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Snowflake
03-19-2019 at 12:01 AM
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tracking video game board games

so things like chess, or checkers. does speed run or fewest make sense? i'm leaning towards fewest moves. that will no doubt mean more times, but also easier adjudication. additionally, sure, the speed of making decisions matters, but at somepoint it just comes down to not how quick you thought but how fast you moved your hands. whereas a slowly though out way to win in fewer moves is a strategic test of inneficiency

i guess speed run would make it so its doesnt matter if someone copies you moves. speedrun admittedly would keep it more competiive in the long run, but i think fewer moves would be more interesting at first, and considering i dont see many people putting a lot of time into such games, i would think short term is kinda all that matters.

in particular i'm thinking of making a track for intellivsion checkers, but i purposely saved mentioning the title for the end because i think its a good general question

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  1. GregDeg's Avatar

    When creating tracks for board games you’re trying to appeal to individuals who play video games and also play chess or checkers. Out of that group, how many usually play speed chess / checkers. It may be a small number. I think it’s worth creating, but don’t expect too much competition.

    When you create the rules for the speed run, be specific, just as you were on the Atari Chess track. Include the rounding rule, up or down, which ever you prefer.

    As far as fewer moves, fewer that what? 100? Adjudicators may shy away from voting on runs with a lot of moves.

    When it comes to copying moves, there’s not much you can do there. That’s going to happen.

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  2. Snowflake's Avatar

    oh by fewer moves i didnt mean put a limit on moves, i meant thats the score. like "checkmate in fewest moves possible'. and i agree with simpler rules having an advantage which is why i mentioned that as one advantage. tracking fewest moves is much simpler than measuring time. the rule itself is les words "the amount of moves until winning is your score" and verifying only requires counting moves much easier than getting time stamps with no grey area or room for interpertaion.

  3. Snowflake's Avatar

    although for checkers in particjlar theres an even easier to measure option -- amount of your own pieces remaining. i feel like even though no chess player cares about that, checker players might care

  4. Conjured Entertainment's Avatar

    No practical way to make a track for some board games, so I will have to just have fun with the videos.

    I had just made a Protesting Parody and uploaded it the day before I found my used OUIJA talking board, then I noticed a reference to 'Just do it' in the Zozo video I found after finding the board.

    My protest parody video not only has a reference to "just do it' as well, but also religious protesters. (mysterious ways, folks, mysterious ways)

    The OUIJA boards are ripoffs of other 'talking boards' (like the Espirito above), and experienced mediums don't need the boards, just amateurs, but they can still be lots of fun even though there is no goal to win.

    The more I research the OUIJA board, the more I am inspired to design my own 'talking board' using ancient spiritual symbolism to invoke specific spirits.

    Sounds like fun, right?

    Just remember the Parker Brothers slogan: "It's only a game—isn't it?"

    Luckily, Hasbro owns the OUIJA board rights now, hence the pink version aimed at teen girls.

    So, it seems to still be just a game to the manufacturers... (have fun with Hasbro Zozo!?)

    Updated 03-19-2019 at 10:21 AM by Conjured Entertainment
  5. GibGirl's Avatar

    If the title is nothing more than an implementation of an existing classic board game like that, I don't see what the value even is in tracking it. I don't feel it provides anything of real value to the leaderboard. Fewest moves is going to be just another max-out track that people will copy, and completion time isn't going to be that much better, as people fight for fractions of a second just to execute what is extremely likely going to be that same set of moves.

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  6. Snowflake's Avatar

    @Gibgirl you've made your feeling on pinball and maxouts both very well known as not trackable. i disagree. Far be it from me to say something isnt worth arguing, also, i know its easy for the person who won to say "let it go"and that would be disingenous of me since i'm only able to let it go since my side won. so i'm trying to watch my tone and acknowledge your feelings are valid. at the same time though, i just dont see the point of arguing whehter or not something should be tracked when the decsion of if we can track things has alreayd been made. again, i accepti have a bias here, so i do apologize for not having the best wording, or perhaps the best empathy. maybe before engaging in the argument it would be forth discussing waht the value of such an argument even is?

    here i am making a track. my question isnt "should i make a track" but rather "how should i make it". i'm open to all advise ohter than "dont make it".

    really not trying to be dismissive, i just feel your topic is a tangent. a tangent that i've discussed with you elsewhere. and i'd be willing to discuss again, i really do feel horrible being dismissive as thats not mygoal, i'm just trying to say you're topic of whather or not to track it all and my topic of how track it arent exaclty the same.

