Tristin Borland
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Ok boys and girls, I am ready to release some info about the my first attempt ever at designing a game. I set up a small website with complete rules, pics of the prototype, and pics of my last playtest. You can view it all here: http://intristin.net/makingmoney/

You can also check it out right here on the Geek: Making Money

I made the first version of this game when I was just 16, but life got in the way and I soon forgot about it. Now, 15 years later, I got in into my head just two weeks ago to try and remake the game. I just printed out the 5th version of my prototype this week, fixing problems I found in my solo testing.

The game is called Making Money, (working title), and the goal as you can imagine is to make as much money as you can, anyway you can. This is done by moving around the streets of a city, and buying up and developing property. Money can also be made by buying and selling stocks that go up and down in value. And just to answer the question I know you all are thinking, No, the game is nothing like Monopoly, hehe. The game is designed to be about 25% luck, 75% strategy, that's my intent anyway.

The feedback I'm looking for is:

1. From just reading the rules, do you understand how to play it?
2. Do you think this game would appeal to consumers and sell well?
3. Would you play this game?
4. Do you think there is too many pieces? As in would it be to expensive to produce?
5. If I could get this in front of a game company, would they laugh me out of the room?
6. Any other comments?

Again, the web address is http://intristin.net/makingmoney/ and I invite you all to be honest in your responses. Keep in mind that I understand the game still needs lots of testing and most likely needs many more revisions. Please forgive the horrible prototype artwork. I have no talent what so ever when it comes to art and everything was designed by me in Microsoft Paint. I'm rambling so I'll shut up now and let you get back to your day.
 
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Frank Burbach
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Re: Seeking feedback on my first attempt at designing a board game. (pics and rules included)
I'm having trouble with your link. My web browser tells me it cannot display the page. Can you double-check it?

Frank
 
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Tom S
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Re: Seeking feedback on my first attempt at designing a board game. (pics and rules included)
1. Yeah the rules seem pretty well written and easily understood.
2. I'm not so sure it would appeal to consumers too well (at least not so much in the American market). You've already kind of said it; people will see this as a Monopoly type game. I see the differences, however, it stills resembles Monopoly to a certain degree. You might be able to overcome this with a re-theme of some sort maybe?
3. I would play it but i would not buy it (see point 6)
4. Pieces and board look nice.
5. Not sure about this one since I've never tried to pitch a game idea.
6. Again I think the biggest flaw is that it resembles TOO much like monopoly, I would be willing to play it just to see how it actually compares to Monopoly, but I doubt I'd buy it since I already own a copy of Monopoly. =/
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Tristin Borland
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Re: Seeking feedback on my first attempt at designing a board game. (pics and rules included)
Frank, try http://intristin.net/makingmoney/index.php which is a direct full url to the index page, but the other link works fine for me, strange.

Tom, thanks for the feedback. You point out my biggest worry, being compared to Monopoly. If you played the game, which is clearly impossible unless you live in NYC, you would realize the game is nothing like it. But again, your feedback is valid, as I kind of fear at first glance people are gonna think it's just another cheap clone.

I'm thinking that the box could feature a picture with the properties fully build out on the board with a family sitting around the table visibly having fun. Having a picture of the board fully built as the first thing people see when they pick up the box might go a long way in preventing that first "monopoly clone" impression that you had. But then again I'm no expert in marketing. Again, thank you for the feedback.
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Tom S
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Re: Seeking feedback on my first attempt at designing a board game. (pics and rules included)
Yeah I mean I think one of the biggest strengths of this game, and what separates it from monopoly, is the stock market and more options for moving around the board. Maybe you can elaborate on these aspects to further separate it from Monopoly?

Also a small note, just from reading about the game, although it's no doubt a strength of the game, the movement could also be a big problem. It may turn out to be too easy to dodge the property spaces and thus dragging the game out, however that's just me speculating. ^_^

Edit: Thinking more about this game and how it relates to current economical situations, it seems to allow for a possible manipulation of the markets and making the game more "cut throat." You could potentially go into further detail here to make it even more interesting.
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Re: Seeking feedback on my first attempt at designing a board game. (pics and rules included)
Tristan,
I went over and took a look at your game. My first impression of the board was that it didn't really catch my eye but it also didn't resemble Monopoly. I took a look at your "in play" shots and I would agree with your above comments that the game is more appealing to look at while it is in progress. I read through the first page of the rules and my first impression was that they were a bit oddly organized...then I hit the bits about rent and it just went down that Monopoly path again. At that point, I as a buyer, would be out. I am not saying that your game will not sell, but you may be better served with a design that you didn't originally come up with at 16. You clearly have the drive and dedication to work on your own game, maybe a game with a less derivative theme would better serve your skills and interests.

True
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Re: Seeking feedback on my first attempt at designing a board game. (pics and rules included)
Overall I think it is quite interesting looking with the poker chips wood blocks and board with different intersections, I think it has something unique to offer.

The biggest flaw I see and agree with Tom is the theme may be lacking, I know the theme is clearly necessary for the game to use the idea of acquiring money and building property, but I think something with a little more flavor would catch more audiences attention.

