Create your own Monopoly Game
June 28, 2002 6:20 AM   Subscribe

Create your own Monopoly Game Surely the perfect customised gift? You can change the name of the game, the theme, the name of the properties/stations, and also the rules. Apparently it uses a 'What You See Is What You Get Realtime Interface', which allows users to personalise the game completely to their requirements, and then print out and proof the new design. What I find most interesting about this product offering is that the whole process is completely automated. Once you've designed and ordered your customised game, it goes straight to print/production, and is then sent out to you. No human intervention is required. This appears to me to be pretty ground breaking stuff (well in the Toy World anyway), or am I just way behind the times? (via the Ecademy discussion list)
posted by RobertLoch (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Very cool. I looked at the "Terms and Conditions" on the UK site, and it said they could only deliver within the UK. Anyone know of anything similar for those of us in the US?
posted by pardonyou? at 6:30 AM on June 28, 2002

Tempting... What would a blogger's version look like, for instance? Which A-listers would get the more desirable, dark blue properties?

As a child, before they brought out the Portuguese version of Monopoly I never lost a game, thanks to being in charge of translating the rules for all my Portuguese friends...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:31 AM on June 28, 2002

No human intervention is required

Call me a cynic, but I don't believe that their production runs would justify a fully automated systems. I am sure it is very easy to automate/integrate the design and printing, but I don't reckon the assembly and packing would also be part of a seamless production process.

Great idea though, I would be tempted. Price is not too bad for what it is. Keeps it a bit exclusive.
posted by Frasermoo at 6:32 AM on June 28, 2002

In terms of digital printing, automated impositioning (i.e. taking what's on your screen and sending it to a press without human typesetting) isn't brand-spanking new, but the technology is still evolving and developing usability. Lots of vaporware "business solutions" have sprung up and died around the concept, though there's still a lot of energy in the practice and much money to be made by those who can offer the right product to the right audience at the right price.

Excellent marriage of new print technologies for the novelty market. As somebody in the industry though, I'm looking forward to much a much wider spectrum of applications than "one-offs."
posted by junkbox at 6:34 AM on June 28, 2002

Very cool. I gotta think there'll be a US version pretty soon; this is too good an idea not to try to market in this country.
posted by briank at 6:35 AM on June 28, 2002

I'll save you the trouble; when you drill down through the Flash, you find that it costs 100 Quid including postage and handling in the U.K.
posted by rwkenyon at 6:36 AM on June 28, 2002

I don't think thats bad value...I'm going to make one for my son...he's 2 and a half...and it'll be a great memory for him of all the local & family places when he gets older...

I like it...
posted by mattr at 6:51 AM on June 28, 2002

actually barbie had this feature on it's site approximately two years ago. maybe not so much into detail, but you could customize and design the doll (hair color, eye color, skin color, face shape and outfit) and it would be automatically processed. i'm not sure if it's still up (it might not have been such a money-maker) but it ran along these sames lines.
posted by eatdonuts at 6:54 AM on June 28, 2002

The problem is, I can never get anyone to play Monopoly, even with changing the rules or using the fancy sets they already make. I don't think this would help.
posted by JanetLand at 6:55 AM on June 28, 2002

What would a blogger's version look like, for instance?

Go to MetaTalk. Go directly to MetaTalk. Do not e-mail mr. owie, do not collect haikus.
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:55 AM on June 28, 2002

'Call me a cynic, but I don't believe that their production runs would justify a fully automated systems.'

I don't know for certain about the packaging etc., what I do know is that once you order the game online, it goes straight to print and production. It is possible that a person physically puts the game in a box..although I thought everyone automated that now a days.
posted by RobertLoch at 7:26 AM on June 28, 2002

monopoly is a serious game that occasionally caused yelling and least in my house. My wife is a twin and is very competitive with monopoly. I've played two separate times with both of them (wife and twin) and have refused to do so again.

