$10.00
Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 Hide
32 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

On Board Games» Forums » News

Subject: OBG 90: Decisions, Decisions, Oh Pay Me rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Donald Dennis
United States
Pawleys Island
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
Erik and Don are joined by Brent Lloyd to talk about decisions in board games.

In the review-a-palooza, Erik and Don review:

If I'm Going Down
Cthulhu Fluxx
Descent 2nd Edition
Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Star Trek Catan and other Catan games



On Board Games is a proud member of the Dice Tower Network
RSS Feed: http://onboardgames.libsyn.com/rss
Email us: onboardgames.net@gmail.com

Edit to correct Flash Point: Fire Rescue. Thanks to MajorOracle for pointing it out.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brent Lloyd
United States
League City
Texas
flag msg tools
Canadian Game Design Award: http://www.fallcon.com/design
badge
Canadian Game Design Award: http://www.fallcon.com/design
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks guys for having me on your Podcast!

I had a lot of fun doing it. It is most enjoyable spending time chatting with folks who have such a passion for the same hobby.

Peace,
Brent
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A.J. Porfirio
United States
Thompsons Station
Tennessee
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Theme Me
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for taking the time to review If I'm Going Down...!

Also, I enjoyed Brent and was surprised to hear he lives minutes away from where I grew up in Texas (Clear Lake).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donald Dennis
United States
Pawleys Island
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
Thunder wrote:
Thanks guys for having me on your Podcast!

I had a lot of fun doing it. It is most enjoyable spending time chatting with folks who have such a passion for the same hobby.


Thanks for joining us, I'm just sorry it took so long to get you on the show.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donald Dennis
United States
Pawleys Island
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
What do you think about game companies expanding game lines? By this I mean companies like Looney Labs and Steve Jackson Games with Fluxx and Munchkin, or the Mayfair Games variety of Catan properties.

How do you feel about these game "lines" vs. games like Dominion or Arkham Horror, which have more traditional style of core game and expansions?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donald Dennis
United States
Pawleys Island
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
Oh man, I just listened to this, and sure sounded ... mellow. I swear I was not on any illegal substances.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
texAS
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
" I am PRETTYYY wiped out this evening... "" ( i.e. I have had 6 bong hits)

j/k


1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erik Dewey
United States
Broken Arrow
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
Just curious. Did anyone get the reference in the title?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donald Dennis
United States
Pawleys Island
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
Ayrk wrote:
Just curious. Did anyone get the reference in the title?
Of course not.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ted Duby
United States
Honolulu
Hawaii
flag msg tools
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
mbmbmbmbmb
Well Donald, you must be tired.

It's Flash Point: Fire Rescue
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donald Dennis
United States
Pawleys Island
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
MajorOracle wrote:
Well Donald, you must be tired.

It's Flash Point: Fire Rescue


Yeah, I'm tired, and on meds. (Though in my defense I cut and paste Erik's show notes from the feed.) Very sorry, I will correct that up above.

Thank you very much for the correction.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wyckyd
Netherlands
Groningen
Groningen
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Walsfeo wrote:
Ayrk wrote:
Just curious. Did anyone get the reference in the title?
Of course not.


No clue. What does it refer to?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian McCarty
United States
La Crescent
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
By the way, Ludology covered the "input randomness" (most Euros) vs "output randomness" (most american games)

Examples: Caylus and Endeavor have open random setups but no randomness afterwards. Castles of Burgandy has open periodic randomness (new tiles) as well as input randomness from dice rolls.

But there are exceptions. Brass is a heavy Euro, but has(hidden) input randomness (what cards you get) and also output randomness (the distant market). The development cards in Catan could be considered output randomness.

Brian


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donald Dennis
United States
Pawleys Island
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
N9IWP wrote:
By the way, Ludology covered the "input randomness" (most Euros) vs "output randomness" (most american games)
Yeah, that's one of the reasons I was sorry that we waited to have Brent on. This was a theory we talked about almost a year ago at BGG.con, and it took this long for us to get him on the show.

Too many podcasts trying to cover the same hobby.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian McCarty
United States
La Crescent
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I hope you didn't take that the wrong way. It doesn't mean that input vs output randomenss can't be talked about, just that for those interested there is some other discussion available.