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  7. Conjured Entertainment's Avatar

    I have to agree with her though, as she is making a very valid point.

    Least moves may be the best way to track checkers, but that will be easily copied and thus pointless to track.

    Some games, even if there is a goal to win, are just not track worthy, and checkers falls right in there with tic-tac-toe.

    Not to sound like I am against checkers, or that I doubt the strategic skills to play it well, just that there is no good way to track that skill with a game that has no scoring system.


    As for Chess, never underestimate the power of the dark side...

    While many people think White has an advantage by getting the first move, it is Black who can win on their second move and thus give you the shortest game possible.

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    Updated 03-19-2019 at 10:39 AM by Conjured Entertainment
  8. Desidious's Avatar

    #justiceforgameequality

    #alltracksaregood (cept feish face)

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  9. Desidious's Avatar

    Make the damn track and I'll help fund. Naysayers don't have to submit to it or adjudicate it. Good way to at least get some games on the site for historical documentation.

  10. GibGirl's Avatar

    Ok, let me elucidate on my thoughts here. I believe that tracks best serve and entich the intents of Twin Galaxies when they provide something that is competitive and pushes people to improve. And this is why I don't really like a track that's a max-out - it has a skill cap on it, a point in which there's no further reason to improve or compete. TG isn't a site for "who has done the thing", but "who is best at doing the thing". It also explains why I'm totally against luck-based tracks, as I don't want one for "who has repeated the thing until they've got the best outcome". (Hunt-n-score or codebreaker tracks for the 2600, for example)

    If there is a way to look at a max-out from a different perspective that can be tracked, then let's do it. A speedrun version, for example - how quickly can you max-out the score? Or maybe the most consecutive max-outs - how many times straight can you hit 99 on an Air-Sea Battle or Speed Racer game? Or maybe an average time for 10 attempts, such as with Dragster or Grand Prix? Can you do an alternative track that leaves room to keep pushing people to improve?

    But it's when there's a case where there aren't any good alternatives that provide a means to keep things competitive that I don't think it provides value. I don't think anyone should have a 1st place score that *cannot be beaten*. It feels like that's just padding numbers. Besides, if you want to track skill at playing these classic board games, there are existing and thriving communities that are about the game, not just beating some particular implementation that's usually not even very complex. Remember, we're talking about games that have already been *very thoroughly explored*.

    If you're adamant that you want to create these kind of tracks, what about some alternative and unusual goals, something that perhaps may not already be thoroughly explored, where you can't just have a laptop open next to you (off camera) with an engine feeding you moves. "Fastest time to promote pawns to one each of a knight, bishop, rook, and queen"? "Fastest time to complete a triple-jump" (in checkers)? I would actually be in support of some of these possibilities if they require an understanding of the game, skill in playing it, and are divergent enough from the typical win conditions that AI engines aren't going be helpful to find a solution.

  11. datagod's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by GibGirl
    ... and completion time isn't going to be that much better, as people fight for fractions of a second just to execute what is extremely likely going to be that same set of moves.

    Kinda sounds like the Olympics. People train their whole lives to shave a few hundredth's of a second off their time.

    To me, checkers isn't worth tracking. It is a I win / CPU win game. Win or lose. Making it a speed run track might be interesting I suppose...

    I don't think speed running in Chess is good. We already have timed chess games. The goal is to increase your rating. Don't know if old console games even track ratings.

  12. Snowflake's Avatar

    you do realize anything other than a marathon is basically a maxout right? speedruns also have a best possible time, and once you get it noone can get it. so by the logic of " I don't think anyone should have a 1st place score that *cannot be beaten *" what would you do to a speedrun track once someone perfects it? the moment someone masters it suddenly remove the track?

    now fine, speedruns are technically more of a min-out than a maxout, but the whole "1st place score that cannont be beaten" will apply to anyting thats not marathonable. the only reason the racing games you play have scores that can still be beaten is they're new. look at the atari racing games, lets take dragster, dragster isnt even points, its time, so a speedrun to the finish line, and it tooks decades for people to get the 5.57 but now they have it. do we remove drasger the moment the first person gets a 5.57

    the only games that dont suffer from first places that cant be beaten is marathons, but you've also disparaged them. yet marathons, and first places that cant be beaten are the only two options. once you rule both out literally no game reamains other than games that people just arent good yet.

