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Ponzi Scheme» Forums » Play By Forum

Subject: Ponzi Scheme PBF 1 rss

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Carlos Moreno Serrano
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Hi gents,

I am currently working on creating a Google Docs sheet to be able to play Ponzi Scheme by Forum.

The inside trading will be done via geekmail and the key feature, keeping the personal money secret is the thing that I am still thinking on how to implement. I will check if you can protect different tabs in a sheet with different passwords, so that people can have their personal sheet password protected as this is key to the game.

If you have any other ideas on how to implement secret money, please contribute in this thread or send me a geekmail.

Once the sheet is a bit more ready I will post the link here and you can improve it if you want.
 
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Carlos Moreno Serrano
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I think I found the answer.
Each player will have their individual sheet to control their money and there is the IMPORTRANGE function that you can use to get data from other google docs sheets, so the master sheet will pull the data from players' individual sheets to validate the moves and notify if someone went broke.

Really looking forward to playing this by forum!
 
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Carlos Moreno Serrano
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Deck generator almost finished.
Summary sheet finished.
Player independent sheet almost finished.

We are getting there!
 
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Carlos Moreno Serrano
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Player independent sheet fully finished, with instructions on how to connect to the Summary sheet so that it pulls the data from it.

I am pleased with the level of automation I am getting. There are no fancy GUI menus yet, but it's now almost ready to get played.

Only things left are to check end game condition (is anyone broke yet?) and making sure that the loan deck does not have repeated cards.

After this, we are ready to go.

Scoring is already automated and once I have the endgame condition check sorted, the final scores will automatically display on the summary sheet.

I'm chaffed. Let's get some lunch and finish the whole thing with a little luck.
 
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Carlos Moreno Serrano
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Deck is fully sorted now and automated.

Only left is checking game end condition.
 
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Very interested in how you're doing deck management via Sheets, preferably in a manner invisible to all players until they draw. (I did the spreadsheet implementation of BattleCON and have another game in mind.) Looking forward to the release of this project.
 
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Carlos Moreno Serrano
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It's done!

All ready to play!

The end of the game will have to be still a bit manual, but we'll sort it out as we go along.

I think Jay and NotJeff are ready to join me.
Anyone else fancies joining us in the first ever Ponzi Scheme PBF game?
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Sure, I'll bite. If someone else wants in, though, I'd be happy to just watch; I'm most interested in the implementation details.
 
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Michael C
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I would like to join, too.

Nevermind, don't want to take someone else's spot.
 
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Larry Lawrence
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I'd love to play too, if possible.
 
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Carlos Moreno Serrano
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Ok, so I am going to make a backup of the original files and set up the game. Give me some minutes to send out the link. I will do a roll to see who is the start player (highest roll is start player).
 
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Carlos Moreno Serrano
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Okay, here is the link to the folder:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B_r-lIJrgeTtaXdHV1l1...

I am going to be customising the templates to you and then I will open a Q&A on how to use the sheets.

Let me know if you have problems with access.
 
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  • 988965. sprocket314
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Carlos Moreno Serrano
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Turn order:

1st sprocket314 (pure luck, I swear!)
2nd LaborLawLarry
3rd NotJeff
4th Jythier
5th tankbard

I will write below some comments on the sheets.

Have a look at the Summary sheet and your own sheet.
I hope that you can change the rights of the sheet and/or the ownership. I have never done that before. If we cannot change the ownership, then you can make a copy that only have access and I will tell you how to connect it to the Summary sheet so that it pulls all the data automatically. You just need to copy and paste the URL of your new sheet on top of the old URL in the formulae mentioned in the sheets' comments.

I have left one loan on everybody's sheet as an example of how it works.
I just realised that loan ownership is open information so I will create a tab per player to show loan ownership.
 
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Carlos Moreno Serrano
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I discovered a small bug which I am fixing.

It is now fixed.

We can commence.
Let me know when you are ready to start and type any questions you may have.

I will type some instructions on how everything works.
Please, also read the rules for Ponzi scheme.
 
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I assume we're on our honor to not look at anyone else's sheets.
 
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How the sheet works:

The idea is that there is a Summary sheet that represents the game itself and every player has their own personal separate (different document) sheet that represents the cash behind their screen in the game.

Both sheets have reminders of your loans and a simulation of the "wheel of doom" that tells you how much you are expected to pay in interest/dividends in which turn and other statistics.

