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Subject: Have mechanic--Need a theme rss

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Kevin B. Smith
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I want to build a game around a mechanic involving "cascading preferences". Please help me brainstorm possible themes for this game. I'll take any ideas at this point, no matter how silly or difficult they might seem.

Forms of this mechanic have been used before, in Islas Canarias and Restaurant Row, and supposedly Emira. Essentially each player has an island/restaurant (aka "thing"), and multiple settlers/customers arrive, and need to decide where to go. Each has a list of preferences, so they'll go to the "thing" where their first preference is met. If there is a tie, they'll use their second preference to decide. Nothing magical, but it's fun. It also has some similarity to the deduction mechanic of Tobago.

I have thought of about a dozen possible themes myself, but I won't share them yet, lest they block out any better ideas you might come up with. None of mine seem quite right, so I thought I would put the immense BGG brain trust to work.

I have also thought about an inverted form, where each player would be one of the customers, and would build up a set of preferences by which they would select a "thing". If you think of any other inversions or twists on the mechanic, I would be interested in hearing those as well.

Thanks!!

P.S. If you know any other games that use a mechanic similar to this, please let me know.
 
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B C Z
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Buying a gift for a friend.
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Seth Brown
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Perhaps players are running game shops trying to lure customers in?
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Luke Morris
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Fun fairs or theme parks?
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Wesley Kinslow
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Maybe like a food chain thing? Predators eating/selecting prey?
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todd sanders
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nanotech designer creating artificial lifeform 'clades'. who have a darwinian struggle for life/bred for characteristics cascade going on


or oompaloompas must create the new wonka candy treat
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Curt Woodard
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When I read the description you gave to the mechanic my brain immediately went to my CS undergrad days when we had to program scheduling algorithms. Now, they're not exactly the same, but is what gave me the idea of: Robotic death machines.

They are programmed with a series of preferences and are then sent out to hunt down the humans who possess qualities that match the preferences. Points would be awarded based on how many of those preferences were matched up after all robots had destroyed their targets.

Though, you could instead change the theme from RDM to peeps trying to find their ideal Easter Basket or ants trying to find the best food for their hill...
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David Etherton
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Do the customers arrive in a known order or are they assigned from a pool based on best fit? How do you decide which people get their preference?

- People selecting rides at an amusement park
- Drivers on a highway looking for a rest stop
- Children on a playground at recess waiting for equipment to be open
- Students signing up for classes (could extend this one to trying to meet various prerequisites and still graduate in four years)
- Farmer's market with customers looking for particular types of produce
- Night at the movies! Some couples, some groups of teens, some families, etc.

-Dave
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Wim van Gruisen
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You could turn the thing around with something evolutionary. Players are organisms and the 'customers' are different types of terrain/climate. Each terrain fits one organism best, according to the organism's cascading preferences. The players work hard to adapt their organisms to terrains that open up.

The mechanic is still the same, but the feeling is very different.

Likewise, the players are alien invasion fleets and each one tries to conquer as many planets that are passing by as possible.
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Tomas Lööw
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Linköping
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Alien visitors come to earth in UFOs.

The players are countries and tries to attract as many visitors as possible.
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Manuel Pasi
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+1 for the theme park/funfair

or maybe something like speeddating/singles party?
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Ethidium Bromide
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Aquarists competing for exotic fish (newly delivered to a pet store), each having different environment preferences. Players arrange their fish tanks to make them most suitable for most wanted species. The player with the most magnificent aquarium wins.
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Michele Esmanech
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IMO, almost anything goes, so my suggestion is: try something new, that hasn't been done before, and apply it to your mechanic.

But, here are a few suggestions, from the top of my head:
1- if you want to create a wargame, players can be the generals of an army, and they have to decide weather to attack this or that enemy settlment or enemy base, with effects to the second attack and so on...

2- if you want to create an economic game, players can be company managers or stock brokers, and they have to decide which stock to buy or which investment to make, with consequences to the next deal(s)...

3- if you want an "Agricola" style game, players can be farmers, and have to decide which veggy to coltivate; then, which animal to breed; then what room to add to the house, and so on...

4- if you want a civilsation-ish game, players can decide where to evolve: echonomics; politics; culture; agriculture; city-building etc.


Like I said, choose the theme you like best, according to what has been done the least or, otherwise, to what you like best, or, again, to what appeals the market the most; then, apply it.

good luck
cheers
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Kevin B. Smith
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etherton wrote:
Do the customers arrive in a known order or are they assigned from a pool based on best fit? How do you decide which people get their preference?

After I pick the theme, I'll decide those details to fit it.

After you posted, I realized this also has some similarity to your Outpost Gemini game. I hadn't put that together before.
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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Whymme wrote:
You could turn the thing around with something evolutionary. Players are organisms and the 'customers' are different types of terrain/climate. Each terrain fits one organism best, according to the organism's cascading preferences. The players work hard to adapt their organisms to terrains that open up.

Yes, I had the same thought. Thanks!
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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Thanks for all the great ideas so far!

I thought of another twist on the theme: Instead of trying to attract these units with preferences, perhaps you are trying to keep them away. Maybe you don't want your "thing" to be chosen.
 
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Nate Straight

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PasiMax wrote:
or maybe something like speeddating/singles party?


Speed dating. Hells yes.

That would be hilarious.
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Chris Deliz
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peakhope wrote:
Thanks for all the great ideas so far!

I thought of another twist on the theme: Instead of trying to attract these units with preferences, perhaps you are trying to keep them away. Maybe you don't want your "thing" to be chosen.


Dog Eat Dog: A game about Middle Management domination through total inaction.

The goal? Reach top dog in your corporate management.

How? By sweet-talking the big wigs at every step while pushing your actual work onto other players so that they're too busy to get their foot in the door. Failure to complete all your work gets you fired, and doing too much work drains your invaluable ass-kissing time (and risks your going insane).

 
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