This may also be a big factor as to the essence of the game feeling and looking like a Monopoly type game.
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Re: Seeking feedback on my first attempt at designing a board game. (pics and rules included)
First of all, thanks for sharing. Clearly, you've put a lot of work into this and that shows. The board looks and pieces look nice. And, I thought everything looked pretty cool with all the buildings set up and growing throughout the board.

You will likely get candid feedback from the users of this site and I hope you appreciate my comments below as they are candid...

1. From just reading the rules, do you understand how to play it?
Yes. The read through the rules and they seem pretty straightforward. I think I could play the game without too much trouble.

2. Do you think this game would appeal to consumers and sell well?
Depends. I think for the average user of BoardGameGeek, this would not appeal. You indicated that the game is "designed to be about 25% luck, 75% strategy". From reading the rules, I see a lot more luck in there than strategy. Most everything requires that you roll a die or dice to see what happens to stocks, lotto, tax return and gambling. Many of these are 50-50 odds. I see the differences, but in it's main gameplay it reminds me of Monopoly. Giving choices about how to travel (eg. Cab, Train) is nice and the ability to turn as I choose so I'm not stuck landing on a specific space is nice. But, it doesn't really look like I will have enough information to really plan my moves and set out a strategy. In games such as Wildlife Safari and Medici, I "invest" in something where there is certain information available to me that makes me feel like I know what my chances are of making good money off the investment. In the game you've prototyped, it looks like I buy a stock and then just roll dice to see if the price goes up or down. There isn't really anything that helps me predict what will happen to the price. And, with the buildings, it looks like I just hope that someone will roll to land on my property and then choose to move to my property (because the price is competitive) rather than go to someone else's property (that sounds like Monopoly).

3. Would you play this game?
Yes, I'd give it a try. I love to try new games and ideas. As I mentioined in #2 above, I'm not sure how interested I would be in playing it more than once.

4. Do you think there is too many pieces? As in would it be to expensive to produce?
Actually, it looks like it would be relative cheap to produce. I think the buildings would be the most important part because that is the part which is most visually appealing to me in the prototypes. And, I don't think I'd worry about this much... if the game is good enough (eg. Agricola) then people will buy it.

5. If I could get this in front of a game company, would they laugh me out of the room?
I doubt it. Of course, I am not a game company. However, from the very little I do know, I think they may share some of the same concerns I mentioned in #2 above.

6. Any other comments?
If you are going to keep going with the idea, what would appeal to me most would be a way to predict or project what will happen with the stocks and other properties/stuff that I purchase. Maybe the lotto is all luck since that fits how it works in real life. But, for me to roll odd or even to see if I get a tax refund or a owe taxes seems odd. I think I'd like it better if I could take some kind of penalty to increase the chances (or quantity) of a refund when I land on that space or vice versa.

By the way, I make a lot of prototypes and I think yours is very good. I love the markers on the stock market chart! I've seen prototypes from others that have made it to production and they don't look as nice as yours.

FYI - the last image on the prototype pics page is not showing up.

Good luck!

EDIT -> One other thing that I noticed when I read the rules was the lack of an game end condition. I did not like the idea of setting a timer for the game. Some players might try to drag out their turns if they are winning, what if people are socializing or have to visit the facilities. I think it would be best to have something happen that signals the end of the game.
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Tristin Borland
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Re: Seeking feedback on my first attempt at designing a board game. (pics and rules included)
Lots of responses came in since I hit reply to deserteagle2525 "Tom", I'm going to get to everyone, just give me some time. And thank you to everyone in advance for all the feedback good and bad.

deserteagle2525 wrote:
Yeah I mean I think one of the biggest strengths of this game, and what separates it from monopoly, is the stock market and more options for moving around the board. Maybe you can elaborate on these aspects to further separate it from Monopoly?

Edit: Thinking more about this game and how it relates to current economical situations, it seems to allow for a possible manipulation of the markets and making the game more "cut throat." You could potentially go into further detail here to make it even more interesting.


I would like to change the way in which the stock market works. In play testing it's a great way to either make a lot of money or loose a lot of money. In play testing, it has been a lot of fun to buy low and sell high. The problem I have with the system is the values of the stock are slow to change. Currently I have 2 stocks changing value every time a player lands on one of the spaces. In a earlier version of the game I had all 6 stocks change value which worked better. But rolling the dice 6 times each time a player landed here proved to be a pain. So I reduced it to 2. If I could figure out a way to change all 6 with out so many dice rolls and make less chance and more strategy, that would be better. My main concern is I'm really trying to make the game as simple as possible to learn. I don't want a over complex system. While a complex system might appeal to people here on the Geek, all of the best selling games on the market seem to be simple games, and that's the market I have decided to go after.

deserteagle2525 wrote:
Also a small note, just from reading about the game, although it's no doubt a strength of the game, the movement could also be a big problem. It may turn out to be too easy to dodge the property spaces and thus dragging the game out, however that's just me speculating. ^_^


On your second point, in a earlier version of the game this was a major problem. When your in the city center, I have spaced the P spaces so it's very easy to land on properties. Basically what players were doing was purposely staying on the outer loop to avoid landing on properties. I fixed this problem 2 versions ago by rearranging the spaces on the outer loop to be much more of a money sink. This had the effect of forcing people to stay in the city center and onto other players properties. Which in turn caused much more strategy in what to build on properties. Meaning player had to keep building up and tearing down to keep competitive. This kind of development costs lots of money and requires lots of strategy. More testing and tweaks are needed but for the most part it works well. Over all it's always recommended to set a time limit and declare a winner.
 
