Skip to Content

Game including transport

13 replies [Last post]
Maaartin
Offline
Joined: 05/15/2011

I'm thinking about a game including resources to be loaded on a ship in order to be transported and used elsewhere (imagine something like the video game The Settlers). My current problem is that it gets quite tedious because of the amount of fine micro-optimizations involved, so I'm looking for a game using a similar mechanics or some ideas. Somebody knows?

Maaartin
Offline
Joined: 05/15/2011
Any answer?

Any answer would be welcome. Or is there a better place where to ask such things?

Yamahako
Offline
Joined: 12/01/2010
Have you looked into the game

Have you looked into the game Puerto Rico?

joni
joni's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/15/2009
SoC

I know some scenarios from Settlers use transportation as a game mechanic.

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1137/die-siedler-von-catan-das-buch-z...

samuelsun
samuelsun's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/01/2010
Hi,

i am also thinking about this ..
please check this link this gives more helps you in your problem.
http://www.playhub.com/free-games/transport.html
Thanks

Maaartin
Offline
Joined: 05/15/2011
Thanks but...

Yamahako wrote:
Have you looked into the game Puerto Rico?

I've played Puerto Rico some time ago, there are ships "transporting things home", but they actually do no transport. They just get full and then emptied (or something like this). I'm thinking about ships which get loaded with (produced or bought) resources, spend some time moving, and then get unloaded at another island (where you spend the resources for production or buildings, or sell them). This way you can get richer... but also bored if it all takes too long.

joni wrote:
I know some scenarios from Settlers use transportation as a game mechanic.
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1137/die-siedler-von-catan-das-buch-zum-spielen

I don't have the book and haven't find the transportation on the BGG page.

samuelsun wrote:
please check this link this gives more helps you in your problem.
http://www.playhub.com/free-games/transport.html

I looked at 3 (out of 5) games there and they're just shooters or similar. In any case, no strategy there.

suf
suf's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2010
Hi, I'm a big fan of The

Hi,

I'm a big fan of The Settlers, the video game. I've been looking for board game mechanics similar to transportation in The Settlers with no luck. My conclusion is that you have to either remove transportation limits in terms of capacity and transport duration (that is, once you have a boat you can just move resources around from place to place just as if they were adjacent), OR make sure the player doesn't get an incentive from microoptimizing the transportation of resources and that this transportation doesn't get repetitive (I mean the player shouldn't have to transport the same combination of resources 10 times in a row). First approach might ruin your game mechanics, while the latter is very difficult to implement without a lot of overhead from the player's point of view. Another concept that I am currently trying to build upon in order to create The Settlers like feeling is using what I call "continuous production" where a "cube" is not a resource, but instead it is a stream of resources. The concept can be a bit confusing since I only saw it in only one game and even there it was a bit differently used. What it means? Say you take a "wood" from woodcutter and bring it to a sawmill, then you get a board which you transport via your ship to a different location where you need the board. This board now is not a simple board, but it means that you've established a line of production and transportation such that you keep getting boards in the new location every turn. I know it's really complicated when it comes to stockpiling; when you're producing one board per round and you need 2 boards to build a building but you only have one board resource token, so as you can see, the concept is still far from usable, but I'm working on it.

If you're thinking about designing a game similar to The Settlers (like I'm trying), even if you replace all different tools with a more generic "tool" resource, you still end up with many many resouce types (wood, board, stone, grain, food, flour, coal, iron, weapons etc). My idea was to use cubes of different color but man, there's a lot of colors!

Maaartin
Offline
Joined: 05/15/2011
Interesting...

Quote:
I'm a big fan of The Settlers, the video game.
I like it a lot, except for two things: the huge and useless amount of different tools and the fights.

Quote:
I've been looking for board game mechanics similar to transportation in The Settlers with no luck. My conclusion is that you have to either remove transportation limits in terms of capacity and transport duration (that is, once you have a boat you can just move resources around from place to place just as if they were adjacent), OR make sure the player doesn't get an incentive from microoptimizing the transportation of resources and that this transportation doesn't get repetitive (I mean the player shouldn't have to transport the same combination of resources 10 times in a row). First approach might ruin your game mechanics, while the latter is very difficult to implement without a lot of overhead from the player's point of view.

