# Ouch, just hit a wall...

16 replies [Last post]
Anonymous

I'm looking for some ideas based on this:
Square tiles with pathways (no intersections) represent paths leading out from a player's corner of an 8x8 board. On some tiles there is a red path leading away from the main path. This is the queue line for a ride. Guests visit each ride along the way that they want to ride (represented by the color of their pawn). I need to reward players for smaller distances between rides that a certain class of quest likes... I also need ideas for the function of the facilities (Restroom, Food Stall, Shop). Thanks in advance!

GeminiWeb
Offline
Joined: 07/31/2008
Ouch, just hit a wall...

I'll try to pass on a couple of ideas, but I tend to go down tangents, so excuse me if I'm pushing the game down a path you don't like ...

I'm assuming guests are picked randomly each turn from, say a cloth bag, then enter the theme park (or whatever) and move toward their favorite ride (determioned by their colour). On option is that if the queue is too long, they move onto the next ride in their chain (regarless of colour).

Similarly, each turn draw out a number of guests and place them at the gate to the theme park for each day. Then a day consists of a number of turns in which a colour is randonly determined and all those guests move into the park. All colours might have the same speed ... or they might differ (red teenagers have high speeds, baby blues with low speeds, etc.). They move along to their respective rides, wait if need be ... but move onto their next ride (determined by their colour) if the queue gets too long. Scores are determined by throughput of guests across their rides, so it's in their interest to buid rides which are
(a) close to the entrance [to get them as they come in]
(b) lead them on to their other rides afterwards [if the rides also have separate exit paths ... directions of paths would need to be clear]
(c) handle overflow in queues well (with possible other services such as nearby clowns, buskers or the such which allow for longer queues with the guests being entertained while waiting)
(d) have a good balance across the different colours (as the type of guests is determined randomly)

Thinking some more, I suspect it might work well having some rides serve multiple colours (more steady throughput of guests, longer queues, etc).

Scoring could be te same for all rides, or they could vary reflecting some rides are more expensive ...

After the last turn for the day, the park is closed and all guests have to leave. Could even have a rule that in the last turn, guests keep moving through the park until they find a ride they can use immediately.

Rides could be 'wait a turn' or require movement points ...

Well there's a quick brain dump for now ...

Anonymous
Ouch, just hit a wall...

Thanks, that's a lot of help already...
To clear up some of the thoughts on rides:
Rides are connected via a single red queue path (I'm considering using either clowns or extra queue path tiles (probably clowns) to lengthen queues to hold more than one guest at a time) for entrance and exit. Ride tiles have little squares along the bottom (the size of the little cubes I'm using for guests) that indicate the rides capacity (1-3) and types of guest it is available to.
I'd rather not have the guest generation be entirely random, as I want players to be able to build a park that is more attractive to certain types of guest and spend extra money or action points, something, to attract that type of guest...
From this, I get an idea: each turn, a die is rolled indicating the number of guests that will visit each park. A player who has successfully bid for control of a audience (guest type) may spend money in order to get a guest of that type rather than a random one from the bag. Probably the cost should escalate (as in Amun-Re) to make it less possible to build a park to cater to exactly one guest and then ownage that audience.
I'll probably end up making branching paths as well... anyone think it would hurt the experience to make branching paths one way? that is, one path is the entrance to the fork, so it looks kind of like a flowchart? Guests getting in endless loops of riding the same 2/3 rides over and over bothers me, and I'm not sure how to take care of this without a) a morass of tokens, b) A heaping stack of a Guest Movement phase involving flipping over rides used that day (which would work alright mechanics wise, but wouldn't be terribly fun to do) or c) make the paths one way so that a guest cannot return to a previously used ride.

Also thought I'd clear something up a bit: Since the board is 8x8, the game is a battle for territory with two players. I'll have to make a larger board for four, should 10x10 be enough?

GeminiWeb
Offline
Joined: 07/31/2008
Ouch, just hit a wall...

Sorry there, I'm a bit confused.

One 8x8 board represents a single theme park. Players own rides within the theme park. In the interests of getting value from their rides, they may focus their advertising, etc. at a certain type of demographic to encourage the themepark to attract the types of guests that their rides will appeal to.

This could be handled by, for example, starting off with a random mix of guests in the cloth bag, with advertising adding more guests to the bag of the type targetted. As saturation advertising is very expensive, we could start with fliers (+1), radio (+2), TV (+4) for example. This may not be as random as it sounds, as much will depend on how many guests go into the bag as the start and how many get drawn out (which might increase over time as the theme park grows in size).

This is complicated by the fact that your opponent may be trying to attract different types of guests which would be more attracted to their sort of rides.

