Information Funneling

Discussion in 'General' started by Vismal, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. Sonne

    Sonne Division-79

    I see one every time I look in a mirror
  2. Santiak

    Santiak MIA

    There is nothing wrong with highlighting issues that one feels are present - it only helps in keeping them from arising in the future.
    In fact, highlighting them is to be encouraged, not discouraged. It prevents animosity from building up to a boiling point, and in this case, leads to a better community, as the discussion breeds understanding.
    While some comments may have been construed as personal, such things are - given the nature of the "issue" - hard to avoid, but it also means that both sides (not that there are any, anymore) get to highlight their experiences, to the benefit of the discussion.

    If you had been out-right offensive towards anyone, and not just caught up in the discussion, I would have moderated the posts.

    I think, at the end of all this, what we can take from this discussion, is that:

    - Miscommunication happens - it invariably will. And it happens on both sides, more often than not. No-one carries the blame, the situation does.
    - We as a community need to work out a way to avoid this further down the line, as it could arguably spiral much more out of control if more agents were actively involved.

    Might I suggest that, beyond setting up dedicated Forum threads for "Contacts" to relay information in, or IRC channels for the same purpose, that we consider always tagging two Agents as contacts, even if one is "passive"?
    One to relay and handle the information unto IRC, and one to do the same for the forums.

    After all, I can't quite bring myself to expect any one Agent to solely keep track of:
    - Doing what they were appointed to.
    - Relay the information received.
    - Keep an overview of the decisions the community makes, based on that information.
    - Relay that information back.

    Between the time an Agent relays the info on IRC/posts it on the forums and does the same for the other platform, the discussion will invariably have progressed on the first. Ultimately, the "primary Contact" becomes more focused on handling information, than reacting to the situation the Agent was elected to handle - not to mention taking into consideration the input of the community at large.

    Instead, if the "Active Contact" first and foremost relays the information to a "Passive Contact", before anything else, then each of them can take that information, and relay it to each platform, halving the taxation of relaying the information.

    In any case, whichever way we decide to go about this in the future, I feel we need to agree on at least some "guidelines", and that they need to be jotted down for posterity, to help avoid that people confuse the fact that there are, for example, an "Active" and "Passive" Contact, with it being a question of Information Funneling between the two, rather than a question of "Resource Management".

    For that matter, we could even go as far as selecting a "Relay Agent", who relays the decisions made by the community, based on the information given by the Contact(s).
    In which case, we'd have a very important "Decision Making" unit (The community), someone to relay those decisions ("Relay Agent"), someone to relay those decisions to the opposing party ("Active Contact"), and someone to relay the results of those decisions ("Passive Contact") back to the Decision Making unit.

    Then again, that may be too bureaucratic. *snarls in disgust*

    *trudges back to his cave, apologizing for the rambling*
    4 people like this.
  3. Vismal

    Vismal Gold Member

    So we are seeing a few suggestions that are popping up - that's excellent. I'll see what else comes up, and I could do a poll to see what the general community feels would be best for propagating information in fast-paced environment.
    And Deepthroat, as for elitism, it was a problem, especially towards the end, even if not a big one. I had some discussions with persons of interests on the subject previously during the MMORPG funding-attempt, and how there would be efforts in lessening the opportunity in giving rise to elitism/cliques/info-filtering/whatevs.
    I don't think it was necessarily a collusion of twirly mustached individuals that hording new info and new leads to reap the glory for themselves, rather then at the thousands involved in the chatango, it was too many minds to take into account and a calmer, clearly medium was needed. Invariably, it formed Information Hubs where data was processed faster, while everyone else kept playing catch up.
    The puzzles I find were fine on their own, and some were much easier solo, but others really took a while to advance, because of these info-hubs. Gate 33 was harder for sure, but the medium was more cryptic too.
    I *know* those info-hubs are needed, and I *know* they process information better and faster; but, we can't have the rest of the community left behind.
    My personal experience in EoD was one where I *did* have critical information, and even with posting it as fast as I could to TSW forums, I recall a few individuals were not too fond of my methods. That's a sentiment I don't want anyone from this community to feel: exclusion.

    For the moment I got more workwork to do.
  4. Anashel

    Anashel Puppet Master Staff Member

    I agree that not only these feedback are welcome, they are needed for us to develop the game and game design play a big part of the solutions. As for the reference of Gate 33, not sure I understand correctly but the problem back then was much bigger.

