Tuesday, 18 August 2009

DBMM Report Card Results – Part 2

Introduction

This is the second part of of my look at the results from a recent online survey into player’s attitudes to DBMM.

The Rulebook

Five questions in the survey were designed to probe players’ attitude towards the DBMM rules & rulebook:
How complicated – 58% (74/128) of players rated the rules as difficult or very difficult.  No one rated them as easy.  The average score was 3.55 ± 0.93 a rating between neutral (3) and difficult (4).
Sections – The best rated section was Troop Definitions (88% rating of good or excellent) followed by Organizing An Army (61%).  The worst rated section was Fighting A Battle (47%).
Clear & concise – 67% (84/126) of players disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that the rules are written in a clear and concise style.  The average score was 3.79 ± 1.02 a rating between neutral (3) and disagree(4) but tending towards the latter.
Well organised & easy to understand - 61% (77/126) of players disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement.  The average score was 3.65 ± 1.00 a rating between neutral (3) and disagree(4) but tending towards the latter.
Enough diagrams - 61% (77/126) of players disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement.  The average score was 3.60 ± 1.07 a rating between neutral (3) and disagree(4) but tending towards the latter.
It’s interesting that the least well liked sections of the rule book are Command & Control, Setting Up A Battle and Fighting A Battle; the very ones you need to fight a battle.

The survey sample showed that the majority of players think the rules are difficult  or very difficult and that the rule book is; not clearly written; isn’t written in concise style; is not well organized, nor is it easy to understand.  A few more diagrams wouldn’t hurt either.

Relationships & Correlations

Using the database I delved into the data to examine the nature of the link between the complexity and style ratings:

Complexity Clear & concise style Well organised etc.
1 (V. Easy) No ratings No ratings
2 2.71 ± 0.85 2.62 ± 0.80
3 (Neutral) 3.50 ± 0.88 3.50 ± 0.88
4 4.09 ± 0.89 3.89 ± 0.90
5 (V. Difficult) 4.67 ± 0.49 4.39 ± 0.70
Average 3.79 ± 1.02 3.65 ± 1.00
The table shows both a clear correlation between players’ complexity ratings and both of the style scores and between the two style scores.   Of course complexity is not always a bad thing but here it is, as it seems to arise from the players’ struggle with the rulebook itself: only those that find DBMM easy rate the style and organisation as good (average below 3).

Next I looked to see if the complexity scores correlated with the number of games played and the overall rating.  A word of warning here some of the figures are counterintuitive:

Complexity Playing often Overall rating
1 (V. Easy) No rating No rating
2 3.67 ± 1.28 1.33 ± 0.80
3 (Neutral) 2.76 ± 1.20 1.93 ± 0.84
4 2.64 ± 0.94 2.38 ± 1.03
5 (V. Difficult) 1.89 ± 0.96 3.87 ± 1.46
Average 2.73 ± 1.17 2.27 ± 1.24
The table shows that players who played more often (high score from 1 to 6) rated DBMM as easier than those that didn’t. Likewise those that found DBMM easy (1 excellent to 5 poor) rated DBMM higher overall than those that found the game more difficult.  In some ways it’s not a surprising finding but it’s a nice consistency check. However it clearly shows that the complexity of DBMM was viewed as a negative attribute.

Finally, I checked to see how the style scores correlated with the overall rating of DBMM:

Overall Clear & concise style Well organised etc.
1 (Excellent) 2.97 ± 1.00 2.97 ± 0.90
2 3.91 ± 0.93 3.70 ± 0.95
3 (Neutral) 4.15 ± 0.90 3.85 ± 0.80
4 4.33 ± 0.82 3.83 ± 1.17
5 (Poor) 4.54 ± 0.66 4.54 ± 0.78
Average 3.79 ± 1.02 3.65 ± 1.00
The trends here suggests that the rulebook was a smaller factor in the overall assessment of the game than with its complexity.

What surprised me is that even those who rated DBMM as excellent overall (23% or 32/117) only rated the rulebook styles about average (score of 3) whilst the remainder (77% or 85/117) marked the rule book down.

Summary & Conclusions
  • The majority rated the complexity of DBMM as difficult to very difficult whilst no one rated the rules as easy.
  • Frequent players rated DBMM as easier and less complex than those that hadn’t played as often. 
  • Players who found the rules complicated rated DBMM lower than those that didn’t.
  • The style and organisation of the rule book was not well received.
  • Players who disliked the rulebook’s style and organisation tended to rate DBMM as both more complex and lower overall.
  • The complicated nature of DBMM emerged as a negative factor and this stemmed from the poorly received writing style and organisation of the rulebook.
In the first part I suggested that there may be a barrier to overcome for some players who don’t, or can’t, play often.  This analysis suggests to me that the perceived complexity of DBMM is a significant factor for this group.  As complexity is clearly linked to the poorly received writing style and organisation of the rulebook the solution is obvious.

Coming next: playing the game.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Comments are always welcome but this blog no longer accept anonymous comments.