Monday, August 29, 2016

When Trade Tables Go Bad

One of the systems that became part of the lessons dialogue, described in the last post, was my own, an implemented version of my trade table.  I feel, therefore, that I'm a bit responsible for problems that arose surrounding that table - specifically, that while the numbers were consistent and related to one another, they weren't affordable.

This is likely because of the generalized production numbers that I included in my wiki descriptions of the trade system - those numbers that described such and such many tons of ore or timber divided by the number of references (those numbers can be found at the bottom of this page).

Those numbers really matter, since although they are pulled from the air, they affect the price of everything.  I built my trade system from actual production numbers from the world, gathered from the United Nations Industrial Commodities Statistics Yearbook and from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.  I took numbers from 1988 and then adjusted those to reflect more of a 17th century industrial production, for the most part dividing the numbers by 500 or, in the case of some very technologically developed products (like metals that weren't isolated until after 1650), by numbers between 1000 and 5000.  Over the years I have tweaked these numbers, to adjust for problems like a lack of affordability, taking a hard line with some things (like metal industries) and a very soft like with others (like chemical industries).

I kept meaning to post the original numbers that I had based all this, but it got forgotten and those numbers never were added to the wiki.  It's taken me an hour just to find the original files . . . on a secondary drive of a computer I keep for its memory capacity (because it is still running on windows 5, believe it or not), under about seven different folders, the last two of which were marked "unsorted files" and "old trade tables."

I've cleaned the files up to get good screen shots of the details, but these two files are so old they predate microsoft windows, being initially created on a Mac Plus that looked exactly like this:

Seriously - I remember staring at the little logo next to the disk drive
as this little thing would sit and think and think and think

I can only hope that these numbers will be helpful.  I do encourage people, with their games, to adjust those production numbers, before dividing them into references.  I'll post these on the wiki too, after I finish with this post. (where they will be much, much easier to read for most readers).

Oh, sorry.  For some reason, the animals are on the ICYB table when I know they came from the FAO.  Ah well, so it goes:

FAO Numbers

ICYB numbers

It will be noted that I don't use the numbers for a lot of these because I found a different way to do industrialized goods on the system.  I spent a lot of time trying to make the industrialized numbers above work, wasting my time really, before foregoing them and basing prices completely on the availability of only raw materials.

In all honesty, these numbers can be anything you want them to be.  It is important to remember that reducing the number will make the product more expensive; growing the number will lower the base price (which then can be raised again by increasing the number of references, so the user of this system wants to look for a sweet spot).


Dani Osterman said...

Oh my god. Thank you. I have been dreading supplying these numbers myself and hoping against hope that you might share what you use. This is glorious.

Maxwell Joslyn said...

I'm looking at the tables. "Th hd" is "thousand head," but what is "mt" such as for "butter & ghee"? Is it "million tons?" Maybe, but then some things come in "th mt," which would be "thousand million tons" ... anyway, I want to double check. And I've no clue what "thbcm" is. Can you spell the units used here out for us, please? Some hunting around the Industrial Commodities site didn't cut it.

Alexis Smolensk said...

mt = metric tons.
th mt = thousand metric tons.
m sqm = million square meters.
thhl = thousand hectoliters.
mln = million
thcbm = thousand cubic meters.

That should give enough to understand the rest.