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resource mechanics

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johant
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Im looking for mechanics that adress how the players get resources.
I really need inspiration/information on this subject.

Pleaze point me in the right direction!

thanks

johan

OutsideLime
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Joined: 12/31/1969
resource mechanics

Quote:
Im looking for mechanics that adress how the players get resources.
I really need inspiration/information on this subject.

Pleaze point me in the right direction!

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Write this down in sparkly gold pen and tape it to the wall in front of your desk:

Make sure that the mechanism matches and heightens the context.

The mechanic should feel like the action that it is representing. What is the resource being gathered? What is the method? Is it mana being generated by wizards? Ore being mined? Goons signing up for your gang? Lumber being harvested? Whatever it is, make it make sense.

Let us know a bit more. You will get much more valuable input.

~Josh

johant
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Joined: 12/31/1969
resource mechanics

"Make sure that the mechanism matches and heightens the context. "

First i have have to find them!

I dont know what im looking for just trying to study different types to see if there is something i could use in my own boardgame, thats all.

Pretty vauge, i know.....

I will come back with more info

jwarrend
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resource mechanics

I think spending some time playing or reading about games would serve you well here. Games like Settlers of Catan, Puerto Rico, Ticket to Ride, Citadels, Axis and Allies, Monopoly all have different methods of generating resources for players. Look up these games at the BoardGameGeek and they may spark some ideas.

Good luck,

Jeff

johant
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resource mechanics

Thanks Jeff

this kind of info is exactly what im looking for.

Have played all of the games mentioned except Citadels, very good examples i am looking for more games like this.

I find it strange that BGG doesnt have "resource generating" as a mechanic, thats the reason why i asked this question here.

johan

OutsideLime
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Joined: 12/31/1969
resource mechanics

johant wrote:
"Make sure that the mechanism matches and heightens the context. "

First i have have to find them!

I dont know what im looking for just trying to study different types to see if there is something i could use in my own boardgame, thats all.

Pretty vauge, i know.....

I will come back with more info

Ok, I understand... What I meant by that is that your mechanic should reflect the theme. Research of other games and how they accomplish goals (ie Resource Gathering) is necessary of course for ideas, but you will probably want to make some changes to whatever you discover, in order for the system to mesh well with your game. All of the games Jeff suggested are great examples and encompass a wide variety of methods.

What is the theme of your game, and what types of resources are your players trying to gather? Miners digging for gold would suggest a far different gathering mechanic to me than Florists raising daisies, for example.

~Josh

sedjtroll
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resource mechanics

I agree, before I can recommend any particular method of resource gathering, I'd want to know what the theme of the game is. What resources are being gathered?

As for different methods, many examples have been mentioned. The bottom line though is what type of resource gathering do you need?

* Is there a random factor, like digging for ore in a mine, where sometimes you find the resource, sometimes you just get rocks?
* Are you growing vegetables, where you know what resource and how many you'll get based on what seeds you planted, and the quality you'll get based on the work put into it?
(That's not a bad idea - a time delay, you plant seeds now in order to get the resource later - so you have to plan ahead for what you'll need!)
* Do you want a static income, where all players get the same resources at certain time intervals and it's up to them to use the resources as efficiently as possible?
* Should the amount of resource gathered depend on the effort spent gathering it, like in Starcraft or Warcraft where you get more resources faster if you assign more units to gathering them?

- Seth

comfixit
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resource mechanics

So do you have a theme in mind, or are you trying to create the raw game mechanics and dress it up with something?

Just some random thoughts since I have no clue what your game concept is:

* Players accumulate x whatever per turn
* Players collect x on the map/board by landing on the resource
* Players stand on a spot that produces x resource every turn (This way players fight for positions on the map)
* Randomly, players draw cards, roll some dice or a spinner
* Task based. Players do x,y,z and then recieve a certain amount of resources.
* Players buy resources with some sort of currency as needed
* Players steel resources from other players
* Players pay real cash to get booster packs hoping for the right resource

Hope these help.

Sen
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Joined: 12/20/2010
resource mechanics

I find that theme usually dictates the mechanics somewhat (or vice versa).

