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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:00 pm 
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I probably shouldn't be talking about this too much until development is further along, but I think enough of it is locked down now to share a bit.

Patent filing and Licensing

We're going to be making some changes to how Research is handled. I'll get into details later, but the core new function will be that you can File your Patent and make two choices:

1) Who is allowed to license it:
  • You
  • Your Trade Group
  • Your Friends List
  • Anyone
2) How much you charge per produced item. (Within guidelines.)
Actually this will be a multiplier times our recommended license. That way as the research decays, the price will come down automatically.

For example, say you file Level 100 Belt research as an open license and make it slightly cheaper than the recommendation. Any player can set their Belt factory to use your license. And you would collect :beta: 1000 for every unit of belt any player makes with that research. By the time that research drops down to Level 50 the charge will only be :beta: 500 per unit. So the pricing will always stay at the right competitiveness.

This still applies even if you're only using your own research. You are paying yourself so it won't change your cash (or your net income). But it should allow for better tracking as you can properly see how much income the research has generated.

The catches
There are several. Clearly we're not going to spread the economy of scale across multiple companies for nothing. You know how I feel about "free money". :hand:

Catch 1: The more a patent gets used, the faster it decays.
Rationally this makes sense. QA is your advantage over what society knows. The more you spread your technology around, the faster they figure out ways to duplicate it without using your specific patent.

The rate of decay I expect to be about this: Add up the SSC Threshold for a product in all cities. If your patent is making that many unit in a day, your research will have an extra decay of 1 Level per week. (The product itself will not). For non-retail items, there is also a threshold number but I don't think our interface displays it for you yet. It's the number you have to produce to beat Allmart in the ranks.

Example:
The SSC Threshold for Ice Cream is 400k in Abalesk, 300k in Bellerive, 3.5m in Canjara, andd 300k in Drakar. That's a total of 4.5 million. If your patent is used to create 2.25 million ice cream per day, then that patent will decay by a total of 1.5 levels per week. (1 normally plus half for hitting half the threshold)

This rate may be subject to change, but it feels fair at the moment. At the moment most patents are getting used about that 1x Threshold level or less. But off the top of my head, there is a Glass and a Plastic research that someone (didn't notice who) is using to produce 5x and 4x the threshold respectively. So that would be 6 or 5 levels decay per week for this extreme case.

Catch 2: No more Research sales
There's no need to sell ownership when you can share it via licensing. We'll have a "sell back to the system" option but no more invoicing or auctions.

Catch 3: Research and Use are no longer simultaneous
This is going to be the toughest transition, but it's important. We're going to create a clear delineation:

  1. Assign a Patent # to any number of R&D Centers.
  2. Research to build that patent for as long as you like.
  3. File the Patent and make your selections for licensing. This will REMOVE it from R&D centers permanently. They can begin work on a new Patent.
  4. You (and others, if licensed) can assign it to any number of farms, factories, or raw sites.
  5. Eventually it will decay to zero and be removed. If at some point nobody is using that patent, you can sell it to the system instead of waiting.

In real life a patent is a fixed thing, so the idea of adding to it while using it doesn't make sense. While our patents are far from a perfect model (and aren't trying to be), it's nice to be able to mirror the process of publishing a patent and putting it to use.

More importantly, we've noticed things can get a little static with high-level research. It was indeed our intention when deciding the prior research system to have each player reach a plateau where work matches decay. But that can also be boring, and you've all found ways to be more profitable than we thought you would. So a little shakeup is called for. This way will add a little up and down. If you want to stay on top, you'll need a new patent as the old one decays. And I'm sure you'll come up with strategies to decide how often that should be.

Conclusion

So I think there's a lot to like about this. The hardest part will be the conversion, as there will be a very short period in which everyone needs to make a decision about current patents: File stop researching, or keep improving and stop using for now. But we'll make sure you know well in advance when that is.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:48 pm 

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User avatarRonak Holdings I
 
A few things to add.

Instead of based on anything else,
How about patent decays based on the number of players using it?

If one player is using it, it decays by 0.98(0.14x7) points in a day. So, if two players use it, it decays twice that rate.

After a limit, say after 5 player limit, for 6-10th players, it decays by 25% more for each added player.(1.225points per day).

