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Iffix Y Santaph
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A game design for the 2018 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest

Pizzeria is a timed worker placement game, where players are attempting to get as many pizzas built as possible in 15 minutes.

Taking this board, treat each slice like its a unique worker placement spot. 3-4 players will share spots on the same pizza.

The players have 12 pizza orders with 2-5 ingredients each. Each player is going to have a chance to reverse draft orders. (This is like receiving orders from different customers in the pizzeria.) When you receive an order, you must leave it face-up, and facing outward, so that the other players may see it.



We set a timer to 15 minutes. (Yup; it's one of those games. But hey, the restaurant business is always on a timer.) Have the start player choose any one slice, placing a worker on the pizza crust. Based on the slice, he will receive one of the items on it.

From here, each other player will place a worker 3 to 4 spaces after the previous player, gaining both items on the slice.
Afterwards, in turn order, you will move to any space in your kitchen (between the workers of other players) and collect any ingredient from it.

Move your worker to the left, the player to the right of you now has more options. Move your worker to the right, the player to the right of you now has more options. Place your worker adjacent to another worker, and that player may now jump your worker with his own (moving to anywhere in your former kitchen, not adjacent to your worker) and score a "Tip" worth 1 VP.

Find a way to assemble all of your pizzas within 15 minutes. Unfinished pizzas are worth -1 point. You will also score 3, 2, or 1 additional VP, depending on whether you finished first, second, or third respectively.

Let me also mention that I know this theme has been done before. But hey, show me a kid that doesn't love pizza. And why not an introductory worker placement game with some kid friendly mechanisms?
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Iffix Y Santaph
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Version 1.0 of the components is here.
 
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Iffix Y Santaph
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After initial playtesting, I discovered that some of the wording in my version 1.0 wasn't up to par with my vision. It has been updated since.

More specifically, I wanted to emphasize the need to move every turn. I played it collecting one ingredient at a time without movement. It felt slow and boring that way. The game is meant for more motion.

If you're going to teach this to a kid, treat it like Checkers where you're looking to set the opponent up so you can jump him, just adding the step of collecting an ingredient each turn.
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Iffix Y Santaph
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Update: I played through a 4 player game tonight, and I found that the best parts of the intensity are when you have fewer necessary ingredients. This obligates you to either let the other player jump you or hold off patiently until the right spots open. (That fifteen minute timer makes this decision pretty intense.)

Anyhow, I believe that due to this the gameplay will not be as rewarding for 3 players as 4 with the current board. However, I did rework the board for 3 players.



I am looking at the potential of adding a Dummy Player. (If I do so, it will allow me to experiment with a mechanism I've been looking at for a major future release.) This could allow for a 2 player game, and if I make the AI effective enough, I might be able to achieve a "Personal Pan Pizza" solitaire.

I am also thinking that if I make the pizzas available one at a time, (perhaps because of limited ovens -- thematic. ) I will increase the intensity.


Has anyone been able to experiment with this game? I would really appreciate a second opinion.
 
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Iffix Y Santaph
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Components have been updated to version 1.1 including a new 3 player board, and 6 cards with a two player variant. This variant was inspired by designer Adrian Walker, whose fantastic design can be found here.
 
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Marianne Waage
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I could see it being hard to see the pizza toppings with too many player pieces on a pizza slice. Perhaps have a space for the players to put their pieces down, say on a bit of larger crust?

I could see the wording on this game being tricky to explain where the 'kitchen' is. It sounds a bit tricky for very young. What's the age range you're shooting for?
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Hi Marianne,
Thanks for the feedback. The workers are meant to go on the crust. The target age on this one is 7+. It's very entry level worker placement, with some checkers strategy in it as well. Yes, some of the terminology used in the rulebook is more difficult to teach with, though I'm not certain what a better use of theme is here. I believe that if you saw it played, it would be very easy to pick up on.
 
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Update 1.2 - In this update, I discovered through testing that the 1 order at a time rule was preventing the starting bonus. I increased the start to 2 orders.
I also learned that some players cannot play timed games due to stress. So I included a variant to replace the clock with a round marker.
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JK
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I've read the rules and it seems like a very cool mechanic.

I haven't been able to figure out what all of the symbols represent on the pizza though. Maybe you could include a "menu" in the rules.

Cheers,
JK
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Thanks JK,
I updated the file.

This is an example of one of those times where I debate to myself whether I would be goofy to show something like this. I'm pretty sure the problem is more about my artistic style (I gimped most of this myself), which leaves a lot to be desired most of the time.
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JK
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Thanks for the update.

Aha! I didn't know there was a difference between Canadian bacon and just plain bacon. Come to think of it, I've never heard of Canadian bacon before. Must be a USA thing I guess.

Another way you could clarify would be to put the pictures of the ingredients on the order cards. (Sorry - I'm not really trying to give you more work).

Cheers,
JK
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I wanted the order cards to look like diner receipts. I will think some more about that.

JK, I don't know which you would have heard or which you use, or even which is available in Britain, but Canadian Bacon is pork loin, rather than pork belly. It's also called peameal bacon. It's generally added to pizzas with pineapple, or as an extra type of meat in a 5-meat pizza.
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Rachel Bruner
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JohnKean wrote:
Aha! I didn't know there was a difference between Canadian bacon and just plain bacon. Come to think of it, I've never heard of Canadian bacon before. Must be a USA thing I guess.

