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How do we feel about allowing players to vary the game length

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mongoosedog
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In rebuild I have it set to 3 rounds makes a turn and 5 turns makes a game. I have noticed that some people feel it is to short and some think it is just right.

I would think that allowing players to add a round in order to get better begin turn bonuses would be nice as well as letting them add 1 additional turn to help extend the game a touch. 1 way would add 5 action sequences and the other way would add 3. Both ways would adjust the feel, but just a touch.

I like the idea of letting players customize the experience slightly, but not in a massive way. Some people like it tight and some like it loose.

questccg
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It may be just me... but

I think you misunderstand the meaning in English of the word "Round" and "Turn".

Why? Because in English a "Round" is comprised of one or more "Turns".

I'm not certain what your "interpretation" of the terms is -- but it seems to be wrong or out-of-context.

And furthermore some "Turns" can be divided into a "Actions" or a "Sequence" of actions/steps.

I don't have a term for something above a "Round"... A game is comprised of one or more "Rounds".

Maybe I misunderstood... or it's a questions of semantics.

polyobsessive
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Varying game lengths

QuestCCG's comment about round/turn is mostly true: the convention these days seems to be as he describes, but it hasn't always been the case. I can't think of titles right now, but I am pretty sure that I have at least a couple of games in my collection that use the terms "round" and "turn" differently to how most of us use them at the moment.

It's probably worth adopting the terminology as QuestCCG suggests it to avoid confusion. :)

To the actual question, were you talking about having players choosing at game start how long the game will be (maybe from a couple of options), or more that there will be uncertainty about precisely when a game will finish and players can in some way influence the length of the game?

Either of these approaches can work well, and it really depends on the context of the rest of the game. You might also want to consider whether a fixed number of turns is the best way to end this particular game.

I personally rather like games where you aren't entirely sure when a game will end. It doesn't work for every game (of course!) but there can be some serious tension introduced when everyone is having to think about whether they will have two more turns or three, and what is their best option under each. And if players can take actions that would tend to lengthen or shorten the game to suit their strategy it can be a lot of fun.

Good luck with your game.

Rick L
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I don't see anything wrong

I don't see anything wrong with players being able to adjust win conditions, as long as the gameplay has room for it.

Like Catan - you could change the score limit - instead of playing to 10 points, play to 12. But to do so, you may need expansion pieces to make a larger map, because it may be hard to have enough room on the basic map to score more than 10 points.

So as long as a game can accommodate it, players can and will play it however they prefer - in other words, it's just "house rules"

lewpuls
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Say what?

Because it isn't entirely clear how round and turn are used, you have to define it clearly within the rules for your game.

I am astonished at your question. Just how are you going to prevent players from adjusting things as they like? I realize players are much more passive than in the past, much less likely to make their own changes, but a designer can never prevent them from doing so.

The best he/she can do is explain what some of the common changes, in length or whatever, are likely to do to how the game plays.

questccg
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Just to clarify

polyobsessive wrote:
QuestCCG's comment about round/turn is mostly true: the convention these days seems to be as he describes, but it hasn't always been the case. I can't think of titles right now, but I am pretty sure that I have at least a couple of games in my collection that use the terms "round" and "turn" differently to how most of us use them at the moment.

As @poly indicated... The current convention is the following:

A Game is comprised of one or more Rounds.
A Round is comprised of one or more Turns.
A Turn is comprised of one or more Phases.
A Phase is comprised of one or more Steps.

Maybe because Magic is so prevalent ... that it's domination in "structured" play is why this convention is so well defined.

Cheers.

let-off studios
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Affecting the Game

I know so little of your game, but some general principles may apply. Ask yourself these questions:
1. Is there a definite change of the game state - as in, "the world and landscape of the game" - by the time you want to end it?

2. Does your game reach a point of critical mass where players' options become so limited that they have no worthwhile/interesting choices at all?

3. Do you have a target audience in mind?

Question one is to find out if your game is too short. Question 2 is to find out if your game is too long. Question 3 is to guide your design concept into something that your target audience would prefer...even if it's just you and your friends.

