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Thread: FM Stats for 2017

  1. #51
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    I'm just trying to look at it from a player perspective, from someone who doesn't even know what a .mis. is. I think if you say "2018 had 5GB of combined .mis files" you're going to get a lot of blank stares. Even if you compare it to other years (say for instance 2017 had 4GB and 2016 had 2GB), I don't think it's going to mean much to the average person. Part of this is because you're just throwing everything into one big pile, and the other part is the lack for reference for your average FM player on what missions sizes even mean.

    But if a player hears "there were 30 missions released in Year X," it's a whole lot more meaningful, because they can put it into familiar context. They'd probably say soemthing like "Wow, that's like playing 2 full Thief games."

    Hopefully I'm not sounding too critical here, especially when I don't really have much to offer as an alternative. Contrary to what I've said in the past though, I think the current FM count method is flawed, and should count each playable mission within a campaign as one full mission release. So something like The Black Frog would really count as 5 missions.

  2. #52
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Which is one of the reasons for my current counting method. To determine just how many new missions have been released for each year as well as a measure of absolute total releases.

    The use of the mission file size adds a possible measure that might determine if the playable size and mission complexity have increased sufficiently to counterbalance the smaller number of missions released. It may not provide a good measure, but it is a possibility worth some brief study.

    Also, I have previously looked at another measure of progression over time (authors), which I should update to 2017 and post. The conclusion of that study was that the number of authors for a given year is well correlated with the number of releases for that year (using Ricebug's numbers). So instead of seeing authors go from releasing more missions in a year to releasing fewer more complex missions each year; the trend is fewer authors releasing about the same number of missions each year. In fact, I found that the average number of releases per author never broke 1.75 for any given year nor was it common to be above 1.50 releases per year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren
    Part of this is because you're just throwing everything into one big pile, and the other part is the lack for reference for your average FM player on what missions sizes even mean.
    This is probably why total and average mission sizes should be released per year and the average would be indicative of having more complexity/play area. Hypothetically, we would see more for 20 missions now than what was seen with the 65 missions 10 years ago. (again assuming the play area/complexity can be approximated by bytes).

    PS: I'm wondering if at this point, we shouldn't move this discussion to its own thread. We going outside the bounds of the baseline statistics for Thief releases.
    Last edited by Iceblade; 11th Apr 2018 at 19:41. Reason: Fixing some phrasing

  3. #53
    Member
    Registered: May 2017
    Location: USA
    Brethren, I agree that cumulative .mis size would be a less intuitive measure than sheer number of releases. But saying it's less intuitive is a very different claim from saying it's less informative. I think Iceblade's idea to report both the number and the average .mis size could make a lot of sense. Anyone who wants to know the cumulative value can just multiply through, and anyone who didn't care about (or understand) the filesize number could just ignore it.

    Again, there's still more probing that could be done RE: the utility of examining file sizes. Maybe they provide very little coherent insight into the amount of playable content. Based on some quick analysis this evening, I highly doubt that's the case. I ran some checks based on the FMs I currently have installed. MIS filesize is highly predictive of amount of time spent on initial play through. Moreover, it appears to be fairly stable through time, in a way that overall FM size is not. (FMs as a whole have bulked up considerably due to the use of custom content.)

    For example, Ominous Bequest and Coaxing the Spirit (which took me similar amounts of time to complete, on my initial play through) have nearly identical .mis sizes, but Coaxing the Spirit is over 16 times larger, overall. .MIS files from quicker (but still wonderful!) missions, such as Library of Babel are about half the size (though again, the overall file size is about double that of Ominous Bequest), while more expansive missions such as Morbid Curiosity or missions 2 and 4 from Godbreaker have roughly 2-3 times the .MIS size of Ominous Bequest.

    The idea that "30 missions" is equivalent to "2 full Thief games" perfectly highlights the problem with pure counting. Which 30 missions? I could give you a list of 30 missions that would add up to 10 Full Thief games! I could also give you a list of 30 missions that would barely add up to Bafford's+Bonehoard+Assassins. That doesn't mean those missions are bad---just quick! Nothing wrong with short and sweet, but the number of missions, by itself, really doesn't convey all that much with respect to playable content.
    Last edited by trefoilknot; 12th Apr 2018 at 15:56.

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