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Mir
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These suggestions have been made numerous times, and they've been shot down. We have 'Recommended with' and 'Best With' polls for numbers of players. Why can't we have the same for playing time? You can just put in Categories with different time frames and allow users to poll. Or another, neater way. There must be people here who're good at coming up with such a solution. But there has to be a workaround right?
For example, I was all set to get Fury of Dracula which officially runs for 120 minutes. But someone here said it can run as long as Arkham Horror, a big NO for me given my group. Basically, the guy did me a huge favour. How is that not useful?

Knowing the Set up time is also important for some players, especially those new to the hobby. At an earlier suggestion someone stated that set up time depends on how well you packed the game the last time. Well then let's assume everything is packed snugly in the box and you're FAMILIAR with the game. how long does it take to lay out the tokens and the meeples and begin the first turn? I could tell you these times for each of the games I own/play.

BGG is a community for board games, and it's the best based on my visits before and after becoming a member. So as a community we ought to find a workaround for our members' issues right?

I hope I didn't offend anyone. That is not my intention. I just think this type of info ought to be up there, because it can help people make better choices. I'll shut up now
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Maarten D. de Jong
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mace92 wrote:
Why can't we have the same for playing time?

Because playing time is really very dependent on player skill, player number, the group, and in many cases also simply on how the game plays out. A game can be quick, a game can be slow. It would just add another number people put confidence in, only to find out it turns out to be horribly wrong in their case. To give a counterexample: You wrote about Fury of Dracula possibly taking as long as Arkham Horror—so what makes you trust that person's judgment, and why do you think his experience is applicable to your case?

Quote:
Knowing the Set up time is also important for some players, especially those new to the hobby.

No, it isn't. Really, it isn't, for two reasons:
— setup time is but a small fraction of the total game time (unboxing, rules review, talking, thoughtful pauses, light discussion, cleaning up, ...), so what is the point of gathering statistics on something which has little influence on the total time spent with a game?
— setup time is in the vast majority of cases, once the gamers are familiar with the material and have settled on a storage solution, over and done with in under two minutes or so. It is rare to encounter a simple game taking more time; and games requiring really long setups usually take really long to finish, too, so the ratio remains approximately the same.

I'm sure you don't want me to haul out a stopwatch so I can report on the setup time with second accuracy...?

Quote:
BGG is a community for board games, and it's the best based on my visits before and after becoming a member. So as a community we ought to find a workaround for our members' issues right?

Yes, of course. If there is an issue with something the admins need to deal with it. This, I'm afraid, is not an issue sufficiently pressing to warrant their attention.
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Paul DeStefano
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If something has a huge or tiny setup time, it becomes obvious after reading a few comments.
 
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cymric wrote:
[...] setup time is but a small fraction of the total game time (unboxing, rules review, talking, thoughtful pauses, light discussion, cleaning up, ...), so what is the point of gathering statistics on something which has little influence on the total time spent with a game?
— setup time is in the vast majority of cases, once the gamers are familiar with the material and have settled on a storage solution, over and done with in under two minutes or so. It is rare to encounter a simple game taking more time; and games requiring really long setups usually take really long to finish, too, so the ratio remains approximately the same. [...]

Exactly so, IMHO, and better put than I probably could've managed.
 
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mace92 wrote:
Knowing the Set up time is also important for some players, especially those new to the hobby.
...
How long does it take to lay out the tokens and the meeples and begin the first turn?


I'm not opposed to a set-up time stat. If it is useful, if it is well defined. But what is setup time? Everything until the 1st player starts their turn?
So for Catan, the most important decision has already been made.
Does it count choosing first player? Does it count going over the rules (or is that pre-setup)?
Is it the same point for each game, or does the set-up question need to indicate a "game start point"?
 
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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Sorry but it just doesn't work as a statistic. Ask people what their experiences have been and take the time to read their responses. Ask for clarification if needed, and then take their entire experience under consideration when allocating time for a game. One of my favorite board gamers ever
Greg Schloesser
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takes seemingly forever to play games, while another of my favorite gamers
Joe Huber

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speeds through his games. Some people play games with infants/toddlers/other distractions, some don't. Some play deliberately slowly, featuring lots of chit chat and some don't allow any table talk at all. Sometimes there's all new people at the table, sometimes there's a mix, and sometimes it's the group's 20th play of the game. The number that would be generated would have little basis in reality and what would happen if your experience was way off of that number? Would you be irritated?

