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Author Topic: DF has a SHALLOW learning curve  (Read 23921 times)

GavJ

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DF has a SHALLOW learning curve
« on: May 10, 2014, 02:52:27 pm »

Seen this a few too many times. It is irksome. Things that are difficult to learn have shallow learning curves. Things that are easy to learn have steep learning curves, generally.
It's especially ridiculous when somebody actually draws out the graph in an attempt to make a cute comic or something, and doesn't realize this even looking right at the backward graph. *facepalm*



Considering how nerdy this community is, I'm surprised nobody ever objects very often. I suggest simply avoiding the term to preserve nerd cred while still not confusing audiences.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 02:57:58 pm by GavJ »
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Gervassen

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Re: DF has a SHALLOW learning curve
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2014, 03:37:40 pm »



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Xazo-Tak

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Re: DF has a SHALLOW learning curve
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2014, 06:42:48 pm »


You're forgetting to factor in total learning required.
If it takes you a hundred hours to get a good grasp of Dwarf Fortress, and an hour for Angry Birds, and Dwarf Fortress is a few hundred times more complicated, the learning curve for DF is a few times steeper.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 03:03:06 am by Xazo-Tak »
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klefenz

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Re: DF has a SHALLOW learning curve
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2014, 06:53:32 pm »

I think the graphs usually put "skill needed" in the Y axis, so a shallow curve means the game difficulty increases slowly.

Think that most games havle levels or missions, which start easy and become harder and harder.

Dwarf Fortress has a skill wall. You can start an adventurer and be killed by some wild animal right at the beginning, or in a fort you get a large migrant wave and things get really complicated really fast.

GavJ

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Re: DF has a SHALLOW learning curve
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2014, 07:14:07 pm »

Where's your god now?
No normal graphs have dependent variables on the X axis. Including, most importantly, actual learning curves in psychological literature.
Why would you ever flip a graph in a non-conventional way and then coin a term, when you could vastly less confusingly just coin the opposite term in the normal direction?

Quote
I think the graphs usually put "skill needed" in the Y axis, so a shallow curve means the game difficulty increases slowly.
Wat?

That doesn't make sense either. The game doesn't change itself to be harder when you play it longer (especially considering most new players will die repeatedly before getting far enough for any sieges at all)... Skill needed for DF is always the same and would be a flat line. So if that's what you mean, it in fact would have the shallowest POSSIBLE curve of anything (horizontal line)

Also, in general, that's not what anybody is talking about when they talk about steep learning curves colloquially anyway, since people use it to refer to things like real life skills, pole vaulting, bike riding, etc., which don't have levels.

Quote
You're forgetting to factor in total learning required.
If it takes you a hundred hours to get a good grasp of Dwarf Fortress, and an hour for Angry Birds, and Dwarf Fortress is a few hundred times more complicated, the learning curve for DF is a few times steeper.
No, that would just be this:


Angry brids being red. You just max out and there's nothing left to learn, but the learning portion is still a steeper curve.

(the slope is still shallower in DF due to poorer tutorials and UI etc. Even learning the first bit equivalent to angry birds takes longer than in angry birds)
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 07:24:45 pm by GavJ »
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Arcvasti

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Re: DF has a SHALLOW learning curve
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2014, 07:34:56 pm »

I remember seeing something like this somewhere on the forums:

Quote
Some games have a learning curve. Dwarf Fortress has a gallows.

So just put one of those in a graph and everyone will be happy[Except the ones who are dead].

On a more seriousish-note, I'm pretty sure that steep learning curve corresponds to something that is difficult to pick up because it SOUNDS like it should. Steep is hard to climb, shallow is easy to climb. Its counter-intuitive to say that a shallow learning curve is harder then a steep one, even if it is "more accurate". It just makes more sense to imagine a game impenetrable to beginners as a cliff[steep] then an endless rolling field[shallow]. Honestly, a steep learning curve is harder to learn, if only because that is the accepted colloquial definition.

