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Subject: Help with Trade Mechanic rss

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Anthony Friedman
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I'd like some help evaluating a trade mechanic I have in my game. I don't have an expansive knowledge of other games with trading, so I don't know if my idea has been done before (either successfully or not).

Right now, my game has 4 commodities (5 if you include currency). Players come across villages or cities that will trade commodities with them, though each location will only trade with any 2 commodities. Some cities, however, will only trade one way (like fish for wheat) but will not accept the reverse in trade. Also, there is no absolute value for each commodity, so some locations will trade items at different rates.


Some examples: Player A reaches a village that will trade wheat for fish. This village will not trade any other commodities, but will trade back and forth between wheat and fish. Player B reaches a city that will trade gold for wheat. This city will only accept gold for wheat and will not trade in reverse. Meanwhile, Player C reaches a different city, which trades 1 wheat for 2 fish(and vice versa).

From the example, you can see that a player could try to capitalize on fish by going back and forth between locations.



So far, there are eight villages and eight cities, with each commodity being available for trade at least 4 times. This was in order to decrease chances of a commodity not being found. Locations are discovered randomly, and there are less than 16 locations (so each game, locations will vary).

I guess my questions are: Does this sound like it could work? I've done some fiddling with probability, and I feel like the game can never become unplayable (due to lack of a particular trade location or commodity). Do you think there should be more commodities? More locations?

P.S. Players are also able to trade with other players, so they are free to set their own prices/values as well.
 
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Marshall Miller
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What is the goal of the game? It seems like all commodities are of equal value but unequal supply and demand. Going to cities with 2 for 1 deals being how you win the game. It seems like the game might lack strategic depth if all you do is follow highest price sequence.
 
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Anthony Friedman
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Mease19 wrote:
What is the goal of the game? It seems like all commodities are of equal value but unequal supply and demand. Going to cities with 2 for 1 deals being how you win the game. It seems like the game might lack strategic depth if all you do is follow highest price sequence.



Each player will have a number of goals assigned at the beginning of play. These will include such things as bring back x of a particular commodity, etc. So each player is trying to acquire a certain type of commodity to bring home.

It's not just about getting the most of everything or making the most profit, though these could help a player toward their particular goal.

Does that help clarify?
 
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Eric Jome
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5 commodities, let's call them;

stone
lumber
wheat
gold
fish

2 types of trading facilities, 8 of each, let's call them;

village (a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h)
city (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H)

Here then is a fair and even distribution;

A: stone -> lumber and gold -> lumber
B: stone -> wheat
C: stone -> gold
D: stone -> fish
E: lumber -> stone
F: lumber -> wheat and gold -> wheat
G: lumber -> gold
H: lumber -> fish
a: wheat -> stone
b: wheat -> lumber
c: wheat -> gold
d: wheat -> fish and gold -> fish
e: fish -> stone and gold -> stone
f: fish -> lumber
g: fish -> wheat
h: fish -> gold
 
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Steven Metzger
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Stix_Remix wrote:
I'd like some help evaluating a trade mechanic I have in my game. I don't have an expansive knowledge of other games with trading, so I don't know if my idea has been done before (either successfully or not).

Right now, my game has 4 commodities (5 if you include currency). Players come across villages or cities that will trade commodities with them, though each location will only trade with any 2 commodities. Some cities, however, will only trade one way (like fish for wheat) but will not accept the reverse in trade. Also, there is no absolute value for each commodity, so some locations will trade items at different rates.


Some examples: Player A reaches a village that will trade wheat for fish. This village will not trade any other commodities, but will trade back and forth between wheat and fish. Player B reaches a city that will trade gold for wheat. This city will only accept gold for wheat and will not trade in reverse. Meanwhile, Player C reaches a different city, which trades 1 wheat for 2 fish(and vice versa).

From the example, you can see that a player could try to capitalize on fish by going back and forth between locations.



So far, there are eight villages and eight cities, with each commodity being available for trade at least 4 times. This was in order to decrease chances of a commodity not being found. Locations are discovered randomly, and there are less than 16 locations (so each game, locations will vary).

I guess my questions are: Does this sound like it could work? I've done some fiddling with probability, and I feel like the game can never become unplayable (due to lack of a particular trade location or commodity). Do you think there should be more commodities? More locations?

P.S. Players are also able to trade with other players, so they are free to set their own prices/values as well.
The similarities between this and the game I am working on are frightening. I think that the point of the game is quite different, but I also have 4 resources (plus a 5th that acts a little bit like currency), about 8 cities, and 12 trading "outposts," that only trade some fish INTO wheat, or wood INTO brick, etc. I would like to be able to say that trading is at a 1:1 ratio, but that means that securing the correct 2 outposts can turn one trading player into a behemoth...

You are probably fine though, because I get the impression that you do NOT have multiple pieces on the board (as I do). If you come across a town that has wheat but needs fish, and that is your only 'trading advantage,' and it is 1:1, I'd say your fine.

If you want to complicate things a bit, though, you can have modular values to each resource:

Take four d6's of different colors and assign them to their most natural resource.
Customize the faces to say "+3, +2, +1, 0, -2, -4."
Every commodity is set at, for example, $15 each.
At certain points in the game, all the dice should be rolled, and the changes shown on the dice are applied to their resources.
You may use currency to "trade" for a resource at it's current value, but I would caution against allowing completely free trade - if you're looking at stone at $20 and wheat at $10, then you could sell the stone to the bank and buy two wheat...there should be some sort of 'transaction fee' for not using cash.
Over the course of the game, some resources will be very valuable due to the market.
 
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Wim van Gruisen
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Stix_Remix wrote:
I don't know if my idea has been done before (either successfully or not).

While not the same, I thought about Merchant of Venus. The players have to discover other cultures in the galaxy. Each culture has one product for sale, but only buys a limited number of other products. Part of the game is, once the cultures have been discovered, to find a trade route that allows you to go from one place to another always selling stuff and buying other stuff that can be sold on your next stop.

Stix_Remix wrote:
I guess my questions are: Does this sound like it could work? Do you think there should be more commodities? More locations?

Those are questions that can be answered in a series of playtests.
 
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