Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
43 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Design Queries and Problems

Subject: Economic Regions of the World rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ryan Mentock
United States
Durham
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hello. I am working on a economics/business game that requires four relatively even geographic regions in the world. So far, I have been fairly set in using North America, South America, Asia, and Europe. However, my problem is that people generally wonder why I excluded Africa or Australia. Nobody ever seems to care why I left out Antarctica - it is kind of sad, really.

Because this is an economics/business game, my answer is because I wanted to include the four largest economic regions in the world. However, I can see the potential for insult or confusion, especially because the current game design requires Australia to be in the "Asia" region and Africa to be in the "Europe" region.Here is a look at the most recent version of the game board for a visual example of the problem.

My question - do I need to re-label Asia as "Asia / Australia" and Europe as "Europe / Africa" (or something similar)? Or, is there a better label for that geographic region that is more inclusive? I'd like to have all geographic regions represented, but not necessarily at the expense of making them difficult to interpret during the game.

Thanks for your feedback!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Link
United States
Snowmass Village
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
An idea...Euro Africa and Indo Asia (or austral asia).
 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
todd sanders
United States
pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
you could have the Pacific Rim which would include countries bordering the Pacific
1 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Mentock
United States
Durham
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Pacific Rim sounds pretty good. I guess technically the Pacific Rim does include pieces of North and South America. I'm sure the majority of people would primarily associate that area with "Pacific Rim," but it wouldn't technically be a 100% accurate description. Still a much better option than just "Asia," though.

I also like the sound of Australasia - it is definitely a fun word to say and we should all attempt to use it more in our daily lives. But, it doesn't cover the major Asian countries (China, Japan, India, etc). As much as I'd love to use Australasia, I definitely can't have a economic/business game that leaves out China! Thanks for the ideas.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Goldfinger
Canada
Burnaby
British Columbia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Parceling out the world into four economic regions and keeping it realistic (unless that is not a consideration) is going to be tough. Are you looking at physical, political or economic geographic regions? When you say "relatively even" do you mean by land mass, population. Or, since it is an economic/business game, by GDP?....

You might want to look at world trade areas e.g. NAFTA, ASEAN rather than geographic regions, and perhaps combine these trade areas, where geographically appropriate - if you really must have only four regions.

Also, if you are concerned with insulting people, and want the map to be accurate, you might want to stay away from Mercator projections...Google for example "true size of Africa". It seems to me (don't take this the wrong way) that for an economic/business game the map look just too middle school. Depending on what level of gamer you are aiming for, and the complexity of the game itself, the map may turn some people off.

Good luck!
1 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Galen Brownsmith
United States
Medford
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Is there a reason you have to use the (contemporary) real world?

In the Triassic, there was a good division of East and West Laurasia and North and South Gondwana.


In the Future, maybe Luna Colony, Mars Colony, Titan Colony, Terran Survivors.

Contemporary, you could do (1) Eurasia, (2) Africa, (3) Australasia and Antarctica (or Atlantis), and (4) Americas.

Or make up your own world.
2 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Mentock
United States
Durham
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Goldfinger - The global realism is definitely a main consideration. I was hoping to roughly divide the world into four major economic regions, though it can possibly be considered as only representing "The Top 8" of four different world regions. Four regions is ideal, mostly for the sake of simplicity and balancing the bonus structure for a four player game. I have thought about changes for more than four players in the game, but haven't really figured out how that could work yet while keeping the base game the same (outside of playing with the next common denominator of 8 players, which obviously isn't ideal).

