David Mitzman | March 30, 2005
I would've honestly rated today's goo as "difficult". I truly think that having a pre-set difficulty on the goo predisposes players to put in a certain amount of effort (and not always for the good). I realize I got the goo right away (and damn you Megan Baxter, that Golden Imelda eludes me once more), but I think was one of the harder goos due to the clue and inability of me to find a suitable picture match.

Amy Austin | March 30, 2005
Although I agree with Dave's estimation of today's goo rating (and, of course -- as Scott is well aware -- it isn't the first time, either!), that doesn't mean that the rating is useless... and I don't want to see it go away. Even though I have come to not relying on these ratings too much (I've said before that it's almost always the "medium" ones that tweak me the most!), I still like at least knowing what *Scott* thinks of it, because there is a certain standardization involved there.

Amy Austin | March 30, 2005
And I don't know how you could know the answer so fast but not find a suitable picture match, Dave -- it's right *there* once you have the name and search it!

Denise Sawicki | March 30, 2005
Scott does not seem to understand that keywords in the clue are what make a goo easy, not the amount of people who are likely to recognize the person. :) Well maybe it is just me, but I very rarely get any help by looking at the picture. The clue is the important thing.

Amy Austin | March 30, 2005
Yeah, I rely heavily on the clue as well.

E. M. | March 30, 2005
[hidden by request]

Scott Hardie | March 31, 2005
The main cause of the discrepancy in difficulty (between my intentions and the results) is a little complex. I book goos seven at a time, Monday through Sunday. I try to enforce variety in each set of seven: At least three women, at least three non-white celebrities, at least two foreign celebrities, et cetera. Part of this enforced variety is having two easy goos, two medium goos, and two hard goos every week (plus an extra). Once I have chosen who my seven celebrities are going to be, I goo them, then I put them on the site, to be published automatically each night at midnight. It's only when I'm putting them into the database that I actually write the clue. I try to push the clue in the direction of my planned difficulty, but when a good phrase comes to my mind, I go with it.

Anyway, the point is that I designate the difficulty before I see the gooed image and before I see the clue. Instead of basing the difficulty on those two factors, I base those two factors on the difficulty. And they frequently don't agree.

The game needs my enforced variety when it comes to race, gender, and nationality; otherwise there would be an overwhelming majority of white American males each week. But the game has always done a pretty good job of balancing itself out when it comes to difficulty. Perhaps I should give up on planning difficulty in advance, and only declare it after the goo is otherwise complete? That would decrease the discrepancy, but to me, "intended difficulty" would no longer be a useful piece of information: I didn't "intend" it to be anything; I'm judging how hard the goo is after I have finished it, and that's something anybody can judge whether they know the answer or not.

Do you want me to try this even if it winds up being pointless?

Scott Horowitz | March 31, 2005
Maybe have 2 difficulty categories: "Intended" when the goo is up, and "actual" after the goo has been displayed, based on # and quality of answers?

Scott Hardie | April 1, 2005
I dunno, I'd just prefer to get rid of "difficulty" altogether. It's no help to the newbies, and as we've all been discussing, it's too unreliable to be much help to the longtime players. But it doesn't sound like anybody has changed their minds about it since the last discussion on the subject.

Jackie Mason | April 2, 2005
[hidden by request]

Scott Hardie | April 2, 2005
It will have to be via email (link) until I get that page working. It's among my top priorities, but it's a lot more complex than one might guess, and besides, I have no time to work on the site right now. :-(

Jackie Mason | April 12, 2005
[hidden by request]

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