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Subject: Proxy Method of Evaluating Gameplay of an Economic Euro rss

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O.Shane Balloun
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Conjecture:

If an economic game—particularly an economic Euro in which a player's pieces are representative of inventory of some kind—is overprinted by the publisher, it will probably not be one based on sound principles or a game worth playing because the publisher and/or the designer clearly do not understand the economics of inventory control.

This thought arose out of a discussion I was having with vladdswrath about the highly inventory-controlled Splotter business model. Both Joris and Jeroen, given daytime careers (management/lean operations consulting, mathematics professor), understand the economics of an inventory-based business, and so it occurred to us that one of the reasons they have elected to stay small was to ensure continued viability.
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Bryan Thunkd
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Economies of scale dictate that you publish games at some minimum amount or you will be very inefficient. (Realistically the factory you hire to print them will refuse below some minimum quantity).

Estimating consumer demand (which is fickle) ahead of time is a difficult task. Therefore a publisher has to make the decision about whether to make the minimum print run without being able to fully know if it will sell or not.

Imagine a euro game where you have to decide whether to make new widgets or not, but if you do you must make 10 or more and demand is a card randomly drawn from a deck which is likely, but not guaranteed, to be in excess of 10. There is no way to guarantee that you won't overstock.
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O.Shane Balloun
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Thunkd wrote:
Economies of scale dictate that you publish games at some minimum amount or you will be very inefficient. (Realistically the factory you hire to print them will refuse below some minimum quantity).


This is indeed true.

But to an extent, Euros are often mechanistically and artificially inefficiently constrained at the beginning of the game, so there's an irony regarding Euros in particular and the notion of economies of scale.

Quote:
Estimating consumer demand (which is fickle) ahead of time is a difficult task. Therefore a publisher has to make the decision about whether to make the minimum print run without being able to fully know if it will sell or not.


Indeed.

Quote:
Imagine a euro game where you have to decide whether to make new widgets or not, but if you do you must make 10 or more and demand is a card randomly drawn from a deck which is likely, but not guaranteed, to be in excess of 10. There is no way to guarantee that you won't overstock.


It sounds fun! But there's a second irony in that the assumption by the game would be that demand would more likely than not meet or exceed supply. That certainly does not happen normatively with board games.
 
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Zoe M
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Does the designer actually have a say in how many copies to print?
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Keith Krajewski
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I don't know about that. Haven't you ever seen a mechanic with a terrible car, or an IT guy whose desktop is a mess?
 
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Pas L
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grammatoncleric wrote:
If an economic game—particularly an economic Euro in which a player's pieces are representative of inventory of some kind—is overprinted by the publisher, it will probably not be one based on sound principles or a game worth playing because the publisher and/or the designer clearly do not understand the economics of inventory control.

This thought arose out of a discussion I was having with vladdswrath about the highly inventory-controlled Splotter business model. Both Joris and Jeroen, given daytime careers (management/lean operations consulting, mathematics professor), understand the economics of an inventory-based business, and so it occurred to us that one of the reasons they have elected to stay small was to ensure continued viability.


You are simplifying situations in a way that might be witty, but isn't actually insightful.
 
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Reynold Peters
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Games are much, much simpler than reality. Being able to make a successful eurogame in no way implies that you're good at predicting the market size for your game, other than it takes a good deal of intelligence to do either.

You can be a brilliant microeconomist but terrible at marketing. Or brilliant at analysis but terrible at research.
 
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