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GeekNights Tuesday - Home Versions of Game Shows

Tonight on GeekNights, we talk about the unique space of home editions of game shows. In the news, Counterstike is using something like Elo ratings, confusing the silvers. Also, Awesome Games Done Quick is rocking 2015, especially with Dynamite Headdy on 1/5/2015 @ 3:55:00 AM. ConnectiCon panel submissions are OPEN!

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  • Family feud and speed runs go really well together

  • I really want to know how the home game of The Running Man plays.
  • I really wanted to correct Rym's use of "ELO" as an acronym, but then he corrected himself.

    The best home game using the Price is Right initial bid mechanism is Wits & Wagers.

    I had a 100-page 'activity' book that was basically "how to throw a double dare party" - instructions on how to run messy food-based games and activities, etc. Never used it, but I read it a lot.
  • I created a tournament and rankings system for three club combat. You have no idea how many people have told me "You know, you should make it an Elo ranking system!"

    Of course, this would be a real pain, and the structure isn't a very good fit for the tournament type. One-on-one matches in single elimination knockout tournaments? The best mature system to emulate for that is the tennis rankings system. I've studied those systems, know then well. While the current rankings formula doesn't create a rankings list that reflects the reality of who is best, by the whole "mechanism design", it incentivizes participation. And participation is super important when launching a sport.

    When I explain this, people still want an Elo style system. I ask hard questions, and it turns out most people just explain it at the wikipedia level.

    But my questions aren't "What is an Elo rankings system?" but "Explain how to fit it into these result, or how I can take these tournament results and have a fair rankings system in the end." It turns out small details and implementations are a real killer. It's good that Valve is on top of this kind of thing (though I've not looked through the rules page).

    And then I say "I have all the details and results from 45 tournaments. Do you want all the data, so you can work out the Elo system yourself?"

    The answer is invariably "No. You do it."
  • When I used to run SWCCG tournaments I created a ranking system that was based on wins/losses with a modifier added in for cards remaining in your deck at match end (game win was based on deck elimination).

    I based it off of the chess ranking system and while a win was a win the amount of cards you had remaining was a decent indicator of your skill and thus had a ranking impact greater than zero but less than that of a win. The system was also a zero sum game where every player began at 1,000 points and the total sum of points was always 1,000X where X is the number of players in the group.

    It worked very well and a lot of the kids changed their style of play slightly to account for the new metric added to our local scoring system.
  • Again, that comes down to incentives. For Fight Night Combat, I want the best player to win, but as it's a spectator sport it's also important for it to be entertaining. Due to counting ONLY wins, if a player is up 4-0 in a 5 point match, or knows they can with a match easily, it's better for everyone if they let the other player have a few points for free. It creates drama and lets the weaker player show off a bit.

    Yet in qualification, there are no spectators. There every point matters, as there's no elimination, and ties in qualification match win number is broken by points difference.

    As stated in the latter part of the podcast episode, a sport/game/esport which has audience considerations will have a different playing experience than a pure orthogame played purely for fun.
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