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Trade mechanic...

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Patriarch
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Hi.. Our orginal trade mechanic was something like this:

There are 7 good types. When you enter a place you can buy good you draw 5 random good cards. These 5 items are what are for sale. You buy the ones you want, and discard the rest. Once there no longer are any trade cards left, the deck is shuffled.

The problem is that it resulted in far too much shuffling. So we began redesigning it completely.

Does anyone have any fun ideas on how to handle trading so its fun and interesting, without getting too complex or cumbersome?

zaiga
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Re: Trade mechanic...

Patriarch wrote:
Does anyone have any fun ideas on how to handle trading so its fun and interesting, without getting too complex or cumbersome?

Well, I wouldn't call it a trading mechanic, as you are not actually trading something, are you? Not with other players, nor with the "game". It's more like a buying mechanic.

Semantics aside, if really the only problem was the amount of shuffling then there are several ways of combating that. You could raise the number of cards in the deck. You could lower the number of different goods and offer less cards per turn (for example, 4 instead of 5). Another option is not to discard the unused cards, but let them stay there face-up for a next turn, and only add as much cards as were bought (refill up to 5). This will slow down the turn-around time of the deck, and perhaps also add some interesting decisions.

Gogolski
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Trade mechanic...

You could also put the discarded goods under the deck. With seven possible goods, the players will probably not be able to remember when the goods will come up again, unless they're all called rain man or something.

Now there's no shuffling at all...

Cheese!

Julius
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Trade mechanic...

On the subject of Rain Man... Have you played the Coldsnap cards in MTG? I've been doing a few pre-release drafts, and there are a few cards with a 'ripple' mechanic.

Essentially, it works like this: You play the card with ripple on it, and then you may reveal the top four cards of your deck. Any cards with the same name of your first ripple card can be played for free, and the remainder go on the bottom of your deck. Of course, you can then ripple the one you played for free... I've had great fun with grabbing 5 or 6 copies of a single card in the draft (draft doesn't have the four copy limit), and being able to ripple all of them out to devestating effect... but I digress.

The point is, some players CAN remember card order of cards put on the bottom of the deck. I make a point to remember what cards go back and in what order. You can probably avoid this by having more than 40 cards to deal with, though. I imagine if the goods deck had 100 cards in it, I'd have a bit of trouble remembering the exact order, especially if the variety is only 7 types of goods.

Patriarch
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Trade mechanic...

Hi... Thanks for your useful suggestions. I guess cutting the amount of goods down, to maybe 5 would add extend it a bit. I cant cut down the amount of cards a player takes up since some players will have 5 "cargo" slots - so taking 5 will make sense. I also can't add more cards since I have more enough cards as it is already :)

I also had another idea, but I could not get my head around it... help me out:

Each place you can buy goods has a cheap good and an expenssive good. The expenssive good can also be sold at that high price if someone bought it cheap some place else. Now - I think it could be interesting if I could simulate how prices may change once a place gets too many of a type of good. Say that slaves are worth alot here - someone sells 5 slaves - this leaves a chance that slaves are now cheap here, since there are so many. The problem with this is that the person who sould the slaves, can now buy back these slaves - now at the cheap price. This becomes silly :)

Any clues how a similar mechanic could be implemented.

Also - I'm completely open to entirely different ways of handling buying/selling

Yogurt
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Trade mechanic...

Patriarch wrote:
Any clues how a similar mechanic could be implemented.

Just calculate the buying and selling one item at a time.

Price List for Buying or Selling
-----------------------------------
1 available: 5 gold
2 available: 4 gold
3 available: 3 gold
4 available: 2 gold
5 or more available: 1 gold

So if there are three, um, nice wooden staves available, and you buy them all, you pay 3+4+5=12. If there are three staves available and you sell 5, you earn 3+2+1+1+1=8.

As long as you're dealing with small amounts of items, I don't think it's that fiddly. I've always wanted to include this system in a game. :)

Jebbou
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Trade mechanic...

Patriarch wrote:
Say that slaves are worth alot here - someone sells 5 slaves - this leaves a chance that slaves are now cheap here, since there are so many. The problem with this is that the person who sould the slaves, can now buy back these slaves - now at the cheap price.

Yogurt, although the technique you suggest seems very interesting, it does not resolve the problem mentionned by Patriarch. Also, the goods never reach the customers, are endlessly moving on the board. Nevertheless, this approach is a very simple way to tackle a problem that could require a lot of tracking, like in the following approach:

Each city (or region) could have a number of commodities produced, each represented by a colored icon next to the cities that produce it. These goods cannot be sold in cities where they are produced. Then you would have, for each city, a track from 1 to 5, on which you move colored goods tokens to represent the price of each non-produced good. The sold price would be reduced when you sell a good, and would increase gradually each turn, to represent goods that are consumed. Sold goods would be removed from play. Although I really like this approach, I have to admit that players will spend most of their time moving counters on the goods price tracks.

For example:
In one region you would have
Produced Goods: Wood, Wheat
Sold Goods Price: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |
A green token for for spice could stand on 4 and a gray token could stand on 2 for iron.

Jeb

johant
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Trade mechanic...

i am thinking about this aswell.
Example:

The players have different resources lets say x,z, y, t and these resourses can be traded but when u sell them i am planning to add money as a way of payment, meaning u dont get z for trading t but insted u get money.

My intention is to let the players use money to buy the different resources from the "bank" and from the other players.

BUT, i dont know how i should handel price changes in the resources and i am affraid that it gets fiddly escpacially if u have to track all the resources produced and used.

One could of cource let the prices be the same during the entire game.

//Johan

Yogurt
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Trade mechanic...

Jebbou wrote:
Yogurt, although the technique you suggest seems very interesting, it does not resolve the problem mentionned by Patriarch.

Sure it does. The problem Patriarch had was: "the person who sold the slaves, can now buy back these slaves - now at the cheap price."

With my system above, you come to a city with 1, um, olive (cost: 5 gold), and have 6 olives to sell. You can sell your first olive for 5 gold, the next one for 4 and so on. You sell all 5 olives and earn 5+4+3+2+1+1=16. A ha! Now olives cost only 1. Cheap olives! So you start to buy all your olives back. And you pay 1+1+2+3+4+5=16. You've achieved nothing by flooding and then cornering the market.

I agree there should be a mechanism for market movement besides the players, but that's a separate issue.

Patriarch
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Trade mechanic...

Interesting guys... Food for thought definately. I'm debating if its too much book keeping - and it will definately require more components (and more money I'm not sure I have :D) and may not fit my board.

But very interesting - worth looking into.

rellekmr
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Trade mechanic...

anyone who has ever played the decipher star wars ccg competitively can track an entire 60-card deck.

larienna
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Trade mechanic...

I think for trading and selling comodity, "Puerto Rico" and "Settlers of Catan" are 2 great games for inspiration.

In the "Uncharted Waters" video game, when you always make the same trade route and sell the same comodity, the price drop since there is a lower demand. You could represent it like this :

You have 3 slot with a value of 4|3|2. When the first player sell a commodity of this kind, he gains 4 gold and place a token on it leaving 3 and 2 free. When all 3 slot are occupied, there is no more demand for this commodity and nobody can sell it anymore. You just determine what event can occur to remove tokens in these slot so that players can sell again.

Trading between players is also a good solution because it naturally creates a offer and demand mechanism. If you produce too much of a type of good, you will eventually want to get rid of it. You just need to determine how much good each turn will enter and exit from circulation between players. This make sure that there is always a certains amount of goods in play.

Jebbou
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Trade mechanic...

Quote:

1 available: 5 gold
2 available: 4 gold
3 available: 3 gold
4 available: 2 gold
5 or more available: 1 gold

Let's say that there are 3 peanuts in stock. You sell one, you get 3 gold. There are now 4 peanuts in stock. You may now buy one for 2 gold. Is there something I am missing here ? :)

The comment about goods not reaching the customer was not directed at you (Yogurt) but at the general idea of having goods moving around. This may not necessarily be a bad thing depending on the goal of the game (See Serenessima).

I agree that most solutions you will encounter will require some sort of tracking. Knowing the goal of the game could help have ideas in regards to this issue.

Julius
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Trade mechanic...

It's an infinite Peanut/Gold loop!

