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Subject: Is the benchmark for replayability really so low? rss

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David Nimmo
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Some posts say playing a game 20-30 times means that it has good replayability. Is this true?

What standard would you say is the benchmark for saying a game has good replayability?

Thanks.
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Robert Taylor-Smith
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Depends on the game's playing time. Playing a dozen complete games of Drang Nach Osten! equals about 1200 games of Dominion. For me the key benchmark is how different each play of a game is. Some historical simulation wargames, while fun and interesting, play out pretty much the same way each time and thus have limited replayability as a game.
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TS S. Fulk
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David Nimmo wrote:
Some posts say playing a game 20-30 times means that it has good replayability. Is this true?

What standard would you say is the benchmark for saying a game has good replayability?

Thanks.


With some people fixated on the Cult of the New, 20-30 game plays may never occur. whistle

I think it's different for different games and players. Longer games can have less, because they are so epic and take a special day to play. Short card games should have a replay value in the hundreds.
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Simon Lundström
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I'll be honest: It's very rare that I get to play a game 20-30 times. Probably just a handful or two of my games have or will eer get so many plays.

That said, I think I'd be able to stomach quite many plays. Maybe not in a row, though.
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Original Dibbler
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If I like to play a game that last 4+ hrs once per year it has a good replayability.

If a game last 30 minutes and I don't want to play it three times in a row it has a bad replayability.

Hard to set up a general rule...
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Jonathan Er
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i find that many of the games i own, i would be happy to play them 20 or 30 times. the problem is finding people to play it 20 to 30 times with

alot of the members in my gaming group have been spoilt by me i'm afraid.
i think i got too many new games too frequently and they have come to only want to try new to them games. i hope to be able to get back to the table the games i love. and in a way, i have stopped buying as much new games as i used to. but i still have some that they have yet to try
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Johan Haglert
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I suppose the simpler design the more you _COULD_ play it multiple times because you don't expect to get any more.

The more of a story and variation you get and hence expect from the game the faster you'll notice the experience isn't (any longer) what you expect from the game.

Maybe?

I've likely played 1000+ games of Warcraft III. Excellent value =P. Considering I never bought Quake and have likely played it hundreds of times that one was definitely excellent to
Originaldibbler wrote:
If I like to play a game that last 4+ hrs once per year it has a good replayability.

If a game last 30 minutes and I don't want to play it three times in a row it has a bad replayability.

Hard to set up a general rule...
Money per session?

I've finally got to play my copy of Battlestar Galactica yesterday. It was good. That game is among the better games I've played (still I think there's not necessarily enough to do as with many other games but there's pretty much for sure even in the base game) and since it can be had so very cheap here even at say 4 games it would be pretty good value compared to some other things. I only need to play it 3 times to get a cheaper price / session than going to a Cinema. Which is better? I don't know really. At 8 or so times each session would cost less than DVDs from the cheap DVD bargain bin. If all five players shared the price even the first session is cheaper than a Cinema ticket and the rest is just pure bonus =P



Before BSG we played a Jenga like game where you had a wobbly tree trunk sat on the table and each player got tree branches and leaves which you where to put onto the trunk without having anything fall. If it fell you had to pick it up. First to run out of pieces was the winner. I think it was wrong and somewhat stupid but to not make anyone feel like they couldn't win anyway we ended the game if the whole tree fell over and started a new one.

(Edit: It was Arbos, we played with the left base/root setup.)


Games of that took maybe about or less than 10 minutes and we played around four games.

Have you got your moneys worth from four sessions of that? Doubt it. But I think it was pretty good. It went fast and no rules and kept the time going and was better than doing nothing. Also the tree can look rather interesting depending on how you do, and there's quite a few strategies you can try out with the pieces and game state. It's easily a game I can see how you can play 100+ times without having that much less of an experience time 40 than time 2. Have you got your moneys worth at 100 game plays? I guess so. But then as said I think that was a pretty good game.


