Scott Hardie | December 2, 2017
Tomorrow, we'll begin the 75th season of Celebrity Goo Game! This should be fun. I have something special planned for the game's 20th anniversary in February.

These changes are already done and in effect now:

• There is now a delay of at least 15 days between two goos by the same creator, instead of 7 days.

• Players who have not guessed at a goo within the last week will not be eligible for the daily lottery to earn blue badges.

These changes will be added tomorrow after the season has begun:

• Easy and very easy goos will be about twice as likely to appear as hard and very hard goos.

• The daily lottery will apply all week long, giving each lottery winner seven days to solve the goo for a blue badge instead of one day.

• There will be three new badges: "Solve a do-over goo." "Solve a multiple goo." "Solve a themed goo." To be honest, I haven't decided yet if these should be a new color or join one of the existing colors; any advice?

I'm open to feedback, but any suggestions that I can't implement by tomorrow will have to wait until next spring.

I'm really looking forward to the new season. Let's have some fun!

Samir Mehta | December 2, 2017
[hidden by author request]

Chris Lemler | December 2, 2017
Scott how about peach and white, and pink

Scott Hardie | December 3, 2017
About those new badges: I created an entire new category of black goos, earned by solving one goo from each creator (ie. "solve a goo by Chris Lemler," "solve a goo by Russ Wilhelm," etc), as well as a goo from each theme throughout the season (I have only one theme in mind but might add more), and each gender of celebrity, and do-over/multiple goos as already mentioned.

Samir, thank you for saying that! It's funny; I wish this site could consume more of my time. It's hard for me to get more than a few minutes for it on weeknights, and weekends are a toss-up; sometimes I get a lot of time and sometimes I get almost none. I feel like the site could be a lot better if I were able to devote a lot more time to it. But considering that I'm only doing this for fun, any amount of time that I can give it after I tend to other responsibilities is worthwhile.

Scott Hardie | December 6, 2017
Damn, Russ! Less than a week ago we were discussing your ninth solo solution, and now you have already earned your tenth! That's officially more than any other player has ever earned! (In hindsight, that goo was definitely miscategorized as medium.)

Also! Russ, you have now overtaken Steve as the highest-scoring player of all time, a title that no one could take away from him for eight years. Amazing! You've been slowly creeping up on Steve's score for a very long time now; his retirement last month only accelerated what was starting to seem inevitable. Congrats and well done!

Your face appears so much on the Player Achievements page that we might as well rename it Russ Achievements. Bravo! :-)

LaVonne Lemler | December 6, 2017
Awesome achievements, Russ --- all the way around! Congrats! :-)

Scott Hardie | March 3, 2018
We have a winner! Chris finished the season with the top score, after being at or near the top for the whole three months. Way to play the game, Chris! Russ and Samir were close behind, but it seems no one can catch you in two seasons of badges so far. I'll send your prize by email later today.

Well-played season, all! This was a tough one, even with Steve retired. :-)

Now that we've had two seasons to play with them, how does everyone feel now about the badges? I will share my thoughts after other people have had a chance to weigh in.

Erik Bates | March 3, 2018
I'm enjoying the new game-play with the badges. It adds another element of strategy and timing. I don't know that any changes are needed. I do wish we had more players, but I thoroughly enjoy playing against the group of regulars that we have.

I'm bummed that the past few weeks got a little more hectic for me, so I didn't get as much time on the site as I normally would, so what was a solid 2nd place run quickly deteriorated. Chris, you were playing too solid of a game, man. Try as I might, you weren't slipping up in any way that would give me the edge! Well played, sir!

LaVonne Lemler | March 4, 2018
Congrats on another victory, Chris! You're a great player and one tough competitor! Guess I'll be chasing you again in the new round! :-)

Scott, ditto Erik's comments on the badge scoring system. It's been fun --- have no suggestions for improvement!

Scott Hardie | March 10, 2018
Thanks for all of the feedback (public and private), everyone! I wish I could have answered sooner but it's been an especially insane week until now.

I can't remember if I said this before, but the badges were an attempt to do a modern version of the game's original scoring system, getting back to basics. The idea back then, when there was only one goo per week, was that each player had a chart of ten slots to fill, and could fill two green slots for solving two movie/TV goos, and two yellow slots for two music goos, and two each for sports and government/politics, and one final pair of slots for "miscellaneous" which covered everything else. That worked fine with very few players when competition wasn't so strong, but in the early 2000s people started solving every single goo and it wouldn't work today. Having the rainbow-colored badges that reward you for doing lots of different kinds of things in the game is the closest that I think we can get to it today.

I still really like that concept, but in practice I agree with some of the private feedback that it's not working. Part of the problem is is that the lottery system isn't working as intended; the players in the lead are still being chosen often for the lottery, making it too hard for the other players to catch up. Another part is that player-created goos give way too much of an advantage to the players who submit them; I tried to weaken that advantage before last season but it's still considerable. Chris has dominated for two seasons in a row now in large part because of his own goos, and the funny thing is that he's not making them hard just to keep winning at badges: Most of Chris's creations were submitted in early-to-mid-2017 when we were still playing with the pagoda and lucky cats. I'm sure Chris wanted an advantage then too, but it's not like he made these specifically to take advantage of a weakness in the badges system.

Let's give the spring season a try and see if things aren't different; maybe the system will work right this time and I'll be surprised. But if it goes the way it has twice before, then I'll want to implement a new system in the summer. If so, does anyone have a preference for going back to an old system? I'm not opposed to bringing back the pagoda and cats so soon since they worked really well. I know the towers are a perennial favorite too. (The exact numbers varied by season, but generally you needed to build 10 towers by stacking up 10 solved goos in each, and if you guessed wrong you'd lose progress in that tower, and if you finished a tower then you'd get to knock over another player's unfinished tower.) I will give thought to other scoring systems too. As much as I would prefer to have more players right now, one of the perks of having few players is that we can try scoring systems that only work with few players.

Scott Hardie | March 10, 2018
Also: Congrats, Russ, on a very difficult solve of Conrad Bluth. You have again extended your record number of solo solutions.

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