Suggest - Currency in The Peacenet


(Anna Mey) #1

Currency in The Peacenet

In our Discord server, we were discussing how a currency or skill point system would work in the Peacenet. A few people threw out ideas, but to organize it, we are making a forum thread.

Leave your replies down below, and we will look through them. Be sure to leave all of your suggestions relating to currency below! Thanks

-Trey


#2

I’ll just bring over my opinion from the discord

I think that there should be 2 currencies:

  • A normal currency, like US dollars or Australian dollars (though obviously we would have to make our own version
  • A currency that is kind of like bitcoin, that criminals use to send money anomynously (Like in the dark web, where you can buy really bad stuff)

The first currency would be used for regular things, like purchasing antiviruses and etc. The second one would be used for buying hacking tools. Also, both currencys should be able to be robbed.


#3

So here is my idea which originally sparked the conversation over in Discord.

Skill system

In the game’s code, there’s an unused variable in the Character Identity data structure called Skill. I haven’t found a use for it yet, it’s just there for future ideas. I’m thinking of using it as a Codepoints-like system, where performing certain tasks that involve skill will grant you more skill points. Things like hacking, completing missions, etc. These skill points would in-turn be used to upgrade your Peacegate system enhancing your ability to perform those actions.

For example, you may start out only being able to hack into file servers and get read-only access to them so you can download files. That may be useful for getting into things you shouldn’t be able to normally, but, it’s not very effective for taking a system down or taking control of it. (Unless you find some sort of ssh credentials ot something on the way, somehow.)

But, if you do it enough, and complete enough missions doing that, you gain more skill. You get better at it. So, eventually, you get to upgrade your system using those skill points. Now you can, for example, get write access when you hack a file server.

The loop continues, until eventually you’re carrying out full-fledged bank heists and taking down entire enterprise networks. That brings me to my next idea, which is more sparked off of Trey’s.

Currency system.

Doing missions, as well as other things, may also give you some sort of currency. Like, someone could pay you to carry out a hack.

This currency could be used for things other than upgrading your system. It’s not a measure of skill, but it can be used to pay for services within Peacenet. For example, maybe you want to host a website in-game. Maybe you want your own file storage server so you can back up in case you get hacked. Or maybe you just want to pay someone else to hack that thing for you while you waste your time playing Pong on your personal Peacegate and let them take the fall for you.

Whatever the case, those are just a few examples of what a hypothetical currency could be used for. Not only that, but, there’d be in-game banks/vaults where you can store your currency and protect it.

However, these banks (if the hacker is skilled) can be hacked and the stored currency can be robbed. It’ll be hard but it’s possible. Additionally, you’d have a “wallet” where you can store a small amount of cash and easily pay someone through it, but it can also VERY easily be robbed if you’re not careful. Your wallet would be for short-term storage and the vault account for long-term, if you’re smart.

Conclusion

Those are just some of my ideas. I’d like to hear some of yours though. :slight_smile:


(Anna Mey) #4

I also had an idea which was originally created in the Discord discussion, here goes:

Skill and currency share a point system.

I believe this should be in the game because the Peacenet is a real world simulation. In the real world, there are no skill points. There is money. You exchange money for education.

Skill System Ideas

When hacking, you can download files. You can use these files and sell them on a black market as “assets” to people. You can then make money from these assets and use an online service (a lynda/udemy parody) that will allow you to exchange money for training. When training, you can do nothing for 4 in-game hours. When learning a skill, you can do other things, but you cannot use any benefits regarding that skill and how much you leveled it up. During learning periods, the game will perceive that you are level 1 in that skill until you have finished learning. If you are strapped for cash, you can also become an Instructor once you have reached near-mastery of a skill. This will allow you to teach people and earn money from 2-hour tutoring sessions with 3-4 people. Each person will owe you a fee for your service

Normal Use Ideas

There will be parodies of several popular sites that allow players to exchange services for services, goods for goods, and goods for services. Examples could be fiverr, ebay, letgo, etc. People can then use those sites to gain items that they will need to take part in a hack, or to enjoy.

Also, there will be a banking system with 4 ways to store your money

  • Paypal Parody
  • Traditional Checking Account w/ Debit
  • Traditional Checking Account w/ Credut
  • Traditional Savings w/ 2 monthly withdraws
Paypal

The paypal parody will be laid out similar to the Paypal website. This method will have a 10% processing fee, and will be the least secure. The advantage is that payments process really fast.

