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Kieran Barton
Germany
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I have recently joined BGG as I am currently in the design process of a game and wanted to get more involved with the Board Game community, as well as to ask a few questions to help the process along. Any advice and feedback would be most appreciated!

I was wondering what would be too much for a player to keep track of, such as points, items and currency? Without wanting to go too far into explaining the details of my game (as i would prefer to get feedback for that in a separate thread, and focus mainly on this particular issue), there are at least four different values a player must keep track of in my game:
Your "Points" - i.e. The main thing you keep track of as once you reach a set amount you win the game. The player will be gaining and losing these points during each of their turns.
Your "Stress" - i.e. A negative score which effects certain elements in the game, from stopping you from gaining "Points" or losing money etc. It is different to your "Points". The player will be gaining and losing these points during each of their turns.
Your "Currency" - i.e. To purchase items. You get a set amount the start of each of your turns, and can be both gained or lost during you or an opponent's turn.
Your "Tokens" - i.e. To be traded in to get Special Items and benefits. Harder to obtain so not as frequent.

There would also be Items that may be giving you abilities during your turn, so this could also be considered.

For the "Points" and "Stress" I would use a tracking system (almost like King Of Tokyo with a sliding point system), and for money and Tokens it would be good to use a physical representation (basically Monopoly money, and for tokens just cardboard cut-outs about 2p sized). Items would be just plain cards. I want the Points and Stress to be the main things a player needs to keep track of.

When I playtested an early version of the game, I found I would sometimes forget to gain or lose something. I blamed the fact I was firstly playing as multiple players so had more to remember and keep a note of, but also that I did not have a proper tracking system, just making notes on a piece of paper.

Now I don't necessarily need a direct answer, but more as to what could make a game seem too complicated, and what methods can be used to prevent this or make it easier. Using King of Tokyo again as an example, this has quite an easy way (in my opinion) to keep track of Victory Points, Health, Currency and Items (even when you have multiple items). I want the game to be simple enough to be easily accessible to new players, as to not overload them with things to do.

Any general advice or thoughts at all would be most apprectiated, and I hope I can become more involved with BGG!
 
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Warren Fitzpatrick
United States
Ohio
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I'd make a player board with a sliding scale (I think that's what King of Tokyo used) for each of the things your measuring. You have 4 sides to a typical rectangular board. You have 4 things being measured. Seems easy enough.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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I think the main difficulty is not in how they're represented, but in how you know when to change them.

At one extreme, you might only gain or lose points when you read a piece of game text that explicitly says so; then you always have a reminder of what you're supposed to do. At another extreme, your game might have a bunch of rules like "gain 7 points whenever you cross a blue line" and "lose 2 points when you start your turn adjacent to another player" that players would need to learn and remember to apply at erratic intervals throughout the game, which greatly increases the chance that someone will make a mistake.
 
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BT Carpenter
United States
Reston
Virginia
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Based only on what you have presented:

"Points" (Victory points) are the competitive aspect of the game since they determine the victor of the game. A 'race track' (usually around the outside of the play area) is usually a good idea for this kind of point.
Note: Mild concern that players can lose points on this track.

"Stress" sounds like a personal thing and acts as a threshold marker for other aspects. Each player should have their own tracker for this value, be it a number of cards in front of them, a board or some other thing. Whether or not it is bounded will determine if you go with a track or some other open-ended tracking mechanism.

"Currency" sounds like a fungible item that gets traded for other things or activities. Cardboard coinage or wooden boxes of goods... whatever here.

"Tokens" sound like special items and are a form of "uber-currency".


As for remembering/forgetting to gain/lose something, make the thing that causes the action of a set of functions, which includes gain/loss very clear and a complete package.

See also my note about the ability to *lose* the primary victory points in the game. If that is incidental and not some kind of up-front cost, then it's easy to lose it in play. Ideally I'd think you want the main VP track to be verifiable based on game-state at any moment.
 
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Stephen Eckman
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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The best thing to use for tracking may also depend on the volume of the the thing being tracked. The Pursuit of Happiness has cardboard chits for money, knowledge, influence, and creativity. It gets to be a little fiddly because you can accrue a large amount of each thing. A recent review suggested that it would be better to have boards with tracks. I agree with that suggestion. Note that this is how most of the Tiny Epic games work.
 
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