I’m doing less design and more programming and content creation than before; the design is in pretty good shape now. However, I just ran into a design snag that requires some cogitation. Here’s the problem: for point scoring, I tote up the deaths of people all over the globe from various environmentally significant activities. Some of those deaths (such as deaths from malnutrition and flooding) I allocate to the poor side of the world, and the player loses points for those. Other deaths (such as lung disease and automobile fatalities) I allocate to the rich world, and the player loses points for those deaths. But the player loses more points for a rich person’s death than for a poor person’s death, because that’s the way the world allocates money. I realize that all of these deaths should be divvied up between the two worlds. We could say that 99% of all malnutrition deaths are in the poor world, while only 50% of the automobile accident deaths should be assigned to the rich world. This would work, but it’s clumsy; the player would have difficulty keeping track of that difference.
But if I don’t do something, the player gets clobbered on points, because there are about a million automobile deaths every year, and allocating all of them to the rich world makes for a lot of points.
One possibility I considered is eliminating automobile deaths entirely. After all, they are an indirect effect of car ownership and do not directly result from any specific environmental insult. But I’d still have lung disease deaths to deal with, and that takes a big toll of poor world people.
I think I’ll have to go with the allocation scheme; the simulation will have a fraction for each source of death, allocating some of the deaths to the rich world and some to the poor world.