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Studio 41  Play Along => Host Your Own! => Topic started by: sideshowPA on January 17, 2011, 09:33:01 AM

I receive many scripts for shows, and I have observed many methods Hosts use to achieve randomness in their games. There are a number of times during a show where you'd want to have a random result (Showcase Showdowns, drawing cards in card game, rolling dice in dice game, etc). I want to suggest a site you can use for all of your randomness needs, and explain ways to use it. The site is
www.random.org (http://www.random.org)
Here is how you can use random.org in your shows:
SHOWCASE SHOWDOWN: On the righthand side of the site, use the true random number generator, and set it from Min = 1 to Max = 20. Multiply any result by 5, and this is the player's wheel spin, so "5" = 25 cents, "20" = $1.00, etc.. To make the player have some "control", they can provide you a number from 1 to 20, and this will be the number of times you press the enter key to generate numbers.
CARD GAME: Scroll down a bit, and you will see the playing card shuffler. While you are able to draw cards one at a time, you can also have it deal out all 52 cards, and just use the go down the list as the player selects cards. Taking a screen capture after the game is over to verify the cards is a nice touch.
DICE GAME: The dice roller option works nicely here. Have the sit generate 4 random dice. The player can select a number from 1 to 20, and this is the number of times you press enter.
I hope these tips, and the site, are helpful. I'll leave this thread open for questions or comments.
Bob

For the Showcase Showdown, I use a slightly different method:
I use the random.org widget to generate a number, this number corresponds to 100. Spin's result is determined by the place of spaces.
Example: Contestant chose 5. If I obtained 16, 11 spaces below 100 is 95. In his show, William just made a list.
I played Card Game on former (darn Fremantle!!) French forum, I shuffled all the deck and copied 152 result. Then, I invited the contestant to choose their number to draw the card.
Punchboard: Use the list randomizer to shuffle all your values 150. Also valid for Spelling Bee (130).
Plinko: Use the list randomizer to shuffle the spaces and determine the result.
Three Strikes: Use the list randomizer to shuffle the bag. If there are 4 numbers and 2 strikes, shuffle them and then make him pick a number 16.

You can also use the List Randomizer for these games:
Bonus Game: Three "No"s and one "Bonus".
Bullseye: Four "Sorry"s and one "Hidden Bullseye", if you need it.
Hole in One: For the putting portion of the game, at least one "Make" and one "Miss"; the "Make" and "Miss" numbers must be equal.
Master Key: One "Master Key", one "Dud Key", and assign the other three keys a specific prize (a "Car" and two others). The contestant picks a number from 15, assuming he has earned at least one key.
Pass the Buck: Two "Lose Everything"s, one "Car", one "$5,000", one "$3,000" and one "$1,000". As in the real game, the contestant picks a number from 16.
Pocket ¢hange: Shuffle all values 120. The contestant picks a number from 120.
Shell Game: Three "Empty"s and one "Ball". For every chip earned, the contestant picks a number from 14.
The Die Roller is a great option for Let em Roll. Start out with 5 dice, assign $500 to the one spot, $1,000 to the two spot, $1,500 to the three spot, and cars to the four, five and six spots. Assuming the contestant has at least two rolls, eliminate all cars in subsequent rolls; for example, if two cars are rolled, use three dice for the next roll.

Hole in One: For the putting portion of the game, at least one "Make" and one "Miss"; the "Make" and "Miss" numbers must be equal.
I think a better way would be to give the contestant some sort of an advantage for pricing grocery items correctly. i.e. if they're at the second to the last line, put more "makes" in there than "misses".

