Lee Frank
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Scott!

Scott Nicholson
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Finally got Going, Going, GONE! to the table!

It was a BLAST!

Thanks for designing such a fast paced and FUN game!

We played with 5, and I've got a few questions.

I know you encourage experimentation, but I also like to do my research up front and avoid re-inventing the wheel (or flat tire).

Did you play-test with 7 and/or 8 players?

With the basic rules... other than adding 1 or 2 more colors of cubes I didn't see anything that would hinder adding more players... other than perhaps having a playing space that enables 7 or 8 equal access to the "auction" cups.

Am I missing something?

Is there a plan for a 7 & 8 Player mini-expansion perhaps with 1 more cup, 2 new sets of tokens, and new cards?

On number of cards and distribution of cards:

Right now the basic game is VERY fast and VERY furious. But has perfect information. There is an equal distribution of all items for all countries (1 of each of 7 items for each of 7 countries).

Did you try some variations where the deck had either more items and/or countries and some of the cards (items and/or countries) were removed before playing or you just didn't use the entire deck, so that players had a general idea of what sets were available, but not "perfect" information.

I'd think that would give the game more variation and add a little bit more "luck" to the game to make each game a bit different. Is there a reason you didn't do this?

On rules:

I'm guessing you kept the rules simple on scoring for that very reason... to keep it simple. Just score based on sets based on # countries OR # single type of item.

With the cards in the current distribution there is no way of getting both (both a set of the same country AND the same type of item.)

Kind of related to the above extra cards idea, did you try a more complex scoring? Decks that have multiple of the same item for each country? Multiplier or bonus points for same item AND same country? Perhaps a 3rd "suit" maybe in addition to type of item and country: Age of item or color?

Or is such a deck another possible expansion?

Anyway... love the game. Going to enjoy playing it and playing around with it. Love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks!

Lee


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Scott Nicholson
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What I learned with this: It is very hard to make a simple game. It's much easier to make a more complex game, as the complexities can fix other issues.

It actually started out much more complex. This game went through 4 years of development to get it to where it is.

I had different sized sets of cards, each paying out different amounts (like Bohnanza).

I had each player with their own cups as well, so players could put things up for sale. (it was originally a real estate themed game called "Nowhere to Go")

I had external stock markets that you could invest cubes in.

I had 1st and 2nd place bidders winning choices of items.

I had random removal of cards, so you didn't know what would be in the deck.

I had unknown items. All unknown, and everyone got to peek at 2, or the stacks with the 2 cards having one unknown.

I had fluctuating markets, so timing mattered when you sold.

This was all fine for Gamers, but I knew that Gamers were not my target audience.

I started testing the game in libraries with anyone who walked by, and that's where I started taking things out. Testing games in a non-gamer setting with whomever walks by is a great experience to help you realize how complex your "simple" game really is.

All this took years to test and rebuild to hone the game to where it is. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Then it was too simple, as I had only types of items (no countries).

I added back in the second dimension, and that tested well with Gamers and people who weren't hobby gamers.

So, I kept it simple, as I wanted this to be a game that could be played by anyone, a game to be played while drunk, or a game to be played in public spaces that was easy to explain. Or all three.


Expansions - we have talked about it, I have already put together ideas, and it will depend upon sales of the base game.



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Del Turner
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I think a great simple variant would be removing 7 cards at random, making you wonder if you can get more of a type or not. That little extra decision... "do I sell or hold... I dunno!" Would be a nice wrinkle.

The great thing about Going Going Gone is that it is designed simple and creating and adding variants is easy and encouraged. I imagine it like Risk Legacy, only instead of markers and stickers, you have the oral tradition of your own group's variants and house rules.
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Lee Frank
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Scott!

Thanks for the quick reply.

The game does play and teach very smoothly... I believe Tom Vasal would say it is "streamlined". If it was a pinball machine I would say it has "flow".

Definitely a keeper for me.

Hoping sales go well and I for one am in line (FIRST I hope) for an "advanced" auction deck. (My thoughts below.)

Thanks again for the GREAT new "CLASSIC" game.

Lee

P.S. I think the "cheapest" but most "bang for the buck" expansion is simply a new auction deck.

A perfect "advanced auction deck" for me would have:

At least 2 of each item in each suit. Double the deck from 49 to 98 cards.

I would also include 7 "country" cards (just flags) and 7 item cards (just items). And 7 player quick reference scoring cards. (119 cards total)

New rule for new 98 card deck:
Instead of 7 rounds with 5 cups (7 cards dealt 1-2-1-2-1) using all 49 card deck.
I would take out 10 cards and set-aside.
Do 8 rounds with 5 cups (11 cards dealt 3-2-1-3-2) using 88 of the 98 cards.

This will introduce imperfect information into the game and allow "advanced" scoring and rules.

