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					                         Pair-of-Dice Games announces it’s latest game.
                                 Now taking reservations for…

                                 Restaurant Row
Greetings gaming world!

After several years of development, I’m happy to announce that Restaurant Row, my latest and
most ambitious game, will be released in the summer of 2009. In addition to advertising its
imminent arrival, this announcement will help me to determine some important aspects of its
release. How? Read on.

First, let me introduce the game. Restaurant Row is a Euro-style strategy game which takes from
2-6 players. In this game, each player will take control over one restaurant in the same street in
the next up and coming foodie neighborhood in New York City. The goal is to become the top
restaurant on the block by the time the neighborhood matures into a well-known foodie
destination. To do that you have to get the best ingredients, hire good employees, beautify your
restaurant space, and impress the critics and public. But be sure to keep your costs in line,
because if you can’t pay off your loans your debt will count against you at the end. And finally,
beware the fickleness of the public. What they think is important in a restaurant may change as
time goes on. This neighborhood will be known for something, but what will it be best known
for? It’s food? It’s popularity? It’s critical acclaim? The answer to that question will help
determine who wins the game.

Preview Images of the Game

This game will be Pair-of-Dice Games’ most complex game to date, both in terms of gameplay
and production. The first thing you’ll notice is the packaging. Instead of the plastic clamshell
that we’ve used for Chopstick Dexterity MegaChallenge 3000, this game will be packaged in a
cardboard box.

This is because the board is bigger than our other games. The board, which was really the
inspiration for the game, is housed in a restaurant menu cover.
The four corners of the board each house one restaurant.

                                          By the way, included are privacy screens which lets
                                          you keep your money amounts secret, one per

                                          The inside of the screen includes gameplay reminders
                                          so that each player has a handy reference.

The middle of the board holds the stores which you use to buy ingredients, renovations, and hire

It also holds a track for the number of customers in the neighborhood, the bank, and the all
important “Word of Mouth” indicator which shows which aspect of a restaurant is worth the
most Victory Points. Here are the six Word of Mouth categories, each associated with a type of
                                             Remember when I said that this game plays from 2-6
                                             players? But the menu only has room for four
                                             restaurants. There’s an extra sheet with room for the
                                             extra two restaurants if you want to play with 5-6

Plus (and this is really neat if you don’t mind me saying
so) the reverse side of the menu contains the two player
board, which has adjustments in stores and restaurant
spaces to accommodate gameplay with two players.

                                         The board is a menu cover that contains letter sized
                                         sheets of paper. The plastic is utilized to help
                                         restaurants keep track of the key scoring categories
                                         Food and Popularity, which are cumulative throughout
                                         the game. Players write in cumulative Food and
                                         Popularity bonuses at the end of each round.

                                         A dry erase pen is included in game. The pen will
                                         also be useful for keeping track of each restaurant’s
                                         Star Rating.
Game Play

This will be a short description of gameplay to explain the flavor of the game.

This game is a strategic game in the spirit of the modern Eurogame. One of the key mechanics
of the game is the simultaneous blind reveal.

In each “day” that the restaurants are open, the restaurants have three rounds to shop in the
various shops to buy ingredients, renovations, and hire employees. There are six stores: a
seafood store, a butcher shop, a farmer’s market, the Help Wanted store, the Renovations store,
and the Bank, from which restaurants may borrow money. Each player decides which of the six
stores he or she wants to visit, and then chooses the number of the store on their die. When each
player has chosen, they each reveal their choice simultaneously.

Seafood is expensive, but has the best added quality as seen by the number of forks. It is also
more scarce than the other ingredients. Vegetables are cheap and plentiful, but doesn’t add as
many forks. Meat is in the middle of both price and quantity.

The actual tokens, by the way, are wooden pieces with stickers put on them. These are printed
with a color laserprinter. People who have bought my games in the past have probably had
similar game pieces printed with a color inkjet. The color laser I bought last year is much better
and sharper.

If a player is the only player to choose a store, he or she only has to pay the minimum price for
their goods. If a player is at the store along with another player or players, the goods are
auctioned off in a blind bid. The player closest to the start player pawn chooses which good to
bid upon, and all players in the bid choose how much they wish to bid and put that amount in
their fist. When all bidders have chosen, they reveal simultaneously and the highest bidder wins
the good. The remaining bidders choose from what’s left.
Employees and Renovations can give a restaurant useful abilities. For example, a Sommelier lets
you earn more per customer and a Dance Floor attracts the first Scenester. This is in addition to
the large numbers which contain the Service rating and Ambiance rating of each, respectively.
Some Renovations, like the New Furniture, don’t add anything but Ambiance. But they add a lot
of Ambiance, and are expensive.

