Sunday, July 29, 2007

Caesar III and AOE II

Caesar-3 and Age of Empires-2, two of my favourite computer games. I like them more these days as I started learning economics. Both these games are very good econ simulations. Allocation of limited resources, marginal costs-benefits, trade-offs. Let me quote examples from each game.

Limited Resources: Gold, wood, stone, food (farm/fish/sheep).
Players must constantly assess priorities and allocate scarce resources between creating new units, upgrading existing units, and researching to upgrade to the next Age.

Marginal Costs-Benefits: Research
Cost of undertaking a research (Cost of mining research) and the benefit (faster mining)

Trade-offs: Building wonder
Once a wonder is built, the game is over in 100 years. While some players might use this technique for victory, I find this method least appealing. For me, the trade-off for this technique is that the game is over. For a player like me, who plays a single game for days together, using wonder technique is a trade-off.

Limited Resources: Limited farm land

Marginal Costs-Benefits: Gardens and Plazas. (cost of building gardens vs improved desirability of the housing area)

Trade-offs: Distance of Markets from housing area
While a far off market reduces the availability of food and provisions for housing area, a very close by market has a detrimental effect.

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