Monday, November 3, 2014

Market Mechanic Lecture: Retrospective

The Market Mechanic Lecture series examines different market mechanics to explore how to better use them in board games.  The series makes a point to clarify from an economic perspective what is a market mechanic vs. a market theme. 


There is a concern that people are missing out on good economic mechanics in board games because they associated them with bad market themed games.  By better defining how to use economic mechanics, the series highlights how good economic mechanic are fun for board game players.   Below is a link to all the articles in the series with a few sentences explaining each article's topic.


Articles:

Introduction

The Introduction lays out the concern that people are missing out on good economic mechanics in board games because they associated them with bad market themed games.  To be able to distinguish the two, it defines what is the difference between a market mechanic and a market theme.   


Trade

Trade mechanics are challenging to design  in board games because both players must benefit from engaging in the trade.  A trade mechanic must be a voluntary exchange between players, such as in Settlers of Catan.  A trade theme, like in Acquire, is when players do not make direct voluntary exchanges with each other.


Money

Money mechanics are a tool board game designers can use to simplify board game play.  It makes it easier for players to trade and lets designers communicate certain game rules with a small set of numbers versus a long and complicated spread sheet.

Prices

Price mechanics are a tool that players use to communicate information with each other within a board game.  It allows players to compete over who can best mange and obfuscate information.


Auctions (Most Read)

A game designer who desires to use an auction mechanics will improve their design if they understand the strengths and weaknesses of auction mechanics highlighted in this post.


Credit (Loans) (2nd Most Read)

Whether a game uses a credit mechanic or a credit theme, this post explains how board game designers can improve either by better understanding how both are used in the real world.


Property Rights

Property rights mechanics enable players to have meaningful choices and personal interactions within board games.  Without property rights players cannot engage in trade, use price mechanics, engage in auctions, or use a credit mechanic.

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