Thought experiment: no currency

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Day
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Re: Thought experiment: no currency

Post by Day »

Agreed.

Yet, psychologically, the mindsets are very different.

Some in our society pretend that they're disconnected from others (rich from poor peoples, to take a blatantly exaggerated example).
And some pretend they can do it solo: eg the american myth of the self-made-man.

This could be interesting in a game: to instil a particular, cooperative mindset...

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Re: Thought experiment: no currency

Post by Astrobe »

Day wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:14 pm
So...
A no currency system could be based on psychological debt, gifts (services or thingies), and current needs...
It immediately made me think about the old topic of interactions with NPCs. The straightforward approach is to convert those debts into the "reputation" currency but I've already mentioned that. Another approach would be to have persistent NPCs with simulated trade routes, so that maybe it could be interesting to stay in a group of systems or follow a group of traders so that this "debt exchange" as a chance to happen. Technically, perhaps when the player answers a distress call or is "saved" by hunters or passing traders, this could "instantiate" (a) persistent NPC(s). I imagine a scenario where you are scooped by pirates after ejecting, and then they put you in a Sidewinder and you can't do anything but do as they say until you get the chance to escape their claws.

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Re: Thought experiment: no currency

Post by Day »

Astrobe wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:50 am
It immediately made me think about the old topic of interactions with NPCs. The straightforward approach is to convert those debts into the "reputation" currency but I've already mentioned that.
Exactly. Only it could be interesting to have a reputation balance per NPC :p
Astrobe wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:50 am
Another approach would be to have persistent NPCs with simulated trade routes, so that maybe it could be interesting to stay in a group of systems or follow a group of traders so that this "debt exchange" as a chance to happen. Technically, perhaps when the player answers a distress call or is "saved" by hunters or passing traders, this could "instantiate" (a) persistent NPC(s).
Et voila!

I so love this idea! I imagine these NPCs could be reused for future interactions :p

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Re: Thought experiment: no currency

Post by Disembodied »

Astrobe wrote: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.

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Re: Thought experiment: no currency

Post by Astrobe »

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.

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Re: Thought experiment: no currency

Post by Disembodied »

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."

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Re: Thought experiment: no currency

Post by Astrobe »

Yes! So from a programming perspective, "supplier" OXPs could register a pilot, a ship, if it is friendly or hostile, and a text describing their motives ("you saved my tails at Diso" or "You killed my clone, you spawn of a mussel!"). A "consumer" OXP can then pick a friendly or hostile NPC depending on its needs, and use the description in its dialogs.

Looks simple on the paper. However, perhaps too simple. It would be bad if players would keep meeting with the same OXP that would say again and again "You saved my life at Diso". We might need an "engine" to make the relationships evolve. For instance, when a friendly NPC gets killed, its friends might change their stance to "You were good to Maya, I won't forget that" (I think it's ok if the motivations and the rewards are sometimes out of sync, different cultures have different codes of honor). Or if the player kills this friend (custom assassination contract from Random Hits?), its friends should say "You won't get away with this, you traitor!" or "I know it was an accident". So something like: it should be possible to register a group of NPCs, and the "engine" should manage the changes in their states of mind when something happens.

That looks interesting but not worth anything if the OXP authors are not interested in interfacing with it.

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Re: Thought experiment: no currency

Post by Day »

Astrobe wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:57 am
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.

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Re: Thought experiment: no currency

Post by Diziet Sma »

I've been following this thread with interest for a while now..

Redspear wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:29 pm
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 price value of food massively. Fuel would present similar problems.

Day wrote: 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 practice.

Redspear wrote:
Day wrote: 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 :wink:

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.

Day wrote: This could be interesting in a game: to instil a particular, cooperative mindset...

I very much like this idea.

Disembodied wrote:
Astrobe wrote: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.

Astrobe wrote: 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.

Disembodied wrote: 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."

Agreed.

Day wrote:
Astrobe wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:57 am
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.)
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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Re: Thought experiment: no currency

Post by Redspear »

Diziet Sma wrote:
Redspear wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:29 pm
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 price value of food massively. Fuel would present similar problems.

In a typical game sense I would agree. It's value should be sufficiently universal but the supply/demand ratio (likely) dictates it's low value... Be interesting if the ratio were shifted and food was in great demand (interesting that is, not necessarily desirable).

