Letter from Eingang, August 2000
Miscellaneous Ramblings & News
Can you believe it? It's already September and time, for many of us, to head back to school, or to return to the fall-spring grind of work. The games have been relatively quiet and free of problems in August, save for the usual server problems.
We're still having a problem accessing the game bots that run on Starlink. Given the prolonged problems with connecting to that machine in order to reset the bots, install new software, upgrade the bots, etc, I'm considering pulling the games from StarLink. If you don't like this idea, voice your opinion in the StarLink chat forum on www.eingang.org/discus/
Mid-August saw the loss of a few game scores on DALnet as our disk space all disappeared. Most of the scores were recovered from the daily backups that are done for both StarLink and DALnet.
You may have noticed that we never saw an August edition of The Ein-Gang Gazette. Eggs has been really busy and didn't manage to put one together. Luckily for us, summer is almost over and maybe he won't be running the kids everywhere under the sun. >Smirk<. (:
Apparently Risky Business isn't quite dead yet on StarLink. Now that we're clearing the logs automatically every month, I can see from the latest mailed stats that people are playing the game. #1 was DNAchic with 5187 appearances, followed by dimski (3105) and rokrol (869). On the DALnet side, Kelleigh` resumes her world domination with 6156, followed not very closely by CooCooCachoo (1630) and DNAchic (1534). While I'm at it, I'd like to encourage RB players to make up more categories. Kelleigh and I can only invent so many! Thanks!
Game Bot Development
Some minor ChaosBot development work was done in August. Most of this is transparent to the users, like a new logfile format (You did know that the bot kept logs, right?), addition of a new bot control. What players might notice is that it's now sometimes possible to play Chaos even if you're the only person. A new flag has been added that toggles this on/off, so we'll see how that goes. When the toggle is flipped on, you'll need to have at least two players on teams. When the toggle is off, you'll be able to play by yourself.
The logfile work is in preparation for some new log analysis utilities that I'm working on. One of the utilities will be analyzing logs to see how infrequently game operators are on the channel. Game operators who aren't visiting at least once every three months stand a good chance of losing their access. Part of the reason for this is to keep my list of operators current and we want informed and in-touch game operators.
Another utility that's in the works is a variant of the analysis that's done monthly for the trivia bots, which will tell us how much you're participating in Chaos.
Finally, a change was made to the Chaos category submission form. You can now check a box to submit to Mach's EFnet/ Undernet games at the same time. This is a feature that was added by request. If you play on EFnet/Undernet as well, feel free to tell people that they can use our form to submit categories.
Tip of the Month
Have you ever wondered how the ChaosBot decides whether an answer is correct or not? There's several factors to consider here. This month we'll discuss the first of these: the number of answers in a category. Most categories have more than 10 sets of answers, where each set consists of words/phrases that will be accepted for a given answer. For example, in a category like "Name Famous Chaos People", one answer set might be "Eingang", "Michelle A. Hoyle", and "Hoyle". All 3 of those would be accepted as being synonymous for Eingang, one answer out of maybe 20 sets in the category As another example, consider the category "Things Which Appear on a Pizza". There might be more than 50 individual items appearing in the category. As you probably know, however, even if you give one (or more!) of those 50 answers, you don't always get credit for it. This is because each time a category is played, ChaosBot examines the category and randomly picks ten sets of answers to be used as the correct 'answers' for that round. So, it's not that the bot doesn't know that Wayne Gretzky is a great NHL Player, it's that Gretzky wasn't one of the answers chosen this time around.
All outstanding Chaos category submissions have been processed and 139 new categories were added into play during August. The new categories appear on both StarLink and DALnet and I updated the category list on the web site. I still have about 10 new trivia categories that need to be edited and added in. We're in desperate need of trivia categories, so please feel free to right a new one or offer to edit an old one.
Category Submission Winners
Only 7 (yes, count them!) new categories submitted in the month of August for Chaos. The Bloke rings in with 3 of those, putting him in first place for th month, followed by Klevre with 2. Now that we're caught up again, feel free to submit some more! Use that online form at http://games.eingang.org/ and maybe you'll be mentioned in next month's newsletter!
Your Game Administrators & Channel Ops
We have one new Chaos channel operator for DALnet to announce this month, but since she hasn't been informed yet herself, maybe I shouldn't tell you that IForget will shortly be joining the ranks of our friendly game ops.
If you know anyone who might make a good channel operator for one of our games, encourage them to apply. You can apply via an instantly marked application form on the Games Web Site at http://games.eingang.org/Information/operators.html. Note that the women are definitely in the majority at the moment for our game ops. Where are the guys? :-P
Finally, did you know that there's a list of channel operators on our Web site? You can find it at http://games.eingang.org/Information/operatorslist.html. If you're an active operator and your name isn't listed, send some mail to email@example.com.
Last month we heard a rumour about a possible upcoming Chaos tournament in mid-September. It looks like that's not going to happen because some of the game ops who would help moderate don't look like they're going to be available. Alternate dates are being considered, so keep your eyes open on the web site www.eingang.org for the latest information.
Some of you might remember that Gigi, the former editor of The Ein-Gang Gazette had a weekly/monthly Acrophobia competition running on her web site. I'm considering reviving that, using our chat board initially to host it. If you think that's a good idea or you'd like to help, visit our chat board's Suggestions Acrophobia area and volunteer or make a comment.
Contact Us Summary
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Chief Games Administrator and Chief Bottle Washer|
|email@example.com||Games Co-Administrator and Chief Bottle Cap Remover
Can control bots on all networks
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Games Co-Administrator and Chief Bottle Smasher
Monitors games on DALnet
|email@example.com||Missing bots/servers? Send mail here. One of the admins will deal with it as soon as possible.|
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Join the IRC Games mailing list.|
|email@example.com||Add your nickname & birthday to Renee's monthly list.|
Until next month, I remain...