I've been following this thread with interest for a while now..
Food is quite interesting as a currecy: cheap, universally useful and potentially species transferable if it were broken down into it's most base constituents (it needn't be perishable).
Likewise fuel could be quite interesting as a currency (although that could have more serious game ramifications...)
Sorry.. but as logical as the idea is in some senses, food as currency in Oolite would be a horrible idea. A Cobby3 could barely carry enough food to pay for a single TC of computers. You'd have to up the
value of food massively. Fuel would present similar problems.
That said, in a small community, what replaces money is Debt. As in "I'm in your debt".
People give others services, and thingies, to lessen their debt.
The debt can't be calculated precisely, and everybody young is in the debt of the elders for their care, so finally debt is mostly psychological
Funnily enough, the young/old debt is something that most small (tribal) communities don't
The only thing is there is no interest rate in a small community
It's called exaggeration and slowly increses over time from helping a friend to lay a few bricks into building his entire house for him
Again, in such communities, that generally does not
happen. Such people tend to keep a very clear picture in mind of what they owe to whom.
This could be interesting in a game: to instil a particular, cooperative mindset...
I very much like this idea.
Another approach would be to have persistent NPCs
The game Escape Velocity
of fond memory - another space-trade-and-combat game with user-generated expansions (albeit one played in 2D) - had a system for this, and it might be worth thinking about. Most NPCs were randomly generated, but a few were of a special class called "dudes". "Dudes" persisted over time, and had names, and named ships, and faction affiliations. They could, of course, be killed, but only by the player - or at least, only if the player was present to see it happen. This bit of player-centricity was fine in EV
, and I think would be OK in Oolite
too - not least because Oolite
is much bigger and has far more NPCs. This might sound strange but I think that any persistent NPCs in Oolite
would be harder for the player to spot, and wouldn't be quite so obvious as they were in EV
A few player-centric NPCs, used judiciously, could really make the game much more personal, providing partners, acquaintances, allies, and of course enemies. It would also be a great way to bring assassination/bounty-hunting into the core game's contract system.
I like this one also.
Maybe would could start with connecting Broadcast Coms and Life in the Frontier: help trader in distress, find them at the bar where they offer you to deliver a nearby parcel contract for them (more or less easy parcel contract points). Not immediately after though, because the player is likely to use Torus/injectors so seeing the trader there already would be a little weird. We could also connect with In-System Taxi ("hey, I have this customer here that I was supposed to taxi to that station over there but I'd prefer not to right now cause my injectors are broken"). The victims of the Black Monks are good candidates too. It looks like we could have an OXP that offers an API for this OXPs to register "debts" on one hand, and provide characters that offer contracts, missions, etc. on the other hand.
More good ideas.
There's the other side of the coin, too … debts that the player owes to other people. Mostly, this would be NPCs looking for revenge. It would have to be occasional, and signalled to the player too - e.g. a comms message, "This is for my father/mother/brother/sister/son/daughter/friend/etc.". E.g.
"Hello. My name is [insert name]. You killed my father/mother/brother/sister/son/daughter/friend/etc. Prepare to die."
It looks like we could have an OXP that offers an API for this OXPs to register "debts" on one hand, and provide characters that offer contracts, missions, etc. on the other hand.
Proposal: an OXP that offers an API for this OXPs to register "debts" on one hand, and provide characters with a history of positive / negative events towards the player to be used in contracts, missions, etc.
The events might be considered "already avenged" or "already paid for".
Edit: I just read Astrobe idea, it's quite cool :p
Lots of oxps begin to be interesting mainly when other oxps interact.
I use Snoopers in Diplomacy, and it's quite cool, methinks.
I hope someday others will use Diplomacy :p
I think this is proof of the maturation of Oolite/oxp that these ideas are developed.
I like where this is going.
I'd like to recommend some reading matter for those interested in these proposals.
The first is noted anthropologist Marshall Sahlins' book "Stone Age Economics
The other is David Graeber's "Debt: The First 5000 Years
". (Warning; this will turn everything you thought you knew about the history of money on its head. You may never see the world in quite the same way again.)