There's also the possibility of bidding for resources.
There's also games that have variable resources depending on events, etc.
Trading is always fun and increases interaction

Hedge-o-Matic
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resource mechanics

A varian tof the static resources method that I used to good effect in a game was having the resource location give a decreasing amount of resources. In this game, the location gave 8 the first turn collected, then 4 for two, then 2 for four turns, and then a single RP for the next eight. This would usually be around where the game was wrapping up, but even the degraded 1 and 2 point locations started to look good as the players slowly starved for resources. Once the locations had given their last point, they would change to a new random location, at fullcapacity once more. Then the stragglers would really begin to move!

Resources are the heart of most games where they appear, so I can understand where someone would want to know more about how others have used them in their own games.

zaiga
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resource mechanics

Hedge-o-Matic wrote:
Resources are the heart of most games where they appear

Absolutely, aqcuiring resources is half the game. Using them to fulfill your victory condition is the other half.

johant
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Joined: 12/31/1969
resource mechanics

The theme is airlines and the resources are passengers

Thanks for the feedback

Great list comfixit!

Julius
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resource mechanics

Then some possible resource generators are:
* Marketing/Advertising (you spend money to win passengers)
* Bidding (players try to have the lowest prices on their seats, and a fixed number of passenges goes to the lowest 'bidder' and so on up the chain)
* Time-Based Positional (players fight for a limited number of take-off times... red eyes have fewer passengers for example)
* Event based (flip a card at the start of the round... Holidays boost passengers available, disasters decrease them)
* Comfort based (flyers might like you best because you have the most leg room, but then you can fit fewer passengers on the plane... your food might be best, but your super-kitchen takes up space that could be used for a few more rows of seats)

zaiga
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resource mechanics

Julius wrote:
Then some possible resource generators are:
* Marketing/Advertising (you spend money to win passengers)
* Bidding (players try to have the lowest prices on their seats, and a fixed number of passenges goes to the lowest 'bidder' and so on up the chain)

In these cases the resource is money. So, then the question is: how do you get money? You still haven't solved the question of how to get resources, you are just moving the problem. Unless you deal players a fixed amount of money, which they have to use until the rest of the game.

Quote:
* Time-Based Positional (players fight for a limited number of take-off times... red eyes have fewer passengers for example)

* Comfort based (flyers might like you best because you have the most leg room, but then you can fit fewer passengers on the plane... your food might be best, but your super-kitchen takes up space that could be used for a few more rows of seats)

And how do players fight for the limited number of take-off times? How do players get more comfortable planes? Again, you are not solving the real problem, rather you are introducing another resource to get another resource. This is OK, but you still have to wonder how players get their primary resources in the first place.

Quote:
* Event based (flip a card at the start of the round... Holidays boost passengers available, disasters decrease them)

This is actually the only real resource gathering mechanic you list. It works, but it is probably too random. It would be nice if players could somehow plan for disasters (to alleviate the loss) or for holidays (to capitalize on the boost).

Here's a suggestion for a resource mechanic that has a fair bit of randomness to it, but still involves some player choice. I used it for a deduction game of mine, but that game never went anywhere. I still like this mechanic, though:

The player rolls 3 dice.
1) He chooses one die and gets as many passengers as the number rolled on that die.
2) He chooses another die and gets as much money as the number rolled on the die (this only works if money is also a resource in your game).
3) The last die dictates which of six actions the player takes - these six actions could be anything depending on your game.

Another mechanic would be to let the player simply choose how many passengers he wants to use every turn. However, there should be a penalty for grabbing too many passengers and a penalty for too few. Perhaps if you grab too many passengers your planes are overbooked and lose points. However, if you choose too few passengers, you are not scoring as much points as you could. Note that I deliberately use the word points, instead of money, to avoid introducing another resource.

Sen
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resource mechanics

zaiga wrote:

The player rolls 3 dice.
1) He chooses one die and gets as many passengers as the number rolled on that die.
2) He chooses another die and gets as much money as the number rolled on the die (this only works if money is also a resource in your game).
3) The last die dictates which of six actions the player takes - these six actions could be anything depending on your game.

Wow, that's pretty random and favours lucky rollers over good game players. If there's one thing that I personally don't like, it's games that impose a randomness on something that should be equitable between players. I'm a firm believer (in board games anyway) that luck = planning + opportunity.

Also, re: resources, everything you buy that can be used towards attaining the end goal is then a resource. Such as human resources, property, etc. It may all stem from money, but there may be more than money at the crux of the game.

