Monday, August 24, 2009

On adding a money auction

Since I'm dropping the geographical portion from what was Rodeo Drive - a fairly interactive part of the game - I think it may turn out to be important to have an additional interactive mechanism in the game.

Perhaps this money auction can serve that purpose.

Regarding format, I was considering either a Goa style once-around auction, or a Container style blind bid. Each of those formats have up-sides and down sides, and I was leaning toward the Goa style auction. The thing I like least about that auction is the turn order for bidding. Karlo in BGDF chat recommended changing up the turn order such that the closer you were in the bluff auction to guessing the right number, the later in the turn order you get to bid in the money auction. In a once around auction it's an advantage to bid later in the turn order. I wasn't sure how this would work considering that some players would effectively be tied for closest (players who have not bid for example, or a player who overbid by 2 and a player who underbid by 2). Karlo's suggestion was to have all tied players bid simultaneously (Container-style), followed by the next player(s) in turn order.

I think that would work well for the nonparticipants (players who didn't end up with a bid marker on the Auction Track in question), and perhaps for the overbidders, with only the underbidders getting unique turn order for bidding in the money auction.

So that's where I'm at right now in my thinking for this game - adding a money auction with approximately that format. I think this could do a number of good things for the game.

In other news, I had pondered disallowing track-jumping when you've been outbid in the bluff auction. However I think I've realized that that would effectively ruin a lot of the mechanism, and would in general be dumb.


Andrew said...

I don't know whether you've mentioned how many tracks each player gets to bid on during the bluff auction, but even if it's as many as three it's good to allow track-jumping just to open up the possibility of attempting to get the least-valuable item "for free" (i.e. bid one on it) without necessarily committing to that track if someone wants to fight for it.

If you did want to disallow track-jumping, you could also consider instituting a maximum deviation between the bid and the actual value for an item (thematically, if the item sits for too long, natural forces or local raiders cause it to be lost forever). That may have other weird effects, though.

Seth Jaffee said...

The maximum number of tracks a player can bid on depends on the number of players. I'm looking at 4/3/2 tracks for 2/3/4+ players.

I do think track jumping is important. If disallowing it, I think each player would have to have a bid on each track or something, and when I considered that I didn't like where it was going. The jumping is largely how you get to bluff, and that's a big part of the bluff auction mechanism!