Also, if research and use should be continued to be simultaneous. Else I a research is unassigned then it shouldn't decay. So if zero buildings are using it(centers, factories, farms, raws included) then it should NOT decay.

Additionally

PATENT MARKET

I have a patent. I need it to get making me money. So I put it on the market, for a price and limited amount of time anyone can use it.

Another player sees my offer, likes it, accepts my offer, pays 50% cash upfront, uses the patent for the specified amount of time and then system pays the remaining 50% cash to the patent owner, at the term end. The user has to pay 100% cash upfront.(but 50% of it goes to the system and is paid the patent owner at term end).

Additionally it can also work in reverse simultaneously. I'm a manufacturer, need a patent. Put up an advert, money, time. A patent owner sees that, fulfills my request.


Question

What if a player doesn't want the new system an carries on with using his patents and using it only for himself?
Can he function theold way? Researching, using the patent at the same time?

Since decay is very high in this case, should the current research method suffice? A level 200 research will run into ground in just 40 days** with 5 people using it(owner+4others). What a mindfuck!(using my method mentioned above). And if they dont find another research patent, he billions spent on factories (focus, upgrades) go into the ground? Maybe research needs to be made faster than the current levels? Or the speed bonus and quality bonus per research points need to increase ? Or maybe as Amarsir said, based on the quantity produced. But isn't a manufacturer also paying for the quality advantage. If a multitude of small manufacturers are using the patent and still don't cover the dandof even a single city, don't all of them get the same inherent advantage of the research?

Also, what about a commodity which is being battled about for dominance? Won't the research owner get messed up with quantities definitely being humongous?

Also, can the licensee select his own research mix, regarding the speed/quality mixture, or why the licensor chooses is universal, overriding the licensee's interests?

EDIT:
**
As corrected by Committed, 40 weeks, not 40 days.


Last edited by ronak1996 on Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:53 am 
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ronak1996 wrote:
How about patent decays based on the number of players using it?

That's far too skewed toward larger businesses. Our method lets a bunch of new players license some tech (if they want) and it barely hurts you. Your method would make you only want to share with the biggest businesses.

Also there's always going to be some decay. Maybe we could consider tweaking the number one way or another, but it's not reasonable to sit on unused research and have it remain pristine.

Quote:
I have a patent. I need it to get making me money. So I put it on the market, for a price and limited amount of time anyone can use it.


Quote:
What if a player doesn't want the new system an carries on with using his patents and using it only for himself?
Can he function theold way? Researching, using the patent at the same time?

Nope.

Quote:
Since decay is very high in this case, should the current research method suffice? A level 200 research will run into ground in just 40 days with 5 people using it(owner+4others).

We're not using your method, but 40 weeks not 40 days. 9 months seems like plenty of time to research a replacement patent, doesn't it?

Quote:
Also, what about a commodity which is being battled about for dominance? Won't the research owner get messed up with quantities definitely being humongous?

First of all, with the populations as they are you can dominate Abalesk by selling to only 5% of the overall world population. That's decay of 1.05 level per week, which is barely different from the current. But you said "battling" so let's assume you're fighting viciously over the largest market.

Second, I don't think it's that strong of an effect, especially on retail products. I think Amarsir's examples of glass and plastic are outdated, but I'll go down the list of the most-used research right now (anonymously) and tell you what the new effect would be at the moment.

  1. Extraction Tools: 5.4 levels per week.
  2. Extraction Tools: 3.4 levels per week.
  3. Bottled Water: 3.2 levels per week.
  4. Engine: 2.9 levels per week.
  5. Glass: 2.7 levels per week.
  6. Motorcycle: 2.7 levels per week.
  7. Meat: 2.7 levels per week.
  8. Tires: 1.2 levels per week.
  9. Wine: 2.1 levels per week.
  10. Milk: 2.1 levels per week.
  11. Beer: 2.1 levels per week.
  12. Soda: 2.1 levels per week.
  13. Sport Socks: 2.1 levels per week.
  14. Juice: 2.1 levels per week.
  15. Clay: 2.0 levels per week
  16. Stereo:1.9 levels per week
  17. Iron Ore: 1.9 levels per week
  18. Iron Ore: 1.9 levels per week
  19. Extraction Tools 1.8 levels per week
  20. Aluminum: 1.7 levels per week

So before we're even out of the top 20 the effect is reduced to less than doubling. Once people can share research the top effects will certainly increase. But two people partnered up are now using 1 patent instead of two. That's a pretty huge savings.