I've only played Merchants & Marauders twice and already decided you've got too little to do (in the design, not cards so it can't be fixed by expansions either.) Go figure.



Edit: DISCUSSION ON THE SUBJECT OF VALUE. Regarding the cinema I don't think the value is good for movies at the cinema so I don't go. So that's a rather unfair thing to compare to. I've went out to clubs more though I think the value is even worse there. If I drank cheap alcohol before going out one single visit to a club would pay for half BSG. If all I did was go there three visits would pay for the game. If I did as some people and actually bought alcohol there it's likely that a single visit would cost more than BSG. Obviously poor value. Especially since I used to go out late (23-00+) and they close early (02.)
But I didn't go there for the awesome experience they (or alcohol) provided. I went out there because of loneliness and lack of social life and need to meet people or that special someone. The thing is meeting up and playing BSG most likely offer _MORE_ of that. Since I've never meet that special someone and most likely I never got any social connection or talk with anyone at all if I went out. Also I don't think alcohol gives more good than bad while BSG does so.. BSG vs clubbing? BSG.

Now I do have to travel to the university to meet people to play with, and that cost some to if I take the car (I almost need to if I want to bring any games.) Worth it or not? Well that's questionable. But I haven't got much going in my life and doing things is part of life and I won't get to do it later and what purpose serves money if they aren't used or you don't do anything you enjoy? So maybe it is. Anyway I'm more likely to travel there to play a game than go out to a club. So that leaves yet another money comparison:
Would I rather buy games if that made people come here to play them than go travel somewhere else to play them if that cost money but play the games already there? I'd likely prefer to buy them actually. That way I'd get to keep something. Thing is it would be quite a bit harder to get together and play. The best thing would of course be if one manage to somehow share the cost though.





Anyway. How much replayability you want from the product to make it feel worth it probably depend on who you are, what you enjoy, how your economical situation is and what you're other options would be and what you are comparing with. For me personally that single game session once every or every second week is one of few things to look forward to.
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David Nimmo
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So is bang for your buck or minutes of playtime the way to judge this thing?
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Johan Haglert
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David Nimmo wrote:
So is bang for your buck or minutes of playtime the way to judge this thing?
What is "bang for your buck" in that case? I guess bang for your buck is what's your after but what's the source of the bang for you?


Edit: Read my own reply. I meant per gaming session, which indeed translate to per minute. But obviously it matters how much you enjoy those minutes to (though there may be a connection from the more you enjoy it the more likely you are to play again. However then again for a game with a story you may not want to play it again because you know the story and the experience. But you may have enjoyed it more while it lasted.)

But value != replayability. So that's not an answer to the OP question.
 
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Original Dibbler
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"Money per session" sounds good on the first hear but in the end it means that any game you get as a gift is good/has a high replayability...
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Paul DeStefano
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I don't know if the benchmark is low, but I think the value placed on replayability is too high.

Replayability almost seems to be a code word for "I'm cheap and don't want to buy more games". And that's a perfectly viable view.

But if a game totally knocks your socks off, I'm OK with it being playable 3 times.

I love that I have some games with hundreds of plays, don't get me wrong.

But its rarely a consideration for purchasing. If I can get a few amazing hours out of a game, its better than an infinitely replayable mediocre game.
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Alberto Casarrubios
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Money and space are finite, so it's only natural that people should prefer a game that can get played a lot of times over one that's going to be played just once and collect dust from then on.

Then, there are collectors, people who love getting games and seeing them all together. That's fine, if you can finantially support your collection, and you've got the added bonus that once in a while you can pick one of your games up and play them. But that's a different thing.

