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Determining who finishes a task first (non-electric buzzer)

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lantzbg
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Joined: 07/12/2013

Hello all! Just found this outstanding site and looking forward to using your combined experience and knowledge to help with my game design. I understand its a two way street and hope to contribute as well.
I'm looking for a solution to a game mechanic: I've been designing a baseball board game for a couple of years. I'm in need of a mechanic for determining which player finishes a series of simultaneous dice rolls first. I'm trying to avoid players yelling "done" (or some other word) as this leads to a lot of "I said it first!" arguments. I'm not interested in electric buzzers either.
Some of you may remember "The Mcdonals Game" from Milton Bradley published in 1975. I have many fond memories playing this game. It had a great (but possibly outdated) mechanic for determining who finished filling their orders first:
Each player had a colored marble they would throw into a small cardboard "box" that was elevated about 4 inches above the game board by a clear plastic tube. The bottom of the box funneled into the clear plastic tube. When players finished the task, they dropped the marble in the box. Therefore whoever's marble was at the bottom of the tube was first to finish the order.
I've been considering using this mechanic for my game but wanted to ask for any other ideas from the community. Essentially, I'm in need of a non-electric "quiz show" like buzzer.
Thanks to all in advance!

regzr
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Joined: 05/27/2012
A bell

A Halli Galli bell.

Parthon
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Joined: 07/08/2013
Marbles!

The marble idea is pretty cool, but it would add more weight to the game.

Galaxy Trucker is a game that has a first-finished mechanic, and that works by having cardboard tokens on the table that are grabbed when the player is done. This also sets up the turn order.

There haven't been any disputes, because it's clear who grabbed it first.

Evil ColSanders
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Joined: 12/08/2010
I have a "I finished first"

I have a "I finished first" game as well. I currently use a service bell (like the kind you hit on counter of a hotel for service).

If that doesn't work, Hex Hex use sticks. You simply need to have a simple, grabbable object such as a wooden dowel rod 2"-3" thick or use a plastic card separator and stand it up with a plastic game piece standee. Plastic instead of cardstock for those people that "grab hard" which will destroy the card.

Hell, in writing this, I think I may just do the card in the standee! That would save on production costs, rather than an awesome metal bell; But I guess that's what kickstarter and stretch goals are for. lol

lantzbg
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Joined: 07/12/2013
Mangled fingers and token wars

Thanks all for the quick replies. This is exactly why I came to this site! Yes, I thought of a bell or grabbing a token but play testing has demonstrated that the race to completing the task is extremely close and I'm trying to avoid fighting over a token or mangled fingers ringing a bell. Each player having their own mechanical buzzer of some type that disables the other player's buzzer (quiz show) is ideal. Just can't seem to get any better ideas than the marble.

Stormyknight1976
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Joined: 04/08/2012
What about,

What about assorted colored fish bowl pebbles? Of course they don't roll, but they do slide quite well. And plus their easy to handle and purchase at any pet store.

McTeddy
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Joined: 11/19/2012
Now that I've read other

Now that I've read other answers, I've had an idea. You could give each player a "Finished" card. When you finish acting you set it fact down in a stack in the middle.

The player on the bottom was first and so on up the line.

StagCutlery
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Joined: 06/02/2013
I remember a long time ago

I remember a long time ago this hand-slapping game where you pressed a button and this plastic hand slapped down on the table. The hands were close enough that they would land on top of each other. Bottom-most hand in the pile was the winner.

You could probably mock one up with a straw, a paper hand, a cheap mouse trap, and a clothes pin... I'm just rattling off the top of my head there.

Evil ColSanders
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Joined: 12/08/2010
Problem with that. There

Problem with that. There needs to be an area to place the card, reachable by all players. Without that, please can just place it somewhere close, defeating the purpose of a stack. There are going to be close ones and aggressive people may knock people out of the way, and that just leads to bad blood.

lantzbg
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Joined: 07/12/2013
Best Idea Yet

StagCutlery wrote:
I remember a long time ago this hand-slapping game where you pressed a button and this plastic hand slapped down on the table. The hands were close enough that they would land on top of each other. Bottom-most hand in the pile was the winner.

You could probably mock one up with a straw, a paper hand, a cheap mouse trap, and a clothes pin... I'm just rattling off the top of my head there.

Hi, this is the best alternative to the marble chute yet. Thanks everyone for the ideas and please keep them coming. Still looking for that mechanic that "clicks..."

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