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  13. Snowflake's Avatar

    while pondering what makes the games you play that also have best possible times and will eventually result in a first place noone can beat any different from whta i'm suggesting also consider this. some people think only first place should be tracked. but why do we track all places? because we track all achievements. soemteims simply beating a game (pass/fail) is its own achievemnt. getting the maxout is its own thing. now i dont deny some maxouts are easier than others. again, anything other than a marathonabl game has a skill cap, and different games cap lower or higher than others, yet they do all cap. if the idea is just to remove games that are too easy, well at least now that exlains a difference, but its pretty arbitrayr trying to decide whats too easy

  14. datagod's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Conjured Entertainment
    While many people think White has an advantage by getting the first move, it is Black who can win on their second move and thus give you the shortest game possible.

    I am the first person to prove this not true!

    When I play white against a supreme opponent, my first move is to tip over my King, resigning. It is both an admission of their superiority, and a slap in their face. They can have the win, but not the joy in defeating my army.

  15. GibGirl's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowflake

    you do realize anything other than a marathon is basically a maxout right? speedruns also have a best possible time, and once you get it noone can get it. so by the logic of " I don't think anyone should have a 1st place score that *cannot be beaten *" what would you do to a speedrun track once someone perfects it? the moment someone masters it suddenly remove the track?

    now fine, speedruns are technically more of a min-out than a maxout, but the whole "1st place score that cannont be beaten" will apply to anyting thats not marathonable. the only reason the racing games you play have scores that can still be beaten is they're new. look at the atari racing games, lets take dragster, dragster isnt even points, its time, so a speedrun to the finish line, and it tooks decades for people to get the 5.57 but now they have it. do we remove drasger the moment the first person gets a 5.57

    the only games that dont suffer from first places that cant be beaten is marathons, but you've also disparaged them. yet marathons, and first places that cant be beaten are the only two options. once you rule both out literally no game reamains other than games that people just arent good yet.


    Yes, you're right, games like speedruns, racing games, and so on, are all going to have some sort of theoretical minimum time. I think things like how hard it is to reach that limit and opportunities to try alternative strategies come into play. Along with that, is the community comfortable pivoting to alternative versions of competition. This latter is shown regularly in the speedrunning community - when people feel a variant is "dead", that is, unbeatable, people move on to something else. Frequently, this state doesn't last, as new tricks and strategies are developed and times are improved.

    Let me rephrase - I'm against tracks being created with known, achievable, and hard max-outs (or min-outs). I'm ok with theoretical, soft max-outs - where we know there's going to be a limit, but we don't know where, and there's always room for new strategies. I'd also like to see people move on from the max-out tracks that are currently on the site to alternative tracks where the competition can continue. I think Dragster is a good example here - we feel awfully certain that 5.57 is a hard limit for quickest time. So why not a track for the fastest average time for 10 runs? This renews competition, and while we again know that it's likely a hard limit of 5.57 here too, it seems unlikely anyone would reach it for quite a while, if ever.

    I guess you see my philosophy here - create tracks that foster competition to push people to get better, not ones that serve as checklists of "I also did this thing".

  16. Snowflake's Avatar

    winning of the second move as black is kind of a testimony to white though, as white has to be good enough to know exactly how to lose that fast.. so sure if your opponent is trying to help you win, black can win in two moves. but as fun trivia as that it is, i dont think you can use to claim going second is better. considering the only time its better is win your opponent wants to intentionally lose, and in that case, they could just concede before turn 1 regardless of color.

    fyi, i'm fine with this being all over the place, it just means that i learned what happens when i go to my wall first to ask for advice on a track. if people dont want to discuss the track itself and help me get the ruling right i'll just make my own rules. my rules are playable unlike another current event. but i accepted my strawberry shortcake marathon, could be better as a timelimit game (which despite anti-marathon people suggesting timed games, i'd like to point out all timed games are maxouts too).

    these are all fine opinions and fun topics to discuss of course i just would've prefered them be in a different thread. oh well..

