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Subject: Working on a business/pick-up/delivery game based on pizza - input sought rss

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Dan MacKellar
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I've been working on an idea for awhile that kinda stemmed from a train game concept I've been working on. I posted this over at the BGDF, but I thought I'd get input here as well.

The game concept revolves around pizza and the delivery of such. My initial thought was each player owns an individual pizzaria and makes deliveries from there based on card draws, but now I'm not so sure.

I was trying to develop something that was a bit more than just "deliver pizzas around town" and add some strategy to it in the form of cash management (ie, do I upgrade my delivery vehicle to deliver more pizzas or upgrade my restaurant so I can sell more expensive pizzas) Delivery vehicles would have certain capacities and speeds and be upgradable.

Initial placement as well as Deliveries would be based on a card draw. Draw 4 cards, place your pizzaria depending on card demand and go from there. Players could chose to reject orders and effectively send them to another place in their "delivery area", possibly by a discard pile. Other players can then take that 'call', or take a new one.

The plan was to have two levels of pizzaria and four kinds of pizza, the latter 2 only available if your restaurant is upgraded. Delivery vehicles are the same idea, with 4 possibilities for upgrades (bicycle, motorcycle, car, van).

I also thought of having event cards which would be drawn by landing on a specific space on the street. With set movement rates, they wouldn't be used all the time, but players could theoretically choose to get an event card or bypass it entirely. Events such as a pizza contest (roll die to get judge's reaction), and a couple of others are in development as well.

Biggest thing I'm struggling with at this point is more player interaction. At this point, the game could just as well be played solitaire as with a group with no real difference. I also don't want to add alot of sabotage or nasty cards into the mix, as that just makes for the possibility of people getting irritated or ganged up on.

The other thought expounded by some people on BGDF was to have the design strictly delivery, but that really doesn't work towards the 'strategy' aspect of things. It also kinda makes for more of a random game with less decision making and less upgrading as well.

Thoughts on this are welcomed.

Dan M
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Pete Belli
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A pizza game? You'll need rules for traffic jams, the Super Bowl, robbery attempts, and delivery drivers who are greeted at the door by a partially clothed woman.

Interesting idea!

I hope you make a lot of dough.
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Trenton
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Yummm... I'll take a large pepperoni.

Very cool idea, best of fortunes with your pursuit.
 
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Mark Crane
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Check out Train Raider, and read Snow Crash. You will then make the Best Game Ever. Duel of Ages Set 1: Worldspanner might provide some inspiration as well.
 
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Josh P.
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pete belli wrote:
delivery drivers who are greeted at the door by a partially clothed woman.


Can that card be called "extra anchovies"?

Also, there needs to be a card called "It's not delivery, it's DiGiorno."
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Robert Fox
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joshp wrote:
pete belli wrote:
delivery drivers who are greeted at the door by a partially clothed woman.


Can that card be called "extra anchovies"?

Also, there needs to be a card called "It's not delivery, it's DiGiorno."


As an ex-pizza delivery driver (4 years), the partially clothed woman thing only happened twice ... one falls under "what has been seen cannot be unseen" and the other was a one way ticket to jail.

Heck, you could have the whole game be about individual drivers from the same store competing to deliver the most pizzas/get the biggest tips. I know there was plenty of subtle gameplay in how we competed against each other.

We all knew where the good deliveries were and who the bad ones were. We had unofficial notes on all our regulars and how much they usually tipped. The delivery you got depended on when you got back to the store (they were given out in order) so if you saw a delivery pop up to a bad area, you'd try to stay out a little longer so someone else would get back first and get nailed by it. That itself was a tightrope because if you stayed out too long you could get in trouble and it decreased the amount of deliveries you could get through during the dinner rush.
Also, if you were in good with the cooks you could get cell calls like "Hey Robert, stay out an extra 5, the jerks in B5 are up next".

Anyway, good luck on your game! If you'd like any "thematic" help just ask.

Robert
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Nicolás Mutis Mesa
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FuManchu wrote:
one falls under "what has been seen cannot be unseen" and the other was a one way ticket to jail.

Say what?
 
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Steven Metzger
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!!!!
 
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Mark Crane
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http://pizzadeliverystories.blogspot.com/
 
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Mr Pavone
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As Robert Fox said, the game could center around the drivers more than pizza stores competing.

Driver quality would be a great stat, stoner drivers work slow but will stay on the job until they graduate from school. Good drivers would work hard but only stick around long enough to get "a real job" working somewhere else. Don't forget the middle aged part timers who work super hard for a long time so they can keep making mortgage payments or keep their stoner kids in school.

