MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

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16 Replies - 1582 Views - Last Post: 04 June 2013 - 07:45 AM

#1 Jackson4  Icon User is offline

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MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

Posted 02 June 2013 - 04:38 PM

I'd like some advice from any programmer on here. Apologies if this in the wrong thread.

I'm attempting to either get someone to programme a basic tracker software or ask you if I, an absolute novice and noob could do it within a week or two.

It's all for a psychology experiment. What I need is software that will work with a slot machine simulator, tracking the losses and wins in a graph like manner. It's really basic and needs nothing more than to be able to show how many credits someone is down, or up in real time as they 'gamble'.

This isn't some dodgy gambling device it's for an experiment for my Master's and is to actually help understand addiction better.

I'd be hugely thankful for anyone with some input on this.



Possibly some money involved.

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Replies To: MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

#2 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

Posted 02 June 2013 - 04:52 PM

Moving to Software Development.

If you don't have any programming experience, you probably won't be able to knock this out in a week or two. I might look into existing solutions for this.
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#3 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Re: MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

Posted 02 June 2013 - 08:54 PM

LOL! Strange synchronicity. Check out the question in the C# forum asking about playing craps and tracking the statistics.
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#4 Jackson4  Icon User is offline

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Re: MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

Posted 03 June 2013 - 11:26 AM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 02 June 2013 - 04:52 PM, said:

Moving to Software Development.

If you don't have any programming experience, you probably won't be able to knock this out in a week or two. I might look into existing solutions for this.


Thanks for moving it. Wasn't entirely sure where was best to post it.

Would this be a cheap and easy enough project for an experienced programmer? If so how much might something like this cost? I don't think I could go over 50 ($75). And I'd need it within a couple weeks at the latest.

My concern is that even if someone could do it they wouldn't be able to integrate it to the host simulator anyway, so I might have to change my study design which blows.
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#5 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

Posted 03 June 2013 - 11:34 AM

I highly doubt you'd be able to get something custom built in that time frame.
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#6 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

Posted 03 June 2013 - 11:46 AM

Or for that amount 50 is cheap, it a couple of hours on the salary some the developers on get paid.
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#7 Jackson4  Icon User is offline

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Re: MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

Posted 03 June 2013 - 11:56 AM

Bummer. Well thanks for the advice anyway.

Will have to save this for another experiment where I get money to do the research.
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#8 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

Posted 03 June 2013 - 11:59 AM

Or write it yourself, and do the research.

Or write it yourself, and do the research.
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#9 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Re: MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

Posted 03 June 2013 - 12:12 PM

Why do you need it realtime? It would be dead simple for post analysis... assuming that the simulator logs the wins and losses.

This post has been edited by Skydiver: 03 June 2013 - 12:43 PM

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#10 Jackson4  Icon User is offline

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Re: MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

Posted 03 June 2013 - 02:15 PM

View PostSkydiver, on 03 June 2013 - 12:12 PM, said:

Why do you need it realtime? It would be dead simple for post analysis... assuming that the simulator logs the wins and losses.


Yeah I'll have that data post experiment because the simulator logs loads of info. However I need it in real time as it is a crucial part of the experiment.
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#11 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Re: MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

Posted 03 June 2013 - 02:51 PM

I'm very weak on psychological experiment design since I've never design any but wouldn't it be counter productive for the subject of the study to know how much they are winning or losing in real time since that would influence their normal gambling behavior?

Additionally, won't the pile of coins the player has be already a rough analog of a real time graph of how much they are winning or losing? I thought this was why some gambling establishments like the idea of having "debit cards" so that the player didn't feel like they were letting go of money.

Anyway, if the data is logged, and the logging is happening realtime into a database, or into a text file that isn't exclusively locked, then it should be relatively easy to build the graph.
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#12 Jackson4  Icon User is offline

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Re: MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

Posted 03 June 2013 - 04:33 PM

View PostSkydiver, on 03 June 2013 - 02:51 PM, said:

I'm very weak on psychological experiment design since I've never design any but wouldn't it be counter productive for the subject of the study to know how much they are winning or losing in real time since that would influence their normal gambling behavior?

Additionally, won't the pile of coins the player has be already a rough analog of a real time graph of how much they are winning or losing? I thought this was why some gambling establishments like the idea of having "debit cards" so that the player didn't feel like they were letting go of money.

Anyway, if the data is logged, and the logging is happening realtime into a database, or into a text file that isn't exclusively locked, then it should be relatively easy to build the graph.


No, but normally you'd be right. The point of this one is to have people able to track their wins and losses and another group unable to do so. The chances are if you don't know how much you've spent, then you'll spend more and spend longer.

The credits used will be a rough guide yes, but gamblers will usually reload several times and lose all track of expenditure, especially if it's over several days as well.

The data will be logged on a database in real time. But I have never programmed a thing in my life and wouldn't even know how to start tbh. I was just hoping this might be quite a simple thing for someone who knows what they are doing but I was a bit nave.
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#13 cfoley  Icon User is online

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Re: MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

Posted 04 June 2013 - 05:09 AM

Do you already have a slot machine simulator?
What programming language is it written in?
Do you have the source code, and can it be modified (i.e. are there licence restrictions)?
When do you need it completed?

Depending on the answers, I might be able to help you out.

50 doesn't buy much programmer time at all but for that price, I might be able to make a modified version of your program that displays some no-frills charts and saves the figures to file for later analysis. It all depends on the answers to those questions though.
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#14 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:43 AM

@Jackson -- to give you an idea of programmer charges

our company charges $150 an hour for our programmers to work on products with minimum 30 min charge and all charges increment at the furthest 30 min. By this I mean if we get something down in 10 minutes we charge for 30 minutes. If it takes us 1 hour 3 minutes we charge 1.5 hours.

Most programmers make more that $20 an hour so 75 from a friendly guy is extremely cheap.
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#15 cfoley  Icon User is online

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Re: MAster's experimenter needs your expertise and advice

Posted 04 June 2013 - 07:08 AM

Your setup sounds typical but just to add some info, The company has other overheads which may include some or all of:

  • office space
  • non-programming staff
  • tax (corporation tax in the UK)
  • insurance


Solo freelancers don't have all of these overheads (insurance is the obvious exception) so they can offer better rates and still get a great hourly rate.
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