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Subject: A Euro version of Hungry Hungry Hippos? rss

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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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I have an idea for a game that involves a carnival or street market type of setting, where players are trying to lure potential customers from a common pool. The image I have in mind in a very broad sense is like Hungry Hungry Hippos. Except, not a dexterity game and not in real-time. So, ya know, not really at all like Hungry Hungry Hippos.


But do you get what I mean by that? And assuming so, how mechanically would you approach it? I have a few vague thoughts, but would appreciate suggestions.

One thought I had was that in a particular round, a certain number of different colored cubes are drawn that represent the customers, and there are some target zones (maybe somewhat like Castle Panic?) between where the customers are in the middle and where the different players are stationed (presumably on four corners of the board). Players have cards that represent their ability to "bark" and pull certain colored cubes their direction, and then some final capper would be needed to make the sale. I suppose it could be a trick-taking type of thing, perhaps with multiple "tricks" occurring together that can be taken.

Anyway, how would you adapt HHH into a more Euro type of game? Also, do you know of an existing game like that, even broadly, that could be studied for comparison or adaptation?
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AD .
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The central plaza idea and different meeple colors/types reminds me of The Gallerist.

The carnival street idea also reminds me of Portobello Market (2007) but that is really quite abstract and doesn't really do what your after.

So you could draw meeples from a cloth bag, but it into a central plaza, certain colours are attracted to certain buildings, which you will need to construct.

You could also state that certain meeples go with the cheapest good, some go for the "freshness" or most artisan-feel of a good, or the "theme" or "quality", "advertising" could also matter.

Also distance would need to matter if its a carnival street.

You could also steal customers from rivals?
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Oh duh, The Gallerist. I've played that several times. Should have thought of that.
 
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Christopher Todesco
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My first thought was similar to Five Tribes, where the base mechanic is taking stuff from the board, but the act of doing so also changes the board state in predictable ways that can influence the next players' turns.
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JT Schiavo
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My first thought was something similar to the first part of Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card Game. A hero is revealed and has a certain "desire," and goes to whichever dungeon has the most of what the hero desires.

The customer comes out, wanting something in particular. Running with a carnival street: food, activity, goods), or entertainment. After the cube drop, your carnival barker could shout about one of those topics to start moving cubes. It could be done trick-taking style with different ranks of cards in each category. Another option would be to allow players to draft enhancements to specialize in categories or otherwise gain special abilities, building a booth so to speak.

I'm thinking a center drop, with a few steps between the center and each player on the corner, so you have to lure them over several rounds and other players have a chance to react and counter your efforts. Maybe even connect the lanes so that customers can move sideways into someone else's path if they suddenly become more alluring.

There are a couple ways to structure scoring and endgame. One way is to have an even number of all colored cubes, keep the cubes you lured in, and most cubes wins once the bag runs out. Another way would be to take a coin for each cube, then return it to the bag, and play until a certain number of coins is reached, most coins win. The former probably leads to a bit more even distribution and presents an opportunist the chance to reconfigure and try to catch the color with the most cubes left, while the latter creates a less even distribution that rewards repeatedly scoring the same color but also has more luck and a race element.
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A Deal with Death
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You could also have cascade effects like what you see in real life. As more meeple move towards a vendor (let's say when 3-5 are in your vendor red zone)you get an additional bonus to drawing all meeple on the board towards you (social proof for marketing psychology types).

Euro aren't my favorite type of game so I'll suggest an "attack" mechanic whereby you can conduct smear campaigns on specific vendors or products causes them to receive negative modifiers.

More interesting still would be "word of mouth" modifiers where once you have secured meeple as loyal customers (they have remained at your vendor for X turns) you can then have them move around the board and influence other meeple, either positively towards your vendor or negatively towards others.

