Issues: Corporations, Exchange Rates

Discussion in 'Corporations Archive' started by kenmario, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. kenmario

    kenmario Corporate Co-Chair

    Right, I haven't spent much time on this sub-forum, but I feel there's a couple of issues with it. This will mainly concern how we could improve the Corporation sub-forum, as well as 'The Price of Pixels' - something I feel that people are a bit confused about, and as a result, are resulting in something kinda dodgy.

    First of all, my issue with the Sub-forum. I personally feel that the issue is not in newcomers to Corporations, but those who have already started. I see people have been starting new corporations, but there's little roleplay or activity in the forum as a whole. I think the issue here is that the people who have already started corporations and have played before are no longer active, meaning that nearly everyone who has, in the past, played actively, is no longer dedicating any time towards their corporations, or the activity of others. I feel that this is one of the few things that are probably not going to improve - if no one is dedicated to attempting roleplay, then there is little to no activity. If we want to see an increase in activity in this section, we need to have people who are guaranteed to try roleplaying and keeping this sub-forum alive, as without them, this will probably start to decay further.

    My second issue is for those who do actively go on this sub-forum: What is the price of a pixel? Though my (little) time spent here, I have seen many people believing in different worths of a pixel - some believe it to be similar to our modern Pounds or Dollars, but others believe it to be worth much more (eg. Bitcoin, worth $442.30 at this time) or much less (eg. Dogecoin, worth $0.00049682 at this time). I think that it would help add a sense of community if we all try to use the same exchange rate. Any idea for the Price of Pixels?
    Shock likes this.
  2. This is an issue that has plagued this subforum in the past quite severely. Several attempts to resuscitate it have been made, none successful. My own experience/advice with these kind of endeavors is to get a lot of people who will just post and create interesting things for this place and try to jumpstart it into some form of self-regulating, self-sustaining form.

    There are some items that are presumably from Earth or of similar make and function. We can correlate the average prices for different currencies and make some sort of price based on that.

  3. SivCorp

    SivCorp Parsec Taste Tester

    I consider Pixels to be worth a little less then current pounds or dollars.

    This is due to the costs in game. 5 pxl for a single uncooked food item? Yeah, that would sell for 2 dollars. So I assume it to be roughly 2 to 1 ratio of pixels to dollars.

    As for the subforum issues.... nababoo summed it up well enough.

    Perhaps there isn't enough structure for the corporations to operate under? Or perhaps there just isn't an interest in this kind of roleplay. I don't really know. I've tried some with my corp... perhaps I'll look at a different angle for some action in here....
  4. illGatsby

    illGatsby Space Spelunker

    Here's my .02 pixels to the conversation. I'm new to the game and the forum, but started playing because this reminded me of Glitch, a game that I spent quite a lot of time delving into. Anyone else here play it?

    That being written, I was preoccupied with the same question with regard to that game; I ran Glitchonomics for a short while and did the following to develop a currency value model:
    • Because grain was the most essential, building-block ingredient to the lowest-level craft objects, I benchmarked the cost of grain (in-game market) with real-world currencies via a Forex API.
    • Because wood != copper != iron..etc., it's tough to propagate from commodity to commodity. The only thing I think that you can do is derive a multiple (i.e. iron is x times more used/expensive, et al.) and then that creates a basis for comparison.
    I haven't done a ton of looking into this because I figured since servers were so individualized there would be little use. But, I think it might be cool to track major servers' differences as if they were separate nations and then bench them against the same currency pairs (I think I did 10-ish).

    I'm interested to start a dialogue about this and maybe come up with a Starbound currency bureau.
    bnj567, nababoo and SivCorp like this.
  5. kenmario

    kenmario Corporate Co-Chair

    Hmm, sounds like a plan. A currency exchange/bureau could be something that could get this forum rebooted! If done correctly, this could create a virtual market. Shares, anyone?
    I'll experiment with a webpage, and see what I can come up with. I'll post back here later on, sharing my ideas, solutions, and thoughts on the currency.
    Also, if we're thinking of the same game, Iused to play it in one of the earliest builds. Got a bit bored after a while, but it looked like it had potential.
    bnj567 likes this.
  6. illGatsby

    illGatsby Space Spelunker

    I don't know that approaching it from a joint-share "company" is the approach I'd take. As a currency organization it'd be much more beneficial to have a group that tracked and reported economic health of a given large-scale community (i.e. a large server). My idea would just be to evaluate the strength of the Pixel-as-currency. That's the win here, I think.
    bnj567, nababoo and kenmario like this.
  7. Dave Combine

    Dave Combine Corporate Co-Chair

    I think the problem with the subforum is the giant heap of corporations that no one pays attention to, and then the other giant heap of absolutely awfull-looking corporations (Most of them are OK, but some of them are just a bad taste to my eyes). It's spammed with weapon manufacturers and mining corporations, plus, once someone is already doing good with one corporation that sells one type of thing, it's extremely hard to get another good one going, considering that the original one already has a monopoly. Most people are discouraged to do alliances with others, or even competition, because they think that's for the roleplaying and clan section. I actually check the starbound forums every day, but not much action happens in the corporations section.

