Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
12 Posts

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

Subject: Too Much Math. Ideas? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Mr Osterman
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In short: the goal is to have more Test points than the other players. You get them by recruiting students (who generate the points) who also provide buffs (+1 to other students) and themselves get buffed (+1 if in class with...). And teachers can modify this (-1 if overloaded). And there are action cards you can play (+4 to a given student) or can be played on you (It's Going Around: remove student from testing)



So here's where I'm getting stuck on the design. During the testing phase people are adding up all these modifiers for 5-12 students (on average) to get a total. Here are some ideas I've brainstormed:

1) Scratch pads. Include pads that have room to right down the teacher name, and then figure their test scores tally style.

2) Test Tokens to let you add up the total score per teacher as you recruit students. This would subdivide the addition down from 9 students (for example) to just 3 teachers.

3) Rewrite modifiers so that all mods are on the cards directly. So the text on the card could read: Testing: 2 Base. 3 If in class with Nerd. 1 if in overloaded class. 3 if in English. I'd have to streamline the possible modifiers, of course, but it would put a lot of data on the card and reduce the variations in a turn.

4) Something else....
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carl Johan Ragnarsson
United States
Lund
Unspecified
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds a bit like Suburbia. Feels like a lot in the beginning, but it may work out if you use proper symbols and color coding.

Scratch pads seems like too much - if it's hard to keep score during the game (or if too much time is spent keeping score) it will feel like a chore instead of a game.

If it's still too much, start removing rules
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mr Osterman
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
minismurf wrote:
Sounds a bit like Suburbia. Feels like a lot in the beginning, but it may work out if you use proper symbols and color coding.

Scratch pads seems like too much - if it's hard to keep score during the game (or if too much time is spent keeping score) it will feel like a chore instead of a game.

If it's still too much, start removing rules

Okay scratch pad is out. Noted.

I'm wondering if that's a way to go though, the more simplified symbols and modifiers. For example I could change the "-2 to every student in class" to a more simple "class scores -2 for each student" and allow for some kids to be officially worth negative points. Then your "math" would be total up the kids, then slap on a penalty for overloading.

Which since overload is only +1 kid to the seat total you know on the teacher card what that penalty to the entire class would be. A teacher with 4 seats is going to overload to 5 kids, and that COULD be a flat -5 to the entire class total then.

It does bump up into the problem that some kids have 0 for test scores so being put in an overloaded class would ~effectively~ make them a -1. They don't add anything, AND they contribute to a general negative to the group.

Hmm.....
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you're only looking at a total by the end, you can have +1/+2/-1/-2 tokens and just pair up modifier tokens to cancel out and add up the rest.

Edit: although in a game about testing students, it seems ironic to try to simplify the math.....
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Breckenridge
United States
Richmond
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A score track could do it, if most of the time the change when playing a card is a mere increase or decrease and only sometimes the whole thing gets recalculated.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mr Osterman
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jbrecken wrote:
A score track could do it, if most of the time the change when playing a card is a mere increase or decrease and only sometimes the whole thing gets recalculated.

The way it plays out in a 2 player game sounds like this:
~players adding test scores~
P1: I have 14
P2: I have 18
P1: No you don't ~plays card~ That student and that student are home sick.
~P2 re-adds their total~
P2: Crap I'm down to 12. Okay ~plays card~ This student has a +4 taking me back up to 16.
P1: Fine. ~plays card~ All my Goths are +1 taking me to.... ~adds~ 17.
P2: You win this round.

And then a new year starts. It's that phase of Add it up/ play modifying cards/ add it up again/ play more cards/ add it up again. And so far, while fun, it's a little crazy with just two players. I worry about how it would play out with 4 and having 4 different totals being bandied about.

Quote:
If you're only looking at a total by the end, you can have +1/+2/-1/-2 tokens and just pair up modifier tokens to cancel out and add up the rest.

THat might be something to consider, change the rule from "+1 to each Goth means you add it during the testing phase" and instead have it be "+1 means you take X +1 tokens to to use at the end of testing". And then it's a matter of checking to see how many tokens you have to balance out.

Quote:

Edit: although in a game about testing students, it seems ironic to try to simplify the math.....

This whole game is built to be ironic. And Cynical.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
W Scott Grant
United States
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Some of my games tend to have too much math. So, after talking to James Mathe of Minion Games about one such game, I removed the math completely. Instead of players working out (what I thought was) simple math to resolve the conflict, it was just a simple "This card beats that card... done" mechanic.

The game is easier, faster, and more accessible.

It figures a guy named "Mathe" suggests removing "Math" from a game. ;-)
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mr Osterman
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sligo wrote:
Some of my games tend to have too much math. So, after talking to James Mathe of Minion Games about one such game, I removed the math completely. Instead of players working out (what I thought was) simple math to resolve the conflict, it was just a simple "This card beats that card... done" mechanic.

The game is easier, faster, and more accessible.

It figures a guy named "Mathe" suggests removing "Math" from a game. ;-)

Hmm...

Thinking out loud....

Rank each student as X Stars. During the testing school with the highest star student is the top ranked. Ties are broken by the ~number~ of students at that star level. This would still create an incentive to have full classes, as well as make the "Remove that student from testing" phase more of a BANG at the time because you could find your "I worked hard to get this 5 Star student" undermined by having that student miss the test because of a "Secret Rendezvous" with another student.

It could work but I feel like it breaks the theme. It could totally work for a different game though, and may be I'll start to work on that on the side.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kristian Järventaus
Finland
Loviisa
flag msg tools
mbmb
A bit late to this thread, but if you end up using a scratchpad or similar...

Make it look like an exam paper.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mr Osterman
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Naeddyr wrote:
A bit late to this thread, but if you end up using a scratchpad or similar...

Make it look like an exam paper.

Oh it's still rolling.

The current iteration has the players drawing "Test Cards" and playing them on a student. You're "Out" when you draw a test card that is too high to place on any of your students, or if you run out of students to play on before your opponent. That seems to force you to have as big of classes as you can while still trying to manage how well those students are doing in those classes. It also eliminates score keeping because it's all about looking to see if you passed or not, not looking at total values.

RIght now it's a "best of 5" play but that may change. More so if we try to expand it to 2-4 players.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Finch
Australia
Carindale
QLD
flag msg tools
designer
badge
My hat? Definitely not a mind-control alien, no.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You could use a die to track each student's current test score, starting at the value printed on the card. Use a d6 or a d12, or even a d20, depending on the range of scores you want to allow. Or use poker chips as test score markers if you need the totals to be open-ended.

Treat each card as having an immediate effect rather than being ongoing.

As each card is played, modify that student's die or chip total directly to reflect the change, eg. +1 for being a goth, -1 for class overload, +4 for tutoring, etc. If you add a student after the "+1 to all students" effect is played, too bad, they weren't there on the day.

Then the total is easy to track just by adding the dice or chips.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mr Osterman
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah I fiddled with that too and I could go back to it. I could also use a scoring track that you count up and down as you play in order to keep track of your current test score going into the testing phase. If I go back to testing totals that would be the way to go.

It's a different game when you're just maximizing the test scores vs having to survive a semi-random testing round. I'm also trying to aim for a light weight game with as few parts as possible. The game's silly enough (right now) and I'm not sure I can let it become serious.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls