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Currencies for space pseudo-MMO (Forums : Ideas & Concepts : Currencies for space pseudo-MMO) Locked
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Jan 8 2013, 10:42am Anchor

Me and my team is currently developing a pseudo-MMO space combat sim (more info at Indiedb.com).
The game will have one main currency and several crafting resources.
But what should we call them?

Current candidates for crafting resources:

Carbon
We speculate that carbon will be very important because of potential applications of carbon nanotubes to make faster circuits, store hydrogen fuel and making very endurable structures. Carbon is very common in the universe.
Copper
This metal is crucial for most circuit boards, and will probably play an important role in the future as well.
Uranium
Having potentials for both warfare and power supply, this may play an important roll. However, its radioactive nature makes it a very rare metal in the universe, so this could be the most precious resource.

Current candidates for the main currency:

Credits
Very common currency in space games. Rather boring, but hard to misinterpret.

Can you think of any other suggestions? Leave a reply and I will add it to the list for discussion.

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See this list of abundance of elements in the universe for inspiration and to estimate how valuable a resource could be

Edited by: robinerd

Jan 8 2013, 10:55am Anchor

Gold coins xD
But if seriously maybe : chips, chits, bits, Money, gems.. (The first two actually were a currency in movies, cant remember which ones though..)
-Good luck with your game!

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Jan 8 2013, 12:48pm Anchor

You could go for an acronym taken from whatever lore you're creating. Obviously whatever the ruling body is would effect it like, Imperial Currency : IC, or something to that effect. Also it would probably be best to have something pronouncable, similar to ISK in EVE, unlike what I already suggested!

Also, if you weren't aware, nuclear power is moving towards fusion, rather than fission (the process that Uranium is used in), which is less dangerous and most likely woudln't require materials like Uranium. Since it's pretty much theoretical, you would probably have to do some research into what elements/resources. After a quick look myself, it looks to be a different type of hydrogen called deuterium. But you could of course have "old age" ships running on basic fission engines that need the heavy elements like uranium. Finally, while writing this lengthy reply, I came up with a currency, the Clarke. I'm a big fan of sci-fi books, and one of the best writers is Arthur C. Clarke, he did 2001: Space Odyssey among others. Maybe something along this vein, which portrays your galactic civilisation to be more science focused, praising pioneers of science or something. Anyway, that's me finally done.

Jan 8 2013, 1:07pm Anchor

I am actually doing a research paper on fusion reactors , and indeed, fusion is the future.. To power these reactors hydrogen is needed, which I think wouldn't be a good currency since hydrogen is the most common element in space.. :)
I really like the idea of old ships running on outdated fission engines.. ^_^

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Think It. Sketch It. Create It. Repeat. 
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Jan 9 2013, 8:55am Anchor

Thanks both of you for your interesting thoughts, and I agree with both of you about fusion. It is likely the future, but also hydrogen would be a very cheap resource like Flash112 pointed out. The positive side about the uranium is that it is more familiar to the average person, and our target audience is rather casual. I guess we should stick to uranium as a resource and make up some other use of it in the lore, maybe for warfare? After all, a uranium explosion would create the sufficient temperature for fusion to be possible, allowing for a very powerful hydrogen bomb without the need of cold fusion or similar.

Fusion power can still be the typical engine included in the game, with hydrogen used as normal fuel, so it's still a very good point.

And thanks for your ideas about currency. I particularily like the "bits" currency by Flash112 and was thinking of maybe combining it with CptTrips' ideas about connection to the lore, something like "Imperial Bits". I will keep discussing this with my team as we develop the lore further.

Rafenrazer
Rafenrazer Concept artist
Jan 9 2013, 9:42am Anchor

This is a very good and relevant question; currency in the a space opera setting is often hard to nail down if you actually want to stay away from 'credits' and still maintain a feasible lore for your fictional economy. Atomic Rockets has a great article on the analysis of interstellar trade with links to a number of theoretical papers on the subject linked.

In any economy currency is typically tied to an item of relatively fixed value; for the last 200 years this is typically been gold. Though in an interstellar future gold is likely to be so 'common' its likely we will likely tie currencies to more valuable and rare items such as magnetic monopole, quantum pairs or grams of anti-matter. What your currency is called isn't really a question; you can label it pounds; shillings, dollars, dirhams, francs or marks. Its all rather arbitrary.

As for secondary resources such as your crafting resources its unlikely to be elements such as Carbon, Copper or Uranium. On a large scale such things are typically quite common or in the case of uranium; easy to locate and extract are unlikely to be expensive commodities. Instead try to look for things that may be manufactured to an extremely high standard or be extraordinarily rare even in galactic terms. Things like quantum paired dots, antimatter, carbon nanotube components, radio-thermal generators and room tempreture super conducters are good candidates. As a rule of thumb if its just an element; it won't be expensive or valuable unless you have an absurd amount of it.

Jan 9 2013, 11:03am Anchor

Another suggestion I would make is reading the Foundation series, or at least the first one. They have some very interesting ideas about political structures in a large galaxy spanning civilization. Of course you may already know what your game's politics are going to be, but I think you could get some real inspiration from these books if you haven't read them already obviously.

Jan 22 2013, 11:37am Anchor

I Would suggest reading the Nights Dawn trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton. The currency used is the Fuseodollar, and is based on the interstellar exchange rate for He3 (used in fusion in this universe).

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