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Play Oosterwold for RVOB

Play Oosterwold! playing session with the RVOB on July 19th 2012.

Report "Play Oosterwold!"

20.07.2010 (12h00-15h00) with RVOB employees

A chronological documentation of the game playing, the players comments, remarks and proposals.

1. First phase: intake & shopping

This phase takes from 12h00 to 14h00.


Players arrive and are directed towards the intake at the bank. They are asked for their income and are awarded the maximal possible lone they could theoretically take based on this income.

Players choose one of the pre-defined avatars (small entrepreneur, ....) and write their business idea on a speech bubble/drop, which they position, on the carpet representing the entire area of future Oosterwold.

Q: "is it where you want to live or where you want to work" - A: "can be both"

Players go to the "shop" and get a plot of land that fits to their business idea.

Power point presentation Ekim

The players are explained the rules and elements of the game: the parcel passports, the different types of parcels, the different game pieces, the building phases of the game.

Players are stimulated to collaborate with each other.

A photo shoot of every player takes place.

Shopping phase

Players take long to understand which pieces they should buy and finding them.

Player tries to collaborate with the bank rather than with each other

A lot of people try to lend more money from the bank than they are allowed to by its calculations.

A player buying a “parasite building”, meaning that he buys a building, not a plot, fuels the liveliest interaction between players. He has to look for hosts for his building.

The players' answers and critics during the first phase

"The sizes of farmland aren´t realistic (they are all too small to have a real profit-rendering farm)."

"Why is the amount of the loan based on my income and not f.e. on the quality of my business plan?"

"What´s next? Will I be able to generate income with my farm/supermarket...?"

"There are too many pieces to pick from"

"There aren´t enough pieces: if I want to build a "pig city/tower", it cannot be defined as stables as these would be to cheap, but it would be cheaper than building human dwellings. There is no in-between category."

"What if I spend all my money? Should I spend all my money?"

"Parking isn´t included and is actually the bottle-neck of planning"

"Why should I buy solar panels, will I make money with them?"

"I have a supermarket, why do I need to buy water pieces?"

2. Second phase (after lunch)

Placing the plot and building roads

Presentation of each players' goal/strategy: "I´m building a..."

"...small village for senior residents, where they can do urban agriculture. It has to be far from the main roads. I have a lot of money left, what can I do with it?"

"...normal house and I want to be near a road."

"...supermarket near the road. I need customers!"

"...a 200 sqm home and some offices. I have a lot of place left for other players that need space."

"...a brothel. Someone has to do it."

"...a newspaper shop. I want to live near the supermarket. I live on top of my shop."

"...a chicken farm and my own house."

"...a megastable with a lot of sun collectors."

"...a home office and a garden"

Negotiation phase and moving around the plots (a lot)

Some players cause other players to move away again and again from their stinky chicken farm or brothel. Lots of laughter and commotion.

"What is the end goal of the game?"

The supermarket owner is dissapointed because the game doesn´t allow him to generate income. He sells his supermarket for 10.000 Euros.

Players realise that they can´t spend their money and start compiling their money to buy a swimming pool or a discotheque.

Players try to reinvent their program, f.e. converting an office building to a slaughterhouse.

"Who wins the game?"

3. Game Evaluation


*Observations that players end up clustering together (after avoiding the stinky farmer).

*Interaction is the key: how can we deal with this in real time? F.e. online simulations could help.

*The prices should be reconsidered.

*Next time, a second banker is needed (to make the first phase shorter and to avoid long queues).

Players critique towards the game playing

*(see also " The players answers and critics during the first phase")

*The rules and goals should be presented before the intake.

*We are automatically granted the maximum loan. Nobody will ever do this.

*The loans are to low.

*The plot sizes are not realistic; especially agricultural plots are much too small.

*We miss targets. It isn´t possible to make money! Why does the game end now?

Players conclusions regarding the master plan

*If there is no zoning, there will be eternal moving on the game board (f.e. the stinky chicken player causing ongoing commotion).

*This will be the problem: somebody comes to live here, but he has no supermarket. An investor should come and build 500 houses so that the supermarket is will be profitable. These 500 houses will look much more like a VINEX-settlement than as the idealistic houses depicted in the Master plan.

*City farming isn´t profitable

*Q: If I buy a plot that is too large for my to fully exploit, why would anybody want to build his house on my plot – he can buy his own land for almost nothing! A: because he can provide the infrastructure for me. So people might start catering infrastructure to other people?

*We miss the role of the government/municipality: who will build libraries and other facilities? These could be attractors for people to move there. Place for this cannot be reserved retroactively. If the municipality would buy the land and sell it with a small margin of profit, they could build these facilities.

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