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Voting Mechanic Help

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gamebuilder
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Joined: 02/08/2016

Hey all,
Not sure if this question has already been posted, but I'm looking for a way to create a voting mechanic in my game that provides in-game value/consequence, but doesn't always simply boil down to a strategic choice.

My game involves creating a project and launching it, and I'd like the other players to have a simple thumbs-up/thumbs-down vote whenever a player launches a project. If the project gets unanimous thumbs-up votes, the player receives a large reward, if the project gets a majority of thumbs-up votes, they receive a small reward, and if it doesn't get a majority of thumbs-up votes, they receive nothing.

The problem I'm running into is that I want players to cast their votes on the merit of the project itself, and not always necessarily just on whether they want to help/hurt the player launching it. For example, if Player X just wants to win, he'll simply vote thumbs-down on his closest competitors all of the time (regardless of whether their project is any good or not) so they don't receive any benefit. I'd like to prevent or at least curtail this.

The options I've thought about so far include leaving it as described above, and simply letting the players police themselves by taking note of when other players are helping/hurting them with their votes. Unfortunately I think this will just lead to a lot of tit-for-tat negative voting.

Another option I've thought about is to have a "Critic/Arbiter" player role for 3 players. The Critics would be randomly selected at the start of the game, and only they would be allowed to vote. Giving a thumbs-up vote would allow the Critic to keep their status for future votes, but if they give a thumbs-down vote, they would have to give up their Critic status by passing their card/role off to another player. This means that you'd have to be very judicious when casting your negative vote, and it adds another element of strategy to the voting. My only hesitation with this option is that again, I think the voting may become too strategic, and also it may over-complicate the game, and I'm trying to keep the game as simple as possible.

Does anyone have any suggestions how I might structure a simple voting system that isn't purely strategic?

Thanks!

questccg
questccg's picture
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Associate COST with the VOTE

My idea is something like this:

  1. It costs 2 Points to vote against a project.
  2. It only costs 1 Point to vote FOR a project.

All voting is done in secrecy. So you have 2 "extra" cards: 1 Vote FOR, 1 Vote AGAINST. Which you select is unknown until you reveal the vote... Then everyone spends their points.

Another solution is instead of POINTS, it could be CARDS. If you vote AGAINST and the project is a success (vote-wise), you must discard 2 cards from your hand. If you vote AGAINST and the project fails, you must discard 1 card. Another type of solution which you can consider.

On the FLIP-SIDE instead of losing points, how about EARNING points!

So IF you vote FOR a project and it succeeds, you gain +1 Point or +1 Card for your hand, etc.

Those are my ideas - hope you can find something to work with your game.

Cheers!

Update: My current WIP uses a voting system also and my way of resolving it is if you vote FOR you draw +1 card into your hand. If however you vote AGAINST you discard -1 card into your discard pile...

Jarec
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Joined: 12/27/2013
Some fuel for thought

Maybe have the projects tie themselves somehow to other projects. Player A's project may make player B's next project easier, so he might want to give thumbs up to player A's project although they are competitors.

I've been playing Dark Moon lately, that game had two different colored dice as resources for players, one a bit better die than the other. You also had to make votes using the dice.
The voting was just an act of presenting a die color of your choosing, meaning that player might not want to use their last better die because that'd limit their voting choices.

Zag24
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Joined: 03/02/2014
You could copy the way the

You could copy the way the monthly design challenge works here on BGDF. Everyone must choose a first, second, and third place, and may not choose their own project. This works best if all the projects are submitted at the same time so all the voting happens at once.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
There's only one problem...

Everyone can give third place to the player who is in the LEAD. That's something he wanted to AVOID. Players can cast votes based on who they want to win... As opposed to vote on the merit of the project. You may not be able to vote your OWN project, but you can "sort of" decide who will win or not based on your own vote.

gamebuilder
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Joined: 02/08/2016
Voting Mechanic Help

Hey thanks for the suggestions guys!

I like the idea of having a cost associated with a negative vote - so continually giving Thumbs-down would hurt you strategically. I would just need to find the right price because all players won't necessarily have the same type of cards to discard...maybe a cash penalty?

I'm also starting to wonder if my idea of having 3 "Critics" would be any more complicated this system.

I like the idea of first, second and third place votes too - but only if I have voting happen at the end of the game. This is a possibility, but I'd have to scrap another mechanic I had in place for end-game awards.

Please keep any suggestions coming - they definitely help with the brainstorming!

Cheers

questccg
questccg's picture
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Joined: 04/16/2011
I am picturing ...

Another "type/kind" of mechanic. What about using a pool of "tokens", when you vote FOR a project you get to draw a token. Maybe there are three (3) different tokens: Red, Green and Blue.

These tokens can be used to vote AGAINST a project and can alter the vote of another project - based on the color.

So if you have a LOT of Green tokens, you would probably NOT vote for a "Green Project". But if you have NO Blue tokens and somebody plays a "Blue project" you will vote FOR that project.

And based on VOTING, IF the project is successfully voted players get their tokens according. So if it was a "Red Project" those that voted FOR the project, each earn ONE (1) Red token.

How you use these tokens to VOTE or ENHANCE your projects, depends on you. An easy example would be this:

At the beginning of the game, nobody has any tokens, so everyone needs to vote FOR a project. Later on in the game, you could AFFECT the outcome of a VOTE by "using" one of your tokens. So let's say it's three players and they all vote NO, each putting one (1) Green token for a total of three (3) Green tokens. You have a bunch of Green tokens and play FOUR (4) Green tokens - and FORCE your project to SUCCEED! Maybe you only had four (4) Green tokens - which means the NEXT person to play a "Green project" will force you to vote FOR his project...

I think this mechanic could be worthwhile exploring further!

Cheers...

questccg
questccg's picture
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Joined: 04/16/2011
The above mechanic

This mechanic can both HELP or HINDER the progress of the game. But it can also BOOST the strategy used in the game.

Like for example if nobody has any Blue tokens, it makes sense to play a "Blue project" because it will be voted FOR because nobody has Blue tokens to vote AGAINST that color of project.

You also want to use your tokens as wisely as possible ... because they give both flexibility (to push through your own projects) and be able to vote AGAINST another project.

Otherwise like early in the game, you are forced to vote FOR a project because you don't have any tokens to vote against it...

Note: What this does also is create a sort of "downtime" for strategy. Like if you have no more of one color, it's sort of a FREE turn to play that color of project... Everyone will have to vote FOR it. But the next time, everyone has one (1) token to vote against.

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