Brian
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Berger
United States
Volo
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This is an interesting (though short) article that covers "income" and "outcome" randomness, and also types of player interaction as a bonus: http://onigame.livejournal.com/39411.html

If Brent's theory is that American-style games tend to have more outcome randomness than Eurogames, I can get on board with that, as long as we're talking about general tendencies rather than definitions. (Though I think that American-style games also have just as much income randomness as Eurogames, if not more, on average.) Too often, I hear things like "well, Tigris & Euphrates can't be a Eurogame because Eurogames don't have direct conflict." Wrong! laugh Eurogames tend not to have much direct conflict, but T&E is a Eurogame with direct conflict. Live with it.

I think it stems from the the type of games they are. I read a great post on here (I could find it if anyone cares) that I think finally boiled down, for me anyway, what actually makes a game a Eurogame vs. Ameritrash, which is that Ameritrash games try to maximize "drama" (things like stand-up dice rolls, backstabbing, storytelling), whereas Eurogames try to maximize "elegance" (meaning understandable rules, emergent complexity, etc...). Ameritrash games have more outcome randomness because that increases dramatic tension. Making a decision and seeing how it plays out is dramatic. Getting a hand of cards and then deterministically carrying out your action is tactical (which is the type of decision I love in a game), but not dramatic.

Anyway, I was glad to hear you guys talk about decisions in games. Maybe this is true of most people on this site, but I definitely feel like the quantity and quality of decisions in a game are by far the primary factor in my enjoyment of a game.

One example for me is Incan Gold vs. The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac. I kept hearing good things about The Adventurers, so even though it didn't really seem like my kind of game, I wound up buying it at an auction (though for ~$35 when it looked like the going rate on ebay and BGG was closer to $80). Thing is, I hated the game. It has decisions, but most of them boil down to whether or not to push your luck. There's a memory element, but while that doesn't immediately disqualify a game for me, it doesn't do much for me either. Now take Incan Gold - it also is strictly a push-your-luck game, but the game is quicker, less what I would call "overblown" (all these pieces and cards in The Adventurers makes it seem like a bigger game than it is), and requires less setup and rules. The decisions, in my opinion anyway, are pretty similar between the two games, but the decision density is greater in Incan Gold, and so I tend to enjoy the game more. It wouldn't suffice when I want a big meaty game of grand strategy, but for what it is, it's fun.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brent Lloyd
United States
League City
Texas
flag msg tools
Canadian Game Design Award: http://www.fallcon.com/design
badge
Canadian Game Design Award: http://www.fallcon.com/design
mbmbmbmbmb
There are also a lot of games that straddle the player decision. I meant to talk about them during the podcast, but the conversation moves on and I missed my chance.

Games like Euphrates & Tigris has tile draws at the end of your turn, which is kind of like input randomness because it just speeds up the game to allow players to think during other player's turns. But then, the battle that happen are output randomness because you don't know what tiles the other players have.

There are lots of games that straddle the line, thats what makes our hobby so exciting, designers mixing up where the randomness happens. It is getting harder and harder to classify games as Euros or American, which is a great thing to my mind. I still do believe however that the timing of randomness is more appropriate for certain kinds of situations in games

Peace
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donald Dennis
United States
Pawleys Island
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
N9IWP wrote:
I hope you didn't take that the wrong way. It doesn't mean that input vs output randomenss can't be talked about, just that for those interested there is some other discussion available.


No peril at all. Even if we weren't both in the Dice Tower Network it'd be cool. In fact I encourage all of our listeners to point out other relevant sources of information regarding our topics, everything from podcasts and blogs to dead tree resources.

I'm just annoyed that it took so long to get him on the show. It's rather like I kicked the wind out of his sail myself.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brent Lloyd
United States
League City
Texas
flag msg tools
Canadian Game Design Award: http://www.fallcon.com/design
badge
Canadian Game Design Award: http://www.fallcon.com/design
mbmbmbmbmb
Walsfeo wrote:
It's rather like I kicked the wind out of his sail myself.


I don't feel that way at all. I am glad to have had the opportunity to chat with you folks. You need feel no guilt from me. I was away on business trips a few times when you did have the chance, no worries, no guilt, no drama. Lets talk about games!

There are a lot of podcasts, it is inevitable that the same topics will be discussed at roughly the same time.

One other side effect of where a designer puts the decision making is in the player experience. Here is a part of my notes I made for the podcast, but missed bringing up:

"Some folks really dislike losing to the random element despite picking the optimal play.
Some players will find it more satisfying to solve the puzzle, others find it more thrilling to take a chance.

