# [Herc's Guideline] unified scoring scheme ! (?)

Thread in 'Discussion' started by herc, 2 Jun 2007.

1. ### herc

me again

is there a transparent, logic way of scoring in tetris? (restricting to marathon / infinite mode)

my idea was:

the basic unit of each tetris is the cube. 10 cubes fill a row.

my scoring scheme:

1 line = 10 cubes --> 100 points

2 lines = 20 cubes x2 --> 400 points

3 lines = 30 cubes x3 --> 900 points

4 lines = 40 cubes x4 --> 1600 points

...

6 lines = 60 cubes x6 --> 3600 points (cascade modes)

for me this seems pretty straight forward and clear to understand. just multiply the number of released cubes (of course depends on the pit width) by the combo (i.e. number of lines deleted, number of color chains, number of whatever defines a combo)

but what about drop speed? should be a tetris at high drop speed more worth than a tetris at level 0 (low drop speed) ? is this really necessary ? because in marathon / infinite mode, this could give ultra-fast players probably an unfair advantage. it would - so to say - greatly distort / make the scoring highly nonlinear. a quite good gamer could score lets say 10.000 points, while a top notch would score 100.000 points just by making huge number of tetrises under high speeds, (if the speed multiplier is high)

wouldnt it be enough to say: ok, really pro-gamers CAN make tetrises even at the higher drop speeds, so they will manage to make 15.000 points instead of a good gamer, who makes 10.000 points only because he can only clear singles at high speeds. i think that scheme would be nicer. what do you think?

of course, there are other game play modes like 40 lines, where score is not that relevant, but time is important.

but time is not everything. just clearing lines as fast as possible is one thing, but skilled players also build tetrises.

so in goal modes - how about

dividing score by (somehow normalized) time ?

normalization might be for example: time / 60 sec

if you got a 30 sec speed run, you get 0.5 --> score / 0.5 doubles your score. if you are slow and need 2 minutes , your score divides by 2.

[Subject edited by request -- MOD]

2. ### jujubeUnregistered

any scoring system that makes

triple > 3 singles

2 triples > 3 doubles

and so on seems fair, but what about a back-to-back bonus for consecutive tetrises? that's becoming standard in games where points are important. i think it's a nice bonus that rewards good planning and piece management. of course it helps to have a hold box if you want to take advantage of it.

3. ### Rosti LFC

I think the increase in the scores is too high. Exponential increasing seems a bit fast. A tetris should be worth more than 4 line clears, by some way, but 16 line clears is a bit much.

100, 250, 500, 800 would be what I would suggest, for increasing line clear values.

4. ### tepplesLockjaw developer

That's awfully close to the 100, 300, 500, 800 pattern that Tetris Worlds, Tetris Deluxe, and Tetris DS use, which is the same as 100 per line and 100 per garbage.

5. ### Rosti LFC

That's pure coincidence, as I didn't use the TDS one as a guide, but I think it's about right. I've never had any qualms with the base scoring system in TDS.

6. ### herc

hmm... but my scheme is so simple...

and i think it is not so worse as it sounds: it is not 16 times more, because

4 single line clears = 400 points,

1 tetris = 16000 ponts

so 1 tetris is 4 times more points than the equivalent 4 single line clears.

is 4 times the score too much bonus ?

7. ### herc

according to your definitions, my scheme would fit.

about back-to-back bonus: wasnt aware of that, but that could be done of course quite easily:

just lets define a "meta" combo.

the number of consecutive combos gives another multiplier:

2 tetrises in a row: 2x

3 consecutive tetrises : 3x

...

the question is: when to start a meta-combo? as early as in tgm, where you get a (meta-)combo with a single line clear after a tetris ?

or better need at least 3 line clears after a tetris ?

and what about the speed problem? how to handle score and speed? i again would vote for not scale points with drop speed, but score speed independent.

8. ### Rosti LFC

I think it is. And if you carry it on to cascade, it gets worse. Clearing at least 9 lines at once is pretty easy. Way too easy to reward the same amount of points as 81 line clears.

9. ### jujubeUnregistered

it really depends a lot on the rotation and randomizer. that could be too much of a reward with SRS and 7 piece bag, where the standard now seems to be:

2 tetrises in a row: 1.5x
3 consecutive tetrises: 1.5x

under a system like that it would have to be possible for players to play very fast so they would have room to improve their scores. another option would be to impose 20G and/or lock delay, making it more of a survival game, though that would be hard on beginners.

10. ### herc

you might be right... cascade could be abused excessively.

1 line = 10 cubes x2/2 = x1.0 --> 100 points

2 lines = 20 cubes x3/2 = x1.5 --> 300 points

3 lines = 30 cubes x4/2 = x2.0 --> 600 points

4 lines = 40 cubes x5/2 = x2.5 --> 1000 points

...

6 lines = 60 cubes x6/2 = x3 --> 1800 points (cascade modes)

it also gives a nice score for a tetris: 1000 points
i would be happy with this score definition.

besides that - if i look at the online highscore list of gravytris, classic mode, cascade, you can see that combos > 4 are very rare even with the top players:

http://www.gravytris.de/showscores_stan ... amestyle=0

so there seems in practice not too much danger of cascade abuse...

11. ### herc

ah thanks. but the multiplier is a bit ugly... gives not too nice point values...

of course, i am thinking of a tetris, where you can chancel entry delay by pressing down or drop. and drop of course with lock delay and double klick drop / drop+down = instant lock.

that would allow the top players to make many tetrises in lower speed levels, and a survival game in high speed levels.

you have 10 minutes, after that game finishes.

1mode = normal: speed starts very slow at 1/10G and increases every minute till 1G is reached. thats for casual gamers and beginners.

