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Subject: Scoring Bug rss

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Matthew Eklund
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Let me start with:

I'm no mathematician.
I like Diceafari.
I did playtest it and am a kickstarter supporter.

But the scoring options for photos seem to be pretty meaningless...
7 pts for set of four different animals
5 pts for set of three same animals
3 pts for set of two same animals
1 pt for lone wolf animal

Pretty much regardless of the # of photos that you have, or what they are, your score can only vary by one point off of the median score.
For example, if you have eight photos, you have almost certainly scored 13 points... regardless of what type of photos they are! it is possible that you could have scored as many as 14 points, or as few as 12, but those are rare outcomes. Some quantities of photos (five photos for example) have even less variability (you have either scored seven or eight points).

The tiny distinction hardly seems worth having.

Ultimately, by trying to reward both collecting sets of the same animal, and sets of all animals, the game rewards neither.

I would propose amending the scoring such that either sets of the same animal, or sets of different animals be rewarded... not both. (Thematically sets of different animals make the most sense... kind of like how bird watchers try to complete their collection).

anyways, just my thoughts on what is otherwise a nifty little game
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Chris James
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Thanks for the input, Matt. Do you think that providing a greater reward (10 pts?) for a set of 4 different animals might help to solve this?

The reason for the two methods is so that the sets of similar animals can serve as a backup/alternative if the full set cannot be obtained. Perhaps by bumping up the score, the point difference between the two types of sets will have a greater effect on the final score. Thoughts?
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Matthew Eklund
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there are lots of solutions... kinda depends on what you're going for... but if you want to keep the dual scoring:

perhaps

1 pt per photo
1 pt per type of animal photographed
photos are worth double if no other player has a photo of that animal

or some variant thereof?

Or increase the # of animals available to be photographed from 4 to 6. That by itself would diversify scoring in your current system.

The key in my mind is to have a system that creates in-game choices for players... do I go for a set, or go for pure quantity? would i rather have one elephant, or two gorillas? etc.

Measuring the marginal value (additional VP for a single photo of a particular type) of each photo is one way to spot scoring irregularities (for example, your current system weirdly punishes a player who has four of a particular animal... as his fourth photo is only worth one point to him... same as that of a lone wolf animal).
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Mark Jackson
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I don't have any solutions in mind (beyond some good ideas already put forth) but I'll concur... I like the game system but the current scoring system lacks tension.
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Matthew Eklund
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another random thought

Tourists like to collect a wide variety of photos...

Researchers like to concentrate on a particular species

perhaps this terminology could be incorporated to add some flavor to the scoring (pachydermologist FTW!)
 
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Chris James
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Thanks for the ideas. We're going to look at this closely over the next few days and decide what improvements to keep.
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E D
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yes please do something with the scoring! looks like it could be a fun little game
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Chris James
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After giving this quite a bit of thought and doing some testing, here is the revised scoring that we are considering (while keeping 4 different animals):



We feel that this offers more tension and requires more strategic planning. We would appreciate your feedback on this, especially those who already have a PnP prototype to test it with. If it's received well in further testing, we'll update the official rules.

Thanks!

(edit: replaced textual scoring description with graphical scoring chart)
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Mark Jackson
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We'll give it a try this week!
 
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Chris James
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So far, we are receiving positive feedback from playtesters on the new scoring. Any thoughts here before we keep the proposed changes?
 
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Matthew Eklund
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I don't have a playtest kit, but the math works out ok.

It makes a set of 4x different animals the dominant goal... which is fine with me.

It'd be cool if the animals had variable rareness... like lots of elephants but only a few gorillas in the mist... might make the strategy change based on what the draw was at the beginning of the game.

but that's just a thought...
 
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Chris James
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Thank you for all of your help, Matt! You have had many good ideas that have been influential in shaping the game to what it is today.

Quote:
It'd be cool if the animals had variable rareness... like lots of elephants but only a few gorillas in the mist... might make the strategy change based on what the draw was at the beginning of the game.


The game will come with 28 photo tokens (7 of each animal). Map capacity ranges from 17 to 22 photos and the photos are shuffled and placed randomly on the map, which provides the variable rareness you speak of. It's definitely a good idea to scope out the availability of photos before deciding which ones to go for, otherwise you may find out too late that the set you want is unlikely to achieve.
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