The Catan example above is a great example of the reason a game is a certain length, and it feeds into question 2.

Note that there's no question asking about, "has everyone had a turn?" and there are a couple reasons for this. First off, there seems to be a question of definitions raised and I wanted to avoid splitting hairs. Second, you may develop an asymmetrical game, and depending on how it's designed you may have a different player action structure - rounds, turns, phases, whatever you want to call it - that is different depending on the role the players have.

Finally, bear in mind that there are several games that break or bend these guidelines to varying degree (if you've ever seen an 18XX game, then you'll know they consistently have "no" to answer question 2), but if you're a designer just starting out, then it's to your benefit to have definitive "yes" answers to all of the above.

questccg
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I'm still waiting for a clarification?!

So is it: 5 Rounds x 3 turns = 15 turns in all???

So instead of 5 Rounds, one of your options is to have 6 rounds = 18 turns??

And the other add +1 turn, so 5 rounds x 4 turns = 20 turns?

Am I understanding correctly because my numbers are what it seems like the OP is saying... IDK - I'd need a confirmation.

Can you provide some clarification or feedback/comments?

Thank you.

Note: In the first case (adding a round), you end up with 18 turns instead of 15 (+3 total turns). And in the second case (adding a turn/round), you end up with 20 turns instead of 15 (+5 total turns).

Is this correct?!

questccg
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Rulebook variation

lewpuls wrote:
The best he/she can do is explain what some of the common changes, in length or whatever, are likely to do to how the game plays.

Yeah I agree with Dr. Lew... Best way to describe what the impact is of changing the number of Rounds or the number of Turns/Round.

Really you should adopt the STANDARD interpretation of what a Round and Turn both are. Read my earlier thread it explains all the elements of a game, from Round to Step.

But including in the rules what happens if you play an extra Turn/Round or add on an extra Round, that's a matter of documenting to variations on the game play -- all you need to do is document their impact.

Best.

polyobsessive
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Getting sidetracked...

questccg wrote:
Really you should adopt the STANDARD interpretation of what a Round and Turn both are. Read my earlier thread it explains all the elements of a game, from Round to Step.

I'll agree in general about the round and turn thing but, with respect, I think you may be mistaken about just how "standard" the other bits are.

questccg
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I'm just wanting some clarification

Hi @Poly... No I'm just saying to adopt a more generalized way of using the terminology. Because other people may also be confused too...

By me, inverting his terminology, I THINK, what he was asking originally makes more sense. But he has not responded to the request to clarify the terminology.

So I can only assume that even with the "more standard" terminology, that I MIGHT be correct in understanding his question -- but I could be in error, because maybe that's not what HE meant.

I'm not ramming down his throat saying "use this terminology". I'm just pointing out that many people may be confused if the English language (on principle) is not being used correctly.

Bottom line: it leads to more confusion when you deviate from the accepted norms. Hey I'll be the first one to say "I WAS WRONG." "TradeWorlds" is a much better game having a 4 player Big Box rather than 1 Player Box Sets.

My thinking "out-of-the-box" was incorrect. People sometimes welcome the familiar more STANDARD way of selling and packaging a game.

It's really not about WRONG or RIGHT. More about SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE.

Cheers.

mongoosedog
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The terminology is not really

The terminology is not really important for the question. You also take 2 actions when you take actions so for now you take 30 actions per game. Also not totally about my game. Just wondering an the grand scheme of things is a suggestion about how to adjust game length acceptable. I know some people say, "figure it out before you publish. It is not the players job to define the game."

questccg
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I believe Dr. Lew says it best!

Dr. Lew says not to "force" the players to a strict number of turns. Instead "document" the various types of lengths in your rulebook in a "Variants" section. And tell players how the length impacts the results of the game.

There is nothing wrong with this... It's probably the best advice anyone can give. If you just "document" how long you want the game to be played, you can pretty much let the players decide how THEY want to play.

Something along those lines.

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