Mathematical formula for perfect game

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Anonymous

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3240710.stm

[EDIT: Pasted some contents]
0.22a + 0.17f + 0.153n + (0.12c - 0.1g) + 0.1s + 0.09e + 0.06d + 0.054l + 0.05m + 0.011c = pfg

A = age range
F = fun factor
N = number of people
C = competitive factor
G - argumentative factor
S = stimulation
E = engagement
D = duration
L = longevity
M = mobility
C = complexity

This guy had way too much time . . .
In brief, he calculated how much each variable should be weighted to create the perfect family game.

The article includes nothing on the range of each variable and says little on how this formula was derived.

The results are very odd indeed. I am almost wondering if this was done to boost sales at the author's game store . . .

Regardless, I'm sure this will stir up some debate.

- Silverdragon0

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Mathematical formula for perfect game

I think the authors primary assumption that there is a perfect game is flawed. Not every game fits every player.
Also measuring a games traits is subjective. A game that i might find stimulating could be the hight of boredom for another, the same holds true for fun factor. Odds are Mr Eldridge's shop is full of the same games all game shops are full of. I might take him seriously if he had a game shop that sold only one game, "The perfect game".

Torrent
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Mathematical formula for perfect game

I looked at the article and it seems that 'perfect family game' comes out of context, however I can't find the context. The way I read the article it should be a subjective measure, but I can't find any direct quote to back that.
How about this maybe we just take the formula as it is written ignoring some of the ego around it.
The best game is one that is primarily appropriate to the ages (in our community(BGDF) this doesn't seemto come up much) and is fun*, it should accomadate the right number of people for the family( we had the scalability chat this last week), it should be competitive without degenerating into arguments to often, it should be equal parts stimulating and engaging, it shouldn't be too long and should be replayable. It is nice if it can be played everywhere and isn't too complex (or too simple).

So even if you didn't agree with this formula (and I don't really, some of his weights seem off, but maybe is that because I don't play many family games), it is basically a nice little description of a good game. Just as I'm writing this I'm thinking, maybe if one was playtesting and wanted single scores that could be broken down, it wouln't be that hard to create scoring cards for playtesters with all the variables and you could compute final scores. I don't know, it might help the "Is it better?" "Not really it's just different." problem, but good playtesters would probably help that more.
I think I kinda agree with SilverDragon this was probably more to get the author's game sotre mentioned in the BBC than anything else, but good for him. Any support to our hobby is good right?

Andy

zaiga
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Mathematical formula for perfect game

Do people take this seriously? I thought the article was a (weak) attempt at humour.

- Rene Wiersma

Anonymous
Mathematical formula for perfect game

I would hope the idea of measuring with a formula the perfect game is a joke. That's like trying to give a mathematical formula to the perfect book, painting, sculpture, poem...whatever.

Now, as a joke, weak or not, the guy did to get noticed, great. If he did seriously, I don't know if I'd want that kind of notoriety to the game design world. :)

Have fun all!

-Vexx

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: Mathematical formula for perfect game

Silverdragon0 wrote:
The article includes nothing on the range of each variable

Because of the structure of the formula you could pick any scale you wanted as long as you used the same scale for each and for every game you compare.

If it's humor then it's lame.

If it's not humor then it's incredibly lame. :)

-- Matthew

Anonymous
Mathematical formula for perfect game

@Fastlearner: right, I thought one of them didn't have a coefficient - idiot me :)

@the world: Yeah, I don't honestly think much of this particular example. However, there have been analyses of pop songs that reveal what is memorable about them. So far there has not been any way to prudce a song using these equations, but it's a step.

This article in particular is probably just the prodigy of a sorry journalist in a slump . . . :roll:

- Silverdragon0

Scurra
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Joined: 09/11/2008
Mathematical formula for perfect game

The article was widely reported in the UK "serious" press, although it was somewhat undermined by an accompanying list of "perfect family games" - as sold by the shop that the formula came from - that was headed by Simpsons Monopoly (IIRC)...
But the categories identified are actually pretty sound, even if we can argue endlessly about the weightings - indeed, I think it would form the basis of a good piece for the Wiki :)

hpox
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Mathematical formula for perfect game

This is a very very good example of a completely cluless person pulling facts and theories from his ass.

Seriously, come on.

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Mathematical formula for perfect game

Scurra wrote:
The article was widely reported in the UK "serious" press, although it was somewhat undermined by an accompanying list of "perfect family games" - as sold by the shop that the formula came from - that was headed by Simpsons Monopoly (IIRC)...

Actually, "cards" was the perfect family game! That seems equivalent to "rock" winning "greatest philosopher of all time".

Quote:

But the categories identified are actually pretty sound, even if we can argue endlessly about the weightings

The whole problem is that the weightings are what is subjective. (setting aside for a moment how in the world one quantifies "fun factor" or "stimulation"). The way that my group might weight these different factors will be very different from what your group will use, and rightly so! (Incidentally, I don't think his coefficients sum to 1, but they probably ought to, I think...)

I just don't think there is such a thing as an objective criterion for evaluating games. But it seems like there ought to be -- you ought to be able to demonstrate that "Puerto Rico" is better than Tic-Tac-Toe. But I don't know if you can without a lot of assumptions. I think it's just one of those things that's kind of self-evident.

And I think that again, it all comes back to play experience. I suspect that you could set a certain set of values for those coefficients based on a given play experience (examples, "beer and pretzels", "brain-burner", "backstabbing", etc) and then compare games relative to an intended experience. But how can you compare Chess with Puerto Rico objectively? It's really apples and oranges, as far as I can tell...

-Jeff