Monday, October 11, 2010

Memphis results

Here's the final wrap-up from the Gamecon Memphis competition.  My game, Yoggity, got third, with a recommendation that it might be better for 6-8 year olds.

One frustration - the testers apparently never traded anything, and trading is key to the game with more than two players.  With two players, you can actually collect enough resources to make things on your own, and the strategy comes in when you decide how and when to use your coins and when it's a good idea to cancel an order.  Plus, any trade is likely to benefit your opposition as much as you, so it's difficult to do anything other than zero-sum trades, so people tend not to trade much.

With more than two players, you don't often have all the resources you need, so you have to trade, and making good trades is a huge part of the strategy. I'm not positive the game was played by more than two at a time, so it's possible that's why they didn't trade.  But I'd think they'd try it with more judges than just two, and I think I made trading a clear part of the rules, so I'm surprised that they wouldn't try trades in that case - there's a clear strategic advantage in a three player game for two players to make a trade that hoses the third.  In multi-player games, the best traders nearly always win.

Without the trading, the game could be probably be playable by an 8-year-old (a six year old would still have trouble, at least the 6-year-olds I've known), but with trading, you have to be pretty smart, clever, and charming to come up with good deals that are appealing to all sides, and kids would not be able to make that kind of decision consistently well.

I guess that's a problem submitting a game anonymously - you don't get a chance to demo or explain the game.  But that's going to be the case if you're selling your game to the public, too, especially if they're picking it up off a game store shelf.  So, I've got to make it more clear in the rules that trading is key to the game.

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