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Subject: Mechanics for slowing down civilization building rss

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LKN Guy
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Hello,

I have a general question that I'm looking for ideas on. This is in reference to a game I'm designing, and have been tweaking quite heavily recently to improve game-play.

Not sure if this question will be too abstract... but can you guys think of any good mechanics that slow down "civilization building"?

For background, the game I'm designing works a lot like Civilization video games in some respects, you build buildings which allow you to collect resources which allow you to build more buildings, which have various effects on your game. Not a novel concept.

Right now, each building has a set cost, and you just build it by paying the cost. Each turn you can build a building or two, and once your civilization gets large enough you can build several per turn.

This feels, to me, a little simplistic. In Civ games, there is the added component of time spent building a building. Once you start building something, you wait for several turns before it is done, which increases the commitment and makes strategy more considered. but I'd rather not have players need to track turns in my board game... just seems annoying; one of the many things computers do with ease, but humans probably shouldn't be asked to do.

Any other ideas?

Thanks in advance if something is forthcoming from a game you've played!
 
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Josh Zscheile
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Well, your description is so basic that I think I cannot address anything particularly of use to you specifically, but in general concepts like happiness and overpopulation help keeping the growth of civilizations in check. If you have some kind of events that affect all civs you also could punish big, successful ones more (i.e. punish based on population or build capacity).
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Doug Moyer
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New York
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Maybe if you increase cost and allow it to be built over several turns? Like if every turn I get 3 resources, and I'm trying to build a factory, which costs 9 resources, I could get it in 3 turns without necessarily counting turns. I would just be laying cards down on my "factory pending" space or whatever.

This has an interesting side effect of being able to not only build more than one thing on one turn, but build more than one thing over a few turns. For instance if I wanted three factories, I could give one resource to each for 9 turns and have them pop up at the same time. Maybe that isn't ideal, but in another case, maybe it allows adapting to someone else's strategy. I could stop with my factory half built, and quickly build a defense tower, before resuming the factory.
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Mike Esko
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White Haven
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use a removal timer.

Lets say you have something that costs 6 workers/currency.

When you have that amount you place the 6 Cubes on it. Each turn you remove a cube. The building is complete once all cubes have been removed.

this is pretty thematic as it is how much you are paying workers or the amount of workers at a construction site at all.

You can also set up both options. Lets say it costs 6 to build but you only need to hire 3 workers to build it.. you pay the cost and put 3 workers on the building to show that it is "Under Construction" this is also great if you have a worker pool or "population", it shows that your workers are currently busy building therefore can't be used for other tasks.
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Gil Hova
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Jersey City
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mdeck86 wrote:
use a removal timer.

Lets say you have something that costs 6 workers/currency.

When you have that amount you place the 6 Cubes on it. Each turn you remove a cube. The building is complete once all cubes have been removed.


I was going to suggest this. I've seen it in other games, and it works well. Simple, but effective; the more expensive the building, the longer it takes to build.
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Billy Pitiot
Finland
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How about a cake break!
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How about a cake break!
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On the same line as what has been proposed already, go have a look at Through the Ages.
It has some basic buildings easy to build in one go and some wonders that require a lot of resources and therefore several turns to build.

Sid Meier's Civilization does the opposite: you need to have enough resources in one turn to be able to build something and you cannot store all resources for future use. But the difference is that this game is not about having the best buildings but rather about expanding your culture physically on the map, technologically through science tree and/or culturally.
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Bojan Prakljacic
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You also can apply leveling.

If at the end of your turn you have:
- x buildings of specific kind
- y number of workers and
- z number of resources of specific kind

you get to the next level and new building options are opened for you. If not, gather some more, build some more, train some more....

And then you have larger requirement for the next level, and so on, etc.

But, if I remember how Euro-games work, usually if you have limited number of spots whit actions and you can't get same amount of resources from turn to turn, you are already slowed down, and you have to plan something else (find a workaround) because you can't follow a linear path from turn-to-turn toward goal due to obstacles.

That and some kind of implemented crisis that will drain your resources of course. Nothing slows you down better than war. ;>

You have many choices to be honest. You just have to see what is best reflecting your theme.
 
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Jeff Warrender
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Others have noted a few possible ways to implement what you're looking to do. I would simply suggest asking whether what you want to do is actually necessary. It depends mostly on the time scale that your game simulates. If your game spans, say, 20 years in the life of a particular civ, then, sure, some delayed gratification effects make thematic sense. If, on the other hand, your game covers 3000 years of history, and each turn is 100 years, then actually it's probably more correct, thematically, to just have buildings go up in a single turn. Not that you have to do what's thematically correct!
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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LKN_Guy wrote:

Hello,

I have a general question that I'm looking for ideas on. This is in reference to a game I'm designing, and have been tweaking quite heavily recently to improve game-play.

Not sure if this question will be too abstract... but can you guys think of any good mechanics that slow down "civilization building"?

For background, the game I'm designing works a lot like Civilization video games in some respects, you build buildings which allow you to collect resources which allow you to build more buildings, which have various effects on your game. Not a novel concept.

Right now, each building has a set cost, and you just build it by paying the cost. Each turn you can build a building or two, and once your civilization gets large enough you can build several per turn.

This feels, to me, a little simplistic. In Civ games, there is the added component of time spent building a building. Once you start building something, you wait for several turns before it is done, which increases the commitment and makes strategy more considered. but I'd rather not have players need to track turns in my board game... just seems annoying; one of the many things computers do with ease, but humans probably shouldn't be asked to do.

Any other ideas?

Thanks in advance if something is forthcoming from a game you've played!


think of it as real world.. what would it take to build something? Lets assume you do not have workers/builders in your game. In that case you can focus on stages of your building. So maybe you could have a card with a cathedral and in order to build it you need to place few different cards as if you are completing a recipe. So you would have a cathedral blueprints and then you need to prepare the land, lay down the base, then build the walls, and then top it off with final touches. You could make it so that the more grand the project the more steps need to be completed in order to actually build it.
 
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Richard Urich
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Stuart
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Since you seem unhappy with the simplicity of your game, you could put the resources used to build on the card, then take one of each type off each turn. It is only preferable to other solutions if you want some interaction with removing the resources and the additional complexity.

It basically adds variation for the same concept, which might help feeling more thematic. For example, you could have "level 2 woodworker" units who each allow reclaiming X wood removed from buildings each turn while also having an "efficient woodworking" technology that reduces initial wood costs by X, and an "efficient sawmill" building to improve conversion of trees to wood, etc. It also allows transitions from one resource to another more flexibility as you can apply different blanket rules to units, buildings and technologies.

I feel like I should also say simplicity is not a bad thing. I like simple games, and buy them frequently.
 
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Josef Estabrooks
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Rotate the card.

It is built when it is facing 'up'. If it takes one turn to build, it is placed on it's side, two turns, upside down, 3 turns, other side (include small markings on the edges of the cards to indicate "2 turns left" and rotate towards completion at the beginning of each turn (or in the building phase or whatever).
 
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Benj Davis
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Summer Hill
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To a lesser extent, you can invoke a feeling of needing to plan ahead by having the point where you commit to building something coming during the latter part of your turn, but then it doesn't become available for use until the next. That still means you have to anticipate the other players, and means they can be a bit reactive to you.
 
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