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Tristin Borland
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Re: Seeking feedback on my first attempt at designing a board game. (pics and rules included)
True wrote:
Tristan,
I went over and took a look at your game. My first impression of the board was that it didn't really catch my eye but it also didn't resemble Monopoly. I took a look at your "in play" shots and I would agree with your above comments that the game is more appealing to look at while it is in progress. I read through the first page of the rules and my first impression was that they were a bit oddly organized...then I hit the bits about rent and it just went down that Monopoly path again. At that point, I as a buyer, would be out. I am not saying that your game will not sell, but you may be better served with a design that you didn't originally come up with at 16. You clearly have the drive and dedication to work on your own game, maybe a game with a less derivative theme would better serve your skills and interests.

True


I'm just so addicted to real estate development. And it's not a Monopoly thing because I really don't care that much for the game. Don't get me wrong, it's clearly a good game otherwise it would not be outselling every other game. I just never liked the fact you are forced down a single path. I do agree that the game needs a lot of work in the department of art and theme. Basically my single focus right now is is game play and making that game play fun, challenging, and easy to learn.

About the rules. One of my goals is to keep the game easy to learn. I wanted the "quick game guide" to be the only page a player would have to read to start the game and then use the other pages to learn as one plays. I will agree the rules need tweaking and reorganization. . I knew posting my game here on the Geek to hardcore gamers who don't necessarily like mass market game would draw a lot of criticism, and I welcome it. I thank you for your honest feedback.

DrT11 wrote:
Overall I think it is quite interesting looking with the poker chips wood blocks and board with different intersections, I think it has something unique to offer.

The biggest flaw I see and agree with Tom is the theme may be lacking, I know the theme is clearly necessary for the game to use the idea of acquiring money and building property, but I think something with a little more flavor would catch more audiences attention.

This may also be a big factor as to the essence of the game feeling and looking like a Monopoly type game.


Again, I agree, the theme and look needs work. It's not Monopoly, and while that comparison may help with it's appeal to some, I think it would be an overall negative. I don't however look at this as it's biggest current flaw. So my focus at this stage is game play. Thanks for your comments, keep them coming.

bnordeng wrote:
First of all, thanks for sharing. Clearly, you've put a lot of work into this and that shows. The board looks and pieces look nice. And, I thought everything looked pretty cool with all the buildings set up and growing throughout the board.

You will likely get candid feedback from the users of this site and I hope you appreciate my comments below as they are candid...


Thanks, that is what I'm looking for. I want to know the good and the bad both, it will help me make a better game.

bnordeng wrote:
1. From just reading the rules, do you understand how to play it?
Yes. The read through the rules and they seem pretty straightforward. I think I could play the game without too much trouble.

2. Do you think this game would appeal to consumers and sell well?
Depends. I think for the average user of BoardGameGeek, this would not appeal. You indicated that the game is "designed to be about 25% luck, 75% strategy". From reading the rules, I see a lot more luck in there than strategy. Most everything requires that you roll a die or dice to see what happens to stocks, lotto, tax return and gambling. Many of these are 50-50 odds. I see the differences, but in it's main gameplay it reminds me of Monopoly. Giving choices about how to travel (eg. Cab, Train) is nice and the ability to turn as I choose so I'm not stuck landing on a specific space is nice. But, it doesn't really look like I will have enough information to really plan my moves and set out a strategy. In games such as Wildlife Safari and Medici, I "invest" in something where there is certain information available to me that makes me feel like I know what my chances are of making good money off the investment. In the game you've prototyped, it looks like I buy a stock and then just roll dice to see if the price goes up or down. There isn't really anything that helps me predict what will happen to the price. And, with the buildings, it looks like I just hope that someone will roll to land on my property and then choose to move to my property (because the price is competitive) rather than go to someone else's property (that sounds like Monopoly).


I agree about the stock market, I have never been happy with it. But how do I remove the chance and add strategy to that without making it over complex? The market I am shooting for is ages 10 and up, families, college students and such. I can't possibly remove all the "chance" from the game, I don't want to do that. But the more strategy the better.

To your next point, The way the properties works in this game and the choices you have for landing is one thing that I think works well. There is lots of strategy involved in it's design. You can build up and tear down property to keep it competitive. If your not smart about it you will loose money quickly while others gain wealth. The properties are evenly spaced, this means when you roll and it's clear your gonna land on a property, that is your only option, properties. Do you land on the cheapest? Perhaps you don't want to give that player any more money, or you don't want to go in that direction because it will lead you to a street full of costly properties you don't own. All these factors must be considered when moving around the board.

