:: Monday, November 26, 2007 ::
My thoughts on strip games, from a purely academic perspective:
What defines a good strip game? In a random quest to define the parameters that would make for a good game, I have come across several ideas that I'd like to share.
After significant thought on the matter, I believe that all strip games should fall into one of two categories: players vs players, or players vs time.
For players vs players, all games should meet the following criteria:
- Games must rely on luck and either skill or strategy.
- Players must be able to win and lose. Meaning, the players should be able to win clothes back from other players.
Rule #1 insures that all players stand an equal chance of winning, because we all know that luck trumps skill. Rule #2 insures that the game isn't just a one-way path to get naked. (Here the author interjects that he does understand most strip games are excuses to get naked, but I'm trying to define a good strip game.)
Some examples of good/bad strip games of the player vs player type:
- strip sharp shooting: bad. almost no luck involved, and the loser is likely to be holding a gun. This would, however, provide the mechanic by which he/she retrieves clothing.
- strip risk: questionable. there is luck, but strategy is a big factor. The mechanic by which you win back clothes would take creativity. game takes forever.
- strip texas hold 'em: good. luck, skill, and win back clothes from other players. (See The Break Up for complete rules). brings new meaning to several key poker phrases.
For players vs time, all games should follow some basic guidelines:
- Players should be waiting for some random, non-player controlled event that will eventually cause someone to lose some clothes.
- The time limit for such games should be set before hand.
- Games should be structured such that there is a roughly 50/50 chance of any one person becoming naked in the prescribed time.
I think the last rule could use some explaining. While slight adjustments can be made to the percent chance of becoming naked, you don't want to move it up too much, or else it takes away the excitement of the game, and it becomes an excuse to get naked.
I've done some additional analysis on this type of game, and these types of games can best be modeled as a Poisson's Process. The players simply have to determine the average number of articles of clothes (k), choose a time (Tau), and an event that occurs at a correct time interval (lambda). I was going to solve for lambda to give you a simple equation to use to determine an appropriate event, but after 14 pages of math, I gave up and it's left as an exercise to the reader. (The author here notes that you shouldn't be intimidated by the math, as an interative solution would work quite adequately and would take only a few seconds of your time). As a quick rule of thumb, for a 50% game, choose something that occurs roughly once every [num_players * num_clothes_per_player / (2* total_time)] per unit of time. This is an incredibly rough hack and I highly suggest you work out the proper lambda for yourself.
There are many examples of good/bad games of this type. Mainly, be creative. An excellent example is padiddle, where the last person in a car to respond to a particular event loses that round. The key, as is key for most of these types of games, is choosing the correct event. Busted headlights, for example, seem to be perfect for most trips. (The author points out here that he saw 7 busted headlights on the way home, but had no one in the car with him). Pointing out red F-150's, though, would be bad... unless you're driving in Italy. Other bad ideas include stop signs, trees, potholes, illegal lane changes, and starbucks.
Overall, I hope you have enjoyed this academic approach to strip games, and any comments on the approach presented here would be appreciated and will probably be incorporated into the theory at some point, if the idea is sound. and probably even it if isn't. :)
:: posted by Tmber :: 10:27 PM ::