    In my opinion, I think the only thing to save the subforum from Forum-limbo is if the moderators, or even the devs put a little more attention to it. Nababoo is awesome for atleast trying, but one person isn't going to do much. Maybe him and a couple of other picked individuals could start up some sort of major economy with a bunch of other currency details, and actually make corporations have a NET worth. They could organize stocks, have crashes, maybe certain parts are corrupt, input statistics, give rewards to people doing well, there are so many different things that could be done with this place, yet most people think it will be boring because it's just a 'ask-receive-end' sort of deal. Genericorp was the best example of what this subforum should be like, but unfortunately the downspike of active people led them to 'bankruptcy' and he stopped being involved.

    To sum all of that up; if the corporation moderators got a group together and created a giant hub-thing and established an economy with currency, stocks, bank accounts, rewards (Maybe), and other detailed things, this forum would skyrocket to the high heavens. At this point, it's either slide towards being like a mix of a roleplaying clan section, or crumble.

    P.S. Incase my rant actually tends to be a brilliant idea and I'm nominated to be one of those people, count me in!

    P.P.S. We also need a cleanup for some stickied threads. Especially carbonite news. That died off rather quickly.
    Last edited: May 7, 2014
    nababoo likes this.
  8. illGatsby

    illGatsby Space Spelunker

    And, that's part of what I envision for this as well. But, I don't think this is a dev-oriented thing. They're already swamped with beta-doings that need done. We can do this as a community and I am certain that there will be multiple models of how this can be done that will crop up to create competition. Mostly what happens in these kinds of forums is exactly what you described - there's a system that few people are involved in that is a kind of "ad-hoc" agreements-based role-play, essentially. What I aim to do (already working on a proof-of-concept system based on my old Glitchonomics model) is to begin seeing what kinds of transactions and value there is within a given (small, active) server cluster. Maybe even host a Starbound server that acts as a financial intermediary, and ranking, recording and facilitating transactions on a developed and automated transaction system. So, coding a very (emphasis on the very) basic market system once I've established how value works.

    Thus, by removing it from a forum, it will get better. I'm looking at calling the service "PixelWire" (though the best domains are taken, I may adopt the .org or hyphenate it). I just need a solid weekend to sit down the API and navigate its pathways.
    nababoo likes this.
  9. kenmario

    kenmario Corporate Co-Chair

    This is definetly something I agree with. I feel that there is too little focus on keeping corporations active, and too much focus on relying on others to roleplay - if we want this to start becoming a proper part of the forums, or even a website in its own right, we may need to takeit into our own hands. The creation of an API to analyze tradings and purchases is a great idea, but would need someone who has experience with lua, c++ and some basic web protocol. As much as I'd love to start looking into the code of Starbound myself, I'm dealing with some HTML, PHP and Javascript at the moment, so I feel my efforts would be better used towards the web portion of a potential project. Once a basic currency exchange is set up, we could see what happens from there.

    By creating a project such as this, I'd be killing two birds with one stone. Once I get access to my computer, I'll be able to discuss this more thoroughly - maybe even start organizing this a bit better...
  10. I'm certainly ready for a third go at this (and this time with other, very dedicated individuals), and since I now have ample reserves of free time I am very open for collaboration.

    In regards to currency, creating a single system that can track the differing values of various groups would work best. However interesting it would be to allow the head of the currency bureau to sell parts of itself, it could easily turn into the only kind of anarchy we do not want -- a separation between what various corporations believe to be true.

    The other services - PixelWire and others - are going to be an excellent addition to our arsenal. Thanks for putting in the time and effort to create an entire website for us :D

    With the support of a few more people I would be willing to participate in the mercantile organization of a small isolated 'sector' of space. Create some rival companies and just see how things proceed in that small test environment so we can test our economic models and see how viable our various strategies and tactics are.

    Also, another idea that just popped into my head is the addition of a set start amount of pixels for every newcomer. They'd have 10,000 pixels (or some other arbitrary number) and be free to use that amount to invest in corporations, perhaps start something of their own, go adventuring with that, and gradually increase their pixel amount. That way we could give newcomers a set starting capital; however, this introduces inflation, which I am of no aptitude to understand.

