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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:40 am 
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I'll stand beside you in weirdness because I liked Zork Zero, too. Though Zork II was my favourite. I'm a sucker for Alice in Wonderland references.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:23 pm 
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VictorGijsbers wrote:
I'd say that the biggest difference between the Top 50 I organise and this Top 100 based on IFDB ratings is that the former counts positive votes and the latter counts positive and negative votes.
Good point. I assumed the Top 50 would be more similar to a list sorted only on the amount of five star ratings on IFDB. It turns out the median deviation when comparing those two is 12.5 though.

I am a bit ambivalent about the value of the IMDb Top 250 actually. Many of the users there set a 1 or 10 star rating just to change the average as much as possible. The main problem is however as you point out that people have different tastes. To anyone who understands Swedish I wholeheartedly recommend filmtipset.se, a site that does an excellent job predicting what films you will like based on your previous ratings. IFDB has this feature too, but I think the volume of ratings might be too low for it to function optimally.
Duncan Stevens wrote:
Agree with Victor that more polarizing games are less likely to be reflected in the IFDB ratings, which makes it surprising that The Gostak shows up at #29 (with 41 votes), as that game appears to have the highest standard deviation in the history of the IFComp (the comp page doesn't have those stats for 1995-1998, but it's not obvious what entry from those years would have been more polarizing).
It seems the distribution of ratings in the IFComp and on IFDB sometimes differ quite a lot. This blog post shows some interesting statistics about it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:27 pm 
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VictorGijsbers wrote:
Duncan Stevens wrote:
Beyond Zork and Zork Zero are the only Zorks represented, somewhat surprisingly to me. No Losing Your Grip or Change in the Weather. Agree with Victor that more polarizing games are less likely to be reflected in the IFDB ratings, which makes it surprising that The Gostak shows up at #29 (with 41 votes), as that game appears to have the highest standard deviation in the history of the IFComp (the comp page doesn't have those stats for 1995-1998, but it's not obvious what entry from those years would have been more polarizing).

But people who play it nowadays do so because they heard about it and are interested. Outside of a competition, it's not something you play for longer than two minutes unless you're keen on the precise experience it delivers. :-)


Fair point. Technically, it would apply to most of the older comp games written well before the IFDB was created--many of the votes on those games would come from people motivated to play them. But with The Gostak, more than with most games, if you have *any* information in advance, you probably know whether it's your cup of tea.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:39 pm 
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Peter Piers wrote:
I'm totally judging you on the peg puzzle, the tower of hanoi and the fox feed and fowl puzzles.


And the odd-size-liquid-container puzzle and the don't-take-the-last-stone puzzle and the lady-or-the-tiger puzzle, and let's not even get into the riddles.

(Also, was it possible to win Double Fanucci without the "indefensible gambit"? I've always assumed that the game was rigged so that you'd never win without it. Maybe I'm wrong.)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:23 pm 
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I think the Double Fanucci "indefensible gambit" might have been feelie copy protection. I think this is the game that came with a GUE calendar which had trivia, and one of the trivia items was some famous DF player who couldn't remember that an indefensible gambit was (some card) played immediately after three discards of trebled fromps. (Something like that). I sincerely doubt there's any way to actually win the game otherwise. Perhaps it could be considered a very well-disguised faux-maze puzzle. Or at very minimum, Mornington Crescent.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:30 pm 
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It had the calendar, yeah, which was mammoth copy protection and contained other critical information. ZZ is probably the Infocom game to most rely on feelies, if you consider the number of puzzles the feelies refer to.

I doubt you could win Double Fannucci without that indefensible gambit, too.

It really was a mammoth of a game. Like it or lump it (and its gratuitous puzzles - Meretzky, man, you really should have known better at that stage! - are definitely in the LUMP cathegory), you have to admire it. Gargantuous.

EDIT - Then again, modern adventures also enjoy sticking in too many gratuitous, non-game-related puzzles just because. Maybe ZZ was pioneering the technique! In true GUE style!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:59 pm 
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Zork Zero was the first IF game I played! It is also the only Zork game I've ever played for more than ten turns. I put a lot of hours and replays into into it but I don't think I ever finished it -- my vague recollection is that an unwinnable state involving flies was the final turnoff for me.


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 Post subject: Re: IFDB Top 100
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:13 pm 
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I decided to automate the list creation completely and keep an updated version here.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:33 pm 
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That's very nice! But surely it won't update itself over time... will it? That's not possible, is it?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:30 am 
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It will be kept updated by a script running on a computer of mine. The script is only run once a week, since I do not want to load the IFDB server too much. Updating involves scraping a lot of pages.


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