My first bit of feedback was that I shouldn't use Gall-Peters because I'd offend people, so now I'm stuck! Actually took the base image from this map, but did have to make some changes to the scale. It does look slightly off, but Greenland, Africa, and Alaska still fit the "realistic" sizing pretty closely, I think. I agree that it should probably look/feel more "technical," though. I'll work on making some changes based on that idea and see how I feel about it. Thanks for checking it out!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Mentock
United States
Durham
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Galen - I was going for more modern feel, but those Triassic areas would fit nicely into the four quadrants of the game board. I have been considering other adaptations and ideas for various expansions, so a "pre-historic" version would be pretty cool! I imagine coming up with 16 pre-historic economic industries would be fun. Thanks for the idea!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Graham Muller
South Africa
Cape Town
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Australasia is a fairly concrete term already, so grouping those two together shouldn't be a problem

As for Africa I would group it with South America as they share similar economic characteristics. Could be called the developing economies, or something along those lines.
 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
matt tweedt
United States
flag msg tools
mbmb
I would center on true financial centers of the world, ignoring Africa and South America altogether:

1. America(s)
2. Europe (London/ Germany)
3. China (including Hong Kong)
4. SE Asia (Japan/Australia)
1 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Florian Woo
Germany
Stuttgart
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Especially the French and the Italians do a lot of business with North Africa (which is mainly Algeria, Egypt, Tunesia, Morocco). Because these countries also are in the top 7 of Africas highest GDPs (and have in fact a higher one than around half of the countries in Europe) and have a lot of trade relations with Europe they should be added to the European region.

Concerning the rest of Africa, the only countries with a high GDP are Nigeria and South Africa. Honestly, I don't know in which region you should put these.

P.S.: I don't see any issues in adding Australia to Asia. This is what they also do in world football :-)
 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Selwyn Hope
Australia
Cannington
WA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Europe
North America
South America
Australasia

Place the playing pieces on top of Africa.
 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tod Andrew
Australia
Wollongong
NSW
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Basically cutting the world in quarters from west to east


Europe/Africa
Asia/China
SE Asia/Australia/Japan (Pacific)
America's
1 
 Thumb up
0.10
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Silver Robert
United States
Sunnyvale
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For Europe, EMEA (description here) is exactly what you're looking for. Asia should probably be Asia and Oceania, but I don't think there's an elegant answer here.
 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Fishwick
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
The problem is that Australasia (or even just Asia), Europe and North America have similar GDPs, and South America is somewhere around 1/7th of that.

You could almost go:

North America
Europe
Asia
Rest of World (or Southern Hemisphere)

But that might not work well on a map.

The other option is to ignore the real world economic situation and choose something like:

EMEA
Australasia
North America
South America

EDIT: Just read the OP fully, Australasia and EMEA are well known terms.
 
 Thumb up
0.10
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Mentock
United States
Durham
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Tweedt - That might be the most realistic way, but it still leaves out some pretty big players (India and the Middle East, for example). The primary goal was to try to be inclusive, so I'd like to avoid ignoring anyone, really.

To reflect that idea, though, I wonder if the game could possibly have variations on the regions? Maybe something as simple as just having Red / Blue / Green / Yellow with no team specifically assigned to any color, then the player randomly (or intentionally?) choosing a Regions to "be." The Region the player represents could be superficial, or it could involve some sort of strategic advantage based on that country's unique characteristics - eg. If you are the USA, you would get a bonus for having A and B; if you were China, you would get a bonus for C and D, etc. Would be a completely new element to the game, but it could work.

The problem, though, is players can get cards during the game that are only eligible to be used in a certain region - eg. Increase Business in Asia; Change Income in South America, etc. That could get confusing without set names for the regions (eg. Increase Business in Red Region?)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Mentock
United States
Durham
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wolle - I agree that a couple big connections are still lacking in the current labels, Australia and North Africa mostly. I think just including North Africa and leaving out the rest of it would probably cause even more trouble than just leaving out the entire continent, though. And perhaps I can get some native Australians to give me permission to include them in Asia - then I'll be justified since they said it was cool. Thanks for the feedback!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Mentock
United States
Durham
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Cesspit - Not a bad idea and could easily be done. I wonder if covering up Africa is better or worse than just not including them? Might look like we were trying to exclude it from the world. I am definitely starting to like "Australasia" to fix the red region, though.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Mentock
United States
Durham
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
tod - This could work really well. Simple and all inclusive. I am definitely going to try this idea out. I like the titles for Asia, Pacific, and Americas, but there is still the problem with naming Europe/Africa. Also, Russia might end up being awkward to place into one region with that layout. Thanks for the idea!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Mentock
United States
Durham
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
silver & fish - I hadn't actually heard EMEA before, but you are right - it is a perfect description. Splitting into a Southern Hemisphere category would definitely be correct economically, but I felt it was a little ambiguous for the game since you are supposed to somewhat feel like you are "going" to Asia or South America or Europe. Someone saying "I am going to the Southern Hemisphere" sounds a bit odd, I guess, but it would definitely be more accurate economically.