Perhaps you as a property owner want to overbuild a property to force players to move in a different direction, towards other properties you own. Or towards the outer loop which is designed as a money sink. I personally think that there is potential for endless strategy when it comes to the property system. And it really is nothing like Monopoly and it's set path and set understanding that you build as much as you can with complete disregard for neighboring properties.

bnordeng wrote:
3. Would you play this game?
Yes, I'd give it a try. I love to try new games and ideas. As I mentioined in #2 above, I'm not sure how interested I would be in playing it more than once.

4. Do you think there is too many pieces? As in would it be to expensive to produce?
Actually, it looks like it would be relative cheap to produce. I think the buildings would be the most important part because that is the part which is most visually appealing to me in the prototypes. And, I don't think I'd worry about this much... if the game is good enough (eg. Agricola) then people will buy it.

5. If I could get this in front of a game company, would they laugh me out of the room?
I doubt it. Of course, I am not a game company. However, from the very little I do know, I think they may share some of the same concerns I mentioned in #2 above.

6. Any other comments?
If you are going to keep going with the idea, what would appeal to me most would be a way to predict or project what will happen with the stocks and other properties/stuff that I purchase. Maybe the lotto is all luck since that fits how it works in real life. But, for me to roll odd or even to see if I get a tax refund or a owe taxes seems odd. I think I'd like it better if I could take some kind of penalty to increase the chances (or quantity) of a refund when I land on that space or vice versa.


I have changed the way the blue $ so many times because I hate the chance in it. I have been considering removing those spaces all together and adding another red $. My fear is that the outer loop would just become impossibly dangerous. I do plan to play it both with with a game testing group to see which way is better and more fun.

As I said before, I'm not happy with the luck in the stock market and I am currently brainstorming a good and simple way to change that to be more strategic. So I'm in complete agreement with you and the others who have complained about this.

bnordeng wrote:
By the way, I make a lot of prototypes and I think yours is very good. I love the markers on the stock market chart! I've seen prototypes from others that have made it to production and they don't look as nice as yours.

FYI - the last image on the prototype pics page is not showing up.

Good luck!


Thanks, I have been working very hard on making the prototype look nice. Just imagine what it would look like if an artist with actual talent got his or her hands on it, hehe. You should have seen me cutting out those 96 property pieces with a cheap hand saw. My roommate was laughing his butt off at all my crying. I still have blisters.

The last image on the prototype page is working fine, might have been an error loading the page do to traffic on my server. I run lots of other websites on it. Just refresh the page and it should show up.

bnordeng wrote:
EDIT -> One other thing that I noticed when I read the rules was the lack of an game end condition. I did not like the idea of setting a timer for the game. Some players might try to drag out their turns if they are winning, what if people are socializing or have to visit the facilities. I think it would be best to have something happen that signals the end of the game.


I'm trying to balance the game so it will play in about 2 hours with only one person standing. Perhaps replacing the 4 blue $ with 4 more red $ will accomplish this. I plan to test both versions and see. I'm not really crazy about the time limit myself, I put that rule in for testing proposes and I would love to remove it.
 
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Re: Seeking feedback on my first attempt at designing a board game. (pics and rules included)
Hi there, Firstly I know what it is like to get a game idea in your head and it won't leave until you satisfy the itch... I also know sometimes it is tough to seperate yourself from the process to get an objective view, so I will try to help in any way I can...

A few questions before I go into any detail with my thoughts... Let's say you and I played a game, and set the limit at an hour, what would a typical final standings on money be? How about two Hrs? Do those numbers vary quite a bit by the # of players (2 vs 3 or 4 players)?

How many turns do you think occur per hr in a game (total, not per player)?

 
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Tristin Borland
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Re: Seeking feedback on my first attempt at designing a board game. (pics and rules included)
UPDATE: Ok, I removed the blue $ spaces from the game and replaced them with 4 more red $ spaces. In solo testing this seems to speed up the game quite a bit. This kills 2 birds with one stone. Removes the unfair property tax and helps move the game a long quicker with a larger money sink. Nothing of course is set in stone and I still need much more testing.

BloodyJack wrote:
Hi there, Firstly I know what it is like to get a game idea in your head and it won't leave until you satisfy the itch... I also know sometimes it is tough to seperate yourself from the process to get an objective view, so I will try to help in any way I can...


Thanks, looking forward to it.

BloodyJack wrote:
A few questions before I go into any detail with my thoughts... Let's say you and I played a game, and set the limit at an hour, what would a typical final standings on money be? How about two Hrs? Do those numbers vary quite a bit by the # of players (2 vs 3 or 4 players)?


Well, players start out with $200,000. At the end of an hour they might still have half of that and only about half of the board would be built out. After about 2 hours the money tends to get very tight for both players as the game is designed with a lot of money sinks. It's really not meant to be played in one hour, two hours would be the recommended minimum as it allows plenty time for the board to fully build out and for players to really start exchanging money, stock, and property.

