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Subject: Trying to modify Board Game design for "Its to hard" market rss

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Andy Van Zandt
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if you're aiming at lowest-common-denominator *snicker*, addition and subtraction, and very very low number multiplication. other stuff (like division) is often better represented as a chart. the "smart" players will realize what it is and start doing it in their head, but most people will just take a chart at face value.
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What's the mechanism you're having problems with?

Although you were joking about the coin, some games do effectively do that.

They have special dice which just show success or failure.

For example in a medieval or fantasy game each face could have a 'sword' icon or be blank (I think HeroQuest does something like this).

Different units roll more dice, or different dice, and you just count the successes.

For example you might have a red dice which only has two 'sword' faces and four blank, a yellow dice which has three sword icons, and a blue dice which has four. The weakest units would roll the red dice only, the strongest units might roll all three.
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Matthew Kloth
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From my experience the things people complain about isn't the same thing they have a problem with.

CRTs are mocked, but it's not the fact it's a chart that is actually being mocked. The people are annoyed with the granularity of the chart. They want there to be a difference between 4 and 5 power attacking 2 defense (both might be under 2:1 odds). Some charts are hard to internalize. A simple pattern within the chart makes people feel like they have far more of a grasp on it. You have to limit the size of a chart. This is also part of the internalization.

Overall you need to be able to look at the chart and "get it" really quick. "oh the second column is just 1/2 damage." "oh the fourth row just goes 1,2,3,1,2,3." "oh it's just the 4 different attacks vs the 5 different defenses."


Devision is in the same park. It's much harder to work into a game because to make it approachable you limit the numbers you can work with. If within the game you can divide the attack by either 1/2 or 1/3, then all attack numbers should be divisible by 6, so there is never a remainder. That would be really hard to work into a game. The largest range comes from 1/2 and 1/4 since you just need to make things divisible by 4. That's still not very smooth. I'd avoid making them multiple and divide as in 2/3 or 3/4. That's too "complex" actions in a row.


A mechanic that I've found is sometimes applicable to these situations is symbol matching. Your attacker has nutmegnutmegnutmegpepperpepper and his defender has nutmegpepperpepper that leaves the result with nutmegnutmeg (whatever that may mean).


You can sometimes get dice with symbols to pull this off, but it usually requires writing the whole game around the dice mechanic. You'll likely end up with some crazy combination of different colored dice with different distributions on the different dice.


Overall people will play anything as long as it doesn't suck. The kneejerk "it has a CRT, lol" will easily be overcome if the game plays smoothly and intuitively.
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Jason Sadler
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As a member of the current wargames market, I think you will find that math is really no problem with wargamers. Most people on BGG are not wargamers. Go over to Consimworld and I bet you will find a lot of people that prefer the number crunching to the "candyland" wargames that are popular over here.
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MusedFable wrote:
From my experience the things people complain about isn't the same thing they have a problem with.

CRTs are mocked, but it's not the fact it's a chart that is actually being mocked. The people are annoyed with the granularity of the chart. They want there to be a difference between 4 and 5 power attacking 2 defense (both might be under 2:1 odds). Some charts are hard to internalize. A simple pattern within the chart makes people feel like they have far more of a grasp on it. You have to limit the size of a chart. This is also part of the internalization.

Overall you need to be able to look at the chart and "get it" really quick. "oh the second column is just 1/2 damage." "oh the fourth row just goes 1,2,3,1,2,3." "oh it's just the 4 different attacks vs the 5 different defenses."


Devision is in the same park. It's much harder to work into a game because to make it approachable you limit the numbers you can work with. If within the game you can divide the attack by either 1/2 or 1/3, then all attack numbers should be divisible by 6, so there is never a remainder. That would be really hard to work into a game. The largest range comes from 1/2 and 1/4 since you just need to make things divisible by 4. That's still not very smooth. I'd avoid making them multiple and divide as in 2/3 or 3/4. That's too "complex" actions in a row.


A mechanic that I've found is sometimes applicable to these situations is symbol matching. Your attacker has nutmegnutmegnutmegpepperpepper and his defender has nutmegpepperpepper that leaves the result with nutmegnutmeg (whatever that may mean).


You can sometimes get dice with symbols to pull this off, but it usually requires writing the whole game around the dice mechanic. You'll likely end up with some crazy combination of different colored dice with different distributions on the different dice.


Overall people will play anything as long as it doesn't suck. The kneejerk "it has a CRT, lol" will easily be overcome if the game plays smoothly and intuitively.


haha, ya that sounds familiar
 
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Matthew Kloth
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TGov wrote:
haha, ya that sounds familiar

Well, when you got a hammer


More seriously, I use the right tool for the right job. Sometimes a simple chart can be better than a convoluted dice system or a needlessly high production value card system.
 
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BeatPosse wrote:
As a member of the current wargames market, I think you will find that math is really no problem with wargamers. Most people on BGG are not wargamers. Go over to Consimworld and I bet you will find a lot of people that prefer the number crunching to the "candyland" wargames that are popular over here.
So when did THIS Vietnam Survival Tour-365 become so "popular" HERE?
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Matthew Kloth
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wargamesarefun wrote:
BeatPosse wrote:
As a member of the current wargames market, I think you will find that math is really no problem with wargamers. Most people on BGG are not wargamers. Go over to Consimworld and I bet you will find a lot of people that prefer the number crunching to the "candyland" wargames that are popular over here.


