Firstly, a minor update Alpha 1.51 has been released which fixes some bugs that were found:
- Fixed missing Coin Collecting Album from Collector's Store
- Fixed missing Bachelor Of Arts and Philosophy from University
- Fixed withholding tax not taking into account inflation
- Fixed yearly tax calculation not taking into account inflation
Now, onto the topic of Alpha 1.6. There are several steps to take before we can have a functioning Commodities/Stock Market.
The first step is adding charting functionality to the game. I already have the ability to store historical price data from previous features, now it was just a matter of presenting that information to the player. Here's a look at the new charts for economic data in action:
I can also use this to show the player's progress. When you click on the Life Goals buttons now, you'll be able to see charts showing your progress towards each goal.
In the future, I'll be able to use this same functionality to display stock price history and other information.
Secondly, the Statements window received a face-lift and is divided into two parts - Personal and World. Personal statements are things like your Income Statement and Tax Return that are already in the game. World statements will include information on interest rates, economic growth, real estate prices, stock prices and more.
You will notice that World statements are locked behind a paywall. A subscription to Financial Dimes is required, which has been added to the usual subscriptions window. This is so new players aren't overwhelmed by the amount of information thrown at them.
Once you subscribe, you will get access to information to help you make informed decisions. For example, the Economic Indices charts will help you to determine whether it's cheaper to rent or buy a home. Rent prices are affected by the Inflation Index, whereas house prices are now affected by their own Real Estate Index. Depending on which index is higher, renting can be more or less expensive than buying.
On a separate note, I got a bit carried away in the last update with adding random events. There were some events that affected your needs levels, and after play-testing I found they were a bit unfair. They took away from the pleasure of barely surviving the week using proper time management, which would happen naturally from time to time. About half of them will be removed in Alpha 1.6, but I'll be keeping some funny events like coming last place in a beauty contest.
Also, I'm still thinking about ways to implement some automation of needs in the late game. I want to do it in an interesting and balanced way, and I prefer not to attempt it until I have a clear vision of what it looks like. It's always on my mind though. Maybe one day I will have a flash of brilliance like I did with the Subscriptions and come up with something great!