Special thanks to:

The "Scientific Guy" Lee LaFaye for general support and for lending out episode descriptions, which are in italics.

Lea Verou, revolutionary CSS expert, for the checkerboard pattern and various other things. Her work was essential to making the theme system possible.

Diskdaddy Software for their starburst generator.

w3schools, css-tricks, and numerous other neat tutorial sites, who bolstered my education, confidence and sanity.

Miscellaneous commentators on StackExchange too numerous to mention, with tips, samples, and more.

jQuery for various advanced JavaScript effects.

More to come...

Background of OACS

Some years ago it occurred to me how inadequate the existing means of ranking Odyssey episodes were. They were typically inflated, with even episodes that were almost universally considered to be among the worst in Odyssey history regularly getting at least 2 or 3 stars, or especially high percentages on the AIOWiki rating system (which still has a lot of overrated episodes to this day, with the exception of any new episodes, which are by default not 'chic' no matter what the episode is like).

To the end of fixing this situation, then, I had the idea to use a relative rating system, not unlike the Kittenwar page or other 'versus' sites. This protects episodes against rating inflation or deflation (the latter being a distinct possibility given that so much of the AIO community 'old guard' these days don't actually like the show anymore) by comparing them only against each other, rather than someone's abstracted notions of what an episode ought to be.

It also has the side benefit of limiting the amount of information that must be processed at a time. Ranking some or many episodes against each other is hard. Remembering the ratings of every episode ever so that you can conclude an episode should be 86% is hard. Deciding whether one episode is better than another, however, is not hard. To an extent, you do it every time you decide what to listen to.

So, the resulting rating system is lightweight, easy to use to make ratings without a mental overload from processing lots of information at once, quick, and can be done in short spurts or over long periods of time.

Its one obvious disadvantage is that it does not quickly produce an accurate rating. It takes a long period of time with many matches between episodes to get a ranking that is statistically significant. While this is eventually self-correcting, it is still an imperfection. As of yet I don't have an obvious solution to address this, but it is something that I hope to be able to help with in some way in the future.

Understanding the Statistics

Each episode has several relevant categories to understanding its degree of success in the rating system:

    Matches: The number of matchups this episode has been in, against another episode. More are better for determining how reliable a ranking is.
    Wins: The number of matches won.
    Win Rate: The percentage of wins out of total matches. A higher win rate is better. This can be used to help determine which episodes are better, in the absence of many matches. It does not account for the quality of the episodes that it was matched up against, however.
    Elo Rating: The centerpiece of the rating system and, given a large enough sample size of matches, the most valuable tool to understanding an episode's degree of success. Elo is a simple system invented by Arpad Elo for comparing the success of Chess players, and is easily adapted to any other system involving two players at a time. Whenever one player wins, some points are given to him while being taken away from the other player, in proportion to the odds. A very strong player will get few points beating a weak player, and the weak player will lose few points; the opposite is true when the weak player gets an upset. In this way the system accounts for quality of opposition. The default Elo rating used by this page for new episodes is 2000.
    Points: An attempt to simplify episode comparison by adjusting Elo slightly by win rates, and making a general set of tiers from the combination of those two results. The points should correspond roughly to a traditional 1 to 10 'star' system. This is experimental and can't be expected to be as accurate or precise as the statistics it's derived from, but by the nature of its imprecision and broadness it has the advantage of not leading a layman to read too much into a statistically insignificant difference in Elo (or win percentages).

Using the Stats Page

Click on the links at the top of each category to sort the table by that category. The search engine is very sensitive and picks up text from any category (not just the name of the episode or album), so it can be used for more than finding individual episodes.

Keyboard Shortcuts

JavaScript-enabled browsers as of 3.0.0 now support keyboard commands: A and 4 to select the left vote button, D and 6 for right, and W, X, 8 and 0 for skip. Press 'Enter' or 'Space' after selecting a button to vote. To instantly vote, hold down the 'Shift' key in addition to one of the regular keys.

Fixing Common Problems

Sometimes the site and theme are updated, and the new CSS file might not always be rolled out to your computer. If the site is uglier than it usually is, refresh the page.

Version History

  • Changes to make it less likely to accidentally trigger keyboard commands.
  • New hat tagging system.
  • Elo range increase to 100.
  • New key commands.
  • AJAX functionality with transitions.
  • Various minor tweaks and backend work.
  • Stats pages merged and improved.
  • Misc. minor fixes.
  • Theme system introduced.
  • Credits expanded and moved to About page.
  • Misc. minor changes.
  • Elo-based matchmaking makes more competitive matches between episodes.
  • History page merged into About page.
  • Misc. display changes to make theme more mobile-friendly.
  • Misc. backend changes.
  • New weights for episode categories.
  • Misc. display fixes.
  • New matchmaking system intended to give more matches to episodes with less of them.
  • All episodes have descriptions, on loan from the "Scientific Guy".
  • Improvements to stats page, including new "Points" simplified rating.
  • New name, "OACS", standing for "Odyssey Adventure Comparison System".
  • GUI improvements and FAQ-type information added.
  • Fixed some Albums statistics bugs.
  • New Albums statistics page.
  • Another batch of episode summaries, going up through "Darkness Before Dawn".
  • Numerous backend changes for efficiency.
  • Statistics table now includes a numerical rank list on the left side.
  • First batch of episode summaries included, primarily from the first 200+ episodes.
  • Change to the random number generator used to pick episode matchups, hoped to make it more random.
  • Display showing the number of episodes in the database and matches run added on statistics page.
  • Results box that shows the Elo gained/lost after a matchup added.
  • "Skip match" button added.
  • Links in episode names going to AIOWiki articles added, and bugs with this feature fixed.
1.0.01/3/18First release.