NO problem with math huh? I got three or more threads that indicate the opposite.

No you have three or more threads where you act like a raving nutjob and everyone else is talking about streamlining, depth, randomness, and immersion.

The problem with math isn't that its hard. Its that its tedious. A system that is designed so the player does less math is faster, which allows players to get to the fun part of the game (decision making).
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Jason Sadler
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wargamesarefun wrote:
BeatPosse wrote:
As a member of the current wargames market, I think you will find that math is really no problem with wargamers. Most people on BGG are not wargamers. Go over to Consimworld and I bet you will find a lot of people that prefer the number crunching to the "candyland" wargames that are popular over here.


NO problem with math huh? I got three or more threads that indicate the opposite.


Are they threads here on BGG or are they threads from Consimworld where I think "the current wargames market" actually lives?
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Jason Sadler
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GROGnads wrote:
[ So when did THIS Vietnam Survival Tour-365 become so "popular" HERE?


ZING!
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Melissa
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Re: Trying to modify Board Game design for "It's too hard" market
Sigh.

Please remember the posting rules. We like to keep a civil and friendly environment here on BGG.
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Andy Van Zandt
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MusedFable wrote:

No you have three or more threads where you act like a raving nutjob and everyone else is talking about streamlining, depth, randomness, and immersion.

The problem with math isn't that its hard. Its that its tedious. A system that is designed so the player does less math is faster, which allows players to get to the fun part of the game (decision making).


Quote:
What rambling buch of immature nonesnece.

The problem appears that math is hard. Basic math is tedious? Being a dick doesnt seem to be tedious for you maybe you just need to put as much effort into the math. What the hell is wrong with you people are you all 12?? Grow up.



well how about me? i've no bias between the two of you, i don't know y'all from adam. you both called each other names, but then where he explained -why- he was calling you names, you instead just tossed out some more insults in lieu of valid points.

so your "biased mod" thing sounds like just more of the same.
 
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Wim van Gruisen
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wargamesarefun wrote:
SIGH another Bias Moderator attacking those who have been attacked. SIGH

There might be a slight possibility that Melissa was not only addressing you. Just perhaps this thread is not about you alone.

Errm, I may be wrong, but I thought that you were trying to get people here to help you with a problem. If that is the case, it just might be possible that a less abrasive attitude would encourage people to do so.
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Wim van Gruisen
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wargamesarefun wrote:

Thers nothign abrasive in my question.

Not in your question, no. Perhaps you should have stopped posting after that first post.

wargamesarefun wrote:
I asked a question. Got a couple useful answers and the rest were rants and attacks.

At least half of which were yours.
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Wim van Gruisen
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Oh, well, let's have a look at what you really want to know. That is, assuming that you still want to discuss the question that you asked in your opening post - I cannot help but notice that you are the main person responsible for this thread being hijacked.

First you ask:
wargamesarefun wrote:
So far Ive learned even elementary school division is to hard for the current wargames market. So whats the ceiling? Where do numbers and math get to hard for the average player? I am trying to modify my design to compensate for this.


OK, fine. But later you say (about the people you're apparently trying to create your game for):
wargamesarefun wrote:
Its weird, like with CRT's all these people complaining about the time it takes to read one. All of what, 10 seconds? Then they have no problem with something like Axis and Allies miniatures where you throw as many as 20 dice and spend time fishing out the all the numbers and counting them up. Thats longer then 10 seconds. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason to what is bad and what is good. Many also complain about simply division of a couple of numbers. I even remarked that calculators are still being made.

So if you make a wargame, when does is numbers and math "to hard". counting above 10? These questions are a bit flippant but some of the complaints seem so petty to me its hard for me not to be a bit miffed at them.

That makes it seem like you're not so much trying to modify your game, as well as trying to modify the people who you want to play it. That is not going to work.

Don't aim for every gamer out there. If you think that your game needs more than very basic math, then aim your game to people who understand, and appreciate, a bit more mathematical complexity. And then don't be bothered by comments by people outside your target market. From what you've written, you obviously don't want to create a game by people who are bored by mathematical operations like division and such. So don't try to create a game for them.

Or the other way round; if you want to aim your game to people who are bored by things like division and multiplication, then don't use those operations in your game.

You are looking for the average player. There is none. Define your market, and develop a game for that market.
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Wim van Gruisen
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wargamesarefun wrote:
So just like the Mod you mutate my responses to posters who attack me for an opinion into some sort of trumped up instigation...

No, I don't. You apparently wear tinted glasses.

wargamesarefun wrote:
I stand by my comment of Bias.

That's your prerogative. As I said, accusing other posters doesn't really encourage them to answer your question. And hijacking your own thread certainly doesn't.[/q]

You should explain to me some time what biased me. I don't know you, I don't know the mod, I don't know the other posters in this thread, apart from what everyone posted here. If I am biased against you, that can only be because of what you posted in this thread.