I created a deck generator which is a hidden tab in the Summary sheet and this changes every single time anything changes on the sheet, so I took a snapshot of the deck and made another tab with a static deck which will be the one that we will be playing with. This static deck tab is also hidden.

You are not supposed to look at the deck, that would be cheating and destroys the whole purpose of gaming.

For the next release of the sheet, I am planning on having the deck in a separate sheet that only I can access and using a macro from the Summary sheet that when you click a button, it generates a new deck and automatically creates the static deck in the separate deck sheet and it pulls all the data automatically from the remote sheet, so that I don't have to manually copy and paste it and nobody would know the deck this way (I know that I could manually access the sheet as I would have admin access, but I promise you I won't and you will see me losing the game anyway to prove I am not cheating).

HOW THE SUMMARY SHEET WORKS

You can see the different players and which shares they own in which industries.

You can also see the funding board with the 9 available loans.

FUNDING PHASE

In the funding phase (the first one), commencing with the start player, they choose a share of a particular industry according to the rules, update the summary sheet to indicate the ownership of the share and then a loan depending on the number of shares in that industry that they now possess; copy the details of the loan (only the values, not the formula) to their player tab in the Summary sheet and then to their own personal sheet. Statistics will auto-populate and hopefully help you make the right decisions.
Please, don't forget to increase your personal cash by the value of the loan you have taken!
Please, don't forget that you can only ever get 3 shares of any industry this way and fourth ones, fifth ones, etc., can only be acquired through clandestine trading.

To finish their funding step, the starting player would virtually draw a card from the virtual deck. To do this, they increase the sequence counter by one more than the previous highest value. For example, the first ever change would change loan card 1, 2 or 3 to loan card 10 (as there are 9 initial cards, the next one on the top of the virtual deck would be card number 10, the next 11, the one after 12, etc.). This updates the old loan card with a fresh new one.

Finally, the starting player would look at the remaining cards and would have to rearrange the Loan Eligibility fields in order to sort by "colour" the loans on offer.

I couldn't be bothered to use formulas to constantly re-arrange the loans, so the work around is to use colour-coding: light coloured loans are available for 1 share, medium coloured loans are available for 2 shares and dark coloured loans are available for 3 shares. The colour coding is automated, so if you change the Loan Eligibility field to "1 share", it will automatically change colour to light. "2 shares" changes it to medium and "3 shares" changes it to dark.

Now it would be the turn of the next player clockwise, which would take the same steps as the starting player and so on, so forth.

CLANDESTINE TRADE PHASE

This is done secretly by geekmail.
In player order and following the rules of the game on valid offers, starting player would declare if they are making an offer and to whom.
Then proceeds to send the geekmail with the offer and they will receive an acceptance or rejection of the offer by geekmail.
Money and shares will exchange hands in the Summary sheet (shares) and in the individual sheets (money).
In the forum the acceptance or rejection of the offer would be announced.

Next player in sequence would then operate similarly and so on so forth.

PASS THE MARKER PHASE

Starting player changes the x from the Summary sheet to the next player in sequence, who becomes the new Starting player.
This new Starting player immediately selects one of the loans from the funding board and discards it virtually by increasing the sequence number one higher than the current highest number (basically that would be the top card from the virtual deck).
If the card is a bear, the loan will turn red to mark that.

MARKET CRASH PHASE

If there is an equal or higher number of bears (loans in red) than the number of players, the market crashes and we will follow the rules for this as appropriate.

TURN THE WHEEL PHASE

Starting Player increases the Current Turn counter in the Summary sheet by 1 (or by 2 if the market crashed this turn).
Very important to notice that if the market crashed this turn, you should increase the counter first once, fully pay the interest due and then when everybody is ready, increase it once again and everybody pays their due interest again (this is brutal).

This would conclude a whole round and we would start a new one following the same steps.

You pretty much now know the rules for Ponzi Scheme and how to use the sheets.

GAME END CONDITIONS

This is the part that is not elegantly implemented.
The game immediately stops if a player goes bust, so turn order is quite important.

I have programmed a "Bankruptcy?" flag to give us an indication if the game should end or not. This is not entirely needed as players should announce this manually in the real life game. We might have to delete this, but I thought it would be fun to have it. This flag will change dynamically during the game, so it might give away too much information. My idea was to set a condition to check only at a certain stage during the game (paying interest) and to automatically pull the scoring results from the individual sheets. Let me know what do you think.


