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April 3, 2012 11:07 AM   Subscribe

Economies of Scale is a free, web-based multiplayer business/commerce simulation game under development by Scott Rubyton (aka Ratan Joyce). Players use starting capital to build production/wholesale/retail businesses from the ground up in a basic economic model, competing for market share while collaborating through business-to-business trading of goods and materials. It's more fun than getting an MBA! Also much less expensive.

The game is not overly complicated to play, and has a brief tutorial that covers the core bits, but it can be a little dizzying to figure out how the pieces interact at first, so here's a quick breakdown:

- There are three kinds of facilities you can build: Factories, such as plantations (grow raw fruits and veg!) or food processing plants (turn raw crops into processed ingredients!) or beverage factories (turn ingredients into consumable beverages!); Stores, which you can stock with niche-specific (farmer's market, sporting goods, high-tech gadgets) inventory that you've produced or purchased and resell it at retail at a price you fix; and R&D, buildings that research ingredients (wheat) or products (bread rolls) or processes (sugar refinement) to raise the overall quality of what your factories produce. A business might use only one or all three types of facilities, depending on what segment of the market it's aiming at.

- There's a simulated international import/export wholesale market (which buys low and sells high, prices updated nightly, good for moving surplus product at small but reliable margins), a simulated retail market (which buys Store inventory based on quality of product and current market saturation/demand), and a wholly player-driven B2B market where players can buy things being sold by other players. A business might rely primarily on one of these markets to move product or on a mix; likewise, businesses might produce their own materials or rely on the B2B or import market to get their source materials.

- Every facility produces output based on its current size; new facilities are 10 square meters, and can be expanded in increments of one square meter, with facility output currently directly proportional to the size of the facility (so stores sell proportionally more inventory, factories produce proportionally more product, R&D researches proportionally faster). Choosing when to invest in greater square footage (meterage?) for one or more of your facilities can be an important part of growing your business once you've got some revenue established.

- The game covers a wide variety of industries under the same general template; businesses can get into everything from fresh produce to chemical refining, haberdashery to airplane manufacturing. Finding a market that isn't already over-saturated and focusing on doing one sort of thing well is a good way to start a business that makes really solid profits. (Everyone in the game starts with a fruit farm; consider anything other than being a fruit farmer as a long-term goal!)


A few misc. helpful newbie tips:

- The game makes a distinction between the player and their company; you can transfer cash that your player is holding to your company's cash-on-hand by visiting the Bank in the City.

- There's a "welfare center" link at the bottom of the page that dispenses a small but nothing-to-sneeze-at bit of cash once daily; if you need another $100K to keep things liquid and don't mind a handout, drop by. (And then check your bank account!)

- You can start any sort of business you like, but picking one thing to start with and doing it well with maybe three or four total facilities will give you more spare cash and flexibility to build up those individual facilities as you learn than trying to start up an entire vertical supply chain from scratch and spending most of your starting cash on a bunch of different 10 square meter facilities.

- Materials used in a factory's production run are locked up when production starts, and the produce of that run doesn't go into your warehouse until it's done (so you won't see a real-time trickle of new inventory). If you need some materials for something else, or need to get at the output of production, you can interrupt production by clicking on the factory and hitting the big red X button. This has essentially no cost. Don't feel trapped! You can safely start a big production run knowing you'll probably interrupt it at some point.

- While you're still a smallish business (so at least the first few days of gameplay), you can instantly finish building or expanding a facility for free. This perk goes away when you get your feet under you, but it's great at the beginning for letting you get right back to making/selling/researching stuff instead of having to wait for a construction to finish.

- In a pinch, you can resell facilities for about 2/3rds of their cost. You'll take a bit of a bath, but if you decide to streamline your business or change industries, don't be afraid to liquidate stuff you aren't using and reinvest in something you actually want.