Traditional Checking w/ Debit

This will work similar to a debit account. Players can access a bank portal with access to recent transactions, funds, etc. This method will have the second-highest security level and a 12.5% processing fee.

Traditional Checking w/ Credit

This will work similar to a credit account. Players can access a bank portal with access to recent transactions, funds, etc. This method will have the third-highest security level and a 12.75% interest fee due every month with the normal credit payment.

Traditional Savings

This will working like a normal savings account. It will allow you to withdraw 2 times a month and insert money as much as you want. You will earn a 2% interest every week. This method has the highest security level.

These are my ideas, and I am excited to hear what you all want to come up with! :wink: -Trey


#5

One issue I see with using only a single currency and no dedicated skill point system is from a technical perspective, there’s not really a way for the AI to select people to hack/pen-test based on skill. I could do it based on what both the possessed NPC and the targeted character have unlocked, but that’s way more code and way more headaches (considering that the game’s C++ code doesn’t actually know about the programs and commands available in Peacegate or what upgrades there’d be. It just knows what a program is, what an upgrade is, etc. I prefer to have the AI system in C++ land.)

Furthermore it just feels odd going “oh, you just completed a mission objective in a timely manner, here’s 50 bucks.” Especially in the tutorial where your objectives are literally “open this program. run this command. make a folder on the desktop.” Things like completing objectives should yield skill points that can only be used to upgrade the system. Getting money from those actions should be a secondary bonus, like if you were instructed to hack an NPC and steal something and you did it really well and really fast.

This makes even more sense with something like an in-game lynda.com sort of extra-training system, because you’d essentially be playing missions to complete the course. It’d go through the same system. Would it not make sense to get skill points in return for completing those missions instead of getting money?


(Logan Lowe) #6

The “Everything is ShiftLotto” paradigm.

Okay, that was honestly more satisfying than I thought it would be. Give me a break.

I do like Trey’s idea of having skills and currency being the same entity - Knowledge is wealth, and wealth is knowledge. We can play around with this quite a bit, but if you don’t have much skill and wealth - if you don’t have much to offer, whether it be with your abilities as a player (and it’s implied that having a higher skill level directly translates into having more abilities) then NPCs won’t see as much of a reason to try hacking you.


#7

But then, in code, how do you measure skill? I mean, I could have a million bucks in a vault somewhere but still be fucking horrible at hacking. I probably wouldn’t even know what to do with that money. In that case, wealth is not knowledge. From an AI perspective, the game would in fact need to have a concrete measurement of skill and a measurement of wealth. That way the AI both knows who to go after if it wants to steal wealth, but it can also use its target’s skill as a way to know what it’s up against even if the target has no wealth whatsoever.

Though, putting this through my head, what I could do is select targets based on wealth and computer stats since, when hacking, you’re attacking a system - not a character. So maybe if we add stats like firewall strength, attack speed, and other basic RPG stats but geared toward a computer and not a person, the AI has a measurement of skill to go by.

This could also make skill upgrades less based on getting you new tools and programs but rather enhancing the performance of your system and the tools you use. Doing it this way would completely separate skill from wealth but still leave only one currency in the game. We’d still need some way to let the player upgrade their system’s stats, perhaps maybe something like the Drills system in Outlaw Tennis (if anyone’s played that)? Maybe an in-game lynda-style training system could act as that, as well as just pure practice in hacking giving you extra skill over time based on what you do and how well you do it.


(Anna Mey) #8

In that case, as you complete objectives, you gain points which allows you to become more capable in a certain topic. You need to have a certain capability level to take a course. Here is an example:

At the start of the game, you have level 1 capability in everything. After completing a tutorial, you gain a point. You can use these points to upgrade your capability in a skillset. After that, you can use money to take courses. You can only take a beginners course at this point since you have only a single level 2 skill in your skill-set.

You should start the game with $75, and find a way to make money as you explore the Peacenet.


#9

Hmmm, I’ll have to look into that. It seems like it’d be a pretty good mechanic. Right now I’m trying to get the Peacegate First-Time Setup UI done and glitchless. It’s mostly working, just a few bugs with backend hand-off after the Power User is created. :slight_smile: