Saturday, March 11, 2006

What's a Hot Game?

BoardGameGeek has a section on the profile page for Hot Games. This section is difficult to fill in because (a) you need to enter the ID of the game, which is OK as long as Die Macher is your only hot game, and (b) I don't know what a hot game is anyway and Aldie has declined to tell me. I have been experimenting with determining my Hot Games using the BGG XML API, but with little success.

Undoubtedly rating a game highly correlates positively with it being hot. I also find that my hot games are ones that I've played recently. So I have tried adding my rating to a factor based on how recently I played the game. By this metric, my 10 hottest games are Rheinländer, Shadows over Camelot, Blokus, Elfenland, Bazaar, Domaine, Amazonas, Geschenkt, Arkham Horror and Battle of the Bands. Hmm... it didn't come out *so* bad.

Where it seems to be falling down is on games I am a little bit bored with. Rheinländer is definitely my hottest game of the moment - I played it for the first time on Thursday night and think it could well become a favourite. However Shadows Over Camelot, although it is a great game for a big group, doesn't hold many mysteries for me. So I tried adding an extra bonus for games that I haven't played very many times. The hot 10 then becomes Rheinländer, Bazaar, Geschenkt, Arkham Horror, Medici, Torres, Great Ballon Race, El Grande, Elfenland and Shadows Over Camelot. There's still something missing there... Medici was an interesting game, but I don't particularly aspire to be good at auctions. Not sure how to encode that at the moment.

I think my hot 10 is "games I want to play most right now". That means that old games, even great games, are not hot. New games that I liked are very very hot. The hot games are the games that I read about when I surf the 'geek. I'll continue work on determining them automatically and let you know when I make the breakthrough that allows me to read someone's mind.

Anyway, here's my real hot 10 that I would enter at BoardGameGeek if I could get a connection: Rheinländer, Bazaar, Arkham Horror, Torres, Trias, Evo, Ra, Cathedral, PÜNCT, Web of Power. But not necessarily in that order.


mikey said...

"New games that I liked are very very hot. The hot games are the games that I read about when I surf the 'geek. "

And here we end up with the 'Board Games as Crack Cocaine' conundrum! Have I mentioned this to you John?

In expirements with rats depressing a lever to get cocaine, the rats continue to depress the lever until they die of heart failure.

That said, I'm looking foward to this Wednesday to see what form of smack (or charlie or horse or Mary Jane) you're bringing along.

Friendless said...

Hmm, I am thinking the guys will like Monsters Menace America, and Andrew wants to try Domaine. But you know how things never turn out like you expect them to.

I find that surfing BGG these days I have much more of an idea what I like and don't get as excited as I used to. It pisses me off though that there are great games like Rheinlander that fell through the cracks and I had to discover because someone else had them. What other treasures are waiting to be discovered? Also I am getting very interested in two player abstracts, and there are *so* many of those, and I don't get many chances to play them. Maybe one night at Book Realm we can have a 2 player abstract session, where we play games like Cathedral and GIPF. Of course they are not everyone's cup of tea, so I guess it depends on whether there is enough interest.

As for the rats, I could play board games or I could stay home and drink booze. Which is more likely to cause heart failure?

mikey said...

Well, most certainly a bottle of bundy rum a night isn't going to be healthy.

There has been some recent evidence that playing computer games keeps the mind healthy, which can more than be extrapolated to board games.

I've found out that I'm not that keen on two player games. Playing blokus/lost cities/Alhambra/Carcassone the castle with the missus reveals to me that I appreciate the more social aspect of gaming with more.

I feel the losses when I play two player, which is interesting as I enjoy the process of gaming with three or more, and not the result. With two you are easily divisible into winner and loser. This could of course have more to do with being in a relationship and losing to my *wife* than anything else...

I'm not being critical with the crack comment, just a smartarse (if you couldn't tell already!). I too enjoy the frisson of excitement with researching anf buying new games!

Friendless said...

The crack comment is basically true :-). I also remembered I want to try the guys on Betrayal at House on the Hill. I like 2 player abstracts because they're so intense, and it's very much a mind-on-mind competition. Of course, you need to compete against the right type of mind - one that can deal with noth winning and losing, but takes it very seriously nevertheless. I had a great game of GIPF against OzVortex today, it was his first game but he caught on too quickly and after starting poorly nearly caught me. My comment at one stage was "I know you have a dastardly plan, I just can't see what it is". I like that intensity.

I like Lost Cities with the missus, she is competitive and at least some of the intensity is there.