Skip to Content

Mechanic in search of a game

9 replies [Last post]
Oracle
Offline
Joined: 06/22/2010

Anyone remember me? I used to be fairly active here but aside from a little lurking, I've been away from the site for about year.

Anyway, I've come up with an interesting mechanic. An auction where the final bid amount is paid to the second highest bidder. This creates some hard decisions like do you bid again when it's higher than you want to pay hoping to be outbid so you get some profit.

I've made it into a cheapass style game, one basic mechanic. It works and it's about as much fun as a typical cheapass game (not much). I'm hoping someone here will have suggestions or comments. (Is Seth still around? He was very good at that).

Jpwoo
Jpwoo's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/26/2009
Mechanic in search of a game

How about people on a sinking ship (spaceship crashing into the sun) Everyone has their families of lets say 6 people. You are bribing one another for the limited seats on the life boats. The player with the most people in their family surviving wins.

This fits into the single mechanic cheapass design. Again possibly not very interesting :)

How about....

The players represent packs of survivors in a post apocalypic wasteland. The game is played in 3 rounds. In each round a cache of survival items are found. Players bribe one another for picks from the cache. After the cache is exausted the survivors go to hide in holes or something and are attacked by chud, or face starvation, or catch the creeping crud, and must use the items they got to survive.

Boomtown sort of does this, only instead of paying to the second highest bidder it just pays the bid to the right, and then passes again to the right dividing in half, and repeat. It is a neat mechanic, in a kind of okay game.

Krakit
Offline
Joined: 11/26/2011
Mechanic in search of a game

The way I see it, you need something to bid on like tiles or cards.

You need to set collect for VP. M
oney at end game should only be a tie breaker.
If you want to make it REALLY interesting, put a random GAME ENDS card or tile within the last X cards or tiles and decree that tie goes to least amount of cash instead of most.

The cards/tiles need to be set collecting with combinations being worth different victory points.

Example, you could have colors, shapes and numbers on the cards/tiles. Collecting sets of yellow would give you a certain number of VP while collecting teddy bears gives you another amount, while collecting all unique non matching sets gives you yet another amount of VP.

Perhaps you could deal the tiles/cards out in lots ala Medici?

Just spitballing.

Carl

Scurra
Scurra's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/11/2008
Mechanic in search of a game

How could we forget... whatshisname?
Actually, I think this just proves that we haven't come close to exhausting the design space for auction mechanics!

I would agree that it probably wants to be set-collecting in some fashion, since that always changes the way people bid throughout the game. How about also giving people different "goal" cards so that it isn't clear what sets are actually valuable to people (e.g. "Exactly four blues are worth 50 points. Any other number of blues are worth nothing." etc.) Although you'd need some way of trading/getting rid of your cards as well for that to work.

doho123
doho123's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Re: Mechanic in search of a game

Oracle wrote:

Anyway, I've come up with an interesting mechanic. An auction where the final bid amount is paid to the second highest bidder. This creates some hard decisions like do you bid again when it's higher than you want to pay hoping to be outbid so you get some profit.

Sounds like you might also want to take a look at The Dollar Auction.

Hedge-o-Matic
Hedge-o-Matic's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/30/2008
Re: Mechanic in search of a game

doho123 wrote:

Sounds like you might also want to take a look at The Dollar Auction.

Grr! Beat me to it! I agree, there's so much that could be done with auction mechanics.

But I'd suggest a second mechanic be added to your game. Two mechanics together creates emergent complexity, which is something James Earnest seems to have forgotten.

SenorOcho
SenorOcho's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/24/2009
Mechanic in search of a game

Transsib also has a similar mechanic: When two gangsters fight to displace the other, the two players exchange their bids. When the gangsters fight to the death, the winner gives his bid to the loser.

Not so much an auction game as a bluffing game, but I thought I should point it out anyway.

DSfan
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Mechanic in search of a game

Quote:
When two gangsters fight to displace the other, the two players exchange their bids. When the gangsters fight to the death, the winner gives his bid to the loser.

Sorry to contribute to the hi-jacking of this thread but, this mechanic [SenorOcho's listing above] sounds similar to the combat mechanic in Dune where each player gets a small spinner and bets on how many soldiers he would lose if he lost.

It's a nice mechanic that really gives you a different feeling from the typical dice rolling.

Justin

Johan
Johan's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/05/2008
Mechanic in search of a game

Hi Oracle

Interesting mechanism. I tried to include it into some of mine auction games. Directly I manage to come up with some problems:
- The first bid. I can make a so high bid so I get the thing for nothing (previous bid was nothing).
-- I could solve this by letting the first bid be the lowest possible bid, but then will the second bid be the most important bid (outbid everybody else to get
-- I could also solve the problem by having a minimum price, but that will only be the same problem as the one above.
- If we also add to the mechanism that the other players can race there bids, but the bids will not have to be over the highest bid, then can loose more then your initial bid.
-- You also have to add that all bids make your money (or what the auction is about) blocked for the rest of the turn.
-- You can also make it possible to (in some cases) withdraw a bid and make the second highest bidder the one that win the action. This can be done by having the possibility to withdraw the bid when the bid lower then yours is raced.
Example: Player A, B and C are bidding. Player A place a bid for $5. Player B places a bid for $10. Player C is in for $6. Player A race the bid to $8, then player B withdraw his bid (can not be included in this bidding anymore), Player A is now the high bid.
Player C don’t do anything and Player A win the bidding and have to pay $6.

// Johan

Oracle
Offline
Joined: 06/22/2010
Mechanic in search of a game

Jpwoo wrote:
How about people on a sinking ship (spaceship crashing into the sun) Everyone has their families of lets say 6 people. You are bribing one another for the limited seats on the life boats. The player with the most people in their family surviving wins.

That's basically the same game I came up with, except mine was an archeological theme, you're all members of the same team finding artifacts and bidding to see who gets to keep them.

Items would have to have different victory point values, so saving family members would be difficult...how much is a wife worth vs a daughter?

Jpwoo wrote:
The players represent packs of survivors in a post apocalypic wasteland. The game is played in 3 rounds. In each round a cache of survival items are found. Players bribe one another for picks from the cache. After the cache is exausted the survivors go to hide in holes or something and are attacked by chud, or face starvation, or catch the creeping crud, and must use the items they got to survive.

That's a good idea. Then, of course, there's a whole game in what to do with the items you've bid on.

Krakit wrote:
The way I see it, you need something to bid on like tiles or cards.

This would be simpler than Jpwoo's suggestion (and there for much more likely I'd make a viable game out of it ;)). With Scurra's hidden goal idea, I'm a long way towards having a game outline. I also think it would be good to deal each player a few cards for free face down to have a bit more variation in what the cards are worth to different players.

Scurra wrote:
Actually, I think this just proves that we haven't come close to exhausting the design space for auction mechanics!

I'd say we definately haven't. How about a 2-player variant where player one names a price, then player two can choose to either accept this amount from or pay this amount to player one for the item.

doho123 wrote:

Sounds like you might also want to take a look at The Dollar Auction.

In reading that, I realized I'd heard about the idea a while ago. It was still an interesting read.

Hedge-o-Matic wrote:
But I'd suggest a second mechanic be added to your game. Two mechanics together creates emergent complexity, which is something James Earnest seems to have forgotten.

James Ernst has a lot of brilliant mechanics and not a lot of good games. I started a fairly long thread here ages ago when I tried to use his auction mechanic from the Big Cheese in a richer game. I ended up with something very similar to Fifth Avenue (this was long before Fifth Avenue came out), except the auction mechanic just didn't work. Fifth Avenue is basically the same game I had with a different auction mechanic that also just doesn't work :).

I do buy most cheapass games, they're usually worth the price just for the entertainment of reading the rules and bits, and sometimes do offer inspiration. I also very rarely play any of the games.

Johan wrote:
- The first bid. I can make a so high bid so I get the thing for nothing (previous bid was nothing).

The winning bidder pays *their* bid amount to the second place bidder, not the second place bid amount, sorry if this was unclear.

For example, player one bids $10, player two bids $15, and the auction ends. Then player two must pay $15 to player one.

I suppose I will need a degenerate case (no second bidder means the money is evenly divided among all the other players could work).

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut