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  • PlayCodes

    I use asterisks below to denote footnotes. I'm not cursing. :)

    Early next week, I'm going to put onto the server a plugin I've tested on the server during many recent evenings (I'll test it more in the meantime). It's called PlayCodes, and I'm going to explain it for those who weren't part of its early testing/tweaking.

    Before I talk about the plugin, I want to remind you that, ideally, every stranger on our server must pass a few basic tests:

    1) can you hear your team?
    2) can you communicate?
    3) are you able to follow basic instruction?

    These are foundations on which the success and unique offering of our server are built. Ideally, we prove and promote these abilities in every teammate, especially strangers.

    Now about the plugin. While it's easy to use, its nuanced behavior is complex to fully understand, so please read all of this before forming an opinion:

    PlayCodes aims to help automate and streamline the asking and affirming of these questions, implicitly and without being too invasive to in-progress gameplay. It aims to speed the process by which new teammates and existing teammates consciously know about each other and have confidence in basic communication among/between all involved. Basic testing of PlayCodes so far has consistently shown that the team works together to affirm all three questions for the inbound stranger in generally less than 30 seconds WHILE gameplay is in progress.

    Each time a stranger** joins a team, chat messages are displayed to the team:

    the stranger sees: Make sure you can hear team voicecomm to avoid getting kicked!

    regulars*** see****: the stranger's name and a three-digit number

    These messages continue every 10 seconds (or so*****) until one of two things happens:

    A) SoAndSoPlayer types the number into TEAM chat (allsay won't work -- we're proving basic communication and ability to follow instruction)
    B) SoAndSoPlayer is removed after failing to type the number into teamchat despite regulars being told 10+ times to make it happen

    To be clear: the plugin never shows the three-digit number to the stranger. He is dependent on team communication to learn and properly apply it. All the stranger is told by the plugin to do is listen to the team.

    If the stranger never provides his PlayCode to the server, he's removed after seeing the following chat message:

    You did not enter your three-digit PlayCode. You are being kicked.

    If the stranger successfully provides his PlayCode in TEAM chat, the entire team sees this message:

    COMMS established. SoAndSoPlayer can stay!

    Additionally, the now-vetted stranger sees this message:

    Do you like teamwork? Become a regular at tacticalgamer.com/natural-selection

    This new server behavior is only in play when the stranger's team has X regulars playing on it. My testing so far tells me that I'll start X at 4, and we'll see how that goes.

    Here's the big risk:

    If none of the regulars on the team communicates PlayCodes to inbounding strangers, those strangers will get kicked from the server over and over again within minutes of showing up. This server behavior is a gamble, as it assumes that enough of four TG regulars on a team will be responsible and always play their part in the exchange. Initial testing has shown regulars to handle this responsibility quite capably.

    To be clear, LET IT KICK players who can't/won't communicate. But I'll have to remove (or alter and complicate) the plugin if strangers are regularly ignored and automatically removed from the server for doing nothing wrong (other than being summarily ignored by TG teammates).

    ** stranger = isn't an SM and hasn't signed the TGNS Primer (scoreboard icon: ?>)
    *** regular = SM or has signed the TGNS Primer (scoreboard icons: S> or P>)
    **** the plugin defaults to a very wordy/intuitive message for regulars; use the sv_playcodes console command to toggle to/from a MUCH shorter (and less visually invasive) notification format once you know very well how to play your role as a regular
    ***** certain things may influence/delay the message frequency for some strangers (stranger being in-and-out of AFK, for example)
    Last edited by Wyzcrak; 02-08-2013, 10:29 AM.
    Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

    Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

  • #2
    Re: PlayCodes

    I protest this plugin:





    Joking aside I do like it, though with my ADD I have issues noticing when we get upgrades. I just hope for there sake someone will notice in game, at the start I should be fine. To bad you cant play a noise or something like a doorbell lol.
    Lights Out!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: PlayCodes

      Overall I like this, but I've noticed that if you have lots of new players joining and leaving during a hectic game it can become difficult to keep up with while still maintaining regular comms during the round. I've seen several occasions where voice comms were tied up with people trying to confirm if new players could hear them, or explaining why they need to put a number into team chat, and at the same time someone was trying to convey a critical and time sensitive piece of information to their team. I guess it isn't a terribly big deal most of the time, but it certainly can be a distraction that can disrupt a game.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: PlayCodes

        "Too invasive" (my words) is subjective, but I really don't want PlayCodes in the way too much. Early builds vetted multiple strangers concurrently. The current build only ever vets one stranger (per team) at any given time, and I'll continue making changes when I see players getting too annoyed or fatigued.

