Developer Diary 17 – The World Market and Buying

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King

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For those of you who are not familiar with Victoria, let’s start with a brief run down of how things were in the original game. Victoria had the concept of a world market, which acted as a central clearinghouse for goods. RGOs and factories sold there, and countries and POPs bought from it. Countries bought and sold internally first and then the remainder were dumped onto the market for others to buy and sell. Now, an interesting abstraction was that the world market bought everything regardless of there being any demand in the game and then sold whatever people wanted. This had the side effect of making the world market a huge source of input money into the system.

We have kept the core concept of a world market and internal buying. This gives us a nice familiar foundation to work from. However, we felt this was not going to be enough. We have made several additions to how the world market worked to ensure that it ran better. Economic change is the second key theme of the Victoria era (on top of political change) so it forms the second pillar of the game.

The first change we made had nothing to do with the world market directly; however it was central to how the market functioned. We had made the decision to keep the identical trade goods from Victoria, so we went through and looked at supply and demand for each one. We then changed the demand model to ensure that every good had some sort of constant demand. For example, we have removed rubber from the start of the game (no one wants it) and added it back in later, when people will start to want it. We have added the Artisan to help create that demand. These two things in conjunction will allow the world market to function better as a pricing mechanism.

This feeds into our second change; the world market no longer buys everything. If only 90% of the production could be bought then only 90% is bought. The remaining 10% is lost to the system and all the producers only receive 90% of the money they would have got. What this means is that when supply is greater than demand, less efficient producers will be forced out of that market for good. This makes for a more realistically functioning economy. The market then looks at total produced and total bought. If less is bought than produced then the price of the good falls, if as much of the good is bought as sold the price rises. Now, this does mean that there is no steady price for a good, but it should lead to a more realistic price model. Finally, we don’t have lots of money being pumped into the system from nowhere, because the market does not buy goods on its own, it simply acts as a clearing house for goods (as it should do).

On to blockades! I am not going to go into too much detail here about how blockades are calculated, but I will tell you how it will effect the world market. We calculate a blockade percentage; this then affects the prices of goods inside your country. The more you are blockaded the less money you receive for selling goods and the more you have to pay to buy goods (it is assumed that evil middle men are taking profits.) Thus as a blockade tightens your POPs earn less and less money (leaving less for you to tax) and have to spend more and more money. Not getting goods is bad for POPs; it increases their militancy and their desire for reform. Thus blockade becomes a weapon of war.

Finally, let’s talk a bit about the internal market. In Victoria it was simply your own country, but now Great Powers have an expanded internal market. It is not just their country, but countries inside their sphere of influence as well. Thus, you can use warfare (or diplomacy) to carve out commercial advantages for your country. You have these captive markets that buy from you first and then the rest of the world and will sell to you first and then the rest of the world. This allows the creation of an informal empire. As Britain you have no need to go conquering in South America; bring these countries into your sphere of influence and they will automatically orientate their economies towards you. Similarly, the USA may want to intervene in Central America to make sure the United Fruit Company maintains its favoured position.

We are looking to give the player realistic alternatives to simply painting the map their colour. Commercial influence can be just as useful, sometimes better. Our diplomatic model allows you to continually compete with other Great Powers for other countries to get preferential trade rights
 

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Brownbeard

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Sounds brilliant. Reminds me of Imperialism I.

Other than that, nice to see Austria painted white.
 

ashandresash

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Wonderful

Two of my dreams about Vicky2 come true (blockade as an efficiency factor, affecting prices)... and captive markets.

Best DD so far (and after 16, that's much). Excellent! :)
 

Balesir

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Nice! Especially the last bit about spheres of (trade) influence. Makes a lot of sense.
 

Sult

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Looking at that map, is Norway a part of Sweden because personal unions can't be conceptualised in-game? Norway and Sweden had separate governments, but the same head of state, and it's a bit disheartening to see the state of Norway like this. I know Paradox Interactive is a Swedish company, and I hope it's not nationalism that's getting in the way of portraying the politics of Sweden-Norway.
 

Taylor

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I love the idea that you can no longer dump whatever you overproduce on the world market. Also the sphere of influence-market thing sounds really neat!

