Rating Conversion Complexity

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Quixote_Prime, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. Quixote_Prime

    Quixote_Prime is missed.

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    As we know, many line and packaging changes include a change in the complexity of the conversion scale.

    I'm interested in how one might construct a more proper rating scale for conversion complexity (RSCC).

    Yes, I'm a SABR-guy/stat-head and this is probably better given to one of my colleague's Stat-class research projects. But I thought I'd solicit opinion before going forward. I love Tf's but I also love this sort of thing.

    Job-Description/Desires for an RSCC:

    1. A scale that should be intelligible across many different lines.
    2. The scale should be a numerical index to afford easy comparison.
    3. The scale should be useful to fans and parents when thinking about complex or difficult transformers.
    4. The scale should aid fans in appreciating and evaluating individual toys for their complexity as well as distinguishing build, size, and aesthetics from the transformation itself.

    Why an RSCC can be made:

    1. Each transformation consists of a finite set of moves (excluding, for me, ROTF Leader Jetfire, whose panels require unending adjustment :)  )
    2. Many moves can be treated as a type. A fold or a swivel can be considered a single move and of a single type.
    3. Complexity can involve several features:
    3.a. The sheer number of moves
    3.b. The kind of moves (swivels and panels > fold)
    3.c. The size or scope of the move

    Problems an RSCC can run into:

    1. Faulty or weak materials can make a move that might make a transformer harder or easier.
    2. Interaction between moves -- one flip undoes another panel -- as we all know from experience.
    3. Creating distinct categories for each kind of move and assigning a proper weight to it.

    What do you think?
     
  2. MisterFanwank

    MisterFanwank Toy Industry Analyst

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    Finite set of moves? You'd need to reach an agreed upon transformation process for the figure first.

    And a transformation is more than just the parts that can move. You'd need to account for lining things up and other things that require patience to perfect each time.
     
  3. FakeEyes22

    FakeEyes22 Well-Known Member

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    I find this interesting and delightfully geeky. I can see this sort of thing cripplng my mind of I tried approaching all of the math and stats involved.

    I think for the purpose of fans, it may require more of a graph(maybe the kind that's separated into 4 quadrants? I can't remember the name) The number rating on the package seems often simply chosen by size, and isn't very specific.

    Complexity can range from fun to nearly frustrating, while simplicity can range from feeling lazy to something that's impressively efficient. I'm too dumb to think about how to arrange that, but I'm already imagining how random figures fit in there.
     
  4. havanowoncheese

    havanowoncheese Proud No Ma'amer!

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    I actually felt the 0-5 scale for generations and HFTD was really a great scale and i hate that they went back down to a 3 scale. With how long it took to learn Leader SP giving him a 3 just seems like a lie.
     
  5. MisterFanwank

    MisterFanwank Toy Industry Analyst

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    ^ Except it was a 100% on the difficulty scale. 3 was accurate.

    Although I'd put him at a 2. He's not hard, just annoying.
     
  6. fleshling

    fleshling Well-Known Member

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    Are you accounting for transformation direction, too?

    Like Leader Prime is easy to get into robot mode, but he's RIDICULOUS to get into truck mode. Leader Jetfire is tough to go both ways without pieces falling off.

    I think that there definitely needs to be 0-5. People say that Leader Ironhide is easy. But, he's only easy compared to the rest of the Leader molds. There's no way that my kids could get Ironhide from robot back to truck, because some of those pieces are just so tough to physically push back into place.

    So, that being said, I wouldn't classify any of the Leaders below a 3. Everyone has at least 2 or three tricks or nuances that even adults would have problems getting past. The 5's would be Jetfire, Sentinel and maybe Optimus.
     
  7. Quixote_Prime

    Quixote_Prime is missed.

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    While waiting for some prep cooking I thought I'd try out some things towards computing complexity for tfs.

    I thought -- yeah -- transformations can be pretty intuitive and there can be many times that I don't do things in order or direction.

    So a simple starting point would be to talley the points of movement on a few figures, eliminate the ones that are for figure articulation alone or gimmick-related, and see if that gets us anywhere. Parts forming is noted.

    So while I was baking some stuff, here's some unofficial and unchecked tally:

    RtS Legends OP: 10
    RtS Legends Prowl: 11
    Dotm Flak: 12
    Dotm Guzzle: 20
    Hftd Hubcap: 21
    Classics BB: 22
    Gen Thundercracker: 25 (including two for the missles)
    Classics Hot Rod: 26 (not including the gun or wrist-saw)
    Armada Unicron: 26 (not counting hemispheres and planet-ring-cape)
    Universe 2.0 Sunstreaker: 30
    Hftd Breacher: 32 (Go Breacher!)
    Gen Blurr: 33
    RtS Wreck-Gar: 34
    RtS Perceptor: 34
    Hftd Voyager OP: 50+ (I lost count because I had to take a pie out of the oven).

    Feel free to recheck any of these --

    Surmises:

    1. Panels rest on hinges, ball joints, and other pivots so it doesn't make sense to count them individually of the movement point on which they depend for their transformation.
    2. Size classes increase in complexity though Hubcap = BB?
    3. Even Legends are complex little dudes. But you knew that.
     

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