The game plays out in real time, so most of what you do is set things up and then let them do their thing, checking back in now and then to set up new production runs or update a store's inventory, or to shop on the B2B market in case there's a good deal on something other players are selling. More of a daily-checkin game than something you'll need to spend a bunch of time at a sitting on; if your business model is simple enough you could spend about five minutes once a day just restarting production runs once things are going smoothly.
posted by cortex (60 comments total) 70 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also worth noting, a number of mefi and mefi-ish folks from Mefightclub.com have been playing for the last couple days; if you've got a mefightclub account already you should go check out this thread for more discussion and tips.

(If you don't have a mefightclub account but like games at all, go get one; it's free and an awesome gaming community full of nice mefites.)
posted by cortex at 11:12 AM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Interesting. Is the 'market place' a real marketplace where you trade with other players, or are the prices fixed? It looks like it's a 'real' dynamic market. I don't think would hard-code a lot of 228,893 chickens at $10 each.

If you look at some of the most popular social games on facebook, they're actually a lot like super dumbed-down versions of this kind of thing. I think this game throws so much complexity at you right away that it might throw off farmville/social city type players who might enjoy this if the complexity was ramped up gradually.

Also, I think if games like this became popular they could be used to test economic theories.
posted by delmoi at 11:52 AM on April 3, 2012


Apparently there's a company called "Fellating Pro, LLJK." It's selling silica sand.

It would be nice if you could see how quickly various products move. Making something and then having it sit there unpurchased is kind of unfun.
posted by delmoi at 12:41 PM on April 3, 2012


I'm going to start producing aircraft and then lobbing protests when the government decides to buy other aircraft from overseas. How do I pay for lobbyists?
posted by backseatpilot at 12:44 PM on April 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


If you mean moving it through a storefront, the game updates sales there (and systemic finances in general) every 15 minutes, on a new "tick". So checking the individual product in your store will show you a per-tick graph of performance over time.

If you mean on B2B, it's a totally open market so stuff moves or it doesn't depending on whether anyone wants to pay what you're asking. Pricing is a lot more competitive on common stuff than esoteric stuff, but the demand is also a lot more constant. And you can get instant gratification selling on the export market, of course.

There's some store-sales statistics in the EoSPedia (icon up in the top right of the game screen) which is handy for at least sizing up markets. But generally speaking, if you feel like you're not moving product through a store as fast as you can produce it, you can try lowering the price incrementally to try and hit the right volume of sales to maximize throughput.
posted by cortex at 12:47 PM on April 3, 2012


I'm going to start producing aircraft and then lobbing protests when the government decides to buy other aircraft from overseas. How do I pay for lobbyists?

backseatpilot: I think you're confused; this is a simulation of a free market, not the US economy.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:52 PM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


This game is stupidly addicting.
posted by PapaLobo at 1:05 PM on April 3, 2012


I'm going to start producing aircraft and then lobbing protests when the government decides to buy other aircraft from overseas. How do I pay for lobbyists?
To get that level of complexity you have a game like EVE where you have violent factions vying for control, eventually one becomes the 'government' and you just bribe the players in the government.
posted by delmoi at 1:18 PM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


No, that's okay. I'm just hosting my first seder on the weekend. It's not like I needed all those hours I'm now going to spend playing this game to prepare for that or anything.
posted by dry white toast at 1:34 PM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chemical manufacturing? Everyone starts as a fruit planter? Time to invent round-up, lobby congress, and become Monsanto!
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:36 PM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


This game is stupidly addicting.

I attribute that to the Farmville time mechanic used by this game. I gave it a day and a half and just decided to stop. I feel something a bit insidious with the keep-em-coming-back time mechanic and there is not enough personal emotional reward in playing this game to justify the time i'm putting into it. YMMV, and enjoy.
posted by Edogy at 1:53 PM on April 3, 2012


Whelp, I'm in the mattress business now.
posted by Iridic at 1:58 PM on April 3, 2012


Edogy, you're somewhat right. 1/2 the fun I'm having is participating in discovering stuff about the game with fellow mefighters. Plus, it's not like we're being harassed to LIKE US ON FACEBOOK or FREE FARM UPGRADE FOR FIVE STAR REVIEW or WOULD YOU LIKE TO SPEED CONSTRUCTION WITH 100 GEMS CLICK HERE MAKE SURE 1-CLICK ORDERING IS ON AND LET YOUR KIDS PLAY ME AMIRITELOL stuff.