Ask one of your pizza delivering friends if you can ride along for an evening. I don't think Domino's will let you do it, but maybe the local pizzeria would?

Sounds like a fun game, I'd play it.
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Dan MacKellar
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Re: Drivers - I've thought of centring it around the delivery drivers, especially after recieving some input and seeing a similar style game in the works. The author of this one had some excellent ideas. My big problem with basing it solely on drivers is that it eliminates the "tycoon" aspect of the game. Drivers wouldn't really upgrade the pizzaria or determine location. Upgrading their vehicles would happen, but it changes my initial concept for the game.

I'm working on a prototype now, I've got a half-sized board designed and I'm starting the one full sized version shortly. I may revise the board to represent the "driver wars" concept as well, and see how both variants play. it may be that I can do both variants on one board...
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Steven Metzger
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I've already given you my best stuff on BGDF, I'll hit you up if I think of anything else.
 
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Scott O'Brien
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interestingly enough, I was developing in my mind a pizza game as well.
although i was/am leaning toward either more of a resource management (agricola like) or card game (millbornes like). im not sure if I want pizza shops competing for limited resources to complete 5 pizzas, or competing to make the highest profit on lots of pizzas...

im nowhere near a prototype nor complete ruleset but here are some of my current tidbits of potential ideas. Which may spark your creative interests.



ingredients:
dough / sauce / (x) cheese / pepperoni / sausage / ham / mushrooms / peppers / onion / pineapple


small / lg vs order 2 pizzas

players bid/compete for many pizza shop upgrades.

upgrades:
bigger pizza oven, dough roller, dining room, delivery person, etc
contracts for cheaper or exclusive ingredients

direct competition:
steal customers with coupons/lower price offers.
cause opponent to burn pizza
ingredient shortage



 
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Robert Fox
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lamplite wrote:
zukeft wrote:
FuManchu wrote:
one falls under "what has been seen cannot be unseen" and the other was a one way ticket to jail.

Say what?


In other other words I would guess the meaning fugly and jailbait.

edit: was going to remove the extra other but after a second glance I like it.


Larry's got it right.

I admit I'm a bit bias toward the delivery driver concept having been one, it sounds like your game has the potential to be what every game I've thought about making isn't ... focused.

I think of a game, and two weeks later it's a 6 hour epic with a million rules. I won't be quitting my day job anytime soon.

Robert
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Robert Fox
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KenHR wrote:
Another thought: random assignment of likes/dislikes for customers. 1 Maple Street might be all vegetarians. 3 Maple Street next door might order multiple pizzas at once. 2 Maple Street across the way looks for the cheapest pizza available. Etc.


Don't forget the guy who always finds new and creative ways to complain trying to get his pizza free!

Robert
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Dave Laing
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I really like the driver centered idea. I had about the same thoughts as Robert when I read the initial post.

If you could find some way of assigning traffic to road segments such that it's linked to the time of night / night of week / if there are any special events (football game / accidents) then there's replayability / scope for more strategy for those that want to get familiar with the game.

Back when I was delivering pizza, the trick was that if there were 7 orders coming up, 2 in one area (or 1 on the way to another), 4 in other areas and 1 back in the first area you have a choice.

Do you risk making the first 2 late to take the 3 orders, or do you just take the 2 orders (and some other driver gets paid for the other order). If you know the regulars (akin to being familiar with what cards are in the customer deck?) you might know who can handle an order being 5-10 minutes late and who can't.

In real life you'd see all kinds of crazy reasoning about grouping orders if someone wanted to get a little more cash that week, so you might need some kind of co-op goal that the drivers could work toward to give them a secondary motivation to point at during the negotiations.

If the players get updates on the traffic in secret they could "accidentally" avoid mentioning a traffic accident so that others get stuck in traffic. I can't remember anyone playing as dirty as that - we almost always passed stuff like that on back at the store - but it would be interesting, especially if it could make or break the co-op goal while affecting the player rankings.

Good luck with it, should be interesting to see how it unfolds.
 
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Robert Fox
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KenHR wrote:
Is franchising and/or opening new locations a part of your design? I think that would ramp up player interaction a bunch as territory becomes contested.


This is actually a significant factor in the pizza business. Another franchise opening right next to you always starts an advertising war. The key factor is how well the older franchise took care of their customers. If you have a loyal base, the opposing franchise would be gone within the year, if you didn't, you'd be closed within a year.
 
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Dan MacKellar
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Alot of excellent ideas here :D Some great arguments for the driver centred version as well as the business version.

