HN Gopher Feed (2017-09-23) - page 1 of 10
A 1979 War-Game That Takes 1,500 Hours to Complete
47 points by dansohttps://kotaku.com/the-notorious-board-game-that-takes-1500-hour...
greeneggs - 2 hours ago
Where does the 1500 hours figure come from?According to
Boardgamegeek, "Playing time with 10 players is listed at 1200
hours." At the top of the BGG page, play time is said to be 1000
hours. There is a thread in their forum asking if anyone has ever
finished the game, and the answer seems to be
afterburner - 1 hours ago
Playing time predictions are usually on the low side. If the
publisher is claiming 1200 and BGG is claiming 1000, then 1500 is
probably a fair guess.
c3534l - 1 hours ago
I really want the rights to this so I can make it a videogame that
only takes a few hundred hours to complete.
pavel_lishin - 2 hours ago
> they said ?but we?re still playtesting it! We don?t know if it?s
balanced or not. It?s gonna take seven years to play!? And I said
?you know what, if someone tells you it?s unbalanced, tell them ?we
think it?s your fault, play it again.??I wonder if "have you tried
turning it off and back on again" was in popular use for computers
at this time.
digi_owl - 2 hours ago
Well for home computers at least the way to get it to load a new
program was to kill the power.The institutional ones probably had
uptimes measured in months though.You didn't just reboot
something that multiple people, including senior staff and
tenured professors, may be using...
jakebasile - 3 hours ago
And here I thought the article would be about Monopoly.
aidenn0 - 2 hours ago
Monopoly usually goes pretty fast though; I've never had a game
take longer than 2 hours. Are you auctioning off properties that
the person who lands on declines to buy? Missing that rule tends
to make the game take longer.
pavel_lishin - 2 hours ago
Please, no family play-through of Monopoly lasts for longer than
three hours - that's the maximum amount of time before mom locks
herself in the bathroom to chainsmoke, and dad begins to angrily
saw apart random wood in the garage, leaving the children to form
grudges that will last well into their 40s.
sethrin - 31 minutes ago
The game's popularity is sort of ironic. It was designed to be
unfair, in order to demonstrate the harmful power that
monopolists accrue. That it results in the situations you
describe could also be said to be by design.
dang - 3 hours ago
Ok we put that in the title and added its year for good
J_cst - 4 hours ago
Yep we enjoy our pasta, a bit sad that we're always caged into this
"pasta, pizza, mafia" storytelling :/ but probably it's our fault!
jaggederest - 3 hours ago
I always thought it was kind of funny that Italy was famous for
new-world and relatively recent concepts. Tomatoes definitively
didn't exist in the old world before 1500ad and la Cosa Nostra
only emerged in the 18th century, in the same vein as the Bow
Street Runners in the UK.Of course pasta existed before tomatoes
were available, as in things like Bolognese sauce, but it's still
a strong association.
thiagoharry - 2 hours ago
Well, Italy is also a new and recent country.
J_cst - 2 hours ago
Yep, only if you really believe that Italy's "birthday" is
1861... :) I humbly suggest that there's something more than
that if you look closely!
J_cst - 2 hours ago
What people often refers to "Bolognese sauce" should be called
"rag?" (tomato and minced meat).
tlb - 1 hours ago
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bow_Street_Runners is a fine read
zo7 - 2 hours ago
It sounds like this game was rushed, but it sounds like an
interesting challenge: how do you design a game that takes a
significant amount of time to play, while still ensuring that it
would be balanced and engaging for all of the players throughout?
