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Subject: [POLL] Are There Two Sides to the 'Analysis Paralysis' Coin? rss

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DigitalMan
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1. What is your definition of 'Analysis Paralysis'? (Check all that apply.)
A player who seems stuck and unable to make a decision.
A player whose turns make it impossible to complete the game in the game's stated playtime.
A player whose turns take much longer than other players'.
A player whose slower turns throw off the pace of the game.
A player whose turns take long enough that the game is no longer enjoyable.
2. Where do you fall on this spectrum of opinion?
Slow players are rude and selfish, ruining the game for everyone else just by being slow.
Slow players are indifferent, caring little if their slowness annoys others.
Slow players are just trying to enjoy the game, but they can negatively impact the game.
Slow players are fine, but I'm sometimes bothered by their slow play.
I'm neutral about the speed of other players.
Fast players are fine, but I'm sometimes bothered by their impatience.
Fast players are just trying to enjoy the game, but they can negatively impact the game.
Fast players are impatient, caring little if their desire for faster play annoys others.
Fast players are rude and selfish, ruining the game for everyone by their impatience.
3. And where do you fall here?
I like to get as many games as possible played as quickly as possible.
I like games to move along at an exciting pace.
I like games to play quickly, but not at the expense of the players playing well.
I like games to have a measured pace, with room for occasional longer turns.
I like a low-key pace, with a lot of leeway to really think things through.
I like for all players to take as long as necessary to always be sure they're making their best possible move.
      434 answers
Poll created by DigitalMan
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DigitalMan
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This poll was prompted by this current thread:

Analysis Paralysis
 
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Gregg Saruwatari
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You don't have my opinion on your poll.

AP is what happens when it is difficult to understand the results of your action- and that action could have large consequences for the rest of the game.

I usually place the blame of AP on the game designer, rather than the player. If I enjoy hanging out with a certain player and we enjoy playing games, I should not have to get upset at him or play with someone else. There should be games that use mechanics and rules to alleviate these situations. One such game in my experience is Race for the Galaxy.

I prefer my games to clearly favor the person with the better strategy and fewer mistakes, but also do not severely punish players to the point where they are out of contention if they make a couple mistakes from playing fast. I like games to go at a speed where players have some time to make decisions and do not have to wait that long once their decision has been made.
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Mel
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This is why I enjoy solo games. I can set up a game on a table and play it any way I choose - fast or slow. If I feel like I'm slowing down a game, I'll take a loss over making everyone wait for me to figure it out. I don't think that's much competition for those zippy players with no patience for AP, and it's not very enjoyable for me. If I'm with a patient person I'll make a gut call on a play and just go with it so I don't totally ruin the game for them. Sometimes I'll do OK.
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Herb
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Wait give me a second... I'm still thinking about my answers to the poll.
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Holger Doessing
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GrimThunderbrew wrote:
AP is what happens when it is difficult to understand the results of your action- and that action could have large consequences for the rest of the game.

I usually place the blame of AP on the game designer, rather than the player.

While I don't really disagree with you I will add that a couple of players in my group suffer from AP when playing games like Cuba, Viticulture, and Finca, all of which are quite tactical games. I think they are trying to assess the outcome of a number of options, but in these games there's little point in trying to think several turns ahead, because the game's state will be vastly different by then.

I would therefore posit that their issue is not one of understanding the ramifications of their actions in the game, but rather of understanding whether their actions have any foreseeable outcome.
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Enrico Viglino
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The ONLY thing I felt I can answer fully is the first question:

AP is (when the term is correctly used) a situation wherein the
player is actually unable to make a decision. What it is
NOT is someone deliberately taking their time to calculate out
an optimal move (although the desire to do so may cause the state).

All of the other answers to the first question sometimes, but not
always
, apply. For example, an AP afflicted player may actually
be the fasted person playing - they may simply decide it's not worth
calculating their decision in a rational manner, leaving it up to
a die roll or some such. But, they are still incapable of making the
decision.

