The Change That Upended Privateer 2's Economy (February 24, 2021)


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator

Privateer 2 programmer Paul Hughes has posted an awesome little story about the development of the game's economic model. After balancing all the numbers, they learned that the video shoot had decided to change one little thing, which had big consequences!

Writing this Privateer 2 movie thing just reminded me of a classic FUBAR during development; whilst the shoot and edit were underway we were working away on the "Elite-esque" trading elements of the space game. Tony had the trading booth up and running...

...and we'd simulated all sorts of galaxy runs to work out prices for bounties, goods and missions to spread the difficulty curve nicely through the main story arc. Then I encoded the sequences for the very first mission along with its different branches and...

discovered during the shoot they didn't think the bounty in the script for the first mission sounded big enough so changed the number and bunged a few extra zeroes in the dialogue. This meant that just completing the first super easy mission would give you enough credits...

to buy the best ship with the best equipment with millions left over to happily trade through the entire main plot and sub missions! Thus the entire trading game needed completely rebalancing due to a single word change in the script. We weren't happy bunnies on that day!!!

LOAF called out the likely place that this occurred, "I suspect this is the first Xavier Shondi mission which promises you two payments of 8,000 credits in the video. Which is still a chunk of cash so early in the game!"

Paul also teases that he's got a big article in the works, titled Privateer 2: Making "Interactive Movies." We can't wait to see what that reveals!

Original update published on February 24, 2021
I read the title thinking it might be an explanation for why ship resale value doesn't change in P2 universe but turned out to be not so.

I don't envy having to rebalance everything - I suppose it wasn't as simple as multiplying everything by a 1000 or so like they did in the script.
I wonder if this explains the unresponsiveness J. Allen Brack and others in Origin's QA department reported They wouldn't have been able to implement their balance proposals when it was being rewritten completely already.