Redemption Games

CoinOperated games that pay out tickets (or sometimes something else). Many of them have Jackpots. Think: "Skee ball." Usually found in FamilyEntertainmentCenter?s like Chuck E. Cheese (sp?) and the like.


Concepts specific to redemption

Generative Sequence

Note: this is the first GameDesign GenerativeSequence. It is being created as much to learn about sequences to make a useful one, so expect lots of revisions.

  1. Choose one of the FourteenFormsOfFun as your central idea. As the game evolves, look for places where you can use others to support it.
  2. Create a CompellingGoal. Remember to think in terms of the primary audience, young children.
  3. Players expect to walk up to a game and be able to play it immediately. Have a ClearShortTermGoal, and pay especial attention to Make The First Action Painfully Obvious. In the simplest examples, this action is the entire game. (SimpleAsPossible)
  4. Something in the game game needs AsymmetricalDistribution to vary the ticket payout.
  5. Number of players: Most redemption games are OnePlayerGames. Sometimes they support multiple player modes, but one player play should always be possible.
  6. Actions should have PerceivableConsequences, even if the exact results are uncertain or values not constant.
  7. Because operators like to have consistent payout, and because the player skill may vary wildly, there is a delicate balance of LuckVersusStrategy?. There must be some luck so younger players are not discouraged, but with no capability for skill, other players will lose interest. Yet operators will not like the game if highly skilled players cause them to lose money.
  8. OpportunityToWin should have a random element. (See also: RandomReinforcementSchedule)
  9. As a PayPerPlay game, cut out inessential game play to put as much fun as possible into a short play time: 2.5_Seconds?, SimpleAsPossible.



Amber & I took Sakura to "Chuck E. Cheese's." We'd been to GameWorks? just 2 weeks before, also with Sakura. She loves the RedemptionGame``s..! At any rate:

GameWorks? is your typical RedemptionGame center. But at ChuckeCheese?``s, it's different-

Every game gives you 4 tickets!

This is part of what I think they call their "Everyone's a winner" policy. No matter how well you do in the game, or how poorly, you always get 4 tickets!

I was pretty bummed. But I suppose it alleviates the pain of a lot of crying, unhappy kids..!

-- LionKimbro

What state are you in? May not be a factor since both places were presumeabely in the same jurisdiction, but laws do vary - some places require the fixed payouts so it doesn't get too close to gambling. I know CeC? is more interested in play value than many places, but I wasn't aware of a fixed payout policy. -- Justin_Love?

I'm in Seattle, Washington. GameWorks? pays out proportional to your score. CeC? just does 4 tickets per game, regardless. (They even print out right after you put in your quarters..! You don't have to throw a ball once..!)

In Santa Cruz, California, we have the beach boardwalk. This is also a score-based payout. (I used to live in Santa Cruz, though I now live in Seattle.) -- LionKimbro