Agreed, I need the concept of distance in the game. Making it right is hard.

Quote:
Another concept that I am currently trying to build upon in order to create The Settlers like feeling is using what I call "continuous production" where a "cube" is not a resource, but instead it is a stream of resources. The concept can be a bit confusing since I only saw it in only one game and even there it was a bit differently used. What it means? Say you take a "wood" from woodcutter and bring it to a sawmill, then you get a board which you transport via your ship to a different location where you need the board. This board now is not a simple board, but it means that you've established a line of production and transportation such that you keep getting boards in the new location every turn.
I see, you just create a "trade route" (or however you may want to call it) and it makes you get the resource automatically to where it belongs to.

Quote:
I know it's really complicated when it comes to stockpiling; when you're producing one board per round and you need 2 boards to build a building but you only have one board resource token, so as you can see, the concept is still far from usable, but I'm working on it.
There are other complicated cases like

  • transporting from a single source to multiple destinations (you need the coal for both the ironworks and the toolmaker)
  • the case when the source doesn't produce at full speed must be propagated further
  • a destination needing two different resources from sources working at different speeds

It's a very nice idea, but I see no good solution to these problems.

Quote:
If you're thinking about designing a game similar to The Settlers (like I'm trying), even if you replace all different tools with a more generic "tool" resource, you still end up with many many resouce types (wood, board, stone, grain, food, flour, coal, iron, weapons etc). My idea was to use cubes of different color but man, there's a lot of colors!
IMHO the "generic tool" is a must for a board game, and would make the video game much better. Some resources come in pairs like iron ore and iron, so you could use different shapes of a single color. The kinds of food could be colored similar to the resource they are needed for... however, it's still too complicated for a board game. I'm afraid you'd have to leave out most of it.

I don't want to remake The Settlers, I just want to use some small parts of it:

  • you need a resource deposit in order to be able to build a mine
  • you need a mine in order to get an ore (I most probably simplify by leaving out the difference between iron ore and iron, etc.)
  • you need to transport the things up the production chain
suf
suf's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2010
Maaartin wrote:I like it a

Maaartin wrote:
I like it a lot, except for two things: the huge and useless amount of different tools and the fights.

Agreed, those don't make much sense.

Maaartin wrote:
I see, you just create a "trade route" (or however you may want to call it) and it makes you get the resource automatically to where it belongs to.
There are other complicated cases like
- transporting from a single source to multiple destinations (you need the coal for both the ironworks and the toolmaker)
- the case when the source doesn't produce at full speed must be propagated further
- a destination needing two different resources from sources working at different speeds

It's a very nice idea, but I see no good solution to these problems.


Yes, it's like a trade route, but you should be able to change it every round if you want to (that may involve moving around lots of cubes, but hopefully you won't have to adjust the routes very often (this could solve the multiple destinations issue. I was thinking all buildings produce/process at same speed, but some can be upgraded to process more products at the same time, and other can produce 2 units out of 1 resource and so on. I got most aspects figured out but there are still some bad things that need fixing. The way I see it, it might not be the right approach for you. I tried Neuland (have you seen it?) and I liked it at first but then it got a bit repetitive. Half of the time you "produce one food", then you either "use food to produce wood" or "use food to mine".

Maaartin wrote:

IMHO the "generic tool" is a must for a board game, and would make the video game much better. Some resources come in pairs like iron ore and iron, so you could use different shapes of a single color. The kinds of food could be colored similar to the resource they are needed for... however, it's still too complicated for a board game. I'm afraid you'd have to leave out most of it.

I don't want to remake The Settlers, I just want to use some small parts of it:
- you need a resource deposit in order to be able to build a mine
- you need a mine in order to get an ore (I most probably simplify by leaving out the difference between iron ore and iron, etc.)
- you need to transport the things up the production chain

For resources coming in pairs you can use say a cube and an octagon, I also thought about that. I ended up with about 16 resources in 10 colors, and about as many building types. I see two ways here: you either leave out some of them to the point where they are manageable (or to the point where you only end up with just "food" and "resources" and then probably "soldiers"), OR you keep everything and target your game to a very specific group of players. Either way, make sure your game doesn't lose its beauty ;)

If it's possible, you can also try a different approach not involving wooden pieces at all (I have seen this in a game somewhere): have buildings face up and when you use the good they produce you just flip them upside down to mark the building being used up. I don't know how well this could be fit in this game, but it might help.

