Money … (sing Pink Floyd song here)
One of the earliest decisions we made on Pride of Nations (formerly known as Vainglory of Nations) was that using a single currency to do everything in a given nation would not be a good thing.
As many of you know, the vast majority of the era's industries were not financed by the State but by private entrepreneurs. On the other hand, the armies and fleets were raised by national governments, using various taxes and exceptional financial measures to cover the rising cost.
So for us, the logical conclusion was that it would not be realistic for the game to mix apples and oranges. We then decided to have two types of “money”: Capital Money and State Funds. Both co-exist within the same nation, but are used for two different purposes. The cool thing about this is that we could then naturally reproduce different nation profiles, like Great Britain with its massive amount of investors (and thus private capital), and on the other end of the spectrum, Czarist Russia with its almost organic incompatibility with rapidly developing industry due to a lack of private money (the Bolsheviks were not yet there, remember!).
Czarist Russia could not just decide to create vast industrial complexes from nothing, even if the State (the Czar) wanted them! This was simply not the way things happened in the 19th century.
These two sides of the same coin are still strongly linked. It is not difficult to imagine that additional capital funds generate even more capital funds, in the good old-fashioned capitalist way: invest in industries to get profits, and get even more private capital - if you're successful, that is. But the player still has some control; after all, PoN is a game, not a dry simulation.
To that end, we are providing the player with a loan system, which will allow them to raise either type of money. The rationale here is that the player can act as both the State and the private sector. As the private sector, the player can raise private funds. The State can also receive private investments; for instance, there were the infamous “Russian Rail Bonds,” when Imperial Russia raised funds internationally to finance its rail network through many private investors who responded to the call. The story is that with the October Revolution, the loan was never repaid. Bottom line: you can break the vicious cycle of not having enough private funding to start your capitalistic venture, but it will be just a bit more costly and take longer than it would for countries with a strong private sector.
The other side of the coin, State Funds, is more straightforward. As the State, you get several tools (also known as Taxes!) to raise funds across various sectors. You can tax the industries, the commercial fleets, the luxury goods, the population, or set a custom tariff. All these options will provide you with State Funds. These funds will be used to pay the upkeep of your army and navy, raise new units and ships, finance colonial expeditions (another big part of the game), place orders (to the private sector!) for new technologies and equipment, and trigger military reforms. Rest assured that you’ll have ample opportunities to spend all of your State money, and then some. You can even lend money to other countries, with a variable interest rate…
That, dear players, is the basis of the economy in PoN. More later on how industry and commerce work…
Russian problem is not about having resources, but having capital to invest in industries and mines.