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Subject: Machine selection alternative rss

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Jonathan Badger
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Stratford upon Avon
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With the published rules Fun Factory was more frustrating than fun. The quick draw method of selecting the machines was out of character with the puzzle aspect of creating the production networks. Each round produced an unseemly grab based on one criteria - usually output (as there was not time to assess output, input, price and bonus vats), as a pause for consideration would mean that you were simply left with the machine that nobody else wanted. This was followed by much angst as you try to achieve the impossible task of connecting the various inputs and outputs economically - analysis paralysis on every turn!

Notwithstanding the above, the game is quite clever. After one playing with three we were sufficiently enthused to play again - but with more sedate rules to create a gamer's game.

So we changed the machine selection process as follows. Players start on 20, not 1. The start player (decide any way) takes a start player marker and then bids zero or more for one of the machines. Bidding is clockwise. Each bid must be higher than the previous bid. If you drop out of the bidding you cannot re-enter. Highest bid takes the machine and that player's score is adjusted down accordingly (unless the successful bid was zero). The next bid is started by the next player clockwise. A player can only win one bid per round and once they are successful can start placing their machine immediately. The person left with the last machine still has the option to decline the machine. The result was hugely satisfactory. There was time to asses the machines and to bid accordingly. Consequently you mostly you ended up with the machines you wanted and a processing network that could much more easily be pieced together. Ironically, despite the added length of bidding process, the game turn played much quicker as the networking was easier - and consequently more fun.

My 7.5 rating is based on the variant which, I would happily play again. I would not play again with the published machine selection rules.
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Steve K
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Thanks for that idea.

Factory Fun was a "probable" for me before Essen, but I didn't buy it after discovering how tiles were obtained - I could see it descending into an argumentative whinefest with my kids.

I think your variant would be perfect for us.
 
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Corné van Moorsel
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Badger on the move wrote:

So we changed the machine selection process as follows. Players start on 20, not 1. The start player (decide any way) takes a start player marker and then bids zero or more for one of the machines.


I tried such ways of bidding with the prototypes but found that not good enough. Results were as you desribed, which I don't see as possitive (see under). 2 things were different:
1. Without simultaneousity in bidding (that were other tries) the experience was that most players do not bid on the next machine before the other machine is build in. And all players search together for the best way to build a machine. It didn't give the feeling that you decide for yourself in the game, and made the game much slower.
2. The game became very slow (and the more seriously played, the longer it took). I can't judge how your group plays, but in my experience it was unrealistic that it did go faster than the standard game. It easily took 4 times more time. Simultaneous bidding made it a bit quicker (but that doesn't fit to this game for other reasons).

Badger on the move wrote:

The result was hugely satisfactory. There was time to asses the machines and to bid accordingly. Consequently you mostly you ended up with the machines you wanted and a processing network that could much more easily be pieced together. Ironically, despite the added length of bidding process, the game turn played much quicker as the networking was easier - and consequently more fun.


I don't think it is so much fun if you can easily choose machines which fit good. The emotions are out of the game then. In other tries with bidding this happened too. Those tries were not bad too, but I liked taking 1 random machine and puzzle with that (that's how you can play it solitaire) always better than the tries as 'gamers game'.

Badger on the move wrote:

My 7.5 rating is based on the variant which, I would happily play again. I would not play again with the published machine selection rules.


The tries as 'gamers game' gave the impression that many players find it good that way, but with those rules it would be no-one's big favorite (like your rating may show too). The attractiveness of the game is in the puzzling, which should take most of your time, with a machine and other materials in your hands. Not staring long at different machines and calculating what those machines will bring in your factory and in the factories of others (which you will look at when you play it more serious), without doing anything.
Puzzling with 1 machine in your hand can be complex but in my opinion attractive. Thinking about the possibilities of 4 possible machines times 4 factories (in case of 4 players) is much more complex while you are only looking. I felt tired after such tries, while I now easily play the final game 5 times in a row.
If you play a game more as 'gamers game', then the game should give more influense on your endscore. I didn't get that impression. Here the more-choice->less-influense game law seems to apply (the puzzles get less interesting and holding the most/best options for later turns is less decisive).

Anyway, I don't critisize your opinion. Play it however you like to do. But I want to make clear that the rules are made with reasons.

Greetings
Corné
Cwali
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David Fair
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Ugh, you take a game that plays fast, is light and fun, and add auctions to it to increase the time to play, and introduce analysis paralysis.

I'll take the original, thanks. The game play is unique and fun. I already have plenty of auction games.
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Mike Sherwood
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I played this at a small convention in Boston (Lobster Trap) recently, and fell in love with it. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy. I very much enjoyed the game as it was written... a fairly light game with an occasional scream of "Why did I take this?!? Oh no!!!" We laughed a lot.

Interestingly enough, many people at Lobster Trap were also dreaming up auction variants. I'd be happy to try it, but I'm inclined to think that there are better brain burners out there.

 
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Patrick Korner
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Coquitlam
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BeyondMonopoly wrote:
Ugh, you take a game that plays fast, is light and fun, and add auctions to it to increase the time to play, and introduce analysis paralysis.