Now we have a few questions …

- what happens if a guest has a choice of two rides that both appeal to them (or is this impossible)? If it is possible, you might want a 'desirability' score, which could be modified by the number of people in the queue. (For example, guest goes down path where DESIRABILITY - QUEUE SIZE is greatest) …

- now supposing they come out of the ride via our one-directional paths … do they come back to a main path again … or does their red path continue onto other rides … or is it some sort of a combination? I'm having a bit of trouble visualising it but am guessing they come back to a main path ... Which presumably has a number of forks in it and may be one directional or not? Also, presumably your opponent may be wanting to set up some rides just after your main attractions … particularly where your ride catered to multiple groups of people … maybe even try and divert the path back towards where he has most of the rides in a section of the board?

If this was the case, is it possible to somehow set it up so that the tile-laying rules don't allow for loops … not sure … I think I might need to do some more thinking ...

Anonymous
Ouch, just hit a wall...

Hehe... sorry, It;s a lot easer to see when the game is right here in front of me...

Don't need these ASCII pics anymore, put actual pics in below.

As for the grab bag advertising idea, It would work well if each player had a seperate grab bag, but as it is each player's advertising causes guests to be more likely to go to ALL parks, not just their own. I think it works better thematically if each player can affect only their OWN parks with their advertising (besides of course reducing the number of guests of that type in the grab bag, making them less likely to go to other parks)

With the way paths are designed now (one enter/exit path per tile) multiple rides cannot be encountered at once.

The red paths never continue on from one tile to another, just connect a ride to the main path/midway, whatever. The main path has forks and stuuff, but guests do not travel back along paths they have come down. They keep going until the either reach the end or cannot find a suitable ride and at that point leave the park to be replaced into the grab bag at the end of the round. For each ride that guest went on (I am good at remembering this stuff, maybe counters or something) you get a victory point, but you don't get any points if they left the park in disgust at not being able to find any fun rides (meaning they could not find a ride to go un during the entire move). At least, I THINK that's how it's gonna work, can't be sure till I'm done...

BTW, I have quite a few pictures of my prototype I wouldn't mind showing off, any way you know of of getting them up for free?

[/img]

Anonymous
Ouch, just hit a wall...

Actually:

Found one. Here's the game in "play" really just a quick setup of how it might look in play. It shows the path tiles and such, although it's a bit blurry... Also, my board is bending and terrible.. :P Anyway, this ought to help in the discussion...

Here's another. This one's a little more focused in on the one park.

sedjtroll
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Ouch, just hit a wall...

What happens if the parks run into each other? Or if a customer takes a fork that leads nowhere?

Anonymous
Ouch, just hit a wall...

Parks cannot have paths that connect, otherwise, parks can run into eachother. If you make a guest go down a fork with nothing (which you probably wouldn't do unless you desperately nedded space for another type of guest) he would leave your park after being unable to find any rides.

GeminiWeb
Offline
Joined: 07/31/2008
Ouch, just hit a wall...

Now I understand!

I thought it was one park with players owning specific rides … (that's why I mentioned 'desirability' factors and the like to lure guests away from other people's rides … could even involve demolishing old rides to build even better ones on the prime sites …)

And how do guests make their choices at forks? Is it determined by the theme park owner or is there some rule based on the type of guest (e.g. where their next closest ride is)?

Might some rides have multiples of the same colour (really attracts a specific type of person and expense of others)?

If you wanted some more interaction between players, play toilet blocks and the like on the other persons park … where they are treated just like rides but offer no VPs.

I assume from your photo, the player on the left is going to have space problems compared to the playe on the right who has a nicely placed 4 way intersection.

I can still see it would be possible to get main-path loops … is this explicitly prevented in the tile laying rules?

I can also see an interesting variant where \$ are generated at rides which are used to purchase land (or upgrade rides which have more guest slots?), which land in the middle of the grid costing more …

And paying for advertising allows you to swap randomly drawn guests for one of a specific colour (1 for fliers, 2 for radio, etc.) ...

GeminiWeb
Offline
Joined: 07/31/2008
Ouch, just hit a wall...

I was wondering about how you keep track of which guests have moved on and which one's haven't.

One option was that there simply isn't that many and its easy to keep track.

It also depends on whether they all move or just some do ...

If they all move, another option would be using dice instead on your cubes. At the start of a turn all dice show the same number (e.g. '4') and then, as they move, they get turned so that the '5' is on top ... the following turn it is '6', and then '1' the turn after that. Actually, now that I think about it, a chit with two distinguishable sides would do the trick ...

Alternatively, if you are using the dice as guests, you could use them to keep track of time a guest has been in the park ... and every time it hits (say) '5', they have to move to the nearest toilet block or food vender ...

[Admitedly this comes from my thinking about the microgame contest advertised elsewhere in the forum and thinking about using the pieces out of their usual role ... dice as counters ... different coloured tokens drawn from a bag for randomness ...]

I'm pretty sure this is starting to make it too complicated, but it sure is nice to brainstorm ...

Anonymous
Ouch, just hit a wall...

