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Political Game - mechanic help?

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JayProducer
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I've been working away on some ideas for re-designing a politician game my father sent me a while back. I want to make it more strategic and I have some good ideas.

A couple of areas I'd like to get some support on however are as follows:

- At the start of the game I was going to have a TV debate - 10 questions, each correct answer (agree or disagree with the policy statement) you get x amount of votes or money. Get all 10 correct you get a bonus. Now say that Joe gets 8 correct, John gets 6 correct, Alice gets 9 correct and Jane gets 5 correct. Those results then determine what money you get to start with. I.e 1 correct = £0, 2 correct = £25,000, 3 correct = £50,000, 4 correct = £75,000, 5 correct = £100,000, 6 correct = £150,000, 7 correct = £200,000, 8 correct = £300,000, 9 correct = £4000,000, 10 correct = £650,000. Should I re-introduce the TV debate at some stage again during the game (if so, when? and how will this happen?) but this time to obtain votes? Bear in mind all candidates need to be in the TV debate to create a more even playing field.

- As part of the game you need to buy resources, but what I am stuck on is how will players obtain money? any ideas?

- How will players strategically steal money and votes in a corrupt manner? any ideas?

- How will lodge members get more benefits? what do you think is fair? Becoming a lodge member costs money in the game but should the benefits be getting more votes, more money or both? or something else?

- How will influence tokens work? I was thinking of tying this to the UK map area idea I have, so that the more influence tokens you have the more votes you obtain? or, if another TV debate takes place, for each influence token you have will automatically allow you to bypass those first lot of questions, so say you have 6 tokens you automatically bypass the first 6 (answered as correct).

I'm just trying to iron out some ideas I have to make it more strategic. The TV debate area I am hoping will be the only luck based element of the game, but is based on logic and realism.

JayProducer
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Anyone? If this helps here is

Anyone?

If this helps here is what I have planned for the game:

Game lasts 20 turns. A small space on the board is available to put down markers to keep track of how many turns have passed.

Bidding for choice of dice:
Each player takes turns to roll all 4 dices.
OR
Each turn, a player rolls a set of dice; how many dice are rolled is determined by the level of that player's votes they have (i.e. 10,000 votes = 2 dice rolled, 20,000 = 3 dice rolled).

Going with each player takes turns to roll all 4 dices - The dices are rolled and then each player secretly bids to have first picks at what dice they want (by placing money underneath a piece of paper or underneath the table) and then simultaneous reveal, and the player with the highest bid goes first to choose a dice. Let’s say Ann bids £4,000, Bob £2,000, Cindy £5,000, Dave £1,000. So the choice of dice order is Cindy, Ann, Bob, Dave. By rolling the dices first it gives players a chance to strategically think whether they want to bid a high amount and how desperate they are to give the number they really need, or they might not be bothered and bid a low amount. Bids range from £1,000 to £8,000.

If there is a draw players can decide to bid again but cannot bypass someone who bid more than them in the first place. Let’s say Ann bids £4,000, Bob £4,000, Cindy £5,000, Dave £1,000. So the choice of dice order is Cindy first pick, Ann and Bob must bid again or be in agreement but Dave will have the last remaining dice. Ann and Bob can either agree who goes 2nd and 3rd for dice picks (as Cindy can inform them what she will go for, and Ann and Bob may have picks of two similar dice numbers), and if not agreed that way then they must secretly bid again between themselves but cannot bid less than £4,000 or more than £8,000 (and this would be the same for the next bid if there was a draw again). This continues until the order has been decided, either through agreement or the bidding process.

Outcome of dice:
1 or 2 rolled = allows a player to have 2 actions and 1 influence token (no more than 5 in holding) or 2 actions and 1 strategy card (no more than 5 in holding), or can choose to move their playing piece by 2 spaces.
3 or 4 rolled = allows a player to have 1 action and 1 influence token (no more than 5 in holding) or 1 action and 1 strategy card (no more than 5 in holding), or can choose to move their playing piece by 2 spaces.
5 or 6 rolled = allows a player to have 1 action or can choose to move their playing piece by 2 spaces.

OR
Number 1 rolled = choose between any staff purchase or staff upgrade
Number 2 rolled = choose between strategy card or influence token
Number 3 rolled = choose between campaign slot or media slot (shown on the board)
Number 4 rolled = choose between trading with another player or becoming a lodge member
Number 5 rolled = choose any corruption resource (influence tokens required)
Number 6 rolled = choose between £25,000 money or 15,000 votes
Suggestion - The first player gets the resource for free; the other players have to pay according to the value shown on the dice. 1=£1,000, 2=£2,000, 3=£3,000, 4=£4,000, 5=£5,000, 6=£6,000
What about UK map or TV debate?

Strategy required (any ideas?): As players expand their resources by diplomatic influence (influence tokens), they gain votes AND corruption powers in exchange of money. I.e. 5 influence tokens means they can pay X amount to get corruption options or votes. Players place the influence tokens on the influence section of the board?

Map Strategy
You can only go on the map twice in a game (how?). Only campaign staff can go on the map grid. You gain votes by going on the map.
There are 3 stages of a campaign person (1-3). Square cubes used: Yellow = 1, Blue = 2, Red = 3. The colours determine how long staff can stay on the Map area for: Yellow =2 turns, Blue = 4 turns, Red = 6 turns.

Or
The level of staff determines how many votes you get at each level on the map, with each staff remaining on the map for 5 turns each go. Yellow = standard vote collection, Blue = times vote collection by 10, Red = times vote collection by 20.

The map will have 3 different levels for each country (low, medium, high), the higher the level you are on the map the more voters you get. If you reach the highest level at one country you can start at 0 on the next country. For example, if you reach the high level for England by 5 turns you get x amount of votes, if after the 5 turns you get medium level you get less votes.