For transportation you can use the idea in "Imperial" - each boat can transport one unit every turn. If many boats are involved then you could flip them on the side once used and restore them at round end.

Hope this helps.

Maaartin
Offline
Joined: 05/15/2011
I've made some progress...

Quote:
Yes, it's like a trade route, but you should be able to change it every round if you want to (that may involve moving around lots of cubes, but hopefully you won't have to adjust the routes very often (this could solve the multiple destinations issue.
I'm afraid that in my game the optimal strategy would include changing the routes very often as it's crucial to get the production running as fast as possible. There'll be always some shortages of some resourse and a steady flow could be an exception.

I was thinking about imposing some cost for changing the route, but didn't get far with it.

Quote:
I was thinking all buildings produce/process at same speed, but some can be upgraded to process more products at the same time, and other can produce 2 units out of 1 resource and so on. I got most aspects figured out but there are still some bad things that need fixing. The way I see it, it might not be the right approach for you. I tried Neuland (have you seen it?) and I liked it at first but then it got a bit repetitive. Half of the time you "produce one food", then you either "use food to produce wood" or "use food to mine".
I also want to use building upgrades and am quite sure it'll be an important part of the game.

I've never played Neuland but had a close look at it (and I like it, but who knows...).

Quote:
For resources coming in pairs you can use say a cube and an octagon, I also thought about that. I ended up with about 16 resources in 10 colors, and about as many building types.
How exactly did you manage to save 6 colors? The pairs iron/iron ore and gold/gold ore are obvious, so are meat/pigs and bread/crop, but what else? I don't remember the game well.

Quote:
I see two ways here: you either leave out some of them to the point where they are manageable (or to the point where you only end up with just "food" and "resources" and then probably "soldiers"), OR you keep everything and target your game to a very specific group of players. Either way, make sure your game doesn't lose its beauty ;)

I'd like to leave out military units -- at least for the beginning. I'm hoping I can make it interesting otherwise, e.g., by using a market with evolving prices. Because of the market I want use money, which are global in the sense that they need no transport and are available everywhere. Something like the following 9 resources should be managable:

  • paired resources: iron+ore, gold+ore
  • other resources: food, wood, coal, stone, tools

This way I'd need 7 colors, which is nearly acceptable. Any idea how to either reduce the number of colors or how to get more resources without needing more colors?

Quote:
If it's possible, you can also try a different approach not involving wooden pieces at all (I have seen this in a game somewhere): have buildings face up and when you use the good they produce you just flip them upside down to mark the building being used up. I don't know how well this could be fit in this game, but it might help.
I'm afraid, this doesn't fit, but is an interesting idea.

I think I can manage it all simply by constraining the production and managing the time:

  • There will be 3 or 4 ships per player at most.
  • In order to produce anything you need not only the building but also your ship crew working there for 1 time unit.
  • Ship movement costs time given by the distance.
  • Each turn you decide how much time you want to spend.
  • This time is available to each of your ships.
  • The player having spent the least time goes next (like in Red November).

I hope the transport doesn't get boring also because of the flow being very variable:

  • There may be 2-4 production building on a single island (and there's no transport costs on an island).
  • You may upgrade your buildings to produce more.
  • You may use the opponent's buildings for some fee (even without their consent).
  • You can buy or sell resources at the markets, where the price of each resource change according to its balance.
suf
suf's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2010
Maaartin wrote:I was thinking

Maaartin wrote:
I was thinking about imposing some cost for changing the route, but didn't get far with it.

I guess it depends on how many resource types and how many resources there are. If you manage to keep the numbers low then it wouldn't be such a big trouble for the players. If the number of resources is low then you can forget about trade routes and instead add a "produce and process" phase each turn. You could have a penalty of changing routes, like for example the changed routes don't operate for one turn, but this might not integrate well with the theme and could also make things move too slow.

