Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Perky Goth Mechanics

Invisible City Productions, a collective of game designers, writers, and artists who occasionally release free games, has just released Perky Goth, a downloadable card game.

The theme and artwork is sure to please some, such as the Munchkin/Chez Geek loving crowd. Only one mechanic in the game interests me, and that is the scoring. Your final score is the average of your two point counts minus the difference between your two point counts. Very curious.

Like Tigris and Euphrates, this means that you have to progress in both counts at the same time. However, you cannot just simply grow exponentially in one count while making short gains in the other. You truly need a balanced score. A final count of 3 and 2 will beat a final count of 66 and 22.

Doing the math, you can see that given:

a >= b
(a+b)/2 - (a-b)

your score is:

a/2 + b/2 - a + b

which simplifies to:

-a/2 +3b/2

So you don't score any points at all if your higher score is 3 times as large as your lower score. Every one point less difference gives you a half a point for your score.

I kind of like it, and in any case, kudos for coming up with it, assuming that it is original.


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jal said...

Howdy! I'm Jonathan Leistiko, the creator of PerkyGoth.

"I kind of like it, and in any case, kudos for coming up with it, assuming that it is original."

I'm glad you like the scoring mechanic, and I appreciate your analysis of how it works. I wanted a scoring system that rewarded balanced progress and made it strategically plausible for you to play "good" cards on other players (so as to throw their Perky/Goth balance out of whack). I was reviewing statistical deviation in my math course at the time, but I wasn't about to have players calculating variances and standard deviation. Taking the mean and subtracting the range isn't too much math to ask for though, and provides scores that encourage exactly what I want to encourage.

To my knowledge, this scoring system is original; I haven't seen it used elsewhere. It's of limited utility, though. There aren't too many games where you're being rated on your accumulation of more than one category of victory point and your ability to maintain balance between them.

Yehuda said...

Hi, Jon. Thanks for the comment.

But this is an old post!*


* old in blogging years ...