statement of unease

General Stuff about Armagetron, That doesn't belong anywhere else...
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sinewav
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Re: statement of unease

Post by sinewav »

2020 wrote:That is, the target of a million players was essential for the design. Not something to be filtered away. It would be like you designing the back end structure of armagetron without thinking about it being a networked game. Such a filter -- to only have a computer-locked version -- would have deprived us of this incredible game, and your subsequent design of the fortress settings.
It seems you haven't done your ArmagetronAd homework. Please read the following: What Went Wrong in Armagetron. It seems there are many, many parts of this game that weren't preconceived, including Fortress.

You know what computer-locked Tron game has just as many players as Armagetron? FLTron.

Ladle is much less "self-organized" than you think. There are a few key people who reliably do much of the work to keep things rolling every month. For every person who makes a significant contribution, there are about a dozen who do not (and never have). Sure there is no formally elected committee and the people who contribute are good about providing tools and documentation on how to complete certain tasks -- but for me personally, I provide tools to avoid hard work, haha. Can we make an open source economic system based on laziness?

And from what I've ready, it was traditional organizational processes that saved Tronic; or at least Ladle. The tournament is very traditional, successful, and fun!

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Re: statement of unease

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Lucifer wrote:
2020 wrote: I did not keep it under wraps. You made it clear you did not want to know, because it appears to be about making money.
Um, I wanted to follow along and potentially participate, but you kept this group of people behind closed doors and explicitly asked me not to join if I wasn't going to commit. That's "keeping it under wraps".
Is the grind at the start of a launch something to be demanded of others? Can it be forced? I don't think so. People either get it the importance of it, or they don't. And if they don't, they often get kicked if people aren't patient enough. But this is just a problem in "open games".

I saw my approach back then as attempting to emulate the initial launch. I thought we had enough experience, as players, to understand that we need to stick together and align really strongly, so we have enough momentuum, speed, defencive tightness, to be able to overcome and survive the enemy. In our real world game, the "enemy" is corporate structures, and though they are lumbering beasts (more like tanks than opponent cycles), the game is rigged in their favour, economically. Consider how Apple have appropriated os tech (and people), and more recently google.

So, forgive me, I thought we had a better chance of creating a really strong team to produce a result for the community in the real economic world, so that when we presented stuff to the community, in the form of money or something, there would be a higher chance of things going well. Rather than an initial, knee-jerk response of negativity (aptly supplied by some), or incredulity (by others, or indeed the same people).

Hence the new approach that seems to have evolved, thanks to Phyto reminding me of how difficult to get anything new happening here.
Lucifer wrote:
But people still don't seem to understand that the open source movement needs a properly "open source" economic system.
There is an "open source" economic system. ESR has written millions of words about it, as well as many others. It's there, it exists. It often involves money, but is more bartering than money.
This sounds suspiciously like what you did before with the Tronic Progression. By importing "more respected and established authorities" (the traditional method of trying to work out tournaments in the physical real world as was done before, or in this case now ESR's millions of words), we end up repeating an error in the system -- we end up not being in a position to hear enough so we can TEST the idea for itself (which we luckily did with the ladle). And in terms of self-organisation, it's like learning to play tron without using keys or looking at the screen, or not grinding at the launch. It's virtually (though not) impossible to play, or in our real-world case to learn these new self-organising techniques. We need trust, openness, receptivity, open-mindedness... perhaps even a positive attitude. Even more, a welcoming!

(Instead... You know those martial art sequences in films where one dude has to take on the "attentions" of other people who are.... let's just say, "less than amicable"... That's what this discussion feels like to me.)
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Re: statement of unease

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sinewav wrote:It seems there are many, many parts of this game that weren't preconceived, including Fortress.
That's the joy of it, at least the fortress settings. I was vaguely aware of armagetron, the original version, but it was before my time and I have never played it. I was not referring to that. But aren't you proving my point, actually? That it is best to design as early into your designs as possible, a potential for future development. Or indeed predict/determine it: what comes to mind is apple's pioneering binning of the disk drive, then the rom drive.
sinewav wrote:You know what computer-locked Tron game has just as many players as Armagetron? FLTron.
And is it as good?
sinewav wrote:Ladle is much less "self-organized" than you think. There are a few key people who reliably do much of the work to keep things rolling every month. For every person who makes a significant contribution, there are about a dozen who do not (and never have). Sure there is no formally elected committee and the people who contribute are good about providing tools and documentation on how to complete certain tasks -- but for me personally, I provide tools to avoid hard work, haha. Can we make an open source economic system based on laziness?
Aha! A question! And my answer is, yes. Or at least, if you want a more philosophical answer, the Slow Movement. We know our tech is making us get faster. Seems to me part of it involves slowing it down. One such thing that is moving way to fast is money -- billions traded in microseconds seems a little foolish.

As for your observations, you are right, of course. But the fortress community has languished a little. Hence the recurring patterns of those who can be bothered, or find joy in it, or the respect they get from other players for doing such vital work. Volunteers, I guess. Well, I always thought they should be paid too, like the designers and coders. The point is, there is no committee, no "player representatives" or "player managers" set up by the "owners". It's quite radical actually, so yes, I am impressed by the level of "self-organisation". I think I mentioned this on a thread recently when I returned a couple of weeks ago, about how slick the banners were, details of rules, archiving, etc...
sinewav wrote:And from what I've ready [seen], it was traditional organizational processes that saved Tronic; or at least Ladle. The tournament is very traditional, successful, and fun!
I do not know what you are referring to. Three points.

