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Cumulative Cost

All costs incurred to get to the present state of a system

Marginal and Cumulative Cost

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In the context of in-game economy design, the term "cumulative cost" refers to the total cost incurred by a player up to a certain point in the game. It includes all the resources (like in-game currency, time, energy, items, etc.) spent from the start of the game or from the beginning of a specific activity within the game. For example, if a player is building a structure in a strategy game, the cumulative cost would be the total amount of resources (like wood, stone, gold, etc.) spent on constructing that structure up to the current stage.

For instance, consider a massively multiplayer online game where players engage in crafting and upgrading equipment. The cumulative cost, in this scenario, would encapsulate not only the in-game currency spent on acquiring materials but also the time and effort devoted to obtaining rare components, completing quests, and refining the crafted items. It serves as a holistic measure of the player's dedication and strategic choices throughout the game, reflecting the totality of their investments to reach the current state of their character or possessions.

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