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Subject: The Posibility of Cheating rss

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Christian Marcussen
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Hi... I was wondering how you feel about games with rules that could be exploited by cheaters? I mean, I trust the people I play with and have no problem with it, but other groups may have another culture.

So to rephrase: Is it ok for a game to have secrecy incoorporated in a way so that it theoretically could by exploited by a cheater - or would you say that the mechanic shoud be redone and the information be open for all to see?
 
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James Cheevers
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I trust the people I play with. If I didn't I wouldn't play with them.

Most games can be exploited for cheating (anything involving hidden information) I just don't worry about it.

James
 
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Christian Marcussen
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Right - while I agree that you can always cheat - some games may have a mechanic which may make it too tempting for the weak soul. Question is if such mechanics should be changed.
 
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Robin
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marqzen wrote:
Hi... I was wondering how you feel about games with rules that could be exploited by cheaters? I mean, I trust the people I play with and have no problem with it, but other groups may have another culture.

So to rephrase: Is it ok for a game to have secrecy incoorporated in a way so that it theoretically could by exploited by a cheater - or would you say that the mechanic shoud be redone and the information be open for all to see?


I've wondered about this myself because I like Block wargames. The fog of war mechanic can be easily used for cheating. Many games have so many rules that there are situations that can easily be exploited.

I don't necessarily think the mechanic should be redone; I think you should be careful with who you play game with. I don't ever have that problem because my component is always my husband. I never understood why someone would bother playing a game if they are going to cheat. So, I don't worry too much about it.
 
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Geoff Bohrer
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Helenoftroy wrote:
I don't ever have that problem because my component is always my husband.
surprise

*emphasis mine*

Actually, my wife and I have cheating contests...like a side bet in the game. Whoever catches the other the most wins.
 
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Gláucio Reis
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Quote:
Question is if such mechanics should be changed.


As I always say, if cheating is a concern, the problem is in the players, not in the game. So, my answer is "no".
 
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Luca Iennaco
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marqzen wrote:
Right - while I agree that you can always cheat - some games may have a mechanic which may make it too tempting for the weak soul.

Weak soul?! If someone is a cheater, don't play with him/her.

marqzen wrote:
Question is if such mechanics should be changed.

No. But change such players ("weak souls").
 
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Russ Williams
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I agree with others - cheaters can cheat in most games if they want to. I don't blame the game, I blame the cheater.

However, there is a problem in games with hidden information and complex rules. It can be useful to have other players check your calculations etc, and if the game rules don't permit that (due to hidden information), it can sometimes lead to unintentional screwups, especially with new players. Again I wouldn't blame the game, but I would say that such games are not good for inexperienced players who aren't used to similar systems.

It might be worth playing without hidden information as a trial run the first time to make sure everyone groks how the rules work. E.g. the Columbia block games were mentioned. Resupply (adding steps back to blocks) is a nice example where an inexperienced or careless person could easily screw up, with no way for the the other player to notice and help correct the error.
 
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Richard Irving
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Quote:
I agree with others - cheaters can cheat in most games if they want to. I don't blame the game, I blame the cheater.

However, there is a problem in games with hidden information and complex rules. It can be useful to have other players check your calculations etc, and if the game rules don't permit that (due to hidden information), it can sometimes lead to unintentional screwups, especially with new players. Again I wouldn't blame the game, but I would say that such games are not good for inexperienced players who aren't used to similar systems.

It might be worth playing without hidden information as a trial run the first time to make sure everyone groks how the rules work. E.g. the Columbia block games were mentioned. Resupply (adding steps back to blocks) is a nice example where an inexperienced or careless person could easily screw up, with no way for the the other player to notice and help correct the error.


The bigger problem with hidden information is unintentional errors rather than deliberate cheating.

The one that really comes to mind in the old AH/Metagaming "Stellar Conquest" where you have to secretly record resource production, population, etc. of each planet on a log sheet and there were bonuses that could applied in certain situations, etc. There's a good reason this style of is better on a computers.
 
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Christian Marcussen
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Alright.

To elaborate a bit on why I ask: Our game Merchants & Marauders™ includes a trade mechanic where the price of a good depends on how many cards of that good you draw. Since the draw is secret it means that its very easy for players to cheat - simply pay a low price and claim they drew many of that specific comodity.

While its not a problem with us, every single game testing session has had at least one person asking "how do you know if people cheat". Our answer has basicaly been "you dont - just play with people who dont cheat". However since all testers have brought it up it makes me wonder if the mechanism should be changed. It's an easy fix, but there is something nice about other players not knowing what goods you have bought (and consequently not knowing where your heading to sell them)

Opinions still VERY welcome.
 
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Nairb Attobas
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marqzen wrote:
Alright.