There'd probably have to be some sort of computer simulation
involved or some expedited way to play it, but how would you
measure these things? Is it even possible?
eternauta3k - 2 hours ago
Randomly sample game states, giving more weight to those that
affect balance more strongly and/or occur more frequently.
gwern - 1 hours ago
Random sampling wouldn't work because it is the essence of
cheese/game-breaking to go into rare or weird edge-cases and
parts of state-space. Imagine a broken fighting game where you
could win by simply executing 'upper block' the entire game;
random sampling will be exponentially unlikely to sample a game
with all upper-blocks. But if you used a mechanism like self-
play reinforcement learning to explore the game state-space,
your agents might autonomously discover game-breaking
strategies on their own.
mjaniczek - 1 hours ago
QuickCheck sense tingling!
hervan - 1 hours ago
I'd never expect anything lasting 1500 hours to be engaging (or
fun) the whole time.
jerf - 1 hours ago
Well, a certain degenerate case of "balance" can be obtained with
simple symmetry. It isn't quite the totality of what people mean
by the concept because there are plenty of abstract games in
which once one competitor has an advantage, they can inevitably
press it home to a victory, and most humans would probably call
that "unbalanced", even though in some sense it isn't. But still,
a symmetric game certainly starts you off with a solid start in
that direction.(Technically, perfect play in a non-randomized
game determines the winner very rapidly, and even in randomized
games there's a clear maximum probability path. However, perfect
play is generally humanly-infeasible and may even be
computationally infeasible; chess is a relatively simple game
compared to most and we still don't know who wins or draws with
perfect play.)Engaging 10 people for 1500 hours is probably
effectively impossible, though. At that point you'd basically be
selecting the people and building the game to match, if a
solution even existed.(You may be thinking "Oh, but jerf, there
are people who play 1500 hours of Team Fortress 2 and stuff", but
my reply is that if you designed TF2 for this use case and picked
10 random people, even 10 random TF2 players, you'd have to be
pretty lucky to get 1500 hours for all 10 of them. I'm sure
there's well more than 10 people with that much time clocked but
they're still the outliers, and you'd have a hard time naming
them before the fact. Even with prior information about their
addictiveness and tendency to stick with games.)
Cyph0n - 1 hours ago
Funny that you picked TF2 as an example.From my experience with
the game over the course of several years, TF2 becomes insanely
addictive only after you overcome the horrendous learning
curve.This takes around 50-100 hours of pure playtime on
average.Once you understand the game mechanics, how to play the
classes reasonably well (fully mastering a class can take 100+
hours), how trading works, and how to play the most popular
game modes (including duos, 4v4, dodgeball, bball, MGE, surf,
etc.), you're basically set for life!For those who overcome the
curve, the retention rate is quite high, from my experience at
least. The release of Overwatch probably pulled quite a few
people over though. This is primarily due to how Valve has
treated the game over the years.I have over 1000 hours, my
brother has twice that (at least), and I know several people I
played with regularly who had 4000+. Keep in mind that the
country that I was living in had an absurdly small TF2
community.I don't play anymore because: (1) I don't have a good
PC, and (2) grad school sucks.
SwellJoe - 2 hours ago
1,500 hours? That's nothing! These guys should give Civilization a
go. (I say this only partially in jest. I've logged a few thousand
hours playing the various Civs over the years. And, I'm not even a
heavy player, compared to many.)
codingdave - 26 minutes ago
It does tell the tale of how gaming has changed over time -- 1500
hours was truly considered a lifetime of play a few decades ago.
The article itself laid out what was considered reasonable - 3
hour sessions twice a month, with friends. Today, people can do 3
hour sessions twice a day. Alone.
sethrin - 44 minutes ago
My longer Civ games are usually 40 hours long. XCOM: The Long War
is something like ten times longer. It's also brutally difficult.
If you enjoyed Civ, I would strongly suggest checking it out.
There's also a playthrough on YouTube by an Aussie who goes by
'beaglerush' which is both funny and full of good ways to not
suck at the game.
firethief - 4 hours ago
Would this be less or more insane if transfered to a computer? It
sounds like most of the tedium is computing and tabulating, but is
that also most of the draw?
digi_owl - 2 hours ago
There is a reason why most early computer games were more or less
straight translation of boardgames of this kind...
WesleyLivesay - 3 hours ago
Far less. It does not seem any more complex than something like
Gary Gigsby's War in the West and while it has a hill to climb if
you want to learn how to play it, it is far from a 1500 hour
Falkon1313 - 8 minutes ago
There are absolutely computer wargames that can do this.Here's a
Let's Play of War in the Pacific that was played at one day (real
time) per day (game time) - for 1320 days. And as you can
imagine, it can very easily take an hour or more per turn.