    Msika was talking only by mail to 2 or 3 players and community decision was far much chaotic when it was time to 'betray your secret society' or 'vote to open the gate', let alone the gauge mission. I received multiples email like: "GO KILL YOURSELF, I DON'T NEED THAT STRESS IN MY LIFE, I HATE YOU"... That's when I knew I was on the right path. ;)
    3 people like this.
  5. MochiInvasion

    MochiInvasion Senior Agent

    personally, i think santi is on the right track. having something, both in forums and in irc (or whatever chat client we wind up using) dedicated to uploading information and updates is a great idea, and something i'd personally find really helpful. i also agree that having different agents, one for each place, is a good idea, especially during the big community missions.

    i also think that if there is an info-funnel (or tunnel) it should be made clear why this is: if it's information that for whatever reason can only be handled by one agent, to avoid (for lack of a better phrase) 'hurt feelings' this should be made really obvious, especially to get past the language barrier. but i think there should definitely be a focus on having some feeds dedicated just to providing information and updates.
    2 people like this.
  6. Anashel

    Anashel Puppet Master Staff Member

    I have to say the cloud chamber upvote things is neat when you have tons of info and you trying to solve a puzzle. But for live event, either will be hard to keep, even a spoiler thing. We will have to work with better game mechanics, hub and UI to show progress, where we are and what relevant clues has been uncover so far.
  7. Bink

    Bink Senior Agent

    I did like that gate 33 changed after solving to allow a lone player to find clues and advance on his/her own to catch up to the community. EoD did not have that aspect and late players were pretty much out of luck and could not solo anything. It was pretty much "hey, a game happened while you were away. Kthanksbye"
    Even those who weren't that late still felt waaay behind I.e. Myself as you couldn't solve anything on your own.
  8. Vismal

    Vismal Gold Member

    I figure during the actual PARG season, we'll have systems that will require a certain amount of agents to get to a certain level of solving in order to have a mission completed (like the gauges), and all working together instead of against each other (Like Gate 33 lol).
    There will be mechanisms in place for the long term missions; but I think the problem with people feeling as if they weren't part of the agency are the time-based, Point of Contact critical missions. These are where we have to ensure the community is involved and has their say, *and* not fuck up the mission to cater to everyone. Let's face it, being a politically correct bunch of ninnies who always fail critical missions isn't a great attraction for prospective players you know?
    So I see a few suggestions that are pretty cool, and I don't want this thread to be the be all end all of decisions regarding the subject henceforth, I just want to have all parties involved aware of the potential spaghetti in their hands so to say...
    This is healthy discussion so far, and I think there was and is great progress in shedding light and fixing miscommunication, helping future nurturing of inside relations within out agent web.
    3 people like this.
  9. Bats

    Bats Division 93: Covert Grammatical Ops Battalion

    I think you meant this specifically in regard to (for lack of a better term) "contact situations" - like dealing with Phoenix and Barbizon concierge in this last mission - but it made me think that, as a general policy, we might want to thinking about electing/assigning/bludgeoning someone active on IRC into a role as liaison for any given mission, tasked with keeping the forums up to date on any breakthroughs made on #division66. They wouldn't necessarily have to act as a secretary and post everything themselves - just take responsibility for making sure that whatever's important ends up where it can be seen.

    That depends on what they're appointed to do... if they're being tasked with representing the community/agency, then what you described is essentially the job description - and their being involved in the community's decision making is especially important... but a secondary role would still be invaluable as a sort of information clearinghouse - fielding questions, making sure the community in the contact's non-primary-choice medium knows all the details, and, if necessary, helping with consensus-building and other associated cat-wrangling.

    Maybe we could avoid some future confusion if we change the terminology up front (since only one will actually be doing the contacting anyhow) - something more like a "Contact" and a "Secondary," perhaps? It might be better still if we can also find an alternative for "Contact" to avoid confusion between the agent in that role, and _their_ contact that we're trying to communicate with.

    If the contact is in the role of representing the community (and that's definitely an 'if' - there may well be situations where a contact has to act in a far more discretionary role), then I don't think they should be allowed to get that insulated from the community. If they're acting as anything more than a dumb terminal - copying and pasting messages back and forth between community and their foreign contact - then they should be actively involved in the decision making process, so that they fully understand not only the end decision but the reasoning behind it. That was if things change and they need to make a decision on the spot, they'll know which way to jump.

    That many layers of officiaries is getting into Division-66 pencil-pusher territory. I think the employee handbook specified that red tape is their exclusive jurisdiction. It's probably not healthy to step on Gladys' toes.

    5 people like this.
  10. Bats

    Bats Division 93: Covert Grammatical Ops Battalion

    Memo to self: Send death threats when trying to convince Anashel he's doing the right thing.

    2 people like this.
  11. Bats

    Bats Division 93: Covert Grammatical Ops Battalion

    While Cloud Chamber's mechanism works well for their situation - with lots of people constantly discovering/discussing/being exposed to the same static information - I think it would be an extremely poor fit for TBW, where there's both a constant flood of new information and a need for the old information to always be easily found in a predictable place when it needs to be referenced. I think there's definitely a lot of room for improvement in our current setup - both the tools and how we use them - I don't think something so fluid would be beneficial.

