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Subject: Missing Mechanisms rss

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Scott A. Reed
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Are there any mechanisms (or categories) that are overlooked in the BGG records system? I've had it come up a couple of times on the corrections list, where users have submitted that a a game needs to have a mechanism added to it, but that mechanism is not one recognized on BGG. For example -- Area Control or Area Influence. One would typically describe El Grande as an Area Control or Area Influence game... but these mechanisms aren't on BGG (For the record, the only mechanisms for El Grande are 'Auction/Bidding' and 'Area Movement')

So, BGGfriends, what mechanisms (or categories) are lacking?

Edited to fix formatting
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Dexterity

 
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Chris Shaffer
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I wish that the concepts of mechanism and category could be merged and handled the same way tags are handled. It's never been clear to me why some things are in mechanism instead of category and vice versa. Also, there is often disagreement about mechanism and category, so why not do them like the tags, and let the users decide?

I've submitted corrections for mechanics and category before, with no response and no correction implemented. After a few of those, I stopped submitting them and for the most part have ignored the mechanics and category fields in the database.
 
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Scott A. Reed
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TheCat wrote:
I've submitted corrections for mechanics and category before, with no response and no correction implemented. After a few of those, I stopped submitting them and for the most part have ignored the mechanics and category fields in the database.


I apologize for overlooking/ignoring those in my tenure administering the corrections list, though I can't speak to admins prior to myself. As I've only been an admin a short while, I did not think it appropriate of me to unilaterally implement new mechanisms and categories in the database -- especially because until recent discussions with Aldie, I did not know what ramifications they would have on the database itself.
 
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Scott A. Reed
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Geosphere wrote:
Dexterity


Care to elaborate? Action/Dexterity is included as a category. How would this function (or how would you describe it) as a mechanism?
 
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Scott Alden
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TheCat wrote:
I wish that the concepts of mechanism and category could be merged and handled the same way tags are handled. It's never been clear to me why some things are in mechanism instead of category and vice versa. Also, there is often disagreement about mechanism and category, so why not do them like the tags, and let the users decide?

I've submitted corrections for mechanics and category before, with no response and no correction implemented. After a few of those, I stopped submitting them and for the most part have ignored the mechanics and category fields in the database.


The concept of tags was not really around when I wrote the database - I kind of like the harsh line that preset categories adds, but it doesn't allow for growth and flexibility in times like these. I'll think about adding that feature.
 
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James Fehr
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There are a number of suggestions in the following 2 geeklists:
Regarding mechanics:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/17910

Regarding categories:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...

I know you admins wouldn't have time to comb through them in lists like these, but maybe someone else could compile the suggestions contained therein.
 
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Flying Arrow
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Area influence/control is a big omission. I think they're close enough to be one category.

I also agree that category/mechanism could be merged. Category already blurs game category (party game, wargame, card game), mechanism (bluffing, negotiation), and theme (science fiction, pirates). Might as well put them all into one big group and avoid the arguments. The line between category, mechanism, and theme are blurry after all.
 
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SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
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FlyingArrow wrote:
The line between category, mechanism, and theme are blurry after all.


I think that 'category' is too general a phrase for us. It should be mechanism and theme. Theme is incidental to the purpose of the game (in that themes can be altered/replaced without affecting gameplay) stuff like pirates, farming, war, and so on. Mechanism is functional to the purpose of the game (in that a rule change can make a game radically different), such as card game, dice game, action points and so on. I don't see the problem with that, except the current lists are mixed up. Card game is in Category but not in mechanism, if my memory serves me. Opening theme up to users to tag would give more variety perhaps, maybe too much to be useful. I'd rather see meta-themes, such as war, then sub-themes such as WW1 WW2, Korea, Roman. But I have no idea if this is practicable.

Cheers,
Jon.
 
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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I don't care whether it's a category or a mechanism, but "block" or "block wargame" would be nice, and "pyramid" or "icehouse pyramid" would be nice too.
 
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Flying Arrow
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EYE of NiGHT wrote:
FlyingArrow wrote:
The line between category, mechanism, and theme are blurry after all.