One, I am sure there are systems we used to make decisions etc that "saved" the ladle. This is not an argument. We use whatever tools are available to fulfil the function.

Two, consider traditional organisation to be self-organisation but over a longer period of time. That is, all our current structures, from companies to governments to royal families, have been the result of self-organisation. Things just repeat themselves, often beyond their functional life-time. It's a problem.

Three, you are so familiar with the practice of the ladle, so much that it seems to be the only reasonable way to organise any tournament, might this only indicate how successful it is -- as a self-organising system. I actually believe the organisational skills of players has improved because of the ladle. Certainly, when I have shown a few "intellectuals" -- who, by the way, mostly talk and build up their theories on concepts mostly based on words and category shifting, and certainly not on experiential evidence -- they are impressed. This indicates to me there is value in the ladle, and more accurately, in the people who experience it. A skills set we might wish to leverage properly in the real world, at some point perhaps, ala the gamification trend.
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Re: statement of unease

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2020 wrote:
Lucifer wrote:
2020 wrote: I did not keep it under wraps. You made it clear you did not want to know, because it appears to be about making money.
Um, I wanted to follow along and potentially participate, but you kept this group of people behind closed doors and explicitly asked me not to join if I wasn't going to commit. That's "keeping it under wraps".
Is the grind at the start of a launch something to be demanded of others? Can it be forced?
Invalid comparison. When you demand someone grind at launch, you do so based on your experience that it works. You came along wanting to do something that's completely new, and therefore had no experience to back it. Then, true to form, you refused to provide the leadership that is required for the "grind at start" to work.

So you demanded the chaotic fortress situation, the one that gets everybody pissed. You demanded everybody grind at start, but gave no guidance on when to split. Shame on you, you should have known better.
Hence the new approach that seems to have evolved, thanks to Phyto reminding me of how difficult to get anything new happening here.
I don't see any new approach here. Would you mind explaining it to me? You want to engage particular people in a closed-door recorded conversation about some idea that you won't share until you get it how you want. How is that different than your business model thing?
This sounds suspiciously like what you did before with the Tronic Progression. By importing "more respected and established authorities" (the traditional method of trying to work out tournaments in the physical real world as was done before, or in this case now ESR's millions of words), we end up repeating an error in the system
Don't forget that this "system" evolved over time, and has contributions from millions of people, programmers and users alike. I hate to invoke the appeal to the masses here, but when you're talking economic system, the masses are the ones who define it, so I think it's appropriate. Anyway, more below:
(Instead... You know those martial art sequences in films where one dude has to take on the "attentions" of other people who are.... let's just say, "less than amicable"... That's what this discussion feels like to me.)
Then perhaps you've never actually faced that situation in a martial arts context. Not so easy, I say.
That's the joy of it, at least the fortress settings. I was vaguely aware of armagetron, the original version, but it was before my time and I have never played it. I was not referring to that. But aren't you proving my point, actually?
No, he has completely disproved your point. We're still shuffling around in the mud because of so much that was added to armagetron without any plan for future development. You're just going to have to concede this one, because as you've said repeatedly: You can't program, so you have no idea what we're dealing with. It's a great game, well-conceived and well-written for what it does at its core, but when you go to add new stuff to it, well, it's just not easy. Add to it that we have also included the very idea you want proven here: we want to add a vision for future development that will make it flexible and easy. THAT'S the part that makes adding new stuff hard, because we can't just add it, we also have to think about how it will be used and developed over time. We have to think about how we'll chase bugs in it. It's a more professional approach to something that was started as a nonprofessional project.
Two, consider traditional organisation to be self-organisation but over a longer period of time. That is, all our current structures, from companies to governments to royal families, have been the result of self-organisation. Things just repeat themselves, often beyond their functional life-time. It's a problem.
This is the part I wanted to really respond to, and is what I said above when I said "more below".

Your statement is plain wrong. Royal families aren't self-organized, they're the remnants of the divine right of kings doctrine. Each and every one of them are the current descendants of people who previously ruled with the Pope's approval believing God made their family the one to rule their kingdom.

In the other government structures, every single one of them started with some form of self-organization and ran into the same problem you keep ignoring: leadership is required. A person (or people) has to step up and take a leadership role. Corporations are the same. At some point, someone stepped up to take a leadership role. At some point after that, it was formalized into law and corporate identities existed. The US constitution was written by like 3 people, with many contributions. It took leadership to get these things to happen. Democracy/republic forms of government can't exist without leadership to drive them, to get people to care, to get people to participate. Without leadership, ALL of our communal structures dissipate and life regresses into anarchy. This is a fact that has been proven time and time again throughout 5000 years of recorded history. Why do you insist on ignoring that?

The Ladle continues because sinewav and a few others continually step into a leadership role and push it and make it successful. Sure, you can argue they don't have to, but that's not terribly relevant. They do it because they want to PLAY, and people follow them. There is a collective that runs the Ladle. It's not "self-organized", it's INFORMAL. It's everything that ESR has written millions of words about. It's nothing like you describe.