  17. Snowflake's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by GibGirl



    Yes, you're right, games like speedruns, racing games, and so on, are all going to have some sort of theoretical minimum time. I think things like how hard it is to reach that limit and opportunities to try alternative strategies come into play. Along with that, is the community comfortable pivoting to alternative versions of competition. This latter is shown regularly in the speedrunning community - when people feel a variant is "dead", that is, unbeatable, people move on to something else. Frequently, this state doesn't last, as new tricks and strategies are developed and times are improved.

    Let me rephrase - I'm against tracks being created with known, achievable, and hard max-outs (or min-outs). I'm ok with theoretical, soft max-outs - where we know there's going to be a limit, but we don't know where, and there's always room for new strategies. I'd also like to see people move on from the max-out tracks that are currently on the site to alternative tracks where the competition can continue. I think Dragster is a good example here - we feel awfully certain that 5.57 is a hard limit for quickest time. So why not a track for the fastest average time for 10 runs? This renews competition, and while we again know that it's likely a hard limit of 5.57 here too, it seems unlikely anyone would reach it for quite a while, if ever.

    I guess you see my philosophy here - create tracks that foster competition to push people to get better, not ones that serve as checklists of "I also did this thing".


    this i think i can bullet point to my objections

    1. before i make assumptons please answer do you value tracking anything other than first place? your answer to that affects follow ups
    1a. if you only want to track first places, no further questions, as we just have a strong difference of opinion and thats fine
    1b. if you trck all places, then for people not get good enough to get the max out, for all practical purposes is it really a a maxout if they cant get it? for anyone not good enough to get the maxout yet, the track is still an acitve place for them to compete
    2. why does the max out being known exactly make a differnece? The games where you dont curently know the maxout you will one day know, do you remove the track once its known? I mean, if you made a track tomorrow where the maxout is unknown, and 15 minutes later someone analayzes the code and tells you best possible time will that sudenly make the track bad? if your rule for a track is that we not know the best time, then you're not judging the game, you're judging our ignorance. you're litreally making ignorance of the game a requirement. thats not sustainable as all ignorance eventually gets replaced with knowledge.
    3. is the point of competition to simply learn the best score? i would argue thats what tool-assisted speed runs are for, yet we outlaw thsoe here. tas is far more effective for finding best score than competition is. records arent meant for finding best score (though they can achieve that as a side effect), they're meant for, well, recording what we did. Use TAS to determine best times, use tournamnets for competion, but use records simply to record things

  18. GibGirl's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowflake

    1. before i make assumptons please answer do you value tracking anything other than first place? your answer to that affects follow ups
    1a. if you only want to track first places, no further questions, as we just have a strong difference of opinion and thats fine
    1b. if you trck all places, then for people not get good enough to get the max out, for all practical purposes is it really a a maxout if they cant get it? for anyone not good enough to get the maxout yet, the track is still an acitve place for them to compete

    I am absolutely in favor of tracking more than first place. It's especially helpful when working on improving your skills, knowing where you sit when compared to others. But I don't have a problem with having a skill floor in some tracks. We already have these - you need to complete the game for a speedrun, for example, and there are other tracks that require a player to finish to count a score or lap time.

    We want to track the best scores/times/etc here. I don't think there's anything wrong with tracks having a "you must be this good to submit" rule *when it makes sense for the track*.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowflake

    2. why does the max out being known exactly make a differnece? The games where you dont curently know the maxout you will one day know, do you remove the track once its known? I mean, if you made a track tomorrow where the maxout is unknown, and 15 minutes later someone analayzes the code and tells you best possible time will that sudenly make the track bad? if your rule for a track is that we not know the best time, then you're not judging the game, you're judging our ignorance. you're litreally making ignorance of the game a requirement. thats not sustainable as all ignorance eventually gets replaced with knowledge.