If you read the rules of a game, it should be fairly clear how long it will take to set the game up. That's not hard to figure out. And if it is, ask, people will be happy to share their experience with you, particularly if you ask nicely.

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I agree with the OP that there should be a user-generated poll for playing time. I raised this once with the admins and they said that BGG's policy was to reflect the publisher's official playing time. And that's fine - but of course the entries here also reflect both the publishers' player range and BGG users' recommendations on # of players.
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Werner Bär
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You would need at least one number for each player count; preferably two (beginners and experts), or even more.

Two extreme examples:
Agricola takes 15 minutes for a solo game in the family version, but 150 minutes for the full game with 5 experienced players; more for beginners.
Iron Dragon takes 20-30 minutes per experienced player, and 60 minutes per beginner; add 50% if there are only beginners in the game. That leads to a play time range from 45-60 minutes (2 experienced players) to 540 minutes (6 newbies).

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celiborn wrote:
the entries here also reflect both the publishers' player range and BGG users' recommendations on # of players.


And suggested ages, which are poll-based. You could always put the same concept to use here. And people's reviews of a game are also based on whether they play with kids, teens or adults. By it's very nature, no rating/stat is flawless. But they can give you a general idea, a 'trend' if you will.

It's fine if we disagree. Maybe it's important to some and not to others. But IMHO the game information section would be better with these things. Cheers.
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Peter Gorniak
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I'd still really love to see such a poll added as well, maybe with a standard deviation reported. It's fine if it doesn't correspond to the playing time for my group, but it is another data point to base an estimate on - even seeing that the average reported time is wildly different from the publisher's estimate and has a huge variance would be very interesting.
 
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Seems this would all work out if we were able to enter those data points while logging plays: number of players, play time. Then you could sort the data however you want.
 
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Eric Folsom
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I can see the problem with playing time (beginners vs experienced). I do agree that average set up should be on there. If there's a long set up and long play time, then you might say "maybe not this game on my evenings". Or "I'll have to set it up the day before so we can just get into it."

If there was an average playing time, it would have to be assumed experienced players, but I've played games of Cosmic Encounter where there wasn't much talking and the turns were very quick, other ones where we were offering the world to not join his side.
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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mace92 wrote:
And suggested ages, which are poll-based. You could always put the same concept to use here. And people's reviews of a game are also based on whether they play with kids, teens or adults. By it's very nature, no rating/stat is flawless. But they can give you a general idea, a 'trend' if you will.

The point is that many people are not able to deduce the trend from the data. There are too many sad stories of people complaining that a game's reported weight is 'off', or that major purchase orders went down the drain because they relied on a game's rank—a high rank means the game is very good, right? You yourself relied on a single outlier to conclude that a game wasn't for you. People place extraordinary faith in numbers: numbers suggest authority, confidence, reliability. Not having a number is scary as it means we have to deal with uncertainty, and shades of grey. And the annoying crux is that the inherent uncertainty in the data you want to collect in this case is such that nothing objectively useful is gained. We'd still be dealing in shades of grey and uncertainty. So why spend time recording them?

Quote:
But IMHO the game information section would be better with these things.

If you can find a quick and easy way to make the data reliable, then yes. Otherwise it's a waste of time.

themaster408 wrote:
I can see the problem with playing time (beginners vs experienced). I do agree that average set up should be on there. If there's a long set up and long play time, then you might say "maybe not this game on my evenings". Or "I'll have to set it up the day before so we can just get into it."

As I said, long set up and long play time are strongly correlated; and we'd still be dealing with a time frame which is but a fraction of total time spent on a game. If gamers are going to spend an entire evening on one game, and find a setup of five minutes unacceptable, they need their heads examined.
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Adam H
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I agree that it would be helpful to have some poll based play time statistics, and as somebody else mentioned to have it driven by logged plays as well. It would be really helpful for deciding to try a new game if you are limited on your play time.

I think that the worry of beginners vs experienced players skewing the data isn't too much to be concerned about - we let beginners participate in the polls of everything else on the site. If a beginner plays a "medium" game, but all they've played prior to that is very "light" games, then they are likely to mark it as a heavier than others would because of their basis of comparison.