    We should clean up all of those stickied threads in one swoop by sending a PM with the consensus of the organizers (i.e. when we have some stuff under our belts to prove that we're committed). That should attract the attention of the mod team that this place is alive again and we could request things in that PM as well.
  11. Dave Combine

    Dave Combine Corporate Co-Chair

    It's not exactly alive yet, but we're no doubt somewhat on the right track.

    About the starting amount of pixels that you threw out there - it is a definite must, because it will limit the quality items that people can make at the start (For example, a person whom just joined can't make a company that sells things worth trillions.). The one problem would be inflation if to many people joined. Maybe a good fix would to be introducing taxes and the bank idea. The bank gives out the loans to people who want to start, eventually they have to pay it off, and then there will be taxes and such. People who don't pay will become immediate rivals of the bank and possibly other corporations, but people who do will be more likely to get more loans, thus making them able to create more advanced and expensive items.

    I'm no economy expert, but if inflation were to occur, then we would have to make the bank have a limited amount of money, making a set amount of money throughout EVERYONES corporation. I don't think that we should worry about this to much though, considering there is only about 5-15 actually active corporations out there, and we haven't even started to release this plan. I think if we do go through with this, we'll be able to figure it out.
    nababoo likes this.
  12. SivCorp

    SivCorp Parsec Taste Tester

    Mmmm... I like what I'm reading.

    Perhaps we should set up the supply chains that need to be fulfilled too, and have an arbitrary (and overpriced) corporation fulfill the holes in it until other players fill the roles. Figure out the supply and demand scheme to at least get it started.
  13. illGatsby

    illGatsby Space Spelunker

    One way I've thought about this is to approach it as personal wealth. Market capitalization/book value of a given corporation is based, in some measure, on assets. The method I would use would to be to total up a person's inventory/group's inventory as their "market cap."

    This would require a contracts system through which players would make requests for goods and those goods would be fulfilled, a third-party agent verifying and completing the contract.
  14. If someone defaults on a loan, what exactly happens to that money, and what are the repercussions (in both real life and corporation context)?
  15. illGatsby

    illGatsby Space Spelunker

    Loaning is problematic. I would err on the side of avoiding any arbitration/mediation of that process. I'm hesitant to embrace a platform that "sells" anything to a player; I practice economic study more than gainful pursuits. But, I am one voice - this community seems to want to have a financial intermediary.
  16. What other financial body would fulfill the role provided by banks? Not many others have the capital or the willingness to lend on whenever it's requested.
  17. kenmario

    kenmario Corporate Co-Chair

    I can see this project starting to take form - thank god.
    A dedicated team working on a project like this wouldn't just save this forum, it could start someting new!
    I fel that loans would be the bestvway to start off a corporation. The more money, the better a start, but also harder to.repay fully, eg higher interest rates. The idea of currency pricing also works into this, as interest rates are affected by the price of acurrency. If it is worth more, interest rates for both borrowing and keeping money ten to be higher.
    If we want to guarantee people to play, then they'll need a sense of achievement or success by playing for the 'less cool' corporations, mainly the ones that produced basic resources, such as electricity, fabric, metal, wood, etc. I have no idea how we could do this, but I imagine it would be similar to an achievement system.
    By allowing shares, we could create a system that can support other companies in the future. Instead of loaninng, we could have an admin corporation that actually buys a, say, 50% stake in a new corporation to provide money, whilst providing a challenge to the user to win back full control of their company.
    Like I said, once I grab my computer, I can discuss this with you guys further.
  18. Dave Combine

    Dave Combine Corporate Co-Chair

    I would say we would basically need to reboot the entire corporation subforum (Or atleast wipe off the undedicated corps) in order to get any sort of project going. It would be to messy and clutters out train of thought on this. So, for now, let's pretend we're making the corporation subforum for the very first time - no existing corps yet, no history, no NOTHIN'.

    Here are some definite musts of what the project needs to introduce.

    - There has to be some sort of main-hub that anyone can go to for help. A good idea is to make a bank for everyone. They could make loans, advertise others, publicly denounce bad CEOs, and give financial help aswell as helping newcomers understand what the hell happened to the new corporations section. This could also be a place for investments, interest payments, taxes, stocks; the list goes on.

    - The main game of having a corporation would to have the most money. Because of this, maybe a 'scoreboard' type deal on the banks homepage would be necessary. An easy way to keep from cluttering is to only display the top 10 or 20 competitors.

