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Subject: Co-op "bossing"/"quarterbacking" avoidance? rss

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Daniel Johansson
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I'm working on a co-op card game where each player has a hand of cards. The object of the game is to "defeat" cards that are flipped up from a common deck. This is done by playing cards from the player's hand. Defeated cards end up in a player's hand and so players have a pretty good knowledge on what cards everyone has on their hands aftera few rounds. Players take turns around the table just like in most games.

My question is: how can one avoid experienced/good players from giving out "orders" to all the other players? I want each player to take the decision themselves. I guess one thing is to keep the cards on hand hidden which makes it difficult for the "boss" to give advice, but other than that? I guess this is a common problem in all co-op games (I think I've seen the term "quarterbacking"). Any good examples on how this has been solved?

Thanks!
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Clem Fandango
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WELLINGTON
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The first rule of card club is no talking about card club.
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John duBois
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Troy
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The best ways I've seen to avoid quarterbacking are:
-hidden information (you can even hide a player's own information like in Hanabi)
-simultaneous and/or time-sensitive play (see Space Cadets and Escape: Curse of the Temple)
-random threat development (Flash Point: Fire Rescue)
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John "Omega" Williams
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Easiest solution is to simply not worry about it. If its a co-op game then in some groups one player may end up designated the leader, "caller" etc. While in other games it may develop to wholever has the skills for the situation is the one calling the shots, all the way down to total anarchy with no one actually co-operating.

Part of co-op is often that the group is a team and teams tend to have a leader.
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Markus
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Omega2064 wrote:
Part of co-op is often that the group is a team and teams tend to have a leader.


Best advice so far IMO.
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John A. White
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how about a mechanic in the game where a QB statement will kill the team. silence while approaching the enemy (in the trench, on the planet)

When I designed my co-op I didn't fight the QB concept, I embraced it, and there by circumvented it.

As you take a mission a leader is appointed to run the show. Missions were short and as the game built up the appointed party leader had more relevance.
 
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Nate
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I've been wondering if a co-op game can be designed where the players are designated "bosses" but in different aspects: One's the boss when they're fighting, another is the boss when they're planning, maybe one's the boss that decides how they'll divide up tasks, etc.
 
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Boss Beau Blasterfire
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I think incorporating ranks is a good way. The leader type personality should be assigned a Sergeant type position. It is the savy older guy with lots of experience, but still has to take a backseat to a younger officer straight out of the academy. The Sergeant can offer advice only when asked and it is still up to the officer to heed the advice or not.
 
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John Bintz
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Theoretically Space Alert is supposed to have the players divide up responsibilities on the ship, to the point where only one player can hear the audio recording and has to relay it to everyone else, and other ship management duties go to other players...but my group is nowhere near good enough to pull that off yet.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Omega2064 wrote:
Easiest solution is to simply not worry about it. If its a co-op game then in some groups one player may end up designated the leader, "caller" etc. While in other games it may develop to wholever has the skills for the situation is the one calling the shots, all the way down to total anarchy with no one actually co-operating.

Part of co-op is often that the group is a team and teams tend to have a leader.


I agree with Omega.

But I'll add this: Maybe the problem is not the game. Maybe the problem is that one player is bossy.

Teams do have leaders; there are times when the leader has to lead, and there are times when the leader has to let others take the initiative.

A team leader in a game _should_ allow others to play the game; otherwise, the group is probably better off if that bossy player played solitaire.
 
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Noah Gadea
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If you're finding a certain playtester/friend of yours tends to be TOO bossy, then that's more a shortcoming of their personality rather than a flaw in the game.

Also, if players are getting so into a game that they're actually getting intense about it, that's not an entirely bad thing either.
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Matt Pierce
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Add traitor! Then the other players will wonder if the bossy guy is actually trying to hurt them.
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LudiCreations
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Turku, Finland / Boston, MA, USA
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JohnduBois wrote:

-simultaneous and/or time-sensitive play (see Space Cadets and Escape: Curse of the Temple)


This.
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