statement of unease

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Z-Man
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Re: statement of unease

Post by Z-Man »

Concord: yes. It's important to keep things somewhat separate; the things you unlock need to be communicating something. Visual upgrades unlockable by XP alone need to say 'look at me, I'm a badass, beware of my moves'. Upgrades you can exclusively buy with money need to say something different. 'look at me, I have disposable income to spend' generically works; for independent games like ours, 'look at me, I support the developers' would probably be a better message. Say we add unlockable small icons that appear beside names in the score table; with XP, you would unlock the fist and the skull, but you could only buy the heart.
Umm, wait, that probably sounded all wrong.

2020: No recording. If this chat ever is to happen between us, I want none of that. If you want transparency and openness, you get it here. As you see, it's perfectly possible to talk without quote fragmentation.

About trust: Sorry, but the way the Ladle actually works, it seems like you can trust players to:
- put their name up on the wiki (some fail at that, even, but that's their problem)
- turn up on the right server and use the brackets themselves to move to the next server
You can't trust them to turn up on time. You can't trust them to select servers for themselves. You can't trust them to resolve disputes on their own. Sure, you can trust individual players, but trust does not scale automatically. Every single screwup somewhere delays the whole tournament. Under those circumstances, trust becomes an exercise in probability: if every player screws up only 1% of the time and you have 100 players and every screwup makes everyone suffer, you get problems 63% of the time. Every single rule we have in that regard hasn't just been put up because we like rules and rigid structure, every rule is there because at some point, something silly happened and messed things up, and we needed ways to stop it from happening again.
If you want a tournament to work without so many rules, you need to design it around failure. You need to make it so that delays in one match have a limit in how much they drag the whole thing down, and you need to build in rewards for resolving disputes speedily. For example, right now our byes are front-loaded; they are applied in the first round and who benefits from them is fixed. You could instead push them back and give them to those teams that finish rounds quickest. Except for the last round, where the most delayed team needs to get the bye; it's probably not their fault they were caught up in delays. Wait, let me draw this up:
Buffering bracket timing
Buffering bracket timing
brackets.png (8.58 KiB) Viewed 1012 times
Every colour is a separate round. Ordering of the boxes from left to right shows the times the matches finish at. As you see by the crossed lines, this requires more organisation: team captains need to meet somewhere and shout "We won our match! Who's next?!" There is more ad-hoc work to do. And by default, this makes the tournament longer: this one is for 18 teams and it lasts 5 rounds and can't take any more teams in. The traditional scales up to 32 teams with 5 rounds. Stands to reason: if you want to be failure tolerant, you need to include buffers. Also note that it's really, really complicated and probably requires an overseer to get right.

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Re: statement of unease

Post by Titanoboa »

With double elimination (at least the design that was used in the Ww ctf tourneys), the team that made it to finals without losing got 2 byes between their penultimate round and the finals. It was a huge drag to wait and I doubt any ladle team would appreciate it in the least. (Not that I think you were actually suggesting to change it though, Z-man)

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Re: statement of unease

Post by Z-Man »

Nope, not suggesting that. I kind of got carried away there :) What I was trying to say is that a tournament 'based on trust' is possible, but you have to pay a price. And you have to specifically design it for that purpose and to be fault-tolerant, and the Ladle isn't.

Analogy 2020 should understand: crystal growth. It's self-organised: the atoms don't know where to go, they just follow simple local rules and find their place. If you want a perfect crystal, you need to grow it slowly so the atoms have time to shuffle around and find a really comfortable spot. If you want your crystal to grow faster, you have to live with defects because atoms get frozen in place before they are properly set up; and those defects will not all just be local and break the symmetry on a larger scale. It's a classic pick two scenario, you cannot have all three of these:
- self-organisation
- symmetry
- speed
Ladle ditches self-organisation. Every team gets told its place and how to proceed should they win. Strict rules (and zealous admins) make sure games progress without delays. Brackets are as even as they can get. If you want self-organisation and perfect brackets, prepare for looooong delays. If you want self-organisation and reasonable speed, design the brackets to be auto-adjusting and amorphous.

