# Game #46: Collectibility by Steve Sisk (SiskNY)

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sedjtroll
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Game #46: Collectibility by Steve Sisk (SiskNY)

SiskNY wrote:
I'm thinking about having the d6 determine the quality of the item, with different scales dependin on the shopping area. For example, in the Antiques Store, 1-2 = Good, 3-4 = Very Good, and 5-6 = Excellent. In the Garage Sale, 1-2 = Poor, 3 = Fair, 4 = Good, 5 = Very Good, and 6 = Excellent.

This is not a bad idea. I wouldn't put any Excellent stuff at the Garage Sale though- maybe 1-2 Poor 3-4 Fair, 5 Good, 6 Very good. Or even 1-3 Poor, 4-5 Fair, 6 Good.

- Seth

Anonymous
Game #46: Collectibility by Steve Sisk (SiskNY)

sedjtroll wrote:
This is not a bad idea. I wouldn't put any Excellent stuff at the Garage Sale though- maybe 1-2 Poor 3-4 Fair, 5 Good, 6 Very good. Or even 1-3 Poor, 4-5 Fair, 6 Good.

Good call! I'll try to give it a playtest this weekend if I can get some people together.

GeminiWeb
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Joined: 07/31/2008
Game #46: Collectibility by Steve Sisk (SiskNY)

SiskNY wrote:

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To reduce the math, have you considered something along the lines of:

- on all item cards include a list of values, with the starting value varying by shopping area (denoted by A, C and F/G next to the respective )
- appraisals refer to raising or lowering the actual value up or down through the list of values
- haggling refers to allowing the purchase as if the item's value was one value down the scale

In the above example, you would also need to keep track of where you purchased the item (use a token?) ... but you get the general idea.

I think I follow what you’re saying, please correct me if I’m wrong. It sounds as though you envision an appraisal being attached to each item before it is purchased? And that the player may haggle for the next higher or lower purchase price based on the appraisal of the item?

The intent of the game is that a player buys the item form the shopping areas and then takes an appraisal for it. It may turn out to be in great shape and quite a bargain. It may turn out to be flawed or otherwise reduced in value (though the player wouldn’t know that when buying the item). The player may pick up something that is a hidden treasure or a low value piece of junk. That’s why the item has an estimated value that determines the purchase price and then an actual value determined by the appraisal after it is purchased.

I hope I’m on the right track with your suggestion!

Let me clarify.

Each card has a list of prices on it such as (numbers are indicative only):

\$10
\$15
\$20
\$30 ***
\$50
\$75
\$100

<< note distribution can change by card >>

*** = base starting price

If you are buying from a collectible store, the starting price goes up one level (i.e. to \$50 in above example).

If you are buying from an antique store, the starting price goes up two levels (i.e. to \$75 in above example).

If you successfully haggle, the starting price is reduced by one level (i.e. to \$20 in this case for a flea market, \$30 for a collectible store).

Draw the appraisal (token) as usual. In this case, the actual price is calculated by moving up and down the list of values from the starting price, rather than applying a factor (e.g. %50 or 125%) to the price.

Thus an 'excellent' appraisal might cause the value to go up three places (for example) (i.e. from \$30 to \$100 in my example).

The idea is to get away from cost/value multipliers and simplify things while also allowing for different distributions per item. A monopoly analagy would be the rents form properties according to number of houses - its easier having all the values written than having a rule that says multiply by 20 (for example) for one house etc .

Hope that helps you get a better idea of what I meant.

Anonymous
Game #46: Collectibility by Steve Sisk (SiskNY)

I just had a great idea on how to eliminate the haggling and still keep the incentive for players to shop! Insteada of having spaces that allow players to add 1 to their haggle roll, the spaces will allow players to add 1 to the roll to determine the appraisal for any item bought that round. That would serve the same function while at the same time streamlining the mechanics and eliminating some of the excess.

That's what I love about the GDW! This game was the one that i was ready to go and get self published (pretty much as it was when I submitted it here). In the process of looking information (all I could find) on self-publishing, I found this site. I have grown in so many ways, not just as a designer, but in terms of reevaluating a design and recognizing when something needs to be changed. You don't get that without the community input that the BGDF provides.

Anonymous
Game #46: Collectibility by Steve Sisk (SiskNY)

GeminiWeb wrote:
The idea is to get away from cost/value multipliers and simplify things while also allowing for different distributions per item.