Anyway, to the airline game:

If money is the end game determinant (i.e. whoever has the most money is the winner), it has to be somehow "created" from the game mechanic. i.e. that every action that a player takes should, in theory and in the passing of time, result in more money coming back to the player (e.g. an action taken this turn may pay dividends in 2 turns, for example). Some complexity arises when the end game determinant is also spent during the course of the game, but as long as the player has ways to recoup this, that's fine.

From the model of competing airlines, you're trying to generate revenue for your company by attracting as many customers to your airline as opposed to others.

One mechanic is limiting the size of the pool of prospective passengers by time of year. If you look at flight scheduling, you'd probably find that there are seasonal highs and lows. So, Thanksgiving and Christmas, for example, being huge holidays for flying in North America.

The difference in flyers could be in class (first, business, economy) or length of flights (longer = better). Also, different airlines may not all fly to the same destinations, so buying rights to different routes may be crucial in getting some of the higher fares. And buying more planes, hiring staff, etc. would be important too (although you can avoid micromanagement of staff unless that's the goal of your game).

You can't fly everywhere in the world, and you can't fly more passengers than you can fit in your planes.

In a game like this, there may not be any such thing as resource collection in the purest sense of the word as you're not collecting wood and metal to build the signs and planes. You're trying to spend moeny wisely to appeal to as many customers as possible.

So dealing out a set amount to each player at the beginning of the game and collecting money for each passenger you attract to be spent on even more upgrades to your airline seems to be the simplest way of doing it. To further simplify (and get rid of crummy paper money), you could have points given out at the start (say 10 or 15) and then each upgrade costs a certain number of points and each passenger brings in a certain number of points, all charted on an around-the-board score track...highest wins at the end.

Also at the beginning, each player could be given a plane or three with "beginner level" routes - each plane they have could have a different amount of space for first class / business / economy passengers. As the game progresses, they could buy more planes for different routes / more space / better staff / faster / nicer / etc.

For each active route, you may want to have the active player roll a die and then (from a bag or something) bring out that number of passengers for that turn who want to fly to that place. I envision the board having little quays that you line meeples up on ;D with different colours to represent the class of seat they want.

The actual contesting for passengers should be determined by player's actions and spending for better planes, more ads, etc.

If they're the only airline flying a certain route, they will most likely get all the passengers for that route. You'd need to make it competitive in that the winner ain't always the winner - that the first person to get enough money to buy another route doesn't always runaway with the game.

Perhaps you need to manage how much advertisement, etc. you're doing PER ROUTE (which makes sense IRL).

anyway, that's something to take you a bit away from a perhaps unncessesary mechanical worry and get into the game itself.

Depends, totally, however, on what you're trying to manage.

Epigone
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resource mechanics

zaiga wrote:
Julius wrote:

The player rolls 3 dice.
1) He chooses one die and gets as many passengers as the number rolled on that die.
2) He chooses another die and gets as much money as the number rolled on the die (this only works if money is also a resource in your game).
3) The last die dictates which of six actions the player takes - these six actions could be anything depending on your game.

I really, really like a slight modification to this mechanic. Instead of each player rolling 3 dice, how about at the beginning of a round 3 dice are rolled, and each player can choose how to allocate them?

Sen
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resource mechanics

^^^ Ah, now that definitely changes things!

If each player were to change the allotment of the SAME amounts/dice to his own goals, that would allow for the a desirable amount of randomness from round to round AND control within a round such that no one player has a huge advantage over the other for rolling well.

Everyone is dealing with the same 3 dice.

Nice fix.

johant
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resource mechanics

"The last die dictates which of six actions the player takes - these six actions could be anything depending on your game"

Personally i dont like the idea that a dice has that much impact on the actions you can perform. It might work if you tweak it, WotR has something like this, i was told by a friend

//Johan

Scurra
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resource mechanics

johant wrote:
Personally i dont like the idea that a dice has that much impact on the actions you can perform.
Not if you have a choice over which die you use for which effect. Unless all the dice show the same number, the dilemma will be in allocating them correctly - especially if the higher number actions are "better" :-)

Ska_baron
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resource mechanics

Quote:
I really, really like a slight modification to this mechanic. Instead of each player rolling 3 dice, how about at the beginning of a round 3 dice are rolled, and each player can choose how to allocate them?

Crazy! I read this yesterday and after mulling it over came up with almost the same fix... Mine though was each round the lead player rolled the dice and chooses which number will be what (the 8 will be for resources gained, the 5 will be action points for this round, etc) and then each player takes their turn. After the last player goes, the "lead player" distintion is passed on to the next person.