You should go read the Cathedral and the Bazaar, by Eric S Raymond. Really, you're not only trying to re-invent the wheel, but you're trying to take credit for having done nothing new. Go read it. There's a whole book, but I'm only asking you to read the essay. Maybe after you've done that, you'll see why me and Z-man are so blatantly skeptical of what you suggest. We've already been through it, that's why our VCS is called "bazaar".

I've even gone to the trouble of linking you:
http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/homes ... al-bazaar/
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Re: statement of unease

Post by 2020 »

Lucifer wrote:
2020 wrote: Is the grind at the start of a launch something to be demanded of others? Can it be forced?
Invalid comparison. When you demand someone grind at launch, you do so based on your experience that it works. You came along wanting to do something that's completely new, and therefore had no experience to back it. Then, true to form, you refused to provide the leadership that is required for the "grind at start" to work.
First, the tactic of aligning at launch evolved very early at the start of fortress. I have been part of teams who have tried to develop alternative launches (fork, etc), but nothing has improved upon the efficiency of the aligned launch.... so far. But notice -- it evolved.

Second, ask a noob what it feels like when they download the game, and for some reason, find themselves on a fortress server for the first time (one that doesn't require authentication). A noob does not know, and thus does not do it based on their experience.

Third, the centre player does nothing. They do not lead for the the launch to work. They happen to be going in the right direction (at least for an aligned launch). Other people align to the centre player. And in fact, the grinding players reach a faster speed than the centre, "leading", player.

This has proven true in various areas of my experience, encapsulated by a social business entrepreneur who said, "Collaboration is taking the next step for another person." Agree or disagree with the statement, but the launch at tron seems to verify it. And, from the little experiments I conducted with classrooms of kids, I can as a professional teacher state that this game provided a "team-working" learning experience second to none in all my experience of teaching. Second to none. Within five minutes they had learned teamwork in a direcly, palpable, experiential way. This, by the way, is a holy-grail in terms of learning -- learning anything beyond one's own limited, individual reach. That is, learning team-work, or collaboration, self-determined alignment. That is, self-organisation experience, which happens to occur at a speed faster than words. Priceless.
Lucifer wrote:So you demanded the chaotic fortress situation, the one that gets everybody pissed. You demanded everybody grind at start, but gave no guidance on when to split. Shame on you, you should have known better.
Hehe, I didn't with the tronic progression, which is why we had the spoon. I did with the ladle -- and it relied heavily on my trust of players, notably Vanhayes, who I consider to be an ambassador of this game, and players like Mazuffer.

Because people did not feel confident enough with the ladle (which had three years of validation), and awareness of the TRON Legacy film coming out in two years (end of 2010), I attempted to do a "launch", and see who aligned to the idea of trying to make the game professional.
Lucifer wrote:
Hence the new approach that seems to have evolved, thanks to Phyto reminding me of how difficult to get anything new happening here.
I don't see any new approach here. Would you mind explaining it to me? You want to engage particular people in a closed-door recorded conversation about some idea that you won't share until you get it how you want. How is that different than your business model thing?
Lucifer wrote:
This sounds suspiciously like what you did before with the Tronic Progression. By importing "more respected and established authorities" (the traditional method of trying to work out tournaments in the physical real world as was done before, or in this case now ESR's millions of words), we end up repeating an error in the system
Don't forget that this "system" evolved over time, and has contributions from millions of people, programmers and users alike. I hate to invoke the appeal to the masses here, but when you're talking economic system, the masses are the ones who define it, so I think it's appropriate. Anyway, more below:
I would like to talk about economics in person. Not behind closed doors, but in an open space where it can be recorded. It is transparent. And it may avoid the levels of misunderstanding that occurs in text, and in a linear format of a forum. Such as we are experiencing here.
Lucifer wrote:
(Instead... You know those martial art sequences in films where one dude has to take on the "attentions" of other people who are.... let's just say, "less than amicable"... That's what this discussion feels like to me.)
Then perhaps you've never actually faced that situation in a martial arts context. Not so easy, I say.
I have tried a little aikido, and part of their training is exactly this. My martial art has been tai chi, and so far, that opportunity has not arisen. I hope it doesn't in real life, situationally with aggressive people in physical reality. But I have had plenty of dynamic exchanges with students -- how easy do you think it is to do supply in inner city british schools... and maths as the subject too...?

I don't mind doing this now, because there is a moral point I have made above (lost, I am guess, in the linear format of a thread, no doubt...).
Lucifer wrote:
That's the joy of it, at least the fortress settings. I was vaguely aware of armagetron, the original version, but it was before my time and I have never played it. I was not referring to that. But aren't you proving my point, actually?
No, he has completely disproved your point. We're still shuffling around in the mud because of so much that was added to armagetron without any plan for future development. You're just going to have to concede this one, because as you've said repeatedly: You can't program, so you have no idea what we're dealing with. It's a great game, well-conceived and well-written for what it does at its core, but when you go to add new stuff to it, well, it's just not easy. Add to it that we have also included the very idea you want proven here: we want to add a vision for future development that will make it flexible and easy. THAT'S the part that makes adding new stuff hard, because we can't just add it, we also have to think about how it will be used and developed over time. We have to think about how we'll chase bugs in it. It's a more professional approach to something that was started as a nonprofessional project.
I have seldom asked for technical improvements. I see the game as it stands, and design the player system in accordance. Of course, if the game was to scale to millions, we may need some extra systems put in place. But in all the time we have considered the idea, I have not been made aware of the technical issues. Mostly because anyone with technical skill is not accepting the design brief of making sure it can scale to millions of players.

