Game Mechanic For Hire

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Prisoners’ Dilemma, 8.22.08

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Lets rock this! With one of the coolest and hardest mechanics to work with: Prisoners’ dilemma.

Quick rundown for all y’all. A decision is offered to a group of people to share or be greedy. If everyone decides to share, everyone gets $10. However, if one (and only one) person decides to be greedy, that one person gets $20 and everyone else gets $7. If more than one person chooses to be greedy, the benefit of being greedy drops signifigantly with each person to do so; to the point of if all but one person chooses to be greedy, everyone who is greedy gets $1
while the sharing person gets $8.

One way to use prisoners’ dilemma is resource distribution. Everyone has a member of their team working the same mine. 12 resources are hauled up from it. To divide them up, each player chooses whether to cooperate or be selfish. Being the only selfish player really offers a boost to your economy, but destroys the trust other players have for you… unless you aren’t the only selfish player.

You could also tie it to action allotment for the round. In a Roman Senate game, you would have a phase to determine how long everyone has to speak. A single player being insistant that they need more time than everyone else works, but too many doing so bogs down the Senate and causes everyone to lose actions instead of gain them.

You can also incorporate economics to prisoners’ dilemma, as well. Using the mine worker example above, you have to pay for what you take. So, you may be greedy and get more resources than anyone else, but you’re going to pay for it.

Keep designing, yo!



Written by krinklechip

August 17, 2009 at 9:48 pm

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