In creating maps of these two systems, we realized how much we had narrowed in on the “timeliness of payments” aspect of the credit scoring system. This is appropriate, as missed payments have the greatest negative impact on a person’s credit score of all of the factors shown below. In terms of educating a player on the U.S. credit system (assuming they have no prior knowledge), understanding timely payments on loans is a good starting point from which the other factors can be understood. We decided to abstract away from details of debt that would make values difficult to calculate while playing, such as interest and loan plans that differ based on the credit score of the player. To make an abstract concept like credit more tangible, we have players take on loans to buy concrete assets like houses or cars, rather than paying off a credit card bill. A key similarity between the real-world credit system and our game is the stock-flow nature of credit scores – to have a good score, you need to take on some debt, but not too much that you cannot pay it off. The primary objective of Ca$h or Credit is to familiarize players with this balancing act.
Concept Map of our System: Credit Scoring
Stock-Flow Diagram of our System
Concept Map of our Game: Ca$h or Credit
Close-up of Core Debt Loop of our Game
Close-up of Key Relationships in our Game