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Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Architecture : A friendly note from your HAs. (Uploading holds.(updated 3/14/09))
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zex20913
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icon A friendly note from your HAs. (+3)  
Hi there! We're your HAs. That's short for Hold Administrators, but that's far too long to type often. So, whenever you see HA, think "Hold Administrator", unless the person is laughing. Or, you could do it then too, if you really really wanted to.

Anyway, we figured we should answer some questions you might have about uploading your hold to the Holds forum.

First things first - who are the hold admins?

Blondbeard, Briareos, Chaco, CuriousShyRabbit, Dischorran, Doom, jbluestein, kieranmillar, mrimer, Panther, Rabscuttle, RoboBob3000, Schik, skell, Someone Else, Stefan, TFMurphy, trick, zex20913. We make Captain Planet when our powers combine.

And what is it you do?

Basically, we administrate holds. Our job is to stop "bad" holds from getting onto the Holds board, by reviewing it before it shows up there.

Why does it matter what gets on to the holds board?

The Holds board is the place where Caravel keeps finished holds, both user made and official. A hold that's on the Holds board can be downloaded from within DROD, and it participates in the highscore system. Bad holds ruin the experience for everyone.

What are the pros and cons of promoting my hold?

The biggest reason to promote your hold is to get people playing it. Many players only play holds from the Holds board, especially if they have Caravelnet and can get the holds in game. Holds on the Holds board can also be rated by the community at large, giving everyone the chance to show just how much they love your work.

At the same time, we take it seriously when we say that the Holds board is for FINISHED HOLDS. By offering your hold for promotion, you are saying that as far as you are concerned, you are done with it. From the moment you press that promote button, every change you make to the hold has to be approved by the hold admins. See below for what the rules for that are.

Also, to slip into a slightly more formal tone here, promoting your hold to the holds board gives Caravel the right to distribute it on the board and through Caravelnet, in perpetuity. This means that you can't delete the hold, and that Caravel is under no obligation to honor requests to delete it. Note that you're not giving Caravel exclusive rights - you can still distribute the hold yourself off the Holds board. But once you promote it, you cannot unpromote it.

Ok, I understand all that, and I want to promote my hold. How do I know if it is "good" or "bad"?

That's a good question, and it was a subject of much discussion in the architecture board. So, we thought about it for a bit, took a nap, and came up with this:

1. Your hold is bad if it is not completable.
2. Your hold is bad if there are backtracking issues, like you can't return to a required room you didn't complete, or there are two required paths, either of which make you unable to get to the other one. Unrequired rooms that are not backtrackable are okay...they're just bad form, and we will let you know about it. Also, secret rooms should be reachable. Otherwise people will get mad at you when they can't master your hold.
3. Your hold is bad if there is #$!@%^@#ing profanity. Unless it's Eighthized. See here for a selection of acceptable Eighth profanities.
4. Your hold is bad if there are copyrighted images, or sounds, or anything that somebody has their copyright on. (Unless it's your copyright.) That's just bad news, and would get us into a whole lot of legal mess and jargon that we just don't want to deal with. Also, we consider rooms in DROD to be copyrighted by their authors. You must obtain permission before putting another architect's room in your hold.
5. Your hold is bad if it's essentially the same as a hold already on the Holds board (even if the older hold is your own, or if you have permission to copy it). By "essentially the same" we mean that the puzzles can be solved by the same solutions. Making an easier/harder version of an existing hold is ok.

If you hold has any of the problems on the list, we will request that you revise it, and delay its promotion until you do so.

We also have the power to flat out reject your hold. This doesn't mean that it will never be able to be promoted, but it does mean that we feel the hold could benefit from more testing and fine-tuning. We are not your Beta testers--that is your responsibility to coordinate.

Some ways you can get your hold rejected are:

1. Ignore HAs requests for updates/fixes for a long (~2 weeks) period of time.
2. Upload more than one copy of the same hold at once, for example, if you upload from both Architecture and a private Beta board. We'll reject one, and keep the other. Just for housekeeping.
3. Upload a hold that has severe playability issues.

This is both to keep us sane, and to make sure that the holds board has holds that are playable, and won't drive players crazy. This last one is subjective, but we plan to use this great power with great responsibility.

Oh, and it's worth pointing out that we may add or modify the rules in the future, to fix loopholes or in response to new problems that arise. If that happens, we will post it in this thread.

What happens if my hold is "good"?

Well, if your hold meets these requirements, and doesn't suffer from rejectables, then the HAs will work their magic to send it to the Holds board, where it is made readily available to the DROD community at large.

Yay!

How can I make sure that my hold is "good" and expedite the HA process?

Glad you asked! As you can find later in this friendly note, we have a new Demo Submission Interface.

Big thanks to Schik for implementing a new interface for submitting a set of demos to HA. This interface appears after an architect submits a hold to HA. It works from both Architecture and private beta boards. Demo submission is private, even from Architecture; only HAs will be able to download the demos.

Demo submission is recommended, but not required at this point. This may very well change later. We're trying it out to see how it goes.

Why should you play your own hold to create this set of demos? It's polite. Because that's how you catch silly mistakes that you can't see just by staring at it in the editor (missing power token, required room after blue door, etc). Because that's how players will experience your hold. Because testers don't like playing holds that the architect hasn't played him/herself. Because that will expedite the HA process. And if you really don't like that, and you've found a generous tester, a complete set of tester's demos will work as well.

Thanks for this info, CSR!

It looks like there are some holds there that would be bad by your rules. Why?

Time for a brief history lesson! The Holds board was created in 2003. In the beginning, it was just a place to put finished holds, but there were no real rules about it.

