So far, the theme that stands out to me most is “capital production via global trade networks.” While I do find economics slightly interesting, the main appeal of this theme is the unique win conditions this kind of game could introduce. If we consider the global economy, we have to realize that it is both competitive and cooperative. On the one hand, many countries strive to have a better economy than other countries, in the interest of maintaining their world power. However, trade and cooperation between nations is commonplace, since trade is often beneficial for both involved parties. My knowledge from my past economics classes is admittedly a little bit rusty, but I did find an article from American Express that briefly outlines the details: https://www.americanexpress.com/en-us/business/trends-and-insights/articles/advantages-international-trade/.
Cooperative games have become a bit of recent trend in terms of game mechanics. The one that I am most familiar with, Pandemic, puts players on a team that tries to stop outbreaks of 4 deadly viruses across the world. Players must work together to cure the viruses before certain conditions are met, or else they lose the game.
I also recently encountered the concept of the cooperative win condition in a very unexpected place. My family acquired a “A Wrinkle in Time” themed board game. Honestly, I did not expect too much out of the game, since at first glance, it seemed to be a bit of an advertisement for Disney’s recent movie adaptation of the book. However, I was actually quite surprised at the complexity of the mechanics in the game. Players had to work together to traverse 5 different locations in from the story before the “Darkness Meter” filled up, or else they would lose the game. I think this is a very clear indicator that the idea of cooperative games is beginning to become a little bit more mainstream.
Overall, for a game that simulates a global economy, my main idea is for it to be a mix between cooperation and competition. To accomplish this, I plan to have two main win conditions. One of them will require cooperation between players. If the players fail to meet the win condition, then they all lose. The secondary win condition will be more competition-oriented, and will decide the final winner if the first win condition is also met. I do have some concerns about whether players will even want to contribute to the primary win condition if they believe they will lose the game anyways. I’m not sure if this will be a good player dynamic or not. I also am considering making it so that players can hide some information from each other to make it more difficult to determine who is “winning.” Overall, I don’t have any hard mechanics fully decided, but I have a more clear outlook on what kinds of player dynamics I want to induce. I also am not sure about the setting or flavor of the game.