The game has not yet been tested with 4 players and I'm not sure how money is effected. I'm bringing the game to a play testing group this coming Saturday and I will see what happens with 4

BloodyJack wrote:
How many turns do you think occur per hr in a game (total, not per player)?


Player turns are pretty quick in testing, normal lasting around 45 seconds on average. Turns are a bit longer towards the beginning of the game and a bit shorter towards the end of the game once the board is fully built out.
 
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Thom Barchet
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Re: Seeking feedback on my first attempt at designing a board game. (pics and rules included)
I have not had a chance to play your game yet, but I just wanted to give a little feedback on the Title/Slogan. I like "Making Money", it catches my attention and makes me think, I wonder what this is about. This is a good hook (I mean, who isn't interested in Making Money these days).

However, it is followed by "The Strategic Game of Chance". While this is informative about the aims of the game, this statement has the potential to alienate several potential groups. I enjoy strategy games, and when I read "Game of Chance", I immediately took a step back. I also imagined people who are scared of "strategy" feeling the same way. I would suggest removing/changing this to maintain the excitement that Making Money has to offer...allow the player to deduce whether they feel it is too strategy- or luck-driven for their personal tastes, without turning them off before opening the box.

I hope it works out, and I'm looking forward to seeing your progress (as well as looking at what you have so far).
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Tristin Borland
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Re: Making Money: Seeking feedback on my first attempt at designing a board game. (pics and rules included)
You make a very good point. I will be the first to admit that slogans aren't one of my strengths. Most games have a slogan, so I figured I needed one and I didn't want to lie or trick people into playing. I know your not suggesting I do that, I'm just saying.

The first slogan I thought up was, "Unleash your inner Mogul", but I thought it sounded a bit corny. Maybe I will start asking people who play it what they think a better slogan might be. Perhaps in this case, no slogan would be better than this one. In any case, thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it greatly.

Oh the game is now also listed on the geek: Making Money

And for those you who live in New York City I have two play tests coming up this week, more details can be found here: http://makingmoney.intristin.net/events.php
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I like the clear look of the game, but I would probably not want to play because I find money making so boring :-). It looks so much like Monopoly, sorry... Just having a role and move mechnanic and "rents" is enough. With a more interesting theme, I might be tempted.

Maybe the current financial crisis inspires some additions to the game.
 
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I'll be at the Boardgame Meetup this week, though I don't know if I'll be able to spend the 2 hours you'd need to do an honest test.

My thoughts:

Quote:
1. From just reading the rules, do you understand how to play it?


It does seem reasonably straightforward.

Quote:
2. Do you think this game would appeal to consumers and sell well?


I'm bad at judging the general consumer, but I would say that as others have stated above, it looks too much like Monopoly to separate itself in people's minds. Giving people a different view of the game and components on the box front and back might help, but with the sheer number of clones and knockoffs that get released, I'd try to make it look different enough to catch people's eyes.

Quote:
3. Would you play this game?


I'd give it a try once as a member of the cult of the new (both good and bad and most any genre), and would decide based on that first impression. The roll and move aspect doesn't really appeal to me though. You have given some choices, but the fact is that without playing it, I can't tell if it really helps or not.

PerplexCity: The Boardgame used an interesting variant of roll and move for a trivia game by allowing you to use 2 dice and combine them along multiple axis, but ultimately, the extra choices did not really add enough options to feel like I had much more control over my destiny. Moreso than Talisman (Revised 4th Edition), which allowed you two directions, but just not enough to make you feel like you had more control over your destiny.

Quote:
4. Do you think there is too many pieces? As in would it be to expensive to produce?


It doesn't appear to be too many pieces and costs could come down by using some sort of previously made stackable blocks (like the ones in the older Can't Stop or Advance to Boardwalk). Expensive is a relative term, though, depending on how much your raw materials would cost and what your expected retail price to be.

Quote:
5. If I could get this in front of a game company, would they laugh me out of the room?


You could probably use someone who knows PR and see if they can help to jazz up the descriptions and blurbs (perhaps someone going to school for it who might be willing to do it cheap for the experience), but the feeling of "more of the same" I don't think would get you too far.

Quote:
6. Any other comments?


Again, this is without having actually played it, but my impressions:

Symbols instead of plain letters on the board would make it look nicer and more approachable. Not necessarily anything fancy, but it seems boring with a lot of extra rules.

There just seems too many types of spaces that you'd have to refer to the rules for to appeal to the general public in an initial look.

While forums are a bit looser in accepting misspelled words and grammar, printed typos look worse, especially if you are trying to sell it or get investors. When someone in the general public sees "you will loose all your money" in a printed manual, it looks like you aren't very well versed in English grammar.

It just feels like there is too much luck involved to appeal to the strategy game fans, and the amount of info on the 3 charts seem more complicated than the average person might feel comfortable with.

