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How to simulate market?

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I have a slight problem with a game I'm working on. Game is about managing factory production in changing market conditions.

Problem is, that after a while demand rises so high, that one can sell whole inventory every turn, so there is no sense in selling at any other price but the highest. At the moment market changes d10-3 every turn. Starting from 1 and ending at 100.

At the end of every turn market shares are checked from table comparing players price, quality and brand ratings. And in that order, emphasis on price and quality. I haven't yet found good way to reward strong brand.

Game is designed for 2-4 players and market shares are 40%, 30%, 20% and 10%.

Tell me if you even understood what I am trying to say. This is first time I'm trying to explain this game in english so bear with me :) And thanks in advance.

seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
How to simulate market?

I'm not sure I fully understand how your game works, but I'll let you know my thoughts anyway.

At the moment market changes d10-3 every turn. Starting from 1 and ending at 100.

Do you mean the combined market size for all competing brands or for each brand? Does the market always grow (as your comment on demand rising too high suggest) or does it shrink sometimes? I would probably substitute your 3d10 with a pair of different color d10 (or as many dice as you want, but lways two distinct sets), with one die/set adding to determine growth and the other substracting to represent reduction. You roll all the dice, calculate the result, and so you get a fluctuating market which both grows and shrinks, so demand isn't so likely to grow too high. It may get high sometimes, but it can also go low (as in a country going through a eceonomic crisis).

At the end of every turn market shares are checked from table comparing players price, quality and brand ratings. And in that order, emphasis on price and quality. I haven't yet found good way to reward strong brand.

Game is designed for 2-4 players and market shares are 40%, 30%, 20% and 10%.

I fail to understand how you determine market shares, but I think this is probably a key issue for the game. You certainly should find a way to let price & quality ratings have an influence in the market share. For two players it's easy to determine market share with one pawn moving back and forward over a line representing 100% of the market, but I fail to see a practical way to determine market share among three or four brands. I'll give it a though and write again if I come up with something interesting.


How to simulate market?

Market changes d10 minus 3 every turn, so it can shrink as well. Originally it only grew and I have yet to decide what is the possibility of it shrinking. But two color coded dices sound like something i ought to try.

I try to explain mechanics a little further. I'll add that all the players are making same product, so productvariations are found in price and quality.

End-product price is decided each turn by each player. Players use cards 1 to 10 to mark price and cards are then revealed simultaneusly(spelling?).

End-product quality is decided by quality of raw material used and quality of players machinery used.

Brand, or brand strength depends on cumulative sales by that player. And by marketing efforts, which I haven't implemented yet.

Then, there is table with quality on y-axis and price on x-axis. Relation of price and quality gives a certain value and then brand strength is added to this. Player with highest score gets 40%, second 30% and so forth.

This works just fine when combined capacity is more than market demand. But after a few turns market demand grows too much and there isn't enough incentive to invest on capacity.

Now that I think of it, I should re-check machiner prices and maybe lower them.

When I solve this problem, next one is victory conditions. I don't want this game to be winnable only by making most profit.

Thanks for your input, even writing this down gives me new ideas to try out all the time:)

Johan's picture
Joined: 10/05/2008
How to simulate market?


We had a game called Fad Factory that was up in the Game Design Workshop some time ago. That game had a build in market. Maybe you can get some ideas from the game and from the discussion.

// Johan

How to simulate market?

Thanks for that. Quick glance gave me some ideas to try out.

Luckily my game is quite different from Fad Factory:) I have been afraid that this has been done before.

Gogolski's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
stock market and event cards

I worked on a game where players could build (-amongst other things-) factories, banks, insurance companies, IT-companies...

There was an optional rule to include the stock market. I divided the factories and other companies into four groups that were on the stock-market.
The game featured event-cards and in the lower-right corner there was a notation of which sector was going up or down. A little board kept the score of the four sectors. It determined the income of the players. Sectors also went up if a player built a new factory or company, and went down as another player destoyed a factory or company.

Just an idea, though...


How to simulate market?

As I sit here working on my economics homework, I think about how much I would enjoy this game. I'll be watching this game.

Joined: 04/23/2013
How to simulate market?

Check out this page.. It might give you some insight into Supply & Demand.


How to simulate market?

I think the problem is that your market determining method is fix by a die roll.

While it is difficult, you could have the market determined by the players, which will make for a much more interesting game. How to go about doing this, I am unsure. By I have some theories:

First, you could have a fixed supply either for the whole game or each turn, with the demand portion of the game being determined by the players (especially for factory input factors). And then you could have the supply of outputs be determined by the players with price bidding before sales on the turn. This would work well with a fixed demand or a fairly stable demand produced by the game

Torrent's picture
Joined: 08/03/2008
How to simulate market?

What is the Market Size in terms of? Is t in terms of units that the market will buy? Or is it in terms of amount of money the market will spend on products?

This is more some ideas about markets in general than anything specific about your game, but it may end up helping. There was also a discussion that Bryk and I had in the forums about a year and a half ago in the Off Topic forum about economies, supply, and demand.

For normal goods that are neither a luxury or a requirement (these have funny rules and wierd bell curves), there is a portion of people that will buy the best quality regardless of price, and a portion that will always pay the least for whatever quality if available.

I think of it like Gas Octanes. Outside of car requirments, some people will always buy premium paying whatever, and those that buy the cheapest stuff, and then some in the middle; who probably think they dont want to pay for the 'best', but not willing to go for the cheapest.

Imagine however if the lowest octane was equal in price to the next one up, the tendancy would be to go for the better quality at the same price. And if the middle was more expensive than the highest, then almost noone would buy it. Some of this is due to a objective way of measuring 'quality', comparing numbers. It would be more difficult for something like peanut butter; where the quality is not easily objectivly quantifiable.

I would suggest maybe using a pool of money that is growing, instead of a group of units sold. So that someone may be able to make out on selling low price lower quality volume sales, while the higher price manufacturer won't be able to sell off all his goods because it would take out more of the market's pool of cash to buy.

Just some random thoughts, cool if they help, cool if it is the ramblings of a madman.

How to simulate market?

Thank you very much for all of your thoughts, they have been very helpfull.

At the moment market size is units, but I think I'll give some brain time on measuring market size as €. Or even both.

Biggest problem is to keep it simple enough, so that determining market shares wouldn't involve too much math or several tables. In the first version of this game calculator was obligatory:)

I want to keep total market rather small, so that calculation are relatively simple. Thats why maximum market total size is 100.

I could make market totally random, but it would make estimating future capacity needs too difficult, which has to be possible to certain extent because, I want to encourage players to invest on new machinery.

Hmm.. I hope I make any sense when I try to explain these things ;)

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