Friday, 31 July 2009

DBMM Report Card – Preliminary Trends

Spurred on by Phil Barker's recent comment "give me a report card and I'll tell you how good or not you are" I decided to set up an online survey to assess the factors behind the success of DBMM.

It seems like a good time for a survey.  DBMM has been around for nearly two and a half years and version 1.1 has been promised for the end of 2009. The survey will run until the middle of August but the response in the first 48 hours has been excellent with 81 responses. Thanks everyone.



Yesterday afternoon I was setting up the analysis database using the data from the first 60 responses.  Whilst testing the database I stumbled across some intriguing preliminary findings that are too good not to share.  So here we go with the major caveat that these findings may alter as the number of responses increases.

Complexity

The survey asks players to rank the complexity of DBMM on a five point scale from very easy (scoring 1), through neutral to very difficult (scoring 5).

An average over 3.00 means that players find the rules complicated.  At the moment the average is 3.38 +/- 1.10 so a touch on the difficult side.  However, a little care is required here as the average hides some important details: 50% of the respondents rated DBMM difficult or very difficult and none rated it easy!

Playing the game

Digging a bit deeper it’s possible to sub divide the complexity scores by how often respondents have played DBMM in the last twelve months - I know the bands overlap but this is my hobby:

Games Played Score Std dev Count
0 4.20 0.84 5
1 – 12 3.42 0.84 19
12 – 26 3.47 1.12 17
26 – 52 3.38 0.92 8
52 – 104 2.90 0.88 10
105 up 2.00 1

At this stage it appears the more often you play DBMM the less complicated you rate it especially if you play more than once a week.  This has to be good news as it offers hope for the Befuddled.

Even so it’s hardly an earth shattering finding but the consistency is reassuring.  I would have deleted the survey if active players had found DBMM more complicated.

Clarity

The survey also asked players if they agreed with the statement DBMM is “well written in a clear, concise style” again on a five point scale from strongly agree (scoring 1), through neutral to strongly disagree (scoring 5).

The current average is 3.73 +/- 1.10 again a tendency to disagree. In fact 62.7% either disagreed or disagreed strongly.  In contrast to player’s views on complexity, playing regularly appears to have little impact:

Games Played Score Std dev Count
0 4.20 0.84 5
1 – 12 3.50 1.10 18
12 – 26 3.82 1.24 17
26 - 52 4.00 1.07 8
52 – 104 3.50 1.08 10
105 up 4.00 1

So far all types of players seem to think the rules aren’t “well written in a clear and concise style”.

What’s next?

It will be interesting to see if these findings are maintained as the number of responses grows: they may not.

The survey has a while to run and I won’t release much more until the survey is closed.  I’ll then make the results public and you can judge for yourself.  If you want to take part the survey is here.

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