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Subject: Should "heavy" games be worth more than casual games? rss

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Jake Gordon
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On NemeStats.com we have a point system that awards "NemePoints" to players based on the number of players in the game and the rank of each player. We are working on a new model where we will reward players with more points just for playing a game with a higher BGG "Average Game Weight".

If you have a couple of minutes to weigh in on the algorithm for awarding these points (and whether we should do it in the first place!) then we would greatly appreciate your completing this survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1mvb5V5QNUVxhJceQ1Oy9LAfVdL8...
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Joel L
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If the goal is "to encourage people to try more complex games", then awarding more points for playing those games seems like a logical way to do it.
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James Lautermilch
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While I took the survey I think it still needs to be said that in the end it is about having fun. A game like Magic Realm to me is not a "HEAVY"
game while something like Baltic Gap is. I can see the usefulness of the survey and I certainly agree it is always fun to see people challenge themselves with more complex games, but only if they are comfortable with that. It is called a comfort zone for a reason, people getting together to play and socialize around the table with a good game should be made to feel uncomfortable about the experience.

Just my random thoughts
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Russ Williams
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Joel_L wrote:
If the goal is "to encourage people to try more complex games", then awarding more points for playing those games seems like a logical way to do it.

This.

It seems impossible to answer without really knowing the purpose of these "NemePoints". If it's to encourage people to play "heavier" games, then sure. If it's to encourage people to play games, period, then no. Etc.
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Boaty McBoatface
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No, why the hell should a persons ability to play more complex games be rewarded?

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Mario Lanza
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I loosely agree with your premise. I once asked a question here about whether folks felt better about winning a heavier game vs. a light game.

For example, if you play two games in one night: Tigris & Euphrates and TransAmerica and you go home with a win, is it more significant to you to have been the one to win T&E? For me the answer is yes. I'm not sure what the correlation is but certain wins do feel more meaningful to me than others.

I think it may have something to do with weight -- we all hope there is a correlation between making right decisions and winning -- but also time spent. The deeper games tend to run longer than lighter ones. Many gamers would fuss if Coloretto lasted 3 hours. One would feel duration was out of whack with what the game offered.

In the end, what you're attempting to quantify is probably a more complex formula involving weight, time, and fun and like ratings the priorities people set on the criteria will vary. As a result any formula for quantifying the worth of a game will be more meaningful to those whose priorities are similar to yours.
 
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Tomello Visello
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slatersteven wrote:
No, why the hell should a persons ability to play more complex games be rewarded?

Right. Playing the game is its own reward.

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Eric R
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slatersteven wrote:
No, why the hell should a persons ability to play more complex games be rewarded?


So winning a game of Rock Paper Scissors is as prestigious as winning a game of Twilight Imperium?
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Maarten D. de Jong
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emr131 wrote:
So winning a game of Rock Paper Scissors is as prestigious as winning a game of Twilight Imperium?

There are official RPS contests, both against humans and AIs; the latter serves as useful proving grounds for all sorts of AI techniques.

The only thing I took home from playing TI is that despite its lush exterior and 'theme', it's still about gathering VP, in an haphazard and illogical fashion to boot.

I'll go with RPS, I'm afraid. And that's a serious reply.
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John James
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slatersteven wrote:
No, why the hell should a persons ability to play more complex games be rewarded?


Its called 'A for effort'. It took me three straight days of studying to get a handle on how to play Magic Realm.
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Chris
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I think a simpler question that would have less ... sensational ... responses would be the length of the game.

As above, no view what these magical pixie points actually do, but it'd presumably be "unfair" for someone getting the same number of points for a round of Win, Lose, Banana as for say, a game of Takenoko. Both are "light", one still FAR lighter than the other, but still super light games... So no room for snobbery, etc, yet if these points build up to something notionally meaningful to you, then you'd be inclined to game the system and play a thousand short games for a much greater reward... no?

And then that'd quite possibly naturally relate to heavier games, which often also last even longer.

This is all on the spurious premise that this points mean something though...
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Mike
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emr131 wrote:
So winning a game of Rock Paper Scissors is as prestigious as winning a game of Twilight Imperium?


There's no real prestige in winning either game. The bottom line is these are just games we're playing for our own entertainment.
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Mike
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TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
I think a simpler question that would have less ... sensational ... responses would be the length of the game.

That seems reasonable. Instead of counting the number of games played, count the number of hours spent playing.

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Jack Liu
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MK99 wrote:
TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
I think a simpler question that would have less ... sensational ... responses would be the length of the game.

That seems reasonable. Instead of counting the number of games played, count the number of hours spent playing.



I too think hours played should be a more determining factor than # of plays. This will tell you which games people are having a lot of fun playing and how much table time the game gets.
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Russ Williams
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frotes wrote:
I too think hours played should be a more determining factor than # of plays. This will tell you which games people are having a lot of fun playing and how much table time the game gets.