Players can be put off on a turn by turn basis by a string of bad rolls. This doesn’t happen when the decisions are made after the random elements. They can grumble about a bad compination of cards or tiles available, but then they dismiss it in order to solve the puzzle.

There is a certain thrill in not knowing how a plan will turn out. You can calculate the odds and choose the optimal play for that turn but still the randomizers might go against you or you roll doubles and get a critical hit ohh the excitement. Some folks will find the disappointment in the randomizer much worse than the possible elation."

Player experience of course is vital to how much "fun" a game is.

Peace

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erik Dewey
United States
Broken Arrow
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
Ayrk wrote:
Just curious. Did anyone get the reference in the title?


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brent Lloyd
United States
League City
Texas
flag msg tools
Canadian Game Design Award: http://www.fallcon.com/design
badge
Canadian Game Design Award: http://www.fallcon.com/design
mbmbmbmbmb
I admit, I missed the reference.

Peace
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Wieman
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I didn't get it until I saw the title "Game of Life commercial from 1981" and somehow that tiny snippet of the hand moving the car between the two branches with "Decisions, Decisions" came back clear as yesterday. (I remembered nothing else from the ad...weird what sticks with you.)

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erik Dewey
United States
Broken Arrow
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
Scholeologist wrote:
I didn't get it until I saw the title "Game of Life commercial from 1981" and somehow that tiny snippet of the hand moving the car between the two branches with "Decisions, Decisions" came back clear as yesterday. (I remembered nothing else from the ad...weird what sticks with you.)



I'm glad someone else remembers that commercial. At first I couldn't remember if it was Life or Payday but thanks to YouTube it all came back to me.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Wieman
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I finally got to actually listening to this episode, and an idea struck me while you were talking about Analysis Paralysis, and how having too many options can exacerbate it.

When Erik said something along the lines of "...when you can figure out what the optimal result will be if you take that option..." it triggered this thought for me. There are decisions where most of the cognitive load is in the decision itself: "oohh..I've pushed my luck this far, do I dare to do it again?" The dramatic tension of the decision _is_ the mental challenge.

Then there are decisions where figuring out the likely result of one or more of the options is complicated. "I could liquidate this company into that company...what would that do? Would I be better off? Would I leave myself open to an attack of some kind? OR I could buy stock in that company over there...is that safer?" The second situation is the one that will induce genuine analysis paralysis: trying to hold in your head how one option would work out while analyzing another option, so that you can compare them, proves to be too much to juggle mentally.

(Hemming and hawing while you make a decision is probably annoying to people waiting for you, especially if you do it every time, but it's not actual paralysis; but hitting the limits of working memory will in fact shut you down and/or make you start your thinking all over.)

Echoing earlier posters, post-decision randomness encourages dramatic tension and _discourages_ careful analysis of optimizing the outcome after the random element. This means that post-decision point randomness is a mechanism to discourage analysis paralysis.

Pre-decision randomness, on the other hand, demands that the outcomes of the options require some analysis to assess, because otherwise there isn't a meaningful decision for the player to make. This suggests that a game designed with pre-decision randomness should probably have more limited options to choose from (2 rather than 4), or else it's asking for analysis paralysis.

Post-decision randomness separates the decision from its outcome by inserting uncertainty; another way to separate the decision from its outcome is by inserting a game mechanism that purposely makes determination of the outcome complicated. A good design has to separate the decision from its outcome (otherwise the decision is obvious and boring), but not separate it by too much (in which case the player can't make a meaningful decision, because s/he has no idea how s/he's affecting the result.) This means a game design which includes significant uncertainty _and_ a complicated relationship between decision and outcome is almost surely horrible.

I should point out that my "Decision-stuff-Outcome" scheme is overlooking something, that really the player is going from Decision to Decision, and "Outcome" is just a convenient rest before the next Decision. That is, pre- and post-decision randomness is sort of a consequence of the turn structure. A game with post-decision randomness, with turns represented by |'s, might look like
|Decision Randomness Resolution|Decision Randomness Resolution|,
while a pre-decision randomness game would look like
|Randomness Decision Resolution|Randomness Decision Resolution|.
But what matters to a player is when they can _act_, which is the decision stage; in either game, between decisions there is some randomness and there is some resolution process. My point about design above could be reworded to claim that the conceptual distance between decisions shouldn't be too large or too small.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donald Dennis
United States
Pawleys Island
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
It looks like you thought more about this than we did when recording the episode. You should join us when recording!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.