This game has been Greenlit by the Community!

The community has shown their interest in this game. Valve has reached out to this developer to start moving things toward release on Steam.

Greenlight is being retired. For more information on how to submit games to steam, refer to this blog post.
Genre: Simulation
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Languages: English
Players: Single-player
Jul 28, 2015 @ 7:26am
May 28, 2016 @ 11:41am
Recent Announcements View All (2)
February Update
Chunk Loading & Tessellation

Some major improvements were made this month with the chunk loading system. Previously chunks within an arbitrary radius were loaded- now that is narrowed to only chunks currently in view. Those chunks out of view are ignored for rendering and the processing power required for them is much less- for instance, NPC pathfinding and traffic pathfinding is disabled and instead journey time is estimated, putting the NPC/vehicle into an idle state until the destination is assumed reached.

Tessellation has also been implemented for terrain rendering, and most other assets, resulting in further performance gains. The video below demonstrates how different chunks are drawn at different levels of quality as the camera zooms out. While no strict limit has been set currently for maximum view distance (or for maximum map size while on the subject), giving players the ability to set set these limits based on hardware available, and also more fine-grain controls such the maximum quality to render various world elements at, will go a long way to making something that is also accessible for players with lower spec hardware.

Improved Graphics

Since the last update, shadows have been added to the engine in addition to HDR rendering and bloom. While there is still a fair amount of polish to do, the graphics are getting close to what is planned for the initial alpha release. A few more things will be implemented beforehand, such as adding fog for better depth perception and basic environmental effects such as rain, clouds etc, while other improvements such as more advanced lighting will most likely be delayed until a later release while gameplay and economy improvements take priority. While these features do result in a better looking world, they do add to the overhead of the program, but all can be disabled in the settings menu which would result in something more similar to the graphics in the pre-alpha trailer.

NPC Animation

Up until recently all NPCs were being rendered as motionless minecraft-like characters that had not been touched since early development. A walking animation and idle pose was added this month, along with a character more resembling the low-poly style of the game. A few more animations for different tasks will be added over the coming months. In addition, it would be good to eventually individualize skin tone and clothing color in a later update rather than being rendered as grey characters, but that is not a priority for now.

Improved Road Geometry

Roads were another area that hadn’t seen a whole lot of refactoring since prototyping and weren’t implemented all that well initially, having to be drawn a fair distance above the terrain to avoid intersection. Now road geometry will be calculated based on the tessellation level of the terrain below, resulting in a much more visually appealing result- no terrain intersects and no noticeable change in elevation can be seen between the ground and road. Road markings have also been added but are still in a pretty basic state- marking intersections and multi-lane roads properly still needs to be implemented.

State Of The Economy

With the graphics side of the game engine in a much better shape as the result of the last few months of work, improving the economics side of things will be a greater focus going forward. In the current state of the game, the economy mainly consists of food production (fishing, farming) and collecting other natural resources (wood, stone), with NPCs trading with each other to fulfill needs that they do not directly produce themselves. Prices react to market conditions and deciding what to produce is influenced by market prices. Government departments also employ NPCs (both for administrative and physical labor) which is how money is initially circulated into the early game economy.

A few main areas of focus initially will be making consumer demand more individualized, increasing the number resources and implementing a supply chain (i.e. crafting system) for processing raw and intermediate goods into consumer goods. Moving NPCs away from resembling the representative agent[] and adjusting behavior based on a range of factors (economic status, family status, age, health etc) should go a long way to making the economy more dynamic and gameplay more emergent.

Expanding the role of the government in the game and polishing what has already been implemented will also be a focus over the next few months. Currently players are able to create taxes (limited to either income or transaction based) and social services programs (limited to cash payments) based on specific conditions, zone areas of land for development and create and manage infrastructure projects, but more departments are planned in order to increase the scope and range of available government sector injections/leakages into/out of the economy.

2016 Schedule

As already mentioned, polishing the game in it’s current state will continue to be a focus, with the GUI, workflows in regard to placing zones/buildings/roads and controlling departments to be an initial focus, and definitely some low hanging fruit for some rapid progress in February. Having something ready to get into the hands of a group of testers perhaps as early as April would be ideal. Getting initial feedback, bug fixing and expanding gameplay and depth will be done from there on, until a public alpha release is ready a few months after that.

September Update

From the beginning of the development process modding support has always been a consideration, though initially for the alpha release just an asset editor was planned. But because of various reasons (a big one being refactoring & abstracting some of the more rushed areas of the codebase), lua scripting has now been added to the engine. This means that there will be greater flexibility for modding beyond graphics from the get go.


Some time was also spent redesigning the user interface surrounding zoning. Though a fair amount of polish is still needed, it’s in a good enough shape to be able to quickly zone out reasonable sized areas of terrain. This will make it easier to quickly plan out bigger cities and grow them to larger populations. On the roadmap for next month is a fair amount of performance refactoring and testing the economic side of the simulation at a larger scale so this will definitely be helpful.

