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Money solutions

7 replies [Last post]
Joined: 01/28/2017

Hey all - need some advice!

I'm working on a game which has players building money up to about $4m - in US dollars, in $5k increments

At the moment I have a tracker on a card logging current funds but am toying with the idea of switching to play money. This is mainly experiential to get the feel of counting out dollar bills.

I know "play money" isn't particularly popular, I think because it degrades over time - but is this correct? Are there other options I should consider?

As its representing dollars I'm keen to not go down the coins route - could potentially go for something like poker chips but not sure...

thanks in advance!

sheeptree's picture
Joined: 03/15/2017
Too Many Bills!

If you go with play money, make sure you include a bunch extra in the box. Personally, I'm not a fan of the play money style. It's a lot to keep track of, put away, etc. especially with the amount you'd need for your game! $4mil going up $5k increments would require 800 $5k bills per player! I suppose you can go down on that number by requiring exchanges to $10k or $20k bills or something but it's still a lot and would make gameplay more complicated than it has to be, in my opinion.

I think a tracker would be best, or a dial-type thing unless you're willing to go down on the $4mil to something more manageable.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Paper money doesn't

Paper money doesn't degenerate much if you use decent materials.

If you choose this road. I think 5, 25 and 100 bills would be best.

4 players?
20 bills of 100
30 bills of 25
30 bills of 5

But remember. Handling money during a game asks for little 1 second packages of down time.

Joined: 01/28/2017
Option 1 - Tracker currently

Option 1 - Tracker
currently I have a tracker with 3 columns - 5's up to 100, 100's up to 1m and millions up to 4

that works really nicely, efficiently, cleanly but just isn't very thematic....

Option 2 - Bank balance
I could have a bank balance number made up of individual tiles where you edit the digits manually - this might be the best balance between thematic and practical

Option 3 - Play money
This would be amazing but you have hit the nail on the head that it would be quite a lot of bills.
I'd aim for probably
20 x $500k bills
20 x $100k bills
10 x $50k bills
20 x $10k bills
20 x $5k bills
(haven't costed this up yet)

I like play money personally - but definitely appreciate other opinions on this

joebergmann's picture
Joined: 12/29/2016
Un-investigated crazy idea

Maybe cubes? They make gold, silver, and copper cubes. I mean, then it's not paper. Probably more expensive though than paper.

Poker chips aren't a bad idea either. But, like cubes, might be expensive. Could just be cardboard tokens. But those seem cheap to me.

I'm not a fan of paper, personally.


Joined: 01/27/2017

I would prefer the idea of ingots that represent significant bits of money.

The Game Crafter does have two game bits, one called "Gold" and the other called "Premium Gold Ingot" but they don't have any ready-made solution that includes multiple values.

(I like how the Premium Gold Ingot carries a warning "This is not made of real gold and is only a board game piece that represents a gold ingot.")

One possibility is

$5K Copper (reddish) ingot
$50K Silver (grayish) ingot = 10 Copper
$500K Gold (yellow) ingot = 10 Silver

Another would be

$5K Copper (reddish ingot)
$25K Silver (grayish ingot) = 5 Copper
$100K Gold (yellow ingot) = 4 Silver
$500K Diamond (clear gem) = 5 Gold

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Another idea

sheeptree wrote:
...I think a tracker would be best, or a dial-type thing unless you're willing to go down on the $4mil to something more manageable.

I agree with @sheeptree: having a tracker would be the best solution. The thing with play money or poker chips, they have to be a more lesser volume.

For example, in my game "TradeWorlds" we have a Push-Your-Luck scenario. I hope to use "Poker Chips" AND a "Tracker". Let me explain...

Players earn "Poker Chips" and double their score when a starship defeats an opponent's starship. But when you've earned "ENOUGH" (relative to each try) you BANK the amount (adjust your tracker) and the Poker pile goes back to 5 chips.

So relatively the number of Poker Chips is small relative to the 500 point Victory Goal. That goal is kept track of using each player's "Tracker".

It's a hybrid solution where you have both and work with relative amounts that make the game LESS "unruly"... Maybe you could do something similar with Paper Money: have it for one reason and when you BANK it, the tracker gets updated...

Joined: 01/28/2017
a tracker is what I have now

a tracker is what I have now - and to be honest it does work really well.

Gold ingots/coins etc are really not on theme so whilst they work mechanically, are no good for this game (but would be fine for others)

What you think about the bank balance idea - where you effectively have 7 slots for tiles, and each tile makes up a digit of the balance. If you gain $5k you just change one or two digits on the display.

I'm leaning towards the tracker still but thought this might be worth trying...and the bank balance statement is definitely on theme....

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