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Subject: Casino-tycoon type game: Need Help! rss

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Justin Tonelli
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I am currently play-testing a new game based on building and managing a casino. It is a card game with an auction/betting mechanic. You flip over a card (a game, attraction, or employee) and the highest bet claims that card. In order to run a game or attraction you need the corresponding employee (dealer, jockey, server, etc). At the end of each round, you either make or lose chips based on the size and construction of your casino. This part works quite well but I also have jackpot cards which I am not so happy with. If you flip a jackpot card you can place a bet with your available chips which the other players have a chance to match. After this, the highest roll takes the pot. I find this very basic and often anticlimactic. If anyone can suggest a better use for this "jackpot" card it would be a big help. Thanks.
 
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Jesse Haulk
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Cumming
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Reminds me of one of my favourite auction games. Vegas Showdown
Keep up the good work!
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Tyler McLaughlin
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Alberta
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Do the players have a hand of cards?
 
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Reis
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If you want a random element, perhaps make the "Jackpot" a slot spin? Is it important that the other players get in on it?

You could have a "slot deck" with cherries, bells, bars, 7s, whatever in it in different proportions. Make a bet, flip three cards, and get payout odds if you get certain combinations.

You could also do a "Progressive Jackpot" that increases as the game goes on so it wouldn't be gamebreaking to hit the jackpot early on but wouldn't be insignificant later on. If you want a die-rolling mechanic, perhaps the player rolls three dice and if they match, he hits the jackpot. Perhaps all three players roll and if two players win, the jackpot is split.

I'll keep thinking about different ways to incorporate a "jackpot" mechanic and come back if I think of any more. More information about the tone and mechanics of your game could be helpful.
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Justin Tonelli
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After more playtesting and rule changes, I was convinced that I had this game set. But I am still not quite satisfied. I will give more of a background on the game. Each player starts the game with one slot machine and 10 chips used as the currency in the game. There is a draw deck consisting of games/attractions,employees, and special events. As each game/attraction/employee is drawn, players bet on it with their chips. The highest bet gets to claim the card. In order to be considered "active," each game or attraction must be paired with a suitable employee (race track--jockey, hotel--bell hop, poker table-dealer). The balance of the game lies in the dynamic between revenue and expenses. During a player's turn, they roll dice based on the size of their casino in order to determine the number of patrons they receive for that round. Based on where they place these patrons, they either gain revenue or are forced to pay maintenance fees on unused games/attractions. Each employee also has a salary that has to be payed each round. To win the game, players are attempting to build the "grand casino," which is 10 active games/attractions. The event cards happen immediately and are not bid on. These involve jackpot payouts, renovations, expansions, and advertising. The game also has an "upgrade" board where expansions can be purchased. These include a lounge (restaurant),grand stands (race track), honeymoon suites (hotel), box seats (theatre), and the high-roller table. I originally had special employees for each of these upgrades, but I am not happy with them at this point. I basically have room for five minor upgrade cards that I would like to incorporate into some sort of mini game that occurs at random points in order to generate more excitement. I like the slot machine idea mentioned earlier where players can purchase different symbols to be used whenever this event is triggered. I am unsure of how to do this though.

I am trying to have a balance between strategy and luck. Obviously, luck and casinos go hand in hand so I want to keep an element of "hitting a jackpot." Betting forms a major part of the strategy as you want to ensure that you have the right employee to run a specific game or you will lose money. Basically, the game is a little too monotonous at this point. You bet on cards, assign patrons on your turn, and then collect or lose chips. I need a stronger "casino" aspect that is fun and heavily luck based. If you have any suggestions about this aspect of the game or any other general suggestions/improvements, please message me.
 
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Dave Mansell
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Justin, I'm afraid I don't have any ideas on the main area you're trying to improve, but I would just like to point out that every time you mention "betting" on a card, that's not actually betting in any way, it's simply an auction (unless I misunderstood your previous description.)

What if players were able to bet an amount of chips to predict whether the card will be a game, attraction, or employee, and the highest winning bet gets the card?

Just thought I'd offer a quick suggestion. Good luck with your design!
 
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Joe Mucchiello
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Edison
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jtonelli wrote:
I am trying to have a balance between strategy and luck. Obviously, luck and casinos go hand in hand

Actually, luck and casinos have nothing to do with each other. Casinos are designed so that the average customer loses money. Always. Period.

Yes, sometimes you hit jackpots in slot machines. But where does that money come from? All the losers who played before you. Table games always favor the house. When someone wins really big at a slot machine, that is money the casino has had in the bank for months earning interest before the big payout.
 
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Justin Tonelli
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Yes, I realize that the operations of a casino are based on sound management. I'm just saying that the majority of casino games (slots,roulette) are devoid of any sort of strategy on the part of the players.

Dave, you are correct. I do mean an auction and not betting.
 
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