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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Voting system mechanic-- origins? rss

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Joey V

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I'm posting here in Variants instead of General since I figured more sophisticated players would reside here.

Anyone know the origins of the great voting system mechanic in TI3? Did Christian Petersen invent it in the first TI, or is it directly inspired by some other game? (I'm referring of course to the mechanic where a player can devote resources to having more votes, and the laws voted on change the basic rules of the game...) What other games use this mechanic? It seems to simply be called "Voting" in the mechanics list on BGG, mixed in with other voting games, and that is sad since it's such a great mechanic.

I feel like the idea is far better than the specific implementation in TI3, but I've been enjoying reading all the variants where people take out boring laws.
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Terry Smith
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I've got some bad news, I read Variants and am not very sophisticated.

I'd like to read what the others will say, but as for a quick primer I can say that FFG uses a very similar voting mechanic in Warrior Knights.

After doing some procrastinating digging I see that the original Games Workshop version of Warrior Knights that was published in 1985 had a voting mechanic in it as well so that may have been the inspiration for FFG/Mr. Petersen.


Terry
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Scott Lewis
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cannibalkid wrote:
Anyone know the origins of the great voting system mechanic in TI3? Did Christian Petersen invent it in the first TI, or is it directly inspired by some other game? (I'm referring of course to the mechanic where a player can devote resources to having more votes, and the laws voted on change the basic rules of the game...)

The system in TI3 is different than that in TI1 or TI2. In the earlier games, you didn't exhaust your planets when buying things; they simply produced money for you each round which you spent at certain times during the round. Thus, it was "new" to TI3.

Whether or not it was inspired by another game, I don't know, but I do like the system. For some groups it doesn't work as well, but it's not uncommon to see players being careful with their resources until after the vote has come up, as while some votes are more trivial than others, there are enough that can have significant impacts that players don't want to be relegated to uselessness for that round
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Joey V

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thanks for looking into this, I've been reading about Warrior Knights.

I love that game designers don't sue other designers who incorporate and improve elements of existing innovations
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Scott Lewis
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cannibalkid wrote:
I love that game designers don't sue other designers who incorporate and improve elements of existing innovations

Unless there's a patent on something, I don't think they could, anyway. Game mechanics aren't copyrightable, and I think it would take something pretty intricate to even be patentable.
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Terry Smith
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Well in the case of Warrior Knights it doesn't matter. FFG bought the rights to that game from Games Workshop and republished their own version of WK in 2006.

Not sure when they bought it, but it was probably a few years prior to when TI3 was released in 2005, which makes them stealers of their own voting mechanic. …fools!

I originally only brought up that it was in Games Workshop's 1985 edition because that might have been the first place FFG saw it.

Scott is right that game mechanic's aren't able to be copyrighted anyway.
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Sébastien Gamache
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I don't know who , but I'm pretty sure someone ended up with a Assembly/Political Strategy Card Voting setting ala Warrior Knights with putting your votes on differents agendas!

Quite interesting!
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Joshua Speelman
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First game I played with a voting mechanic was Vampire: The Eternal Struggle. It added an awesome dynamic to that game. Haven't played TI3 yet but the voting was how I convinced my wife that we should get TI because she loved the voting in VTES.
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