To elaborate a bit on why I ask: Our game Merchants & Marauders™ includes a trade mechanic where the price of a good depends on how many cards of that good you draw. Since the draw is secret it means that its very easy for players to cheat - simply pay a low price and claim they drew many of that specific comodity.

While its not a problem with us, every single game testing session has had at least one person asking "how do you know if people cheat". Our answer has basicaly been "you dont - just play with people who dont cheat". However since all testers have brought it up it makes me wonder if the mechanism should be changed. It's an easy fix, but there is something nice about other players not knowing what goods you have bought (and consequently not knowing where your heading to sell them)

Opinions still VERY welcome.


Idea: Since your game is about pirates and traders and whatnot, why not incorporate a little theme into the works if you're worried about cheating?

For example... say someone cashes in a bunch of cards or whatever to claim a great price on a trade. Maybe you could have the other players be allowed to question the legitimacy of the action. If it turns out the person was being shady, they get punished within the game somehow by some kind of penalty. (Maybe even reward the person called them on it.) Conversely, if someone accuses, and is wrong, maybe you could penalize the accuser somehow.

That way, it'd be sort of like someone being piratical to get what they want, and there's a chance they can get caught and punished in their illegal 'pirate' activity. An honest trader would never have anything to fear.

Just throwing ideas out there...

 
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Geoff Bohrer
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ben_ethus wrote:

For example... say someone cashes in a bunch of cards or whatever to claim a great price on a trade. Maybe you could have the other players be allowed to question the legitimacy of the action. If it turns out the person was being shady, they get punished within the game somehow by some kind of penalty. (Maybe even reward the person called them on it.) Conversely, if someone accuses, and is wrong, maybe you could penalize the accuser somehow.

That way, it'd be sort of like someone being piratical to get what they want, and there's a chance they can get caught and punished in their illegal 'pirate' activity. An honest trader would never have anything to fear.

Just throwing ideas out there...



This same sort of bluff and call mechanism sprang immediately to mind for me. Opens all KINDS of interaction variation; and it's not like real-life traders don't manipulate pricing and warehousing.

Edit: Unscrewed the quotes I screwed up..Again...
 
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Antonio Chavez
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ben_ethus wrote:


For example... say someone cashes in a bunch of cards or whatever to claim a great price on a trade. Maybe you could have the other players be allowed to question the legitimacy of the action. If it turns out the person was being shady, they get punished within the game somehow by some kind of penalty. (Maybe even reward the person called them on it.) Conversely, if someone accuses, and is wrong, maybe you could penalize the accuser somehow.

That way, it'd be sort of like someone being piratical to get what they want, and there's a chance they can get caught and punished in their illegal 'pirate' activity. An honest trader would never have anything to fear.



This is a GREAT idea. Would add a lot to gameplay and would certainly prevent cheating (by making it sort of legal). I like it a lot.
 
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Craig Macbride
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Re: The Possibility of Cheating
marqzen wrote:
Our answer has basicaly been "you dont - just play with people who dont cheat".


You have to consider that that might not always be possible. What about when hundreds of people come together at some type of games meeting? If your game becomes popular enough, someone might run tournaments in it. To have to have an official watching every player when they pay for goods would make that quite tedious to run. For that reason, I'd think it best to avoid a mechanic which makes cheating easy.
 
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Daniel Val
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ben_ethus wrote:

For example... say someone cashes in a bunch of cards or whatever to claim a great price on a trade. Maybe you could have the other players be allowed to question the legitimacy of the action. If it turns out the person was being shady, they get punished within the game somehow by some kind of penalty. (Maybe even reward the person called them on it.) Conversely, if someone accuses, and is wrong, maybe you could penalize the accuser somehow.

That way, it'd be sort of like someone being piratical to get what they want, and there's a chance they can get caught and punished in their illegal 'pirate' activity. An honest trader would never have anything to fear.

Just throwing ideas out there...



That's like playing "liar's game" within the game itself. It's a great mechanic and a great idea!
 
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Christian Marcussen
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It is indeed a great idea. I'll try bring it up at this fridays production meeting.

While its definately a great idea, it may be a little off from what were trying to acheive with the game. But it could make for a very cool house rule at any rate.

Thanks
 
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Zack Boatman
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Play the game. If someone cheats, then when the game is over play the next game without them. Don't change the mechanics of the game because people ask the same question about the ability to cheat. I think our concept of cheating stems from our childhood where constant testing of the rules is the way our society is structured. Cheaters sometimes get caught, but they rarely succeed in the long run. Gamers usually find this out during the high school years where knowledge of the rules lends itself to "creative" manipulation. But when we suddenly find ourselves grown up and in the environment we feel most comfortable, we curb our enthusiasm to cheat and become a part of the gaming community. If the cheater in us can't be put away for a more mature relationship with other gamers, then we don't really belong in the community. So I say, let the cheater cheat and they will not last too long in gaming anyway.
 