Lucifer wrote:
Two, consider traditional organisation to be self-organisation but over a longer period of time. That is, all our current structures, from companies to governments to royal families, have been the result of self-organisation. Things just repeat themselves, often beyond their functional life-time. It's a problem.
This is the part I wanted to really respond to, and is what I said above when I said "more below".

Your statement is plain wrong. Royal families aren't self-organized, they're the remnants of the divine right of kings doctrine. Each and every one of them are the current descendants of people who previously ruled with the Pope's approval believing God made their family the one to rule their kingdom.
My point remains -- who started the notion of kings? Or gods even? I would be surprised if the answer you might give is that it was started by some divine being. I am more scientific, and tend to think it was an emergent phenomenon as we evolved. That is, self-organised, over thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of years, of course.
Lucifer wrote:In the other government structures, every single one of them started with some form of self-organization and ran into the same problem you keep ignoring: leadership is required. A person (or people) has to step up and take a leadership role. Corporations are the same. At some point, someone stepped up to take a leadership role. At some point after that, it was formalized into law and corporate identities existed. The US constitution was written by like 3 people, with many contributions. It took leadership to get these things to happen. Democracy/republic forms of government can't exist without leadership to drive them, to get people to care, to get people to participate. Without leadership, ALL of our communal structures dissipate and life regresses into anarchy. This is a fact that has been proven time and time again throughout 5000 years of recorded history. Why do you insist on ignoring that?
I am not interested in leadership. I am interested in fellowship. I have had enough personal experience of social dynamics, and theoretical support (and experiential feedback from things like the ladle!) to suggest there are more pliable examples of what you are insisting on. Consider the flocking of birds, for example, and try to apply your notion of "leadership". And the open source movement is more about fellowship than leadership. Who-ever happens to provide the next step in the right direction, is the leader. Not "A Leader". Our preponderance on "Leadership" is something I am facing directly in the adult world.
Lucifer wrote:The Ladle continues because sinewav and a few others continually step into a leadership role and push it and make it successful. Sure, you can argue they don't have to, but that's not terribly relevant. They do it because they want to PLAY, and people follow them. There is a collective that runs the Ladle. It's not "self-organized", it's INFORMAL. It's everything that ESR has written millions of words about. It's nothing like you describe.

You should go read the Cathedral and the Bazaar, by Eric S Raymond. Really, you're not only trying to re-invent the wheel, but you're trying to take credit for having done nothing new. Go read it. There's a whole book, but I'm only asking you to read the essay. Maybe after you've done that, you'll see why me and Z-man are so blatantly skeptical of what you suggest. We've already been through it, that's why our VCS is called "bazaar".

I've even gone to the trouble of linking you:
http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/homes ... al-bazaar/
Thanks, Lucifer. I shall get round to reading more material, I guess. But this is the time for action. And I am inviting you to engage on a skype, G+ whatever, recordable, so we can talk about things like this. I think we will have a higher chance of reaching alignment. I believe this format simply demonstrates to any third party reader (let alone ourselves) how useless this form of communication is. Nothing much changes. I wonder if that is written in the books you mention...?

Ah, wait a moment -- they wrote books. They made the decision to write books, not actually do it. They have authority, for precisely that, authoring some words. Marvellous words, beautiful words, inspiring words, perhaps. But just words. What we do here, with this game, is we play. We do something that is not grounded in words or thoughts. It is ground out on the grid by action. Individual skill, teamwork. Proving it on the grid, in the ladle. And I put our experience down as being more significant than any amount of words I have read in a book.

The invitation remains open. Mid April, I will do what I will do, depending on how many other players step up by then. I am simply attempting to create the appropriate conditions for a reasonable, fair, and open engagement with a new variation, a new idea. And really, Lucifer, it is.
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Re: statement of unease

Post by sinewav »

2020 wrote:Third, the centre player does nothing. They do not lead for the the launch to work. They happen to be going in the right direction (at least for an aligned launch). Other people align to the centre player. And in fact, the grinding players reach a faster speed than the centre, "leading", player.
Good grief, your metaphors are terrible. Just because the center player doesn't make a turning action in a traditional grind doesn't mean they do nothing. It's often the case where the center player (being in the most dangerous position) necessarily has to "lead" the team by calling commands to the wings and goalie. There are a number of different "opening moves" in Fortress and the center is key to that. Teams need some leadership, Ladle needs some committed, motivated individuals to keep it alive (maintenance and problem-solving). We aren't part of some hive-mind here.

Look, I understand you had some quasi-religious experience with ArmagetronAd. That's cool, but you can't expect others to have the same personal revelations. Not everyone is a poet.

And regarding FLTron being better or worse than Armagetron, the answer is neither. It's simply "taste." FLTron a cool game with regular 3v3 tournaments and these neat-o turbo boost things (also, no game-killing, jacked-up rubber there -- you hit a wall and die, the end). In some ways it's way more "TRON" than Arma is. Some of the people I've talked to in FLTron who are familiar with Arma totally hate it; because of rubber for one, and also Arma is way, way more complicated than FLTron. Sure you might like the simple elegance of left-right, but that elegance is significantly more apparent and accessible in FLTron.