EDIT:
Also check out Morocco.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/183150/morocco
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patrick mullen
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Meeples are placed into spaces on a board and move towards what attracts them. Maybe they have secondary likes that they don't move toward, but if it is there it will stop them on their way - could have meeples be in pairs with a larger and smaller cube to indicate the primary and secondary desire. The attractions have limits, so you buy the attraction but once it is in play it will go away eventually. Food gets bad and is sold when a meeple arrives, performances have an ending as the performer moves to a new area, products are sold out and also lose value when there are too many on the board.
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Timothy Young
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Are you familiar with Hotel Samoa? It has some similarities to what you're describing. Each player is a hotel owner and you compete to attract tourists to your hotel. The tourists have different preferences regarding what they're looking for in a hotel, so the players are constantly trying to add features to their hotels in order to attract different types of tourists. The players can see in advance which type of tourists are coming down the pipeline, so the have time to plan out their upgrades. Meanwhile, they are able to adjust their prices in an effort to undercut the competition while at the same time maximizing profits. This might be worth looking into to see if it has any mechanisms you could borrow.
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Dave Schroeder
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Two totally different approaches:

1. Circular board, each player at the outside edge. (different boards for different player numbers) Different colored customers start in the middle and players play cards that move all customers of certain colors either left, right, in, or out, attempting to get them to their edge.

2. Same board(s) as above. Customers are attracted to the booth with the most of their preferred good, unless that booth has the most of their hated good. They consume one of their preferred goods and pay the player when they arrive at a booth. Players need to restock goods to keep customers coming, but can't just overload everything without repulsing other customers.
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JT Schiavo
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dschro1 wrote:
2. Same board(s) as above. Customers are attracted to the booth with the most of their preferred good, unless that booth has the most of their hated good. They consume one of their preferred goods and pay the player when they arrive at a booth. Players need to restock goods to keep customers coming, but can't just overload everything without repulsing other customers.


Ew, I can't buy a stuffed monkey from you because you also sell ice cream cones.
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David Winter
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Kult had a core mechanism of competing for tokens from a central pool, by gradually moving them through regions in your play area. Currently being redeveloped as Electorate
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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dschro1 wrote:
Two totally different approaches:

1. Circular board, each player at the outside edge. (different boards for different player numbers) Different colored customers start in the middle and players play cards that move all customers of certain colors either left, right, in, or out, attempting to get them to their edge.

2. Same board(s) as above. Customers are attracted to the booth with the most of their preferred good, unless that booth has the most of their hated good. They consume one of their preferred goods and pay the player when they arrive at a booth. Players need to restock goods to keep customers coming, but can't just overload everything without repulsing other customers.


This is the closest to the system I already have some notes for, but I love some of the other details that have been suggested, and have incorporated some of the ideas, such as the "word of mouth" thing. Thanks everyone!

As I said originally, I had in mind sort of a Castle Panic type of thing, and that is the direction I'm continuing with, except you want the monsters (customers) to move closer to you instead of killing them as they get closer. I have it as different colored meeples representing people with different tastes and/or different amounts they can spend.

So mechanically, you might play a card that says, for example, "move a red meeple from the middle zone to the zone in front of your booth." (It would picture that and not say it.) Or "move up to three green meeples from the zone in front of your booth to inside your booth" (thus potentially making the sale). Or "move any colored meeple one space in any direction." And so forth...

But the cards have costs, so each round everyone begins with a certain amount of "energy" (say, 10 energy), and cards cost 1-3 energy to play, depending on how powerful they are. And some very powerful cards only can be played if you expend energy and also reduce the price of what you're selling. ("Buy now!") There could also be incentives added, like a little gift that you could throw in as a sweetener ("Buy now, and we'll throw in..."). Some situations could allow for boosts to the cards, where effects sort of cascade or increase if you're able to pull off certain cards with the right grouping of customers (i.e., the word of mouth thing).

I envision the whole game being 4-5 rounds (days, in essence). Each round of selling activity is pretty short, maybe 10-15 minutes (not timed, but as played out). And between those rounds there's a phase where you are restocking your supply; there are different options available for what to buy and at what price. You could also buy a few of the "sweetener" gifts to help make certain sales. And also potentially upgrading your deck with a new card or two (so there's a small deck-building element to it), and maybe even hiring an employee who improves your ability to sell, or who is a shill, or who provides extra energy, etc.

And then you go to the next round/day and play through the push/pull of getting the customers and sales again, but things are a bit different each time depending on what you did during the restock phase and the current nature of the market and what customers are looking for that day.

------

Here's a card sample. This is an "everything and the kitchen sink" kind of thing, just to get examples of many different things on there. Most cards would be much simpler and have fewer requirements. But as an example, this one lets you move all kinds of things around, but costs 4 energy and requires you to reduce the price of what you're selling and also include a sweetener gift.

 
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