Mar 022016

Lots of resources! What's the most fun way to give them away?

Lots of resources! What’s the most fun way to give them away?

A few posts back I wrote about my first game.

Since then I’ve been continuing with this. Mostly I’ve been trying to pull in people to play it with me, so that any flaws, weaknesses, irregularities and problems might come to the fore.

Part of the game is “giving away some of your resources” (to get victory points). And that’s the part that’s been giving me the most trouble.

The first time everybody had a cup into which people could deposit what they didn’t need. It didn’t work: People forgot which cup was who’s and it was hard to think about whom you wanted to give how much. Chaos!

In the next iteration people could offer their resources and another player would take them. This resulted in everybody consistently giving away all they had (to get points) and then taking the exact amount back from another player (to play the game). Not a lot of fun.

Even if the game itself isn’t fun yet, I’ve found that play-testers really enjoy coming up with ideas on how to make it better. Maybe I could make a game out of that?!?
Then I did some other work, including a “re-balancing” of how many resources were required for all the different things you could do. That iteration had a giving mechanism which didn’t work with the re-balance: There was a constant lack of one resource so everybody wanted those and was unwilling to give anything away. Once more to the drawing board.

Yesterday I played the first 2-player game and the “giving” turned into “trading” (I’ll give you 3 red for one green cube). That happened with some regularity and it worked, but it’s not exactly what I had envisioned. That was probably in part because with a 2 player game “giving” and “trading” really are very similar; this needs to be tested further with more people.

The re-balance that I did before the last game seemed to have worked quite well though, there were definitely shortages, but they were in different resources at different times (which is how it should be).

I’m now considering whether I should create more of an incentive to “give” (by having it earn more points). I’ll try that in the next round.

So, who’s up for a game?

Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

If you enjoyed this (or another) post, if you have something to add or to ask, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment!

  2 Responses to “Play testing”

  1. Have you tried “giving” to a central charity, where the weaker players (lowest in points etc.) can “take”?

    • Hi Danny,

      Interesting concept, I’ll definitely have to give that a bit more thought! It would certainly streamline things compared to what I have now (though that seems to be working reasonably well as well…).


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