Here's an idea: maybe you can convince the creator of FLTron to add zones to the game so you can realize Tronic there. FLTron runs in a browser (more accessible) and tournaments actually run in a kind of spontaneous manner. People just show up on an afternoon and play with little team organization or brackets. I've seen it happen myself.

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Re: statement of unease

Post by 2020 »

sinewav wrote:Good grief, your metaphors are terrible. Just because the center player doesn't make a turning action in a traditional grind doesn't mean they do nothing. It's often the case where the center player (being in the most dangerous position) necessarily has to "lead" the team by calling commands to the wings and goalie. There are a number of different "opening moves" in Fortress and the center is key to that. Teams need some leadership, Ladle needs some committed, motivated individuals to keep it alive (maintenance and problem-solving). We aren't part of some hive-mind here.
I know it is all about individuals. That you should question this is really odd. That's what self-organisation is. The point being there is no select group, no committee, etc.

And the metaphor holds exactly for what I intend it to hold to. I was not talking about what the centre player does at the end of the grind. And centre players can only issue commands when in ladles, not in open games. Whatever type of game, the centre player literally does nothing in terms of movement in the game.
sinewav wrote:Look, I understand you had some quasi-religious experience with ArmagetronAd. That's cool, but you can't expect others to have the same personal revelations. Not everyone is a poet.
Well, I am not a poet, nor a classic leader, certainly not a team captain, not a coder, and not even that good a player. I don't expect other people to have the same personal revelations, but I would appreciate a little respect so that we could take this game further. Only, of course, to those people who are interested. What is wrong with what I am requesting?
sinewav wrote:Here's an idea: maybe you can convince the creator of FLTron to add zones to the game so you can realize Tronic there. FLTron runs in a browser (more accessible) and tournaments actually run in a kind of spontaneous manner. People just show up on an afternoon and play with little team organization or brackets. I've seen it happen myself.
[/quote]

Hehe, thanks Sine, but I have very little interest in computer games. I play a little Go, I play less arma these days.
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Re: statement of unease

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2020 wrote:I was not talking about what the centre player does at the end of the grind. And centre players can only issue commands when in ladles, not in open games. Whatever type of game, the centre player literally does nothing in terms of movement in the game.
Wow, you have no idea what you are talking about and it's embarrassing now. You have just insulted dozens of Fort players. Good job. I suggest you let that metaphor go because it is not working.

Also, there is nothing special or unique that I can see in how Ladle runs. The exact same thing happens for local sporting leagues in my neighborhood. There is nothing special about people volunteering their time to have fun together.
2020 wrote:...I have very little interest in computer games... I play less arma these days.
Well you certainly seem interested in taking this game further, as you claim (in the same post no less). So which is it?

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Re: statement of unease

Post by Z-Man »

Tune it down a little, sinewav. You have made your standpoint clear enough. As I think I have made mine.

2020: nobody informed you of any limitations of the master server infrastructure because a tournament like you envision it would break down earlier than the masters. They can't handle 100000 servers and a million players without serious changes. As we have them now they probably easily scale for ten times the servers and players currently active; the Ladle as it is run now can maybe take 64 teams. Beyond that, more tools and automation (or really, really hard work by individuals) would be required, and the single day format will no longer work (unless settings are changed to make games shorter reliably).

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Re: statement of unease

Post by 2020 »

Thanks, Z-man. I am aware some automation has to occur when it scales, with some kind of server tiered structure I am guessing. And I mean guessing.

As for the player organisation over time, I have suggested variations in the past. But I was jumping the gun. Still, once things start to pick up, it will be useful to have a default timing structure set up.

And with respect, Sinewav, I am not insulting players, and I don't mind being embarrassed. I am not one of the best players, and centre position is tricky, if what you are referring to are "nudges' (or whatever terms are common now) in order to seal the centre. I am not embarrassed by pointing out the obvious. And by pointing out the obvious, I lay open the claim that I am not being detailed. The point of the metaphor, and I stand with it still, is that the launch is a characteristically different part of the game than others. It is like the "opening" in chess. And clearly, we seem to have one "opening", with subtle variations thereof. This is quite distinct from getting past mid-field, and defensive and offensive strategies.

I feel that by promoting the structure of the ladle, you may be feeling that I am down-playing the contribution of the players, especially the active players who contribute more towards the running of the ladle, whether it is wiki gardening, irc chat, team-captain co-ordination, server-admin. This is not the case at all. It is precisely their contributions that make the thing happen. Clearly. Self-organisation. But let us make it very clear, that there is no "elected group", no "committee" who determines who can play, where they play and so on, which is characteristics of traditional, more centralised organisation. You know, people with roles, like the chairman, and the committee members of representatives, and so on. Any formation of a sub-groups creates politics, between sub-groups. There may be politics in the ladle, but is mostly between players, and if there is a dark shadow to self-organisation it is the "old-boys network", those individuals who throw their weight around because they are in with the "powerful" elite.

