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M.U.L.E. The Board Game» Forums » General

Subject: Any list of differences between the boardgame and the videogame? rss

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Richard Hutnik
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I own Planet Steam which can be seen as doing a decent job capturing MULE. It didn't end up as fun as I thought it would be, but it is good on its own right.

Now, I see this is out and I am curious how they are going to differ. I would like to hunt the Wampus, for example.

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Craig C
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Hopefully the auction mechanic will differ, and be more like the original video game. That's the key, for me, and the reason I've never bought Planet Steam.
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Richard Hutnik
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bird94us wrote:
Hopefully the auction mechanic will differ, and be more like the original video game. That's the key, for me, and the reason I've never bought Planet Steam.


What I saw with Planet Steam did work, but did seem more controlled in nature. It wasn't open like they had with the videogame. It was like with Planet Steam you played the intro fixed price range version of the basic version of MULE.
 
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Craig C
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If I understand PS correctly, only one player can make a purchase at a time, and then the price of the good adjusts before the next player can make their purchase, correct?

That's the main different between PS and M.U.L.E., where everyone races to make their purchases, the prices adjust on the fly, and players can time their moves correctly to drive up the price of a good and then leave another player stuck holding the bag.
 
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Richard Hutnik
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bird94us wrote:
If I understand PS correctly, only one player can make a purchase at a time, and then the price of the good adjusts before the next player can make their purchase, correct?

That's the main different between PS and M.U.L.E., where everyone races to make their purchases, the prices adjust on the fly, and players can time their moves correctly to drive up the price of a good and then leave another player stuck holding the bag.


I know Planet Steam sought to try to emulate MULE as much as possible, so I see any changes with it were for gameplay reasons. I am not sure exactly how you would end up emulating the way you did bidding in MULE exactly in a boardgame.

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Craig C
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docreason wrote:
I know Planet Steam sought to try to emulate MULE as much as possible, so I see any changes with it were for gameplay reasons. I am not sure exactly how you would end up emulating the way you did bidding in MULE exactly in a boardgame.



That's the $64k question, and probably the reason this hasn't been brought to the table yet. There are a lot of ideas out there (I thought of one myself a couple years ago), but none have made it to a tested-and-proven state yet.

The designer says he's going to publish some diaries, so hopefully one of them will give some insight into the auction mechanic.
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Adam
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In the video game, the person with the least amount of money (or in last place, I don't remember which) would be the first person to be allowed to trade if everyone arrived at the trade line at the same time. Once the auction was over, the store price would be updated based on the average selling price of all transactions from that auction. A reverse engineering of the source code from the Atari 8-Bit version can be found here:

http://bringerp.free.fr/RE/Mule/news.php5

Most of it was translated to English, but the information about how the auction prices work is still in French. Maybe one of you guys can translate that part.

Based on that information it doesn't seem like it should be a difficult mechanic to reproduce without losing too much of the excitement from the video game, most of which really came from who was smart enough to start pushing up or down on their joystick before the auction bell rang, and wiggling the joystick up and down once you got there, which was sometimes done to tease or haggle prices dollar by dollar with another player, but mostly done just to see your character dancing on the screen. (Best done with Spheroid)
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Daniel U. Thibault
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9. The Store

1. Goods price variation

These algorithms are used to compute:
the real price of goods
the simulated price and quality of goods for the AI (selection of parcel and placement of exploitations)

The real price of goods is updated in this sequence:
Food price variation
Energy price variation
Smithore price variation
Crystite price variation
Price variation with supply and demand

Inputs:
type of goods (Food, Energy or Smithore/Mule)
total quantity in play next round (Food, Energy or Mule)
totale quantity required next round (Food, Energy or Mule)
current price (Food, Energy or Smithore)
minimum price (Food, Energy or Smithore)

Outputs:
new price

The supply and demand ratio is computed by dividing the total quantity in play by the total quantity required. A ratio greater than 1 indicates insufficient supply. A ratio less than 1 indicates oversupply.

In the case of Smithore/Mule, the ratio is limyed to the ]0.25; 3.0] span.

The new price is computed with this formula:

price = 25% * price + 75% * (price * ratio)

which is the same as

price *= 0.25 + 0.75 * ratio

Finally, a minimum price exists by type of goods and by type of calculation (real or simulated prices for the AI):
Good Reason Minimum
Food Real 30
Energy Real 25
Smithore Real 50
Food Simulated (AI) 10
Energy Simulated (AI) 10
Smithore Simulated (AI) 50

2. Next round mules requirement

The theoretical required quantity of mules is obtained by adding:

the number of free parcels susceptible to be bought next turn (maximum of 4)
the number of parcels without any exploitation (and thus requiring mules)

This value is limited to the [0; 8] span.

