So our first day went really well! We nearly got 25% of all of our funding in the first 24 hours, and currently have over a third of our total funding! The highest two backers were Andrew Krieger at $1,000 (The Creative), and Jacob Anderson for $500 (Monster Maker). Thanks so much for all of your support!
This update is going to be about fleshing out the details of Pay Days, Shipment Schedules and the Stock Market. I was unable to fit all of this information in our story, as it was a bit long. Some of it appears in our FAQ (a user called nauz posted several questions on our forums).
“It’s the Economy, Stupid!” - James Carville 1992
The gameplay of DwarfCorp revolves around the business cycle. You manage a local sub-contractor of a global Dwarf Corporation whose task it is to explore for valuable natural resources and extract them for Corporate HQ.
Since your colony is in a distant land across the sea, sending things back and forth from the motherland is not an easy task. The preferred shipping method of the modern Dwarf Corporation is the air balloon. Corporate HQ will periodically send a balloon to your colony bearing manufactured goods and new employees. The balloon will empty the goods from the motherland at your colony, and then take a shipment of resources back to the motherland for profit. As manager, you decide exactly which goods go to and from the colony, and can decide to hire (or fire) employees during each business cycle.
Buying and selling goods results in a change in your bank account. This is the amount of money your personal branch of the company controls. Increasing your bank account gives you the power to buy improvements for your colony and pay more employees.
Since you’re merely a Regional Manager at the Dwarf Corporation, you do not control the whims of the shareholders nor the Board at Corporate HQ. Your higher-ups will occasionally make demands of you based on the market situation. Every few business cycles, they will demand that you ship them an arbitrary quantity of goods or suffer managerial retribution. Successfully accommodating their demands may be easy if your colony is in a lush environment, or could be quite hard if you’re, say, in the middle of the ocean or in a vast desert.
The Stock Market
Your Dwarf Corporation does not exist in a vacuum. Other corporations in distant lands (controlled by AI) compete with you in a global stock market. At any time, you can take a look at the stock ticker, which shows a list of companies, their trade secrets, and their share price. Every business cycle, the stock price of every corporation will either rise or fall. If you did well with your last shipment quota, you’re likely to rise in share value. If you fail to meet shipments, lose employees, or have property destroyed, your stock is likely to fall.
Each time you rise in share price, Corporate HQ may decide to purchase smaller Dwarf Companies, allowing you to make use of their trade secrets.
Every Dwarf Corporation is good at something. Some Dwarf Companies specialize in mining equipment. Others in magic, and still others in military equipment. Their knowledge is often tied up in closely guarded trade secrets. Buying out a company results in gaining all the trade secrets of that company (as well as new responsibilities and demands from HQ!). Examples of trade secrets are new rooms that you can build, new types of employees that you can train, and insider trading secrets which allow you to buy and sell goods more profitably.
Paying Your Employees
In order to conform to international Dwarf Corporation standards, you must pay your employees a living wage. Through the Dwarven Resources panel, you will be able to set the pay rate of different Dwarf Classes. Each business cycle, dwarves extract cash from your bank account and put it in their wallets. Each dwarf has a little cache of money which he keeps to himself. Dwarves decide on their own what to spend their money on. Since your colony is in a faraway land, the only things a Dwarf can buy come from your company store! In drinking halls, your dwarves will have to shill out a few coins for each pint of ale. Dwarves may also spend their personal savings on sentimental items shipped from the motherland.
The Global Economy
In addition to a global stock market, there is a global economy which controls the price of goods. Each good (wood, stone, iron, tables, chairs, weapons, etc.) has its own base price which moves up and down in accordance to the whims of the economy. Skilled players may watch the price of goods and decide what to produce based on their prediction of the future prices. Be careful, as sudden random booms, busts and bubbles will occur!
That’s it! Our next update will include a link to our pre-alpha prototype, and a video explaining how to play it!