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Playergamer

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Re: DF has a SHALLOW learning curve
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2014, 07:42:30 pm »

Here's the thing: It is easier to learn with a shallow learning curve then a steep learning curve. With a steep learning curve, you get overwhelmed by everything at once, and can't truly learn anything. With a shallow learning curve, you learn one thing, get good at it, and move on to the next.
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GavJ

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Re: DF has a SHALLOW learning curve
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2014, 07:46:29 pm »

Here's the thing: It is easier to learn with a shallow learning curve then a steep learning curve. With a steep learning curve, you get overwhelmed by everything at once, and can't truly learn anything. With a shallow learning curve, you learn one thing, get good at it, and move on to the next.
The measure is learning. That of course means successful learning. If you got overwhelmed and didn't actually learn, then you wouldn't plot it as steep, because you wouldn't actually be high on the Y axis yet.

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I'm pretty sure that steep learning curve corresponds to something that is difficult to pick up because it SOUNDS like it should. Steep is hard to climb, shallow is easy to climb.
Oh yes, for sure. I'm entirely confident that's why too.
That's why I said to preserve nerd cred, you should just avoid the term entirely in the OP. It's definitely never going to enter mainstream usage the opposite way due to the metaphorical unintuitiveness.
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Dwarf fortress in 50 words: You start with seven alcoholic, manic-depressive dwarves. You build a fortress in the wilderness where EVERYTHING tries to kill you, including your own dwarves. Usually, your chief imports are immigrants, beer, and optimism. Your chief exports are misery, limestone violins, forest fires, elf tallow soap, and carved kitten bone.

Lyeos

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Re: DF has a SHALLOW learning curve
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2014, 07:48:29 pm »

I remember seeing something like this somewhere on the forums:

Quote
Some games have a learning curve. Dwarf Fortress has a gallows.

So just put one of those in a graph and everyone will be happy[Except the ones who are dead].

You mean like this graph?
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

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Playergamer

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Re: DF has a SHALLOW learning curve
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2014, 07:49:39 pm »

Nerd cred...

Did you actually just say nerd cred?

Let's ignore that for a second, then. When people say learning curve, they don't actually mean "what you learn." They mean "what you need to learn."
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GavJ

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Re: DF has a SHALLOW learning curve
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2014, 07:57:30 pm »

Quote
When people say learning curve, they don't actually mean "what you learn." They mean "what you need to learn."

Do you mean what you need to learn TOTAL? In that case, the graph would be this:


Or did you mean "amount left to learn still as of this moment?" If so, it would be this:


Neither explains DF having a "steep learning curve." In the former case, both are infinitely shallow. In the latter case, angry birds is still steeper.
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Dwarf fortress in 50 words: You start with seven alcoholic, manic-depressive dwarves. You build a fortress in the wilderness where EVERYTHING tries to kill you, including your own dwarves. Usually, your chief imports are immigrants, beer, and optimism. Your chief exports are misery, limestone violins, forest fires, elf tallow soap, and carved kitten bone.

Playergamer

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Re: DF has a SHALLOW learning curve
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2014, 08:01:00 pm »

Neither. I mean the amount you need to learn at that moment in time. Which, admittedly, wouldn't end up a curve.
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GavJ

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Re: DF has a SHALLOW learning curve
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2014, 08:03:25 pm »

Still sounds like it would be one of the above two.

"Amount you need to learn [total] at that moment in time" is always the same, because time has nothing to do with the total amount you need to learn. Thus, first graph.
"Amount you need to learn [remaining] at that moment in time" is the second graph.

Not sure how else to interpret that sentence mathematically.
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Dwarf fortress in 50 words: You start with seven alcoholic, manic-depressive dwarves. You build a fortress in the wilderness where EVERYTHING tries to kill you, including your own dwarves. Usually, your chief imports are immigrants, beer, and optimism. Your chief exports are misery, limestone violins, forest fires, elf tallow soap, and carved kitten bone.

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Re: DF has a SHALLOW learning curve
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2014, 08:06:35 pm »

Ugh, wording is r herd. I mean it as "what you need to learn, at that moment in time, for that moment in time." I'm done with this argument.

When you argue on the internet, everyone loses.
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Lyeos

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Re: DF has a SHALLOW learning curve
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2014, 08:08:03 pm »

So, a zigzag, then? It's gonna go up if you've never experienced that kind of situation before, but down if you have? I dunno. I has the dumbs.
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