You can also use the List Randomizer for these games:
Bonus Game: Three "No"s and one "Bonus".
Bullseye: Four "Sorry"s and one "Hidden Bullseye", if you need it.
Master Key: One "Master Key", one "Dud Key", and assign the other three keys a specific prize (a "Car" and two others). The contestant picks a number from 15, assuming he has earned at least one key.
Pass the Buck: Two "Lose Everything"s, one "Car", one "$5,000", one "$3,000" and one "$1,000". As in the real game, the contestant picks a number from 16.
Pocket ¢hange: Shuffle all values 120. The contestant picks a number from 120.
Shell Game: Three "Empty"s and one "Ball". For every chip earned, the contestant picks a number from 14.
You can make those random, though I never did, as it's not really necessary. Roger deliberately placed most of those when he was running the show (like in Pass the Buck, the car and $5000 were intentionally #1 and #6 often). Bonus Game was often deliberately set up to have the bonus by the toughest (or easiest) prize. Heck, in Shell Game, Bob and Drew themselves have direct control over where the ball winds up!
Anyway, for some of the more complicated games:
Three Strikes is very dynamic, and pretty much impossible to plan ahead, because you'd have to plan for dozens of possible outcomes with remaining chips in the bag at various points during the game. I simply use a deck of cards: 5 (or 6) black card numbers, and 3 (or 1) red face card, and shuffle them. The contestant picks a number from 1 to 8 (or 6, or 9, or whatever), and I count down and take that card from the deck. If it was black number, it counted as the number (ten was the zero). If it was a red face card, it was a strike. Not really required, but I only ever reshuffled the deck when putting something back in, like Bob did.
For Hole in One, I got random values for the numbers 1 through 50. 5 numbers would win from the farthest line. 10 from the second farthest line. 15 would win from the next line. 20 numbers for the fourth line. 30 would win from the fifth line. And 48 would win from the closest line. The remaining two numbers would always lose, except for my inspiration putt, where those were the only two winners for me if I were to randomly reselect one of those two numbers right before putting (I lost). I'm bad at miniature golf :P.
I originally got random values from 1 to 20 for the big wheel, but later on I dropped that and started using a formula that basically determined the "strength" of the spin, which I found to be a better system. It was possible for someone not to get the wheel all the way around with the formula, though it never happened, and would've been rare, anyway.

I think a better way would be to give the contestant some sort of an advantage for pricing grocery items correctly. i.e. if they're at the second to the last line, put more "makes" in there than "misses".
I like that idea! As I have yet to play it in a HYO, I'm doing some experimenting with it. Here's a rough draft of what I'm planning to use:
Inspiration putt: 3 make, 3 miss (just to be fair!)
First line: 1 make, 5 miss
Second line: 2 make, 4 miss
Third line: 3 make, 3 miss
Fourth line: 3 make, 3 miss
Fifth line: 4 make, 2 miss
Sixth line: 5 make, 1 miss
Probably flawed, but this is the best I could come up with. If you have a better suggestion, please let me know.

I like that idea! As I have yet to play it in a HYO, I'm doing some experimenting with it. Here's a rough draft of what I'm planning to use:
Inspiration putt: 3 make, 3 miss (just to be fair!)
First line: 1 make, 5 miss
Second line: 2 make, 4 miss
Third line: 3 make, 3 miss
Fourth line: 3 make, 3 miss
Fifth line: 4 make, 2 miss
Sixth line: 5 make, 1 miss
Probably flawed, but this is the best I could come up with. If you have a better suggestion, please let me know.
That's as good of a formula as any. Nice and simple. :D

I agree with Frank about games like Bullseye and Pass the Buck. Part of the fun of doing an HYO is playing the part of Roger: making things hard, making things easy, adjusting setups, etc., etc. Determining key placement in games like Master Key is definitely part of the appeal of doing your show, and I wouldn't randomize anything that doesn't need to be randomized.

For all my games, I make a twocolumn list in Microsoft Excel. In Column B, I put all of the possible results (.05 through 1.00 for the SCSD, each individual money slip in PunchaBunch, etc.)
Then I generate a random sequence from Random.org and paste it into Column A, and sort both columns by Column A. That way each number corresponds to a random value.

