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Minor Design Issues

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Anonymous

Ok, basically I'm working on a game where each player controls a marketplace stall in 15th century London. Each player has three different type of wares (Food, Clothes, Gems) and can price them accordingly. What happens is that the higher you price it, the less chance you have of someone buying it. But the problem I'm running into is the design of the card to price said wares. As some of you may or may not know, Cheapass Games released a new game a couple of months ago titled One False Step For Mankind. If anyone has played it, it introduced a new sort of keeping score system using a small slip of cardstock with small numbers written on it. What it did was it kept track of budget on different parts of your shuttle. Well, when I began work on Marketplace, I knew I needed some sort of way to keep track of pricing. The method used in One False Step For Mankind seemed to be the most viable option. But then I thought, would anyone want to even express interest in my game if I was so blantantly ripping off their idea.

Any ideas on a way I could do the above without actually using their system?

IngredientX
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Re: Minor Design Issues

Fenrise wrote:
Any ideas on a way I could do the above without actually using their system?

I think you'd be okay to just go ahead and use it, for a couple of reasons.

First off, if this is your first game, it's more important that you actually go through and finish the process, rather than get hung up on a detail that might seem to keep it from being "perfect." And anyway, the creative process is so volatile, that you might change an element down the road that might put a new spin on things.

Secondly, you're not taking a mechanic, but a method of tracking information. And it seems to be closely related to using a counter over a series of boxes, with each box reflecting a different state (or a count of something, etc.). So I don't even think that it's all that original in OFSFM, though the paperclips put a new spin on things.

Good luck with it!

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Minor Design Issues

The game Ad Acta came out a year before One False Step and used paperclips to track the status of things, so in that sense paperclips aren't new.

In addition you can do all kinds of things depending on your scale. Use little markers on a playing mat. Use stacks of chips or piles of pebbles or piles of wooden cubes. Use a card or tile that is turned in different orientations depending on the score (like 1-2-3-4). Use a community chart/board/mat that has one set of scales for everyone and have everyone place one marker of their color on each scale, something that allows people to easily compare where they are in relation to each other. The list of possibilities is quite long: I'm sure I could think of more things.

And as already stated, don't worry about it: all games copy, and should, at least to a certain extent (usually).

-- Matthew

Yekrats
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Joined: 08/11/2008
Re: Minor Design Issues

Fenrise wrote:
Well, when I began work on Marketplace, I knew I needed some sort of way to keep track of pricing. The method used in One False Step For Mankind seemed to be the most viable option. But then I thought, would anyone want to even express interest in my game if I was so blantantly ripping off their idea.

Any ideas on a way I could do the above without actually using their system?

I've had that problem a few times, myself. I see a mechanic that's an elegant solution for a problem. For example, I played New England for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and the mechanic where players choose their "initiative" determining their price for buying things is nice. It would fit nicely in one of my WIPs, but I'd rather want to avoid copying it directly, somehow, if I could.

Then again, there's lots of ways of doing effectively the same thing. I would advise: See if you can tweak it in some way to make it your very own.

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Minor Design Issues

Here's an image that shows a marketplace game, Fische Fluppen Frikadellen... see the upper-left corner of the image for their marketplace. The little markers slide up and down based on current market conditions.

Here's another, from the game Vino. In the lower-left portion of the main board you can see the marketplace, where the markers move left and right along the chart as conditions change:

For consideration here's a list of games that involve commodity speculation... you might check to see how they do it. Often the pictures and descriptions (and reviews and session reports) of the games alone will give you a sense of how they track things, and may provide you with the inspiration you need for a different solution.

-- Matthew

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