game currencies in an economy of evolution

Kevin Nunn wrote about Game Currencies and gave us a definition of currency applicable to game design.

“something that players spend in the game to exchange for something else in the game.”

I’m designing a board game about Proterozoic organisms evolving in a primordial soup (think: the Cell Stage of Spore) and I’m pondering the sorts of currencies one might find in an economy of evolution.

Here are a couple of possibilities:

  • Population.
    • When an organism flourishes within its niche, it accumulates population.
    • Population can be spent to spread territorial range.
  • Change.
    • When an organism meets adversity and fails, it accumulates change.
    • Change can be spent to mutate and evolve.

What currencies would you expect to find in an evolutionary Ursuppe? I asked that question on Twitter and got some good replies.

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2 thoughts on “game currencies in an economy of evolution

  1. The original Ursuppe used poop cubes as food and biological points as currency, but your income was basically fixed (with a couple small exceptions).

    One thing you could do is make areas of the board more hazardous/stressful for organisms, but also more lucrative in terms of evolutionary advance encouragement/adversity, maybe a la the turn-by-turn race bonuses in Battle Merchants.

    Another thing that occurs to me is to steal the Eclipse victory point draw mechanism, so everyone wants to get a little evolved but increased stress has diminishing returns.

    Like

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