    (also, I really need to find the time to get back into Cloud Chamber)
  12. Bats

    Bats Division 93: Covert Grammatical Ops Battalion

    *clicks the Like button*

    *clicks it again*

    *jumps up and down on the Like button*

    *goes looking for an anvil to drop on the...*

    (also, it's not a matter of failing critical missions... it's just a matter of constructively redefining the parameters of success)
    5 people like this.
  13. thatangryviking

    thatangryviking Viking Turkey | The Bot Slayer

    There I will assist this by like your comment :)
  14. CLY

    CLY Active Agent

    Something like twitter might satisfy the need for permanent records, as well as providing a (nearly) real-time feed of what's going on. You can pull a #tag for the current mission and keep up to date (or watch them unfold in real-time by leaving the #tag search open).
    Twitter is, itself, extremely noisy though, and you'd have people interfering if any of our mission tags start trending, so it would have to be something similar and private to TBW agents.

    I love IRC for fast communication, though, so I'd suggest three main sources:
    IRC - you want to be involved as it's unfolding (miscommunications and all), you want to be in IRC.
    Twitter-alike - you want to watch things unfold in a more ordered way, or are looking to quickly get back to speed, you want to check the div66 messenger service.
    Forums - you're new to the agency, or need to dig through cold case archives for clues or solutions from the Old Days, you want to read the forum. Forum megathreads sh(/w)ould also have an OP with all the google docs and other key clues posted, so people don't have to look through a million white noise posts to find the link to the image everybody is currently chewing on.
    2 people like this.
  15. Asariel

    Asariel Division-79

    The issue I see with this is we'd be posting some seriously freaky stuff. I don't particularly want to end up on an FBI watchlist...
    2 people like this.
  16. Bink

    Bink Senior Agent

    We most definitely already are lol *waves*
    2 people like this.
  17. riningear

    riningear Division-79


    Yes, myself. This isn't my first-first ARG but this is my first real involvement and, through a good amount of effort, I kept up. c:


    If you want "current updates," use tumblr. It lacks an auto-refresh option, much like forums. But it allows for similar speed and feed style without character limits, and you can hook it up and post it all to a twitter account as well. It also allows for multiple accounts to edit a single blog.

    Just my two cents as a multi-platform user. :3

    Zargh, I'm also glad to see this discussion, you had this concern and we were doing our best to work with what we had.

    I'm also excited that our contacts "passed the test" of trust and keeping cool under pressure. You guys were on to something and you absolutely nailed it.

    Hope to see you all next mission. c:

    (EDIT: I said "I'm also glad" twice. That's dull.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2014
  18. Zodiac

    Zodiac Senior Agent

    Just read the whole thread. I really like the discussion because feedback related to this is important, I think. I have some enhancements to my former post. I would not like it "too bureaucratic". I don't think we need special roles or rules to handle information. I think everybody should just be aware to share important information does not matter where it is acquired. IRC is great for discussions, brainstorming, thoughts or simply enjoy the community and have some fun. But if breakthrough ideas or something important is discovered it should be shared in the forums imediatelly. Maybe introduce some mechanics to earn "agent points" for sharing important information in the forums or something like that. Also related to twitter: I created my first twitter account because of the former TSW related ARGs. But twitter is very noisy. I don't like it that much. But I'm ok with everyone who likes and uses it. But again, if important information is discovered there, share it here in the forums.
    I'm sure, there are always people who do exactly this. Counting in myself also for that. And that's great.
    On the other hand everybody should accept not to be the "most important agent at all". There will be always agents with special roles or tasks and I'm fine with that. I really enjoy following the ARGs and the solving of the riddles. When I can throwing in my 50 cents and / or some ideas than I'm really happy. But if not it is also ok. It's not the standard case for me "to be on the front". I haven't enough time to be in the IRC every day or to follow twitter all the time. And I guess many of us think the same. So we need one point where everybody can catch up the current situation etc at every point of time. And in my opinion that has to be a static medium like the forums.

    So in short:
    Everybody should just be aware to share important information in the forums. If we could have a small reward system for that it would be great. But don't make it "too bureaucratic". And again: Everybody should be ok with it when "the other guy" has the important task right now. At the end the result is counting. We are one community and one agency. Everybody should help to reach targets. That's what counts.

    Greetings, Zodiac
    7 people like this.
  19. dancingtheghost

    dancingtheghost Gold Member

    There is a division-66 tumblr. It's kept up with the kickstarter [ish] but not the ARG though.
  20. riningear

    riningear Division-79

    Ah, I meant for information updates. Better than a forum in my opinion.

    I totally forgot about that too, though, even though I have them followed, thanks!

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