    - Every corporation will need to keep track of their own current amount of pixels that they own. A problem with this could be people adding funds to their account just because they can.

    - Every corporation would need a payday. This would be so that corporations get some sort of income, even when they rarely make sales. This makes it so it pretends that the players on the subforum arent the other customers, and corporations aren't 100% dependent on them. A problem with this would be keeping track of everyones payday and corporation, although a spreadsheet made by someone could probably fix this.

    - Someone would need to act as a peacekeeper. By peacekeeper, I mean someone who makes sure no one is doing stupid crap with corporations and causing loop-holes in the beta system. This is the problem within itself.

    - Random events need to occur. This could be a stock crash, a bank robbery, or other things. The problem with this would be that people could think the randomness is 'unfair' and they could greedily not be effected by it.

    - Inactive corporations need to be punished and removed. This is to avoid cluttering and a lot of unecessary work for the bank. The problem is, we don't necessarily have the power to do that. This would also give chance to other new corporations incase a very successful one suddenly went down for no reason, thus hogging the top of the scoreboard.

    - Competition needs to be between most corporations. This is so the subforum is god-awfully boring as hell as it kind of is now with literally no competition whatsoever. Infact, the main reason that the forum died in the first place was because there was little interaction between others when it came towards business between them. It became dull, short, and meaningless considering there was no consequences and no rewards (Everyone had as much pixels as their heart desired). There needs to be rewards, consequences, allies, adversaries, envy, and greed, otherwise this will just die off as quickly as it did before.

    This is all I could come up with off of the bat, but there is surely more we need to think of before we can consider asking any help for this.
    Cloudhopper likes this.
  19. Initially we could have a staff-run 'central bank' that provides the capital for the very first corporations. It would start off small, so as time progressed it would begin to become overshadowed by larger banks. For example, if corporations were to ally with each other in big trading blocs (i.e. guild alliances) we could have the heads of the larger alliances act as the central money-manager for their group, and give incentives to giving newcomers loans for non-aligned corporations. That way we would have the least amount of admin interference as possible.

    However, there may not even be a need for a initial central bank, as the first generation will literally be able to do anything without competition and establish monopolies -- for a time. Do you guys agree on this?

    Kenmario's point about having a sense of accomplishment is very important. The way I see it, there is no question that there will need to be some sort of administrating structure. Without it people can say they have trillions without an ounce of work and the system would be very vulnerable to any mischievous individuals. The question in this case would be how much order that system would have to institute in order to provide the optimum playing environment.

    However much control it will exert, I agree with Dave Combine that the majority of the enjoyment must derive from player activities.

    Perhaps a central, miscellaneous discussion miniforum (if we're thinking in the context you proposed) for people to say general things on their mind?

    Large-scale events should have the general consensus of the main participants. Otherwise there's not much anyone else can do but react -- they can't exactly go back in time and save them.

    Perhaps we could make a system in which you have to renew your corporation liscense periodically in order to be officially considered as a corporation -- every four months, say, you pay some number of pixels. If you don't, your corporation thread automatically moves to the inactive section, perhaps?

    Agreed. This is perhaps the most important aspect. In order to effect this we require a larger userbase or some method of publicizing the epic deeds of the unscrupulous Corporations subforum.
    kenmario likes this.
  20. illGatsby

    illGatsby Space Spelunker

    Perhaps the central bank comes later. Allow a few willing participants to put some value/volume into the system and then when there's a necessary "prop" that needs to be introduced, we have some historical behavior to model it and through which to introduce it as a baseline.

    Central contacts are a great idea, "trade representatives," if you will. Gives a face to the otherwise faceless. This could be part of a corporate charter that we require which enumerates roles and the persons that act in those capacities.

    Somehow value and trade must rooted in pseudo-real things. For example, valuation needs to have a tangible model as to what defines "corporation" - the assets of individual players? I think (and that's without consulting the API) that it's possible to access player inventories to do this calculation.

    Then, once valuation has been done - there's got to be some construct (platform) for non-ASCII transactions; fiat moves based in forum posts doesn't seem to be viable. That is, unless, we had an ancillary site that did tracking and had public displays of wealth, trades and the aforementioned contracts system. This might supply the necessary "go-to" for the central banking entity that has been brought up a couple times. This entity seems, to me, to want to be a server in tandem with a tracking site that allows us all a central meeting place and a location to transact our business.

    The inactivity penalty is a great idea, especially the licensure.

    I agree with the major downsides of the random event line of thought. I like it, as a pure-play intense experience player, but I can see that quite a few would not like it unless we built it into a set of rules that surrounded this making it a "metagame" in which participants are always aware that something could take place.

Share This Page