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Re: statement of unease

Post by 2020 »

@concord: i agree

@z-man:

wrt recording: let's record it, and you have complete say on whether it goes public. I just think it may be a useful document, retrospectively. Decide later.

wrt timing: (sorry about fragmentation)
"You can't trust them to turn up on time."
Essentially, that's what we do. I know people get it wrong. That's why there are team-captains (or some players) who are better are making sure they remind players etc, to turn up on time.

"You can't trust them to select servers for themselves."
We do, it's just there are ways to make it easier for them, like labelling them clearly, and again having some trusted player who keeps people informed.

"You can't trust them to resolve disputes on their own."
We do. That whole point of self-organisation is it is the social equivalent of self-discipline. If a person breaks their self-discipline, then others in the team have to sort it out. If they can't, then other teams should be brought it. And so on. That there may be good mediators to sort out such disputes, trusted individuals, is also fine. As long as there is no concrete set of rules, but the authority always resides in people, it remains self-organising.

"Sure, you can trust individual players, but trust does not scale automatically."
Agreed. It is learned, earned.

"Every single screwup somewhere delays the whole tournament."
Agreed. The trick is to be hard on the end-timings, not the start. If people want to start a bit later, that's up to them. I have always suggested we should be super-strict on the end-timings. At some point, servers "close" and the scores on the doors will be just that. Of course, if players finish before this, then well done to them.

You've got me caught up in the dynamics of how to run the thing, and looks like most players have this experience now. With enough players creating a current, a demonstration of best practice, can the thing scale? Having guidelines to deal with various situations, as has evolved over the years, makes sense.

wrt embedded byes: Nice idea, sounds like it needs to be tested.

wrt two of three: I don't think like that. I see speed as a function of self-organisation, and translate symmetry as a self-similar pattern in scale. I see things as working out ok, but I have not been involved in the nitty-gritty. I am just aware that we need people who are active (zealous even). I like this. I think this is how it should be. I don't like the idea of rule-sets becoming "automatic", beyond a very small set. I want people to be involved directly in most of the process. If you look back at my original ideas, I think there is space for some strategic play in determining where teams slot in to the brackets, like horses at the gates. The position on the bracket determines when teams meet, and if you factor in a secondary way money flows from winnings, it produces a rather neat system.

The trick, as far as I can tell, is to design in such a way that opens up potential. It is not like designing a closed system. It is not like designing fortress settings, defining the rule set that "contains" the game. But rather, designing a system that invites growth, that opens. It can not be determined. It can only be invited. And such a system needs the space for such development to potentially take place.


To sum, I think the ladle is less about the rules, and more about the people who play. There is a culture of practice now. And there are some players who have specialised at keeping things in shape. The proposal I wish to put forward is a simple economic wrapper. I haven't integrated it with the previous ideas I have had, eg regarding the two ways money flows from winning. I'd like to do that as we go forwards. The invitation, as ever, has been to co-create. (The consequence of which is that it is harder to discern who actually contributed what, exemplified by the incriminations, arguments and futile attempts to attribute authorship that have appeared in this thread. I know this, and yet I do it. It is an unfortunate, and easily avoidable, situation... given enough respect.)
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Re: statement of unease

Post by Z-Man »

What I mean by "you can't trust players to do X" is that you can't trust them unless you put rules and punishments in place to make them do X. They show up on time because we have rules that say how long the opposing team has to and how long it is allowed to wait. They show up on the right servers because brackets are randomised and they get told where to go. We do not let them shuffle for position on the brackets any more because that freedom was abused at one point.

And no, no recording, not even for potential publishing. Like a camera in the bedroom, it changes everything.

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Re: statement of unease

Post by 2020 »

I would be happier if we avoided the closed-door syndrome. You can record, keep it locked for ever if you wish, but at least you have something which can be used should the need arise. Or get a trusted source like Tank to record.

Players turn up because they want to play. And if they miss the start, they will get enough hassle from their teammates. The rule is simply made in time, just in the same way there are boundaries around the grid. You don't need anything other than this. People learn what the rules of the game are, the edges of the grid, the timing. That's all we have to be absolutely hard on. Especially the end-timing.

