Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Effects of Scale on a Game World

You know I don’t want to bad mouth my own products, but the thing I am most disappointed in with Fletnern is the city populations. With the populations of the cities, and therefore the countrysides being so low, there is not a lot of wiggle room within the economies. Mainly - Without an overabundance of taxes and governmental spending, there is far less room for organized crime.
How does this matter? Well, in the USA, we have lobbyists - lots and lots of lobbyists. Why? Because government is so freakin’ huge that they can make huge money by sidetracking some of that waste towards their clients. Often the waste or special favors are only a tiny percentage of the outflows, but here - a tiny percentage can be millions of dollars. Look at the well-known cronyism going on: the bridge to nowhere, solar companies getting subsidies in order to go broke, Al Gore’s blatant attempts to pass cap and trade in order to become a billionaire. That doesn’t all work in Fletnern.
On the tax collection side it doesn’t work that well either. The only city where it makes sense to smuggle goods is Brinston, because the tariffs are so high. Smugglers are nearly unheard of in other parts of the world because it isn’t profitable enough to smuggle things into a walled city. Without smuggling of illegal contraband, where does organized crime make all their money? In Fletnern, most things we see as illegal aren’t. Booze, prostitution, gambling - all legal, again taking money out of the pockets of those organized criminals.
Look, if your major cities all have a million citizens, and the ports are crammed with cargo ships going in and out, you might be able to hide graft and corruption within the system, and it may go on for a long time. Sometimes I wish Fletnern had that, but then we wouldn’t be able to suggest that a small but determined party of adventurers could actually change the world - certainly not as easily. Oh well, you take the bad with the good.

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