|Burton ship, image courtesy of|
I haven't mentioned the other work-in-progress, which I actually put together sooner and playtested a few times already. This earlier design has the working title "Supply and Demand." The board is a matrix with axes indicating supply (horizontal) and demand (vertical). A cross-reference of each index yields a commodity price on the board. A transparent marker on the board shows the current price of the commodity. Players get partial information into cards that show positive or negative movement in supply and/or demand. Players then buy and sell "contracts" among each other at whatever price they think will earn a profit when all the cards are played face up and the final market price resolved. Players who bought markers have to sell them to the bank at the final market price; those who sold markers to other players have to buy them back at the final market price. So a profit is made when a player bought lower or sold higher than the final market reconciliation price. After two playtests (one at home, one with my local gaming group), I made some simplifications and other improvements. I think the result is pretty smooth and ready for some serious attention.
Seth Jaffee's blog about a very similar-sounding game called Panic by James Earnest, Greg Parsons, and Mick Sullivan. This seems to be the story of my short game-design life. I could dedicate an entire blog post to games I've designed just in time to discover another professionally made game that already does what I was trying to do, better than I did myself.
East India Company, so I guess I will probably have to change the working title of my colonization-trade game, too.
Nature of the beast, I guess.