After three rounds of shopping, the players set their prices. This is
once again done by a simultaneous reveal. Players set their die to
choose the price that they will charge customers, then reveal them.
Cheaper restaurants may attract bargain seeking customers, but
more expensive restaurants could earn a lot of money. Having a
higher star rating enables a restaurant to charge more.

After the prices are set, the customers are seated. The number of customers in the neighborhood
grows from round to round according to a dice roll. There are six categories of customers, each
of whom like different things in a restaurant.

   •   Foodies like the best food, as measured by the quality of the food you’ve bought, though
       some like different types of food.
   •   Locals like the best service, as measured by the ratings on the employees that you’ve
   •   Executives like the best ambiance, as measure by the renovations you’ve bought, and
       they pay more than the average customer.
   •   Cheapskates like a bargain, so they go to the cheapest place. They pay less than the
       average customer.
   •   Tourists like the highest star rating.

In addition to those customers,
there are two special customers,
The Critic and The Shill.
The Critic is always seated in every round as the 10th patron. Once seated, the Critic
immediately judges the quality of your restaurant’s food, service, and ambiance and adjusts your
rating accordingly.

The Shill, when drawn, is not seated as usual. Instead he is bid upon by the restaurants in a blind
auction. The winning restaurant gets to seat him, and may either immediately adjust the
restaurant’s star rating up by 1, or change of Word of Mouth rankings which determine victory
points at the end of the game.

After all of the customers are seated. The restaurants are paid (Price x # of Customers), but then
must pay their employees and any interest in their loans. The Word of Mouth indicator is
adjusted based on the customers present in the most popular restaurant. Every type of customer
prsent in the most popular restaurant has their category boosted by one in the Word of Mouth
rankings, if possible. This is to reflect the general buzz that happens about a neighborhood’s
food scene.

The restaurants with the best food and most popularity are marked on the indicators, the
ingredients and the customers are returned, and the next round begins by stocking the stores.

The game ends in the round in which all restaurants are full, or when all of the Employees or
Renovations have made it to their respective stores. In the final round, the Victory Point
conditions are counted. Any money in loans unpaid at the end of the game count against a
restaurant’s victory points.

“So, can I take your reservation?”

Despite how this might seem, the purpose of this preview is not to try to convince everyone on
earth to buy this game, though certainly I would like there to be interest. The purpose is to try
and gauge how much interest there will be in this game given how its produced and the price
point. For each of my games, I have a pricing formula which determines how much I charge for
a game based on the materials which go into the game and the labor necessary to make each
game. For this game, the pricing formula places the game in the $35-40 range, which is quite a
bit more than my other games. The gameplay is quite a bit deeper than my other games as well,
and the actual production is much better than any other game I’ve done, so I believe it’s worth it.
However, will the gaming public feel the same way?

Quite simply, as this game is so different in both feel and production from my other games, I do
not have any idea what the interest level will be in this game. The struggling economy puts
some doubt as well. Will I sell 50? Or 500? Or so many that I really should get an outside
company to manufacture them? I really don’t know. So that is why I’ve taken the step of
putting together this very detailed overview in advance of the game’s release. The game
components, given my homespun production methods, can take some time to assemble. And this
is by far the most complex game production that I’ve undertaken, so I could use some advance
information about what the interest level is.

After you’ve taken the time to read all of this preview, please take this poll and let me know
what you anticipate your interest level in this game to be. Please do this even if you have
concluded that you are not interested in buying this game. Even that information will be helpful
to me in figuring out how many people have read this preview, and how attractive this game is to
the gaming public.

I should say that whatever the results of the poll, I will be selling the game this year as soon as I
can get things together and finish the final playtestings. This will only inform my preparations.

By the way, the cartoon art is by Scott Starkey, who also did the logo for Chopstick Dexterity
MegaChallenge 3000. Great job by him.

Q: Will you be buying a copy of Restaurant Row?

After you’ve finished reading this preview, please go to the game’s Board Game Geek web page
at and vote in the preview thread at as to your level of interest in this game based on
reading this preview.

1.   I’m ordering a copy as soon as I possibly can!
2.   Sounds fun! I’ll put it on my list.
3.   I’ll look to play a game down the line, and if I like it then I might buy one.
4.   I’ll see how the reviews go.
5.   Anything’s possible, but probably not.
6.   I’ve read the preview, but I can’t imagine buying it.

Thanks for reading, and Bon Appetit!

–– Greg Lam
   Pair-of-Dice Games
   May 16, 2009

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