I didn't see your post to which I'm replying here before I posted my own previous post. Having read it afterwards, I was in half a mind to delete it; why should I help you when all that you are interested in is insulting others and accusing them of bias?

This post will be my last one in this thread, though. I got better things to do than talk to someone who only reacts to what I have to say with insults and accusations.

Good luck with your wargame.
 
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Melissa
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Really.

The constructive posts about the original question are welcome.

The personal attacks and finger-pointing are not.

This is not a drill.
 
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Seems like the original issue here has been lost but here goes:

This is an example of math used in a game that my group found tedious:

http://www.clashofarms.com/files/KingDavid%20Rules.pdf

1) During combat each type of unit gets to roll a different die (d6, d8, d10), die rolls are totaled and then hits applied. Each type of unit can take a different number of hits (6, 8, 10) before being flipped or eliminated and you have to apply the maximum number of hits possible. This meant that for each combat, during which one was often throwing many dice, you had to figure out which way of distributing the hits among the enemy units consumed the most hits. Was this difficult? No, but it did take a bit of extra time and was really boring.

2) There was also a maintenance phase during which you had to pay a number of food and resources for each of your units on the map; the amount of food and resources you had to pay varied by unit. So each turn you had to count up the number of phalanxes, militia, chariots, etc you had multiply by the proper number of food/resources for each type, add it all together, and subtract from your totals. And really you had to do this in your head more often than once a turn because when you built units you always had to be sure you were going to be able to maintain the units later. Again - this was not difficult math, but it took some time, stopped the flow of the game, and was just boring.
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wargamesarefun wrote:
So just like the Mod you mutate my responses to posters who attack me for an opinion into some sort of trumped up instigation...

No, it is apparent that you cannot take criticism, and treat disagreement and questions as personal attacks. A suggestion: Get out of game design until you develop a thicker skin - you are bound to get feedback that isn't of the "that is a fine drawing, Johnny, I will put it on the fridge right away" variety.
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alan beaumont
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Its to (sic) hard
wargamesarefun wrote:
So far Ive learned even elementary school division is to hard for the current wargames market. So whats the ceiling? Where do numbers and math get to hard for the average player? I am trying to modify my design to compensate for this.

Who is the average player? Do you know? No, me neither.
The essential question is: Is your game any good? You find this out by blind testing. If they don't persist with the maths, then you probably haven't yet cracked the work/fun balance. On a practical note no one has suggested a differential method (so only subtraction need be done), mostly in vogue at SPI in the 70s, although without some clue as to the system it is impossible to tell if this can be good advice.
Incidently since we might interpret your problem as a criticism of modern education it is an irony that you don't seem to remember whether to use 'to' or 'too'. In view of the thread subject you have hopefully mastered 'two' though. Use of the apostrophe is also recommended. These things are important when framing rules.
Incidently, if you want playtesting to be useful you are going to need a thicker skin or there will be no point in anyone commenting on anything. (And this is one of the reasons the designer should never be present in the later stages)
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wargamesarefun wrote:
I don't know what they want. Its so frustrating, I made a remark about just making a plastic quarter to flip.


Design the game YOU want to play, not what you think others will or will not like. You can't please everyone. Try to identify a sweet spot between complexity and fun, and go for that. If you're trying for a simulation, there's math involved, period. People who like simulations won't mind doing some math. If you're just going for an adventure or puzzle or tactical skirmish game that's designed to be quick and shooty, keep it simple and focus on the experience, and don't worry about the math.

I would try to design a print and play version first, and see how people like the charts you design. They might provide valuable feedback that helps you develop a game you could get published.
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Shawn Riordan
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Wow. What a train wreck.
 
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Well, I find that custom dice are a great way to create results that I might otherwise need a chart for. You can do amazing things with D6, even before you get to the options of building custom dice. This will increase your product cost, but even custom built dice are pretty cheap if you buy enough.

I find that more gamers like piles of multicolored dice over a/some chart(s). This may not be true of your target market.

I agree with the posts about finding the game 'you want to play'. If the feedback you are getting is from g.random gamers you may want to test more with just your target market. If you are getting this feedback from people you think of as your target market then you need to either rethink your market or your game.
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Uwe A. Redjac
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Wrong focus
In my experience not using a broad brush to paint the customer base off the bat as "too dumb to get it" is a much more important factor in the success of a game than any particular way how combat is calculated.

Same goes for how to deal with playtesters or reviews during the design process btw.

Best of luck from here with your game noneofyourbusiness. I have the distinct feeling you will need quite some of it any way you like to calculate it.
 
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For me, if I saw a calculator included in a game box, it would make me think that the game was really complex, and needed calculus and that sort of thing.

I think you should just make the best game you can, and only change it if you think the changes will improve the game. If you think a CRT is best, just use a CRT.

If that's too hard or too simple for some people, then it's not the right game for them. You'll never please everyone. It reminds me of this one guy who thinks that he knows everything and the rest of the world are idiots... but the guy can't even spell! Don't lose any sleep over it.
 
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