The "On Deck" game

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The "On Deck" game

Postby Weehawk » Mon May 09, 2005 12:10 pm

A problem I'm running into, especially with some of these games that are relatively obscure, is that I am only one person, I sometimes have limited time or inclination to play the next week's game, and sometimes I don't discover problems myself, like this week with Tazz-Mania. Even with a classic like Moon Patrol, we made a discovery about the parent ROMset during the week of play that affected competition and was previously, to my knowledge, unknown.

I toyed with the idea last year of announcing games a little in advance, and toward the end of the year I named the last 5 or 6 tentatively scheduled games beforehand. I think I'll make a practice out of a compromise idea.

With the announcement of each week's game, the prize, and whatever special rules may apply, I will also name the game tentatively planned for the week after, an "on deck" game, if you will. For those non-americans who may not be familiar with baseball, when one player is at bat, his teammate who is scheduled to bat next goes to an area called the "on deck circle". In this manner everyone knows who is to bat next, and when the time comes he can proceed to the plate with minimal delay.

Players are encouraged to try out the "on deck" game and respond in the weekly thread any problems, questions, or suggestions that arise. The game will not become an official Game of the Week until the official announcement.

For next week I am looking at a game called "Got-Ya". The splash screen in-game actually calls it "The Hand", which I think is more appropriate. ROMname="gotya". It is a novel variation on the Pac-Man theme involving the children's game "Rock, Scissors, Paper". The one thing that troubles me (aside from the fact that I suck at it), is that I am not sure the levels all work properly. In some circumstances enemies seem not to stay in the maze, and play is difficult. It may keep the game from being good for competition.

Personal opinions about the games are not forbidden, but I generally won't be taking players' individual preferences into consideration. That would not be fair.

Let's keep the discussion of the "on deck" game in the weekly thread for the current game for now. If that proves cumbersome, I may do a separate thread each week for the "on deck" game's discussion. So questions about Got-Ya will, for now, be posted to the Tazz-Mania thread.

Opinion about the "on deck" practice itself are welcome in response to this post.
Last edited by Weehawk on Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Good Idea

Postby lippsman » Mon May 09, 2005 4:00 pm

That sounds like a good idea. Let's run with it.

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Postby destructor » Tue May 10, 2005 7:05 am

Weehawk wrote: If that proves cumbersome, I may do a separate thread each week for the "on deck" game's discussion.

Better create separate thread. It's a bit confused if we discuss about Got-Ya in Tazz-Mania thread.
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Postby Weehawk » Tue May 10, 2005 8:30 am

destructor wrote:
Weehawk wrote: If that proves cumbersome, I may do a separate thread each week for the "on deck" game's discussion.

Better create separate thread. It's a bit confused if we discuss about Got-Ya in Tazz-Mania thread.

I'll make this thread sticky and we will just continue to use it for discussion regarding upcoming potential Games of the Week.
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Postby Weehawk » Tue May 10, 2005 8:33 am

destructor wrote:GOT-YA

I don't know this bug is only on my PC? When I finish stage 1 and go to stage 2 stage 2 is not refresh! I don't see . and $ and patterns and colors are from stage 1. Bug is identical on wolf 95 and wolf78 (I don't check more versions wolf).

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When I watch inp LN2 and next play on mame60 this bug not appear. Stage 2 is normal on mame60.

The game appears to work properly prior to MAME .71.

I'm thinking I will use it and require AlphaMAME .70
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Postby Weehawk » Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:38 am

As seen in this week's announcement for Solar Quest, TimePilot is tentatively scheduled for next week.

Gastrainga (Zhorik in this forum) is again sponsoring this game. It is currently being contested in TG's Deca, but on settings which allow leeching (staying on one level indefinitely), We will be using settings that do not, but haven't set on exactly what they will be yet.

If Zhorik would like to discuss it here, other people's input might be of interest.

Playing with limited lives and scoring by level reached would solve the problem, but is there a simple, objective rule that could be invoked to compel players to play in a progressive fashion without going to those extremes?
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Time Limit

Postby lippsman » Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:52 am

How about a time limit on each level. You want to leech, go for it. But you better finish that level in the time allowed.

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Re: Time Limit

Postby Weehawk » Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:54 am

lippsman wrote:How about a time limit on each level. You want to leech, go for it. But you better finish that level in the time allowed.

Louie

What about just limiting the number of parachutes you can shoot in between planes?