Thanks for the clarification, I think I understand what you mean now! This would actually be easier to do now that I'm re-evaluating the mechanics of the itmes and the appraisals. The items will now hav a range on then very similar to what you're talking about. The cards could be changed to include the rest of the percentages. The estimated value (on which the purchase price is based) would be central and highlighted. Players would then see how many notches up or down from the estimated value to purchase price is. It makes much better sense now!

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Game #46: Collectibility by Steve Sisk (SiskNY)

As I sai, I haven't completely understood the full scope of the game rules, but your recent changes about appraisals and haggling sound ok in principle, although I still think, for me, you're trying to include more effects than perhaps you need. In other words, you're trying to have multiple valued items AND appraisals, and you're building in complexity (appraisal cards, pegs, whatever) to accomodate that. Instead, why not just pick one or the other to be the game's source of tension?

For example, maybe instead of the 4 categories, each with 6 price levels and the possibility of multiple levels of quality, why not just have the different categories represent the different price levels and have the different items within each category be in varying conditions?

So, perhaps the categories would be jewelry, furniture, memorabilia, and clothing, with jewelry the "most expensive" and clothing "least expensive". Then within those, the different items are all roughly the same price level to start, but are in varying conditions.

I had an idea for a game where players were used-car dealers, and they get "car" cards that contain an actual value based on the condition of the car, and they try to sell for the highest markup by using both honest and dishonest sales pitches. I point it out simply as an example of a way the game could work whereby people know roughly what you have but the condition of the item is unknown, and that affects the final price.

Anyway, this suggestion may not really apply after the changes you've made; just an idea.

One last thing: please don't hack out "haggling", or anything else, just on my say-so. My overall comment was that there's too much simulation, and haggling was an example of that, but again, please take my comments with a grain of salt. If there's a game-important reason why it's in there, leave it in! Obviously, I'm in favor of changes that will reduce the overall complexity, but you should choose the way to do that that preserves the things that are currently good about the game!

Good luck!

-Jeff

sedjtroll
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Game #46: Collectibility by Steve Sisk (SiskNY)

jwarrend wrote:
In other words, you're trying to have multiple valued items AND appraisals, and you're building in complexity (appraisal cards, pegs, whatever) to accomodate that. Instead, why not just pick one or the other to be the game's source of tension?

Jeff, I think you HAVE missed some part of the rules here. I think There's 1 level less complexity then you are talking about...

He has Items, each with a dollar amount printed on them, and Appraisal cards, each with a percentage printed on them. So the total value of the item is the dollar amount times the percentage.

Then he's calling the percentages "POOR condition" or "VERY GOOD condition" or whatever.

Finally the items ALSO have a category (nothing to do with it's price), which relates to set collection. If you get 3 items of the same category and the same condition (if I remember right), then you get to double the total value (\$*%) of each item in the set.

Personally I thin kit's a very clever system, and not too complex for "the Monopoly crowd" at all. The only sticking point is how to represent the Condition, which is supposed to be determined randomly once you purchase an item, and remain hiden from opponents.

For the record, I think the Appraisal cards do this very well, however an interest was expressed in reducing the number of cards. I had a few suggestions which would remove the cards, but they involved the condition no longer being a secret.

- Seth

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Game #46: Collectibility by Steve Sisk (SiskNY)

sedjtroll wrote:
jwarrend wrote:
In other words, you're trying to have multiple valued items AND appraisals, and you're building in complexity (appraisal cards, pegs, whatever) to accomodate that. Instead, why not just pick one or the other to be the game's source of tension?

Jeff, I think you HAVE missed some part of the rules here. I think There's 1 level less complexity then you are talking about...

No, I think I've actually understood this aspect of the game correctly. Within each category, there are two levels of valuation -- the base price of the item, and the condition. I'm suggesting he consider reducing this aspect of the game to one or the other.

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Personally I thin kit's a very clever system, and not too complex for "the Monopoly crowd" at all.

You're certainly entitled to that opinion, and indeed, I could very well be persuaded to share it with a chance to play it. My knee jerk reaction is that the game has too many "bells and whistles" for that set, but maybe it just seems that way...

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The only sticking point is how to represent the Condition, which is supposed to be determined randomly once you purchase an item, and remain hiden from opponents.