And I'd like to see how the local league scales up to millions of players without the usual accretion of rules, positions, "associations", and so on. This bodes ill if we wish to explore a financial system that does not get bought out by the "owners" at the expense of the lovers of the game. Our love of sports has been somewhat exploited by our economics system to line the pockets of far too many fat cats. We must not see this happen with this game, or indeed any open-source effort. But again, I have seen articles questioning the state of Google, their use of open-source linux and their original maxim, "don't be evil". We will see how it plays out. But let us not pretend that we are not deciding our fate here, with our choice of ms, osx, or android or chrome, whether we use shared or proprietorial software, not to mention real-world things, services and experiences. I am not afraid to talk about money in a serious way, even in a place that does not want to hear about -- even though most players are having to struggle in the real world to make ends meet.

We have been team-mates, Sine, and I am surprised you have forgotten that. You put a lot of effort into the promotion of the game, as well as designing patches to easy tournament use. When money flows, as I have said in the past, I hope we are sensible enough to honour the contributions of people's efforts retrospectively. But I am absolutely clear about what I saw when I started playing this game, and over the years I have come up with mechanisms that have helped us and others that may help us still. And right now, I am opening the invitation for the triumvirate to engage in an open way. Whether that works out or not, I hope to get a better reception from the players. But considering your response, I am not sure...

But essentially, it does not matter. The ladles worked -- because of the faith I have in players, in the love we have for the game. So, when it comes to monetising the game, in an ethical way, I am confident it will work -- again, because of the faith I have in players who love the game. My primary engagement has always been in the players, not the coders. The users.
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Re: statement of unease

Post by Word »

Can you still be friends? :|

IMHO the ladle always depended on a few individuals who advertised it and wrote and edited the guidelines and brackets, and got servers and teams together, and of course the teams' striving for a good reputation, not so much because of faith in humanity (or did I misunderstand that?) rather than competitive (and positively egoistic) thinking.
There is no elected group but it's easy to name the few that make it happen every month. It's not self-organized. If these six or seven people weren't here the ladle wouldn't take place.

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Re: statement of unease

Post by 2020 »

Word wrote:Can you still be friends? :|

IMHO the ladle always depended on a few individuals who advertised it and wrote and edited the guidelines and brackets, and got servers and teams together, and of course the teams' striving for a good reputation, not so much because of faith in humanity (or did I misunderstand that?) rather than competitive (and positively egoistic) thinking.
There is no elected group but it's easy to name the few that make it happen every month. It's not self-organized. If these six or seven people weren't here the ladle wouldn't take place.
But there is no committee of election. It is self-selecting. Such individuals are respected for what they do, not their position. That is the main difference. Once they become part of the furniture, then we have a problem. Hopefully, however, it is open for anyone to take up, just like programming, or writing a patch for an open source program. If it fits, if it is elegant, or whatever the criteria are, it gets used, so little by little people win respect.

Ok, I admit it, my motivation is often about exercising faith in humanity. I have seldom been let down. Of course, people seem to get very confused, and reasoning seems to lock minds into rather tight prisons. However, on the whole, human beings seem ok.

I like the fact that we compete. For some, it is ego, and for others, it just a strange exhilaration to excel. The point is, there are rules to the game, and within those rules, we find out who is best, on the night. And because of the level of complexity brought about by teamwork, fortress I think has enough complexity to provide us with enough strategic depth to evolve over the years. We've only scratched the surface, imho. Multiply up the number of players by a factor of ten, or a hundred, and the level of play is going to get fierce -- not so much in terms of individual skill, but at the basic level of strategy, of paired teamplay, co-ordinated whole-team strategy and so on.

And there's something interesting that happens in a team-game where strategy starts to play an important part. Balancing the incredible skill of an individual, and the overal balance of a team. Ego, perhaps, with the collective result. This is why team-games have always fascinated me. Which is why fortress happens to have epitomised some very simple dynamics.
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Re: statement of unease

Post by Lucifer »

2020 wrote:
Lucifer wrote:
2020 wrote: Is the grind at the start of a launch something to be demanded of others? Can it be forced?
Invalid comparison. When you demand someone grind at launch, you do so based on your experience that it works. You came along wanting to do something that's completely new, and therefore had no experience to back it. Then, true to form, you refused to provide the leadership that is required for the "grind at start" to work.
First, the tactic of aligning at launch evolved very early at the start of fortress. I have been part of teams who have tried to develop alternative launches (fork, etc), but nothing has improved upon the efficiency of the aligned launch.... so far. But notice -- it evolved.
No it didn't. For about 4-6 months, nobody grinded at the start and people dreamed up all sorts of ways to make it work. Then one night, a particular player showed up to see what Fortress was all about, and within an hour or so started demanding people grind his trail. It took about 8 rounds to get people to do it, and it's still hard to do it safely. When new players show up, they don't do it because it's obvious, they do it because everybody else is doing it, or they're being told by everyone else to do it.

There was no evolution.
This has proven true in various areas of my experience, encapsulated by a social business entrepreneur who said, "Collaboration is taking the next step for another person."
Ah, but he didn't say that collaboration is asking someone else to take the next step for you. :)
I have seldom asked for technical improvements. I see the game as it stands, and design the player system in accordance. Of course, if the game was to scale to millions, we may need some extra systems put in place. But in all the time we have considered the idea, I have not been made aware of the technical issues. Mostly because anyone with technical skill is not accepting the design brief of making sure it can scale to millions of players.
You missed my point completely. My point is that much of what you like about the game wasn't planned, it just happened. You talk like z-man had this vast plan when he started to create Fortress back in 99 or whatever year it was. He didn't. He didn't intend net play either, but was talked into it (or something like that, see the WWWIA articles on the wiki).
Lucifer wrote:
Two, consider traditional organisation to be self-organisation but over a longer period of time. That is, all our current structures, from companies to governments to royal families, have been the result of self-organisation. Things just repeat themselves, often beyond their functional life-time. It's a problem.
This is the part I wanted to really respond to, and is what I said above when I said "more below".