Zoning will definitely be improved in the future- as seen below the roads and plots are being drawn in a grid layout, but more layout algorithms will be added in the future, along with tools that give greater control of placement, for instance drawing a set of plots alongside a road that already exists.


As mentioned already, the greenlight campaign is ongoing. It has definitely been a positive learning experience, but the process definitely has it’s flaws, especially for games that don’t appeal to the wider gaming audience (it’s not a FPS zombie survival game to the dismay of many greenlight voters). But despite this, the ratio of yes/no votes is still encouraging- submitting early in the development process is definitely an advantage though as it will allow votes to accumulate gradually over time.

It increasingly seems like games are greenlit not by raw numbers but by the discretion of Valve and while it would be great to eventually be in the ecosystem (or even just the certainty of getting through the greenlight process), the game will be released cross-platform regardless of the greenlight status once it has reached the stage of being ready for alpha release, either directly on the website and/or on other marketplaces.

To get these updates via email, subscribe at the website[]. For smaller updates such as screenshots/gifs etc follow @polynomicsgame. And any questions or comments about the game can always be asked on /r/polynomics.

Release date: 2016
Polynomics is a low poly styled economics simulation game currently in early development.

In the game you play the role of a federal government. While drawing inspiration from traditional city building games, Polynomics is more about macroeconomic management: controlling the issuance of currency, implementing revenue policies through a mix of taxation and state owned entities, and managing government departments.

Agent-based Simulation

Each entity in the game acts out of self interest. When placed in an undeveloped game world, that involves simply trying to survive- seeking shelter and gathering resources necessary for survival. As the economy becomes more complex each agent will seek to own their own house and specialize in a profession, but is essentially doing the same thing: looking at their needs and desires and attempting to fulfill them.

Freedom from Micromanagement

While you do have the ability to micromanage things at a smaller scale, such as planning the layout and intricate details of a city, there is also a certain element of automation that will allow you to focus on the bigger picture. You can zone large areas of land and allow roads and structures to procedurally expand within based on player-imposed conditions.

International Sector

A number of other AI players are present within a given game world and can be interacted with, both at a trade and diplomatic level. As a player you can decide how much to embrace free trade with the implementation of tariffs and other regulations, and what resources and products to specialize in producing through the implementation of subsidies and other instruments.

Chunk Loading System

Map sizes in Polynomics are much larger than other games in the city building genre- they can get away with that as you are playing from the perspective of a local government. Since the processing requirements for off-screen entities is much lower this also allows for much larger populations.


The goal of Polynomics is to resemble more of a realistic economic simulation rather than a first world simulation, and that makes for more interesting gameplay anyway. As a player you will face the real world challenges that developing countries face: building infrastructure, improving productivity, investing in health and education, improving the overall standard of living etc.

Economic Crises

In addition to dealing with fires, earthquakes and other natural disasters (which have interesting economic implications in themselves), you will also need to contend with economic disasters such as fluctuations in the business cycle, hyperinflation, market shortages and the consequences of having limited environmental regulations just to name a few.

For questions and comments, feel free to post a comment or start a discussion thread on this greenlight page. Alternatively post on the subreddit.

You can keep up to date by signing up to the email list on the website[] or by following Polynomics on Twitter.
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Charles Jul 15, 2016 @ 3:38am 
Soon as saw it was mainly a economic simulation Game I instantly became excited, Soon as this becomes avaliable It is an instant buy from me.
MazeFrame Jun 23, 2016 @ 7:59pm 
Looks like the game I want. Focus on managing the "behind the scenes" stuff and not the visible issues of a city.
Best of luck!
player1 Feb 12, 2016 @ 12:11am 
I voted yes. But here is where I want this project to go.
Proceduraly generated cities with a mix of market segments and local value chains supplying to that demand.
You as a player can borrow at interest and start a B2C or a B2B business and compeat for a market share from AI businesses.
You should also be able to use Government Connections (that you create during High Fashion Charity Auctions) to win Government tenders in a less then fair way shall we say?
as well as the entire repertoire of actions you can take in the Wall Street Raider the game.
LBO. Strip and Flip. Credit Default Swaps. Artificial Bottlenecks to create scarcity. Artificial Gluts to push competitors margins below breakeven.
anyway if that is posible that would be amazing.
Swapware Feb 10, 2016 @ 3:23am 
looks interesting voted yes
AnasAbdin Feb 5, 2016 @ 11:48pm 
This is the result of hard work and dedication. Cool idea and concept. Best of luck :) :steamhappy:
ajankelo Jan 26, 2016 @ 6:49pm 
Super excited to see this come out! Excellent work!
Andram24 Dec 12, 2015 @ 6:30pm 
What sounds really exciting about this game is the large variety of choices the player seems to be able to make, so I would definitely buy it! I hope it passes and becomes available, cheers:steamhappy:
Space_ghost Dec 7, 2015 @ 3:33am 
Cant wait :D
Doofus Dec 6, 2015 @ 5:47am 
I love economic simulations. Can't wait for this. Yes!
Suminell Nov 13, 2015 @ 10:47am 
Looks deep and engaging. Voted Yes!