If you want to do that, be sure to factor in the number of players in the game. E.g. how to compare a 2-hour game played by 2 players and a 1-hour game played by 6 players? Is the former really twice as much "fun playing time" as the latter? Or is the latter 50% more "fun playing time"? I'm not sure...
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Carl Frodge
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Why? to everything in the OP.
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Ken Lewis
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I'm glad I'm not the type of gamer who feels the need to be recognized for the games I play.
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Samo Oleami
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Joel_L wrote:
If the goal is "to encourage people to try more complex games", then awarding more points for playing those games seems like a logical way to do it.
Good luck in encouraging people you initially alienate. Seems a kinda odd approach.

slatersteven wrote:
No, why the hell should a persons ability to play more complex games be rewarded?

Because heavy games are a boardgeek nerdvana. An über state of being and the only proper way to play the only proper games.
I'm sure I've read this in the official bgg religion creed.
emr131 wrote:
So winning a game of Rock Paper Scissors is as prestigious as winning a game of Twilight Imperium?

What is prestigious about winning a game?
Why would the prestigious thing in a game be winning it?
We play with toys, dear ladies and gentleman, however you try to obfuscate this fact. cool

Doomsword wrote:
Its called 'A for effort'. It took me three straight days of studying to get a handle on how to play Magic Realm.

How about awarding points per square inch of a rulebook?
(sounds fair to me)

MK99 wrote:
That seems reasonable. Instead of counting the number of games played, count the number of hours spent playing.

This was my suggestion as well. If we must differentiate at all.

TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
So no room for snobbery, etc, yet if these points build up to something notionally meaningful to you, then you'd be inclined to game the system and play a thousand short games for a much greater reward... no?

A: Yes, we need to game the system!
B: Why?
A: Game the system!
B: But this isn't even a game...
A: I can game it!
B: Why? Nobody cares about this, dude.
A: But, but, but that how my inner geekness is only able to express itself. cry

[close curtain]

Giant_Monster wrote:
I'm glad I'm not the type of gamer who feels the need to be recognized for the games I play.

And here goes your boardgame street cred!
 
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Must ... quantify ... everything!!!

Seriously though, I wouldn't bother measuring the "weight" of a game, unless the goal of whatever nemepoints are is to create some kind of elitism measuring stick. I guess I just hate the notion of things based on creating divisions in groups; as if board gaming isn't niche enough already for some people, and we need even more ways to separate ourselves.
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Gab Pal
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slatersteven wrote:
No, why the hell should a persons ability to play more complex games be rewarded?



I don't know this nemestats site but...
I guess it's like a meta-game.

Let's use an RPG example: The "tougher" the monster you kill the more "experience points" you get.

Hence, the harder the game you play the more points you earn.

I agree some people just won't like this but others will. The answer is a matter or opinion, not a correct or wrong one.

I propose you ask your current users as they are the people that really matter in this situation.


Though how can anyone really directly compare different games, say scrabble compared to agricola, it just doesn't compute. So instead of gaining points collectively for all games played perhaps instead every game should gain points for how much you play it. This makes game differences such as difficulty not an issue.

For example: I could have 120 points for chess, 45 points for twilight struggle, and 540 points for archipelago. Then when i play any of these games any points you assign based on the other players existing scores from a directly comparable score. Otherwise it's all very subjective and quite trivial.
 
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Jake Gordon
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Thanks for all of the thoughtful comments everyone. I posted here because I knew I'd get that kind of feedback!

So... a few things. I'm glad I put the survey out there (or at least this discussion thread) as it surfaced the fact that a lot of people are probably going to have a problem with this. I really didn't realize it would be this contentious to be honest.

A little background... These "NemePoints" are really just for fun and are meant to be a way of totaling up your board gaming score in a different way than just counting the number of played games or wins. Right now, the only inputs to the calculation are the number of players in the game and your rank in the game. If you win a 10-player free-for-all you will get a lot more points than winning a 2-player game. You also get points just for playing as well. This part by itself isn't terribly contentious I don't think.

As many people have suggested, we are in the process of rolling out a play time multiplier as well. We figure that we'd take a 30 minute BGG Average Play Time as the baseline and then apply a multiplier based off of that. So a 2-hour Average Play Time would be worth 4x the 30-minute game. If the game is under 30-minutes then it will be some fraction of the 30-minute game. The idea is simple enough -- if you play longer games you shouldn't necessarily be getting less points than short games.

The idea behind awarding additional points based on the weight started off as a fairly simple concept as well. As someone said... should you get the same amount of points for playing Rock, Paper, Scissors as Twilight Imperium? Well... if the game length is the same then maybe you should. I'm really not sure. That's why this whole thread/survey exists. I know that within my ~10 person gaming group the consensus was fairly unanimous that there should be a bonus.

