Skip to Content

Sci-Fi 4x Cooperative Game Core Voting Mechanic

6 replies [Last post]
DarkDream
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969

Introduction

I am working on a space 4x board game. I already have made a few posts on it. For a brief context of ideas I have for the game, please see these links:

http://www.bgdf.com/forum/game-creation/new-game-ideas/semi-cooperative-...

http://www.bgdf.com/forum/game-creation/mechanics/modified-priority-ai-i...

http://www.bgdf.com/forum/game-creation/mechanics/space-4x-world-develop...

Core Mechanic Question

I currently working on the core mechanic of the game which consists of the actions relating to interstellar senate. All players are a part of the senate and act as leaders of a faction which can include other alien worlds.

One of the things the Senate should vote on is how to handle different crisis/event cards which list options. For example, a fleet of pirates card would have the options to attack them or pay them off.

A senator can bring a motion to vote on one of the options.

Besides putting forward options from an event card, the Senate has other possible motions, for example, to build more ships for the navy.

There are other potential Senate actions I am not so sure about. These motions or actions I see can either be a player's individual action or a collective Senate action. As an example, should players vote on who should colonize a discovered planet or should the first player that can send a colony ship claim it? Same thing for exploring unknown regions of space.

With the Senate voting for collective actions, it begs the question of who builds those ships? Should the number of ships to build be divided among each player's faction? Or should the player that passed the motion be responsible for building the ships? What if there is a neutral race that can build superior ships. Does it make sense to have a separate vote to "award the contract" on who will build the ships?

Another idea is to have a particular Senate office for defense and the player that owns that role decide who builds the ships. Any other ideas?

Summary

Essentially, what I am asking for is ideas on how the core game mechanic would function with collective actions which necessitates the use of player's resources.

Any ideas would be great.

Thanks,

DarkDream

czarcastic
Offline
Joined: 06/06/2016
Voting blocs

I find this idea intriguing and look forward to hearing more as it's developed. It doesn't seem like you have a lot of the aspects set in stone yet, I'll have to make some assumptions...

The way I'm seeing it is that the senators (players) don't have a lot of direct control over what happens on the game board. This means writing automation scripts for resource production (as one previous thread discussed), military actions (could be simplified to the point of military strength of X prevents Y from happening), and alien AI.

What the senators do have control over is the excess resources produced by the planets in their jurisdiction, the motions they call to vote, and whether they vote for a motion to pass. Each senator also has a number of hidden agendas that provide for scoring.

During the active round, each senator can choose one motion from a set (I'm thinking similar to the role cards in Puerto Rico). Each motion has a goal ("Build military" or "Increase Agriculture") and a cost ("10 Currency & 5 Metals). The cost could be split into a total and a required contribution from each senator. The remaining cost must be pledged by the motioning senator and/or other senators he cuts a deal with.
This would lead to a lot of compromises (like in real politics). "Your motion doesn't benefit me, but I'll support your motion if you support mine." Or even as blatant as "I'll give you 5 Currency for your vote."

Many of the agendas could have similar but distinct objectives. If one senator scores points if any planet reaches a certain population threshold, his goal may align with a senator who scores from having the most populous planet.

The events/crises are foreseeable but random (event card roster viewable to all). As in everyone knows that desert-heavy planets could have a drought/famine, but that may or may not happen.
Some events may affect each senator equally and other events have more serious ramifications for a smaller group. E.g. Pirate attacks are bad for everyone so everyone wants military patrols to fend them off. The senator whose sector borders on the aggressive alien's empire wants an even stronger military in case the aliens attack because it's his planets getting devastated first.

Probably have a turn limit and the winner is determined by who completed the most points of objectives.

Or to sum all that up, if you want to make a political game, keep it to politics. Introducing direct control of units and such makes it more of a tactical wargame.

andymakespasta
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2015
I like the political aspect

I like the political aspect as described by czar.

One idea is that players don't really have personal resources (nothing on a planetary scale). Instead players have support from planets and races, which would affect their voting power. A player would bargain for resources to their home planet, which could grow in population. Or they could help other planets or colonies to win their support.

I also had an interesting idea. Different alien species could be very different in terms of planets or population. There could be a motion to change the voting process. Could colony worlds have a vote? Should votes be distributed by number of planets? by population? Some weird thing like the US where each planet must vote the same, but has voting power based on population?

But if you're aiming for a 4X game, then perhaps simplify the senate, and just have players make proposals for how something should be done, who should pay etc, then vote on it. If a player disagrees with the results, or doesn't carry out the actions, they can be kicked out or hit with sanctions. Reentering would be another vote.