As to how I feel about fast/slow players, it's entirely subjective.
There's a certain pace that is 'just right' for me during a game. Other
people taking their turns too quickly or slowly will break that perfection,
even if they aren't making an issue of it otherwise. For example, if someone
is spending all of a game's downtime calculating their own turns, and
not interacting, I just see them as a warm body filling a seat, and
not really worth gaming with. I wouldn't say that's 'neutral' though.

For the third question, "I like games to play quickly, but not at the expense of the players playing well," comes closest, but I'd replace
'playing well' with 'enjoying'. So long as everyone's having a good
time overall, it's fine if they're making some mistakes. And, if they
are miserable optimizing everything, it's absolutely terrible.

The option, "I like to get as many games as possible played as quickly as possible," seems to be at least as much about which games are played as
what pace they are played at. I like long games (sometimes multi-session),
and dislike playing a bunch of filler. It doesn't even seem to fit in
with the poll. You could play a lot of Rochambeau, no matter how much
time people take, in the time it takes to even set up some games!
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David C
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The only time I've really been peeved with AP, is when the player acts as if the board dropped-down from outer space on a good 75% of their turns. EDIT: It snowballs, badly. Then that player takes forever, other players start checking their phones and grabbing snacks, then they take forever, then cats get on the table. Eventually no one is paying attention and someone goes, "wait, what were the rules again?"

------------------

Generally I have an idea of what I want to do, but occasionally get distracted.
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Katherine Boag
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If there are too many options of what to do, I can get a little AP. I still feel that I am generally playing at a reasonable speed. It can help if I have a few strategies in mind before I start playing.

What annoys me is:

bippi wrote:
when the player acts as if the board dropped-down from outer space on a good 75% of their turns.


Try 100%, and they aren't paying attention to the other players, so they have to be told every time that it is their turn. Even (especially) when playing fast-paced games like Ticket to Ride or No Thanks!. I'd avoid playing with this person, but they are a kid at a public games group I sometimes volunteer for.
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Eric Brosius
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bippi wrote:
The only time I've really been peeved with AP, is when the player acts as if the board dropped-down from outer space on a good 75% of their turns.

That is an annoying behavior, but I wouldn't call it "analysis paralysis". I'd call it "not paying attention".
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Pete
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I prefer to play games that have the potential to cause analysis paralysis. If they don't, they may very well be too simple.

...but if you're not thinking about your move when it's not your turn, you might be too simple to play those games.

Pete (tries to keep the game moving, but will take a long turn here and there at a critical junction)
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Daniel Kearns
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Eric Brosius wrote:
bippi wrote:
The only time I've really been peeved with AP, is when the player acts as if the board dropped-down from outer space on a good 75% of their turns.

That is an annoying behavior, but I wouldn't call it "analysis paralysis". I'd call it "not paying attention".


They seem to be linked tho.

The player in perma-La-La-Land is also often the one who takes for ever during their turn as try to come to terms with whatever the hell is going on around them.

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Enrico Viglino
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dkearns wrote:
Eric Brosius wrote:
bippi wrote:
The only time I've really been peeved with AP, is when the player acts as if the board dropped-down from outer space on a good 75% of their turns.

That is an annoying behavior, but I wouldn't call it "analysis paralysis". I'd call it "not paying attention".


They seem to be linked tho.

The player in perma-La-La-Land is also often the one who takes for ever during their turn as try to come to terms with whatever the hell is going on around them.



Doesn't mean that they are stuck in a pathological cycle though.

I had a friend who was about the most unaware person I've ever known
(would miss turns because no one told him!), but he could make (usually
poor) decisions quickly enough.
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Nigel Buckle
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I think people are AP for different reasons. For example

One guy I game with doesn't usually think in other people's turns - I asked him why. He gave a variety of reasons, including the game state changes so why bother? He enjoys watching the others play and if he's thinking about his turn he misses that element.

Another is so competitive he really really wants to win, or at least not make a mistake and only be beaten by better play (he also loathes games with luck ...) so he slows the game to a crawl while he analyses every possible option. It has become a successful strategy because others either lose concentration (or the will to live) or play their turns quickly as they want it to actually end in an evening! It's also a vicious cycle, as the longer the game takes the less games get played in a session so the importance of doing well increases ...

