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Subject: Discussion about handling mistakes in a math trade rss

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Jason Maxwell
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It seemed that after the adventures of yesterday that a discussion of math trade protocol was needed, especially what to do about mistakes found after the results are posted. I think there are two scenarios:

1. A mistake by the organizer is found

I think everyone agrees that if the organizer makes a mistake in inputting the math trade lists and its found before the shipping OK is given, the math trade should be rerun.

2. A mistake by one of the participants is found

This is where it gets tricky, and what we ran into this weekend. What should happen if a user finds a mistake in his list that he submitted after the official results are posted but before the OK to ship is given?

I believe that its the participants responsibility to confirm that they are submitting the correct lists, and to abide by the official results in this case. However, I can understand the other side of the coin that says this is supposed to be a "no-risk" math trade, and that they shouldn't be forced to make a trade they didn't want.

Thoughts?
 
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David Bohnenberger
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I f'd up a want list once, and have a weird game I'll never play to show for it. But did I complain? No. Except here, that is.

But after all, it WAS my fault!
 
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It would be easier if someone were to come up with a nice web based front end where participants in a math trade just click on a list that has all of the items with item number AND NAME. They hit submit and a geekmail reaches the math list moderator with a correctly formatted string to plug into the trade resolver.
 
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Jason Farris
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Donkey Thong wrote:
It would be easier if someone were to come up with a nice web based front end where participants in a math trade just click on a list that has all of the items with item number AND NAME. They hit submit and a geekmail reaches the math list moderator with a correctly formatted string to plug into the trade resolver.


Why stop there? Once it gets mailed to the mdoerator, it automatically gets added to a properly formatted plain text file that the moderator can download once all the items are in. We'll just have to dream.
 
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James Perry
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My opinions...

1) If the mod messes up, lynch him. No, wait, um, re run the trade. That's what I meant to say. Yeah that's it.

2) If a user messes up, well, at the risk of sounding callous, tough.

Now, as a mod I've tried in the past to help users that made mistakes. And once, I re-ran a trade due to a mistake I made, and allowed corrections to be made by the users that noted them BEFORE I re-ran the trade.

While some mods try to catch mistakes (and I do) we will miss them. Especially on larger trade lists. It is on each submitter to verify their entries BEFORE the deadline (preferably before submitting them). Changing your want lists after submitting them creates extra work on the mod. But I'd rather do that extra bit of work then have to deal with the fallout due to a mistake by the participant. Also, when the want lists were made public each person could have reviewed them at that time. And some of the errors could have been spotted.


I will be putting together a Math Trade Guide this week and I will try to spell out some of the common mistakes I've made and I've seen made. I will also submit what I believe should be methods used in math trades for the future. If you want to give any input, please do so by Geekmail.
 
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Smilinbrax wrote:
Donkey Thong wrote:
It would be easier if someone were to come up with a nice web based front end where participants in a math trade just click on a list that has all of the items with item number AND NAME. They hit submit and a geekmail reaches the math list moderator with a correctly formatted string to plug into the trade resolver.


Why stop there? Once it gets mailed to the mdoerator, it automatically gets added to a properly formatted plain text file that the moderator can download once all the items are in. We'll just have to dream.


True. That would be even better!
 
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David Spitzley
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I might be interested in building such an animal, but I have no idea how one gains access to the raw data underlying a GeekList. I know folks have done it, as there was discussion of the scraper script that was used to put together the sweetener-enhanced summary. How much code is out there that interfaces with the Geek, anyway? Is there enough that some sort of code library might be viable?
 
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B. Perry
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Quote:
2. A mistake by one of the participants is found


For this reason, I use a #-name method. Instead of sending a wantlist like this:
24 23 51
I mandate one like this:
24-MyEntry 23-Catan 51-SomethingElse

You'd be surprised how many mistakes I find every time I run a list. People leaving off a number, or entering the wrong number, for isntance. In other math trades, most of these mistakes would go completely unnoticed unless they just happened to generate a trade.

Both of the popular trade programs accept names as input. I'm surprised it's not used more often.
 
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James Perry
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Kayvon wrote:
Quote:
2. A mistake by one of the participants is found


For this reason, I use a #-name method. Instead of sending a wantlist like this:
24 23 51
I mandate one like this:
24-MyEntry 23-Catan 51-SomethingElse

You'd be surprised how many mistakes I find every time I run a list. People leaving off a number, or entering the wrong number, for isntance. In other math trades, most of these mistakes would go completely unnoticed unless they just happened to generate a trade.

Both of the popular trade programs accept names as input. I'm surprised it's not used more often.


I am going to adopt this, and suggest it as a best practice.
 
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Jason Farris
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Kayvon wrote:

Both of the popular trade programs accept names as input. I'm surprised it's not used more often.


