Golden Frootcake Tournament

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Come participate in the Golden Frootcake Tournament 2007!

As part of Second Life Winterfest 2007, the Frootcake Diner will
host the Golden Frootcake Tournament. How good are you at passing
those cakes around the table? Now's your chance to find out!

Here is how the contest will work. For one week starting Sunday Dec 30,
all Frootcake players will be ranked, similar to the World
Champion ranking in En Garde. You can play as many games as you want.
The ranking system awards points according to who plays the best.
In general, points are awarded for:

  • Winning games

  • Placing high in multi-player games

  • Beating people who are ranked high

At the end of the week, the top 5 players will compete for the
Golden Frootcake trophy.

Don't know how to play? I just released a new video teaching the
game. You can watch it at the Diner, or on YouTube here:

En Garde scoring, yet again

Friday, December 14, 2007

We've been living with the new En Garde scoring for several weeks now, and I think that's enough time to evaluate it. I've gotten comments from several people, and everyone pretty much agrees.

It sucks.

I'm sorry, I really thought it would be better than this. But sometimes you can't tell how something will play out until you see it in action.

There's several problems with the new scoring system. First of all, the three games per day limit can sneak up on you. You can't tell if a game you play will count in the scoring or not. This was originally intended as a diversity control: playing lots of games over and over shouldn't add to your score as much as playing many different people. My number one goal in designing a scoring system is to get lots of people to play as many different people as possible, and get new people playing that way.

The biggest problem is with the point loss system. When you lose a game to someone who is ranked lower than you, you lose some of your points. This was intended to provide a little fluidity in the rankings. What has happened instead is, people are afraid to play new players. That's terrible. But I can understand it. There's just too huge a penalty if you lose to a newbie, and the risk is too great.

So, I have to rip all that out, and come up with yet another scoring system.

I am working on a new system that I hope will fix these problems, and provide an accurate ranking of players while encouraging new play. The system is based on Google's PageRank -- the same system Google uses to rank the results when you do a web search, I want to modify and use to rank fencing players. There are many advantages to this. I think it can solve the problems I've listed above. There are disadvantages too. One disadvantage is that it's really complicated, and hard to explain to people. But I have to do something, and so this will hopefully be another small step forward.

I hope to have the new scoring implemented sometime in the coming week. Like all scoring changes, it will be retroactive, and can possible make radical changes in the current rankings.

FAQ for Macros, Tracking Devices, etc

Friday, December 7, 2007

I've had to deal with a lot of issues recently regarding macros, tracking devices, etc. I hope this can clear things up.

What sort of things are not permitted when playing Procyon Games?
Anything that gives one player an advantage over another is considered cheating and is not allowed during play. This includes, for example, macros, HUDs that track information (public or not), materials outside the game such as pencil and paper, and alternate accounts.

Really? I can't use pencil and paper?
Here's a rule of thumb you can use to help determine what's acceptable. Imagine if you were playing the game real-life, face-to-face across a table from your opponent. If what you're considering would be unacceptable in that setting, then it's unacceptable in Second Life.

What about after the game?
After the game, you can do whatever you want. It's acceptable to use pencil and paper between games of Zingo. And you can use alt accounts to play games, as long as you don't use two accounts simultaneously in the same game, or use them to manipulate global scoring.

What if someone is cheating?
If you are playing someone, and they're using an unaccepted method to gain advantage, you should ask them to stop. You can direct them to this blog post.

What if they refuse to stop?
If they refuse to stop cheating, then you can tell me and send me a chat log.

What if someone is distributing a cheating device?
Tell me about it, and I will investigate.

I'm not going to stop cheating. What are you going to do about it?
Any player who refuses to stop cheating will be banned form Procyon Games. Banning means your name will not appear on any high score lists, and you won't be able to play any of the games. This applies to all Procyon Games, not just the one you were banned for.

How long does banning last?
Bans will be lifted when a player tells me they won't cheat any more, or when the item is removed from distribution (if they were distributing some item)

You can't tell if I'm cheating. What's to stop me from telling you I won't, but keep cheating anyway?
Are you really the kind of person who would lie like that? If I find out someone has lied to me about cheating, then I'll have to put a permanent ban on them.

En Garde Statistics

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I keep a log of every game of En Garde played. Mostly it's to calculate the rankings, but it also allows me to calculate statistics like this:

Week EndingGames Played
Oct 6119
Oct 13200
Oct 20169
Oct 27402
Nov 3216
Nov 10452
Nov 17295
Nov 24258
Dec 2304