Re: Opening new restaurants
===========================
I thought of this, and my biggest reasoning against it is it would add more components to the game... so not a really valid argument IMHO. The rules and ideas are still coming together though, so I may add it for less players (or more players as the case may be...)

Re: Other Competition
======================
The design as it sits right now, has a number of vacant lots for pizza places. I think I've got 8 or 9 spaced out around the city. I may add some closer together to allow for competition.

I like the idea of the cost being affected by an incident or something. could possibly have an event card that only allows you to fill two orders due to bad press, remedied by paying a fine or possibly advertising costs.

Advertising could get you the option of choosing another card for a total of 5 (or 4, depending how many you start with...)

Adding more restaurants though, adds more pieces and more chaos on the board, effectively lengthening turns. May be a good variant though if people are willing to play that way.

I also like the idea of the advertising, possibly have a card that allows you to steal business from another player?

Re: Driver Centred theme
=========================
More and more, I'm leaning towards offering this as a variant in the rules. There's one 'lot' that's pretty much in the centre of the city, that (or a mutually agreed upon spot elsewhere) could be the "home base". Other locations are a possibility, and that is something to be decided later as well.

Re: Ingredients
===============
This train of thought would be great for adding more ideas for event cards and such. "Your Pepperoni's bad, no pepperoni/deluxe deliveries for next 2 turns" or something to that effect. Could also add sabotage into that as well.

Thanks for all the ideas both here and on BGDF.

It really helps the juices to flow,
The pie is slowly coming together

Dan M
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Wim van Gruisen
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Some ideas:
- You're looking for more direct competition; in that case, don't let players invest in vehicles, but in drivers. Drivers can easily switch jobs to who pays more. Make drivers differ in quality of work, or speed of delivery, to make players have a real choice. If player A employs driver 1 for $5 per round, player B can get driver 1 by offering (and paying) $6 per round.

- For more competition, let pizzerias have, or build, a reputation. Customers would decide where to order based on both distance and reputation. You can increase reputation by marketing and by upgrading your shop, you lose it by delivering late (or not at all), by delivering the wrong pizza, and so on.

- You could throw price in the mix. All pizzerias deliver the same kind of pizza's, but each can set their own price. Customers have a tendency to buy where the price is lowest - but that will bring in the least profit per pizza (the PPP index).
 
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Alan Monroe
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This thread is making me hungry!
 
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Anthony Friedman
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Here are some thoughts I had, though not sure how useful they'll be to you as I can't quite imagine what you're envisioning.

Is your game based around a board? Or is it primarily a card game? Or a mix?


Anywho, here are my ideas:
1) Have players choose their initial region either by chance (drawing of location cards, or rolling dice, or spinning wheel). Or give players a starting amount of money to purchase their first location and vehicle. (Maybe player A decides to go big and build near high rise apartments, but gets stuck with a bike. Whereas player B in the outskirts, has a pizzeria and gets a van).

2) Have a "call" pile that players can draw from each turn. Have the call pile divided into regions (suburbs, downtown, etc.). Certain regions will have a draw limit (innercity will probably get more calls than the outskirts).

3) Depending on which vehicle each player has, they are allowed to take calls from additional regions based on proximity. If a player has a bike, they can only draw from their region. As their purchase new vehicles, they can slowly draw from additional regions (by distance).

4) Also have a "business" deck players can draw from and have a holding limit of 3 - 4 cards. Business cards would be things like, "Advertising" that costs X dollars but lets a player draw double the calls for Y turns (or indefintiely). Also have it things like, "2 Day Sale" or something like that.. or "double pizza weekend." These are cards that would cost the player money to play, but would give them a bonus. This could also be things like upgrades or adding a new franchise, or by moving location to a more populace area.

5) Every round (either x turns, or start of first player's turn), draw an "event" from an event deck. This will have special events like "Superbowl Weekend" or "Economy crunch" that can increase players' number of calls they can receive, monetary bonuses to completed deliveries, or decreases the number of calls.


Gameplay proceeds as follows:
Player A builds his pizzeria in the outskirts of town and buys a motorcycle, enabling him to fulfill deliveries in the outskirts and downtown. Player B builds his pizzeria near the business district, and buys a bicycle (which means he can only deliver in the business district). Player C builds his pizzeria near the business district as well, but opts for a motorcycle.