3. Food price variation

Inputs:

initial total quantity in play
quantity held by each player
quantity produced by each player
quantity required for the round
current price
minimum price

Outputs:

final total quantity in play
new price

The initial total quantity in play is equal to:

for the real or simulated (AI) prices: quantity in the store
next simulated (AI) price: final total quantity in play after the previous simulated computation

First, the quantities held by each player at the end of the round are predicted. The 3 phases are applied (Usage, Spoilage and Production):

Usage (minimum 0): quantity held -= required quantity
Spoilage: held quantity *= 2/4
Production: held quantity += quantity produced

The final total quantity in play is computed by adding each plasyer's final total quantity.

The total quantity required for the next round is four times the next round's food requirement (see 6.1).

Finally, the new price is computed using these parameters:

type of goods (Food)
final total quantity in play for the next round
total quantity required for next round
current price
minimum price

Food price variation depends on the number of units possessed by the players. Thus, as long as the players keep sufficient quantities in stock, the price will not go up even if the store is out of stock.

4. Energy price variation

Inputs:

initial total quantity in play
quantity held by each player
quantity produced by each player
quantity required for the round
current price
minimum price

Outputs:

final total quantity in play
new price

The algorithm is the same, with the following differences:

the required quantities depend on the player's installations (instead of the round)
Spoilage is 3/4 (instead of 2/4)
the total required quantity for the next round is increased by 4 (to account for future exploitations)

5. Smithore price variation

Inputs:

number of mules potentially available
number of mules required for the round
current price

Outputs:

the new price

The number of mules potentially available is:

for the real and simulated (AI) prices: the number of mules in the store plus half the Smithore in the store
next simulated (AI) price: the preceding number minus the number of mules required precedingly (= 5)

The number of mules required is:

for the real price: ordinary computation (calcMuleReq)
for the simulated (AI) price: 5

The supply and demand parameters are:

type of goods (Smithore/Mule)
number of mules potentially available
number of mules required
current Smithore price
minimum Smithore price of 50

If the level of play is not Beginner, the natural Smithore variation is applied. This uses a binomial distribution of amplitude 2 around value 0. The result is multiplied by 7 and added to the price. Thus:
Amplitude 2 (Factor 1)
Variation Probability
-28 0.013%
-21 0.562%
-14 6.248%
-7 24.303%
0 37.748%
+7 24.303%
+14 6.248%
+21 0.562%
+28 0.013%

Minimum price is 20.

Unlike Food and Energy prices, the price of Smithore does not depend on the stocks held by the players. It only depends on the stock held by the store and the number of mules available. Thus, the price will go up as soon as the store is out of stock and/or the number of mules is insufficient, regardless of the stocks held by the players.

6. Crystite price variation

The price of Crystite is 50 plus a uniform random number between 0 and 99 (included).

2. Purchase and sale price
Good Buy price Sell price Increment (per pixel)
Smithore Current price Buy price + 35$ 1$
Crystite Current price
(to bottom multiple of 4) Buy price + 140$ 4$
Food Current price - 15$ Buy price + 35$ 1$
Energy Current price - 15$ Buy price + 35$ 1$

(If the translation does not make complete sense, it's because the original text doesn't either)
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Kevin Brown
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adamb2k9 wrote:
In the video game, the person with the least amount of money (or in last place, I don't remember which) would be the first person to be allowed to trade if everyone arrived at the trade line at the same time. Once the auction was over, the store price would be updated based on the average selling price of all transactions from that auction. A reverse engineering of the source code from the Atari 8-Bit version can be found here:

http://bringerp.free.fr/RE/Mule/news.php5

Most of it was translated to English, but the information about how the auction prices work is still in French. Maybe one of you guys can translate that part.

Based on that information it doesn't seem like it should be a difficult mechanic to reproduce without losing too much of the excitement from the video game, most of which really came from wiggling the joystick up and down, which was sometimes done to tease or haggle prices dollar by dollar with another player, but mostly done just to see your character dancing on the screen. (Best done with Spheroid)


Always played Spheroid. Spheroid was the best.
If someone else picked Spheroid, I would pick Bonzoid. But, inside, I still wanted to be Spheroid.
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Lee Fisher
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Lurkfish wrote:
adamb2k9 wrote:
In the video game, the person with the least amount of money (or in last place, I don't remember which) would be the first person to be allowed to trade if everyone arrived at the trade line at the same time. Once the auction was over, the store price would be updated based on the average selling price of all transactions from that auction. A reverse engineering of the source code from the Atari 8-Bit version can be found here:

http://bringerp.free.fr/RE/Mule/news.php5

Most of it was translated to English, but the information about how the auction prices work is still in French. Maybe one of you guys can translate that part.

