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Ok, I looked over the timeline and to be honest, if you hit your player goal, you won't be able to keep your timeline. :) I don't see a 1 million player competition being organized and executed in 3 months, even if you have a large staff to work it out.

expansion, preparation, and execution
The 1,000,000 players is just a number... it is just to indicate that an organic, exponential growth is required... which will probably happen through word of mouth... The preparation will take about 6 month to make everything work on the day, technically, and every team-exemplar-representative-captain-whatever knows where to go and what to do on the day... And the execution is, exactly, on that day.

Still, let's look at real dates bed on my made-up May 30 date, modified a tad. Make May 30 the date by which the playoffs will be done. The next tournament can begin organizing at that time.

But instead of May 30, lets be serious and stick to april 16th or whatever it is... I suspect if we spend too much time preparing, trying to organise games here and there, waiting for other teams to play etc... christ i had a hard enough time playing against FE-clan once, and that was pure luck... BUT, I think players will put in a little effort to play together over say 5 hours, to start, play, and finalise a winning team... That is, if players manage it once, let's just make sure all players are involved... do you see what I mean...?

So, here's what I get: (assuming the release date of 0.2.8 is the start of your 1-year timeline)

  • 0.2.8 released about March 18
  • May 30, 2006 - SPOON playoffs finish, championship to be played on/about June 4
  • June 30, 2006 - LADLE Team signup deadline
  • August 18, 2006 - LADLE playoffs finish, championship to be played on/about August 24
  • September 15, 2006 - BOWL Team signup deadline
  • December 30, 2006 - BOWL playoffs finish, championship to be played on/about January 5 (can be called the SuperBowl if so desired, heh)
  • January 30, 2006 - CUP Team signup deadline
  • March 20, 2006 - CUP Playoffs finish, championship to be played on/about March 25

That wraps it up for a year. What do you think?

-- Lucifer 05:07, 23 March 2006 (CST)

I like, thanks. For some reason though, I suspect we may need more time at the back end. You have broken it up about equally which.... hmmm.... If we manage to do this in a month and have a good day, I think this may inspire us to think we can do it with 100 people in a further 2 months. And if we manage that, taking it up to 1000 player will be tricky... Hence we need a bit more time, say 3 further months. And if that is pulled off, only then will we have the confidence that we can host the possibility of 1,000,000 players: we have the experience by then. Just now, it is just a pie in the sky idea. We need to prove to ourselves, that we can do it. And producing the first competition in one month I think is miracle enough.. Do you see...? If we manage a miracle in the first month, then this is kind of the same kind of task just larger with a longer time-frame, and just as miraculous. Kind of fractal in its organisation....
I don't know. I just think we should be ruthless with ourselves: what's that phrase.... somethingorother is the mother of invention....
Tell you what... try this question and please allow yourself to be honest with you. Please note it is not practically minded. Which timing excites you most? I think it is something of a balance between practical and exciting... what do you say...?

--2020 02:41, 24 March 2006 (GMT)

You make a good point, there is such a thing as being so practical you suck the fun out of it. :)

Here's the thing. You mentioned it was luck that allowed you and fe clan to play, but I think the circumstances that allowed that are repeatable. In the past, tournaments have worked like this (written from first person for convenience): I say "Show up at [this time] on my server and we'll play 4 matches [or whatever]". I tell 25 players that. At that time, 5 players are there. We wait 10 minutes, and nobody else shows up. So we play the tournament of 4 matches with only 5 players. Over the course of the next 4 hours, all 25 players show up. Some of them have forgotten about the tournament, some showed up late and the game had already started. Some showed up and suddenly remembered. And so forth. This is the fundamental problem with organizing tournaments, just getting people to show up. There's never been a shortage of either interested players, hosts, or servers. There's always been a shortage of players who will show up.

So, looking at your fe clan game, I see several traits. First, everyone had agreed in advance to be on a team. Second, everyone showed up at times that were convenient to them to play. Third, when enough players arrived, you all went to play a team game. So how do we use this experience to solve the first problem?

  • Sorry but it didn't work out like this... I tried to set it up as you said, but nobody said anything before the first deadline date, so I put another one down, and again heard nothing before hand. I even went to their website, wrote a post, and still no reply. And one of my players said they would be in contact with them, and they didn't get back to me... Basically, it wasn't going to happen. And then, one night, there happened to be four fe-clan members in the CVS fortress, and sky I think asked if we were up for a game... Really, it was just random. After that, I just thought, it is going to be impossible to organise these little get togethers. Which is why I like the idea of a big event, which happens all in one day... Otherwise, as you said yourself, it just sucks the fun out of things... So I am not sure what your solution is... but I read on with enthusiasm...