And: I love how the names on the map in the screenshot now bend a little, it looks so good!

Thanks King, for another great DD, I so wanna play this game :D!

edit: Idea: You could make it such that when a country is at the edge of the screen, the name of the country gets shifted so you can still read it. E.g. In the screenshot, the name 'Russia' (which I assume is somewhere in Siberia), could now be written vertically through where Belarus is nowadays.
 

King

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Looking at that map, is Norway a part of Sweden because personal unions can't be conceptualised in-game? Norway and Sweden had separate governments, but the same head of state, and it's a bit disheartening to see the state of Norway like this. I know Paradox Interactive is a Swedish company, and I hope it's not nationalism that's getting in the way of portraying the politics of Sweden-Norway.

No I am Scottish so it is unlikely to be Swedish Nationalism involved here.
 

Snaake

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This is quite a fundamental change in the way the WM works, and a quite welcome one. What do you mean by "less efficient producers will be forced out of the market for good?" Of course artisans will stop making the good after that month if the price of the good falls too low, and the AI should close down factories at some point too, but do you have the direct control to close a factory as the player, if you're losing profits this way?

Finally some information on blockades (is this the mentioned "gunboat diplomacy" or is that something different?) and spheres of incfluence!

And a third question, this one about the screenshot: it seems that POPs are no longer abstractions (1 "person" in a POP ~= 1 family), but actual numbers of people working/earning their living off an RGO/factory/other (including underage and otherwise non-working family members, probably). Am I correct?

Oh, and is "mild winter" tied to the province, or a random effect per region every year or something, and even if not the latter, is a modifier such as the latter possible (something that would affect eg. grain/fruit production in an area or even globally for a set time period)?
 

unmerged(26464)

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Looking at that map, is Norway a part of Sweden because personal unions can't be conceptualised in-game? Norway and Sweden had separate governments, but the same head of state, and it's a bit disheartening to see the state of Norway like this. I know Paradox Interactive is a Swedish company, and I hope it's not nationalism that's getting in the way of portraying the politics of Sweden-Norway.

It's a conspiracy!

You should join those anarchic bomb throwers in Bergen.
 

King

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This is quite a fundamental change in the way the WM works, and a quite welcome one. What do you mean by "less efficient producers will be forced out of the market for good?" Of course artisans will stop making the good after that month if the price of the good falls too low, and the AI should close down factories at some point too, but do you have the direct control to close a factory as the player, if you're losing profits this way?

Finally some information on blockades (is this the mentioned "gunboat diplomacy" or is that something different?) and spheres of incfluence!

And a third question, this one about the screenshot: it seems that POPs are no longer abstractions (1 "person" in a POP ~= 1 family), but actual numbers of people working/earning their living off an RGO/factory/other (including underage and otherwise non-working family members, probably). Am I correct?

Oh, and is "mild winter" tied to the province, or a random effect per region every year or something, and even if not the latter, is a modifier such as the latter possible (something that would affect eg. grain/fruit production in an area or even globally for a set time period)?

Factories that don't make money close (unless subsidised), Artisans that don't make money develove into something is.

Gunboat diplomacy is something else.

A POP is still one family

Mild winter is a climate for the province and it effects the number of people that can work in a RGO.
 

Woody Man

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Love the idea of the economic spheres of influence, and by the Gods, that map is probably the best I've seen from Paradox, sooo clean and defined.
 

Grubnessul

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Oh pretty map.
 

Sult

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It's a conspiracy!

You should join those anarchic bomb throwers in Bergen.

What a coincidence, I am already in Bergen and anarchistic.

No I am Scottish so it is unlikely to be Swedish Nationalism involved here.

The other developers are Swedish, and you are basing your work off the first game, where Sweden also owned Norway. But I remember that in the first Victoria, the personal union between the UK and Hannover is portrayed by Hannover being the UK's vassal until Victoria takes the throne in the UK.
 

ravensuominen

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Excellent, as usual! :)

The price determining mechanism is the one thing that can totally break the game, if it doesn't work properly. My only fear regarding V2 development is that somewhere towards the end of the work you notice you can't get the price mechanism to work properly (A bit like the weather in HoI 3 1.0) and you are forced to make a shortcut or two to get the game released. It would be a great loss.