If either (or both!) of these guys are in the game then I expect to at least double to play-length of the game time as printed on the box.

But the players that really annoy me are the ones who say "Who's turn is it?" after we've all been waiting ages for them to take their turn. Having someone who keeps the game moving, reminding others it's their turn etc helps with that.
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Enrico Viglino
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bucklen_uk wrote:
I think people are AP for different reasons. For example

One guy I game with doesn't usually think in other people's turns - I asked him why. He gave a variety of reasons, including the game state changes so why bother? He enjoys watching the others play and if he's thinking about his turn he misses that element.

Another is so competitive he really really wants to win, or at least not make a mistake and only be beaten by better play (he also loathes games with luck ...) so he slows the game to a crawl while he analyses every possible option. It has become a successful strategy because others either lose concentration (or the will to live) or play their turns quickly as they want it to actually end in an evening! It's also a vicious cycle, as the longer the game takes the less games get played in a session so the importance of doing well increases ...


The word for these cases is slow.

AP can also make someone slow (but need not).
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Seth Iniguez
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calandale wrote:
AP is (when the term is correctly used) a situation wherein the
player is actually unable to make a decision. What it is
NOT is someone deliberately taking their time to calculate out
an optimal move (although the desire to do so may cause the state).


What are you talking about, a literal definition of the word "paralysis"? No, AP is taking too much time making your move, I have never seen a game where someone became incapable of making their move. Why would the term only apply to something that doesn't exist in the real world?
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Matt Riddle
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I am a fast player. I also MUCH prefer 45-90min games. The games I have the most problem with AP are games that are right at 90min with normal play. More complex games that have generally short actions - Village or Trajan - I get a bit frustrated with AP making a 90-120min game take 150min.
 
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Scott Hill
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Sutehk wrote:
calandale wrote:
AP is (when the term is correctly used) a situation wherein the
player is actually unable to make a decision. What it is
NOT is someone deliberately taking their time to calculate out
an optimal move (although the desire to do so may cause the state).


What are you talking about, a literal definition of the word "paralysis"? No, AP is taking too much time making your move, I have never seen a game where someone became incapable of making their move. Why would the term only apply to something that doesn't exist in the real world?

wikipedia wrote:
Analysis paralysis or paralysis of analysis is an anti-pattern, the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises. A person might be seeking the optimal or "perfect" solution upfront, and fear making any decision which could lead to erroneous results, when on the way to a better solution.

The phrase describes a situation where the opportunity cost of decision analysis exceeds the benefits that could be gained by enacting some decision, or an informal or non-deterministic situation where the sheer quantity of analysis overwhelms the decision-making process itself, thus preventing a decision. The phrase applies to any situation where analysis may be applied to help make a decision and may be a dysfunctional element of organizational behavior. This is often phrased as paralysis by analysis, in contrast to extinct by instinct (making a fatal decision based on hasty judgment or a gut-reaction).

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analysis_paralysis
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boB S.
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The problem I often have is that I have my next move planned in my head, and then, after waiting for one or two AP-prone people to take their turn, I forget what I was going to do by the time it gets back to me. In this way, AP very often negatively impacts games for me.
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dylan benton
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I've played games before where another player was wagging their finger at the board and moving their lips as they quietly counted every other players score and possible score to the best of their knowledge then proceeded to peruse their hand of cards and figure out the point value of every move they might make. Then the same thing the next turn, and the next.

Now this isn't necessarily wrong, anyone could do the same thing if they wished. The part that bothers me is that someone who goes to these lengths cares way too much about winning. They can unknowingly suck the fun out of a game. When playing with an AP player like this I end up feeling the exact opposite. I stop caring. More often than not that AP player ends up winning. Their behavior gets rewarded and they go on to repeat this same behavior.

The only real way to combat this is to simply try and out-AP the AP player. Try and beat them at their own.......game. But then you turn an otherwise fun game into an hours long ultra competetive grudge match.

No good.

Who knows what's to be done about AP? Maybe people like me need to get over it, and maybe the AP players out their need to turn their need to win meter down several notches and just take their turns in a timely fashion.

Who knows?
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I know and I'll tell you.

