No Money, Mo’ Problems

Don’t worry! This isn’t about funding. It’s actually about fake money.

So way back in the day, I said I wasn’t gonna lock out content behind dick-waving metrics like leveling or how much money you had. There wasn’t even gonna be anything you had to spend money on. Everything would be available to you immediately.

And you know what? I’ve decided that I lied. I promise I have a good reason though.

For one thing, much as I want to emulate Left 4 Dead more than PAYDAY 2 when it comes to elegance and simplicity, it really is strange to have a game about stealing that doesn’t let you use the shit you stole in any tangible way. Like, one of the few failings of PAYDAY: The Heist is that money is a resource of some kind in that game, but its use is so fuckin’ nebulous that most people (including me) have no idea how it works or how to use it. So we don’t.

The thing about the first PAYDAY as compared to the second, the thing that makes the obscurity of how money works in it not that important, is that it lacked the baggage handling mechanic. Since there were only ever four bags, there was really no difference in how much money you could earn (save for picking up gems and bill stacks), and there was therefore no real reason to care about it. That sounds like a negative, but it gave it that L4D simplicity.

But the thing is, I fuckin’ LOVE the baggage handling mechanic.

Having more bags than your crew can carry added so much more dimension to the gameplay. I mean, for one thing, it’s a physical, visual manifestation of your greed. For another, it’s just really fun to see a lot of bags in a big pile! What’s even more fun than having a giant pile of bags though? Having to keep track of all the bags and make sure no one is absconding with any of them. You know what’s more fun than that? Having trouble keeping track of all your bags.

But while the experience of the level should be enough to play it over and over, the same cannot be said of baggage handling. It makes the game more fun, but the act in and of itself is not fun. It’s basically a more physical form of farming, so you need a reward to make it worth doing. And the obvious reward would be money.

But then you have to have things to spend that money on.

The obvious answer there is weapons. A slightly less obvious answer is the jobs themselves. Ideally I would like to give you all kindsa shit you can do with your dosh, but again, we’re trying to keep shit simple. At least at first.

So the game charges to do the jobs. Which is honestly a thing I like so far as it ties into the narrative. My crew works independently and for itself, not clients. Without clients, they would have to pay their own upfront heist costs. This is a thing the Grand Theft Auto V multiplayer heists do that I like a lot too. In that game, the host player has to front a shitton of their own money before you can start a job. And sometimes, to get those funds, your crew has to do smaller non-heist jobs.

I don’t really mind making you fund longer, more complicated jobs by doing smaller ones. My qualm here is that I really don’t want to make it so you have to wait to use the good guns. Instead, I would rather all the guns have their pros and cons and you can choose whatever one you want from pretty much the get-go. But if we have money as a Thing, then it only makes sense that you use it buy weapons and other equipment.

So maybe what I do is make it so you start out with enough seed money to buy even the most expensive weapon, but only the least lucrative heist or a somewhat more advanced heist if you buy a less expensive initial weapon. This appeals to me because it would give the game some narrative structure, while also giving you the option of picking something stupidly situational and having to live with it until you earn enough money to buy another weapon.

Anyway, the point is, there will be money and you will be able to buy things with it, because I love baggage handling simulation.

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