It's the best in business, you try to steal money and get property for absolute nothing when someone lands on your property with hotels and they have about $1 in their bank.
posted by mkelley at 7:28 AM on June 28, 2002

miguel, you must have been king of the Mediterranean property. Uh, the one with the ........$15 rent.
posted by thomcatspike at 8:15 AM on June 28, 2002

100 Quid = ?how many $US bucks
posted by thomcatspike at 8:18 AM on June 28, 2002

i'm not sure it this info is exactly on topic, but it's in the vein of 'make your own products your damn self' kinda thing.


they have a range of products, t-shirts, coasters, canvas bags, mugs, etc... that you can submit artwork to be printed on. you also set up a 'virtual store' and sell quantities of these products you make, yourself. all of this for free.

now - the products all have a base price (at which i'm sure cafepress makes money) but it's relatively cheap. i'm also sure many people will try to make money with their new free store. *sigh* but basically it comes down to being able to have your own t-shirts printed, and instead of having to make 300 or something, you can just make one. it should be great for local bands, non for profits, all that type of thing.

for grassroots type groups (like mefi) i think it would be great as well. i may buy a few different clever versions of metafilter shirts...

i've rambled on quite a bit now. i must get to work...
posted by folktrash at 8:23 AM on June 28, 2002

For me, this idea lost its charm when I read the Terms and Conditions. No obscenity?

Now I'm never going to get to play Fuckopoly.
posted by Samsonov14 at 8:43 AM on June 28, 2002

thomcatspike, £100 GBP = $152.392 USD

Additionaly, if anyone in the States, or anywhere else for that matter wants to use me as a delivery address, and I'll post it onto you, just holler.
posted by ajbattrick at 9:00 AM on June 28, 2002

The problem is, I can never get anyone to play Monopoly, even with changing the rules or using the fancy sets they already make. I don't think this would help.

Come to my house, JanetLand. We actually do have Family Game Night twice a week, and have for a lot longer than those commercials have been telling us that it's a good idea. We rotate between Monopoly, Sorry and Parcheesi for the kids and adults together and Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble for the after-bedtime grownups only sessions. We're board game lovers.

And this one is waaay too cool to pass up. I've printed out their space guide and I'll be working with my family at dinner tonight to create our own personalised game.
posted by Dreama at 9:05 AM on June 28, 2002

Dreama -- then you might also like this, which is a kit from which you can build your own Monopoly boards.
posted by briank at 9:43 AM on June 28, 2002

A neat novelty item. But the idea that people are actually still playing Monopoly depresses me, because it's a horrible game design. Way too long; a multi-player game that ejects players before the end, always a sin; repetitive gameplay. It's feeble designs like Monopoly, Sorry, and The Game of Life that have kept boardgaming out of mass culture in America. Here it is the domain of children and nerds. In Germany, family gaming is huge. Ordinary people get together and play games there the way Americans go out together to the movies.

Many of the best German boardgames, as well as American "designer boardgames" based on the same approach, are available in game stores. You can learn them quickly, they're great fun for three to six players (even grownups), and they're finished in 45 minutes.
posted by Allen Varney at 3:43 PM on June 28, 2002

In my previous message I wanted to add a link to a decent introductory site, Boardgamegeek's Top 10. But MeFi must have judged my post too long. Sorry.
posted by Allen Varney at 3:45 PM on June 28, 2002

Bah, you can't alter the 'Free Parking', 'Collect $200 Salary', 'Chance' and 'Community Chest' squares. Makes a Star Wars theme look kinda stupid, for example. No thanks.

Allen Varney, I have to respectfully disagree with you. Monopoly's design is almost as elegant as a typical German game's (eg Ra or Settlers of Catan). It involves a a combination of decisions to be made (trading and house placement) and luck. The only 'non-Germanic' elements are the uneven progression of property values and rents, and the chaotic results of the Chance and Community Chest cards. If a German designer had come up with it now, in 2002, there would be a predictable progression of rents and property prices, and instead of Chance and Community Chest cards there would probably be a single chart to roll dice against.