The above mentioned end game scenario is a killer for me. Being told to play to a time limit tells me that it can potentially go on forever. That usually tells me that the game isn't well set up to give a real end game and that players don't have much control over events in the game. The printed end game to bankrupt everyone else also brings back the bad feelings about why Monopoly isn't well regarded here. People can be eliminated with nothing to do for a while until someone else is eliminated, and if it's a 3 player game, those last two players could play for hours longer without finishing. That isn't to say it can't work or is a horribly bad thing, but the initial feelings have to be countered somehow, and on initial readings of the rules, those fears feel pretty entrenched.

A real end game scenario, such as having the most money at the end of x turns or someone getting to a specified dollar amount first gives a clearer goal to me, but this isn't necessarily in line with your target game experience.

I realize this is mostly critical, but truthfully, having seen a lot of clones in my line of work as well as what has been released, it doesn't really jump out as different enough to be much more than a vanity press product. It's certainly more flexible than Joel Harden's Mogul but without the big splashy push, but I don't believe it's gotten very far despite the advertising and expensive Toy Fair push.

[Edit: Fixed the quote tags]
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Thoughts on the stock market: You could potentially run the stock market like the resource market in Power Grid... Each round (or each x number of rounds) a certain number of stocks would be available for sale. If 1/2 or more were sold, the value would increase. If all were sold, the value would increase X2. If less than 1/2 were sold, the value would decrease. If none were sold, the value would decrease x2. At the same time, selling stock could also drive prices down (by some sort of ratio). That doesn't seem too difficult (and could be represented visually in some sort of chart), but would make the stock market far more deterministic (and thus strategic).

If you are committed to a role-and-move mechanic, how about letting players pay money for re-rolls? The money paid could be discarded, be paid to some sort of in-game "insurance company" (maybe this could be one of the stocks that players could purchase) or added to the lotto pool. Once again, that could reduce chance without fundamentally altering your design. Also, it would provide one more "money sink," which could help shorten play time.
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Tristin Borland
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Thamos von Nostria wrote:
I like the clear look of the game, but I would probably not want to play because I find money making so boring :-). It looks so much like Monopoly, sorry... Just having a role and move mechnanic and "rents" is enough. With a more interesting theme, I might be tempted.

Maybe the current financial crisis inspires some additions to the game.


Well I knew when posting here on the Geek that Making Money wouldn't win any popularity awards at first glance. My target audience is "mass market", something I'm sure will turn off most strategy, role players, or euro gamer types which seem to dominate here on the Geek. With that said, the euro/rgp gamers that tried my game during a recent play test had more fun playing it then they expected they would have. My biggest issue is getting past the "just another monopoly clone" impression that almost everyone who has not played it gets.

As far as the current financial crisis goes, I think that would be too depressing as most people who play games want to escape the stress of everyday life, not relive it. But I could be wrong.

klz_fc wrote:
I'll be at the Boardgame Meetup this week, though I don't know if I'll be able to spend the 2 hours you'd need to do an honest test.


That's cool, the whole point of these meet ups is to have fun, I would never want to ruin someones night or take away from other games that are there. Looks like there will be about 20 people there, hopefully I can find 3 willing to give it a try. If not, I'll just play some other games and try again another time.

klz_fc wrote:
Q: Do you think this game would appeal to consumers and sell well?

A: I'm bad at judging the general consumer, but I would say that as others have stated above, it looks too much like Monopoly to separate itself in people's minds. Giving people a different view of the game and components on the box front and back might help, but with the sheer number of clones and knockoffs that get released, I'd try to make it look different enough to catch people's eyes.

Q: If I could get this in front of a game company, would they laugh me out of the room?

A: You could probably use someone who knows PR and see if they can help to jazz up the descriptions and blurbs (perhaps someone going to school for it who might be willing to do it cheap for the experience), but the feeling of "more of the same" I don't think would get you too far.

Again, this is without having actually played it, but my impressions: Symbols instead of plain letters on the board would make it look nicer and more approachable. Not necessarily anything fancy, but it seems boring with a lot of extra rules.


I agree, I suck at art, right now I'm just testing and my only focus is improving the game play. I fully intend to get help from professionals to re-theme the game, update the art, and re organize the layout of the rules.

klz_fc wrote:
There just seems too many types of spaces that you'd have to refer to the rules for to appeal to the general public in an initial look.


This really was not a problem at all in play testing. It took everyone less then 10 minutes to learn them. The rules and the layout of them may need tweaking to make them even easier to understand, but like I said, my focus at the moment is game play.

klz_fc wrote:
While forums are a bit looser in accepting misspelled words and grammar, printed typos look worse, especially if you are trying to sell it or get investors. When someone in the general public sees "you will loose all your money" in a printed manual, it looks like you aren't very well versed in English grammar.


Yes, my spelling and grammar has been a problem my entire life. I have an unfortunate learning disability when it comes to that. I plan to get help with all of this before ever putting this game in front of a publisher. With that said, I'm sure you and everyone else here have seen much worse on the Internet! cool

klz_fc wrote:
It just feels like there is too much luck involved to appeal to the strategy game fans, and the amount of info on the 3 charts seem more complicated than the average person might feel comfortable with.


