The purpose of the Gamemaster is to guide the players through various games designed to teach different electricity game concepts. For an overview of the game scenarios see games for more info. This document provides a high level overview of what the Gamemaster should do. Please see the Game concepts page for more detailed info about game concepts. We also provide a basic Genco tutorial for your players. Please don't hesitate to send feedback on this documentation to Trevor.
Let's suppose that today we are playing the games in the second scenario "Congestion is Fun" in order to understand how transmission constraints effect electricity markets. You'd first guide the players through the first game in this scenario "2A.CIF.NTC.C1" where there is no transmission constraint. After this you could either lead your players through a second copy of the same game "2A.CIF.NTC.C2" to reinforce their understanding of the game without transmission constraints or you could lead them into the first copy of the second game in this scenario "2B.CIF.TC.C1" where there is a transmission constraint. You could then play again further copies of either the first or second games if doing so would add further pedagogical value. Here is a high-level overview of what you'll need to do:
- Before game:
- Assign players to teams, each team will control a Generating company (Genco) with a portfolio of power plants.
- Assign Gencos to teams. This can be done randomly or you could manually hold an auction to determine which team gets to control which Genco.
- Go to course website and sign in to the Gamemaster screen for the game you wish to play, go to "View Gencos tab" and give teams their PIN number and (optional) adjust starting balances (say to reflect the cost of purchasing their Genco in an auction).
- Day of game:
- Go to course website and sign in to the Gamemaster screen for game you wish to play.
- Tell players to sit in teams, go to course website, and use their assigned PIN to sign-in as their respective Genco team in the first game in the scenario (PINs are visible in Gamemaster screen from the "View gencos" tab).
- Instruct teams to go to "Place bids" screen and place bids for generating units (and in future scenarios trade carbon permits). Encourage members of the teams to get up and mingle. You have the option of incrementing a set number of periods. The game is roughly divided into "days" of 4 "periods" (each period reflecting a different demand state). We recommend incrementing one period in early games in order to understand the game and electricity markets better and later potentially incrementing 4 periods at a time (i.e. 1 day) for a quicker game, especially for longer games that include features such as carbon markets.
- Instruct teams to place final bids and click on the "Increment period" button in the Gamemaster screen, then click on the "Increment period, compute equilibrium prices and clear derivatives" button and wait for the page to re-load.
- (optional) Go to the "View equilibrium results" page and discuss the market outcomes of the period.
- Repeat steps 4 & 5 until there are no more periods left in the game. If there is a carbon cap (or renewable portfolio standard) after the final period of electricity market generation there will be an additional final period of trading carbon permits (and/or renewable certificates). In these games you must then increment one extra period in order to assess any penalties due to a carbon allowance shortfall (if game has carbon cap) or REC shortfall (if game has a renewable portfolio standard).
- (optional) Go to the "View equilibrium results" page and discuss the market outcomes of the game.
- Instruct players to go back to course website and use PIN to sign-in to the next game in the scenario (either another copy of the same game or the alternative game in the scenario) and repeat steps 3 through 8 until you have finished as many games of the scenario as you like.
Alternatively, if you have a large number of players you could have two games running at the same time with half the players using one copy of the game and the others using another copy of the game.
At the beginning of the day you'll need to assign your players to teams, each of which controls a generating company (future scenarios may introduce electricity retailers and speculative traders). Each game has seven generating companies (Genco's) so each player needs to be assigned to one of these Genco's, Alternatively, if you are running two copies of the game simultaneously, then you have fourteen different Genco teams you can assign players to. Once you have teams assigned you must tell your players which Genco they belong to and tell them their PIN number. In order to know which PIN number to tell them you'll need to login into your Gamemaster screen. Then click on the "View Gencos" button which should list all the Gencos teams and their PINs.
The "Incrementing Period" tab allows you to increment the period of the game, in the process computing the equilibrium prices in the electricity market and clearing any derivatives. By default you may increment 1 period but for faster games you may choose to increment additional periods (and ask your Gencos to submit bids for multiple periods). After the final period has been cleared teams have a final chance to trade carbon permits (and potentially RPS certificates) if there is a carbon cap (or a Renewable Portfolio Standard). At this point incrementing an extra period will identify any carbon permit or RPS certificate shortfalls and assess the appropriate penalties.
The View equilibrium results tab lets you view various output charts and tables. The equilibrium_*.png files show the electricity market equilibrium results for each period. Going over some of the output of these files after a round or game is over is helpful for understanding what occurred in the game.
Here we give a brief description of all the buttons in the Gamemaster screen.
View most recent Genco bids.
Lets you view permit/derivative trading activity.
View Genco teams, their balance sheets, and their PINs. You may optionally adjust their starting balances (make sure to press the "Update" button at the bottom).
View Retailer teams, their balance sheets, and their PINs. You may optionally adjust their starting balances (make sure to press the "Update" button at the bottom).
View equilibrium tables and charts from the game.
Increment the game a number of periods (default 1) in the process computing the equilibrium prices in the electricity market and clearing any derivatives. After the final period has been cleared teams have a final chance to trade carbon permits (and potentially REC certificates). Incrementing an extra period assesses the appropriate penalties for any carbon allowance or renewable energy certificate (REC) shortfalls.
Only in games with carbon cap.
Contains projections on how likely the carbon cap is to be exceeded.