Let's be clear: we do expect the top research to decline faster. That's not an accident. But we could have accomplished that by doubling or tripling the decay rate without a licensing system. This way we hugely increase your ability to coordinate with other players and form new strategies. We think it's a win/win.

Quote:
Also, can the licensee select his own research mix, regarding the speed/quality mixture, or why the licensor chooses is universal, overriding the licensee's interests?

That's a very good question. Making it universal is by far the easiest answer. It also has the advantage of adding differentiation: choose A's patent for speed, B's patent for quality, or C's patent for a balance. We're willing to reconsider if everyone has overwhelmingly strong opinions to the contrary. But bear in mind that more knobs to turn isn't always a good thing. A more fiddly game isn't necessarily a more fun game.

Similarly we don't know if we want to lock the percentage in at the time of filing the patent. We're leaning toward "yes", but we know some of you want "20 points in quality and the rest speed" and locking a percentage doesn't work for that.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:13 am 

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User avatarRonak Holdings I
 
Quote:
That's far too skewed toward larger businesses. Our method lets a bunch of new players license some tech (if they want) and it barely hurts you. Your method would make you only want to share with the biggest businesses.


But won't the new players also be able to share their tech with other newer, smaller players?
As it is, even now they will not be able to afford the highest research, neither will they then.

Big players then too, will deal with other big businesses and small businesses will deal with other small businesses. Maybe a couple or so, might be selling their produce to a big retail business.

Also, as Amarsir said in his post, if the research decay is based upon decaying upon the numbers of production, if a research isn't being used, then it shouldn't decay? no? alright.

What about the research market? My words were just quoted, and there wasn't no response to it. (Alright, I know it may require more coding, or so i guess).


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:50 pm 
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ronak1996 wrote:
But won't the new players also be able to share their tech with other newer, smaller players?
As it is, even now they will not be able to afford the highest research, neither will they then.

Licensing Juice research (for example) should cost between 2-4 bucks per level. So level 300 research could be available for an extra β900 per unit. That's pretty affordable over a small batch. I can't imagine another scenario where they'd get access to that. Buying it now would cost trillions.

Quote:
What about the research market? My words were just quoted, and there wasn't no response to it. (Alright, I know it may require more coding, or so i guess).

Oops, sorry. I meant to say that's basically what we ARE doing. When you need a patent for your factory you check the list of everyone who's filed as available for you to use.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:09 am 

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joker20008
Committed wrote:
Second, I don't think it's that strong of an effect, especially on retail products. I think Amarsir's examples of glass and plastic are outdated, but I'll go down the list of the most-used research right now (anonymously) and tell you what the new effect would be at the moment.

  1. Extraction Tools: 5.4 levels per week.
  2. Extraction Tools: 3.4 levels per week.
  3. Bottled Water: 3.2 levels per week.
  4. Engine: 2.9 levels per week.
  5. Glass: 2.7 levels per week.
  6. Motorcycle: 2.7 levels per week.
  7. Meat: 2.7 levels per week.
  8. Tires: 1.2 levels per week.
  9. Wine: 2.1 levels per week.
  10. Milk: 2.1 levels per week.
  11. Beer: 2.1 levels per week.
  12. Soda: 2.1 levels per week.
  13. Sport Socks: 2.1 levels per week.
  14. Juice: 2.1 levels per week.
  15. Clay: 2.0 levels per week
  16. Stereo:1.9 levels per week
  17. Iron Ore: 1.9 levels per week
  18. Iron Ore: 1.9 levels per week
  19. Extraction Tools 1.8 levels per week
  20. Aluminum: 1.7 levels per week

So before we're even out of the top 20 the effect is reduced to less than doubling. Once people can share research the top effects will certainly increase. But two people partnered up are now using 1 patent instead of two. That's a pretty huge savings.

