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Author Topic: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:  (Read 3679 times)

knagl

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Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2021, 01:12:01 AM »
And then she heard the phrase "Gauntlet of Villains" and was truly perplexed. The best explanation I had to offer was, "Look, there was a lot of cocaine going around at the time."

Hahaha, nice.

Mr. Armadillo

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Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2021, 01:33:27 AM »
The 5 most frequently chosen spaces to block in levels 1 through 5 are 4-20
I can only imagine how much more frequently that block would be chosen in 2021.

MSTieScott

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Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2021, 02:28:20 AM »
What strategies can be created using this information?  Go $500 whenever you're on Level 6.  When charging, go up the 30s, 40s, and 50s minus the 3-30 I mentioned earlier.

If you're comfortable with the category, sure. But even though you're more likely to avoid blocks that way, there's still precious little margin for error. From what I've seen, both hitting a block and failing on a question eat up about the same amount of time. And, to use the baseball analogy, once a contestant gets three "strikes" (any combination of blocks and/or wrong answers), they can't win without a longshot.

The best blocking strategy seems to be to take advantage of your right to place three blocks on one level (it doesn't much matter which one) and force your opponent to guess whether you've left 10, 20, 30, or 40 open. Placing blocks on 50s is a waste, because the material over there is difficult enough that if a charger tries to run that column, they'll likely pile up enough wrong answers to ruin their game anyway.

MikeK

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Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2021, 06:08:13 AM »
What strategies can be created using this information?  Go $500 whenever you're on Level 6.  When charging, go up the 30s, 40s, and 50s minus the 3-30 I mentioned earlier.

If you're comfortable with the category, sure. But even though you're more likely to avoid blocks that way, there's still precious little margin for error. From what I've seen, both hitting a block and failing on a question eat up about the same amount of time. And, to use the baseball analogy, once a contestant gets three "strikes" (any combination of blocks and/or wrong answers), they can't win without a longshot.
Three strikes is a good rule-of-thumb.  Depending on factors like the length of the blooper, a contestant could get away with 4 or even 5 strikes.  35 times, a charger made exactly 9 selections.  26 of those times, a longshot was involved.  A cursory look shows that roughly half the time, the charger got no higher than level 4 before invoking the longshot.

I transferred the data to Google Drive because it's after 6 AM and I hate sleep:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EarRTyenPqhnaAUX0Y30rwfC0igZzNC_GlyL3fBgn74/edit?usp=sharing

Joe Mello

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Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2021, 08:11:05 AM »
The two fun takeaways from me are that the Charger only wins 42% of the games where there is no Longshot, and that the correlation between money earned and Gauntlet questions right (.466) is slightly stronger than the correlation between seconds earned and Gauntlet questions right (.462)
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TLEberle

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Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2021, 08:19:16 AM »
Interesting to me that the prize money for the winner tends to clumptogether in certain spots but there was one outlier where the champ squeaked through with $180.

/and another with $130.
Travis L. Eberle
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calliaume

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Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2021, 08:52:48 AM »
Blocking or charging:  Who has the advantage?  Blockers win by exactly a 2:1 margin, 60 blocker wins, 30 charger wins.
That's a huge advantage to the blocker. It would have been nice to make a gameplay adjustment (one less second lost per block?) to help even things out. (Does anybody think the production company kept track of this kind of information?)

weaklink75

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Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2021, 11:35:05 AM »
I'd have to go through them, but I'd be interested to see how the 2-1 games are split (did the winner block twice, charge twice, or block and charge once- I'd have to think blocking twice is more common). Giving the champ the block/charge option in round 3 seems to be a huge advantage..

And I agree that the technology of today would help a ton in the front game- I wouldn't be shocked if there had been a lot of errors in wrong trilons being turned because of mishearing of calls...