I think that 'category' is too general a phrase for us. It should be mechanism and theme. Theme is incidental to the purpose of the game (in that themes can be altered/replaced without affecting gameplay) stuff like pirates, farming, war, and so on. Mechanism is functional to the purpose of the game (in that a rule change can make a game radically different), such as card game, dice game, action points and so on. I don't see the problem with that, except the current lists are mixed up. Card game is in Category but not in mechanism, if my memory serves me. Opening theme up to users to tag would give more variety perhaps, maybe too much to be useful. I'd rather see meta-themes, such as war, then sub-themes such as WW1 WW2, Korea, Roman. But I have no idea if this is practicable.

Cheers,
Jon.


I agree with the distinction between theme and mechanism, but 'category' can be different from the two. For example, 'party game' is neither a theme nor a mechanism. 'Abstract strategy game' is neither a theme nor a mechanism.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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skelebone wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
Dexterity


Care to elaborate? Action/Dexterity is included as a category. How would this function (or how would you describe it) as a mechanism?


Action/Dexterity: PitchCar

Dexterity: Jenga
 
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Robert Wesley
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What about *Spinner* based types? There are many that have those as their MAIN 'method' for obtaining a "result", of which you then utilize THAT!
 
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Jonathan Franklin
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When thinking about this, please consider putting the categories and mechanisms back in alphabetic order on the advanced search screen. It would be nice to have an area majority category, but frankly, some discussions of this topic have led me to think that about 25% of current games are area majority games.
 
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Someone come up with a category for Shocking Roulette.
 
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Paul M
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Fawkes wrote:
Someone come up with a category for Shocking Roulette.


Pain.

I can think of some other games with that mechanism.
 
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Jonathan Franklin
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For every Action category there is an equal and opposite Reaction category.

Shocking Roulette fits in the latter.
 
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-=[Ran Over]=-
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http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/134650

The salient bit being:

Quote:
3) Define each of the category and mechanic terms using the following rules as a guideline:

The relationship between Games and Categories should be an "IS A" relationship (e.g., Craps IS A Dice Game).

The relationship between Games and Mechanics should be a "HAS A" relationship (e.g., Risk HAS A Dice Mechanic).
 
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Mikko Häkkinen
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More than anything else there should be a popup description for every and each item in the category and mechanic list. Although I've been using this site for a while I don't have a clue what some of those mean.

As suggested above, I too support separating themes from mechanics and categories. I think theme should be something like a tag. E.g. in IMDb a movie may belong to dozens of genres. Most popular could be shown first. You could have e.g. these themes applied to a some war game: War, WWII, Normandy, Paratroopers.

Below are categories which I don't feel are themes. I may have missed some, hopefully not. The main point is that these are something else than themes. (The categories I haven't mentioned are clearly themes.)

Some of these are (imho) mechanics and some are actually categories. However, categories aren't always obvious. (Clarifying questions: Is Saint Petersburg a card game or a board game? How do you define a children's game?)

But back to "categories which aren't themes"...
- card game (How about an animal card game or a card game about French revolution? How about a standard deck card game? Would its theme be "abstract"?)
- real-time (I hate these, but I can imagine there's multiple kinds of real-time games - like Fitz or whatever that horrible game was.)
- action/dexterity (I think "building" is a very usual theme for these games, but there are many more.)
- dice (Railroad theme - anyone? Abstract or "standard dice game" like Yatzy.)
- deduction (Crime, exploration.)
- bluffing (Haven't ever played any - except some standard deck card games.)
- negotiation (You can negotiate in space and in Egypt. Definitely not a theme.)
- trivia (Questions about songs, tv-series, ...)
- puzzle (These are often abstract but you can make a puzzle about farming too.)
- party game (Well, party games is a huge category, but there are not many games which look like an actual party.)
- children's game (Well, you can have a children's game with any theme - except "adult".)
- expansion for base-game (Clearly a category. Has nothing to do with playing.)
- collectible components (Clearly a category.)
- memory (Adult, animals, whatever theme.)
- miniatures (Orcs are probably fantasy and robots science fiction.)
- educational (Clearly a category. An animal game can teach biology. But what's the theme for Polarity?)
- electronic (Clearly a category.)