Your statement is plain wrong. Royal families aren't self-organized, they're the remnants of the divine right of kings doctrine. Each and every one of them are the current descendants of people who previously ruled with the Pope's approval believing God made their family the one to rule their kingdom.
My point remains -- who started the notion of kings? Or gods even? I would be surprised if the answer you might give is that it was started by some divine being. I am more scientific, and tend to think it was an emergent phenomenon as we evolved. That is, self-organised, over thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of years, of course.
Um, again, sorta. It's a bit of both. Tribes have always had leaders, and it was those leaders who became the kings and queens. I'm not seeing how any of that was ever self-organized. At some point, there was agreement that a particular person would lead, and tradition built up to fortify the position. I don't see how that makes it self-organized. It was also obvious, because the one thing that is obvious is that once you have more than one person involved in any pursuit of any kind, someone has to lead. I would consider my marriage self-organized because we don't have a particular leader, but oftentimes she or I will step up and the other will follow, but that's always situational.
Ah, wait a moment -- they wrote books. They made the decision to write books, not actually do it.
There you go again being presumptuous. ESR and the others I alluded to didn't just sit around, dream up ideas about the open source world, and then write long posts on forums hoping to get someone else to enact their ideas. Quite the contrary, that's what YOU are doing.

No, instead they followed the pattern that stands for basically all IT authors: first they did something, then they got recognized for it, so they wrote books to share their experiences so that others could learn. They have authority BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY DID.
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Re: statement of unease

Post by Paladin »

After checking out FLTron, posted by sine, I found it interesting that between matches there was a dedicated 15 seconds of advertising. Also, I won a match. Just sayin'.

Has it been considered for 2020 to just send a synopsis of his presentation, rough notes even, to the people he is intending to attract to a face to face meeting? From all appearances, he isn't getting closer to attracting the, as he put it, "triumvate's" attention, but might be actually losing it at this point.

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Re: statement of unease

Post by 2020 »

This is incredible! I don't even know how to go about responding to this.
Lucifer wrote:
2020 wrote:First, the tactic of aligning at launch evolved very early at the start of fortress. I have been part of teams who have tried to develop alternative launches (fork, etc), but nothing has improved upon the efficiency of the aligned launch.... so far. But notice -- it evolved.
No it didn't. For about 4-6 months, nobody grinded at the start and people dreamed up all sorts of ways to make it work. Then one night, a particular player showed up to see what Fortress was all about, and within an hour or so started demanding people grind his trail. It took about 8 rounds to get people to do it, and it's still hard to do it safely. When new players show up, they don't do it because it's obvious, they do it because everybody else is doing it, or they're being told by everyone else to do it.

There was no evolution.
Do you think that I am using the word "evolution" to describe a process in biology? So, if not, then we have to use whatever is at our disposal in our minds to make the meaning of this sensible. Seems to me, you are using your logic and reasoning to support your criticism, even going so far as to use the term evolution with such force.

I really don't know what to say to this. Perhaps if we spoke I might be able to engage you. But in text... no way. It would involve us in paragraph after paragraph, and as I have said before, this form of intellectual banter resolves nothing at the level of sentiment or attitude.
Lucifer wrote:
This has proven true in various areas of my experience, encapsulated by a social business entrepreneur who said, "Collaboration is taking the next step for another person."
Ah, but he didn't say that collaboration is asking someone else to take the next step for you. :)
Phew. This I agree with.
Lucifer wrote:
I have seldom asked for technical improvements. I see the game as it stands, and design the player system in accordance. Of course, if the game was to scale to millions, we may need some extra systems put in place. But in all the time we have considered the idea, I have not been made aware of the technical issues. Mostly because anyone with technical skill is not accepting the design brief of making sure it can scale to millions of players.
You missed my point completely. My point is that much of what you like about the game wasn't planned, it just happened. You talk like z-man had this vast plan when he started to create Fortress back in 99 or whatever year it was. He didn't. He didn't intend net play either, but was talked into it (or something like that, see the WWWIA articles on the wiki).
Half of what you say is about someone demanding that others do things, like the your interpretation of the "evolution" (or whatever word you wish to use for this process) of the launch pattern, and the other half of what you say is like throwing up your hands and saying, "shit just happens". Sounds to me like you have a very strong will, useful in making decisions, cutting up the world, and perhaps forging ahead, as your advice to me appears to be. The consequence of this, is there is little grey area. And this grey area is where I work. The in-between space. This is why I am better in-person that over a text-interface. My boundaries are less fixed, conceptually, and personally.

Returning to your point. I am aware of your point. There is a balance in design between "not-knowing" (and artistic bent, or something coming from intuition) and "knowing" (the scientific foundation, based on stuff you already know and can fairly well predict). This makes designing a house somewhat easier than designing a social system. A house actually obeys "the laws of physical nature" or whatever you want to call it. Relatively easy to predict. A social system is somewhat more dynamic, unstable, and so the design process must be different because the medium is different. Computer architecture lies a little more on the physical side than artistic, and programming even closer, but again falling on the "knowing" side.