And it's actually ... well, it requires a modicum of smarts to play.
posted by PapaLobo at 2:21 PM on April 3, 2012


On the one hand, this game sounds like a lot of fun and would finally give me a reason to get involved with the Mefightclub. On the other hand, I'm turned off by the apparently FarmVille-esque mechanic that is employed to keep you coming back. As a very casual gamer, I don't want my gaming to feel like a chore.
posted by asnider at 2:25 PM on April 3, 2012


We all know you posted this just to hit the 500 players mark and get some free cash. ;-)
posted by Feantari at 2:29 PM on April 3, 2012


It's definitely a thing where you need to know whether you want a game that you have to poke in real-time. That's not really a Farmville thing, that's a "sim runs in real time" thing. Which works for you or doesn't, and that's totally something to factor in, yeah. I have a lot of flexible moments through out the day, so it works pretty well for me, but everybody's got different situations going on and YMMV.

The game's structured in such a way that you aren't penalized for doing nothing, so if you want to play for a little bit once a day you can actually do that and come back the next day and play for a little too. You may not be maximizing your supply chains or whatever, but you're in no worse shape; the game won't punish you for not being obsessive.

Which, the Farmville thing—like PapaLobo says, the difference from something like Farmville there's no upsell against the time limits. It's not "you're hooked but that's all for now...unless you can scratch our backs, maybe invite some friends, eh, eh?", which is precisely why the Farmville model is so scummy (and so effectively parasitic in an explicit social-networking context like Facebook). Which is kind of aside from anything else, but it's a comparison that makes me bristle a little bit because there's a very long tradition of real-time sims that long predates fuckin' Zygna and has nothing to do with their shitty design model. Real-time simulation is just a design element, not an inherently problematic thing.
posted by cortex at 2:43 PM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


And it's actually ... well, it requires a modicum of smarts to play.

This is demonstrably not true, because I'm playing it.
posted by FishBike at 2:52 PM on April 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is demonstrably not true, because I'm playing it.
And who precisely was it that made an efficiency-based automated goods sales calculator spreadsheet? I forget.
posted by PapaLobo at 3:15 PM on April 3, 2012


and would finally give me a reason to get involved with the Mefightclub
FINALLY?
Dude, I ... just

Dude.
posted by PapaLobo at 3:20 PM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


FINALLY?

I'm new(ish) and have only known about MFC for a couple of months.
posted by asnider at 4:33 PM on April 3, 2012


It would be nice if you could see how quickly various products move. Making something and then having it sit there unpurchased is kind of unfun.

There's a post in the game forum where the developer reveals the math behind the item sales rate. The variables for that equation can either be looked up in-game, or, for one of them, guessed with reasonable accuracy. So if you work through the math, you can actually figure out what the sales rate of an item will be before you make it and sell it. Though there are now market forces at work that can change this over time.

And yes, as PapaLobo implied above, I did that. In Excel. It's just one of many worksheets I have for this game now. Addictive? No, not at all, why do you ask?

Send help.
posted by FishBike at 4:44 PM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've got 20,000 barrels of "help" that I will sell to you at a reasonable markup FishBike.
posted by PapaLobo at 4:58 PM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks - this is fun (and finally joined MFC, too)
posted by nightwood at 6:37 PM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


This sounds a little bit like that the game the kids play in that Cory Doctorow podcast everyone here hated so much.
posted by Hoopo at 6:41 PM on April 3, 2012


Alright, I jumped in. I'm not a nerdy business type, so I've got very little understanding of the math right now, but I'm making a go of it.