    To me, it's about the potential for future competition. Does the track give people room and incentive to continue to get better? A track where people know and have reached the maxout, or are close, then we've hit a limit at tracking player skill. If there's a known max-out that's a log ways away, then it's good as there's still a lot of room to improve. And if the max-out isn't known, then it's even more interesting as we don't know how far people can push.

    I also am not for getting rid of max-out tracks. I'm for adding competitive alternatives to the ones that are here, and not adding new tracks that we know are just going to be collections of max-outs in the near future.


    Quote Originally Posted by Snowflake

    3. is the point of competition to simply learn the best score? i would argue thats what tool-assisted speed runs are for, yet we outlaw thsoe here. tas is far more effective for finding best score than competition is. records arent meant for finding best score (though they can achieve that as a side effect), they're meant for, well, recording what we did. Use TAS to determine best times, use tournamnets for competion, but use records simply to record things

    I think the point of the competition is to push people to further improve themselves, and so the rest of us can see how good someone can get at a game. TASes are quite exciting to watch for speedruns, and can often give an idea of the fastest times possible, but they don't replace actual play. Most TASes do things people can't do - and sometimes what they think people can't do, they turn around and actually do, which is always wild to see.

    I think tracks are the best when created to encourage people to keep getting better.

    Finally, I'd like to actually specifically answer your original post. While I hope I've made it clear that I think if you want to track an implementation of a classic board game, that you should find some sort of "alternative" goal than just winning, if the choice is between tracking number of moves, or completion time, I definitely come down on completion time. Tracking what's just how well someone manipulates the controller may not be the most in-depth test of skill, but it offers more competitive potential than just tracking the number of moves, and won't have clear max-outs.

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  19. Snowflake's Avatar

    i feel some of your points contradict, but maybe i'm missing how to reconcile them

    you agree with tracking non first places because its fun to see how you hold up to others, so why doesnt the same apply to maxouts? by the same logic for those who arent good enough to get the maxout isnt it equally useful to see how they rank against others as they improve?

    you again agree with not just having TAS and the benefit of competition, but again i would say what about everyone whos not good enough for the maxout, does the track there serve all those same benefits? if TAS doesnt make competiotn obsolete, why does somone maxing out ruin the competition among those who arent good enough to max yet?

    now, i'm not trying to put words into your mouth, just trying to guess how you feel so take this as a question not an attempt to strawman you. But are you assuming the maxouts are easy and everyone would get them? cause you'll notice most of counter points have to do with the poeple not good enough to get the maxout. i mean yes, i still see some benefit for tracking those who did get the maxout of course but thats it own point, it seems to me though all your points ignore all the poeple who cant get the maxout.

    I am also not opposed to other modes. I think how pacman, once enouhg people maxed it turned into a speedrun. That doesnt mean though on day one you create the fastest perfect pacman track. Theres still reason to start with the straight game play, and then have additional rules added later.

    now i will grant you tg no longer tracks pass/fail -- or at least not sucessfully. and i'll grant that a game like mash that everyone maxes (but again theres a difference between everyone maxing and just a portion maxing) are no differn than pass/fail tracks. I think alot of your arguments apply more to more pass/fail tracks -- which even that i do see some benefit too. so sure i'd argue pass fail as well, but even that aside i think its good acknowledge since all non-marathon games are maxouts, and "too easy" is super open to opinion i can agree to limiting my track creation on that

    another important point is the difference between "records" and "tournaments". alot of tg video game people these days both at tg and other sites seem to confuse the two. record keeping is about the, record keeping. its not really aobut competiton, thats what tournaments are for. so i see benefit in recording our gaming achievements even if others have tied them. now, a tournament, sure, of course a pass/fail game at a tournament would make no sense. plenty of times, contrary to popular opinon, the "world recod holder" is not actually "the world champ" and the record holder would likley lose a competition to someone with a much lower recorded score. competition is there here and now, like tournaments. records are eternal, especially non first places records.

    there's overlap, as right there should be. most of the time its just semantics. but in this case, talking about what to record, well, the difference is no longer mere semantics. record keeping should be for recording anything of note even if its now common place.

  20. GibGirl's Avatar

    I told myself I was going to stay away from getting involved in wall posts, but looks like I didn't do too well at that today... so I'm just going to bounce out of here as I don't think I've helped with anything...

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