Diziet Sma wrote:
Redspear wrote:
Day wrote: 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 :wink:

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.

As you say, generally and tend to... Interest accumulates over time, just as memory tends to deteriorate.

I'll admit to knowing more about behaviour than economics but I think that's the point...
Most individuals do a passable impersonation of being reasonable in their public interactions but petty disagreements and considerable differences of valuation (often in a non-monetary sense, especially for services rendered) are common to all societies I think. The difference is in what structures exist in order to resolve them.

Anyway, without rereading the whole thread I'm not sure how pertinent this is :lol:
"With our thoughts, we make the world" :-) - - - Game too slow for you? Masslock Compensators - - - Trouble getting out of trouble? Indestructible Injectors

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Re: Thought experiment: no currency

Post by Diziet Sma »

Redspear wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:37 pm
As you say, generally and tend to...

Well, those were just to cover my arse in case I was wrong.. I'm not aware of any. But if I speak in absolutes, I've no doubt someone will come along to prove me wrong. :mrgreen:
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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Re: Thought experiment: no currency

Post by Tichy »

I'm reading with interest. I really like where this is going and thanks Diziet Sma for citing David Graeber's book. I was going to suggest it myself.
Another form of economy, based on "reputation" instead of material possessions is described in Accelerando by Charles Stross. In the field of post-scarcity economy, there's Murray Bookchin's "Post Scarcity Anarchism" https://libcom.org/files/Post-Scarcity% ... okchin.pdf

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Re: Thought experiment: no currency

Post by Diziet Sma »

Tichy wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:55 pm
thanks Diziet Sma for citing David Graeber's book. I was going to suggest it myself.
Did you catch where he recently mentioned he and Marshall Sahlins are actually going to be writing a book together? I'm practically drooling at the very idea.

Tichy wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:55 pm
Another form of economy, based on "reputation" instead of material possessions is described in Accelerando by Charles Stross. In the field of post-scarcity economy, there's Murray Bookchin's "Post Scarcity Anarchism" https://libcom.org/files/Post-Scarcity% ... okchin.pdf
Another very interesting look at how a moneyless anarchic-libertarian society could function is in the excellent sci-fi book, The Great Explosion, by Eric Frank Russell, the final third of which is based on his short story And Then There Were None.
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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Re: Thought experiment: no currency

Post by Day »

Diziet Sma wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:48 am
Day wrote: 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 practice.
Huhh? Hmm, I think I was not clear, because it seems to me I say the same thing as Graeber ;) (nice link, I think I'd like to read this book).
I mean that there is an unspoken debt owed by the youngs to the olds to have been fed/educated/etc. And there generally is a custom that old people are taken care of by younger people (relative to them).
This debt isn't calculated, it couldn't be (what's the value of life? and of life as an infrastructure for other lifes?), so it is psychological debt in practice.

Well, I think we say the same things.

Diziet Sma wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:48 am
Redspear wrote:
Day wrote: 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 :wink:
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.
@Redspear: :D
@Diziet Sma: agreed. Yet, there are customs about not reimbursing too soon (meaning you don't want to create a relationship) or too late (meaning one should only help you if one hasn't need of the money/object/work equivalent for the foreseeable future). This is a social equivalent to interest rate.

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Re: Thought experiment: no currency

Post by Switeck »

As already mentioned, in the absence of credits there's still trade items and most importantly Gold/Plat/Gems.

Now the near-max trading value of a full onboard safe is:
499 kg Gold x ~40 credits each = 19960 credits
499 kg Platinum x ~80 cr. = 39920 credits
499,999 g Gemstones x ~20 cr. = 9999980 credits
Total: 10,059,860 credits

A player is unlikely to amass that amount quickly.
Each TC cargo space could contain 40k credits worth of Gold or 80k credits worth of Platinum.
How much a TC of Gemstones could cost I'll let someone else calculate!

The equipment on your ship is also very important trade items.
Got "spare" lasers on the side mounts, sell/exchange them to afford something else.
Galactic Hyperdrives and Gal. Hyper Pods are worth a fortune at isolated/unreachable systems. (This really needs to be an OXP/OXZ for the dead-end worlds!)
Mining equipment especially might be desired at a Rock Hermit/asteroid field.
Missiles+bombs in war zones, with Cobra 3 and certain larger craft being able to transport 4 or more there.

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