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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Is this some type of business strategy that I'm not understanding?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (23288 points ) October 2nd, 2011

For as long as I can remember, I have always liked to play “classic” games on the computer. Sites or programs that offer things like solitaire, spades, those balloon popping type games, etc.
I have noticed that when the weekly scores reset, it’s really difficult to get a normal or high score. It isn’t just me, either. I notice that I can win tournaments at the beginning of the “new” week with a very low score, because everyone else seems to have low scores, too. I’m positive that it isn’t confirmation bias, it is definitely a pattern I’ve seen for a long time. Most recently, I use the Games app on Facebook, but I remember noticing a similar phenomenon on other game sites in the past.

So, is this some type of business strategy? Maybe it keeps things challenging, in hopes of encouraging people to come back?

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9 Answers

XOIIO's avatar

Well, you keep going back to play the game, don’t you? It’s working.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@XOIIO I don’t think for one second that is the reason that I go back to play. I don’t feel like I need some type of hook to want to play solitaire. I just like it.

XOIIO's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Well, its a hook for competitive people.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Is it? Part of me suspects that it is something like that, but it seems really obvious that they’re doing it… so I doubted whether or not it was true.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Ever try Emoticon Defense or Sushi No Suki on Mindjolt?

Addictive! *I like making virtual sushi for pissed off customers! You get to get them drunk on sake if you can’t make theior food fast enough.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@GabrielsLamb no, I didn’t care for how Mindjolt was laid out. They have a ton of games, though, and that is exactly the sort of thing I’m a sucker for. I’ll have to check it out. :)

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Some of them are simplistic, but that is the charm in some cases. They do have a ton. Those two are my particular favorite and there is a really challenging one called raven something or other than is a raven that you have to navigate through this underworld cavern… it LOOKS stupid simple… but it is REALLY hard after a few frames.

Zaku's avatar

Ok, so if I understand what you wrote correctly:
“when the weekly scores reset, it’s really difficult to get a normal or high score”
vs.
“I can win tournaments at the beginning of the “new” week with a very low score, because everyone else seems to have low scores, too”

You mean that you think the game difficulty adjusts during the week?

I would suggest that you check (think of it as a meta-game) by recording your scores over the days of a week, and see whether it really changes or not.

So unless I don’t get what you wrote, it seems to me like:

1) That would be a peculiar business strategy. I don’t see why it would help.
2) I (a game developer) have never heard of that concept, and don’t think casual game developers would be likely to program something like that in to a range of games.
3) It does seem likely however that the competition would vary over the week, based on when the best players get around to visiting the site that week and have had a chance to get really high scores. High scores are probably just rare, so statistically the weekly high scores will get higher and more competitive as the week progresses after a score reset, even if the actual difficulty remains the same. It’s just the natural statistics of high scores, combined with the rate at which the best players get around to logging in.

Maras's avatar

If I would have highscore system on my website, I would also set it on “weekly” with some other tab “all time” or something like that.

It’s almost impossible to reach top score when you play with lot of players, but if there is a weekly highscore, it’s surely doable = much more fun

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