Maaartin wrote:
I've never played Neuland but had a close look at it (and I like it, but who knows...).

I find Neuland a very nice game. Even though there's very little luck and it can get repetitive, it's a nice concept and we play it from time to time. I think it would get very slow in 4 players, but the concept is very good. It uses a transportation cost for moving around resources for large distance, and there's also the idea of time where you pay time to do actions. The more actions you do the more time passes and so the other players can do more actions too.

Maaartin wrote:
How exactly did you manage to save 6 colors? The pairs iron/iron ore and gold/gold ore are obvious, so are meat/pigs and bread/crop, but what else? I don't remember the game well.

I was actually giving some rough numbers, there might be only 5... I got other resource types inspired from other games (like clay and brick). I occasionally play the game versions 2 and 3 (you should be able to find it on bestoldgames.net and use dosbox).

Maaartin wrote:
I'd like to leave out military units -- at least for the beginning. I'm hoping I can make it interesting otherwise, e.g., by using a market with evolving prices. Because of the market I want use money, which are global in the sense that they need no transport and are available everywhere.

My thoughts the same with money and global fluctuating market. Leaving out military units could be a good idea if you're looking for an economic game. This will also greatly reduce player interaction so be careful not to end up with a multiplayer solitaire game.

Maaartin wrote:
This way I'd need 7 colors, which is nearly acceptable. Any idea how to either reduce the number of colors or how to get more resources without needing more colors?

No ideas. Also, different shape of same color can be a problem when pieces are far away from the player (say the player cares about what resources the other player has) because they are hard to distinguish especially in bad lighting conditions. Just something to keep in mind. You could use slightly different colors instead of same color (like red/orange, white/gray).

You can constrain production like you said. An upkeep cost is a good idea (I also use it in my design) so you have to pay each round for used ships/crew. Again, you can use the time system in Neuland so that if a ship takes 3 time you don't need to take 3 turns. Or, similar to Stronghold (if you played it), time is a resource and you spend time tokens to do actions (action point allowance system) but there are some downsides.

I understand you're going to have many little islands. I played the Anno video game series (Anno 1404 is the latest one) and there's even a board game called Anno 1503. I didn't play the board game but video game was very interesting for me. In a nutshell there are many islands and you can only grow/harvest certain resources on each of them. Player has to use ships to move things around, and so they use trade routes like "this ship moves iron from here to there, and salt from there back here). There usually is a main island which you try to develop by building a large city, and the other islands work like colonies. The video game gets very difficult towards the end when you have lots and lots of resource types and need to make sure you don't run out of a resource or your civil buildings will devolve and problems cascade. I think it's work checking it out if you haven't seen it already.

suf
suf's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2010
Indonesia

Not sure how much this has to do with your game design, but I just remembered Indonesia which also uses ships (very differently than what you have but worth mentioning it). Indonesia is hard to find as it hasn't been produced in a long time. In case you haven't seen it, the game goes like this: There are production companies which produce goods. There are cities which can consume goods (and can grow when the supply is right so that they can consume even more). And then there are transport companies which have ships on the sea areas. The production companies have to sell goods to cities using transport companies, and so the prod companies get money from cities and have to pay the transport (the further they transport the more they pay). Quick idea: long distance transportation could cost more money instead of more time.

I live in Europe and got Indonesia for about 60 euros and Neuland for under 10 I think. I usually get games just to see how they work even if I know I won't really like them and I will have to sell them :)

Badger
Offline
Joined: 03/27/2011
Railroad games as another model?

For another model of commodities, routes, and transports, I wonder whether any of Mayfair's Rail games (British Rails, EuroRails, India Rails, etc.) might provide you with some useful ideas -- or any other railroad game.

Also, if you're going to have commodities differentiated by color, you might consider adding shape to that as well, or some other means by which folks who are color-blind can differentiate them.

joni
joni's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/15/2009
If you still need it...

You can find the Settlers scenario with boat transports in pages 20-25 in this document: http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/16789/catan-settlers-book-doc

Image of the transport table:
http://boardgamegeek.com/image/891297/die-siedler-von-catan-das-buch-zum...

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut