Recommend
22 
 Thumb up
 Hide
21 Posts

Game Genome Project» Forums » General

Subject: Game Genome Project 2.0 - PRIMARY THREAD rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Oliver Kiley
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Backstory:

There is a fair amount of interest among a number of BGG users in improving and expanding the current game classification fields in the game database (i.e. mechanics, category, weight, family). In many cases definitions within these fields have gone through mitosis, splitting and diverging in different directions, and causing a lot of confusion and loss of clarity. In other cases, there is a desire to be able to better explain what "weight" means, or have a method of evaluating a games depth or rules complexity, or many other factors.

The blog post / lit review Towards a Science of Boardgames (Part I) was my attempt at pulling together, at a high level, all of the things that could be used to describe a game. It generated a lot of conversation and re-sparked interest in prior works, such as those by Selwyth and his game taxonomy project. What came out of that, was a desire to have a place to contain more focused discussion on these topics aimed, optimistically, at affecting change in the BGG database in the future as well as other tools or analytical opportunities. That led us to the seemingly inactive Game Genome Project Guild and the idea of re-scoping the guild to tackle the challenge we set before ourselves.

(Note that the following sections are open to debate/discussion)

Re-Scoping + Mission Statement:

The Game Genome Project is a comprehensive and collaborative effort to identify the full range of traits (aka genes or characteristics) that can be used to describe board games along with the corresponding tools and practices for assessing and assigning these traits to individual games. The purpose of these activities is to provide the board game community with a more effective and commonly understood lexicon (vocabulary) for discussing board games and support analytical investigation of the boardgaming hobby.

That’s fairly broad an all-encompassing, but hopefully gets the point across!

Project Tasks

Given the comprehensive nature of this effort, I thought it would make sense to identify a number sub-tasks that can be pursued individually or as a group. We can provide an index to the various sub-tasks on the main guild page (or just keep it here), and setup relevant threads for each to track the conversation.

Task 1.0: Management + Coordination

These tasks are for discussing the overall goals/objectives of the Game Genome Project, tracking management tools and coordination (i.e. if we use any outside of BGG resources, how that can be handled), as well as any preferred data collection practices or approaches.

Task 1.1 ... Mission statement + purpose
Task 1.2 ... Coordination + Management Resources
Task 1.3 ... Data Collection + Methods/Practices

Task 2.0: Trait Framework

Within each of the sub-tasks, the general goal is to answer key questions about each of the traits below (in no specific order). If there are additional traits that need to be added/modified, please mention it. Here are the key questions:

(1) What is the definition of this trait?
(2) How can this trait be measured?
(3) What is the range of attributes/choices/categories/etc within the trait that that can be used to describe a game?


Task 2.1 ... Genres (See Selywth's Classification)
Task 2.2 ... Mechanisms (See Selywth's Classification)
Task 2.3.1 . Interaction: Game Format
Task 2.3.2 . Interaction: Competitiveness Level
Task 2.3.3 . Interaction: Interplayer-Dynamics
Task 2.4 ... Mechanical Complexity
Task 2.5 ... Gameplay/Decision Depth
Task 2.6 ... Luck/Chaos/Randomness
Task 2.7 ... Player Skills
Task 2.8.1 . Theme: Definition (Setting/Scale/Role)
Task 2.8.2 . Theme: Mechanical Integration
Task 2.9 ... Pacing / Flow / Elegance / Fiddly-ness / Streamlining / Intuitiveness
Task 2.10 ... Components / Interface / Design
Task 2.11 ... Variability / Longevity
Task 2.12 ... Other Game Data (player count, playtime, published year etc.)
Task 2.13 ... BGG User Data (rating, fun factor, play records, etc.)

Task 3.0: Roll-out and BGG Integration

Eventually, the plan is to affect change here on BGG, which will include both changing the BGG game database if we are able to and establishing some long-term structure for maintaining the integrity of the work.

Task 3.1 ... Changing the BGG Game Database
Task 3.2 ... Framework for sustainable quality control + administration

Task 4.0: Data Use / Analytics

This of course begs the question, to what ultimate purpose will these efforts be put towards beyond our own amusement? A few ideas and outputs that can be considered:

- Game selection/recommendation tools
- Trend analysis in the market
- More stuff I’m sure...

Getting Started

Sound good? Let’s get started! Comments on the approach welcome.

I'm going to start setting up some threads specific to some of the above tasks.
7 
 Thumb up
12.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Nerman
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds like a great and challenging undertaking! Good luck!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David F
United States
Emeryville
California
flag msg tools
Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
badge
Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Do you think the "Game Genome Project" title encompasses all the ideas you have? I thought you wanted a different name.

selwyth wrote:
Hmm, I think I just might steal the Game Genome Project name for my blog. The guild should have a more general name (though not Game Theory of course) that encompasses all of Mezorki's ideas.