        I meant to say in the first post: even when I put this "on the server", it will be so that we can continue to evaluate it and tweak it. It's acceptance/inclusion long-term isn't yet guaranteed. I do very much want it to work. I feel strongly that strangers and regulars alike benefit a LOT when everyone immediately knows that EVERYONE on the team passes such a basic test.
        Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

        Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: PlayCodes

          Right, just figured I'd offer my (hopefully constructive) opinion. Ideally I think some sort of bot that could do all of this would be ideal, but I have a feeling that isn't really realistic.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: PlayCodes

            If I modded the client, I could automate the distinct sound/text input and verify the stranger's compliant output, but I'd never be able with a bot to provide the constructive social undertones that I hope to see happen with PlayCodes. I've several times already seen it spur welcoming greetings from regulars. I've also seen it annoy people (not so much strangers, but regulars). I'm very receptive to feedback as it begins to operate in my absence.
            Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

            Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: PlayCodes

              As I mentioned in the server, I like the idea that a stranger gets the idea very quickly that they didn't just join another pubspam game, but instead happened to join one that has teamwork and communication as an enforced rule. That said, I can definitely also agree with violentsquirrel that at times it could get distracting.

              Hopefully if it gets implemented the server will at least remember a stranger over map changes but ideally a player would come to the forums and sign the primer so they (and we) also wouldn't have to bother with the speak check every time they join.
              aka Roland tHTG

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: PlayCodes

                I am never distracted by it as I never see it ><

                ADD :(


                Edit: Also one thing I have noticed is we quickly tell them to enter the code in. Could we have another addon before we enter a game to tell us how many times a ? has been in the game so we can give them the welcome party? I think we will miss some chances to tell people hello and welcome to the server. We want nice people who will work with us.
                Lights Out!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: PlayCodes

                  Originally posted by solarity View Post
                  I am never distracted by it as I never see it ><

                  ADD :(


                  Edit: Also one thing I have noticed is we quickly tell them to enter the code in. Could we have another addon before we enter a game to tell us how many times a ? has been in the game so we can give them the welcome party? I think we will miss some chances to tell people hello and welcome to the server. We want nice people who will work with us.
                  Yeah, I'm kind of the same way, but it's more my brain just puts it at a lower priority. I usually only see it when our team is doing really bad or I'm waiting to spawn.
                  |TG-Irr|PricelineNegotiator

                  Seaman

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                  • #10
                    Re: PlayCodes

                    Seems I ran into this today.

                    Was a bit unexpected, as Katana was telling me to type a random number out of nowhere, but I see you guys are hard at work trying to keep comms up.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: PlayCodes

                      The "out of nowhere" needn't be. This is why I first ask players "SoAndSo, can you hear me OK?"

                      That gives them a chance to figure out who's talking, and to figure out that it's them being addressed. After they've acknowledged they're hearing me, only then do I engage them in direction giving.
                      Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                      Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: PlayCodes

                        Oh, I say out of nowhere, as it's not a plugin or functionality I've come across on any other server.

                        I saw the messages about making sure you could hear your team, which I thought was something akin to a MOTD present on most other community servers, though I found it odd that it was repeating so often.
                        Otherwise, Katana was in the middle of a strategy session, since I seem to have walked in on your captains' game.

                        We were about to start the round when he then tells me to type a number in team chat... at which point I'm quite confused as to why, so I type it, and he tells me to type it again without the question mark.
                        Wasn't sure what it was all about, but I wound up just playing it through, and decided to hop back on here to see what that was all about.
                        Basically, I understand your reasons and rationality behind how the plugin and the messages are engineered, but I honestly had no idea why I had to type in a random number. That's the only thing, I guess.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: PlayCodes

                          It wasn't so much that you had to type in a three-digit number (you did, but read on). Rather, you had to prove your ability to listen, communicate, and follow basic instruction, and the three-digit number is our latest effort to automate and streamline your proving those abilities. The three-digit number is merely a means to a very important end.
                          Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                          Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: PlayCodes

                            Oh, as I said, I completely understand the purpose of this plugin having read about it in this thread now.
                            I also understand the reasoning and everything.

                            However, I'm only pointing out that being asked to type a number (without being told why) was a bit unexpected.
                            If I was told "type yes if you can hear me" that may have been more intuitive to me, but as your design goal is to not only check for communication, but also to follow orders, I suppose an arbitrary number goes ahead and tests that, too.

                            Most of the time I've been able to drop into the server, there have been quite a few SM's on, and so I believe there are some very active regulars here.
                            I just wanted to provide feedback on how these systems looked to an outsider who hasn't yet played on the TG servers consistently enough to see all the new plugins as they roll out.
                            My feedback may or may not be necessary, but I would imagine it would be helpful if I provided some user experience feedback from another perspective.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: PlayCodes

                              Maybe we could have a message to the new user i.e. "Please enter communication check code, mentioned by teammates, else you will be removed." or something like that.

                              That way the user is provided with a reason. Before this I would do the following:

                              1) Welcome any ?'s I haven't seen before and check their comm
                              2) Ask who is going to comm
                              3) Sort who was going to Gorge, Lerk/Fade, and who was saving for Onos.

                              I love the planning time and the no-start till you have a comm.

                              I love the creative idea of what you guys put, though it still needs to be tweaked a little bit more. Either the code a little, but mostly us, the regs. I think regs don't want people to get kicked so we drop everything and tell them "enter this now into team chat". How long do they have till they are kicked? Maybe it is more of a thing where we (regs) need to not freak out about it. As of now we are interrupting our planning to tell people to enter codes that they have no idea of what to do.
                              Lights Out!

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