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Subject: Game play time rss

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Curt Carpenter
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Game play time is a major consideration for many gamers. As such, I think it could use a little love beyond posting the time listed on the box, especially when it doesn't match many people's actual experience.

Could game length be handled it similiar to player number, where users can vote, and everyone can see how long it really takes for people? I would suggest a fixed scale for all games, such as:
360 minutes
The beauty with a graph where people only vote on a single result (as opposed to the player # voting) is that when you view the results, it will be a nice distribution curve of responses, and people can visually see where others' play times are ending up.

Bonus points: At the risk of bloating the feature beyond what's justifiable.... Many games have dramatically different play times when playing for the first time vs once everyone has the hang of it. Whereas some games don't vary that much. If it's easy to implement, it would be nice to have two polls, one for each case.
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Bob Archer
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Interesting idea. I also know that the record plays allows you to record playing time as well. I think number of players too. So, this data could be mined for each game and displayed on the game page.

Although, I know I don't record time played and number of players. (I'm too lazy).

BOb
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Curt Carpenter
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Good point. That's cool. I know that a LOT of people (including me) don't log plays, so I wouldn't want to limit the feature to logged plays.
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Russ Williams
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For a lot of games it really varies widely based on things like:
* number of players
* whether basic or optional or advanced rules are used
* variety of scenarios, maps (many wargames, Age of Steam, Power Grid, etc)
* player-chosen end conditions (e.g. the rules say "Players decide what number of points is the winning goal, e.g. 500 or 750 or 1000" or "Players decide how many rounds to play".)

I'm not sure how that could/would get reasonably dealt with.

So for many games, this would only be useful for rough ball park figures, but then that's what the publisher's info already gives us.
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Walt
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I have to agree with Russ. If you want a reliable number, you really have to ask or find it in a review.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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Tall_Walt wrote:
If you want a reliable number, you really have to ask or find it in a review.

This is exactly what I don't want. That's just one person's experience. Also susceptible to all the variables Russ mentioned. It's no more useful to ask one person's experience with time than it is to ask one person's rating. I don't trust either. The value in BGG to me is the aggregation. The more things that can be aggregated, the better.

Russ raises good points. Obviously it would take a very complex system to account for all possible variables. But I don't see that as a good reason to do nothing. Ratings can also vary by all the conditions mentioned, and yet people still come up with a single rating. I think time could work the same. People simply choose what generally applies to them. The variability can manifest itself through the responses. Or a more complex system could allow people to select a range. But I'd rather have something simple than nothing complex.
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Walt
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If you ask and only get one answer, I would expect it would be correct. Otherwise, others will jump in with the different opinions you want.

I don't like games that overstay their welcome, but I still don't feel I need to know exactly. What BGG does not need is more complexity in its user interface.

And what are you going to do about a game like Dominion? A game with curse and not mitigation of curses will last twice as long as a game with no attack cards.

And I've seen Bohnanza, Genoa or Container play at the listed time--and go twice as long due to the players involved. You know your fellow players better than anyone here--are they going to squabble for every little advantage or go into AP?

I think you're asking for an accuracy of answer that's quite impossible to achieve.
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Curt Carpenter
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Tall_Walt wrote:
If you ask and only get one answer, I would expect it would be correct. Otherwise, others will jump in with the different opinions you want.

There are many problems with this approach. Primarily:
1) I don't want to have have to start and guide a discussion for every game where I care about how long it takes people to play. I'd rather just look, and without having to scour forums to see if it's already been discussed. Just like ratings.
2) The people who care enough to reply to such threads is potentially a non-representative sample. In fact given the comments to reviews I've seen, I suspect it to be the case. You will get vocal people arguing over both extremes, but I have no idea where the silent majority is.

Tall_Walt wrote:
What BGG does not need is more complexity in its user interface.

You wouldn't even notice it. There would just be a tiny poll link next to length, just like there already is for number of players, and ages.

Tall_Walt wrote:
And what are you going to do about a game like Dominion? A game with curse and not mitigation of curses will last twice as long as a game with no attack cards.

And I've seen Bohnanza, Genoa or Container play at the listed time--and go twice as long due to the players involved. You know your fellow players better than anyone here--are they going to squabble for every little advantage or go into AP?

All of that is no problem. People can rate it how they like. Or not rate it at all. Up to them. As you say, over time I will learn to bias my groups expected play time +/- relative to the BGG average based on my group's past experiences.

Tall_Walt wrote:
I think you're asking for an accuracy of answer that's quite impossible to achieve.

I realize that knowing exactly how long a game is going to game for my group, with my number of players, using my ruleset, etc. is impossible to know. But I never asked for that accuracy. What I'm asking for is actually trivial to achieve.

If people feel that the range of times is really so important, then the same kind of rating could be used that the number of players poll uses. Namely, list the time ranges, and for each one be able to select from something like "often", "occasionally", "rarely" or whatever. The downside, however, is that you lose the graphical view of a nice distribution curve. and instead have an ugly table of percentages. If Aldie decided to replace that with some nice graphical representation, then I would probably prefer that too.
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Walt
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curtc wrote:
Tall_Walt wrote:
What BGG does not need is more complexity in its user interface.