I'll take the original, thanks. The game play is unique and fun. I already have plenty of auction games.


Ditto. I love the fact that this didn't stay an auction game - it would have taken the soul right out of the game. A fast, sometimes frantic 30 minute "dutch auction for brainpower" is a unique item I'm glad to own.

But then, as Opus once opined, 'to each his dentifrice'.

pk
 
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John Lopez
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We got a chance at this a BGG.CON and I would have zero interest in the game if it came with auctions of any kind. What makes this game good is the variation between intense thinking coupled with a fast evaluation of the available options. Auctions would at least double the length of the game and would eliminate the creative routings that you have to make when you get that piece that just won't quite fit.

The analysis paralysis that does hit this game hits when all the players are busy at the same time, so it doesn't feel slow at all.

 
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Jonathan Badger
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cwali wrote:

The tries as 'gamers game' gave the impression that many players find it good that way, but with those rules it would be no-one's big favorite.

Anyway, I don't critisize your opinion. Play it however you like to do. But I want to make clear that the rules are made with reasons.


Hello Corné. From the posts here you seem to have chosen the version that suits the majority of your customers, so I think you have made the right decision. I have never doubted that you had tested many ways, as you have a good track record of polished games. Take this thread as a positive - I will happily play again (using the bidding version) and I think maybe one or two others who had a similar experience to our group may get more mileage out of the game that way too. Others will continue to enjoy the game based on the published rules. It is good that you create a game that can be enjoyed in more than one way.
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John Weber
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OK, I have only played the game once, but I would be interested in trying it again using Jonathan's variant. I guess if played it more often so that I could recognize the symbols on the factories I might feel differently, but for me the quick reflex picking up aspect of the game was a big negative -- so much so that this game is no longer on my "buy" list. I found Space Dealer, where you actually have a full minute (almost) between moves to be much more enjoyable.
 
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I was just about to post this very question to the rules. I think the game really needs an auction for the machine tiles as you mentioned. Who cares if it makes it a longer more analytical game. GOOD! Makes it a BETTER game in my book. I may try this variant.
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Steve K
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Contrariwise, I finally tried the game last weekend, using the standard rules. It worked fine and I bought a copy so I can play with my sons.
 
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Joona Kankare
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I fell in love with this game the first time I tried it. I think the "Grab something with blue... - CRAP! This one doesn't fit!" aspect of the game is a huge part of the fun in the game.

We also tried a variant with my girlfriend (she likes the game atleast as much as me) because only two machines showing up every round seems a bit harsh. For a two player game, take 10 addiotional machines into the game and turn up three machines every turn. This still requires you to quickly take what you need but leaves you some options and cancels a little bit of the luck involved. It seems to suit the game quite well and we've now played atleast six games with this variant. This variant might make the game slower if the players are too analytical but atleast for us it works great. The faster player grabs the first machine quite quickly, the second player takes some time to choose and in the end, both end up cursing touching a machine with an outlet that was supposed to be an inlet And sometimes both players are given just a little bit of time to actually think about what they will take.

For auction I could try some kind of thirty second timer based auction with the maximum amount of money you can bid is either the worth of the machine, or the amount of your points, which ever is smaller. The game could start at ten points. And ofcourse ties are solved by who ever was the first player to bid on the machine. So, it would basically be:

1. Grab some points in your hand
2. Put your hand next to a machine
3. Hope that you get what you want
4. If you didn't get what you wanted, you get what the other players didn't want. If two players end up not getting what they wanted, bid again or figure some other way to do it (draw lots, throw dice).
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Ron K
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jamesville
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Having played this a few times I too agree with the designer. The simultaneous play is a good light mechanic to emphasize quick thinking rather than in-depth thinking.

I do think that inconsistent with the spirit of maintaining that tempo the pace of the game bogs down during the post selection analysis phase where we puzzle out how to place our machine. We thought it would add some pace to the game to allow anyone who selected and placed a machine to start a 3 minute egg timer. At the end of that time successfully placed machines were fixed and incomplete machines were tossed for a $5 loss (unless you had not chosen yet).

I mention this only because we had a few instances where either folks took forever to optimize their factory floor or multple players held off selecting a machine and did the analysis against all of them while the other players that selected a machine and placed it had to wait and wait and wait.
 
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marc lecours
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I have tried both auction and the normal way. The normal way is much better. The whole point is to get machines that are almost impossible to place and then place them. Auction take too much time and take you away from the core of the game which is simultaneous solving of a puzzle.

In our group some people grab fast, some grab slowly. There is no evidence that the fast grabbers win more.
 
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Jim Pulles
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Knowing how I play (i.e. - slow and methodical) games, as soon as I read the rules I knew that Factory Fun wasn't a game for me. I like the puzzle aspect, but I know that I'd pretty much be the last player to get a machine every turn and if playing solitaire is any indication, I'd NEVER win.

At least with the auction variant, I'd have a chance. I'll give it one more chance and then it will probably go on my 'For Sale' pile.
 
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Fabio Formiga
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Games for auction can be fun but this is not a game for auction. The selection of the machines look great in the original rules. I feel a strong and fun point of the game. Still thanks for your intent Jonathan.
 
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