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Competition in Cooperation?

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Boisegamer2001
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Joined: 12/31/1969

I am a long-time reader first-time poster:

I am trying to refine a game in which the player can choose to help (by trading) the other players or steal from them. The object is to reach a common goal together by clearing the board, mostly or completly, using cards with different abilities. So far no one has chosen to steal and cards and only trade them and yet when I playtest without stealing that freedom of choice is missing...

Is there another way to have both competition and cooperation in a game and to foster a balance between the two (so the players never seem to know what the other might do)?

Jebbou
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Joined: 07/29/2008
Competition in Cooperation?

Hello !

I would say that, if players had individual objectives, like being the one who cleared up most of the board, they would tend to steal more from other players. Depending on the situation, they should either benefit more from stealing or trading. A balance must be found between the need for building yourself up, and the need of slowing other players down. I do not think that, by having only one common goal, players would tend to put obstacles in other players gameplay, because in doing that, they reduce their own chances of achieving the common goal.

Regards,

JEB

PS: The game "Settlers of Catan" is an excelent setup for that type of cooperating/competitive game play.

Boisegamer2001
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Competition in Cooperation?

Thanks,

Here's the mechanic I have right now: There are two different categories of cards, offensive and defensive, the offensive can be stacked (can use two or more if the same type) and defensive, the defensive has sets (that if the whole set is collected player can have a great power)

Right now the only obstacle because of the common goal (thank you for pointing that out to me) is to collect a common set or the cards that the player is jealous the others have, and this does not lead to the furthering of the players goal. I might need to rethink the goal setup or the steps to reach that common goal so that the other players would be disrupted more. Hmmmm.

A lot to think about,
BG2001

P.S. where could I get a good version of “Settlers of Catan”?

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Competition in Cooperation?

In a card game I have played, there was always the situation where one of the player where stronger than the others and where you did not want to kill the weaker players because they could help you attack the strongest player.

So the common strategy was the weaks vs the strong. But some card could reverse the situation, like changing the power balance, or making sobody become suddenly a threath. So the alliances immediately changes.

So I guess competition and cooperation can meld together pretty well even if there can only be 1 winner.

Boisegamer2001
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Competition in Cooperation?

Ok, I think I see what you're saying; I need to bring up some situational jealousy.

Quote:
there was always the situation where one of the player where stronger than the others and where you did not want to kill the weaker players because they could help you attack the strongest player.

So I might need to do one or more of the following:

1. Make teams (official or encourage breakable alliances)

Quote:
...changing the power balance, or making sobody become suddenly a threath. So the alliances immediately changes.

2. Make the goal different from the ending of the game

Quote:
A balance must be found between the need for building yourself up, and the need of slowing other players down.
So if someones ahead and winning they will seek the end faster and the other players will not help the leader whereas the players who are "behind" will work together to get "ahead", is this encouraging a "pack mentality?

3. Playtest to see personalities being shown in the gameplay (my play testers may be more non-aggressive or holding back for a good attack) and emphasize the points in the game where the choices are not meaningful.

My game may be too complex to fix easily, I may need to simplify or take each portion and analyze it separately. Hmmmm

Any other ideas on how to encourage players to be competitive in a cooperation game?

BG2001

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Competition in Cooperation?

An important point to consider is if you want player elimination in your game or if you want everybody to stay alive until the game ends. In can change the influence and alliances between players.

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