From Armagetron

The first outlining of the idea and the responses different people had to it.


I prepared this:

format for discussion:
idealistic notion
my motives are good, to be discussed another time perhaps
i am a teacher, and social artist
love the game
love to have more competition

the idea: more like an invitation
1,000,000 players in one tournament in one year's time of 0.2.8 release
played in one evening
£1 entry fee
some goes to developers: 200k
most goes to players: 600k
a little goes to service providers: 100k
and the rest to previous designers, film director, artistic director: 100k
or however we organise it...

the game is super simple so it can be played by young and old
it is not kill kill kill, so it is open to everyone
there is scalability: skills are evident in individual players
teamplay: a good team can beat a collection of skilled individuals... maybe?
kids can test their quick reaction times
adults can use their temporal awareness to set traps
appeals to new kids on the block and a whole generation of guys who loved TRON

mainly word of mouth
though with some concerted effort in promoting at various gaming venues...?
and then the interface with joe-public has to be super simple
less emphasis on clans, and more on team-formation, less technical-developmental, more play

6 months: 1,000 player tournament
3 months: 100 player tournamnet
1 month: small informal tournament just to test it out

dedicated servers: official i suppose... secure
and locals can host their own of course...

noobs download the game free
play, encourage to set up their own moviepack
and register for worldcup
they will be invited to the earlier smaller tournament closer to the time
and they know they could make £16k that night from the game
oh yeah... if they are good enough

the game is excellent
it is incredibly well designed
simple: only two keys minimum
beautifully elegant: acceleration due to proximity of trail
shares good design with chess and GO
difference is multiplayer: it is social, it is the virtual equivalent of football
and in the future virtual world of games, this could hold an important minimal place just like chess and GO, rather than what the developers are doing which is to play around with maps etc
that is: purify, distil it, faster, lower ping, increase teamplay

and why you guys?
i have played with you
and i like your attitudes
you are all different
and i wanted to test the idea with a variety of people
i didn't want to suggest this to people who are like me
or who are just nice
i think you are all strong independently minded people
with different personalities and ambitions etc
with at least one common interest:
playing armagetron

framework of idea:
social cohesion not engineering
the developers of the game have done the business
now as players can we do the same socially

necessary add-ons:
voice capacity
team choice
secure trusted servers for official games

what's next?
a few people who think yeah
this sounds good
these people thrash out some kind of provisional plan
we start rolling it out, invite others to join and take part
as well as an established interface for noobs with clear entry into the worldcup
first month will determine whether it works
if it does
we carry on...

important to recognise
it is voluntary
the thing about working with things
an artist and his stone or wood or paint or canvass
and engineer with his metal and stone
a scientist with his chemicals etc
is that the number of variables may be many but they are ultimately manageable and controllable
we are dealing with people and as such we don't want to control anyone
and there will by necessity be different ideas on how to do this
and we need to have a reasonable way of resolving differences

unlike writing the computer game itself
where there is something about efficiency, speed, economy of cpu time etc, elegance even
we don't have these external conditions, so it can get very baggy
hence the rigour: 1,000,000 in a year
to pull this off, we can't just arse about, and we can't just rely on our own tastes
we must accomodate as many people as possible

I cut it into sections, passed them through skype chat, and the others responded as we went along. Generally wolverine ghableska and mazuffer listened throughout and then said stuff at the end.
I remember maz's response: 1,000,000 is impossible... hehhhe... which of course it isn't... though there is still a tiny chance. My first response to his was: 1000 in 6 months... to which he said: that should be possible. And then I went on to explain the meta-reason for such an idealistic objective: to inspire -- it has to be exciting enough for people to go... wouldn't that be cool... 1 miiiiiiiiiiillion players... in a year... wow! It kind of aligns people and gives their contributions... parameters.
Wolverine went into some detail regarding problems with money and time-syncing with different servers, and we discussed most of that through voice so i have no recording of this suffice to say it was exactly where i am blind: serious here-and-now practicalities. My initial response was to emphasise that I have no interest in money, but that I thought that the developers deserve something for all the fun I got out of the game, and I kind of like seeing skillful player rewarded for amazing skill. My second response is to leave most of those technical details for later once we have enough players who are interested in the idea and we start to learn the social skills to bring it about. This for me is the most important factor and something demonstrated so well by the developers: the ability to work together without a hierarchical structure or selling their time and skills to a business-company. (Albeit the developers have a slightly easier time of it since they are producing a thing, and confrontation of perspectives can be resolved through actually producing the most efficient code for example.)
Ghab was enthusiastic and without him I think I would have just crumpled under the initial criticism -- this is not a criticism of the participants, it is merely a recognition that we are trained to be critical (you know... the dialectic, devil's advocate, scientific disproof). To my mind we apply this critical faculty too early which is another reason why the idealistic objective is presented first: if you like the idea then whatever objections you come up with makes you you want to come with the solutions rather than presenting them to another as if you have already been defeated by it.
Anyhoo, these ideas and reasons are covered elsewhere on this wiki... contributor's guidelines.. I think.
In conclusion, I wanted to voice the idea to a few players and if they didn't like it I wouldn't have taken it further: we agreed to reconvene a week later to give everyone the chance to mull the idea over (TRONICv1.1). So my deepest gratitude to the people known as wolverine ghableska and mazuffer, and for the others who have shown interest but have not been able to afford the time yet to pursuing the idea further.



So far, I think I like what we are trying to accomplish. :-) I think that we can at least try, and if all else fails, we would have had fun trying the idea.

That's pretty much what I have to say.

P.S. /me looks at the length of 2020's post, then back to mine.