You know what it all boils down to? It’s this handy formula:
Price = Base Cost × Multiplier(#Owned)
It works particularly well, psychologically, if the multiplier is set between 1.07 and 1.15. Less than that and you progress too quickly to enjoy each new upgrade, and much larger than that and the game bogs down and feels like a tedious grind. Somewhere between 1.07 and 1.15 is the sweet spot, used by many, many idle/incremental games.
Just in case the name didn’t give it away, Bones of the Idle has a strong idle/clicker component. When you’re gathering materials
There’s a few points raised that I want to briefly talk about in the context of Bones‘ design:
I kind of have a system in mind for “ascension”, whereby players will be able to retire characters in exchange for a regular offline income. You get to start over with a new character, and every day you’ll receive some income and items based on all your retired character’s skills. Potentially these retirees will appear in the game as NPCs.
Autoclickers and scripting
Bones of the Idle is free to play, and there’s no adverts. It’s also not going to be nagging you to spend money. However, my time has value, and I’m not adverse to money. I set up a Ko-fi page here, where people can chip in with donations if they feel the game is worth it.
If I ever add anything resembling micro transactions — in general I have no issues with them, when done well — I’d have them be ethical, not lootboxes, and definitely not pay-to-win.