One other thing that the weight may also be an indicator of is setup time. Do you agree? So if anything, giving a small bonus for heavy games may just help cover the setup time of the game where that might not otherwise be included in Play Time. If anyone knows how either of these stats relates to setup time then that would be really helpful as well.

A couple more thoughts on the direction of the "NemePoints". First off, they really are meant to be for fun. We have some badges on the site right now (like Nemesis, Minion, Champion of a game, etc.) and receiving these will eventually give points. Playing a variety of games will also award points. Beating someone who is your Nemesis, having a hot streak, breaking someone's hot streak, etc. are all meta-concepts that we hope will be fun and won't be just for gaming elitists.

I also agree and realize that gaming is its own reward. Adding a meta-layer on top of gaming won't be for everyone. I started the site because we were interested in this within my own gaming group and thought others might be as well.

What do you think? What's fair? What else deserves to be in the points calculation? What do you think would be fun (if anything)? I appreciate all of the feedback thus far and you won't hurt my feelings if you call it like it is!
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Gab Pal
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morphman wrote:
As many people have suggested, we are in the process of rolling out a play time multiplier as well. We figure that we'd take a 30 minute BGG Average Play Time as the baseline and then apply a multiplier based off of that. So a 2-hour Average Play Time would be worth 4x the 30-minute game. If the game is under 30-minutes then it will be some fraction of the 30-minute game. The idea is simple enough -- if you play longer games you shouldn't necessarily be getting less points than short games.

While I agree that longer games should give more points I don't think this should be a linear progression. I think the amount of points you get for each "unit" of time should decrease the longer the game gets.

hypothetical time points:
30 min = 10 points
60 min = 18 points (10+8)
90 min = 24 points (10+8+6)
120 min = 28 points (10+8+6+4)

Of course adjust this as is appropriate for your system.
The concept being that you gain more experience by playing more games than just playing long games.
Why should people with "Analysis Paralysis" be rewarded for it?
 
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Russ Williams
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morphman wrote:
I really didn't realize it would be this contentious to be honest.

Agreed; to me it seemed clearly just something for fun, even though the concrete motivation for making "heavy" games worth more was unclear to me.

Quote:
I also agree and realize that gaming is its own reward. Adding a meta-layer on top of gaming won't be for everyone. I started the site because we were interested in this within my own gaming group and thought others might be as well.

What do you think? What's fair? What else deserves to be in the points calculation? What do you think would be fun (if anything)? I appreciate all of the feedback thus far and you won't hurt my feelings if you call it like it is!

FWIW I had a long-running gaming group which tracked wins and ranks in all games played. Some people enjoyed it and others were indifferent. I made a report each week with stats and graphs. In case it's of use, here are links:
http://russcon.org/RussCon/devilpoints.html
http://russcon.org/RussCon/ratings.html
 
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Trent Boardgamer
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This discussion reminds me a lot of ones we had around Gamerscore for Xbox.

There are certainly games or points that are easier/harder to get. Some due to time required, others because certain situations need to align. Now all that aside because it's a bit of a Segway, what has happened is this.

Anyone interested in the score, gravitate to finding the easiest way to accrue those points. In the end people play really bad games, if they can rack up heaps of points quickly.

It also had a negative effect for some games communities, as a lot of players would jump in, get the points then never touch the game again. (Now I'm not saying that would happen here), but for those chasing points and hence likely why they have registered for them, you'd likely find they would start playing games that yield the most points the quickest vs any sort of quality of game.

All that said, I can see an easy argument for weighting the points awarded based on average game time and complexity.

Why complexity? Because it's not just time playing that needs to be considered, but time to learn the game/setup etc.

If you simply want encourage people to play more games, you need to make sure that the points allocation makes every games seem as appealing to play to get those points.

As others have suggested, if you are trying to encourage people to play a type of game (i.e. heavier weight) you'll need to throw more points their way.

If it's just for fun, it's less of an issue, but it can't hurt to future proof the concept, in case people ask for it to be more in the future.

@ OP specifically, I really like the way you are already trying to weight it. I also like how you consider wins are less likely with more players and resolve it as such (Something I didn't instantly think of, but really liked once I read it and thought about it)..

If I was to participate, my preference would be that the game I chose to play wouldn't benefit or hinder the points accrual vs time taken.
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Boaty McBoatface
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emr131 wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
No, why the hell should a persons ability to play more complex games be rewarded?


So winning a game of Rock Paper Scissors is as prestigious as winning a game of Twilight Imperium?
Yes, the complexity of the game does not affect the cleverness of the play. Nor the fact you are playing it.

If this is some prize for winning games well, fine, then had categories (like they do in another "hobby" that had different grades of ability and skill.
 
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