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Ender Wiggins
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Cheating is legal in some games!
(see example cards below)

 
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Tony Chen
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marqzen wrote:
Alright.

To elaborate a bit on why I ask: Our game Merchants & Marauders™ includes a trade mechanic where the price of a good depends on how many cards of that good you draw. Since the draw is secret it means that its very easy for players to cheat - simply pay a low price and claim they drew many of that specific comodity.

While its not a problem with us, every single game testing session has had at least one person asking "how do you know if people cheat". Our answer has basicaly been "you dont - just play with people who dont cheat". However since all testers have brought it up it makes me wonder if the mechanism should be changed. It's an easy fix, but there is something nice about other players not knowing what goods you have bought (and consequently not knowing where your heading to sell them)

Opinions still VERY welcome.


Am I missing something, or can't players tell what goods you have by seeing what you pay for them? Since what you pay for depends on how much of that good you have...wouldn't paying n amount be the same as telling everyone you have x number of goods?

And on a tangent note, cheating is an essential part of the game in bridge and dominoes. I think those are the only game where cheating is actually accepted, sort of.
 
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Christian Marcussen
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drunkenKOALA wrote:


Am I missing something, or can't players tell what goods you have by seeing what you pay for them? Since what you pay for depends on how much of that good you have...wouldn't paying n amount be the same as telling everyone you have x number of goods?

And on a tangent note, cheating is an essential part of the game in bridge and dominoes. I think those are the only game where cheating is actually accepted, sort of.


Hi - yes you are missing something

There are 8 types of goods. You draw from a deck with alot of Cargo Cards (each card has one of the 8 goods on it). When you buy goods you draw 5 random cards to see whats for sale at the port you are in. If you draw more than one of the same good, that good is cheaper. However no one else sees what goods you draw - so you could claim you drew 3 of a kind, and no one has a chance of checking it. Its not a problem if you buy all three cards as people can see that you have three of a kind when you sell them. The problem is if you decide to only buy one of the cards.

Example
Lets say I'm a cheater. I draw 5 cards; 1 Rum, 1 Silk, 1 Slaves, 1 Arms and 1 Spice. This means that none of these goods can be bought cheaply. I only have 1 Gold (standard price for goods is 3) and can't buy any of the cards I drew. So I simply declare "I buy this card for 1 Gold". This should mean that the good I bought was represented 3 times in the hand I drew (to make the price for that good drop from 3 Gold to 1 Gold). However thats a lie - I drew 5 different cards, but there is no way to check that I told the truth

Makes sense?
 
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David Me
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When playing with my friends, cheating is not a problem.

When playing in an open tournament environment, any game should have mechanics that don't allow hidden cheating.
 
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Antonio Chavez
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zboat wrote:
Play the game. If someone cheats, then when the game is over play the next game without them.


You know, this got me thinking. That works most of the time, sure. But there are games (Mystery of the Abbey comes to mind) when someone can cheat and not get caught. I think that's the problem here; by the time the game ends, nobody is going to remember what you bought where and at what price. Think Scotland Yard without the log.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Cheating is kind of annoying. Even when its part of the rules. Like Munchkin. "Ah the Cheat card allows me to use an item I couldn't normally use. So, I can play it on someone else's item and use that. After all I can't normally use someone elses's item"angry

Then "the Cheat card allows me to use cards I couldn't normally use. Like this "go up a level" card even though I'm level 9. Oh look, I've won".

We allowed the win, cos the game had been going 2 hrs...

One important point if you "make cheating legal" by imposing an ingame penalty on the cheat is to make sure the penalty is always more damaging than the profit from cheating. Otherwise you have just created an extra game strategy "cheating and getting caught and still ending up better off"...
 
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Jeff Hinrickson
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With my group I have always cheated but still lost, maybe I should stop cheating.


Just kidding everyone, hopefully if anyone from my game group reads this the dont think I cheat because it is obvious that I don't because I really always do lose.
 
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Christian Marcussen
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Philip Thomas wrote:

One important point if you "make cheating legal" by imposing an ingame penalty on the cheat is to make sure the penalty is always more damaging than the profit from cheating. Otherwise you have just created an extra game strategy "cheating and getting caught and still ending up better off"...


Indeed. This would also have to be playtested quite thouroughly. Anyway, as good an idea as I think it is, it's unlikely to be implemented since it might not quite be the feel we are after.

Speaking of game rules... Maybe this has the interest of some of you http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/134328 arrrh
 
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