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Subject: Question about scoring rss

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Mark Booker
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Why is it that the judge for the round gets points if the answer he selected has tokens on it? It just seems like an unnecessary way to give out points. You are not really picking your best answer, then, but often the answer that you THINK the most people will suppose you would select.

I don't necessarily get the reason for this rule, except perhaps to allow the judge for a round to have a little challenge/gaming himself. But being the judge is so fun, and it only comes every so often, so what's the point of this?

Thanks for any responses!
 
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Mark Jackson
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CirrusPaxton wrote:
Why is it that the judge for the round gets points if the answer he selected has tokens on it? It just seems like an unnecessary way to give out points. You are not really picking your best answer, then, but often the answer that you THINK the most people will suppose you would select.


I think it's actually a clever way to keep the judge from picking:

a) some random answer, OR
b) an answer he/she wouldn't choose otherwise to give someone else points

There's a cap on the points you can get (3, if I remember correctly).

The difficult thing with games like this (Apples to Apples has the same issue) is that people who go random and/or "game" the system "break" the game for the other players if they're playing by an honest attempt to play the game. The judge scoring doesn't keep that from happening, but it does help make it rare.
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Mark Booker
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Well, I could see how that would prevent the bonus point, but that's only one point. Everything else is determined by where people put their chips, and that's AFTER the judge makes his decision.

Thanks for the reply though. I wonder if anyone has tried without scoring these points. I almost think it would make the game more honest, or at least remove a good reason to make a dishonest selection (as a judge).

But your point about it being a party game, and not really competitive, is a good one.

I just wonder if it is really a rule that matters at all.
 
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Dave Slaven
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CirrusPaxton wrote:

I just wonder if it is really a rule that matters at all.

If you take out that rule, then a very competitive person could decide that the best way to win is to be as unpredictable as possible (so that nobody scores points on his turn). And this would drag the game down.

In most crowds this would probably not happen, I agree.

--Dave
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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CirrusPaxton wrote:
I wonder if anyone has tried without scoring these points. I almost think it would make the game more honest, or at least remove a good reason to make a dishonest selection (as a judge).


Funny you should ask! As it turns out, I happen to have tested about 30 different scoring options in total. Some of them were obviously poor options, but of the 5 possible considerations, we tested each of those options about 25 times each.

We arrived at the current scoring because it was the simplest solution we found that kept the Judge honest. If the Judge gets no points, then he can game the system by choosing the answer he thinks the least people will bet upon. If the Judge gets 1 point for EVERY token, then he can game the system by choosing the answer he thinks the most people will bet on (and in fact, he often tries to signal to everyone which answer he likes best by laughing or making a comment about the answer). So the "best" scoring rule to keep the Judge honest is to give him more than 0 points, but less than 1 point for every token bet on the answer.

We tested a cap at 1 point, 2 points, 3 points, 4 points, and 5 points. The best cap depended upon the number of players, but it seemed like 3 or 4 worked best with 6 or 7 players (which we thought would be the most frequent player numbers). We decided to use 3 as the cap because it made a certain amount of sense that the most points any player could get in a round was 3. This is true each round for both the Judge and the other players.


CirrusPaxton wrote:
But your point about it being a party game, and not really competitive, is a good one.


I disagree. Party games should have rules that cannot be "broken" by someone who is competitive. Otherwise, the game falls apart too often (there is at least 1 competitive person at most gatherings). The trick is find a fun activity, then create the simplest rule set possible which motivates the players to do the fun activity. Well... there is no real trick to that. It takes a lot of laborious testing, but it usually pays off in the end.



CirrusPaxton wrote:
I just wonder if it is really a rule that matters at all.


With many groups, it does not matter. But it mattered with enough groups that we decided to include the rule. We don't take rules lightly. I would never add a rule if I thought the game could get away without it. Rule are the bane of our existence. I hate them, but they are a necessary evil when you are making games.
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