And what exactly ends the level? Number of planes shot?
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Postby TRB_MetroidTeam » Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:58 am

Weehawk wrote:Playing with limited lives and scoring by level reached would solve the problem

I think the current MARP's special rules is highly ENOUGH. Is not necessary to multiply level reached by some points. And the leech issue will be decided by John, just it. Hmmm... maybe limiting lives (5?) will help, but if the leeching issue is correct, is not necessary the lives limited. And disagree with Louie, about round time limit.
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Re: Time Limit

Postby TRB_MetroidTeam » Sat Jun 04, 2005 2:00 am

Weehawk wrote:What about just limiting the number of parachutes you can shoot in between planes?

And what exactly ends the level? Number of planes shot?

No!
And not a good idea too!
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Postby Zhorik » Sat Jun 04, 2005 2:00 am

Weehawk wrote:As seen in this week's announcement for Solar Quest, TimePilot is tentatively scheduled for next week.

Gastrainga (Zhorik in this forum) is again sponsoring this game. It is currently being contested in TG's Deca, but on settings which allow leeching (staying on one level indefinitely), We will be using settings that do not, but haven't set on exactly what they will be yet.

If Zhorik would like to discuss it here, other people's input might be of interest.

Playing with limited lives and scoring by level reached would solve the problem, but is there a simple, objective rule that could be invoked to compel players to play in a progressive fashion without going to those extremes?


The settings I've proposed (but haven't been finalized) are:

5 men only
default difficulty (difficulty = 1)
Score is based on level reached after 5th death
Game score is tie-break.

This will definitely prevent leeching, but it does change the spirit of the game a bit since it is never worth the risk of going for the extra parachute or squadron for extra points. It also makes checking your score and verifying the score a bit more work since you can't limit lives to 5 men. One upside is that it will make for shorter game times.

The game has two different infinite leeching problems: 1) hunt parachutes (or bombers), and 2) don't kill the "mothership" at the end of the levels and just keep shooting stuff. The game really should have had a built in timer. A couple of "objective" ways to prevent leeching would be to play with an artificial timer per level, or play with an artificial point-cap per level or maximum score average per level (e.g. if you reach level 25 and you have a score above 1.25M, leeching is presumed).

The problem with relying on subjective leeching detection is that on the first 2 levels of each cycle (and to a lesser extent on the 3rd level), you get more points per level by slow-playing the level to maximize the number of parachutes you get. And to an extent, you should definitely be able to do this, since the increasing score for each successive parachute is designed to encourage you to to maximize the number of parachutes you get. If you just shoot everything that comes out as quickly as possible, you normally won't even see a single 5K parachute and that isn't really in the spirit of the game either.

Right now I'm thinking, 5 man, level reached scoring will be the most fun since it will force people just to try and cycle levels. I'm open to other ideas on competition settings though. One thing I'm sure of is that the TGTS for this game aren't very good for competition.

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Just don't know

Postby lippsman » Sat Jun 04, 2005 2:02 am

That's the thing. The rule needs to be enforced all the around. With no question. Not just a judgement call by one person if it's a leech or not. This way everyone knows the parameters.

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Yep

Postby lippsman » Sat Jun 04, 2005 2:05 am

Gotta agree with you on the TGTS. The settings are very surprising. Just took the wind out of my sails even competing in the tourney.

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Re: Time Limit

Postby Zhorik » Sat Jun 04, 2005 2:06 am

Weehawk wrote:
lippsman wrote:How about a time limit on each level. You want to leech, go for it. But you better finish that level in the time allowed.

Louie

What about just limiting the number of parachutes you can shoot in between planes?

And what exactly ends the level? Number of planes shot?


Besides parachutes, you can leech bombers on level 2 (although hard to do infinitely) and can leech by not killing the "mothership". The mothership is triggered after a certain number of things (planes, bombs, missiles) are shot. Level ends when you kill the mothership.

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Re: Just don't know

Postby TRB_MetroidTeam » Sat Jun 04, 2005 2:17 am

Zhorik wrote:If you just shoot everything that comes out as quickly as possible, you normally won't even see a single 5K parachute and that isn't really in the spirit of the game either.

lippsman wrote: Not just a judgement call by one person if it's a leech or not. This way everyone knows the parameters.

Thinking better, you are right. An example: My current best at MARP, I played level 2 straight up, catching a lot of parachutes... however I dont played it to INFINITE leeching (if I want, I think is possible just catch parachutes and shot minimum or nothing other planes). IMO this (go up) is the best way to survive the level 2 without deaths! So I think I don't leeched at the level 2 BEFORE the "boss" (called "motherboard" here). Of course I used leech at boss 1 and boss 2, just due TGTS.

So, just watching my level 2 (from start, still the parachute's end / the boss), I don't leeched... and this question is very hard to someone (John) to decide.

So, I am thinking about:
Lives limit (5)
Round time limit (5 minutes)
Allowing the possible leeching in this time limit.
Last edited by TRB_MetroidTeam on Sat Jun 04, 2005 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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