficult, and I expect it to take the better part of a week to figure out. Hopefully I can also figure out how to satisfy demand through other means, either loosing interest in something, or having other people ship it, or even starving due to a lack of supply!

Lastly, I'm going to start adding in goods. Hopefully a lot of goods. At the very least, I'll add something in that will test all of the major functionality.

Once this is done, I have a number of things to polish, like improving the displays, artwork, improving contract processing, etc. Those things will take some time, but I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Last thing, I've decided that I'm going to publish this game under a company known as "Old Ham Media". For now, it links to my sparsely populated Facebook page, but that is also something I plan on working on in the short term future!

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