For this week’s analysis I’m taking a different approach to the introduction. I reached out to @missionboardgame to write the forward. They are a couple from Turkey who tries their best to inspire people to join board game community. With out further ado here is there overview of the modern board gaming climate:
We think a successful modern board game should include the following features:
✔️Your decisions should have an impact on the game progress.
✔️No player elimination as possible as there can be throughout the game.
In addition to those, theme, artwork and mechanics are also significant for our decisions while purchasing board games. Therefore, our favorite game is Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island. It is a cooperative survival game where you are trapped on a deserted island. Each decision you have made previously has an outcome afterwards. The harmony between the theme and the rules is perfectly arranged so that you feel very integrated to the game. By this way, every action you take seems meaningful and logical. Also we love feeling the cooperation among us since we are usually 2 players. – Mission Board Game
Countless nights I’ve played board games among friends and family. Every new year’s eve my family and I play Monopoly. A few reasons: the game-play length, the amount of players, and the simplified game-play. I have 5 siblings, so saying it’s difficult to find a game for all of us to play is an understatement.
The reasons why we enjoy board games is an interesting topic. Is it the theme of the game? Is it the amount of players required? Has the game received universal praise from critics alike? Is it a common game most households own, and we grew up playing?
All the above-mentioned variables I’ll throw into a logistic regression model and use the Bayes theory of probabilities, to determine the probability of a board game player will rank a game higher than the average score.
During the first read I see the model is statistically significant based on a z score of less than .05. A few things stand out to me immediately:
1.) Not all variables have a positive relationship to a highly scored board game
2.) There are some strong social elements going on here (i.e. the longer the play the higher the impact may imply games which encourage discussion are rated higher)
3.) Fantasy themed board games are not ranked high (I have a D&D and video games impact theory)
Before jumping into the positive relationships, I’d like to touch briefly on the negative relationship independent variables.
1.) Fantasy Theme: I included this variable in the model expecting to see a very high positive correlation, but I was very wrong. To quote Rick and Morty : “Sometimes science is more art than science.” In the spirit of the quote, I’ll assume there are threats to the fantasy themed board games genre, in the form of Role-Playing Video Games. The storytelling in this medium has progressed some much in last decade it out paces the anything a board game could offer.
In other words the target audience is leaving.
2.) Major of voters: This variable is all about the amount of users who share their ranking. A rule of thumb for rankings, reviews and ratings is those who go through the effort of expressing their opinion either love or hate the product. The upper and lower confidence levels mirror themselves, because of this skew-ness.
Next, I’ll discuss the positive relationship independent variables (focusing on those with the highest impact):
1.) Board games with an average game-play of at least two hours or more has the highest positive impact on a user rating a board game score above average. What makes a game have a long game-play?
Multiple reasons: more players involved, more game-play mechanics, and mostly importantly more discussion. The soul of any good board game is bringing people together.
2.) The second highest impact comes from the average score displayed from Game Board Geek. The reason behind this is users see this rating first before submitting their rating. Think of it like the Rotten Tomatoes effect, people want to feel like they have universally accepted opinions. Take the beginning of this data story for example, I mentioned Monopoly is a family tradition of mine, this potentially could have swayed your opinion on this board game. Possibility you could rate this higher than a game, say is fantasy themed, based on this model output.
For your own reference, this model has an accuracy rate of above 70%
What have we learned from diving into the Board Game Data?
Board games are most successful when they encourage the spirit and soul of “game night”, a gathering of friends and family discussing and enjoying each other’s time. Adventure and exploration themes are the majority of the top ten highly successful board game genres. The longer the game-play does not mean the game is like pulling teeth or the pace is slow.
It is more of an indicator of the amount of players required and the story telling the game has in driving a great game night experience.
After you have consumed this meal, I hope you take these findings and enjoy your next game night. Also as always enjoy the featured pancake recipe below!