And, the whole "this is like FarmVille" concern is bogus. This is not like FarmVille.
posted by asnider at 10:28 PM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks Cortex for making the post. I track referrals and noticed metafilter popping up this morning, so I got an account here.

Anyways, you can think of this line as complete BS, but my main goal for this game is NOT to monetize, otherwise I'd be selling in-game cash and influence likes nuts.

The goal for Economies of Scale is to simply make a fair and challenging game that'll use real-life business principles. Naturally things will be "simplified", but certainly not over-simplified to the point of "games" like FarmVille.

As to the "keep them checking back" mechanism, you should see it disappear in a week after the introduction of factory and research queues, as of now you only need to log in every week to keep the stores selling - or not at all if you hire a player CEO to do it for you (after IPO).

Any suggestions please post in the in-game forums suggestion board for the fastest reply, here's how my schedule looks at the moment so I'm sure you'd understand:

Morning: Check e-mail, go to work.

Lunch: Come home, check e-mail for bugs, confirm bugs and reward bug reporters, fix bugs if time allows, eat, back to work.

Evening: Get home, dinner, check the in-game forum, check player messages, log into the chat for some time, solve all player issues and answer all questions, check my todo-list, finish 1 thing or 2. If it's before midnight, take a look at the in-game forum again, then take some time to look at other forums: somethingawful, octopusoverlords, now metafilter, and reply. Go back to work on code until 2-3 A.M.

Every few days: Check market and stock logs for cheaters, punish them.
posted by ratan.joyce at 11:38 PM on April 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


This is definitely fun, though I do wish I'd started with a throwaway account to make all the really obvious mistakes. I now have a perfectly sensible business making sheets selling them and other hardware, but I'm also really really broke from all the failed experiments!
posted by Zarkonnen at 3:11 AM on April 4, 2012


MILK SHORTAGE CURDLES COFFEE CONCERN, COOKIE SALES CRUMBLE
Harry Sheldon
Groveshire Times


The ongoing milk shortage throughout Econosia has put pressure on its largest coffee provider, Longshanks Shade Grown, and citizens at cafes across the country are going without their precious cappuccino drinks. "It really steams me up that we can't order the drinks we want." said Betty Miller, 47 of Groveshire Heights, "And they're out of donuts too!"

Albert Longshanks of Longshanks S.G. called for farmers with excess capacity to help out. "We're willing to forego our usual quality control process just to get these drinks into our customers' cafes, at any cost.", proclaimed Longshanks, "People just love our coffee products, especially our cappuccino, but without milk available, our production line is 100% espresso."

Tex Corman of Giant Donut, Inc. has considered expanding his business into butter production, just to satisfy demand from his customers for his newest product, Giant Cookies. "I really hope it doesn't come to that," says Corman "we'd really like to concentrate on supplying our cafes, not raising cattle. What does a baker know about cows anyway?"

The Econosia dairy board is offering preferential pricing to all livestock concerns who branch out into dairy products, to restore stability to all businesses that depend on a steady supply of milk and butter to survive. The citizens of Econosia are counting on you, dairy farmers.
--

My favorite aspect of this game isn't making all the little numbers in a spreadsheet go up, but the opportunity for roleplay. Sort of like Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, stories crop up organically from a game that effectively has no story line of its own. In EoS's case, it's from the interactions between players through the marketplace. I never thought I would have fun writing pretend press releases for a pretend company selling pretend coffee on the internet, but I definitely am.
posted by helicomatic at 6:58 AM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks Cortex for making the post. I track referrals and noticed metafilter popping up this morning, so I got an account here.

Ha! Hi, and welcome aboard. The game is just stupid amounts of fun so far, I'm really looking forward to the stuff you have in the pipe. Queues will be a huge addition, I can tell you that.
posted by cortex at 7:15 AM on April 4, 2012


Queues would increase the level of awesome SO MUCH.
posted by asnider at 7:48 AM on April 4, 2012


Got into this yesterday from your tweet about this, cortex. Thank you.