FINAL WORDS BEFORE WE BEGIN

Do not forget to delete the initial loan from your player tab and player sheet!!! This is only for you to understand how loans are "loaded" into your loan table.

Everybody starts with zero money and no loans.
 
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Carlos Moreno Serrano
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tankbard wrote:
I assume we're on our honor to not look at anyone else's sheets.


Yes.

You could change the ownership of your sheet and then change the permissions so that only you have access to it. I don't know if this would screw the connection that the Summary sheet uses to pull the data though.
 
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I need to read the rules.

Also, the sheet sounds amazing and I can't wait to check it out.
 
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Brian
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Yeah, I also need to find time for a rules read.
 
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Brian
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Not having read the rules but trying to apply some intuition to what I think I see:

There's a statistic on my personal sheet that is average loan payout per turn. It currently says I owe $8 per 5 turns, for an average of $3/turn which doesn't seem to make sense.

Digging in, it's averaging (B2 : D2). Should it not instead be summing (B2/3 + C2/4 + D2/5)?

Or, perhaps I should just read the rules and understand?
 
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Carlos Moreno Serrano
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NotJeff wrote:
Not having read the rules but trying to apply some intuition to what I think I see:

There's a statistic on my personal sheet that is average loan payout per turn. It currently says I owe $8 per 5 turns, for an average of $3/turn which doesn't seem to make sense.

Digging in, it's averaging (B2 : D2). Should it not instead be summing (B2/3 + C2/4 + D2/5)?

Or, perhaps I should just read the rules and understand?


Yes, Brian, it does not make full sense and I am thinking on modifying it or removing it.

My intention is to forecast how much money I should keep "safe" each turn in order to be able to pay the interest of my current loans.

A key parameter when I play the game is being able to pay two consecutive turns if I see that we are going to have a Market Crash, because usually when this happens, it's devastating and makes you win or lose the game.

Another strategy tip is that it makes total sense to take unreasonable loans if you will never have to repay them. In this game cash is king. If you have cash, you can basically use it like in poker to "bully" the other players and get yourself a bargain by offering small cash for very expensive shares, which is the heart and soul of the game.

Guys, you are going to love this game!

I will modify the personal sheets to get a better stat. Suggestions welcome!
 
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Brian
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I think it should be just what I said: assume that you pay 1/3 of your every 3 turn loans per turn, etc:

Average perturn outlay:
B2/3 + C2/4 + D2/5

The current formula assume you pay 1/3 of all 3, instead of 1/4 of the per-4 and 1/5 of the per-5.

(Which might be fine if the goal is an ultraconservative reckoning)
 
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Carlos Moreno Serrano
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Ok, job done.

I have deleted and replaced the old player sheets with new ones.

The stats now show how much money you have to pay in interest this turn, next turn, in 2 turns and in 3 turns' time. I also replaced any dodgy average pay-out with the sum you would need in order to cover a Market Crash, which is the key thing.

I also changed the Summary sheet so that we only check for bankruptcy at the Market Crash checking stage, once all the clandestine trade has ended, so it is not real-time any more.

If we get a YES in this flag, then we can start asking questions to see if one of us really is going broke or not and we can reveal it in turn order.

We are ready to go, so please, read the rules and fire any question you may have. I will be your host as I have played it many times. I can give advice on strategy if you want it. I don't care so much for winning as for all of us having a good time.
 
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Carlos Moreno Serrano
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NotJeff wrote:
I think it should be just what I said: assume that you pay 1/3 of your every 3 turn loans per turn, etc:

Average perturn outlay:
B2/3 + C2/4 + D2/5

The current formula assume you pay 1/3 of all 3, instead of 1/4 of the per-4 and 1/5 of the per-5.

(Which might be fine if the goal is an ultraconservative reckoning)


Original formula was that, but in reality you would lose the game, believe me!

I have amended the sheets with more meaningful stats.

Every turn you need to know how much money you can "invest" in clandestine trading (buying or selling) and remember that these are hostile takeovers, so money and shares will exchange hands, so it is paramount that you have cash in order to protect/defend your shares or for taking over other people's shares.

So you need to keep some cash to save you from a Market Crash and pay your interest or you can cross your fingers and hope for the best.
 
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Larry Lawrence
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This is awesome. A bit confusing, so I'm guessing we will hit a few snags and mistakes along the way, but super excited to give it a try.

I should add, I'm ready when everyone else is. I assume we will put up a post in this thread after we take our actions, detailing what the action is as well?
 
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