Right now, the Park Owner will choose which fork a guest follows, because it is likely that he will choose the path with the most rides of that guest's type, which is the one the guest would choose anyway.

Loops still wouldn't work because only one path on a fork tile (the one with the arrow) is incoming, all the others must go outwards. In other words, a guest can't move on to an intersection tile from a path without an arrow on it. Also, the pink and brown blocks in that picture are Clowns and Food Stalls... White and Light Green ones are Bathrooms and Stores, but there aren't any in that picture.

Anonymous
Ouch, just hit a wall...

Actually, having messed around with the game a bit, loops wont work nearly as well in the square tile system as in the hexes because the way I have the guests moving (furthest away from entrance move first) the ride at the beginning of the loop would likely be full by the time the guest got around to it, and since all the other parts of the loop are full, the guest would just end up leaving. Huh.

Anyway, any thoughts on player interaction that aren't too complicated and don't require building things on other people's parks? My first few ideas were things like hiring random hooligans to bother other people's guests (bother bother bother) until they left, but the rest of the game seems so much more... I hesitate to say realistic, but I guess less outrageous... that things like that really change the flavor (which actually is probably good, the flavor now seems non-existant, or maybe that's just the lack of colorful bits, white squares of paper aren't too evocative of amusement park rides) and I'm not sure I want to make the game quite that goofy, but hey, if the game would be more fun, I'm all for it. Maybe I should put these long entries in the journal instead of the forums... hmm... that is what a journal's for...

*copy paste*

So,... umm...

see ya!

GeminiWeb
Offline
Joined: 07/31/2008
player interaction ...

Hmmmm ...

Obviously we have the real estate war ... but that only becomes more evident later in the game ...

Some ideas ...

(1) limiting counter mix for different types of guests, so that there isn't enough for both parks.

(2) competitive advertising ... overall level of advertising might increase overall no. guests but the level of advertising might mean they tend to go to one park over another ... for example, consider the rule where players can change the guests they get randomly to a different colour ... but the person who spent the most on advertising draws first and gets to do their 'swaps' before the next player draws ... (could work well with (1) above)

(3) limited rides of different types to improve competition for those rides (particularly ones which attract a better range of guests if all rides are not equal)

(4) if clowns (say) were used for allowing longer queues and were denoted by tokens (or the like), could you 'lure' clowns away from another park to your own using a few \$?

...

Anonymous
Ouch, just hit a wall...

Having tried out the latter two suggestions, that seems to work well to add more player interaction, making the game feel more competitive.

I now have most of my rules worked out, my only problem is HOW the guests end up where they go... Do they just move along the path until they find a ride they like? In tests I've used that guests can move up to four spaces per turn. If a guest finds a ride he likes he gets on that ride, or if it is full, gets on the queue line. If a guest cannot find a ride, he sits on the path. The next turn, guests further from the entrance along the main path move first, which helps against guests going back and forth along a path. After three turns, all guests are added back into the grab bag, and money is collected for guests still in the park. Guests leave the park if A: They cannot find a ride they like after two turns of movement, or B: they have reached a dead-end in the path. Seems to work so far.

Deviant
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Ouch, just hit a wall...

Sheesh...I leave the site alone for maybe five days and everything changes! You inconsiderate people! :)

It seems like there isn't much player interaction right now, in that even if you wanted to "screw over" another player, you couldn't. Likewise, I haven't seen any auction mechanic to force players to compete over the resources (rides, I guess). Players are drawing tiles at random, correct?

In a game without direct player interaction, optimization is the only strategy. The player who best plans their park *should* win. I'm not sure if you want this or not. All of my games have direct player interaction, because I believe that players would rather compete with each other than with the board and their hand of tiles. Cooperative games like Knizia's LOTR are an exception, of course.

Now I get to my point. The way the game is set up now, there is a single board shared by all players. A clever player could build their park around another player and block them in. This is a clever idea, but it doesn't fit the model for any real-world theme park I've ever visited. Can you imagine the headline, "Epcot surrounds Disneyland completely, Demands New Spiky Globe Thing as Tribute"? I wonder if you've considered giving each player their own board. If players aren't going to actively compete (except for advertising, which may or may not be implemented in the final game), they might as well not compete in peace. All of the main elements of your game (tile-laying to best effect) could be preserved.

Scurra
Offline
Joined: 09/11/2008
Ouch, just hit a wall...

I think that you then definitely end up with ZooSim (or O Zoo La Mio) - build separate parks trying to attract particular types of guests - crossed with Scream Machine - build rides to attract particular types of guests.
Not that this is necessarily a problem :)

Anonymous
Ouch, just hit a wall...

Well, the inspiration behind the idea of one board was that Disney and Universal (primarily) seem to be building more and more parks around the same areas, buying up land very quickly. Although these are more than one park, often tickets which go to multiple parks are offered. It's kind of an abstract way of representing that there is only a limited amount of land available to ALL players...