That bank tip is excellent. I didn't realize my guy had $12M on him. I have transferred some cash to my company and now have a research facility.

Great game.
posted by sciatica at 7:55 AM on April 4, 2012


BTW: Is there value to having money on your person instead of attached to your company, aside from in situations where you're planning to sell your company and want to withdraw some capital before doing so?

I get that the game is supposed to simulate a free market and all but, as a gamer, why do I care if my avatar is rich if the money isn't serving to grow my company?
posted by asnider at 8:18 AM on April 4, 2012


The main use I've seen of having my Avatar have money is that I can buy shares in other companies.

Especially dividend bearing shares.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:28 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Queues will be a huge addition, I can tell you that.

I'm really looking forward to this, too. I have no idea how it's going to be implemented, but I'm hoping it'll be the kind of thing where I can set up a day (or more) of production for each facility and then leave it alone to get on with it.

It seems kind of odd that I'm enjoying the game but looking for ways to play it less. As I mentioned over in MFC, if I wasn't enjoying it, I'd just play it less by not playing it at all.

Part of it is this sort of game quickly turns into a major time-and-attention sink for me. That's not a criticism of the game, it's a thing about how my brain works, and it's up to me to deal with that. But being able to play it more efficiently, in terms of that, would be a good thing.

Also I am, in general, motivated by getting stuff done and seeing things work properly once they're built. So if I can set up a whole bunch of things to happen automatically, and then sit back and watch it all unfold without further intervention for a while, that's actually fun for me.
posted by FishBike at 8:29 AM on April 4, 2012


Well, there's definitely a reward for cultivating two of the three Virtues. Laziness means you have more time to spend on other things, and Impatience means your company will grow faster.

I have a split-business model producing agricultural goods and gasoline. I'm telling myself that the agricultural goods are just soaking up resources (excess electricity and water) that the gasoline supply chain isn't big enough to handle yet, but I'm not sure how long that will be rational...
posted by kaibutsu at 8:33 AM on April 4, 2012


BTW: Is there value to having money on your person instead of attached to your company, aside from in situations where you're planning to sell your company and want to withdraw some capital before doing so?

Certainly. You are allowed to have as many as 10 companies before you're forced to start wrestling control from the public companies through the stock market.

Also I plan to have your player die with age - and then you'll need to resume playing as your descendent. It'll be great fun for me to see you pay huge inheritance taxes, and maybe add events where you'd lose some of your shares or companies to your siblings. Since players age at a rate of 1 in-game year/ real life week, I still got a year before me to put this in, so it will be :-)
posted by ratan.joyce at 10:09 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is fun. As we speak I am building my stranglehold on the world supply of banana-strawberry smoothies.
posted by DRMacIver at 2:04 PM on April 4, 2012


I think I am the sole supplier of Speedboats, but it has cost a lot of money to get here.

Also, no one has yet bought my speedboat.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:06 PM on April 4, 2012


I plan to have your player die with age - and then you'll need to resume playing as your descendent. It'll be great fun for me to see you pay huge inheritance taxes, and maybe add events where you'd lose some of your shares or companies to your siblings. Since players age at a rate of 1 in-game year/ real life week, I still got a year before me to put this in, so it will be :-)

This keep getting better and better!
posted by asnider at 3:15 PM on April 4, 2012


Also, no one has yet bought my speedboat.

Are you selling them on B2B or in your own stores? I think the B2C market is where you're going to make your money on consumer goods. I can't imagine you'll get a huge order via B2B, at least not this early on in the game's ecosystem.
posted by asnider at 3:16 PM on April 4, 2012


I'm selling them in my own boat store.
I'm sure someone will buy them eventually.

I don't think any player is likely to buy finished consumer goods yet, unless they have a better boat shop than my boat shop, which I consider unlikely.

That said, if you want a speedboat, mine only occasionally sink.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:58 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


A lot of drama happened lately and I had to disable the in-game chat. Sorry about the inconvenience. I'll have it back up after making changes to it.
posted by ratan.joyce at 11:27 AM on April 5, 2012


Yeah, I saw that spinning up when I was headed to bed last night. Craziness! It'll be nice to have chat back, but I think most of us players are more enthusiastic about game features and functionality than about whether there's a dedicated space for folks to engage in insider trading on the stock market side game, so don't make yourself crazy about it.
posted by cortex at 11:30 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


FishBike wrote this awesome Greasemonkey script that adds color-coded countdown timers to the factory and R&D screens.
posted by Mr. Pokeylope at 8:10 PM on April 5, 2012


It is amazing. I have refrained from installing Greasemonkey for years, but it pushed me over the edge. Ratan, that's basically what I was asking for in the feature request subforum the other day: it's perfect at-a-glance information without having to worry about mouseovers. Huge load off.
posted by cortex at 9:52 PM on April 5, 2012


What I'd really like to see is scripting. Setup n farms to automatically plant various fruits and sell them without intervention, so you can continue to make revenue without working on it.
posted by delmoi at 10:05 AM on April 6, 2012


Also, what exactly is the 'quality' thing?
posted by delmoi at 10:07 AM on April 6, 2012


What I'd really like to see is scripting. Setup n farms to automatically plant various fruits and sell them without intervention, so you can continue to make revenue without working on it.

The production queuing feature that's apparently on the way will be pretty close to that, although once you've run through your list of queued up production orders I imagine you'll have to re-enter them for the next batch.

If you have items for sale in a store already, of the same quality as the ones you're producing, then you don't have to go back into the store and specifically tell it to sell the new stuff. You only have to do that if you run out completely or bring in some product of a different quality.

Also, what exactly is the 'quality' thing?

It's a fairly arbitrary number designed to represent the overall quality of an item. It's a function of the quality of the materials used to make the item, and the manufacturing sophistication used to make it, both of which are improved by doing R&D.

In turn, the quality of your items for sale, relative to the average quality on the market, is one of the key ratios that determines how quickly your item will sell in a store. It also affects how your inventory is valued for net worth calculations (+2% of the item's base price for each quality level above 0).

Quality also affects sales of items on the B2B market but not with mathematical certainty, as real people are buying those items. But in general, if people are buying production inputs from you, they often want higher quality inputs to make higher quality outputs (which will sell faster).

Or if they're buying finished items to sell in their store directly, then higher quality is also sells faster. So they may be willing to pay a slight premium for higher quality items on the B2B market. But that market is pretty volatile, so it might be tough to see the effect.
posted by FishBike at 10:20 AM on April 6, 2012


ah
posted by delmoi at 10:24 AM on April 6, 2012


What I'd really like to see is scripting. Setup n farms to automatically plant various fruits and sell them without intervention, so you can continue to make revenue without working on it.

Queueing production is reportedly high on the pending features list, hopefully it'll happen quite soon.

Also, what exactly is the 'quality' thing?

Two things:

1. The quality of a given item directly affects its effective sale price in stores and on the export market.

For each increment of quality on an item, its effective store sale price for a given volume-per-tick increases by 2%, non-compounding. So if your cafe can sell 100 Q0 donuts during each 15 minute tick interval @ $1.00, you can sell 100 Q1 @ $1.02, or 100 Q50 @ $2.00.

As I understand it, the increased sales volume for an increment in quality but a steady price is 4%, non-compounding. So as per above, Q1 donuts @ $1.00 would sell 104 units per tick. Q50 donuts @ $1.00 would sell 300 units per tick.

Export valuation is similar to store sale price valuation, but less significant: each quality increment increases the price an export buyer will pay by 1%. So if a Q0 widget exports at $1.00, Q1 will get you $1.01 and Q50 will get your $1.50.