The way to kick AP in the ass is to stop playing games that look like math homework.

Play more games with miniatures and dice and guns and dragons.
Play less games with trading and... whatever people that play those kinds of games like.

If someone is still APing with those kinds of games, then there's little hope for them.

I'm half way joking about the above. Mostly I'm serious though.
Those kinds of games are built around points and such.
They not only invite, but actively tell you that you should be counting stuff constantly. That's the entirety of the game.

If you have 'splosions and such to distract you then you won't be worried about it so much and you'll just have fun with it.
You can always count stuff at the end because you're having so much fun with the theme.

If the theme is weak sauce then you'll not have much to do but count stuff during the game.
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King of the Dead
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Good point well taken.
 
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dylan benton
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I read your whole reply before I realized it was you. I agree with what you're saying. Even if I'm playing some points grabbing game I've always got it in my head what the theme of the game is doing. That's where the fun is. I think other people are just in it to win it.

Maybe all games need sand timers, or chess clocks that make explosion noises when the time is up. Or maybe people should institute a gentle face-slapping policy.
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Enrico Viglino
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Sutehk wrote:
calandale wrote:
AP is (when the term is correctly used) a situation wherein the
player is actually unable to make a decision. What it is
NOT is someone deliberately taking their time to calculate out
an optimal move (although the desire to do so may cause the state).


What are you talking about, a literal definition of the word "paralysis"? No, AP is taking too much time making your move, I have never seen a game where someone became incapable of making their move. Why would the term only apply to something that doesn't exist in the real world?


Not my fault if gamers here misuse the term.

It is a pathological cycle wherein a decision actually cannot be made.
Not just people being slow or considering all options carefully.
 
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Enrico Viglino
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dylectric wrote:
I've played games before where another player was wagging their finger at the board and moving their lips as they quietly counted every other players score and possible score to the best of their knowledge then proceeded to peruse their hand of cards and figure out the point value of every move they might make. Then the same thing the next turn, and the next.

Now this isn't necessarily wrong, anyone could do the same thing if they wished. The part that bothers me is that someone who goes to these lengths cares way too much about winning. They can unknowingly suck the fun out of a game. When playing with an AP player like this I end up feeling the exact opposite. I stop caring. More often than not that AP player ends up winning. Their behavior gets rewarded and they go on to repeat this same behavior.

The only real way to combat this is to simply try and out-AP the AP player. Try and beat them at their own.......game. But then you turn an otherwise fun game into an hours long ultra competetive grudge match.


I've found it's not worth it. Play it the way you want to enjoy the
game (probably beat them fairly often - at least in my experience), and
enjoy the downtime. If that's not possible, don't play with them.


Nazhuret wrote:
I know and I'll tell you.

The way to kick AP in the ass is to stop playing games that look like math homework.


Mmm...not necessarily. I have little in the way of AP issues with
games like Stellar Conquest, Star Trader, or After the Holocaust,
but can puzzle forever over Washington's War; or chit selection
in Empires in Arms (which comes down to Rochambeau, with some
additional inputs). Lots of incremental decisions are easy; one potentially
huge one becomes too loaded.

Quote:
Play more games with miniatures and dice and guns and dragons.
Play less games with trading and... whatever people that play those kinds of games like.


Dice help - no question. But if the game is too simple, and the decisions
important, they are still no cure. On the other hand, I have absolutely
no problem making trades in something like Civilization or Settlers. It's
either 'good enough' or not. No worries there.


Quote:
I'm half way joking about the above. Mostly I'm serious though.
Those kinds of games are built around points and such.
They not only invite, but actively tell you that you should be counting stuff constantly. That's the entirety of the game.



I agree here - if you can calculate out the points needed, it's easy.
If you obviously cannot, no biggie. BUT, if you ALMOST can - if you feel
that with just a bit more thought you can come up with the right move -
that's when I find myself falling into real AP.

Quote:
If you have 'splosions and such to distract you then you won't be worried about it so much and you'll just have fun with it.


Thematic concerns are of no importance. It's the design.



If the theme is weak sauce then you'll not have much to do but count stuff during the game.
 
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