2mode = speedplay: starting at 1G, reaching after 5 minutes 20G, next 5 minutes slowly cranking down ARE and lock delay till human reaction time limit is approached - lets say 250ms (sum of are and lock delay).

the thing is: the game is limited to 10 minutes. if you want make high scores, you must play fast and play for combos. i.e. strategic gameplay is favoured over survival only. also, the speed increas is triggered by time, not by played lines. i think this enforces a bit speedy play - you know you have to hurry and use the first minutes to make your tetrises. that could motivate casual players to play faster but also play for combos.

another advantage: abuse of lock delay becomes uninteresting, because you know that you waste precious time on building your tetrises.

anyway, i dont know if such a time based level increase and a limit to 10 minutes would be a fun game. just an idea. i never liked the speed increase by lines. it just sounds unlogic to me.

12. ### Air GearUnregistered

For some reason, I really don't see the problem with the original scoring scheme; quadratic really doesn't seem too fast of an increase to me. People might talk about the "abuse" of cascade, but the major point: isn't "abusing" cascade the point of a cascade mode? The idea is to make a precarious setup and then clear basically the entire board for a huge bonus, as opposed to the games which point you toward either tetrises or singles, depending on the setup.

As for the thought of limited play, well, unlimited play does kinda suck, so limited is good.

*edit* though a final note: there's no "logical, transparent" way to do scoring for Tetris overall just since the scoring systems determine which way they'll be played.

13. ### caffeine

this is what i propose. i assume we're talking about marathon type games. scoring should reward skillful play. what's skillful play? well, i'd say making challenging line clears and enduring fast lock delay.

it's not skillful to drop a piece. we just need to reward points for line clears.

single = 1 (1 per line)

double = 3 (1.5 per line)

triple = 5 (1.66 per line)

tetris = 7 (1.75 per line)

for cascades, simply 2n-1 where n=lines cleared. it's simple and it works.

secondly, marathon should decrease lock delay (with floor kicks limited) until it's impossible in about ten minutes. i'd say that scoring system would accurately judge an old school tetris player's ability.

btw, what does tcg mean?

14. ### herc

@caffeine: tcg == tetris concept guideline - maybe sometimes we will have such a thing...

i fully agree: dropping a piece is worth nothing. only the process of removing cubes from the arena is a skill, and the more cubes removed at the same time, the higher the skill.

and thanks for supporting the time limited mode! i think 10 minutes is a very nice time for a short, relaxing, refreshing coffee-break-tetris game. its not too long, and not too short.

and yes, pushing the speed in these 10 minutes till human borders i think is great too. normal players drop out at 8 minutes, expert players slowly approach the 10 minutes, and some of you should reach 11 minutes, while in 12 minutes ARE and lock delay are zero.

about your line - scoring scheme: while its nice and simple, it gives the lowest multiplier for a tetris... i personally would be more inclined to Air Gear with quadratic reward...

but your scheme would more support speed play than tetris/cascade building, also a good thing.

15. ### tepplesLockjaw developer

But compare The New Tetris and Lumines, which can last for two hours.

Are you trying to make something like the so-called "kill screen" (level 22-1) of one of the Donkey Kong arcade games, where it is physically impossible to clear the level before the timer expires?

16. ### herc

@tepples: these are 2 important points:

1. yes - a long tetris session can be a fine thing too, and giving some adrenaline rush. but i had the 10 minutes more as a compromise back in mind, because i ultimately want a mode, where everything is clear and fixed such that we can have online highscore lists, that clearly reflect the players skill, and not the players endurance in collecting points...

and 2. forget my previous post, with the 12 minutes that lead to death regardless of skill..

i think its more positive to have a final goal: reach 10minutes. but that goal must be adjusted as with grandmaster tetris series: its hard to get there, but it must be possible.

so i propose two 10minutes modes:

"normal" : start slow, and aproach 1G or 2G till level 10. if the normal casual player survives for 1-2 minutes at 2G and ten minutes are over, he will get a nice congratulations and some nice explosions as with heboris or whatever... i think a game should end positive.

"expert" mode: start at 1G and slooowly crank up to speeds comparable with S9 or such..

so we could have 2 highscore lists, thats still not to confusing..

in overall - i just wanted to discuss about a mode, that most players will enjoy and that gives a good measure, as caffeine said it

"would accurately judge an old school tetris player's ability. "

currently, i have the problem in my online high score lists for gravytris release january 2007, that i miss-designed (i think) the scoring system. the players can choose a starting level, and higher levels give a much higher score multiplier. so i see on the lists some top players that start at level 10 and have nearly 10 times more score just by this stupid level multiplier. they are better, sure, but not that much better as the score suggests. that freely choosable starting level makes it hard to compare the skill.

so my idea was to give 2 modes: a normal that starts slow and an expert mode that starts moderately fast and gives high speeds lateron.

just random thoughts - just wanted to discuss with you, how to design a mode that is fair, but challenging, appeals to most casual gamers but also shows skill of expert players. and that does not allow abusage of lockdelay infinite spin etc. or playing in endurance mode just to collect points....

17. ### Needle

Shouldn't this be "Herc's set of rules" rather than "Tetrisconcept Guideline"? IMO it seems to attempt to represent too much.

18. ### herc

please rather name it "hercs desperate search for a clear, easy set of rules"....

19. ### Pineapple

Lumines 2 has an "Endurance mode" which is all 66 skins of challenge mode. My first (and so far only) completion of tht was 2 hours. Lumines can be played almost endlessly, though.

20. ### tepplesLockjaw developer

Does Lumines have a maximum speed? I know each level has a fall delay (not really ARE because you can shift and rotate the piece during that time) and a gravity rate. I didn't implement a maximum speed in Luminesweeper for GBA, and I can just barely crack a million.