DarkDream
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Nice Comments

czarcastic wrote:

What the senators do have control over is the excess resources produced by the planets in their jurisdiction, the motions they call to vote, and whether they vote for a motion to pass. Each senator also has a number of hidden agendas that provide for scoring.

During the active round, each senator can choose one motion from a set (I'm thinking similar to the role cards in Puerto Rico). Each motion has a goal ("Build military" or "Increase Agriculture") and a cost ("10 Currency & 5 Metals). The cost could be split into a total and a required contribution from each senator. The remaining cost must be pledged by the motioning senator and/or other senators he cuts a deal with.

Hi Czarcastic, some good ideas here. I am not clear on the "required contribution from each Senator." Are you suggesting, for example, the motion card specifies how much each Senator (besides the Senator passing the motion) must contribute and the remainder cost the Senator passing the motion must contribute to meet a certain total?

czarcastic wrote:
Many of the agendas could have similar but distinct objectives. If one senator scores points if any planet reaches a certain population threshold, his goal may align with a senator who scores from having the most populous planet.

I think what you are getting at, is that with hidden agendas Senators would more likely in some circumstances work with each other rather than everyone ganging up on the Senator passing the motion. Is that a fair assessment?

Having agendas also helps the Senators have incentives to pass or not pass particular motions.

czarcastic wrote:

Or to sum all that up, if you want to make a political game, keep it to politics. Introducing direct control of units and such makes it more of a tactical wargame.

That is what I am struggling with right now. How political do I want to make it. Right now with a 4x type setting I want to make it somewhat reduced.

Thanks,

DarkDream

czarcastic
Offline
Joined: 06/06/2016
Happy to help

Ever since joining the forum, I've been suggesting uncommon or possibly unique mechanics to others. I figure that even if it doesn't work as proposed, it can help break a creative rut that it's so easy to fall into.

Anyway, yes, you picked up the ideas I put out there. I know I don't always convey my thoughts into words well, so I often follow with an example.

As far as the costs go,everyone has to kick in something because every action is ostensibly for the good of the federation. Tax, basically. The rest of the funding/materials would be pledged by the motioning Senator, and/or his allies in that vote.
This could also lead to a motion passing on vote, but failing on funding.

Whatever the Senate mechanics you decide upon, it can still function as a 4X. What I envisioned was a strong government, where the players had to work the system to get anything done. You may see it as a looser federation with more player autonomy.

DarkDream
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Other Interesting Thoughts

andymakespasta wrote:
One idea is that players don't really have personal resources (nothing on a planetary scale). Instead players have support from planets and races, which would affect their voting power. A player would bargain for resources to their home planet, which could grow in population. Or they could help other planets or colonies to win their support.

Interesting thoughts. I think you are saying that possibly the Senators would have to fulfil certain agendas to gather support which results in more votes? Could a Senator loose votes as well? But how for instance, would going to war help their home planet? Maybe the motion would explicitly state that, for example, the Senator's homeworld would build the ships?

andymakespasta wrote:
I also had an interesting idea. Different alien species could be very different in terms of planets or population. There could be a motion to change the voting process. Could colony worlds have a vote? Should votes be distributed by number of planets? by population? Some weird thing like the US where each planet must vote the same, but has voting power based on population?

Interesting idea. So in the game there may be opportunities to change the voting mechanic, at least in terms of the representation and number of votes. Would have to think about that. I was just thinking that one population cube would equal one vote.

andymakespasta wrote:
But if you're aiming for a 4X game, then perhaps simplify the senate, and just have players make proposals for how something should be done, who should pay etc, then vote on it. If a player disagrees with the results, or doesn't carry out the actions, they can be kicked out or hit with sanctions. Reentering would be another vote.

So a part of a motion would be who would explicitly pay or fulfil the action.

Thanks,

DarkDream

Cool Among Camels
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2015
DarkDream wrote:There are

DarkDream wrote:
There are other potential Senate actions I am not so sure about. These motions or actions I see can either be a player's individual action or a collective Senate action. As an example, should players vote on who should colonize a discovered planet or should the first player that can send a colony ship claim it? Same thing for exploring unknown regions of space.

With the Senate voting for collective actions, it begs the question of who builds those ships? Should the number of ships to build be divided among each player's faction? Or should the player that passed the motion be responsible for building the ships? What if there is a neutral race that can build superior ships. Does it make sense to have a separate vote to "award the contract" on who will build the ships?

I briefly looked over the previous posts. I think to answer these questions, you first have to answer this one: is the focus of the game more on competition or cooperation?

From what I've seen, semi-cooperation is a difficult beast to tame. If the game can be won by a single person, players tend to choose actions that are only beneficial to them.

So who wins your game, the team or the player?

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut