Check out the trials and troubles of the first Will of the Collective, where the community designed a card for the first time!
 
 - Delta Quadrant
 -  
#16318
AllenGould wrote:I think:
a) a step should have been "space, planet, or dual", as it is an important part of the dilemma, and there does seem to be ample interest in it;
and
b) the "secret formula" should be released - what benefit is there in hiding it anymore? (I'm actually surprised that no-one has reverse-engineered it yet). Would make discussions about cost a lot more productive if we knew why the number was picked in the first place.
First, I seriously doubt there is any serious formula involving anything too complicated. It is probably more like a rule of thumb.

My best guess is that the secret formula is something along the lines of:

Cost = Effect * % applicable

Here are some examples:

Cost of Pinned Down = Value Randomly Stopping A personnel *100% ~=~ 1.8
So Pinned Down costs 2

Cost of Kelvin Show of Force - Value Selectively Killing A Personnel * 100% ~=~ 5.2
So Kelvin Show of Force costs 5

Obviously, there is some amount of guess work involved in using this formula in the following examples:

Agonizing Encounter = Value of Randomly Stopping A Personnel * Average Agonizing Number * 100% ~=~ 1.8 *2.5 ~=~ 4.5

Here we estimate the average Agonizing Number to be 2.5. This is just a guess.

So Agonizing Encounter costs 4


Personnel Duty = Value of Randomly Stopping A personnel * (Average Number of Personnel Stopped) * 50% = 1.8 * (~8 personnel * ~270/660 - 1) * 50% ~=~ 2.045
So Personnel Duty costs 2

Here we assume you have 8 random personnel, and I have guesstimated from Altoid's site that roughly 270/660 have either Leadership or Officer. It is a space dilemma, so it only applies Half the time.

:evil: If DeckPADD worked on Macs, I would have a much easier time doing these examples

Here are some cases where the purposed formula fails to match

An Issue of Trust = Value of Randomly Stopping A personnel * (Average Number of Personnel Stopped) * 100% = 1.8 * (~8 Personnel * ~400/660 -1) * 100% ~=~ 6.92
Whoa! I think the designers did not realize exactly how many personnel had Honor or Treachery

Necessary Execution = (Value of Selective Killing One Personnel * 50% + Value of Selectively Killing Two Personnel * 50%) * 50% ~=~ 3.9
:twisted: I standy by this one. I think 4 would be more appropriate, but then it would be practically strictly better than Pursuit Just Behind :?

I'll restart my computer and probably post more examples

EDIT #1: Changed the counts to reflect that randomly stopping a personnel should be valued at ~1.8 not ~2.
Last edited by MilesStuntDouble on Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
By Foreman
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
#16515
CFHollister wrote: On that subject, I do not believe that the so-called "secret" costing formula should be made public knowledge.
I'm wondering why you think it should not be made public knowledge. I for one would love to see it if for no other reason than to help me when I am costing dream cards. Also, it would be neat to see how the "behind the scenes" costing is done.
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 - Beta Quadrant
 -  
#16530
Foreman wrote:
CFHollister wrote: On that subject, I do not believe that the so-called "secret" costing formula should be made public knowledge.
I'm wondering why you think it should not be made public knowledge. I for one would love to see it if for no other reason than to help me when I am costing dream cards. Also, it would be neat to see how the "behind the scenes" costing is done.
I thought I had explained in the rest of that paragraph, but apparently it needs clarification. Designing the game is the providence of the game designers themselves. Things like costing formulas are tools for designers, not laws set in stone; and it is the designers' perogitive, as I'm sure they excercize with regularity, to freely ammend or discard such tools in their goal of continually designing the best game possible. As soon as such tools as costing formulas become public knowledge, there is a great temptation to then hold the designers accountable to those formulas which has at least two negative effects: 1) it will provide public pressure for designers to adhere to principles and costing formulas that may have been in error at the time of release, or may no longer be appropriate as the game develops in time; and, 2) it will serve to restrict the designers in their design. Designers, in order to be good designers, must be able to keep their minds open, to explore new areas of "design space" that are not accounted for by current formulas, to modify the values of resources in relation to other resources, and to modify the effective costs of cards that have already been printed and can't be changed ex post facto. Holding game designers accountable to their own tools would be like holding a painter accountable to his first set of brushes and paints... it makes no sense. Of course designers will make mistakes, lots of mistakes, their concepts or costing outlandish or inapropriate on certain cards... but that's what playtesting and development is all about and why they are integral parts of the design process. But goods designers require a certain opacity to their work; total transparency will shackle them in their task. So, no... I don't think the costing formulas should become public knowledge, as fascinating an inside look it would be.
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 - The Center of the Galaxy
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
Community Contributor
#16582
CFHollister wrote:
Foreman wrote:
I'm wondering why you think it should not be made public knowledge. I for one would love to see it if for no other reason than to help me when I am costing dream cards. Also, it would be neat to see how the "behind the scenes" costing is done.
I thought I had explained in the rest of that paragraph, but apparently it needs clarification. Designing the game is the providence of the game designers themselves. Things like costing formulas are tools for designers, not laws set in stone; and it is the designers' perogitive, as I'm sure they excercize with regularity, to freely ammend or discard such tools in their goal of continually designing the best game possible.
http://trekcc.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1502 goes to a discussion about dilemma costing, and while there's no official word, there are notes suggest that the designers are sticking relatively close to the costing formula.
As soon as such tools as costing formulas become public knowledge, there is a great temptation to then hold the designers accountable to those formulas which has at least two negative effects: 1) it will provide public pressure for designers to adhere to principles and costing formulas that may have been in error at the time of release, or may no longer be appropriate as the game develops in time; and, 2) it will serve to restrict the designers in their design. Designers, in order to be good designers, must be able to keep their minds open, to explore new areas of "design space" that are not accounted for by current formulas, to modify the values of resources in relation to other resources, and to modify the effective costs of cards that have already been printed and can't be changed ex post facto. Holding game designers accountable to their own tools would be like holding a painter accountable to his first set of brushes and paints... it makes no sense. Of course designers will make mistakes, lots of mistakes, their concepts or costing outlandish or inapropriate on certain cards... but that's what playtesting and development is all about and why they are integral parts of the design process. But goods designers require a certain opacity to their work; total transparency will shackle them in their task. So, no... I don't think the costing formulas should become public knowledge, as fascinating an inside look it would be.
I don't see how total transparency would restrict them - what you're referring to is paying too much attention to players. Magic has been showing various costing formulas for years in their articles, and everyone still understands that cards will cost what they cost.

There are two big reasons I can see for "pulling back the curtain":

a) it allows "amateurs" to understand what's going on - at some point we're going to need new designers/developers, and there's a big advantage to keeping the learning curve down.
b) gives a back-up plan in case of catastrophic loss of personnel - if only a few people have the Top Secret Formula, what happens when (for whatever reason) people disappear? This is a volunteer effort, after all - people get new jobs (and I suspect that if Brad got a new design job - which he totally deserves, btw - the company would probably frown on freelance game work), new hobbies, or just burn out.
c) do we really want to keep secrets? Does this set the community-minded tone TCC seems to be aiming for?
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 - Beta Quadrant
 -  
#16637
Oh well. I'm unlikely to be disuaded from my position on the matter. I've given my reasons, and as I can't think of anything important to add to them at the moment, to continue to discuss it at any length would be to just reiterate what I've already said. But to address your pints briefly:

Without going repeating myself too much, transparency restricts design by making designers accountable to their own changing methods (somethign I think they should not be) and also exposes them to deconstructive crticism.
A) Brad is rotating the design team on a set-by-set basis. I'm sure that such tools are/will be shared among designers, and with new designers freely.
B) If Brad or other designers feel they can no longer participate in the community, I trust the will share the relevenet information with those that need it first.
C) It is not not about "keeping secrets." This is the way things have always been done in our game. Just because Decipher isn't running the show anymore doesn't mean that the design process should be altered or necessarily made transparent; it never was in the past, so now why all the special interest? (rhetorical question). IMHO, it is Brad's participation and a design process directed by his methods and experience which lends the neceassry credibility to the virtual cards produced by the CC. If you enjoy the quality of the work that has already gone into all of 2E's design, I suggest that such desisions be left with him and the designers he designates.

Ok, I doubt I'll much more to say on the matter. I base my position on what I feel are abstract but valid principles and don't think I will be changing my mind anytime real soon. People can either agree with my position or not, but the decision whether to "pull back the curtain" or not is, thankfully (IMHO), not ours to make, making discussing it at great length of little value. The CC is probably now aware of both positions and they will make their decisions as they see fit.

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