And this is exactly my point with respect to creating extra complexity to accomodate unnecessary systems. I'm not saying that this game represents such a case, just making the broader point that it's often a red flag to me when I have to add components, rules, exceptions, or mechanics to accomodate something whose motivation is primarily thematic in nature (ie, Steve is here trying to represent the real-life aspect of collecting that the condition can vary). I think it's something Steve should be cautious of, but not necessarily hack it out...

-J

sedjtroll
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Game #46: Collectibility by Steve Sisk (SiskNY)

jwarrend wrote:
I think I've actually understood this aspect of the game correctly. Within each category, there are two levels of valuation -- the base price of the item, and the condition. I'm suggesting he consider reducing this aspect of the game to one or the other.

Oh, ok. I understood your post as meaning you saw an item as having lots of extra states: price, condition, category... which I guess they do, but only one of them is 'variable'.

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sedjtroll wrote:

Personally I think it's a very clever system, and not too complex for "the Monopoly crowd" at all.

You're certainly entitled to that opinion, and indeed, I could very well be persuaded to share it with a chance to play it. My knee jerk reaction is that the game has too many "bells and whistles" for that set, but maybe it just seems that way...
I could agree with you about the bells and whistles, but in my opinion the hackable stuff is in the haggleing and maybe auction mechanics... I think the core of the game lies in the items/condition mechanic.

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sedjtroll wrote:

The only sticking point is how to represent the Condition, which is supposed to be determined randomly once you purchase an item, and remain hiden from opponents.

And this is exactly my point with respect to creating extra complexity to accomodate unnecessary systems.
I am of two minds on this issue. If it's important that the condition of the item remain a secret, then the card system Steve already has is probably the best way to go. On the other hand, if that's not important after all, then it might be possible to simplify the way condition is indicated in order to reduce components.

Sorry for misunderstanding you,

- Seth

Anonymous
Game #46: Collectibility by Steve Sisk (SiskNY)

jwarrend wrote:
Within each category, there are two levels of valuation -- the base price of the item, and the condition. I'm suggesting he consider reducing this aspect of the game to one or the other.

I understand where you're coming from, but I feel that the game achieves a level of being interesting that would be sacrificed if either the variety of items and values or the conditions were eliminated. You are justified in your hesitation, but in practice the balance works well.

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One last thing: please don't hack out "haggling", or anything else, just on my say-so.

Actually the new system for determining condition allows for some streamlining in that it achieves the same goal as the haggling mechanic did (allows spaces on the board to entice players to buy an item from a shopping area in their turn). Since the new mechanic is built onto another existing mechanic (rather than being something added on as haggling was), it's a natural fit for the game and a no brainer to use it instead of haggling. Your post made me re-think the goal of the haggling mechanic which lead to the new mechanic which will replace it.

sedjtroll wrote:
Personally I thin kit's a very clever system, and not too complex for "the Monopoly crowd" at all.

Thank you very much!

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The only sticking point is how to represent the Condition, which is supposed to be determined randomly once you purchase an item, and remain hiden from opponents.

...

If it's important that the condition of the item remain a secret, then the card system Steve already has is probably the best way to go. On the other hand, if that's not important after all, then it might be possible to simplify the way condition is indicated in order to reduce components.

I'm uncertain if the appraisals need to be kept hidden from the other players or not. Something in the back of my head says that they do, but only further playtesting will determine that for sure. If so, then I agree that there is some work to be done to simplify the method for raising and lowering an appraisal of a player's items. The cards work well (and the raise or lower counters area good way to achieve a good balance). I have some other ideas that will have to be tested to see if they work.

Another part of me thinks that it would be better to keep all appraisals in the open. I'm not a big fan of games that work on the honor system. Currently, this game relies on a player to be honest when exchanging appraisals. Since the appraisals are private, there is no way to know if the player is being honest or not. That's a flaw in my book. I would rather have the appraisals in the open so that all player actions will done in full view of everyone else.

The question here is one of game flavor. Is the gameplay diminished by having appraisals in the open? Does it change the game play to something else entirely which is equally enjoyable but different? Playtesting will show the way.

sedjtroll wrote:
jwarrend wrote:
...My knee jerk reaction is that the game has too many "bells and whistles" for that set, but maybe it just seems that way...

I could agree with you about the bells and whistles, but in my opinion the hackable stuff is in the haggleing and maybe auction mechanics... I think the core of the game lies in the items/condition mechanic.

I agree that the haggling is out. It was added on to accomplish that which can be achieved with something that works within the framework of the other mechanics.

