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Shortage and Surplus

When consumers want more of something than is available, there is a shortage. When there is more available than they want or need, there is a surplus.

Supply, Demand, Shortage and Surplus

game economy

In game design, shortage and surplus refer to the intentional manipulation of resources, challenges, or opportunities to create dynamic and engaging gameplay experiences.

A shortage occurs when there is a deliberate scarcity of resources or a heightened level of challenge within the game. This design choice aims to provoke strategic decision-making, encourage resource management, and increase the overall difficulty of the game. For example, in a real-time strategy game, a shortage of essential resources like in-game currency or building materials may force players to prioritize and carefully plan their actions, adding depth and complexity to their strategic decisions.

Conversely, a surplus involves intentionally providing players with an excess of resources, opportunities, or advantages. This design choice aims to empower players, allowing them to experiment, take risks, and explore the game world more freely. In a role-playing game, a surplus of experience points or in-game currency might be granted as a reward for completing a challenging quest, enabling players to level up their characters or acquire new items. This abundance contributes to a sense of achievement and progression, motivating players to continue their exploration of the game.

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