But I have my fingers, toes and eyebrows crossed that you can make it. ;)

Edit: Forgot to say that I REALLY like the map. The coast and lakes of Finland have never been represented so nicely in any game! The name labels are much better now. "Sweden" might be in a bit too big letters, though... (sorry, all the Swedes in PI...)
 
Last edited:

Snaake

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Looking at that map, is Norway a part of Sweden because personal unions can't be conceptualised in-game? Norway and Sweden had separate governments, but the same head of state, and it's a bit disheartening to see the state of Norway like this. I know Paradox Interactive is a Swedish company, and I hope it's not nationalism that's getting in the way of portraying the politics of Sweden-Norway.

I raised a similar question about Finland, which was ruled by the Russian Emperor, who was also the Grand Duke of Finland. I'll admit it's a matter of opinion/preference on whether it should be a satellite or a fully integrated part of the nation in the start. But at least this is an easy "mod" to make: Load as Sweden(/Russia), release Norway(/Finland) as a satellite, and sell them the provinces you want them to have, then load as your preferred country.

I'm also loving the whole idea of artisans more and more. No longer should there be such a huge hassle with getting machine parts in the start of the game to get your industrialisation started, as artisans will likely produce some, thus allowing for a slow but continuous industrialisation at first, speeding up when more machine parts factories get up and running for proper mass production (and the artisans move to luxury goods, meaning you don't have to make a factory each of those either). Explosives, artillery and steamer convoys could also be problematic to purchase in Vicky (for colonisation).

Will there be other goods than rubber that will be moved into the "discovered later" category. Oil was one such good in the start, what about opium for example? Demand and prices were quite low at least in the start of the game in Vicky1. Or maybe there should be less opium in the start some grain provinces should change to opium later?

Can you say any more about how you've created constant demand for everything? Artisans and requiring cement for maintenance have been mentioned, and the POP demand amounts will likely be tweaked, but what else? Paper for education (as POPS are no longer promoted manually, you at least don't need to stockpile it for that purpose)?

Edit: oo, Province size! Huge african ones: *10, Nice: *2 (or even 1)?
 

King

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Excellent, as usual! :)

The price determining mechanism is the one thing that can totally break the game, if it doesn't work properly. My only fear regarding V2 development is that somewhere towards the end of the work you notice you can't get the price mechanism to work properly (A bit like the weather in HoI 3 1.0) and you are forced to make a shortcut or two to get the game released. It would be a great loss.

But I have my fingers, toes and eyebrows crossed that you can make it. ;)

This is system is already implemented. We already have a few Betas and we already starting to test and balance out this system. So we are far further along with this key feature than weather was in HoI3. Thus we are in a better position to ensure that the game is good shape balance wise for release.
 

King

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The other developers are Swedish, and you are basing your work off the first game, where Sweden also owned Norway. But I remember that in the first Victoria, the personal union between the UK and Hannover is portrayed by Hannover being the UK's vassal until Victoria takes the throne in the UK.

It was my choice to model things this way for balance purposes.
 

King

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Can you say any more about how you've created constant demand for everything? Artisans and requiring cement for maintenance have been mentioned, and the POP demand amounts will likely be tweaked, but what else? Paper for education (as POPS are no longer promoted manually, you at least don't need to stockpile it for that purpose)?

Edit: oo, Province size! Huge african ones: *10, Nice: *2 (or even 1)?

Well I have drip fed the information about creating this constant demand in previous developer diaries. Take small arms for example, military units now use that for maintenance instead of cash, this means that countries will always be buying a small ammmount of small arms to maintain thier armies. This in turn encourages artisans to manufacture them, meaning that buy orders are easier to fufill if you want more to raise more troops.

Province size is another thing that effects how many people can work there.
 

ravensuominen

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This is system is already implemented. We already have a few Betas and we already starting to test and balance out this system. So we are far further along with this key feature than weather was in HoI3. Thus we are in a better position to ensure that the game is good shape balance wise for release.

Happy happy happy! :D