When you look at the data you look for trends and make your decision based upon what you see there, the same would apply to a game time length poll. If a game length from the publisher is listed as 90 minutes, and I see that a few people finish the game in one hour, most people finish it in two hours, and a few people take three hours or more, then I can conclude that since my game group is on the slower end (and we are) and that I should allot at least three hours or more for the first play of the game.

Plus, I really think that it is beginners who are looking for the data on game play. If you are an experienced player and don't know how long it takes you to complete the game you've played several times, then the data won't help you. =P

I think a lot of my support of this comes from some of the extreme examples of time difference that I've been a part of. I think that anyone who has played the World of Warcraft Board Game knows what I'm talking about. I can imagine a new player looking at the 2-4 hour time listed on the box, getting together with his friends at 8pm thinking they'll be done around midnight...and next thing you know it's 4am and you're trying to figure out how it is physically possible to complete the game in under four hours, let alone two. Through experience we've figured out to start playing around Noon or 2pm, but it would have been nice the first time to see a stat that says it takes some people 4-8 hours to complete the game.

Either way, BGG is a both an awesome community of gamers and a great database. I don't see any harm in making more data available, if you're not interested in what other people have to say about game length or setup time, then don't use that data.

I'm not sure why a community of gamers that come here for information and data about their games are so opposed to having more information available.

Edit: Reworded last sentence to (hopefully) avoid sounding confrontational.
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Gelatinous Goo wrote:
Seems this would all work out if we were able to enter those data points while logging plays: number of players, play time. Then you could sort the data however you want.

Thkning the same thing, I went and looked. YOU CAN!

Maybe if the average recorded playing time (or some set of stats based on them) were available, that would solve the problem?

Tom
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cymric wrote:
You yourself relied on a single outlier to conclude that a game wasn't for you.

Honestly, no i didn't. That comment helped me realise that the game was potentially going to last that long. So i looked around some more, and because i knew what i was looking for, i learned that the caveat was voiced in places other than BGG. So, i made a more informed decision based on additional information that i first gathered on BGG.
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Peter Gorniak
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cymric wrote:
mace92 wrote:
And suggested ages, which are poll-based. You could always put the same concept to use here. And people's reviews of a game are also based on whether they play with kids, teens or adults. By it's very nature, no rating/stat is flawless. But they can give you a general idea, a 'trend' if you will.

The point is that many people are not able to deduce the trend from the data. There are too many sad stories of people complaining that a game's reported weight is 'off', or that major purchase orders went down the drain because they relied on a game's rank—a high rank means the game is very good, right? You yourself relied on a single outlier to conclude that a game wasn't for you. People place extraordinary faith in numbers: numbers suggest authority, confidence, reliability. Not having a number is scary as it means we have to deal with uncertainty, and shades of grey. And the annoying crux is that the inherent uncertainty in the data you want to collect in this case is such that nothing objectively useful is gained. We'd still be dealing in shades of grey and uncertainty. So why spend time recording them?


So by this argument, BGG should not record any statistics or allow any numerical judgements by users whatsoever, just because some subset of the population take them too seriously or go too far in relying on them? I for one would lose a valuable resource, and I generally think that designing for the lowest common denominator and assuming your audience is incapable of thinking on its own is a terrible idea. If it's useful to a significant percentage of the user base - and I suspect it would be - I say go for it.
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I have to add that the polls for number recomended and even the game rating are pretty subjective and based on the opinions of people that could have a good or bad experience, but that goes to the stadistic and tell you for example in the case of the speed of the setup how long does it take to setup in a tendency so you got an overview idea.
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BoardGameGeek » Forums » BoardGameGeek Related » BGG Suggestions
Re: Why Are Set-Up time and user suggested playing time not added to Game Info?
If you're interested, the previous discussion on this is here:

Learn Time & Teach Time (by sweden_guy)
Playing Time (by fhsIV)
Change Playing time from a fixed period to a range or per player? (by kneumann)
"User suggested playing time"? (by TheMob)
Real Game Length VS Box Game Length (by Castef)
Time to setup a game (by Oramon)
Suggestion: Add a Setup Time value to Board Game entries (by jmucchiello)
Showing "set-up" time on the game information page. (by krechevskoy)
Game play time (by curtc)
Real game length VS box game length (by Castef)
Display *ACTUAL* playing time in game information (by bill_andel)
It would be nice to have a "User Experienced Playing Time" Poll entry right under the playing time entry for each game on the geek... (by dspringer13)
 
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