"Canadian bacon" is probably a unique phrase to the USA, we sometimes have the strangest ways of saying things! It's usually thin round slices of pork that I've only seen used on pizza. Looks like this:
https://cdn.schwans.com/media/images/products/56724-1-1540.j...

As Iffix said, it's often ordered with pineapple. If so, we call it "Hawaiian pizza"... no idea why. *shrug*
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Peter Schott
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Ham + Pineapple - big taste combination in Hawaii (though more spam in many cases, IIRC )
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Robert Anthony

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Hi! I'm a sucker for pizza and frantic-paced games, so obviously I had to give this a whirl. I like the idea a lot. A couple thoughts/notes as I was playing through.

I think the timing aspect is a fun one, and is perfectly consistent with the theme. However, having one block of time for: (1) drafting + (2) initial placement + (3) all movement, sort of made the timing overly dependent on one player. Having a more methodical or inexperienced player sinks the whole group, and prevents you from planning your own strategy (e.g., I want to get pineapple and a pepperoni for order #2, but player A takes so long I probably only have one turn left...). I wonder if you've considered making turns, rather than the whole game, timed. It would be easy to let players first draft and do initial placement, and then start the timer. Say, 20 second per turn or whatever, and after 20 seconds a sound happens, if you didn't pick a valid move in that time, you stay put and your turned gets skipped. Or something like that. It would also be easy and fun to have the signal be a bell (as in " *ding*
hey Jimmy! order #1 is up!"). I think you could make that a downloadable app with times that are easily adjusted if you wanted.

If initial placement happened before the giving of orders, players could make an educated decision about which cards to give to each player. But maybe I've overthinking that a little, given the weight of the game.

I was a little uncertain about whether a player can have both of his/her orders be "active." At first, it says when you received an order "place it face up." Later however, the rules say, when you complete an order, flip the second one face up. So I think it should say somewhere that you have to select a starting order to be face up/active to begin the game (if i'm understanding correctly).

If two opponents are directly adjacent to you, you can jump both, right? And get 2 tips?

That implementation of AI is a cool way of doing it. Have you experimented with, in a 2-player game, just letting each player control 2 workers? That might be another way of handling. And then there'd really be some extra urgency in the two-player variant.

Anyhow, I think the idea and theme of this game. Thanks for sharing.

-Robert


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fairlyflummoxed wrote:

Hi! I'm a sucker for pizza and frantic-paced games, so obviously I had to give this a whirl. I like the idea a lot. A couple thoughts/notes as I was playing through.

I think the timing aspect is a fun one, and is perfectly consistent with the theme. However, having one block of time for: (1) drafting + (2) initial placement + (3) all movement, sort of made the timing overly dependent on one player. Having a more methodical or inexperienced player sinks the whole group, and prevents you from planning your own strategy (e.g., I want to get pineapple and a pepperoni for order #2, but player A takes so long I probably only have one turn left...). I wonder if you've considered making turns, rather than the whole game, timed. It would be easy to let players first draft and do initial placement, and then start the timer. Say, 20 second per turn or whatever, and after 20 seconds a sound happens, if you didn't pick a valid move in that time, you stay put and your turned gets skipped. Or something like that. It would also be easy and fun to have the signal be a bell (as in " *ding*
hey Jimmy! order #1 is up!"). I think you could make that a downloadable app with times that are easily adjusted if you wanted.

If initial placement happened before the giving of orders, players could make an educated decision about which cards to give to each player. But maybe I've overthinking that a little, given the weight of the game.

I was a little uncertain about whether a player can have both of his/her orders be "active." At first, it says when you received an order "place it face up." Later however, the rules say, when you complete an order, flip the second one face up. So I think it should say somewhere that you have to select a starting order to be face up/active to begin the game (if i'm understanding correctly).

If two opponents are directly adjacent to you, you can jump both, right? And get 2 tips?

That implementation of AI is a cool way of doing it. Have you experimented with, in a 2-player game, just letting each player control 2 workers? That might be another way of handling. And then there'd really be some extra urgency in the two-player variant.

Anyhow, I think the idea and theme of this game. Thanks for sharing.

-Robert


Thanks for the kind words.

Were I an app designer, I might very well consider your approach. For now, I think the best I can offer is the Round Timer approach I added to the rules in the most recent rule set. And believe me, while having a bell to ding sounds like fun at first, it's actually one of the most annoying designs in the history of board gaming.

Present rules are set up so that the 3rd player can actually prevent you from jumping the first player if situated properly two spaces away.

Looking at the board:

If you are in the top space with the onion and the olive, and the next player is in the adjacent space with the mushroom and the pineapple, you cannot jump them provided that the next player is adjacent or even in the space with the canadian bacon and green pepper. This is because when you jump that player's pawn, you can only jump one pawn at a time and you cannot put yourself immediately adjacent to the pawn you jump.

However, the idea of receiving 2 tips for jumping 2 pawns seems intriguing. If you feel it would make an interesting house rule, I am all for house rules provided all players are in agreement.

Thanks for the feedback about the AI. Theoretically, you could have 2 players play a 4 player game. However, if I was going to play that way, I would encourage keeping each pawn to its own unique orders, and alternating which pawn moves on your turn. You could still add the scores up, but if the pizzas were not differentiated this way, the blocking mechanism wouldn't matter. Too, I would make rules whereby you could jump your own pawn but you wouldn't score points for it. (Although, I'm not certain what the function of jumping your own pawn would be in that case.)
 
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