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Subject: Incentivizing players rss

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Bastiaan Reinink
Netherlands
Utrecht
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Los Buenos, the game I'm designing, is done for a big part. I'm now trying to subtly change the behavior of players to create "the most fun". This lead me to think about incentives in my game and how to use them: http://makethemplay.com/index.php/2018/01/23/incentivizing-p...

What is a difficult question though is: How do I figure out what kind of behavior do I want to see?

Do you have ideas on how to figure that out or good examples of how you answered this yourself?
 
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Josh Zscheile
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I think I want to see the whole spectrum of what is allowed and at least remotely sensible from my players. And as much as it might sting as the designer to see players do something you were not expecting or abusing a mechanic you did not think of that way, I think it is important to stay open minded about that. If some strategy is too strong, I'd rather weaken it a bit than ban it outright.
As for your case, if I were to design that game, I'd aim for players to do both things: block others from getting the bonus as well as aiming to get a higher score themselves. Not necessarily in the same player. Players, as they are human, are not all alike in their behaviour, and that is also a good thing.
A couple of months ago a player of my group introduced us to a nice little filler game he had played with his more 'casual' gaming group, and we managed, by blocking each other, to drag that game out indefinitely. Still a memorable experience, and while I would try and turn knobs so that does not happen in my game, I can't blame the designer for allowing that style of play. Better than limiting the players' options in my book.
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Bastiaan Reinink
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Dagar wrote:
I think I want to see the whole spectrum of what is allowed and at least remotely sensible from my players. And as much as it might sting as the designer to see players do something you were not expecting or abusing a mechanic you did not think of that way, I think it is important to stay open minded about that. If some strategy is too strong, I'd rather weaken it a bit than ban it outright.
As for your case, if I were to design that game, I'd aim for players to do both things: block others from getting the bonus as well as aiming to get a higher score themselves. Not necessarily in the same player. Players, as they are human, are not all alike in their behaviour, and that is also a good thing.
A couple of months ago a player of my group introduced us to a nice little filler game he had played with his more 'casual' gaming group, and we managed, by blocking each other, to drag that game out indefinitely. Still a memorable experience, and while I would try and turn knobs so that does not happen in my game, I can't blame the designer for allowing that style of play. Better than limiting the players' options in my book.


You make some really good points, thank! So I guess it would be most interesting to make both options possible (and part of a winning strategy)...

Thanks!
 
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patrick mullen
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I find it weird that asking players to help each other the best is resulting in players attempting to stop other players from helping. It seems to work against your theme a bit for me.

Does there need to be a reward for "the most"? What if that were turned on it's head - you get 1 point for every player who is helping (perhaps up to a limit). So you can help if someone else is already helping, and you'll bump up the reward. Once a couple people are helping, that third player is really going to want to help otherwise they will be missing out on a bigger reward the others are getting. Gotta love FOMO.

Obviously there may be problems with this approach. The incentive may be such that you always have to pile on and it will be harder to start new projects.
 
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Bastiaan Reinink
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Good points, thanks!

The theme is a method for creating a good game and that (for me) requires tension. One way of creating tension is by having strife, which is what I'm experimenting with.

And I like your idea of getting more based on how many other people already helped... The incentive then would be to always want to be the "last" to help though. What would be a reason to place the first helper?

Still, worth a ponder, thanks again!
 
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