Time Enough: Banker’s Dozen

By Jim Rossignol on December 14th, 2010 at 5:25 pm.


My job is largely based around describing games. A good description might be useful to you, or funny, or poignant. It might be revealing about the true nature of the game, or say something about what it means. Currently, I am struggling with this when faced with the developer’s own description of Banker’s Dozen. Here it is: “Based on the forgotten occult writings of a Nobel prize winning economist, Banker’s Dozen is a game about time traveling financiers.” Which means that it uses relativity and finance to teach you about… relativity and finance. I’m not sure it really does either that, but sometimes an idea is all you need.

There’s an explanatory video below.

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30 Comments »

  1. Brumisator says:

    “So you want to be a real banker? Use this rocket to reach relativistic speeds.” is probably one of the greatest opening phrases ever.

    • Pop says:

      I just want to hear that at the beginning of the next Call of Duty.

      “So you want to be a real banker? …” cue Sympathy for the Devil strains

  2. Zacqary Adam Green says:

    Right, because as time passes, the value of any investment will continue to go up indefinitely. Surely that mentality wouldn’t cause some kind of global financial crisis or anything.

    Then again, this is a game about spaceships and time travel, so who cares?

  3. amanda says:

    Hilarious idea.

  4. Zacqary Adam Green says:

    Right, because as time passes, the value of any investment will continue to go up indefinitely, and never go down. Surely that sort of mentality wouldn’t be the cause of a global financial crisis or anything.

    Then again, this is a silly game about spaceships and time travel, so who cares?

    • QSpec says:

      I know the housing market bit us in the ass… but I will always bet on endangered species trade and pop stars. There is no way they will ever go down in price.

    • Kagedtiger says:

      Actually, I think that’s the point – you have to make wise decisions with your investments; if you’re away too long or make the wrong decisions, you can lose a lot of money. Or at least, that’s what I understand.

  5. Navagon says:

    You see? Now this is the kind of surreal originality mixed with socio-political commentary I’d have expected from a Monty Python.

  6. Severian says:

    They’re not planning on actually selling this game, are they?

    Edit: ah, it’s free, so no need for me to be snarky.

  7. Jake says:

    “a game about time traveling financiers”

    I just worry about what people will make in the future, when literally every idea is used up. ‘How about a game with… occult nobel prize winning time-traveling financiers? Oh damn wait that was done in 2010 apparently. Maybe occult nobel prize winning time-traveling alien lesbian financiers that fight crime? We good?’

    • Brumisator says:

      That’s really the biggest problem videogame developers have nowadays. It keep them up at night.

      Oh wait, no, they just pump out the same game over and over again without a care in the world.

  8. BeamSplashX says:

    Is this how Bob Page got his start?

    “If you want to make enemies, try becoming a time-traveling financier.”

  9. Theory says:

    First attempt: immediately blasted out of the solar system. There’s a warning that appears when you leave, but there’s not enough time provided to change course so you just have to start again, watching the mostly unskippable intro for a second time.

    Second attempt: ran around in circles until I was low on fuel, then went searching for the tanker. Didn’t find it before running out and drifting slowly toward deep space.

    Closed game, deleted files. Insert your own witty comment about time and investment here.

  10. CMaster says:

    So I’m supposedly 25 at the time the game starts.
    But approx 150 days later, I’m 27 and game is over?
    ?! Yay for confused objectives.
    (also, stuff seems to go off much quicker than the number suggest they will)

  11. Max says:

    I thought this might be an adaptation of Krugman’s ideas about how, when interstellar trade is pratical, fuel costs will be the primary determinant of interest rates: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Theory_of_Interstellar_Trade

  12. Hydrogene says:

    Actually, there was a Nobel prize winner for economics that was completely obsessed with relativity. Frenchman Maurice Allais died a few months ago, aged 99. He won the Nobel for economics, but always wanted to be a physicist. Until his death he made strange pendulum experiments in his home lab to try and prove that Einstein was wrong about general relativity. I don’t need to tell you he never even got close…

    Maybe Banker’s dozen is based on his occult writings!

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      The solution is much simpler; he’s alive and making games!

  13. Pop says:

    Why friend, I too accept Pay Pal payments.

    I’ll make you feel warm.

  14. Laundromat says:

    I think you misspelled PYAMENT there.

  15. Zenicetus says:

    Obviously the developers of this game never saw that Star Trek episode, where the crew rescues some 20th Century folk stranded in cryogenic suspension. Picard had to tell the rich guy that money wasn’t used in their society any more, so his investments were worthless.

  16. Joe says:

    Jim – in case you missed it (or maybe wanted to keep it a secret) – I believe the economist in question is the mega famous Paul Krugman and the “occult writings” are a joke paper he wrote in his uni days, reproduced here:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/32387650/The-Theory-of-Interstellar-Trade-by-Paul-Krugman

  17. Peter says:

    I’m not sure how much you need to invest to make sure your rate of return exceeds your fuel cost to reach relativistic speeds, but surely it’s more than a few thousand dollars…

  18. belstaff says:

    good post and thanks for share

  19. Wii and the Kid says:

    uhhh…..haWhat!!! I like strange off the wall games but, um…..aww who am I kidding, I want to play this like yesterday.

    wiiandthekid.com

  20. Jack says:

    The captcha has been slain.

    BUT AT WHAT COST?

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      I almost miss that towering, 3 legged snapping tortoise of a beast.

  21. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    +1 To Pop

  22. KillahMate says:

    Look at all those old white men.

    Old men, running the world.

  23. JellyfishGreen says:

    +1 for off-the-wall concept. My first thought was of Red Dwarf and accidentally leaving the solar system in suspended animation with $5 in your compound-interest savings account.

    Also: Aged 27 in Earth years or ship years?