I know it's been a long time since I've run an HYO, but I just thought I'd share what I did...
...for the post part, I just avoided any random decisions whatsoever.
There's so many games on the show, I just flatout avoided Hole in One, Dice Game, Plinko, or anything else that relied too much on luck to provide a skillintensive message board playing experience. When I played PunchABunch, I placed all ten 4/5figure envelopes myself (and admittedly used random.org for the rest, but I highly doubt that mattered).
The Big Wheel...well, I might as well spill my formula now, since I doubt I'm ever going to use it again. I've never told anyone this before, since if you know it, you can get $1.00 every time, but as long as it was working for me (and no one was gaming it), I figured I'd keep going with it. Since the time in my life where I host mock episodes of The Price is Right appears to have come and gone, no point in hoarding state secrets anymore. Here's what I did...
I took the current position of the wheel, advanced it a number of spaces equal to the number chosen by the contestant, and then advanced it a number of spaces equal to the number of characters in the contestant's username.
For example, if I was spinning my own wheel, and I was the first spinner, I would want to pick 3, since the wheel would then advance three spaces from $1.00, followed by another 17 spaces ('PriceFanArmadillo' is seventeen characters long), and the wheel would end up right back where it started.

Here's how I handle the Showcase Showdown:
Before my contestants spin the Wheel, they give me two numbers between 1 and 20. I then use the List Randomizer to include amounts from 5 to 100, and then for each contestant, I correspond the number they gave me with the resulting amount. I then click the Again button for each subsequent spin, matching the contestant's number with the resulting amount. I also give the contestants a minimum stopping score, so I will know whether or not I have to reshuffle the amounts again. If the first amount is equal to or more than the contestant's minimum score (unless that contestant is required to spin again), I only use the first number. If it's less, I reshuffle and then take the second number, with its corresponding amount.
For example:
Contestant A picks 1 and 17, and gives 65 cents as the minimum stopping score.
1=45; since the amount is less, I must click Again
17=30; total of 75
Contestant B picks 4 and 18, and gives 70 cents as the minimum stopping score.
4=85; since the amount is more, I move onto the next contestant
18=Not needed
Contestant C picks 2 and 14, and gives 75 cents as the minimum stopping score.
2=55; since the amount is less than the leader; I must click Again
14=70; Contestant C is over!
Contestant B wins this SCSD with a score of 85.
Simple concept, isn't it? :biggrin:

My formula basically allowed for some enormous spins. I don't think anyone had ever not gotten the wheel around at least three times before. Either way, even if someone did figure out the formula, it would've been difficult to use effectively, since it would require pretty precise timing on the contestant's part, since the time posted played a role.
But anyway, the wheel moved the number of spaces that the contestant chose, plus the last two numbers in the contestant's user number (in Army's case, for example, his user number is 1043, so 43 would've been added to whatever number Army chose). This number was added to the "seconds" that the contestant made their post for the first spin, or to the "minutes" that the contestant made their post for the second spin.
For example, let's say Army was the first spinner, and at if Army was the first spinner, and at 1:55:48 PM, gave 4 for his first spin, and 15 for his second spin. His first spin would have moved 43 + 48 + 4 spaces: 95 spaces total. Which would've put him on 45. His second spin would have moved 43 + 55 + 15 spaces: 113 spaces total, which from the 45, would have put him on 55, and he'd have $1.00!
In a spinoff or bonus spin, the seconds would be added to the contestant's number and their user number.
Guess if I ever need another formula, I'll just come up with another one. Lots of fun formulas you can concoct for the wheel spinning, anyway.

I haven't hosted a game in roughly five years(!), but I also avoided games like Hole in One, On the Nose, Superball, Clock Game, etc.
For Shell Game, I chose right away where the ball would be. I know I never did Spelling Bee, and I don't believe I did Bonus Game either. I did however do Professor Price for some strange reason, but I don't remember exactly what I did when the number was not in the car (and one of the numbers wasn't). I may have simply not revealed it and moved on, or I showed it anyway. It was one of the two.
For the wheel, I spread out 20 playing cards and assigned each a value (2 of hearts was .05, 2 of diamonds .10, etc) all the way to a dollar. The contestant chose a number, and "spun" whatever was under that card. I did something similar with Three Strikes (the cards matched the number in the price of course, and the Joker was the one strike).

For the record, when I do the Showcase Showdown, I use Random.org's List Generator using all of the spaces on the Wheel. Thus, the contestant picks a number 120, and whatever number is allotted to the number they selected is what they spin.
(i.e. if I used 14 and #14 on the list is 100, I would've spun a dollar.)