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Determining values for player rewards

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Grall Ritnos
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Joined: 02/07/2011

Hey gang. I posted on this in another thread, but I had a suggestion to start a new thread with the idea, so here it is. I'm working on a game that has a lot of different ways to reward players for completing objectives, including cash, resources, units, action cards and victory points. I'm still in the prototyping stages, although I have notes on paper that include guestimated values for how many of these items should be awarded, and how these should relate to each other (players can sell resources for money, etc.). Since I haven't been able to play test yet, I have no idea what the relative value of these items are, beyond my own gut feelings. I'd love to have a better idea as to how to determine the value of commodities in a game before playtesting, just to give myself a good starting point. Does anyone have any suggestions? (Sorry if this is vague or confusing.)

CloudBuster
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Joined: 04/14/2009
GAH! At work...

I really wanted to respond so I'll just quickly say that I'll get back to you this evening!

CloudBuster
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Joined: 04/14/2009
AT&T uVerse has been giving me trouble...anyway...

So...you've got the following for completing objectives:
Cash
Resources
Units
Action Cards
Victory Points

You can sell resources for money...how many resources are there and what are they? Do they serve a purpose for something other than turning them in for cash? If not, lose the resources and just keep the cash. If they DO serve another purpose, that's fine...what are they used for?

Units...so you can get more men, more vehicles, etc? What are "units" exactly?

Action Cards...can you give me an example of what kind of action cards you can get? What do they allow you to do? Can you acquire Action Cards in other ways? Can you buy them? Can you get them by using resources?

Victory Points...is this the object of the game? The one with the most victory points wins? How else can the player acquire VP's?

Can you give me an example of what a couple objectives would be? I don't know enough about this game at this point. What are the players doing? Are they trying to gain territory? Are they trying to eliminate everybody else?

I'll just make this a war game for now. The objective you have is to take control of a certain spot on the board and hold it for 2 turns. If you do that, you get 5 men and a jeep and you also get an extra movement action card. This card lets you move one more unit than you'd normally be able to move. <--Is this the type of thing you're wondering about?

Sorry...late...tired.

-CB-

One last thing...how do you obtain more objectives? Do you have to complete one objective before you start on another one, or can you have multiple objectives and pick which one you want to complete?

Grall Ritnos
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Joined: 02/07/2011
More information about my game

Ok, so here's some greater detail. In the game, players manufacture starships by mining or purchasing 4 different raw materials, which are then used to produce 4 different starship components, which are ultimately assembled into 4 different starships. Raw materials can be bought and sold for cash at a fluctuating price market. Components can't be bought, but can be sold for cash for a profit beyond the cost after the component raw materials. Ships cannot be bought or sold, but are used in completing contracts (see below).

Each turn, a card is revealed from the Contract deck, with each card representing one of two options. First (and most commonly), the card could be a purchasing contract for a specific combination of ships. Players secretly bid cash for the contract, with the low bid winning the deal. A player may not bid on a new contract if he or she has one outstanding. When a player has assembled the correct collection of ships and chooses to cash in the contract, that player receives his or her bid in cash, as well as reputation points and "favor" cards in amounts set on the contract card. 20 reputation points are necessary to win the game, and individual contracts can provide 0-7 reputation points. Favor cards are primarily focused on attacking other players, influencing the resource market, or protecting yourself from other players favor cards. These are designed to increase interactivity in a game that badly needs it (or so I think, having not play tested yet).

The second type of card in the Contract deck is an Opportunity. This represents an immediate event where players work together (with varying levels of competition and cooperation) to complete some task, whether its protecting a resource convoy, funding a science expedition, or busting a local crime lord out of prison. Players are asked to risk their ships and money on a die roll in these ventures, with the chances of success generally increasing as more is put at risk. The rewards for completing an Opportunity successfully can include any of the items mentioned so far, except reputation points, although losing certain Opportunities can cost a player reputation points, in addition to the ships and money put at risk.

I've assigned numbers to all of the possible interactions already, but I have no clue if they are even in the ballpark. Any tips on narrowing this down before play testing begins?

Yamahako
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Joined: 12/01/2010
Grall Ritnos wrote: I've

Grall Ritnos wrote:

I've assigned numbers to all of the possible interactions already, but I have no clue if they are even in the ballpark. Any tips on narrowing this down before play testing begins?

Make sure all of your values are related to each other. Pick 1 unit, for example - money, and decide how much money each other element of the game should be worth.

So if you know that you want a Raw Material to be worth 1 of the smallest money unit, and a ship component to be worth 4 Raw Materials, and a Ship to be worth 4 Ship components. Maybe 1 ship is worth 1 Card, and maybe 1 favor is worth 2 ship components. And maybe 1 Victory point is worth 2 cards. This would mean

Raw Materials = 1x
Ship component = 4x
Favor = 8x
Ship = 16x
Card = 16x
VP = 32x

And X (a unit of money so to speak) would just be a common ground. If you know you want players to buy cards for 200$, then you would know that it would take 12.5$ to buy a Raw Material if you wanted to sell them and keep money as your static value. Another great static value is actions, though you might want to use Materials for it. With a fluctuating market - I would recommend sticking with money - because it create variances in the value of all objects in the game which sounds interesting to me - and makes it especially important that when the game begins its all balanced around that.

These are just guesses... and a way to get started. By making each element in your game have a common valuation (even if you they will never be directly traded for each other) you can have an idea of how you want it to go.

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