CA$ 891
pledged of CA$ 240,000pledged of CA$ 240,000 goal
11
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, January 16 2017 9:40 PM UTC +00:00
Robert Van de WaterBy Robert Van de Water
First created
Robert Van de WaterBy Robert Van de Water
First created
CA$ 891
pledged of CA$ 240,000pledged of CA$ 240,000 goal
11
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, January 16 2017 9:40 PM UTC +00:00

About

So you want to have a game night with a few good friends, some drinks and some good food. You invite a few friends over but a couple of them want to bring other people.  You end up with 6 people and a problem.  What do you play?

There are a lot of great games out there for four players, but 5 and 6 player games tend to become marathons that turn beginners off to strategy games.  Is it possible to design a strategy game for 5-8 players that is fun, fast-paced, engaging and accessible to new players?  Merchant Houses of Venice is that game. 

The design goal of Merchant Houses of Venice is to create a board game that offers strategy, frantic trade and a fun gaming experience with 5-8 players. The heart of the game is trade as players seek to obtain the commodities they need to fulfill lucrative contracts.  Other game elements include reputation, taxes, logistics, random events, intrigue, security and powerful elite agents with special abilities. 

For the full rules, visit the developer's blog:  

https://merchanthousesofvenice.wordpress.com.

Risks and challenges

There are many challenges in creating a game that is fast-paced for a large number of players. The principal problem is how to speed up gameplay in order to keep players interested and engaged. In order to speed up gameplay, we must first identify the bottlenecks that slow it down. I call the reason that multiplayer turn-based games slow to a crawl the "each by every player" phenomena.

For the sake of simplicity, let us consider the game of Catan. In a four player game of Catan, each player must interact with and consider the positions of 3 other players. Since that player cannot act except on his or her turn, their attention is usually away from the game until it is their turn and they can do something. At that point, they look at their hands, look at the positions on the board, trade with other players and take their turn. Player 1 interacts with 2,3 and 4 player 2 interacts with 1, 3 and 4 etc… Following the simple model, each turn requires 4 x 3 = 12 player interactions.

The problem comes in when we ask the question, “How does the average turn length scale with the number of players?” For a six player game, player 1 must interact with player 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 etc… This means that a 6 player game of Catan will contain 6 x 5 = 30 player interactions. Using this simplistic “player interaction” model, therefore, a 6 player game takes 2.5 times as long as a 4 player game.

In order to keep players engaged and turns as short as possible, Merchant Houses of Venice uses a unique system of timed, simultaneous game turns where player actions are resolved by a Game Executor who knows the rules well. For more detailed information on the rules, components, development plan and game design philosophy see the Merchant Houses of Venice blog (link in the sidebar).

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 10 or more About $8

    Supporter

    You like the sound of the game but you cannot buy the Bare Bones version? A supporter at this level will receive a set of PDF files that will detail how to print a simple version of the game. Players can play that crude version with friends and even suggest improvements as part of the playtesting process. Make a suggestion to improve the game that is incorporated, and an Elite Agent will be named in your honor!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 40 or more About $31

    Bare Bones

    Supporters at this level will receive a 4 player version of Merchant Houses of Venice with fewer playing pieces and cards.

    At some point in the future, a 2 player and 4 player expansion pack will be available to allow supporters at this level to enjoy the 6 and 8 player versions of the game.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 80 or more About $61

    Basic Game

    Supporters at this level will receive the basic Merchant Houses of Venice game including:

    The Merchant Houses of Venice Rules
    The Game Board
    Player pieces for 8 players
    Hundreds of Commodity Cards
    50 Elite Agent Cards
    50 Trader Cards
    100 Contract Cards
    100 Intrigue Cards
    20 Event Cards

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Funding period

- (30 days)