The shuffling issue remains a good idea, at least in my mind. It is easier to practice these things when we have a small group, than to introduce it if the game starts to scale. Nevertheless, the seeding and random seem like reasonable alternatives. It is like, we are incapable of playing that level of game yet, and so we need a machine to do it for us. With that line of thinking, we will have bots competing on the grid for us... which is also a reasonable direction of development, btw, a kind of ai competition. Hmmmm.... (which is why I like co-creating; instead of the polarity of argument, there is an induction of mutual exploration).
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Re: statement of unease

Post by Z-Man »

*sigh* I do not want to eat shit. You can tell me all day long that it's an especially tasty kind of shit. You can offer me to wrap it up in a remote-burstable condom so I can decide later when it is in my belly whether I want to burst it or not, I don't want to eat it. You can offer me to have a friend feed me it, you can offer me to let me cook it myself. You can mix strawberry chocolate into it. I still do not want to eat shit.

And yeah, that's what I'm saying: you cannot trust players to turn up on time without rules penalising them or their team if they don't. And isn't that sort of the adult definition of trust? Not the kids definition, "I trust I can leave you alone for five minutes without you doing anything silly, because if you don't, I'll punish you"?

The embedded byes thing wasn't actually a suggestion to seriously try now. It was a suggestion what can be done *instead* of the rules we have, including the start rules and the pre-filled brackets. As discussed, it comes with its own share of problems, and we haven't even covered them all. How do you make people report the match results on time? What if they delay reporting so they avoid a tough opponent in the next round?

If ladle timings get problematic again (past two were rather smooth, overall), I would support your fixed cutoff time idea. Since it acts on the whole game level and not the individual matches like previous time limit suggestions, there is less risk it will lead to excessive intentional stalling.

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Re: statement of unease

Post by 2020 »

What do you think about what this guy says at 13:24?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK8Kh3fWNpY
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Re: statement of unease

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I think you're now trying to tell me how important it is for the future that I eat shit now. Look, I do my *and now I can't even look up his formulation conveniently because it's a bloody video* mark-leaving so people can make sure I don't get corrupted in the future in writing. That makes it much easier to search through it and shove my past quotes into my face, too. And I do it by open sourcing the game. No matter what direction I decide I may want to take it in, if people object, they can always fork (or in the case of Tank, just take over and force me to fork).

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Re: statement of unease

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2020:
What don't you understand about this:
some people do not like being recorded.
I cannot understand why you keep trying to get the devs into recording.
YOU'RE the one who wants this thing to happen, why don't you play by THEIR rules and do it on this forum. You say you cannot express yourself properly in text, yet you bully people into trying to record with you because of YOUR issue with text.
I would be happier if we avoided the closed-door syndrome.
What the hell? Talking this out in an OPEN forum is a lot more "open-door" than your "record in private, filter out what you don't want" method of doing this. This thread is irritating me to no end because of one user's expectations of someone to overlook their own "flaws" just to make up for their own. (Also, the "oh I dont lead, I follow, but I really, really, really, really, really, want someone to make this happen for me" attitude doesn't seem right but to each their own.)
/rant
Lucifer wrote:I think you got the wrong thread, this thread is the one where we're debating banning sinewav and dubStep until they have a threesome with dubbie's mother.

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Re: statement of unease

Post by 2020 »

Firstly, to get the record straight, in writing, here, on this forum... let me say, that I am requesting, not bullying. I am attempting to alter conditions, to stand up against "the way things are". I am not the goliath here. I am not the heavy weight.

That is, I am using the medium that I do not favour. And by complying to it, I am at a disadvantage before I even start. I have accepted this, over the years, but quite frankly, it is dehumanising.

Secondly, I am not suggesting shit. I am not asking someone to eat shit. This is disgusting. This is not my intention. If I was offering shit, then I would expect to be treated like shit. And rightly so.

I have taken a lot of my time, and whoever has read this, to work my way back from an absolutely hideous situation where my motivation, my honour, my attitude, was brought into question to such a degree that... I don't even know where to start. But I did. And I have.

And you, Z-man, are absolutely right. Don't take any shit from anyone. Period.
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Re: statement of unease

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2020 wrote:That is, I am using the medium that I do not favour. And by complying to it, I am at a disadvantage before I even start. I have accepted this, over the years, but quite frankly, it is dehumanising.
Why not record yourself in a soundbite or something, explaining your message and post it here. Then z-man can reply in text and if you feel you need to "speak" your mind record your message again. That way you get your point across on your terms, and Z-man doesnt get recorded, win-win.
Secondly, I am not suggesting shit. I am not asking someone to eat shit. This is disgusting. This is not my intention. If I was offering shit, then I would expect to be treated like shit. And rightly so.
What he is referring to is you keep pressuring him to record, replacing recording with eating shit.
Lucifer wrote:I think you got the wrong thread, this thread is the one where we're debating banning sinewav and dubStep until they have a threesome with dubbie's mother.