EMEA and Austalasia (I still love that word) are the leaders in the clubhouse right now. That would give a good, accurate description of the region that is also easy to say and can fit well with the current design. Would you say it as "E-M-E-A" or "Emmeah"? I really appreciate your feedback!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Fishwick
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
It's 'pronounced' as initials.

It's definitely a good fit, but I do wonder if it sounds a bit 'dry'. It's a business term our business uses, but feels a bit corporate and different to the other terms.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Mentock
United States
Durham
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've been thinking the same thing, Scott. EMEA is a perfect fit geographically, but it feels like a much different type of word than the others. Also not sure if people ever say stuff like "I'm going to EMEA," which may be something that comes up in the game. Though it is a business-themed game, "feels a bit corporate" is rarely a good indicator of fun. Tricky question, obviously. Thanks for considering it!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
dylan coyle
United States
California
flag msg tools
Hello!
I majored in global econ, and totally see other's points about including more of the world. The continents are a pretty boring way to look at markets. Here's a couple ideas.

Regions around bodies of water. As mentioned, the Pacific Basin is a major market zone. The Atlantic/Baltic, etc. The MENA region is big (middle east, north Africa), but could be under Indian Ocean. Arctic Ocean would be an interesting twist for a Canada, US, Russia block.

The BRIC countries could be fun. 'BRIC' is almost a cliche because of the exclusion of other major/'emerging' markets, but I think they would make a good game. Brazil, Russia, India, China gives a good regional variety. Note that it would be insensitive to lump regional areas under the names of those states, since regional economic hegemony is an issue.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BRIC

Also check out the economic integration lists. Doesn't include every country, but is a helpful for understanding the world a little better than the lines on our globes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_multilateral_free_trade...


Also, consider changing the board design to anything but a monopoly-like square. Players like choice and strategy, so a little complexity would help!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Mentock
United States
Durham
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great points, Dylan. I like the idea of identifying the land by the water. I would hope most people can readily identify places that way - if not, perhaps the game could teach them! I did a case analysis on global expansion into BRIC countries while I was getting my MBA and think that would make for a really fun idea, especially since the game involves the players acting as venture capitalists trying to start/grow new businesses across the world. The emerging markets would be a really good location to get that feeling across. And, even though there are only four countries, it could be considered inclusive enough to not make any of the 190ish other countries in the world feel left out or ignored. I am still intrigued by a a system where regions could possibly left out entirely that allows players to be individual countries, so that may be an idea (groups of four "related" countries vs. each other in one game) to build off.

The FTA source may come in handy for ideas - thanks!

Regarding the Monopoly comparison, I'd love for you to read some (or all) of this blog post and let me know what you think. Thanks for the great feedback!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Goldfinger
Canada
Burnaby
British Columbia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dylan raises good points. Keep in mind that BRIC became BRICS with the addition of South Africa a few years ago. G7, G20, OECD as well as the Non-Aligned Movement (which spans most continents and more than half of the world's populations) are other ways to view the world and can perhaps help you maintain your four regions...World Bank and/or IMF voting membership can be another way to organize the globe into four regions...I think the key is to explore ways to depict the world in non (or less) conventional ways, and even use or combining different data sets to create unique ways to represent the globe, and make your game stand out.

You could be breaking new ground here
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.