These aren't very clear:

- math (For sure you can have a game about math but does this mean that the game involves calculating? If so, it's a wrongly labelled mechanic.)
- book (This probably means that you're actually reading a book when you're playing. Makes me wonder if this is a some kind of mechanic.)
- number (Well. Is 6 Nimmt! a number game. What does this mean?)
- word (This is a tough one, but I think all the word games are somehow abstract.)

From the list above, I think these are close to mechanics. Not necessary exactly mechanics, but I feel they're close enough.
- real-time
- action/dexterity
- dice
- deduction
- bluffing
- negotiation
- memory (i.e. memorizing things)
- math (i.e. calculating)
- book (reading?)

Just my 1/50.
 
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Donald Wilbur III
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Air Wargame
 
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Ola Hansson
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Speaking of mechanisms and categories. Here are the wiki pages that could need some more work: mechanism and category.
 
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Joe Grundy
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Oh joy joy! This is a favoured soapbox of mine. This flagging could be easily the most useful data on the Geek, if it was up to date. If I go to a movie website I want to be able to shortlist by attributes of movies. If I go to a boardgame website I would expect the same... we are sadly letting down the casual peruser at the moment.

We had decent (and not too lengthy) dialogs here about...

... area control...
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/15883

... network building...
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/15882

... and just generally keeping the flags up to date...
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/15835

Most of the existing Categories and Mechanics seem pretty clear to me, but I 100% support there should be mouse-over descriptions to support their use.

I'd prefer new games should not be able to be submitted without some info on categories and mechanics, but there's a case each way.

The category and mechanics flagging should be available as geek modding, but perhaps only to people who've rated the game for longer than a buffer period of time. (To stop gold mining.)

I'm 100% comfortable if "categories" includes common themes. As long as they're distinct from "mechanics" it's fine. After all, a game can be in multiple categories pretty easily... educational / ancient / mythology... etc. The category / mechanic separation is needed because eg a game can employ Dice as a mechanic but not be a "Dice Game" eg Settlers. Yahtzee is a dice game. Craps is a dice game. Liars dice, LCR, and so on are "dice games". Not every game with dice is a dice game. Not every game using cards is a card game. etc. etc.
 
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Lajos
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Aldie wrote:
TheCat wrote:
I wish that the concepts of mechanism and category could be merged and handled the same way tags are handled. It's never been clear to me why some things are in mechanism instead of category and vice versa. Also, there is often disagreement about mechanism and category, so why not do them like the tags, and let the users decide?

I've submitted corrections for mechanics and category before, with no response and no correction implemented. After a few of those, I stopped submitting them and for the most part have ignored the mechanics and category fields in the database.


The concept of tags was not really around when I wrote the database - I kind of like the harsh line that preset categories adds, but it doesn't allow for growth and flexibility in times like these. I'll think about adding that feature.


IMO, it would be a very bad idea to replace the preset categories and mechanics with an overly fluid tags system. The only thing the categories and mechanics in the database are good for is for advanced search, and that functionality would be destroyed by replacing them with tags.
 
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Michael Barlow
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It would be nice if the Advanced Search page had a click box for solitaire. Typing in 1 to 1 players doesn't really suffice.
 
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Mikko Häkkinen
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If adding themes, categories and mechanics were possible, they could be moderated at the same time the changes into a game are approved. I'm not necessarily a big fan of adding things freely, but the system should be more like tags, i.e. expandable. When somebody creates e.g. a new theme, an admin could check it before it's accepted (for duplicates, proper name etc.). Probably even a description could be demanded if it was not obvious.

Searching would work as well if database is constructed properly. I see no problem here. It's just a technical matter.

When adding or modifying a game, already included categories, themes and mechanics should be available from separate menus. If these menus were well categorized, finding right things would be a lot easier.

Wild tagging would work in the long run, but games which have like only one or few less active geek owners would be the problematic group, because their categories would be pure mambo-jambo.
 
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