I see your point and agree partly. The rules could use simplifying and that will happen in time. I personally feel the balance of luck and strategy works well for what this game is. It won't appeal to everyone, but I don't think it's anymore complicated then Monopoly. The presentation of the rules could use tweaking, but I still think the game will appeal to a wide audience of causal gamers. More testing will prove this one way or the other.

klz_fc wrote:
The above mentioned end game scenario is a killer for me. Being told to play to a time limit tells me that it can potentially go on forever. That usually tells me that the game isn't well set up to give a real end game and that players don't have much control over events in the game.


This has been the single most popular complaint both on these forums, on other forums, and in live play testing. I have been working on a fix for this and I am happy to announce it is ready to show you all. Please see the updated rules here: http://makingmoney.intristin.net/gamerules.php

Please note that you may need to 'refresh" the page if your browser is set up to store and save web imagines. The new rules allow the game to end in a set number rounds. I have also increased and unified the starting cash to insure no players are eliminated early and the person with the most money at the end will win. I welcome feedback on this change.

CarnubaWax wrote:
Thoughts on the stock market: You could potentially run the stock market like the resource market in Power Grid... Each round (or each x number of rounds) a certain number of stocks would be available for sale. If 1/2 or more were sold, the value would increase. If all were sold, the value would increase X2. If less than 1/2 were sold, the value would decrease. If none were sold, the value would decrease x2. At the same time, selling stock could also drive prices down (by some sort of ratio). That doesn't seem too difficult (and could be represented visually in some sort of chart), but would make the stock market far more deterministic (and thus strategic).


I tried a version of the system you mentioned above. It was deemed by testers who played it both ways to be less fun then the current system. I understand the current system will not appeal to some heavy strategy lovers, but it just fits better with this game.

CarnubaWax wrote:
If you are committed to a role-and-move mechanic, how about letting players pay money for re-rolls? The money paid could be discarded, be paid to some sort of in-game "insurance company" (maybe this could be one of the stocks that players could purchase) or added to the lotto pool. Once again, that could reduce chance without fundamentally altering your design. Also, it would provide one more "money sink," which could help shorten play time.


An interesting idea, my biggest fear is that it would stretch the play time of the game out too much or it would simply not be used. The only time players would benefit from doing this would be at the beginning of the game when everyone is flush with cash and buying up property lots. After all lots have been sold it would have no advantage, and would most likely prove to be a disadvantage to keep moving. I think this may create more problems then it solves.

Ok, I think I got to everyone's feedback. I thank you all for taking the time to respond. And for those of you that felt you were being too negative, no worries, I welcome ALL feedback, good and bad. Being nice and holding back your honest opinions is of no use to me. Cheers and I look forward to more of your criticisms.
 
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If you feel that 2 hours is about the right amount of time to play, and we can get a game started reasonably early (6-6:30), I might be able to do it (I have to catch a train to Long Island, which limits the amount of time I can spend). The Meetup numbers are often under-represents the actual numbers as some people are part of the Yahoo group and a couple have seen the Guild calendar, so it's likely high 20s to 30s expected.

Trust me here: the fact that you are actually listening and responding to people and even making those changes you think have merit puts you about 75% ahead of others I've seen in this position. That makes you more likely to succeed than you think if you can persevere enough to see it through!
 
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Tristin Borland
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klz_fc wrote:
If you feel that 2 hours is about the right amount of time to play, and we can get a game started reasonably early (6-6:30), I might be able to do it (I have to catch a train to Long Island, which limits the amount of time I can spend). The Meetup numbers are often under-represents the actual numbers as some people are part of the Yahoo group and a couple have seen the Guild calendar, so it's likely high 20s to 30s expected.


Which meetup are you speaking of? I'm going to 2 this week. One is on Wednesday Night at Lucky Jacks and the other is Friday Night at Think Coffee. As for the 2 hour limit, I have no plans to allow the game to run over as I want to play other games myself. I'm going to try and arrive early at both events. cool

klz_fc wrote:
Trust me here: the fact that you are actually listening and responding to people and even making those changes you think have merit puts you about 75% ahead of others I've seen in this position. That makes you more likely to succeed than you think if you can persevere enough to see it through!


Well most great games on the market are a collaboration of many good ideas. It would be silly to make a game that only appeals to me, as it's not much fun to play alone. With that said I don't want to loose the core of what the game is, but any good suggestions are always welcome.
 
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I hadn't actually seen that since your earlier posts referred to the actual Meetup group (the wed one). Think Coffee is part of Nerdnyc (not a Meetup group but a separate entity of great people though there is some overlap). I'll be at the one tomorrow night.

I'm still trying to decide between bringing Neuroshima Hex or the new version of Chinatown with me for tomorrow.
 