Solution: Team captains (or whatever title) arrange a window during which a game will play. Say, "Monday, March 56, from 12amGMT to 3amGMT". Then they go and tell their teams. They also agree on where they will meet (the staging area I keep talking about). Teammates show up at whatever time is convenient to them. When enough players show up, they pick a server and go play. This process can take several hours if it has to, and that's fine because there's an agreed-upon 3 hour window. Just like the cable guy. :)

  • Agreed, if all the other teamcaptains are doing the same, and everyone is playing on the same day...

This causes an extra problem in relation to your original plan of having it all played out in 1 or 2 days. That problem is that with this kind of wait time, it won't scale up to N teams in such a short time period. Now, you respond with "if they can agree to a 3 hour window, they can agree to a 5 hour tournament". Well that's not entirely true for all, but it is true at least for some. The individual players each only commit to 1-4 hours. Some of us will want to game it so that we spend the least amount of time dealing with it, that's why I'm trying to push irc as a staging area. I can show up at the annointed hour that way, and work for real money while waiting for the rest of the two teams to assemble. Then take a nice break from work to join the game. I suspect there are many more players who can do something similar to that (be it studying, reading, playing on another server, whatever) than are capable of committing to any specific time and/or a 5+ hour tournament. It also pushes organization completely out of the committee, and retains all of your self-organizing goals. The only thing lost is the 1 or 2-day tournament. Now, instead, we ave a tournament that stretches over many days, possibly weeks.

Solution? Play it as a round-robin tournament. So turn it into a longer series instead of a short one that builds to a neato climax. That idea is getting a really good response. :)

So, we could change the dates a bit, make April 16th the deadline for playing all the games, make it a 1-week window for the first round, a 1-week window for the playoffs, where the playoffs end on the 16th. That puts the team signup deadline somewhere around the end of March. Which, if the decision is made quickly, its perfectly doable.

You mention wanting to take some lessons from the developers. :) Take the most important one. "The thing you conceived, while being the thing you built, looks nothing like you expected it to look." That's a general rule for programming that very much applies to armagetron.

--Lucifer 21:08, 23 March 2006 (CST)

Thanks Lucifer, and I think my programmer-friends would agree with you. I see what you are saying, and I think it is up to the players to decide. Only one point to make: we are not making anything. What we are doing is self-organising. It is about coming up with the easiest way for people to get together. Hence, the deadline is not for some reason of producing something, but just getting together: it is do-able from cenception.

I've put my point across, and I think you have too... I think it more realistic we all get together on one day and play to a final, and you think over a few weeks... Both are reasonable... The trick is... which one is going to work...? So, what do we do now?

--2020 19:02, 26 March 2006 (GMT)

Concurrent competitions

Right now we have but one Tronic competition running, the monthly Ladle. With this new revision we ought to get the first level up, the smallest level, the Spoon. Perhaps the new Spoon is dissimilar to the old Spoon, but I suggest that it should run weekly. Perhaps it resembles simply an organized match, perhaps it something a bit longer than a single match. There needs to be something, though. --Concord 16:32, 15 December 2010 (PST)

Hmm... remember originally, the sequence was just a matter of numbers of players, from x to 100 to 1000 to 1m... a kind of threshold. It was Rain who suggested simultaneous comps based on weekly, monthly, seasonal, annual. A good idea, but requiring another level of understanding by players. There is another idea I came across, and it was to do a maximum of three rounds per week, so 8 teams could reach a final in one weekend evening, and if more, this would happen on a previous weekend. This kind of system could mean 4k teams playing just three rounds on the first night, down to 512 teams in the second weekend, 64 teams on the third night, and 8 in the final night. I like this version because it doesnt require any additional genius on the part of players to understand. Happy to hear some alternatives :) -2020 13:25, 17 December 2010 (PST)

I was thinking about some weekly organized match(es) completely independent from the Ladle-level. Players could sign up for a teams, and they'd play. Could be a fun way for people to get a competitive, semi-organized gameplay each week, especially players who don't have a Ladle team and are looking to form or join one. I just think there needs to be some TRONIC event every weekend. Maybe sign-ups would cut off at some point, and teams would have a few days to organize a bit. Just an idea, it'd be nice to have a presence every weekend, and a presence that ensures Tronic does not simply become forgotten and used as a synonym for Ladle. --Concord 17:02, 17 December 2010 (PST)