OR
Each area covered on the map offers a benefit, additional actions, additional money, and advancement on the turn order track, more resources, die roll adjustment or votes. Bonus votes are awarded for filling a region with popularity cubes?

TV Debate:
Start of game - the TV campaign and at the end. First TV debate is to earn money, the 2nd is to earn votes. Influence tokens determine how many cards you need to answer at the TV debate area 2nd time round (not the 1st time) and how many spaces you move on the map grid. 2nd time occurs after 20 turns have lapsed.
50 policy cards (25 similar to the other 25 but with the outcome different to make it hard to remember the outcome of cards if the game is played several times).

Outcome of cards being "agree" or "disagree" with the policy. Players must decide what the outcome is. Instead of it dragging on, i'd keep this area to just 5 rounds (two questions in each round). Start of each round players can gamble?

Get 8 out of 10 correct to get a bonus of votes / money. After each correct answer gain money/votes and loose votes/money for incorrect answers. If a player gets at least 9 correct they get the bonus of times total amount by 30. If only one player gets two correct answers in a round then they get a bonus by getting doubling the money/votes.

Now say that Joe gets 8 correct, John gets 6 correct, Alice gets 9 correct and Jane gets 5 correct. Those results then determine what money you get to start with. I.e 1 correct = £0, 2 correct = £25,000/5,000 votes, 3 correct = £50,000/25,000 votes, 4 correct = £75,000/50,000 votes, 5 correct = £100,000/75,000 votes, 6 correct = £150,000/100,000 votes, 7 correct = £200,000/125,000 votes 8 correct = £300,000/200,000 votes, 9 correct = £4000,000/250,000 votes, 10 correct = £650,000/450,000 votes.

Have a few short 1-min party broadcasts (strategy needed) ???

Corsaire
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It seems a bit unfocused with

It seems a bit unfocused with disconnected mechanics being thrown at aspects of politics rather than focusing on the player experience. Is the player the politician or the campaign manager? Having corruption implies a satirical approach, but other elements imply maybe something educational.

Who's your target player? Strategy gamers, casual players, family, students...

Having "correct" answers with limited questions wrecks replayability. In politics wouldn't debate questions imply policy stances that may attract some voters and alienate others, maybe a balance also between support that gives votes versus attracting big money.

What's the central mechanic of the game... like area control, bidding, worker placement... etc.

JayProducer
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Corsaire wrote:It seems a bit

Corsaire wrote:
It seems a bit unfocused with disconnected mechanics being thrown at aspects of politics rather than focusing on the player experience. Is the player the politician or the campaign manager? Having corruption implies a satirical approach, but other elements imply maybe something educational.

Who's your target player? Strategy gamers, casual players, family, students...

Having "correct" answers with limited questions wrecks replayability. In politics wouldn't debate questions imply policy stances that may attract some voters and alienate others, maybe a balance also between support that gives votes versus attracting big money.

What's the central mechanic of the game... like area control, bidding, worker placement... etc.

Players are candidates and they hire staff such as a campaign manager. Target is casual players really and also strategy gamers but its about getting a balance.

I'm not sure I follow your concept on correct answers and policy stances, can you elaborate please?

In political debates you answers you verdict if you agree or disagree with a policy. That's why I wanted to come up with an easy way to do this. With the 50 cards the way they will be done is that 25 will be similar to the other 25 but with a different outcome to prevent people from trying to remember the answers.

The mechanics of the game are to look at ways of winning votes, by having money to buy resources, trade with other players, or corrupt other players.

Corsaire
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You had mentioned getting a

You had mentioned getting a bonus if you got the questions correct. So, if questions have a correct answers, people will burn through them and know the answers.

In the US, someone might be asked if they think corporations should be taxed heavier. So, if you say yes you might attract more votes, but if you say no, you may attract more money. You could almost see corruption as somewhat implied.

Games can be confusing for casual players if there are too many mechanics. Mechanics here meaning game aspects like: dice rolling, press your luck, card drawing, worker placement, betting, area control, etc. Having a clear role or theme that pushes the mechanic is helpful. Managing focus is important, too. If in my mind I'm the candidate, I want the campaign manager to handle the fiddly bits like hiring workers.

JayProducer
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A bonus is only offered at

A bonus is only offered at the end or after each round. Haven't decided which option I am going with. There is little chance players will remember the answers to the cards as 25 questions will be similar to another 25 questions but with different outcomes. Unless you play the game multiple times its unlikely they will remember the outcome of the cards. I feel that if disagree means you get money that contradicts it slightly as you are getting money for going against public opinion. In the 1st round of TV debate you get a chance to earn money and the 2nd time round it is a chance to gain votes, but only the correct answer gets you that.

I believe I have a clear theme: to win an election.I see your point that mechanics can confuse people but mines aren't that overly confusing, do you feel some of them are? which ones? I also believe the players role is clear, that is to control all aspects of your campaign, whatever way you want to do it.

How could I get a campaign manager to do things? Only one player controls their own campaign so I can't see how an imaginary person can control any aspects of the game.

Corsaire
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I think perhaps my views of

I think perhaps my views of both politics and games are too different to be of much help.

But I'd give the general suggestion that when you can't decide between two design directions, playtest them.

les404
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Joined: 01/07/2016
Some thoughts

Hi,

Thank you for the feedback on my game idea.

You wrote that you are "re-designing a politician game [your] father sent me a while back." Can you please provide more details of the original game? It will be easier to understand how your changes modify the original mechanics.

You wrote that for correct answers in the TV debate players get votes or money. What do you mean by a correct answer? In the real life no policy statement can be completely right or wrong.

What kind of resources players need to buy? Votes? Intelligence on other candidates (to blackmail them, etc.)?

Good luck,
Leon

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