2. The quality of an ingredient in a manufacturing process may play a role in the quality of the output. You can see how this breaks down by looking at the percentages in a manufacturing recipe; each ingredient in the process will have a number between 0 and 1, as will a "process" icon (a star) representing research into the manufacturing process itself.

So for example, donuts get none of their quality from the gas used, 25% each from the quality of the flour and eggs used, 15% from the sugar, and 35% from the quality level research for the donut-baking process itself.

Quality filters in proportionally; producing a high quality product involves making sure to increase your R&D levels for the key ingredients. This is particularly the case for products with several steps of manufacture. Just growing fantastic wheat will not make a good donut, as Q40 wheat only provides half the quality of flour, so you'd end up with Q20 flour through naive processing, and flour's a quarter of the quality of a donut, so your naive donut is only Q5.

So quality has a direct impact on sales on the automated markets (the robo-retail consumers, the automated foreign export market). On the B2B market, it will have a less direct effect since human judgement is a big spoiler, but you can take into account whether or not a good is likely to be valued for it's quality when trying to decide how much to spend on R&D; as a donut manufacturer I don't care about natural gas quality so I'm not inclined to pay a premium for it, but if there's a product line where natural gas quality is a key factor someone may be thrilled to pay reasonable prices for Q30 instead of Q0.
posted by cortex at 10:31 AM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for posting this, cortex.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:10 AM on April 6, 2012


Another nice feature would be to automatically set the products you're making in your factories to sell at a certain price, rather then just going into your warehouse.
posted by delmoi at 4:43 PM on April 6, 2012


Oh since the dev is here, another suggestion: datasheet downloads. Set it up so you can download raw data on B2B sales (maybe with the company names pulled out) so that stats nerds can crunch the numbers and figure out what moves make the most sense.

this game is actually really fun. It takes the farmville/cow clicker 'mechanic' and actually creates a fun, interesting and really deep game out of it.
posted by delmoi at 8:57 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've made some rather extensive tweaks to FishBike's Greasemonkey script. It can now display what each factory is producing in addition to the countdown timer, among other improvements.
posted by Mr. Pokeylope at 12:34 AM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, thanks for all of your contributions! I'm surprised you've integrated those scripts with js functions already used in the game. Awesome job!
posted by ratan.joyce at 1:13 AM on April 7, 2012


The B2B market is turning out to be one of the really neat things about this game. There are a lot of aspects to EoS that can be understood numerically, and of course I have a steadily growing set of spreadsheets on the go.

But the B2B market is where you buy and sell from other players, whose motives and actions are very human. So, for example, you might see a player selling something at a high price and also buying up everything being sold cheaper. Is that guy trying to corner the market on this commodity? And if so, what's the best action for me to take in response?

I wasn't really expecting to see any more than the usual sort of gradual downward nudging of selling prices until buying starts to happen, so it's been pretty neat to see other sorts of dynamics happening.
posted by FishBike at 6:49 PM on April 7, 2012


Yeah, the game-iness and volatility in B2B has been really interesting to watch. The utilities market rollercoaster has been maybe the most visible thing there, since everybody needs power and water, and having it dry up and then flood after has been interesting. (And for me not too troubling since I've managed my own sourcing.)

Right now, after really low-ass prices on stuff earlier, it looks like giant of industry Valley Prospector has flooded B2B with multiple lots each of MAXINT water and electricity right at good ol' $0.10. I wonder if that's going to be the new normal.
posted by cortex at 7:48 PM on April 7, 2012


Congrats on the IPO cortex.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 12:44 AM on April 11, 2012


Congrats on the podcast mention too.
posted by PapaLobo at 3:02 PM on April 11, 2012


This is really cool, if a bit overwhelming. I hope to keep up with this and learn more than growing limes.
posted by zardoz at 1:05 AM on April 13, 2012


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