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Re: statement of unease

Post by 2020 »

I am not pressuring. I am stating the request. If people don't want to take me up on it, that's fine.

There is an issue of trust going on here. And I have had enough of it. I want open and simple and human. That's the way I work, that's the way I live. That's why the open source movement makes sense to me.

I don't mind if people like text, or people like singing. Whatever. I have been incredibly accommodating, for years. I didn't mind being treated badly because of the inherent problems with the medium. I have stated it all above. In excruciating (and perhaps in excremental) detail. People have taken offense at my terms, when my intention has been clear and innocent. And I have apologised, even here on this thread, because I can acknowledge when I have wronged. But I have not had anything even close to an apology -- not that I am expecting one! But to even consider that I am asking someone to eat shit! That my suggestion of recording -- even to trust them to do the recording, so there isn't even a hint of any "editing" or post-production or whatever-the-**** -- my suggestion is like forcing someone to eat shit!

I am over-reacting! Of course I am! But my god, it is exhausting... This medium is not a level playing grid. And the player "rankings" are somewhat biased... I am just trying to balance it out, that's all.

Maybe it's because I am halfway through watching Moneyball. Something fired me off... Z-man doesn't need your defense, nsh22... there is no attack.
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Re: statement of unease

Post by Z-Man »

Eating shit is a metaphor for getting recorded (in this context) the whole time, you silly. The common thing is that they're both things I intrinsically do not want in any form, and I should not need to explain why. I switched over to the admittedly gross metaphor because I apparently was not getting through to you otherwise.

Yes, nsh, please cool down. There's enough heat in here already.

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Re: statement of unease

Post by 2020 »

For some reason the Moneyball second half is stuck, so I will have to wait and see.

We have different ideas, don't we? About what is transparent. I am working with the guy in the video, and I like what he is saying and how he is working. He is a reasonable player here in London, and is well placed in various ways. I simply wanted to juxtapose his notions of transparence or openness with yours.

So, here's where we stand, working backwards. At the end of the month, I will be in a position of kickstarting a process here relating directly with the ladle. I'd like to have the funds to kick-start it myself, but if I don't, I can see a back-up plan. We can call this, stage 3.

Before that, I shall be presenting a proposal to the community of players, an invitation to consider it, prepare, co-create, assist, and generally contribute. Hopefully this process will be additive, constructive, rather than blown out of the water, spamjacked, and so on given the medium of a forum and its tendency to derail serious engagement on potentially a volatile topic. During this time, I don't mind having online conversations, text or audio, off and on the record. Whatever works for everyone. My preferred mode is in-person, failing that video-audio, and failing that text. This is stage 2.

Before that, I am happy to have audio-visual discussions with the developers in case they want to get a heads up, so that they can make a decision whether they wish to help make the engagement within the community smoother rather than bumpier. That is, commit in some way to ensure that stage 2 has a reasonable chance of delivery, inhibiting spamjacking and other forms of derailing. In the name of openness, I believe these preliminary discussions should be recorded, so that players retrospectively can be aware that no untoward dealings have been made. Z-man has made it clear he is against recordings, and I can understand that any accusation in the future of under-the-table deals could happen whether there are recordings or not. The intention, nevertheless, is to be open at every step, especially when we are dealing with money. So he will have to rely on hearing accounts from one or other of the primary developers, should they be interested enough to have a preliminary engagement. Stage 1.

Is that the state of play?

And thank you, nsh22, I did detect a conciliatory tone in your second post. The suggestion of recording my voice doesn't appeal to me, it is too much like a "presentation", whereas I like to engage people by listening to them, and then responding. This way, I can address attitude and motivation. It has less to do with object of thought, ie content, and more to do with perception, ie frame. I find that using the written word to do this is incredibly demanding, tending to excruciating detail and verbosity, and actually tends to be self-defeating. Something of engagement is lost in writing.
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