My suggestion was (which you might've misinterpreted) was I take the Game Genome Project for my blog on genres and mechanisms (and rename my existing stuff), and you have a more general name for your entire framework.

But not a problem if you like the GGP name (it's a cool one!).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
flag msg tools
badge
Don't fall in love with me yet, we only recently met
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think GGP works well for the overarching project and hope that your excellent work so far on genres/mechanisms will be an integral part of that framework.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oliver Kiley
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
selwyth wrote:
Do you think the "Game Genome Project" title encompasses all the ideas you have? I thought you wanted a different name.

selwyth wrote:
Hmm, I think I just might steal the Game Genome Project name for my blog. The guild should have a more general name (though not Game Theory of course) that encompasses all of Mezorki's ideas.


My suggestion was (which you might've misinterpreted) was I take the Game Genome Project for my blog on genres and mechanisms (and rename my existing stuff), and you have a more general name for your entire framework.

But not a problem if you like the GGP name (it's a cool one!).


I figured it made sense to try and re-use this Guild, in part to avoid having to make another from scratch and also because there is a pool of theoretically interested existing guild members to get interested.

I don't have an issue if you want to call your blog Game Genome Project as well, even if it remains focused more on the genre/mechanism piece. I think it would be good PR for this effort/guild too, and as Martin said, I do think your work thus far is an integral part of the this project.

Sound reasonable? I appreciate everyone's interest in this project, it will be fun to see where it goes!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David F
United States
Emeryville
California
flag msg tools
Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
badge
Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks. And don't say it's good PR until after you've seen some of the drivel I'll be posting.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Flying Arrow
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Some thoughts on Task #2...

Task 2.1 ... Genres (See Selywth's Classification)
Task 2.2 ... Mechanisms (See Selywth's Classification)
Task 2.3 ... Player Interaction/Competitiveness
Task 2.4 ... Mechanical Complexity
Task 2.5 ... Gameplay/Decision Depth
Task 2.6 ... Luck/Chaos/Randomness
Task 2.7 ... Player Skills
Task 2.8 ... Theme Integration (and Theme)
Task 2.9 ... Pacing / Flow / Elegance / Fiddly-ness / Streamlining / Intuitiveness
Task 2.10 ... Components / Interface / Design
Task 2.11 ... Variability / Longevity
Task 2.12 ... Other Game Data (player count, playtime, published year etc.)
Task 2.13 ... BGG User Data (rating, fun factor, play records, etc.)

Many of these can be rated numerically, whether objectively or subjectively: 2.4, 2.5, 2.8 (Theme Integration), 2.9, 2.11, 2.12, 2.13. As mentioned, polls of some sort are probably best for the subjective ratings.

2.6 might be numerical (how much randomness?), but perhaps the type of randomization is also something that should be noted.

2.10 isn't numerical, but is relatively straightforward. The difficulty is just deciding how many categories we need. But at least there shouldn't be many disagreements over whether something qualifies as a component, for example.

2.3 isn't numerical, but I think it can be captured pretty cleanly with just a few questions.

The remaining items are the more difficult cases. In particular, separating and defining genre, mechanisms, theme, and player skills as traits, and then defining the categories within those traits. I think we need clear definitions of the four before we can talk much about the categories within the traits.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oliver Kiley
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
FlyingArrow wrote:
Some thoughts on Task #2...
Many of these can be rated numerically, whether objectively or subjectively: 2.4, 2.5, 2.8 (Theme Integration), 2.9, 2.11, 2.12, 2.13. As mentioned, polls of some sort are probably best for the subjective ratings.


Agreed. It will be important moving forward to consider indeed how the input is collected. I could even imagine taking a double pronged approach for the sake of research, which is to a say try developing an objective method for determining appropriate values AND run a poll using the same value scale and see what kinds of differences you get. If the method is well structured, it would be interesting to then run correlations between the two data sets, in which case you might be able to validate the objective methods (at least relative to the poll sample population) as a means for assessing weight/depth/etc...

FlyingArrow wrote:
2.6 might be numerical (how much randomness?), but perhaps the type of randomization is also something that should be noted.


Agreed.

FlyingArrow wrote:
2.10 isn't numerical, but is relatively straightforward. The difficulty is just deciding how many categories we need. But at least there shouldn't be many disagreements over whether something qualifies as a component, for example.


Agreed.

FlyingArrow wrote:
2.3 isn't numerical, but I think it can be captured pretty cleanly with just a few questions.


Yeup ..... and working on that in the other thread

FlyingArrow wrote:
The remaining items are the more difficult cases. In particular, separating and defining genre, mechanisms, theme, and player skills as traits, and then defining the categories within those traits. I think we need clear definitions of the four before we can talk much about the categories within the traits.


Agreed. I really think that Selwyth's classifications give us a very good starting point for the Genres + Mechanisms.