What might work well with this variation would be some kind of game where a lead position is variable.

That being said, I think I like your way better, Epigone =) Tough choices for each player is a great thing in any game.

Sen
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resource mechanics

Another nice twist to the "3 dice mechanic" (as it will now be referred to) would be getting blank dice and making a non-normal weighting (so, say a 3 3 4 4 5 5 or something on each die) in order to maintain some semblance of game balance.

If all 1s or all 6s were rolled, that may break the game somewhat and cause analysis paralysis while each player tries to weigh all the pros and cons of the 3 dice.

If you can control the dice somewhat, yet inject an ounce or two of randomness, you might make for a better game. Enough difference to make people have to make some hard (but not brain busting) decisions and enough normality (the avg number to make the game playable comes up more often than not on a per die basis) to make the game fun to play still.

While being able to deem which die with normal 1-6 distribution is a goodly amount of control over a situation, a fix could elevate the mechanic to something more subtle yet eminently more playable on the surface. A 1-6 distribution may just make you have to plan that much harder. It just seems that it could be hurky-jerky at times, while the 334455 distribution (for example) would make for a "smoother ride", so to speak.

sedjtroll
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resource mechanics

I really like the idea behind this '3-dice' mechanic. You have some choice as to the action you do, and the resources you get, but there's a give and take.

It's still possible to roll 5, 5, 6 and then you get good resources as well as good actions, vs rolling 2, 2, 3... and this is exactly why everyone should have the same dice to work with.

One possibility for flexibility of actions is to allow the choice of any action on the list BELOW the number rolled. So if the die you chose for Action was a 5, you could do any action numbered 1-5. This sounds weaker to me than having to choose which die for the action, but it allows for the actions to be more 'necessary'. You don't have to worry about never getting to take action number 4, because none of the dice happened to come up 4... and your strategy would really benefit from action #4.

- Seth

Epigone
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resource mechanics

I've been looking at building a game around this mechanic, and one possible fix for the normality and action-availability problem is to make it the 6-dice mechanic. This doesn't work in all games, but it happens to work nicely in something I've been considering, and it means that most rounds 4-5 actions will be available.

(mine is split into resources A,B,C,D, VPs, and an Action - I like the idea of a die being for VPs but it's a bit hard to balance)

Another possible (I haven't really thought much on this one) change is this: at the beginning of your turn you have the option to reroll one die. At the end of your turn you have the option to reroll one die.

OutsideLime
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resource mechanics

What a juicy thread! Reading through it gives me so many great ideas it makes my head spin. Great work, people, discussions like this one are the reason I love this site.

~Josh

Sen
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resource mechanics

sedjtroll wrote:

One possibility for flexibility of actions is to allow the choice of any action on the list BELOW the number rolled. So if the die you chose for Action was a 5, you could do any action numbered 1-5. This sounds weaker to me than having to choose which die for the action, but it allows for the actions to be more 'necessary'. You don't have to worry about never getting to take action number 4, because none of the dice happened to come up 4... and your strategy would really benefit from action #4.

- Seth

I would think that the number chosen for action isn't necessarily a specific action on a table, but the number of actions you can take in the round.

A la Supremacy, where you can do 5 of the 7 actions in the turn (IIRC), etc.

sedjtroll
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resource mechanics

Sen wrote:
I would think that the number chosen for action isn't necessarily a specific action on a table, but the number of actions you can take in the round.

This is another possible application... in a game where you take several actions at a time.

I like the mechanics, as players could try to do as much as possible by using the high dice as actions, but then their income and/or resources are short...

Now, how do we tie a theme to this? In what world would you do 3 things on one turn, and 6 things on another?

- Seth

Rick-Holzgrafe
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resource mechanics

sedjtroll wrote:
Now, how do we tie a theme to this? In what world would you do 3 things on one turn, and 6 things on another?

No need to be too literal. It makes sense that, if you're spending more of your time (pips on the dice) to generate resources or VPs, you're naturally spending less time on other things (explicit actions).

But if your theme supports it, you can certainly be more literal. The action dice system in War of the Ring requires the Shadow player to spend some number of his dice on the Hunt for the Ring rather than on war. It may seem artificial to force a player's choices in this way, but it mirrors the intent of Sauron who was less interested in winning the war than in getting his bloody ring back!!! (*snort* *snort* *pant* *pant* okay deep breath, focus, that's it, yes, better pay some attention to the war now...) :-)

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