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Author Topic: Survivorship Curves and Mission Planning  (Read 2554 times)
Mr. Three
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« on: October 15, 2012, 12:40:02 AM »

Dr. Marc Rowley, Assistant Professor of Biology and my advisor, asked me off-hand about whether or not HvZ administrators ever collected and analyzed their player population data. When I responded in the loose affirmative (I had no datasets but had written about observed trends in the game flow as part of my staff's legacy document) he asked to plot the population totals on a graph on a day to day basis to see what a "Human" life history looked like in HvZ. So, I gave him the data points from this most recent game (which hit 130 players, a new record for us) and he charted them on this site: http://faculty.berea.edu/rowleym/

Humans adhered to my predictions in terms of obeying a type II Survivorship curve: Zombie growth and Human death are typically linear in Berean games. This game was unusual in that Humans won, for the 3rd time in 12 games; the thing that most accounts for this is the high skill difference between new players and veterans: Human organization strengthened substantially on Day 2 while Zombies wouldn't catch up in effectiveness until Day 4. Missions were also slightly Zombie biased--they knew where the main Human objective(s) was at all times and the maximum mission duration was lifted to give Zombies more time to kill. Human mission rewards were minor, and mostly linked to plot advancement. The final stand was extremely close--most of the surviving Humans were out of ammunition or down to a few rounds.

I'd be interested to see this kind of data come out of other schools' games. The sampling rate was 12:00AM at the end of each day. I'll list some variables below that will be of note to others.

Keywords: Heavy Weapons Restrictions, Zombie Classes, Human Items, Token Economy, Human NPCs, Reduced Stun Time, Intel, Cures.

Details of "soft" population controls:
Humans don't have >12 capacity or full auto on Day 1 (+neither, rule is of dubious value).
Reduced stun time on Day 1 and 2 (+Z) [10 minutes instead of 15].
Mission intel for the Zombies, consistently (+Z).
Addition of 3 Special Zombies* per day in Zombie Kill Shop from Day 2 on (until there were 5 noodle Zombies, 2 sock on a string Zombies, 3 fast-conversion time trigger Zombies and 2 global stun-time reducing Zombies) (+Z).
Sale of 8 pieces of Armor in Human Kill Shop (two handed tags unless Special Zombie) (+H).
Human NPC presence (2 max) (+H).
Total 5 revives in Human Kill Shop, 5th was a mission reward for completing secondary mission parameter (+H).

*further specifics can be given if necessary.
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Berea College, KY
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Dandelo
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 12:53:58 AM »

Seems roughly on-par. Our 'ideal' number is 5% survival, but we have games of hundreds.
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Norm


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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 08:42:21 PM »

At Bowling Green, we usually have the largest number of deaths on the first two days (disregarding missions). Even with missions, I'd guess it's still first two days. This is caused by people who deliberately suicide themselves to play as zombies, as well as newbies getting killed.
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The elusive shadow darts between corridors in the dead silence.
Boom


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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 07:56:57 PM »

Well in our HvZ club here at Rolla I have been elected the Historian of the game, so it's my job to basically make a death plot (as you describe) since the game will be happening next week I will hopefully be able to make a 4-6hr per point of data graph to show the chaos unfold day by day. Hopefully more schools decide to implement this that way when they experiment with different things they can see how it affects the game overall. Also with enough data we can see how random events such as weather affects the game. Actually this would be a good addition to the HvZ source, something that automatically calculates hourly death tolls/events in a game and displays them in a line graph, I'm no CompSci major, but I wouldn't think that too hard to do. Devs! get on it! I'll give you cookies! PLZ!!! Cool
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