Let's be clear: we do expect the top research to decline faster. That's not an accident. But we could have accomplished that by doubling or tripling the decay rate without a licensing system. This way we hugely increase your ability to coordinate with other players and form new strategies. We think it's a win/win.


Curious as industrials are a little tougher to decipher 'demand'-
Based on this list are we truly overproducing extraction tools or raws or is this reflecting too much concentration? Or is the allmart number (which I can't see in some cities) inaccurate?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:03 pm 
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It's a good question.

Nominal production is calculated with a script that goes through every product recursively adds up all of the components assuming 100% demand is met for the product. For most retail products, this works out to the same as demand* since the only thing you need a Handbag for is to sell Handbags. However something like Fruit has numerous uses besides retail sales, so the Nominal production turns out to be about 3.5x demand.

It looks like this:

Code:
 ->0.52 Action Figures
-> -> ->0.52 Plastic
-> -> -> ->1.03 Oil
-> -> -> ->0.10 Chemicals
-> -> -> -> ->0.10 Minerals
-> -> -> -> ->2.06 Electricity
-> -> -> -> -> ->0.02 Oil
-> -> -> ->15.45 Electricity
-> -> -> -> ->0.15 Oil
-> -> ->0.26 Dyes
-> -> -> ->0.52 Fruit
-> -> -> -> ->5.15 Water
-> -> -> ->10.30 Electricity
-> -> -> -> ->0.10 Oil


Then we go through each of the raw materials calculate for Extraction Tools. So that's how we set what we think are reasonable expectations.

However, as I'm typing this, I realize that Extraction Tools are the only case where use goes up due to DMR. So I think given practical use, the quantity for Extraction Tools will be raised. (Thus lowering the decay listed.)

Good observation.

* Nominal production is actually set at a minimum of 1.5x demand to make production awards slightly harder, because unlike retail you can keep producing regardless of market conditions.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:04 am 
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Let me see if I understood correctly... You invest in a patent, that patent is then finished, and then you can only use it and never improve it again.

I tried to think of some complications for a couple moments but I couldn't think of any...

Why stop the sale of research?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:39 am 
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Aindala wrote:
Why stop the sale of research?

I suppose technically we don't have to. It just seems redundant once you can make money off of its use instead. And it's good to simplify where we can.

If we maintained sales, it would be necessary to

A) Create a very narrow range for sales, like we're doing with buildings.

B) Disallow sales once someone has started using the license. This is for both technical reasons (invoiced / auctioned items are "owned" by the system so licensing payments would go into the void) and for gameplay reasons (you can't kick someone off a license once they've committed to it, nor is it fair to sell research where the buyer won't have control over it because of prior commitments).

However, if we could agree on a value formula for research and you kept it private with the intent to sell, I suppose we could maintain the option.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:52 pm 

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User avatarCrownX Enterprises
 
Just to make sure we're all on the same page, according to the game atm, it is not true that patents/R&D is worth the same amount per level.

The simplest way to describe the function is linear with three steps -

1. 3.2% per level up to qa60
2. 0.5% after qa60
3. (1.09 * price) if beating average by 9 points.

Obviously there are more steps in the last item, but the math becomes funny if you include all of the steps.

I think the easiest way to deal with licensing patents is to remove step 2, ie. make the 3.2% per level apply to all levels - but otherwise, make sure to account for this in the pricing of patents.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:40 pm 
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Don't mistake the pricing of research for the pricing of Quality Appeal. Only a percentage of research translates to QA, with the rest coming from components. Typically 50% or less. So to get QA 60 or higher based purely on research would require a level of at least 120. Considerably higher in some products. Furthermore, pricing research based on beating the average is an impossible task - there's no way of knowing what the average will be or what other components are involved. So the pricing guideline probably won't take any of that into account, although I'll take it under advisement.

Quote:
Curious as industrials are a little tougher to decipher 'demand'-

Not announced, but I snuck a little line into the stats page to show the "SSC Production Threshold". It may not perfectly match with what Allmart is currently doing because we just adjusted the targets. But it should give you a better idea.