Monopoly is full of these little chaotic elements, but it is still a game with a great deal of depth to it, because players get to make decisions, and there is no clear algorithm for what decision should be made at any given time.

Monopoly is more like an Avalon Hill game, full of cases and exceptions. Sure, most of those games are crap, but my favorite board game of all time--Advanced Civilization, 18 hours of continuous interesting involvement :-)--is a brilliant game that has a foundation of cases and exceptions. If you could represent the rules of games as a geometrical object, games like Medici or Ra would be smooth elegant cubes or spheres or something, and Monopoly and Civilization would be much more uneven. This doesn't make them bad games.

For another contrast, compare the systems of 1st Edition AD&D with Star Wars. Star Wars is a far more elegant game, but D&D's chaotic-ness is part of the fun. Complicated rules create an element of skill in themselves: learning the rules and applying them correctly.

posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:59 PM on June 28, 2002

You make good points, Ash, but boardgames like Civilization, as well as Age of Renaissance and the like, are studies in themselves. Few people play these six-hour exercises casually. Ditto AD&D. They are hobby interests. That echoes my earlier point that Monopoly, by being overlong and dull (especially for those ejected early), has confined boardgaming in America to the realm of kids and nerds.
A good German-style boardgame, easy to learn, with interesting options throughout, and playable in 45 minutes, has a much better chance to interest a group of ordinary non-hobbyist grownups.
posted by Allen Varney at 8:22 AM on June 29, 2002

Monopoly, by being overlong and dull (especially for those ejected early), has confined boardgaming in America to the realm of kids and nerds.

I guess kids just love to play those dull, overlong board games! Who says attention spans are getting shorter?
posted by kindall at 11:59 AM on June 29, 2002

I'd classify Monopoly as a short board game, playable in under half an hour! Maybe you're playing with the wrong people, Allen? :-)

Some house rules: (1) No-one gets money until they spend or receive it for the first time, at which point they get change out of $1500 (or three $500 notes plus misc). (2) No dishonesty with rent for any reason. You land, you pay up straight away. (3) Play expeditiously. When it's your turn, roll the dice, spend your money, pass the dice on. No dilly-dallying. When you offer a trade, say what you want and what you'll give for it. When you're offered a trade, think it over quickly and then accept or reject. (4) The Magic Player Houses House Rule: houses are only bought during someone's turn. If you want them there prior to Freddy rolling the dice, tell Freddy to wait, place them, then continue the game. Freddy has to wait until all players have bought all the houses they want to.

One final 'rule', which amazingly has to be pointed out to some on-line Monopoly players: if you're facing bankruptcy, you may only trade so as to get out from under the debt, and leave you in some reasonably playable position. If your trades can't save you from bankruptcy, you're not allowed to make them. Prevents the spiteful practice of shafting the person you landed on by immediately giving all your stuff to your mutual opponent. In real life this is called defrauding creditors, and the only reason the Monopoly rules don't mention it is because it never occurred to them that anyone would be so childish.

If you want to play online, is good, when you can get a game free of creditor defrauders and disconnecters.

posted by aeschenkarnos at 7:39 PM on June 29, 2002

I'm told that if you play Monopoly strictly to the rules, and don't use any house-rules, it can be a reasonably good game. Still, I can't see why anyone would actually play the game when there are classics like Settlers, Puerto Rico, Tigris & Euphrates and El Grande out there.
posted by salmacis at 9:12 AM on June 30, 2002

I'm told that if you play Monopoly strictly to the rules, and don't use any house-rules, it can be a reasonably good game.

And especially for kids, as it teaches them about money management, judicious spending, honouring a debt, playing with strategy and fair play. Not to mention basic math. It's always good when you can incorporate learning into game play, and not just fantasyland escapsim.
posted by Dreama at 11:02 AM on June 30, 2002

Yes, but Dreama, it will also teach kids that board games are crap..
posted by salmacis at 11:20 AM on June 30, 2002

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