Based on that information it doesn't seem like it should be a difficult mechanic to reproduce without losing too much of the excitement from the video game, most of which really came from wiggling the joystick up and down, which was sometimes done to tease or haggle prices dollar by dollar with another player, but mostly done just to see your character dancing on the screen. (Best done with Spheroid)


Always played Spheroid. Spheroid was the best.
If someone else picked Spheroid, I would pick Bonzoid. But, inside, I still wanted to be Spheroid.


We really need M.U.L.E. faction microbadges.
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J Holmes
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Main difference, I can play the videogame right now
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Richard Hutnik
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Lurkfish wrote:
adamb2k9 wrote:
In the video game, the person with the least amount of money (or in last place, I don't remember which) would be the first person to be allowed to trade if everyone arrived at the trade line at the same time. Once the auction was over, the store price would be updated based on the average selling price of all transactions from that auction. A reverse engineering of the source code from the Atari 8-Bit version can be found here:

http://bringerp.free.fr/RE/Mule/news.php5

Most of it was translated to English, but the information about how the auction prices work is still in French. Maybe one of you guys can translate that part.

Based on that information it doesn't seem like it should be a difficult mechanic to reproduce without losing too much of the excitement from the video game, most of which really came from wiggling the joystick up and down, which was sometimes done to tease or haggle prices dollar by dollar with another player, but mostly done just to see your character dancing on the screen. (Best done with Spheroid)


Always played Spheroid. Spheroid was the best.
If someone else picked Spheroid, I would pick Bonzoid. But, inside, I still wanted to be Spheroid.


If I recall that it looked like a money bag, so I think I may of gone with it.
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Kim Choy
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Lurkfish wrote:
Always played Spheroid. Spheroid was the best.
If someone else picked Spheroid, I would pick Bonzoid. But, inside, I still wanted to be Spheroid.

I'm more of a leg man... erm... leggite man myself.
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Toni Niittymaki
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Heikki Harju, the designer of the board version, is preparing his designer diary series and will start posting next week, I think.

Lautapelit.fi

Toni

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Richard Hutnik
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toniemn wrote:
Heikki Harju, the designer of the board version, is preparing his designer diary series and will start posting next week, I think.

Lautapelit.fi

Toni



So the big question of what changes were made to have it work will be answered? That is cool. I am curious if the designer happened to see Planet Steam. It would be interesting to see a contrast of Planet Steam to this game.
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Craig C
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"The supply and demand ratio is computed by dividing the total quantity in play by the total quantity required. A ratio greater than 1 indicates insufficient supply. A ratio less than 1 indicates oversupply."

This may be one of those translation/rules sense glitches you referred to, because it seems like the opposite should be true. Ratio greater than 1 suggests oversupply, etc.

Ultimately, that's the level of supply and demand detail that fans of the original video game are looking for, so it'll be interesting to see how it gets translated into board game mechanics.
 
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Richard Hutnik
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bird94us wrote:
"The supply and demand ratio is computed by dividing the total quantity in play by the total quantity required. A ratio greater than 1 indicates insufficient supply. A ratio less than 1 indicates oversupply."

This may be one of those translation/rules sense glitches you referred to, because it seems like the opposite should be true. Ratio greater than 1 suggests oversupply, etc.

Ultimately, that's the level of supply and demand detail that fans of the original video game are looking for, so it'll be interesting to see how it gets translated into board game mechanics.


I am concerned that desired for purity of the game coming back in boardgame form could lead to mechanics that don't work well as a boardgame. I just how there is something that works that is done, even if streamlined.
 
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Daniel U. Thibault
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bird94us wrote:
"The supply and demand ratio is computed by dividing the total quantity in play by the total quantity required. A ratio greater than 1 indicates insufficient supply. A ratio less than 1 indicates oversupply."

This may be one of those translation/rules sense glitches you referred to, because it seems like the opposite should be true. Ratio greater than 1 suggests oversupply, etc.

Ultimately, that's the level of supply and demand detail that fans of the original video game are looking for, so it'll be interesting to see how it gets translated into board game mechanics.


Yup, you're right, the s/d ratio sentence is inverted. That's because it's inverted in the original! I get the impression Kroah isn't as skilled at expressing himself as he should be, sadly.
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