We don't have a lot on player skills or theme per se.

One thing that I was thinking about, is what is the scope of the definition for "theme". For instance, is theme simply synonymous with the subject matter (i.e. Antike is thematically about ancient civilizations) or does theme also suggest in some small way the type of game or scale of game within the subject matter (i.e. Antike is an empire building game set in the ancient civ time period). Or are those two separate sub-traits under theme (i.e. subject matter vs. game scope/scale)?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David F
United States
Emeryville
California
flag msg tools
Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
badge
Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I say just subject matter for now. Scope/scale gets into levels of abstraction.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oliver Kiley
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
selwyth wrote:
Scope/scale gets into levels of abstraction.


Which is another possible trait I hadn't really considered! But it's one I happen to like the idea of quite a bit!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Flying Arrow
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
selwyth wrote:
I say just subject matter for now. Scope/scale gets into levels of abstraction.


In addition to scope/scale, it's also a question of role.

So far I see at least three axes of theme:

* Setting: place/time/people surrounding the game
* Scope/scale
* Role: What is the player doing? Conquer the world, trade, build an empire, fight things, make money

Scope/scale may be related to role.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oliver Kiley
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
FlyingArrow wrote:
selwyth wrote:
I say just subject matter for now. Scope/scale gets into levels of abstraction.


In addition to scope/scale, it's also a question of role.

So far I see at least three axes of theme:

* Setting: place/time/people surrounding the game
* Scope/scale
* Role: What is the player doing? Conquer the world, trade, build an empire, fight things, make money

Scope/scale may be related to role.


I like your proposal for 3-axes of theme ... and it does a good job of starting to capture the full range of stuff in the "categories" section of the existing BGG database.

I think we should split Task 2.8 into "Theme Integration" and Theme Definition" (the 3-axes) for the time being. I'll append the list of tasks.

EDIT: If anyone is interested, I made a little google doc chart listing all the BGG categories and indicating which possible traits the categories might in fact be.

One thing to think about with the theme definition, is how "subject" matter fits in, which I feel is part of the "setting" ... perhaps instead of setting we should use "subject" ... which is a little broader and can accomodate things like setting (time periods, etc.) as well as things like "animals" or "trains" that pop up in the BGG categories.

Feel free to take a look and suggest alternate ideas there.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
flag msg tools
badge
Don't fall in love with me yet, we only recently met
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Oliver, I don't seem to be able to edit the Google doc.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oliver Kiley
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
qwertymartin wrote:
Oliver, I don't seem to be able to edit the Google doc.


Give it a shot now ... I had the permission set wrong.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oliver Kiley
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just had a little thought, which was that there might be two groupings of traits ... those that are "intrinsic" to the game and those that are "emergent" as consequence of playing the game.

The Intrinsic trails might include:
Genre
Mechanisms
Luck-Chaos-Randomness
Theme Definition
Interaction: Game Format
Components
Player Skills
Other Game Data (player count, playtime, published year etc.)

These traits are things that we can point to and generally say "this exists" by looking at the components and the rules on their own. In many ways, these are also more objective in nature, they can be easily classified.

Emergent Traits:
Interaction: Competitiveness Level
Interaction: Interplayer-Dynamics
Mechanical Complexity
Gameplay/Decision Depth
Theme: Mechanical Integration
Pacing / Flow / Elegance / Fiddly-ness / Streamlining / Intuitiveness
Variability / Longevity

These are really factors that aren't explicity stated or described or knowable without playing the game and require a more subjective approach to the assessment.

This isn't much different from what Flying Arrow mentioned up above, but I thought the idea of intrinsic vs. emergent traits to be somewhat amusing.
3 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
flag msg tools
badge
Don't fall in love with me yet, we only recently met
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think a prerequisite to anything else we want to do is to get some more interested people into the guild. I suggest posting a link in threads and geeklists on related topics.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris
England
Harrow
London
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
Quote:
Eventually, the plan is to affect change here


Anyone can affect change. How about you effect change.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brook Gentlestream
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Chris C wrote:
Quote:
Eventually, the plan is to affect change here


Anyone can affect change. How about you effect change.


I had a rather snippy (but witty) post correcting you about how effect is a noun and not a verb. Then I pulled out my dictionary and saw how utterly wrong I was. So, this is a very interesting distinction and I thank you for bringing it to my attention.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pablo Schulman
Brazil
Belo Horizonte
Minas Gerais
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Guys,

First time I'm reading this topic, and I'd like to help in any means necessary, I love taxonomy and classifying. My favourite "genre" of games is abstract strategy games and coincidentally I've started a taxonomy of abstract strategy games, the first being about Victory Conditions

regards,

Pablo Schulman
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dim Gri
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Games include video games?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oliver Kiley
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ran88dom99 wrote:
Games include video games?


No ... just looking at boardgames. Sorry!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.