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IRC Channel - MUST READ

For our own organizational purposes, I created an irc channel on freenode for us called #armaknights. It probably won't get renamed if we rename the team, I don't know, up to you guys. I put the armabot in there as mod, so register with the bot when you get there so we can leave messages to each other.

Some of us will be lurking there whenever we're around. When it's time to organize games and stuff, we'll need to use it as a staging area for ourselves, and we'll invite other teams to use it for our games.

To join:

  • Download an irc client if you don't have one already. The firefox family has one, there's also Konversation if you use KDE, most open source IM programs support irc.
  • Set it up to connect to freenode with your preferred nickname.
  • irc.freenode.net is the name of the server, if your irc client doesn't already know who freenode is
  • Set it up to automatically open #armaknights if you want to lurk there.

Bot commands of importance:

Bot commands all must start with #, like so:

  1. armaservers
  2. news

Here are commands that are important to us:

  1. message <person> <your message>
  2. news
  3. news <item number>
  4. armaservers
  5. teamlist

Note: Teamlist should contain everyone's IRC name so that when there's a game brewing, it can be typed to trigger notifications for teammates that are lurking and get their attention. So before the games start, try to find out what you need to do to receive those notifications (besides lurk, which is obvious).

After the competition starts, make sure you lurk on this channel when you are available to play. Being in this channel doesn't have to mean you're available, but naturally if you're not, nobody expects you to be there.  :) But when you are available to play, this is where we'll look. We might look around a bit if we have to to muster up another player, but no promises. The only promise is that notifications will come through this channel.

Periodically, when it makes sense, I'll send announcements. The armabot sits on 3 channels, #armagetron, #armagetronteams, and #armaknights. When there's a game that I know about that's staging, I will probably announce it through the bot, so all channels will get the announcement. Currently, I've seen dookatee, anjori, Your_mom, guru3, Manta, and Cray all in #armagetron. So we still need hank.

The Purpose of the IRC Channel

Sorry if this isn't well organized, but there's been some question what the purpose of this channel is.  :) It's not to reform anybody's online habits, that's for sure. In a nutshell, joining this channel means you're ready to play a game. That's not all it's for, but that's a lot of it. The competition itself isn't yet completely organized, when it is I'll be putting more specific instructions here, but the way it's looking right now we're going to have to schedule our own games with the other teams. Then we're going to have to meet somewhere when it's time to play. To coordinate all of our schedules and stuff, we need some non-passive way to communicate. Now, I don't want to collect everyone's telephone numbers and call them (especially inconvenient since at least one of our players is on dialup anyay), but we need something like IM conferences. So we can use IM if that's better for us, but right now we're planning to use IRC.

The armabot is there to allow us to send messages and post passive information. There's a news plugin running so we can post scheduled games when we need to. We'll also have a page here on the wiki for scheduled games, and I'll probably make it in a few days. You should all subscribe to the wiki page when it's made. But that's a side point. The main point is that when the games are scheduled, which will hopefully be at least 3-4 days in advance of when we're supposed to play them, there will be a news item that appears in the channel. You'll type #news to see it.

Starting about half an hour before game time, teammates who intend to play in that game should arrive in the channel. I'm hoping that "game time" will be a range, like 2-3 hours, instead of a specific time, but that will depend a lot on what the other teams think. I know from experience that even with a hard-coded game time we should expect to wait 30-45 minutes after that time to have enough players, it's just the way these things work. To eliminate that problem as much as possible, we should each plan to be in the irc channel at least half an hour before game time. If the arrangements with the other team involve any additional steps, we'll take them, but for our own purposes, we'll always plan to meet in the channel first.

In the channel we'll work out our lineup, provided the tourney game rules allow us to spend some time setting up. We'll work out what order we'll join the server so that everyone arrives in the position they should be in, how we'll handle moving around in the lineup so that we don't have to play any rounds short a player, that sort of thing. We'll settle who will start as goalie and who will start as center, who will make break calls if we use them. This is all stuff we want to work out away from the other team if possible.

Now, when it's time to take a break (my last post tried to push rules that included a 10 minute break between matches in a best 2 of 3 game), we can huddle in the channel and talk tactics and stuff. Any changes to the lineup can be made there, and for those of us who don't have any problems running irc client and the game, we can use it to deal with the fact that spectators can't chat, in the case that we have alternates waiting on the sidelines.

So what kind of commitment to irc do you need to make? Very little. Try to install an irc client, join the channel, and get some familiarity with a few commands with armabot. When it's time to meet for the game, join the channel. If you have problems running an irc client while playing the game, then by all means turn the sucker off when it's time to join the game! If you're going to start as an alternate, keep it on so you can chat with us if need be. Remember, though, that a lot of us play fullscreen and won't see what you're saying. If you don't have these problems, then you should stay in the channel until the game is over. Maybe we'll have some post-game discussion afterwards, and if you quit your client to play the game, you should rejoin the channel.

Since we're going to hang so much important communication on the irc channel, you should make sure you familiarize yourself with it a bit before the games start. Currently I'm expecting them to start on April 1. So make sure you've identified with freenode if you want (required for /msg to work for you), make sure you can send and receive messages from armabot, and that you can check the news. It's neat if you learn more about the bot, it's got some useful plugins loaded (and some fun stuff). Also, visit the #armagetron channel, make sure you know about the #armagetronteams channel.

We should generally try to get other teams to meet us in #armagetronteams. If they don't want to use IRC for some reason (a possibility), then we'll work something out. Otherwise we'll try to get them into #armagetronteams. If all else fails, we'll offer our own channel for all players to meet in. We might start a side channel to have our own conference before the game.


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