New rules two variations:
1. Each player gets 1 country and 1 item card at the start of the game. These are the players "favorite" or "high demand" items. Each player tries for their favorite. These can be all played open or face down.

2. Each round gets 1 country and 1 item card that qualify for bonuses.

In either case, players get bonus "bucks" for getting items from either the favorite country OR item.

Double bonus "bucks" for any items that are both the country AND item that is favorite or in high demand.

I thought about adding a new "auction cup" to an expansion, but that would require a box and make the expansion more expensive. Same with adding extra player cubes. (They are a cup and cubes. Players can download the rules for more players and BYO cup or cubes.)

I played around with the idea of adding a third (or 4th) suit (such as Age: Ancient, Antique, Vintage, Modern, Used, New, Brand New / In Shrink), but this would up the deck size substantiallly and I don't think it would add much beyond the above goals.


 
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Lee Frank
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After talking with Scott N. and Stephan Buonocore:

I think the "cheapest" but most "bang for the buck" expansion is simply adding a second copy of the auction item deck.

A perfect "advanced auction deck" for me would have:

At least 2 of each item in each suit. Double the deck from 49 to 98 cards.

I would also include 7 "country" cards (just flags) and 7 item cards (just items). And 7 player quick reference scoring cards. (119 cards total)

New rule for new 98 card deck:
Instead of 7 rounds with 5 cups (7 cards dealt 1-2-1-2-1) using all 49 card deck.
I would take out 10 cards and set-aside.
Do 8 rounds with 5 cups (11 cards dealt 3-2-1-3-2) using 88 of the 98 cards.

This will introduce imperfect information into the game and allow "advanced" scoring and rules.

New rules two variations:
1. Each player gets 1 country and 1 item card at the start of the game. These are the players "favorite" or "high demand" items. Each player tries for their favorite. These can be all played open or face down.

2. Each round gets 1 country and 1 item card that qualify for bonuses.

In either case, players get bonus "bucks" for getting items from either the favorite country OR item.

Double bonus "bucks" for any items that are both the country AND item that is favorite or in high demand.

I thought about adding a new "auction cup" to an expansion, but that would require a box and make the expansion more expensive. Same with adding extra player cubes. (They are a cup and cubes. Players can download the rules for more players and BYO cup or cubes.)

I played around with the idea of adding a third (or 4th) suit (such as Age: Ancient, Antique, Vintage, Modern, Used, New, Brand New / In Shrink), but this would up the deck size substantially and I don't think it would add much beyond the above goals.

BTW: the 119 card deck INCLUDES the 49 cards of the original deck. So we are only talking about a 70 card expansion deck.

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Scott Nicholson
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So, now it's time to test and test and test and test.

You've suggested a LOT of things, all at once. Each of your suggested changes will have an impact on the game. Some of these things I've tested already and put on a list.. and other things took the game away from its goals.

You need to think about the audience you are creating a game experience for, and then ask for each idea..

Does this make the game into a better game experience for that audience, or does it change the experience into something not as suited for that audience?

I would suggest thinking of each change individually and testing it that way, and then testing different variants of that change, so you can explore the space and make sure your idea is the best one.


Take your first suggestion: "At least 2 of each item in each suit."

Try testing that with a mockup of the deck. You will see that it will have some big implications on scoring, as now you have to have a scoring chart that goes up to sets of 14. How do you create that in a balanced way in line with what is already there? There is a pattern to the scoring, and to make the game go up to sets of 14 would require a new scoring system. Or, do you only allow a set of 7 to be sold at once (and if so, why?)

It also has implications on how easy it is to figure things out. As it is, after a few plays, people have a good idea of what some of the sets are worth in the lower numbers of 2, 3 and 4. By doubling the cards in hand, it doubles the number of scoring possibilities, making this harder to keep in head.

At the end of the game, it takes some time for people to calculate the best sets. You are proposing to double the cards people have in their hands at the end of the game, which will more than double the mental challenge players have in figuring out which cards go in which sets. (I think this is the biggest concern I would have, as I see people struggle with the end-game scoring as it is.)

It also changes the scarcity effect. People will not be in as heavy competition for cards, as there are more cards that match their desired sets. How will this change the game? I don't know, but that's why you need to test.

Now, go back to the audience and intention. I made the game as a game to be played in public with non-gamers. As it is, people struggle with the decisions to make in the end. Will this change make the game Better for that audience or Worse?


That's the process you need to go through to test each of your ideas, and then test them in combination to make sure that one doesn't break another.


But that's fine! That's why game design is hard!


I made a game with a simple core with the hopes that people would play with it - so... now it's time to play.. and time to test!
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Lee Frank
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Scott!

Thanks for the quick reply and insights!

I'll work up a prototype (Stephan B suggested this as well), and do some testing.

I'll let you know how things go!

Thanks again for the great game!

Lee

 
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