Begin turns:
Player A decides play (and pay for) "Advertising" and gets to double the draw limit per location. However, since he hasn't upgraded his pizzeria, his number of calls answerable is still limited to 4. Player A is only allowed to draw 3 calls from the outskirts (6 with advertising), but can draw up to 5 from downtown (10 with advertising). Player A decides to draw 2 from downtown (since there's a better chance of a larger order/tip) and 2 from the outskirts.

Player B upgrades his pizzeria to a restaurant which increases his order limit to 6. The business district calling limit is 7, so he is still able to maximize the number of orders he receives. Unfortunately, some of the calls from the business district can count as 2-3 orders, meaning he could draw a number of orders he cannot fulfill. For example, he could draw four 1-order calls, and two 2-order calls, but he would have to discard one of the orders. Player B then decides to discard a 2-order call into the "discard" pile.

However, since Player C is also serviceable to the Business District he can attempt to "steal" business and take the card out of the discard pile and use it on his turn (instead of drawing a call card). This card will count against Player C's call limit, but doesn't count against his business district drawing limit. But! Since Player B had a call stolen, that means next turn Player B draws one less call (because of word of mouth) and will have to gain back the lost reputation.

After everyone has drawn and chosen their calls, each player resolves their orders and collects their money for completing the orders. Scoring would based on a money goal (first player to X dollars) or number of completed orders or type of order (first player to complete large 6-order call), etc.

Also, one could add special "interrupt" cards to play during the resolution phase. These would be things like "Big Tipper" or "Lousy Tip" or "Prank Call/Fake Order." These could be played on yourself or on opponent's. No two interrupts could be played on the same card if they would cancel each other out. For example, a player could play "Big Tipper", but an opponent could play "Not under 25 min" which means the pizza would be half off (a person can still tip a half off pizza). It would not be acceptable for someone to play "Big Tipper" and then play "Fake Order" because those two things can't coexist.


(Made a couple of edits to correct some inconsistencies. Primary focus of gameplay is number of calls a player can draw from each location vs. the number of orders a player can actually fulfill based on the quality of his/her pizzeria)
 
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Wim van Gruisen
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DanMacK wrote:
Initial placement as well as Deliveries would be based on a card draw. Draw 4 cards, place your pizzaria depending on card demand and go from there.

As an alternative, have a fixed, small number of customers. At the start, have each player draw five cards, discard one (closed, so that the others don't see who is discarded). The other four cards go into the deck, together with those cards the other players kept. Now each player can choose his starting location based on the cards he knows are in the game.
 
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Dan MacKellar
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Some excellent ideas there, and you've got the basic idea of what I'm trying to get across

The game is based around a board. The board layout is a gridwork of streets. Orders are drawn from a deck with 2 orders per card. A player may or may not be able to complete all of the orders on their cards to start. After completing an order, players draw another order card so they always have 4 (other factors may increase or decrease the number)

To start, everybody starts with the same thing - a level one Pizzeria and a bicycle. Bikes can move 5 spaces per turn and carry 2 pizzas for instance.

Players draw 4 order cards and base their initial location on the addresses on their cards. There are several vacant lots scattered in various locations around the city and each can be used for a pizzaria.

I was thinking of the discard pile for the option to take an existing cast off order or draw a new one. I was thinking playrs could keep their completed cards until the deck is exhausted, then the order deck is reshuffled for the next "night".

The option to upgrade immeduiately isn't part of the plan, this can only be done with selling pizzas. Cash-wise, I'm thinking of starting players with less than is required for the initial upgrade to a motorcycle - to allow for more building up of the empire. If players wish to speed up the game, they can start wioth a motorcycle or car (or van for that matter).

I also plan to add variant rules for adding more than one pizza restaurant and delivery vehicles.

I like the idea of a business deck. I was thinking of having certain feature cards like advertising, etc, but was unsure how to implement them. I wasn't sure if I'd add them as purchasable cards (insurance, advertising, etc) or just randomly drawn.

I like the idea of different numbers of orders based on size of pizzeria. 2-3 orders for small, 4-5 for large... or something along these lines.

Event cards were planned to be drawn when players landed on a particularly marked space. This way it wouldn't happen all the time, only if players wanted it to which sort of eliminates the randomness. I may experiment with drawing one per round as well.

The input here has been great, alot of good ideas. My prototype is in the works, so hopefully I'll be able to get a playable version in the next week or so and iron things out.

Regards,
Dan M
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Scott O'Brien
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keep us updated.
 
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Mike Kollross
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I would add in the 20 minute guarantee. The biker can move 5 spaces in 20 min. If the biker makes it in over 20 min the customer gets a discount and the delivery is worth less VP. It would encourage players to up grade to a better delivery method or or build another pizzeria.
 
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