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I've played "Making Money" at the NYC Board Game Designers Play Test Group this month, and I thought it was fun. It took a little too long to get really good, so I had suggested shrinking the board a little so all the properties get bought sooner. In the meantime, the Lottery and the Stock Market and Gambling keep it interesting. The amount of components is good as far as variety, but I wonder if you really need as many of those wooden stacking blocks as you had. There seemed to be enough money and stocks. The title is fine and commercial and descriptive, but you might want to do an Internet search any way, to see if anyone is using it in a similar way. Any title that was more descriptive of the uniqueness would have to be too long, I suspect. Only the play length (2+ hours) starts to move it out of the general market; the mechanics are simple enough. You'd have to have a version that plays in under an hour to hit the mass market. It's a nice hybrid of a lot of familiar mechanics, so keep testing and improving it, Tristin!
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intristin wrote:
As I said before, I'm not happy with the luck in the stock market and I am currently brainstorming a good and simple way to change that to be more strategic.

In many stock games, the value of a stock goes up as shares are bought, and down as shares are sold. This means that the earlier you buy into a good stock, and the earlier you sell out of bad stocks, the more money you make, which provides some realism and strategy.
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Tristin Borland
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ssgames wrote:
I've played "Making Money" at the NYC Board Game Designers Play Test Group this month, and I thought it was fun. It took a little too long to get really good, so I had suggested shrinking the board a little so all the properties get bought sooner. In the meantime, the Lottery and the Stock Market and Gambling keep it interesting. The amount of components is good as far as variety, but I wonder if you really need as many of those wooden stacking blocks as you had. There seemed to be enough money and stocks. The title is fine and commercial and descriptive, but you might want to do an Internet search any way, to see if anyone is using it in a similar way. Any title that was more descriptive of the uniqueness would have to be too long, I suspect. Only the play length (2+ hours) starts to move it out of the general market; the mechanics are simple enough. You'd have to have a version that plays in under an hour to hit the mass market. It's a nice hybrid of a lot of familiar mechanics, so keep testing and improving it, Tristin!


Hey Mark, had a blast testing some of your games. I especially like the dungeon game which I look forward to trying again tomorrow night if I have time.

On to your feedback. I remember the suggestion to reduce the number of property lots to move the game along quicker. I toyed with this idea a bit and then realized the game only had 2 more property spaces then Monopoly and decided against removing any. So I decided to attack the problem you and other testers mentioned from a different angle.

What I did was redesign the board by reducing the total number of over all movement spaces while more than doubling the total number of property spaces while leaving the number of lots the same. I also changed the way intersections work so they will slide you onto property spaces when you land on them. You can see the new layout here to see what I mean. In testing it vastly increased the chance of landing on properties and I think it works well to address the issue we had when playing. I will see what happens tomorrow night.

As far as the 2 hour time limit goes, this is not something easily changed without changing the core of what the game is. The game still needs a lot of tweaks and testing to really hammer out some of these remaining issues. But I think over all I'm moving in the right direction now.

Any ever, see you tomorrow!!

sbszine wrote:
intristin wrote:
As I said before, I'm not happy with the luck in the stock market and I am currently brainstorming a good and simple way to change that to be more strategic.

In many stock games, the value of a stock goes up as shares are bought, and down as shares are sold. This means that the earlier you buy into a good stock, and the earlier you sell out of bad stocks, the more money you make, which provides some realism and strategy.


The system you mentioned is something I tried out and it didn't seem to fit well in this game in testing. That don't mean it's completely off the table. I just changed the stock system again to open up the board to more property spaces. My biggest fear is this recent change may slow down the stock system too much. I will see what happens in testing and perhaps move in another direction if the current system proves "too slow". Thanks a bunch for the feedback both of you.
 
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Well we just completed our 6th play test recently. The game lasted a little under 3 hours. We ended around 9pm but didn't get started until well after 6pm due to the fact we had to rig up a makeshift table.

As far as the game test went, I noticed that many of the issues that have come up in earlier play tests have been successfully addressed. With this longer test a few more issues clearly remain.

Problems included the lotto having too big of a impact on the outcome of the game. Collecting rent being useless. Stock taxes be so high that playing the market proved way to risky. And the game still takes too long to build out the property lots which slows the game down a lot.

I have been working on a new version to address all of these issues and I will be testing it at the next meet up. You can see all these changes by visiting our website.

I have reduced the total number of lots you can build on from 24 to 20. I have reduced the number of gambling and lotto spaces, reduced the total number of spaces on the board by 20. And I have significantly increased the number of property spaces or driveways as some call them. These overall changes to the layout of the board significantly increase the chance that players will land on other players properties and be forced to pay rent.

In addition to this I have increased rents from 10% of build cost to 20% of build cost. This change with the changes to the layout of the board should make building properties much more useful and fun to winning the game.

To address the lotto problem, I have reduced the cost of a lotto ticket from $1,000 to $500, this will effectively cut all the jackpots in half and prevent the game from being automatically won by whoever wins it. The lotto will still remain a fun way to pad your wallet.

To address the stock tax problem I have completely rebalanced the Mail Cards. They still cost you when you draw one, but not quite as much as they did before.

I have also changed the "game time chart" by removing several rounds from the overall game play. With this change the game should run just under 2 hours with 4 players. This brings it back into line with my original intentions. There will still be a longer play option for those who may develop an addiction to the game. Again, feel free to check our website for more details.

For those who have played the game, please rate it on our listing here: Making Money
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