I’m not very sure how to go around this, so I hope I’m doing it right. I’m currently going on in a game happening in the Naruto universe, in an AU working where two of the current main cast’s parents meet. For those who don’t know, it’s a strange world supposedly set in a weird amalgamation of 80’s -90’s technology and ninja. Yes, they have old school Nintendo and TV’s, and also can make solid copies of their bodies out of water, sand or mere air.
I searched ‘economy in the desert’ and went from there with similar things, mostly specifying ‘Sahara desert’ or ‘African desert’. Obviously I went to wikipedia and I even checked some trivia about DUNE even though I never actually read any of the books, so it was just really confused.
The good news is that very little is set on stone according to canon, and even if it is, we might squint a bit and overlook it if it’s a really good plot point. We can have things from all deserts of the world in a single place. Plus giant man-eating ants :3
They are currently living in a very large desert, in a ninja village. Compared to the other main villages, this one doesn’t do very well (according to the wiki for Naruto, The second fanbook gives Sunagakure a population size of two out of five stars, a military strength of two out of five stars, and an economic strength of two out of five stars. This gives it the lowest overall score of all the five main shinobi villages), and given how time wise this is around 17 years before the current canon, they came back from a not too successful war very recently.
My character (for anyone who knows about the canon, Namikaze Minato) has been shipped there for plot reasons and during his stay, he will help my partner’s character with some thing, among them, help figure out things they can do to boost the economy. I’ve been goggling a bit about real life deserts and the things you can do with them, but given the technological limitations, the only solid thing I have is spice trade, which I understand can make some nice money if well handled.
I thought mining, but I’m not sure if these people have both the manpower or tools needed for it.
Finding oil and selling it? Same problem as above…
I hope this will be enough for you guys to get a slight idea, but please feel free to both throw any and all ideas that come to your mind, and aks anythign that might help me specify things in my post!
Extra information that might be useful:
• Both of them are Kages (which would be the equivalent to presidents or governors, I guess). So my character has good knowledge of politics and might be in position to share some basic information (like, for example, which other village it’s more convenient to trade this or that with, what the ones closer to his home might be interested in, etc).
• Suna is famous for its poisons an art crafts. As ninja, I don’t think they would be sharing the first, but maybe they could sell crafts to civilian settlements? Would that make good money?
• Because it’s literally in the middle of a very big desert and the frequent sand storms, it’s difficult tog et both in or out unless you were born in there or are a good ninja, so I doubt tourism is an option.