MikeK

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Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2021, 11:53:17 AM »
I'd have to go through them, but I'd be interested to see how the 2-1 games are split (did the winner block twice, charge twice, or block and charge once- I'd have to think blocking twice is more common). Giving the champ the block/charge option in round 3 seems to be a huge advantage..
I was thinking of identifying what numbers go to what match or show.  I will alternate background colors to differentiate when a match ends and a new match begins.

chris319

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Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2021, 06:13:59 PM »
How many main game bloopers did they need to have ready per show? Not played, but available on the board? There were 28 bloopers per board and I don't know how many main-game rounds they played per show. Multiply the number of bloopers per show by 10: two consecutive taping days of five shows per day, and you have the number of questions they needed to bring to the studio every two weeks and the number of art cards that needed to be prepared. With only two weeks to prepare, the writers must have been working at a frenetic pace and I suspect the research/authentication was light.

The main game was exhilarating for the players but the audience of hausfraus at 10 am or whatever had to work too hard to keep up. There was no time to savor the clever bloopers. The audience had to race against the players. This greatly reduced the play-along factor. The show was on the air for what, 9 months, before they brought in the celebs and that didn't save it.

Removing the clock from the main game would be a vast improvement. Keep the blocks, but have each incorrect or unanswered question count against the player. Three such "strikes" might be a little tight given the challenge facing the contestants, but maybe five "strikes" would be more realistic.

If I understand correctly, there may or may not have been a block pre-positioned on level 6. Then the "blocker" chooses a level-6 square to place a block, which may or may not already have a block on it. Thus, the "charger" may have a 1 in 3 or a 2 in 3 chance of getting a blooper on level 6. Do I have that right? That seems kind of slippery.

Like Jay's other shows, Whew! was ambitious and an imaginative concept, but it just didn't play to the audience. How Jay's version of Double Dare and Blackout ever saw the light of day is mystifying. Mercifully, "Pandemonium", which was a train wreck, never made it past the pilot stage. How it ever got piloted in the first place is likewise baffling.

MSTieScott

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Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2021, 06:39:05 PM »
If I understand correctly, there may or may not have been a block pre-positioned on level 6. Then the "blocker" chooses a level-6 square to place a block, which may or may not already have a block on it. Thus, the "charger" may have a 1 in 3 or a 2 in 3 chance of getting a blooper on level 6. Do I have that right?

Mostly, but the blocker already knows whether there's a block pre-prositioned on level 6 -- they're the one who dictated its position before the round began. So if the charger calls a longshot, which allows the blocker to place a secret block on level 6, the blocker knows not to place their secret block on the question they've already blocked.

In theory, the blocker doesn't have to place a block on level 6 before the round begins, but most all of the contestants understood that it's good strategy to do so. That way, if the charger calls for a longshot, two of the three questions will be blocked, which is what makes the longshot a long shot.

Bryce L.

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Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2021, 06:43:22 PM »
... and I don't know how many main-game rounds they played per show
Usually three, but occasionally two (if a show started at the Gauntlet, then the next match ended 2-0, with Act 4 being another Gauntlet)

Nick

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Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2021, 07:00:40 PM »
Removing the clock from the main game would be a vast improvement. Keep the blocks, but have each incorrect or unanswered question count against the player. Three such "strikes" might be a little tight given the challenge facing the contestants, but maybe five "strikes" would be more realistic.

But the frantic pace of racing against the clock is what makes this game so exhilarating.  Unless you're going to match the lack of a clock with either a steep increase in the difficulty of your average blooper or much stricter judging on the answer, I don't think you're going to get many contestants who are going to strike out on five bloopers.  As long as the blocking rules remain what they were, there's inevitably an easy path up the board that's going to be free for the contestants to follow, and they'll get just over there if they're getting blocked or stumped on the harder side.  It's not as much fun to watch the Chargers take the easy route, but when they've hit a couple of snags on the way up and the clock is ticking, I can't blame them for defaulting left.

