Strategy of the Commons

Team: Dan Melancon, David Tracy and Saki Hayashi

Strategy of the Commons is a game that explores the application of Game Theory to a dynamic system of exchange such as the CitiBike system in New York City.

Through gameplay we aim to address the following question: Can the implementation of system wide penalties and bonuses influence the behavior of self interested players? Furthermore, can we fine-tune these penalties and bonuses to achieve system balance?

The core gameplay works as such:
– Six stations distributed throughout the fourth floor of ITP.
– Each station starts with the exact same stock.
– Up to fifteen players must navigate the system, collecting points for redistributing stock
– Players intermittently receive missions that they must complete, or they will receive a penalty.
– If a station becomes completely empty, or completely filled, a system-wide penalty is activated
– the penalty steals one point from everyone in the system every five seconds and deposits these points at the unbalanced station as a bonus to whoever restores the system (by depositing stock at an empty station or taking stock from a full station)
– After ten minutes of play, the player with the highest point total wins.




The first play test with three stations and 15 players, touching RFID card to the reader.Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 1.53.43 PM

The first play test, touching RFID card to the reader.


Prototyping RFID six readers


RFID card readers as stations the players touch
Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 6.29.59 PM

The second play test with six stations and 15 people
Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 6.58.02 PM

The web/ mobile interface from the mission control screen

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 6.32.24 PM

A player accepting points

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