I'm at the point in my game development where I want to implement some high-level behaviors. The game is a single-player trading game on a large overhead world. Imagine that you control only a single caravan out of many, each belonging to a cartel, that travel from city to city buying and selling and occasionally skirmishing with each other.
Some of the behavior I would like the player to see while traveling about the game world:
- Caravans traveling from city to city occasionally staying parked in a city
- Monthly changing supply/demand prices of commodities
- Cartels either peaceful, hostile, or at war with each other
Now the tricky thing is that I can see many ways of approaching this task but possible approaches appear to be at polar opposites from each other. For example:
- Completely random prices versus simulated supply/demand based on past amounts.
- Highly tuned caravan AI versus simple global rules and emergent behavior.
- Build the entities from the ground up and then place simulation rules on top versus starting from a coherent system e.g. Conrad's game of life.
Has anyone developed such a system i.e. simulating a highly active world with behavior continuity? Looking for some general pointers as well as pitfalls to avoid.