And then there's the Longshot.  If you're going to nix the clock and make it a five-strike limit or what have you, you're not going to hit nearly as many Longshot situations, which greatly reduces the tension in the game.  I think the whole Longshot business was genius.  A few snags out of the gate, and the Charger can put himself in a place where clearing the board in 60 seconds becomes impossible, so rather than render the venture futile, throw in a lifeline that can turn the game on its head, albeit with the odds generally (though not necessarily) against you.  It's brilliant.

Like Jay's other shows, Whew! was ambitious and an imaginative concept, but it just didn't play to the audience.

To each his own, I suppose.  I still think, in Whew!, Jay had the most innovative concept since Jeopardy! for turning the standard Q&A game on its head.  There are definitely some issues with the way it was packaged.  For instance, unless the Blocker is great at banter (and most weren't), the whole watching the Blocker place the blocks bit is pretty dull.  For the amount of time it takes to setup the game and then race through it, there really is only about 5 minutes of actual gameplay in a 20-minute episode.  You stack that against something like Pyramid, and it seems like the latter's got a lot more jammed into it, but Pyramid was only 8 minutes against the clock in a 22-minute episode.  All in how you package it, I guess.

The biggest flaw, I see, from a production standpoint is that generally 70% of more of each game board is going unused, so you have to have an outrageous amount in your question bank for each game despite using so little of it; and because you package it in category boards with specifically-identifiable spaces, you end up with a lot of recycled categories due to a lot of recycled content.  The cartoon shtick and the Gauntlet of Villains is nice window dressing to disguise up the holes and make your bonus round not look like a "10-in-60" repeat of the front game [though the 60+(d/100) formula for the bonus clock did this on its own, and I rather liked how playing for dollars in the front game could help your chances in the end game], but as it was with most Jay Wolpert productions, there's a lot dressed up here on a thin game underneath.

But even then, despite how thin the game is, I love it and would love it if somebody could find the way to package it for a new series.  There's something about this "we give you the answer with one part incorrect that you have to correct" concept that's just begging to be exploited in an addictive and interactive game.

WhammyPower

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Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2021, 07:21:18 PM »
I would love it if somebody could find the way to package it for a new series.  There's something about this "we give you the answer with one part incorrect that you have to correct" concept that's just begging to be exploited in an addictive and interactive game.
Technically, it has been, just without the underlining part. (First game @ 2:46)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1Z4IeZHSNU

JasonA1

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Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2021, 07:25:00 PM »
re: the judging, there have been times where they're going for a specific idiom, say, and they accept a vague synonym -- something as ridiculous as "That's the way the cookie falls apart." That kind of decision is far too lenient IMO, but otherwise, I agree with the calls. For the most part, you can't really avoid matters of judgment in a game like this without adding too many words to the question.

Which brings me to my overall point that they could've improved the average number of exposed squares per board. That could have closed the gap in the blocker's advantage. It feels like 7 or 8 trilons turned is the typical outcome before time's up/longshot. If they pruned as many words as they could from the bloopers, they could have upped that average towards 9.

In playing and hosting with friends, many of us who are students of trying to avoid alternate answers vis a vis modern "big money" shows have a tendency to make the bloopers overlong. Given the category, and the "underlined part is wrong" format of the writing, it should never be difficult to get down to the essence of what you want. Consider a board on WOMEN. You can either say...

IN THE '80s, MADONNA HAD A HIT ON THE DANCE CHARTS WITH "INTO THE GROUPIES."

Or, boil it down to:

MADONNA HAD A HIT WITH "INTO THE GROUPIES."

Sometimes you need more words to serve a joke, or direct the answer, but often times, the fluff is unnecessary.

I'll also say that they needed more people willing to charge up the $40-$50 bloopers. It seems like blocking 10-20-30 on one of the levels is too often a winning move.

How Jay's version of Double Dare and Blackout ever saw the light of day is mystifying.

Blackout I get, but what did you think they missed on Double Dare?

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