Lots of props
Play ToughRoad virtual and in physical tangible surroundings. The game offers ToughRoad Kroner, chicken cards, coffee cards, real coffee and much more.
To see parts of the game and prepare for a ToughRoad game, you can log on to our demo server. Since there are no other players, you shall not expect the big action. However, you have the entire game to yourself!
All the players in ToughRoad draw a “role card” explaining who they are and which role they have in the game.
Every person has his own destiny and tasks, but it is determined by his/her role in society and the global trade with coffee. Click on the map above to learn more about the individual role or see below:
The peasant shall survive and secure the future for himself and his family. That requires he sells his harvest at the right time and terms, invests in his children and/or production, and/or cooperating with other peasants. Further, he shall provide for his household, pay off any debt, and react to external events. Several strategies will be available, depending on what the peasant chooses and by collective resources and cooperation in the village.
The trader’s most important task is to contact the peasants, buy their coffee (in the form of so-called CoffeeBags) and sell it to the exporter. The trader also sells/trades with chickens, condoms, school cards and different kiosk items. Traders can move freely around the entire game area.
The exporter buys CoffeeBags from traders (and later in the game from possibly cooperatives). It is financed by going to the bank and get so-called futures contracts on coffee. The exporter receives cash to buy new coffee (while the bank sells the risk for future price fall on the stock exchange). After, the exporter shall deliver the coffee to the brand company who buys it. The exporter makes important decisions about the relationship with competitors, traders and brand companies. They manage an economy with small profit margins and expensive stocks.
The brand company is the owner of one or several coffee brands who fight for shares of the retail market. It is about convincing the cafés to buy coffee from them. When they sell to the cafés, they can automatically sell greater quantities of coffee to supermarkets (although they are not included in the game). The strategy aimed at the cafés is to help them with their marketing and at the same time offer a competitive price. The brand company also trades futures contracts on the stock exchange via a broker.
Café owners shall market their products to the players and the rest of the school. They shall run a café and provide income for salaries and rent. Besides focusing on customers, it is important to have a good strategy towards the suppliers, particularly the brand companies.
The bank’s task is to evaluate whether to give credit to the other participants and set conditions for loan correctly. It is in the bank’s interest that their customers’ economy is developing favorably, while maintaining a high yield. There are several so-called Southern banks in the game connected to peasants, traders and exporters in respectively Ethiopia, Java, Nicaragua, Brazil or Vietnam. Among other things, the Southern banks update family status for peasants. The Northern bank is a commercial bank serving brand companies and cafés. The banks are responsible when it comes to closing the account for bad customers and sending them out of the game. It is done via SMS with the requirement to meet up in the bank to possibly negotiate a new loan. The bank also speculates on the stock exchange and gives orders to the brokers, they collaborate with.
The broker deals with securities (futures contracts on coffee and other commodities) traded at advantageous times. The broker’s job is to analyze market trends, based on the “Stock News”, affecting certain products or countries. They can also follow the price development of each security. Once in a while, the broker gets a message to buy certain goods as well as he can get instructions from the bank or the coffee company, which they work for.
Cooperatives do not exist in the game, but it requires at least 8 peasants in a village to establish a cooperative consisting of chairman, cashier etc. In round 3, the villages are visited by an NGO explaining the process. Cooperatives can skip over stages in the chain – possibly all the way to the café. Cooperatives can also be Fairtrade certified. The process provides greater income – and trouble as well.