I do not have the same detail you have of what did and did not happen with Z-man before I even started playing this game. I am interested, as people were back then in the technical specs of what they were building, in the "social" specs of what we are co-creating. The language is different because the medium is different. Metaphoric comparisons are useful, but only so far, as you point out when you criticise the use of "evolution" above. There is something of a similarity about a future orientation, and attempting to "design" a game, or perhaps "invite participation in" a new way of doing things, like the ladle, however much it is actually denied.

The most important factor when dealing with social change is dealing with the attitude of people. I learned this at school, when teaching. Without the right attitude, learning often turns into a rather aggressive argument, like what we have here. With the right attitude, learning becomes streamlined. I am all for self-directed learning... the trick is to align so we can, as a collective, get further, faster. Oh, like at the launch. I was not forced to align. I saw, and copied. And with the patience of other team-mates, and especially Vanhayes, I managed to pick up the launch right at the start. It was not demanded, because I was happy to align. I wanted to learn.

This seems to be the thing missing here, in this discussion, the willingness to find out. That's why I want to have a "live chat", so that we can see how much this is true. Because, from our textual interaction, this does not appear to be the case. There is very little been said here that makes me thing, "Oh, right, these guys actually want to hear what I have to suggest", apart from the obvious, "write it down". It's almost like going to a company and suggesting a new idea, and they say, put it in writing and send it in. Do you know what happens with those types of communique...?
Lucifer wrote:
My point remains -- who started the notion of kings? Or gods even? I would be surprised if the answer you might give is that it was started by some divine being. I am more scientific, and tend to think it was an emergent phenomenon as we evolved. That is, self-organised, over thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of years, of course.
Um, again, sorta. It's a bit of both. Tribes have always had leaders, and it was those leaders who became the kings and queens. I'm not seeing how any of that was ever self-organized. At some point, there was agreement that a particular person would lead, and tradition built up to fortify the position. I don't see how that makes it self-organized. It was also obvious, because the one thing that is obvious is that once you have more than one person involved in any pursuit of any kind, someone has to lead. I would consider my marriage self-organized because we don't have a particular leader, but oftentimes she or I will step up and the other will follow, but that's always situational.
There are two forms of leadership. The one where one dude thinks they are leaders, and the one who ends up leading because people follow them. These are quite distinct. Things, as you notice too, get tricky, when a leader who was followed by popularity ends up wanting to remain as a leader, thus shifting from the second to the first. This has been described as "power corrupts".

And yes, a marriage, one that has any potential for long-term success (he said, though only based on hearsay and happen-chance), is one where there is mutual partnership. At least in the modern world where there is much of a desire for equality. The trick, as you no doubt experience, is appreciating difference, and yet confirming unity.

That's the kind of discussion I want to have. A mutual partnership. Actually, I want something more, I want us to have already agreed before we talk, that we are a partnership. Not a, "let's wait and see" kind of partnership, like following an enemy wall who can at any time throw in a kink and core-dump me. I want a certain amount of commitment, based on past experience (ie, that I am good for it), enough trust, so that when we go forwards together, there is a respect, trust, and alignment -- no kinks, core-dumps, no team-killing! Because, being critical at the outset of a relationship will not lead to marriage. It won't even lead to a second date...

And despite stuff I've done and how I have behaved over the years, to have this thread, this interrogation, this questioning of my method, reasoning, design, manner, motivation... has been incredible. Something may come of it, but it has to be of equal intensity in the positive direction, to compensate for it. I haven't just stood here, spent my time dealing with each and every point, as you have with the points you have brought up variously, Word, Sine, Z-man and Lucifer. I have dealt with each and every point. I have clawed myself back from negative infinity -- and I still think I am in the negative for some people, for some reason.
Lucifer wrote:
Ah, wait a moment -- they wrote books. They made the decision to write books, not actually do it.
There you go again being presumptuous. ESR and the others I alluded to didn't just sit around, dream up ideas about the open source world, and then write long posts on forums hoping to get someone else to enact their ideas. Quite the contrary, that's what YOU are doing.

No, instead they followed the pattern that stands for basically all IT authors: first they did something, then they got recognized for it, so they wrote books to share their experiences so that others could learn. They have authority BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY DID.
AND WE ARE PLAYING THE FIFTY-SIXTH LADLE TODAY! And bizarrely, instead of getting credit for it -- god knows I haven't asked for it until now! -- but at least I could get enough respect so that when I suggest I have an idea for how we can take things forward, it is met with a positive reception. NOT BEING SHOUTED AT LIKE I AM AN IDIOT. Or before that, told like some kid who doesn't know, go and study this book or that book, or this author, or that source of authority.

I am still standing. And the request is still open. I am available to talk. And perhaps in a more human form of engagement, you shall not treat me in this way. It would be interesting to see if you end up shouting at me, or dismissing my points so easily. If that happens, so be it. But I shall only talk if there is respect, and a genuine interest in engagement. And this, I can tell in a more human-form of communication. Not text on a forum. For some reason, we are degraded in this medium, we are dehumanised...
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