I think you would need two prices for buying and selling, shifted slightly (to maintain the even buying/selling price):

Sell:
0 available: 6 gold
1 available: 5 gold
2 available: 4 gold
3 available: 3 gold
4 available: 2 gold
5+ available: 1 gold

Buy
1 available: 6 gold
2 available: 5 gold
3 available: 4 gold
4 available: 3 gold
5 available: 2 gold
6+ available: 1 gold

So, if there were 4 available, you would buy at 3 and sell at 2.
If you bought two and sold two, you would buy at 3+2, and sell for 2+3.

If there were 7 available (for example), and you bought three (1+1+2), you would sell them back at (2+1+1), so it also works at higher values.

Problem solved.

Yogurt
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Trade mechanic...

Jebbou wrote:
there something I am missing here ? :)

See, what you're forgetting is that I can't count.

Julius has posted the fix already, so all that's left for me is the blushing.

One extra note: Instead of having separate tables for selling and buying, you could simply calculate your sales income by looking at the number of products available AFTER you add yours to the pool. So if there's one olive available and I sell one, I collect 4 gold, the "two olives available" price.

In fact, if you have a limited number of actions per turn, it might be interesting to force you to calculate your sales income after taking into account ALL your sales. So if there are no olives and you sell 3, you get 9 gold (3*3), but if you sell 5, you get 5 gold (5*1). You might be willing to use multiple actions in order to sell in more profitable batches. (Amun-Re does this with buying.)

Anyway, thanks for catching my mistake! However, please pretend I'm correct in all future posts.

Julius
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Trade mechanic...

Fair warning: I'm going to use (steal) this trade mechanic and use it in my Pirate game. On the upside, I will probably never publish it, so don't think I'm going to beat you to the punch. However, I will tell you how I am going to implement it, so maybe this will help you out.

In my game, there are 12 ports (Booty Bay, Cutlass Cove, Port Plunder, etc.), each distributed around the edge of the game board. I think I'm going to reduce the number of types of goods from 12 to 6. Probably going to use Rum, Guns, Silk, Dyes, Lumber, and Sugar.

Sell:
0 available: 5 gold
1 available: 4 gold
2 available: 3 gold
3 available: 2 gold
4+ available: 1 gold

Buy
1 available: 5 gold
2 available: 4 gold
3 available: 3 gold
4 available: 2 gold
5+ available: 1 gold

Now, here's where it gets interesting:

To encourage sailing across the seas, 6 of the 12 ports will have a high price for a particular trade good. For example, Booty Bay might have silk as a high trade good. Prices (for both buying and selling) will be 1 gold higher than everywhere else. The other 6 will have a low price for a particular trade good, where prices will be one lower than everywhere else. Yes, this means you can potentially 'buy' for free at a low port if there are enough available. So, if Port Plunder has the low price on silk, you could buy it cheap and sell it high at Booty Bay.

The only problem I see people posting about, is that all of a particular good will be shipped from the cheap ports to the expensive ports. This shouldn't be a problem, however, because if all of the silk ends up at Booty Bay, you will be able to buy it for 2 gold, and sell it at Cutlas Cove (or any of the other 10 ports) for 5.

If anyone is interested in the other aspects of the game, pipe up, and I'll start a new thread about it.

Patriarch
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Trade mechanic...

Thanks alot guys.. food for thought.

Julius... what is interesting is that it IS a pirates game I'm working on :)

We plan/planned to publish it but we had a rather depressing production meeting yesterday, and it appears we are over budget, even without traemarks, patents etc - if we get that done it all sky rockets. So in a day we went from "were gonna do it" to "hmmmmm..."

Anyway, I'm still hoping - and I'm working on inalizing the design if we decide to go mental and use all our money to make it.

Hedge-o-Matic
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Trade mechanic...

Jebbou brings up the interesting point of the middleman. Perhaps the market stays the same for all ports, but the traders and buyers have different markup rates? So if the markup on parrots in Barnicle Bay is 2, and the current value of parrots is 2, you can buy a parrot for 4, or sell one for 2. If the markup for peg legs was 5, however, you might want to sail to Gangplank Market, where the peg leg dealer only charges a markup of 3.

This way, the market fluctuates based on goods available (the same for all ports) and the dealers of the commodities (different for every port and commodity).

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