When we began to design Victoria 2 we thought back to the Victoria’s release. One of the problems was the epic cycle of bankruptcy at the start as your economy slowly crashed. Now by 1.04 this problem was pretty much solved but we drew one very important lesson from this. You need a functioning economy for the game to be fun.
They say that money makes the world go round, and when it comes to Victoria nothing is truer. To be able to enjoy the game you are going to need money, in Victoria 2 you need your POPs to have money so you can tax them and this means that you need a working economy. This factor pushed us towards a bit of economic conservatism, insert in contemporary analogy here, because after all if the game ain’t fun you won’t be playing it.
For those of you who did not really play Victoria, let’s have a quick run down of the economic system and how it functioned. At its base you have Resource Gathering Operations (referred to as RGOs). These represent things like farms and mines and produce goods without any inputs. Then you have factories that take inputs from either RGOs and/or other factories and turn them into other things. Then you have a world market that acts as a central clearing house for buying and selling goods.
So this is basically what we were doing. However there was a tragic scene in the office last week. Sometimes you can’t find the words to describe it so you steal someone else’s:
“Where nothing ever grows
No rain or rivers flow
Do they know it's Christmastime at all?”
Now if you ignore the fact that in 1836 most of Africa does not know it is Christmas time for religious reasons we had a global crisis. There wasn’t enough Fish produced to feed the world. Now we figured we could either hold a charity concert or rebalance the economic system a bit. When we decide what to do we’ll let you know but for the moment times are tough. Although on a more a serious note, this is the joy of improving interfaces, it makes it a whole lot easier to work out if things are actually working the way you intend them to. The sooner you can get the basics right the sooner you can move on to adding things.
Which comes to the second reason why we chose to keep the economic system at its base similar. If you think back to the first developer diary I mentioned that we initially starting talking about ideas for a second expansion to Victoria, well the idea was that this would focus very heavily on economics. We felt that there was still a lot mileage in improving the original Victoria’s economic system without having to reinvent the wheel. Now we have mentioned things like unemployment and artisans and these we will return to in future developer diaries but that is it for the time being.
Here is another random Screenshot that you may or may not like.