Also, Extraction Tools, Build Kits, and Construction Materials had their target adjusted. For Extraction Tools I think we doubled it, so the quoted numbers above of 5.4 and 3.4 decay would become 3.2 and 2.7 respectively. (That's off the top of my head; I didn't check that.)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:01 pm 

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Under your decay idea shouldn't patents only meeting a small portion decay slower say I only meet the demand for Abalesk? I'm at a disadvantage because I choose to only sell in one city. In all fairness I understand that in real life that would be the case but in real life a hole market would decay at the same rate not individual patents decaying at their own rate. I would rather see decay based on market % demand in all cities for all patents in each product so under sold products easier to hold high level patents and promote product diversity.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:36 pm 

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Gems Global has a very valid point.

How about considering 3.2% per each level of research, multiplied by the % contribution to the product?

Linear is always more easier.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:34 pm 

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Amarsir wrote:
Don't mistake the pricing of research for the pricing of Quality Appeal. Only a percentage of research translates to QA, with the rest coming from components. Typically 50% or less. So to get QA 60 or higher based purely on research would require a level of at least 120. Considerably higher in some products. Furthermore, pricing research based on beating the average is an impossible task - there's no way of knowing what the average will be or what other components are involved. So the pricing guideline probably won't take any of that into account, although I'll take it under advisement.


I would actually go the other way - in practice, if you are trying to produce high quality goods, you are using high quality inputs. Almost all inputs in the game are well above qa60, and therefore R&D would be less valuable at any level, because you are likely reaching qa60 without any R&D whatsoever. This is especially true because the production rate increase of R&D in factories has been reduced substantially, which makes it very difficult for companies of any medium-large size to manufacture qa0 goods profitably.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:14 pm 
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Gems Global wrote:
Under your decay idea shouldn't patents only meeting a small portion decay slower say I only meet the demand for Abalesk? I'm at a disadvantage because I choose to only sell in one city. In all fairness I understand that in real life that would be the case but in real life a hole market would decay at the same rate not individual patents decaying at their own rate. I would rather see decay based on market % demand in all cities for all patents in each product so under sold products easier to hold high level patents and promote product diversity.

Unless I misunderstand you ... that is what we're doing. Let's suppose someone has a Patent on Level 38 research in Dress Watches. (To pick a "random" example. :wink: )

In Abalesk, that patent is used on 340k watches, against a target of 450k.
In Bellerive, that patent is used on 0 watches, against a target of 471k.
In Canjara, that patent is used on 0 watches, against a target of 3.03m.
In Drakar, that patent is used on 0 watches, against a target of 630k.

So overall that patent is used on 340k out of a total of (450 + 471 + 3030 + 630 = ) 4581k. Or 7.4%. So that patent, even though it's the majority in Abalesk, would only get 1.07 points of decay per week. Almost identical to where we are now.

OR you this hypothetical person could license that patent to a manufacturer in Canjara. (In addition to using it yourthemself.) If that person manufacturers in any city the Dress Watch research will start decaying faster. However, the patent owner would be getting paid for each unit created.

So there's no advantage for being in a small city because you're not just compared to that city. In fact it's arguably an advantage, because you can dominate a city while still being a small portion of the overall and thus having slow decay.

ronak1996 wrote:
Gems Global has a very valid point.

How about considering 3.2% per each level of research, multiplied by the % contribution to the product?

Linear is always more easier.

Yup, that pretty much is the plan. :)

Sticking with Dress Watches, we assume a qa0 retails around :beta: 1700. (We know it varies a lot, but higher prices are balanced against lower volumes so our assumption establishes a revenue range.) Research adds 50% to the qa of the product. So if you were to put your r38 patent up for licensing, we would suggest a price of:

.032 * 1700 * 38 * .5 = :beta: 27.2 for each unit made. (And you could adjust it for yourself. Let's say a range of :beta: 13.6 to :beta: 81.6)

Sounds reasonable, right? To put that in context, if the Abalesk-only producer were to find someone in Canjara who wants to license their research at :beta: 27.2, and that person filled up the Canjara market with 3 million units per week, that would be an extra :beta: 244,800,000 per week in your pocket. And it would still only result in a decay of 1.7 points per week. I think that's a pretty good deal.

Disclaimer: All of these exact numbers are subject to revision once Amarsir gets into more precise calculations.

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