I’m considering designing a free-market themed game and was wondering if there are any boardgamers here that are familiar with German style economic games and might have some ideas in mind? I haven’t ruled out a card game and something like Race for the Galaxy or San Juan are examples of games that have the mechanical framework that might support the game play I am looking for. Here are some ideas I have in mind:
Theme- players are entrepreneurs trying to start and run a successful business beginning in a laissez-faire economy. Eventually, players have to contend with government regulations that hamper their efforts. The regulations I have in mind so far are price controls, minimum wage, and perhaps anti-trust legislation. I’d like the game to start with players investing in low skilled workers whose wages rise as productively increases. Eventually the company flourishes and only invests in high skilled labor. Whoever’s company has the most money at the end wins.
Mechanics- this is the tough part and where I’m looking for the most advice. I’d like to simulate a small market economy and if you’ve played games like Power Grid or Container, there are some very clever mechanics that deal with supply and demand. Starting with a loan players would invest it in workers and factories and upgrade to larger and more efficient factories as the game progresses. At various points during the game, a government event happens causing negative results. For instance, say at the beginning of the game, players can buy cheap labor but all of a sudden, it becomes expensive via a minimum wage to hire labor for a round or two. Or perhaps government fixes prices and players can all of a sudden buy resources for super cheap causing shortages.
Anyway, I realize this is pretty ambitious but I think it would be great to have a free-market game where you can observe the negative effects of market interventions on a small scale.
I think the mechanics I described above might be too difficult to implement at this point. So instead of events happening during the game, players can collect cards that will give them certain benefits, some at the expense of other players. Two questions:
1. What are the best examples of crony capitalism? So far, I've come up with Anti-trust, subsidies, tariffs, and bailouts. Any other big ones I am missing?
2. Players can become corrupt and may benefit but the game will punish the most corrupt player at the end. I want the players to be able to advance in areas that make their firm expand legitimately while at the same time face temptations from the State such as some of the items above. What positive areas should players be able to advance in? I'm not sure if the areas should be business related like "Research and Development" or something else. The idea is players will be collecting cards and advancing up a few tracks but I'm not sure what these tracks should be from a theme standpoint.
Thanks in advance.
I suggest learning a computer language for a game. Physical games are getting a little past their prime. You can find plenty of tutorials for C++ and Java.
Actually, there has been a resurgence since Settlers of Catan was published in 1995 and the market continues to grow since many of these games are being created for iOS. If your idea of these games is Monopoly, Uno and Risk, then you've missed the prime that is ongoing.
There are loads of excellent new board games out such as Shadows Over Cameolt, Battlestar Galactica, Dominion, Puerto Rico etc. They trade on one being mentally challenging unlike the popular perception of games and two being a proper communal activity- being around the same table is a more interactive experience than playing multiplayer on the TV.
The atoms tell the atoms so, for I never was or will but atoms forevermore be.
I've played Settlers of Catan and Cashflow 101. I was a Cashflow addict for a while.