How accurate do the names have to be in comparison to the number. You used Catan as an example. Is that Settlers, Starship, or starfarers. Does it even matter what the name is as long as the number is correct? Can you use shortened names? Does everybody need to use the same name?


 
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Dspitzle wrote:
I might be interested in building such an animal, but I have no idea how one gains access to the raw data underlying a GeekList. I know folks have done it, as there was discussion of the scraper script that was used to put together the sweetener-enhanced summary. How much code is out there that interfaces with the Geek, anyway? Is there enough that some sort of code library might be viable?


No clue! But let me know if you find out
 
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B. Perry
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Smilinbrax wrote:
How accurate do the names have to be in comparison to the number. You used Catan as an example. Is that Settlers, Starship, or starfarers. Does it even matter what the name is as long as the number is correct? Can you use shortened names? Does everybody need to use the same name?


I'd suggest you check out one of my math trades for an example.

As long as everybody uses the same name, it doesn't matter what the name is. When I generate a summary, I create a list of number/names. I intend for users to look at the list, figure out what they want, then use the summary to remind them about what's available.

In short, you can be as general or as specific as you want with the names. Even very general names make it easy to catch mistakes. I'm much more likely to recognize that "3-Chess" is not the "33-Caylus" I meant to specify. And if I mistype it as "3-Caylus" the moderator will message me back to tell me I made a mistake.
 
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Mike Pranno
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Quote:
For this reason, I use a #-name method. Instead of sending a wantlist like this:
24 23 51
I mandate one like this:
24-MyEntry 23-Catan 51-SomethingElse

And we are assuming that everyone here is cut-and-pasting, right? IMHO, this is just as error prone as using numbers. The more keystrokes you add, the better a chance of a misstep. The ONLY safe solution is a universal interface.
 
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James Perry
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mcpranno wrote:
Quote:
For this reason, I use a #-name method. Instead of sending a wantlist like this:
24 23 51
I mandate one like this:
24-MyEntry 23-Catan 51-SomethingElse

And we are assuming that everyone here is cut-and-pasting, right? IMHO, this is just as error prone as using numbers. The more keystrokes you add, the better a chance of a misstep. The ONLY safe solution is a universal interface.

While it may be more error prone, it is ALOT less likely to result in an unwanted trade.
 
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B. Perry
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mcpranno wrote:
IMHO, this is just as error prone as using numbers.


Not really, because mistyped numbers are caught by TradeGenie and mis-pasted names are caught by the user. It's really easy to skim through the names of games you're interested in. It's much harder to skim through 20 numbers to make sure those are the numbers you're interested in.
 
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Mike Pranno
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Quote:
While it may be more error prone, it is ALOT less likely to result in an unwanted trade.

Agreed. But that wouldn't really have helped in this instance.
 
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yegods
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mcpranno wrote:
Quote:
While it may be more error prone, it is ALOT less likely to result in an unwanted trade.

Agreed. But that wouldn't really have helped in this instance.


hmm, it certainly would have helped in my case. in fact, i would've spotted the error i made right away, if we were using the #-name submission type.
 
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Michelle Zentis
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First off, let me say that I'm all for an interface that reduces the number of errors. The whole point of math trades is to make as many people happy as possible, so anything that facilitates that is all good.

I'm also of the prevailing opinion that errors by the math trade moderator should cause the trade generator to be re-run.

I think that traders must take full responsibility for their own trade lists, and that includes honoring a trade of an unpunched Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage for Battleball with half the pieces missing. I know that sounds harsh, but if you've got an extremely high-value item, all the more reason to take extra care when making up your list! It usually takes a while to compile a trade list but not all that long to check it, and I always take the extra step of E-mailing somebody my trade list and a link to the trade summary so they can tell me what games I'm requesting. Game buddies are usually more than willing to help, especially since they stand to profit from your successful trade!
 
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Jon David Faeth
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Kayvon wrote:
For this reason, I use a #-name method. Instead of sending a wantlist like this:
24 23 51
I mandate one like this:
24-MyEntry 23-Catan 51-SomethingElse.

I understand your system, and accept it for what it is, but the one problem I've had with it is having to look through just about the entire geeklist to find out what all the entries are, sweeteners and all.

Apart from the whole list summary issue, I've not been any more/less prone to the usual screwups with this or the straight number system.

Didn't somebody go through and submit a list summary the last time I was in one of your trades? I seem to recall skimming over it after I had already submitted my wantlist. If that pops up sooner the next time around, that'd be excellent.

Sorry if I'm a bit nit-pickety. Time for bed now.
 
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Jason Maxwell
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It seems that the general opinion is that if you make a mistake on your want lists that isn't discovered until after the official results are posted that you have to live with your mistake.
 
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Jason Maxwell
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Drew1365 wrote:

In fact, because of the way I assemble my want lists, I actually prefer plain numbers for want lists. But hey, that's just me.


Me too actually
 
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