First of all, game status update: Everything is coming together really well and I'm really excited about this month's release. It is the biggest chunk of new content since the original February release itself. I can't wait to get it into your hands! But there's a little bit of stuff to get done today, and it should drop for backers pretty early tomorrow. If I have time to give a character a makeover in the week between the backer release and the public release, let me know who you think it should be in the comments or , you know, the usual away. Your choices are Yamamaya, Florine, Elaiya and Doll, I believe.
Anyway, I had a really cool idea for an MMO yesterday and figured I'd fling it into the interwebs because it's really beyond my capabilities as an alleged "programmer" but I think it'd be a cool idea. I used to own an old Windows 95 game called Free Enterprise. It wasn't particularly spectacular as far as gameplay is concerned but you played an industrial manufacturing entrepreneur making, well, anything you wanted out of a huge list of items. My business was always "Zombie Self-Defense Technology Inc" or something because you could make chainsaws. But, you had to pay attention what was in demand for your location (you got to pick any of a number of cities in the US) or else you'd be in trouble.
But you also had to manage where you received your supplies from and one of the more interesting things the game did was you could either purchase your assembly parts from other companies or, if you wanted to control the process beginning to end, set up machines in such a way so you manufactured every processed part in the process. For example, I could have my chainsaw assembly machine, but hook up to it a small gasoline engine machine, an aluminum casing machine, a chain drive machine, etc, and control the quality of the process at every step. Or simply buy engines and casings from other companies, because you can't afford to pay that many workers or what have you.
But what if there was a version of this as an MMO? Say, a fantasy MMO where everyone played merchant princes. So, I play a merchant prince who specializes in raw iron, and I have a few mines and an ore refining facility of some kind. Nekochan plays the leader of a blacksmith guild, who buys my iron and forges iron goods. Then say, Gurotaku plays a mercenary captain who has to buy Nekochan's swords, but then sells me the guards I need to keep monsters out of my mine. But Geo plays the admiral of a merchant fleet who needs Nekochan's nails to supply his shipyards, and also my raw iron to trade overseas for exotic spices.
So the essential way it works is by having players to fill roles in an economy where everyone is forced to support and work for each other, and there could be EVE Online-esque elements of people forming trading guilds and greater alliances and things. But unlike EVE Online the entire purpose of the game is the economy rather than space exploration or what have you. High level play would consist of managing a truly sprawling merchant empire, where you are invested in multiple fields.
Anyway, just though that'd be a cool idea. This idea is fair use for all, I will make no claim of ownership although I reserve the right to make my own version if I do someday become that leet.