You wouldn't even notice it.

Then how could I fill it in?
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Curt Carpenter
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Tall_Walt wrote:
curtc wrote:
Tall_Walt wrote:
What BGG does not need is more complexity in its user interface.

You wouldn't even notice it.

Then how could I fill it in?

The answer was in the sentence after the one you quoted.
 
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Walt
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I don't fill in that stuff either, barring feeling the information already there is wrong. That's the problem: once the answer looks good enough, the poll stops.
 
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Russ Williams
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Tall_Walt wrote:
I don't fill in that stuff either, barring feeling the information already there is wrong. That's the problem: once the answer looks good enough, the poll stops.

Not completely; some of us are obsessive enough to fill in those polls even when they already have data.
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Curt Carpenter
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Tall_Walt wrote:
That's the problem: once the answer looks good enough, the poll stops.

I don't see that as a problem at all.
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George Leach
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Curt I think you captured something that BGG users have been calling for for a long time. I'm still very surprised nothing has been implemented yet. Split by player number and averaged, simple. I would rather recorded plays were not mined for this data as I'm certian there would be a large number of incorrect entries.
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Vital Lacerda
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I'm trying to do something like what you are discussing in here.

Take a look at:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/53708/poll-the-real-pl...
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Curt Carpenter
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Yeah, I've seen that poll. It's nice. Now if we could just have one of those automatically for each game, we'd be golden.
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Brian Jones
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curtc wrote:
Tall_Walt wrote:
That's the problem: once the answer looks good enough, the poll stops.

I don't see that as a problem at all.


I agree completely with the poll proposal for play time Curt. I can't believe it hasn't happened yet. Yes, the BGG interface can be...difficult. But this is an instance where the value outweighs the problem.

If anything, get rid of some of the other polls - what the hell does game weight mean anyway?
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Brent Wilson
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I hope this feature gets added.

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-=::) Dante (::=-
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Speedyox wrote:
I hope this feature gets added.



+ 1,000,000

newrev wrote:


As that page demonstrates, this would not be at all hard to implement in a way that could provide average playing times for each player count, both first game, and on subsequent plays.

Amazed that it hasn't been added already given that it's easily one of the top questions virtually every person looking into a new game wants to know. (how is it, who's it for, complexity/difficulty, works with how many, and HOW DAMN LONG does it REALLY take with 2/3/4/X?) laugh
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Derry Salewski
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Is this just to satisfy some data completionist thing? Do people really not know how to look at the time on the box, know the people they'll be playing with, and get an accurate playing time?
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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scifiantihero wrote:
Is this just to satisfy some data completionist thing? Do people really not know how to look at the time on the box, know the people they'll be playing with, and get an accurate playing time?


Unless they're psychic someone who has never played a game before cannot possibly ascertain that. Of course we all hope that time on the box is accurate, and it most often is a reasonable guideline. Yet, BGG is littered with threads about games where the box time has little relation to reality.

Not to mention the fact that there are games where player count can halve or quadruple that time, while some game lengths are hardly affected by player count at all. Meanwhile very few boxes offer per player times, and that can swing wildly with so many games ranging anywhere from 2-5 players, not to mention solo and even higher player counts.

Just a few long established examples of the box time being well off:

Race for the Galaxy claims 60 min. Reality? Nearly everyone agrees that most games are about half that.

Here I Stand claims 6 hours. Reality? More like 7.5 even with experienced players.

Pandemic claims 60, while the vast majority of games are between 30-45.

Ra claims 60, most agree that's well overstated with almost all games finishing much quicker.

The list could go on and on.

Crowd sourcing information from a vast active gaming community is ALWAYS going to provide more accurate info than the comparatively tiny sample set of play testers used to establish most box times.
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Curt Carpenter
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As Dante said, box times are often far off. His examples were mostly for games that are shorter than the box time claims, but others are far longer. At least with many groups. It also varies by player and experience level. All of which I would want to know.
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Frank Feldmann
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I don't see this as useful for me, personally. I have found that my group consistently takes roughly 2x the time listed on first play, and about 1.25x-1.5x moving forward. After about 10 plays, we might get down to the box time. In other words, my experience with my gaming group is far more useful. (So, I guess I am agreeing with Derry.)

Even if I had this data, I would still have to have a feel for how that data relates to my group.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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feldmafx wrote:
I don't see this as useful for me, personally. I have found that my group consistently takes roughly 2x the time listed on first play, and about 1.25x-1.5x moving forward.

Congratulations. You have a magical group.
 
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Frank Feldmann
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curtc wrote:
feldmafx wrote:
I don't see this as useful for me, personally. I have found that my group consistently takes roughly 2x the time listed on first play, and about 1.25x-1.5x moving forward.

Congratulations. You have a magical group.


I'm sorry, did I offend? I thought we were expressing opinions here.

At least, now I know mine's not welcome.
 
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