Yesterday I was at a collector's home for a gaming evening. We could barely find a game to play amongst his collection because he didn't remember many of their rules. That's not wasted shelf space because he really loves his collection, but it's definitely wasted gaming resources.
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Gunky Gamer
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I think that a lot of the answers focus on the subjective question of "value," but I wonder if what the OP is really asking is "how much game is there in the box?" A game that manages to deliver something new, unexpected, etc. after 20 plays retains viability and thus its replayability (that measure doesn't make it a good game or a valuable game, just a replayable one). A game that becomes increasingly predictable or routine is less replayable.
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Ralph T
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10 plays is pretty rare for me. I have over 1100 plays recorded and inly four games have over twenty but less than thirty plays. The only games I own with more than thirty plays are games from my college days and a game I made myself.
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Johan Haglert
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ralpher wrote:
10 plays is pretty rare for me. I have over 1100 plays recorded and inly four games have over twenty but less than thirty plays. The only games I own with more than thirty plays are games from my college days and a game I made myself.
I don't play much, and my first 8 or so RFTG games was Keldon ones, but:
http://boardgamegeek.com/plays/bygame/user/aliquis/subtype/b...

I don't know how much Cyclades give me as is but it would be refreshed by the expansion.

Kinda possibly wish I hadn't ordered Ghost stories with expansions (don't know really) and Agricola: Farmers of the moor just because I think there's more interesting and better games, like maybe Eclipse?

Anyway. There's games I would be willing to play many times. Like that Arbos game is easy to play many times.
 
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Patar Absurdus the Shananigator
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David Nimmo wrote:
So is bang for your buck or minutes of playtime the way to judge this thing?



I made this geeklist in hopes that it would help me only hold onto the games that had enough replayability: Staying Power and Gameplay Cost

The equation I use: Cost/Hours-of-play=$PerHour

My hope is that every game I own will eventually get to $1 per hour or less and $3 or less by the time I have owned it 12 months. That fits my gaming philosophy really well. I don't want to own games I don't play or spend money on something and use it rarely.
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Liam
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I take a similar approch to Redward:

Replayability should be based on how many times a game 'pays for itself' using this formula:

Half Minimum Wage x Hours of Play =

I expect all good games to pay for themselves. Games with good replability by themselves twice, and so on.

So £3.10 x 92.5 = £285.75 / (26.34+23.75) = 5.7!

So for in my experience Catan + Cites and Knights was a great buy.

Saving me £235.66 entertainment pounds... which I re-invested in booze and games.
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Brian Schroth
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David Nimmo wrote:
Some posts say playing a game 20-30 times means that it has good replayability. Is this true?

What standard would you say is the benchmark for saying a game has good replayability?

Thanks.


For the majority of games in my collection, I would be shocked if I ever made it to 20-30 plays. That's a very high number unless you're dealing with a fast setup & playtime game that gets played multiple times in succession.
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Replayability and variability are often seen as the same thing by some people. Variability is simply a factor of replayability. For example, Dominion has multiple decks of cards which add variability to the games, but my group doesn't particularly like the game so in our particular case it has low replayability value.

Also I think replayability is determined by a particular persons collection size. Someone who has 200 games and plays 1 of those games 5 times per week, that game is actually recieving higher replay value according to sample size, than someone with 20 games playing 1 of those games 20 times per week.

Wow I'm such a geek.


Replayability needs to be a term eliminated from the BBG vocabulary because it can be determined by so many different factors. Just say what you REALLY mean (alternate paths to victory/modular board/tons of expansions/"I just like it"/"My group likes it"/etc.
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Redward wrote:
David Nimmo wrote:
So is bang for your buck or minutes of playtime the way to judge this thing?



I made this geeklist in hopes that it would help me only hold onto the games that had enough replayability: Staying Power and Gameplay Cost

The equation I use: Cost/Hours-of-play=$PerHour

My hope is that every game I own will eventually get to $1 per hour or less and $3 or less by the time I have owned it 12 months. That fits my gaming philosophy really well. I don't want to own games I don't play or spend money on something and use it rarely.


I've always seen this as a false comparison. No problem using
money to judge worth (it seems the culture's moral indicator
after all), but unless you account for opportunity costs,
it makes no sense. One could fulfill ALL their gaming needs
with a deck of playing cards (ok - every few years), Go, or Chess.
They'd come out ahead in your formula (and maybe otherwise).
Ownership of quantity is, let's face it, of value to some of us.
Variety is too. Then it all becomes a weighing of what variety
is actually worth (which, of course, if we base everything on money
MUST be monetized). All other possible uses of time then have to
be factored in as additional opportunity cost.

In the end, using money to somehow quantify pleasure, if done
correctly, becomes every bit the intractable problem that it
is otherwise.
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Dan Loos
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For most games that I play, which last more than an hour, 20-30 times represents a year or more of regular play with my game group. If we're still playing a game a year later, i think that qualifies.
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TS S. Fulk
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calandale wrote:
Redward wrote:
David Nimmo wrote:
So is bang for your buck or minutes of playtime the way to judge this thing?



I made this geeklist in hopes that it would help me only hold onto the games that had enough replayability: Staying Power and Gameplay Cost

The equation I use: Cost/Hours-of-play=$PerHour

My hope is that every game I own will eventually get to $1 per hour or less and $3 or less by the time I have owned it 12 months. That fits my gaming philosophy really well. I don't want to own games I don't play or spend money on something and use it rarely.


I've always seen this as a false comparison. No problem using
money to judge worth (it seems the culture's moral indicator
after all), but unless you account for opportunity costs,
it makes no sense. One could fulfill ALL their gaming needs
with a deck of playing cards (ok - every few years), Go, or Chess.
They'd come out ahead in your formula (and maybe otherwise).
Ownership of quantity is, let's face it, of value to some of us.
Variety is too. Then it all becomes a weighing of what variety
is actually worth (which, of course, if we base everything on money
MUST be monetized). All other possible uses of time then have to
be factored in as additional opportunity cost.

In the end, using money to somehow quantify pleasure, if done
correctly, becomes every bit the intractable problem that it
is otherwise.


I was thinking the exact same thing.

There are games that pack more pleasure and enjoyment per play hour than others. According to the playtime/€ formula it might even come out as less "bang for the buck" even though that bang is loads more potent.
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David Nimmo wrote:
Some posts say playing a game 20-30 times means that it has good replayability. Is this true?

What standard would you say is the benchmark for saying a game has good replayability?


If I want to play it a lot. 100 hours and still wanting to play is good replayability.

Getting bored before 10 hours of play is poor replayability, though can be difficult to distinguish between me just not liking the game or if it really is samey.

Value for money is certainly a related consideration: it's ok to pay more for a game if I'm going to get more hours of play out of it.

But suppose you were a billionaire, so the cost of the games are irrelevant. The replayable games are the ones you don't get bored with after x plays or hours of play.
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I think the replayability argument is really dependent on how frequently you are able to play in the first place. If your group meets once a month compared to once a week the opportunity certain games get to make it to the table is vastly different. Likewise if your group only starts playing at 9pm then the number of different games or length of games you are able to play is impacted.

Personally I think that the replayability of a game has more to do with ones desire to play a game regardless of how often you play it. Say you have a game that has what people deem to be a low "replay" value to it, well if you only play it 1 once a year as that is how often you can get it to the table then you might get 5 years of play out of it.

I have some games in my collection that don't get nearly the table time that I would like them to as my wife doesn't like them, but on the flip side I will never grow tired of them as due to the infrequency that I get to play them they never lose their shine.

More often than not we play games based on the group we are playing with, the time we have to play and the mood people are in. So I don't find that the replayability of a game is that big of an issue as the ones that seem like they would grow old fast get sprinkled into the other games we play thus giving them a longer life span...like the old saying goes...A season, a reason or a life time...
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Patar Absurdus the Shananigator
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Bhobs wrote:
Replayability needs to be a term eliminated from the BBG vocabulary because it can be determined by so many different factors. Just say what you REALLY mean (alternate paths to victory/modular board/tons of expansions/"I just like it"/"My group likes it"/etc.


Replayability means how much fun is it after repeated plays and many hours of play. If hour for hour a game is outlasting other games than that game has higher replayability than the others. It is a very useful term, IMHO.
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