As far as the auction mechanics, I feel that they add something to the game that would be missed without them. It would be much simpler to say that trades and auctions are possible and let the players work out the details, but I wanted something that would work in the players favor, encourage them to sell when landing on certain spaces, and also allow auctions to be a part of the game when only two players are playing. The auction mechanics accomplish all of this while staying within the theme and feel of the game.

Thanks again for the terriffic feedback! I'm looking forward to putting some of these ideas into practice to see where the game is going.

GeminiWeb
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Joined: 07/31/2008
Game #46: Collectibility by Steve Sisk (SiskNY)

Back again!

Few things.

Printed value ranges

Firstly, using the range of values on the cards rather than applying percentages directly does allow the use of different percentages for different items which might add some extra interest.

A collection bonus rather than a 3-card multiplier?

Secondly, as the name of the game is all about collecting, each set could have their own 'collection bonus' where the total value of the owned items in a category increased based on the number of items you own. Thus a typical card might be something like:

Category - furniture
Item - Fancy chair

Value \$10/\$20/\$45/\$70/\$100*/\$130/\$160/\$200

(* = starting value)

Collectability bonus \$0/\$0/\$15/\$30/\$50

Haggling

Just a thought. If you wanted to simplify haggling, maybe have 'haggle tokens' which are picked up on certain squares and can be used to haggle the price down one level (but only one token per purchase!)

Rules

I hadn't mentioned this before, but I suspect the rules could be simplified a bit. If you are streamlining something, that might make it easier as well.

Best of luck.

Anonymous
Game #46: Collectibility by Steve Sisk (SiskNY)

GeminiWeb wrote:
Firstly, using the range of values on the cards rather than applying percentages directly does allow the use of different percentages for different items which might add some extra interest.

I hadn't even thought of that... Since the players don't have to rely on a lookup table to correlate the actual values based on the estimated value and the appraisal, there is more flexibility. I'll have to look over the possibilities.

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Secondly, as the name of the game is all about collecting, each set could have their own 'collection bonus' where the total value of the owned items in a category increased based on the number of items you own.

Another interesting idea. That way the bonus for the set would increase depending on how many of the items you own. The same would apply in a sense as it stands. The collection bonus would double the actual values of all items in the set, whether the player had three of the items or all four of them (there are only four of every item). Though, the collection bonus would allow more flexibility.

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Just a thought. If you wanted to simplify haggling, maybe have 'haggle tokens' which are picked up on certain squares...

Kind of like the "Free Spin" tokens on Wheel-of-Fortune? Save them to use in another turn? Interesting idea! It's looking like the haggling aspect is giving way to another more streamlined mechanic.

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I suspect the rules could be simplified a bit. If you are streamlining something, that might make it easier as well.

Yeah, I'm learning a lot about how much I overwrite the rules to my games. The streamlining that I'm planning will definitely help. I'm hoping the next round of rules will be much more condensed. The first thing I will do is to cut the quick start rules. My experience is that everyone will reaad the quick start rules and ignore the rest.

Thanks again for the input!

Anonymous
Game #46: Collectibility by Steve Sisk (SiskNY)

Looks like my slot in the GDW is coming to a close. I wanted to thank everyone who took the time to read through the rules and comment on the game. I feel like I have really gained a lot from your input over the past week. I'm looking forward to playtesting the game with the changes we talked about here.

GeminiWeb
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Joined: 07/31/2008
Game #46: Collectibility by Steve Sisk (SiskNY)

SiskNY wrote:

Quote:
Yeah, I'm learning a lot about how much I overwrite the rules to my games. The streamlining that I'm planning will definitely help. I'm hoping the next round of rules will be much more condensed. The first thing I will do is to cut the quick start rules. My experience is that everyone will reaad the quick start rules and ignore the rest.

I'd be happy to have a go at helping with commenting on your written rules once you've decided on the changes you want to make - it should be good practice for writing up my own.

Anonymous
Game #46: Collectibility by Steve Sisk (SiskNY)

GeminiWeb wrote:
I'd be happy to have a go at helping with commenting on your written rules once you've decided on the changes you want to make - it should be good practice for writing up my own.

Thanks! I did get a chance to playtest the changes over the last weekend and I have been working on revising the rules and the playing board. I will try to post the results of the playtest session this weekend along with the new materials for anyone who's interested.