I am making a series of RTS games that are each combined with a various collection of other genres. Currently I am doing the first game, its an RTS/Sim/TBS/RPG game with a primary RTS/Sim focus and elements of RPGs, in this case upgradeable heroes, and TBS games, complex research system for economics and magic and military. I was thinking of doing a series of discussions on genre blending as well as creating new implementations of game systems, tech, economics, magic, warfare and such. This is the first entry and a test for the whole series, if its not popular, no point in writing out other discussions.
Part of the sim aspect of the game is a system of resource localization. Instead of the traditional global resource system the game features a resource system with 3 localization tiers, each part applies to a different aspect of production.
Taxes are produced by population structures and markets, which store the gold locally. Tax collectors are created and assigned on tax routes. Once gold reaches the central structure it acts as a global resource Majesty style. Unprocessed gold can also be mined from gold mines and made into coins in a mint which adds new gold. This gold again becomes global when its moved to the central castle structure.
The next resource type is raw to processed. Raw materials are gathered in various ways and stored in their creation facility, quarries, mines, woodcutters and so forth. You create transport units to move them to a centralized storage facility. You can have multiple facilities and decide which one to send the resources to, this allows you to create efficient supply chains. Transport units work automatically, we don't want excessive micro. This is one type of transport system.
The next transport system involves getting raw materials from storage to production facilities. This is the same as the previous system, except you are moving resources both ways. You bring finished goods back from the production facility as you get to the warehouse. Again you select the storage facility and production facility that a given transport unit uses.
Units proceed on their routes automagically but you can reassign them at any time switching one or both locations. In many cases you might have more or less need for a certain processed resource. You might also get a transport unit with a larger capacity or higher speed and not need as many units on the same structure.
Unlike previous games where you need to build a new structure to increase production, you can use the same assignment method to add new workers to an existing building, up to a cap, and you can upgrade the building to allow even more workers as well as more efficient processing. This cuts down on unnecessary city sprawl because in RTS games unlike pure city builders you don't want to use more space than necessary.
I know that complex economic systems are not the most popular gameplay system, but I've seen discussions here where people are asking for localized storage systems and such for Elemental and some people are going farther than that even in asking for economic gameplay. Its really hard to find other people interested in this kind of stuff so I thought I'd take a shot that some people would care to comment.