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Cricket Words: randomizing turns feedback?

View Poll Results: What type of turn ordering do you prefer in a turn-based game?
Alphabetical 0 0%
Completely random (player who starts game may not go first) 3 60.00%
Player who starts game goes first, then random 2 40.00%
Manually order players every game 0 0%
Make randomized turn order a per-game option 0 0%
Make randomized turn order an option in Settings 0 0%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll
12-29-2011, 10:05 PM
#1
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 94
Cricket Words: randomizing turns feedback?

Looking for the wisdom of the touchArcade crowd on this one. We have a relatively new iPhone/iPad game called Cricket Words. It's a turn-based word game that you play with your friends.

Here's the question: what type of turn ordering do you prefer in a turn-based game? Just posted this on our blog, but I've included all the details right here.

Here's how it works today. When you pick friends to play with (2-4 players total) you are the first player, and the other players are sorted simply by their player names. The order wasn't so much a conscious decision as it was simply the way Game Center would return this data to us. The unfortunate thing here is that if your name starts with a Z you can bet on always going last unless you start the game yourself.

Our thought was to implement a completely random turn order. So even if you start the game you may not go first. In a four player game you may even end up going last. The benefit to this is that you get a better distribution of turn order. The downside is that when you start a game you don't necessarily get to start playing right away.

A couple other things we've considered:
  • Let the player who started the game go first and randomize everyone else
  • Provide an ON/OFF option when creating the game to tell us if you want randomized turn orders (obviously, we'd save the user's preference for next time)
  • Provide an ON/OFF option for this in the Settings app

So which way is best? What have you seen in other turn-based games. What do you prefer? Is there a better way we've missed entirely?

Thanks for taking the time to provide feedback and help influence the continued development of Cricket Words.

Last edited by jeremy.provost; 12-29-2011 at 10:07 PM.
12-29-2011, 10:08 PM
#2
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 94
One other thing I want to clarify off the top, too, is that we aren't planning on changing anything for auto-matches. Auto-matches will be played in the order in which users join the game.

01-04-2012, 04:52 PM
#3
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 10
My go-to app Carcassonne seems to go straight random all the way (like you're thinking of doing). And while that feels the most fair, it's always weird to start a game and NOT do something. So I kinda like the idea of starting user going first and then randomizing it.

A dedicated setting just for this behavior seems like overkill -– I'd rather just see you go with your gut and have it either be your original approach or my vote.
01-04-2012, 06:39 PM
#4
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 1,030
Player who starts the game goes first, then random.

That was what I voted for. Really enjoy this game.

Game Centre, Openfeint, Crystal, Gameloft Live and PSN ID: Smallville2106
01-04-2012, 07:57 PM
#5
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Posts: 11,775
Quote:
Originally Posted by pavarotti2007 View Post
Player who starts the game goes first, then random.

That was what I voted for. Really enjoy this game.
Is going first an advantage or disadvantage in this game?

Tim "Lord Gek" Jordan, Game Consultant
Twitter: LordGek
GameCenter, iTunes: Lord Gek
My iTunes Reviews
01-05-2012, 12:06 AM
#6
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by x amount View Post
My go-to app Carcassonne seems to go straight random all the way (like you're thinking of doing). And while that feels the most fair, it's always weird to start a game and NOT do something. So I kinda like the idea of starting user going first and then randomizing it.
The more we think about it the more we like that route. We were playing Strategery and noted the same feeling you just mentioned. It felt weird to start something and then not get to play it. While I personally like completely random more, this seems like the best overall choice for the most number of people.

One fear we had with complete randomness is how will affect the new user? Imagine a new user starts a game and doesn't go first. So they start another game and again they don't go first. It seems like they could get frustrated and give up pretty quickly. Whereas if they get to play and enjoy it they're more likely to stick around.

Quote:
A dedicated setting just for this behavior seems like overkill - I'd rather just see you go with your gut and have it either be your original approach or my vote.
We're still considering this. As stated above, the default will be what seems to be best solution for the most number of people. If we do add this it would probably be buried in the built-in Settings app, essentially only making it visible to power users.
01-05-2012, 12:12 AM
#7
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordGek View Post
Is going first an advantage or disadvantage in this game?
Theoretically, there is a slight advantage to the first player. This advantage is diminished the harder the difficulty of the match. For instance, our stats tell us that (somehow) Hard 2-player games are more likely to be won by the 2nd player. Medium games are nearly even. So theoretically yes, but for some reason that's not what we're seeing in practice.