April 2005 marked the first big change, as Caravelnet was born, and rules started being more important. But people were too eager to get their work out there to read the instructions carefully, and a bunch of unsolvable holds ended up on the Holds board, as well as duplicated holds and other issues. Fixing the problems turned into a major hassle for everyone, and quite a few people started getting annoyed.

That was why, in 2006, the hold admin process came into play, with its mission to prevent problems rather than solve them retroactively. Since then, all the unsolvable holds have been fixed, but as of the time this is being written, the other "bad" holds were allowed to remain, for various reasons. This may change in the future, but what's important to understand is that just because we cannot fix all the mistakes of the past, doesn't mean we'll allow people to repeat them.

Can you explain the review process in a bit more detail?

Sure. You can submit your hold to the HAs from either a beta board, or the architecture board. After that, you'll get a shiny new area accessible from either your beta board or architecture zone. There, you can chat with the HAs, and the HAs can chat with you. You can see all of the text that you have in your hold (checking for typos), as well as all of the custom media. Nifty! Give Schik a couple of mods if you dig the system.

A HA who thinks your hold is ready for the board will vote "Yes". If they don't think so, they have two choices - if your hold is just not ready for the whole process, they can vote to "reject". If the hold is generally finished but has problems that need to be fixed, the HA can vote "no" until the architect makes the necessary corrections. "Meh" is also an option, as we've got a neutral button.

If there are 2 Yes votes, and no No or Reject votes, then your hold is ready to be promoted jiffily. That means in a jiffy, which means quick. Of course, we're attempting to put a 24 hour minimum on the time between a submittal and a hold board appearance--just so all of the HAs can take a look at it and say either "Swell!" or "Not so well".

Remember, though, that HAs are volunteers and people and have busy lives to live. We all try to review holds as fast as possible, but it might take a few days, or even a few weeks if your hold is large or very difficult.

I understand that you are not being paid for this and can't review holds instantly, but I still want to speed up the process. What can I do?

Well, it is probably a good idea to invite HAs to participate in your betas/holds in architecture. Especially if you've got a hold that will take a looooong time to complete. While not all of us will be able to participate, you may be able to convince a few of us to roam around the worlds that you have created, and lessen the time on the "Submit me!" board in the process.

So my hold just got promoted to the Holds board, and I suddenly realized that I need to change something. What do I do?

Hold admins are also in charge of approving hold updates. We try to be as reasonable as possible, but remember that by the time we see it, the hold was supposed to be finished. If you just don't like the hold anymore, and want to change it, then tough cookies. You should have been sure before you submitted it. If, however, we screwed up, and let a playability issue pass through, then we'll attempt to fix the problem together with you, doing the least amount of modification to a room as possible. UNINTENDED SOLUTIONS ARE NOT A PLAYABILITY ISSUE. You have been warned. On the other hand, if it's a textual/speech/artistic change only, then we're probably going to be nice and approve it. We do have ways to see if you're trying to sneak more changes in, so no lying. That's bad.

You know what? I think the Holds board has too many rules for me. I want to put my holds somewhere where I have full control over them.

If you don't want your hold to be part of the Holds board for whatever reason, you can make it available on the Architecture board. The architecture board is a fun and carefree frontier where anything goes, and you can do whatever you want with your hold there (assuming it's not illegal, so no copyrighted stuff or anything that a 10 year old shouldn't be able to get their hands on, please).

Any last words?

Welcome to the new system, give it a whirl, and keep building!

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[Last edited by Schik at 03-31-2016 07:56 PM]
02-05-2007 at 04:21 PM
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golfrman
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icon Re: A friendly note from your HAs. (0)  
Thank you to all HA's and thank you zex for telling us who they are:)

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02-05-2007 at 06:51 PM
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McFig
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For us noobs wanting to upload a hold for the first time:
I got confused, and though I understand now, I bet others will get just as confused. So:

Could you clarify when we'd want to use the Architecture forum vs. the beta boards? Also could you include pointers to the "My Beta Holds" tab in profiles (it wasn't at all clear to me that you create a "Beta Board" via this tab).


02-05-2007 at 08:16 PM
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Kevin_P86
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I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter whether you use a Beta Board or just promote it from Architecture. I believe allowing people to upload via the Architecture forum was mainly just put in place to allow people to upload holds who do not have CaravelNet, or to not require people to create Beta Boards for holds that have already been tested just to promote them.

At any rate, I do know that promoting a hold in either manner will end up with the same result.

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02-05-2007 at 08:40 PM
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jbluestein
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quote:
Kevin_P86 wrote:
I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter whether you use a Beta Board or just promote it from Architecture. I believe allowing people to upload via the Architecture forum was mainly just put in place to allow people to upload holds who do not have CaravelNet, or to not require people to create Beta Boards for holds that have already been tested just to promote them.

At any rate, I do know that promoting a hold in either manner will end up with the same result.


All true.

Bottom line is: Up until very recently, the only way it was possible to promote a hold under the New Regime (TM) was to create a Beta Board and promote it from there.

Thanks to Schik's tireless work, you can now do it either way.

So, if you want private testing of your hold, create a beta board as many people used to do and still do.

If you want public testing of your hold, create a thread on the Architecture board.

In either case, once you feel that your hold is ready for promotion, you can submit it and the promotion process will begin. (As zex said, expect a minimum of 24 hours for approval, with time expected to lengthen depending on how large the hold is, whether you've involved any HAs in the process prior to submitting it, and whether we find any problems that need addressing.)

Josh

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02-05-2007 at 08:53 PM
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Jatopian
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I guess we'll never get that Bad Evil Restaurant sequel...

So, unintended solutions are unchangeable now? Even trivializing ones?

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02-06-2007 at 02:10 AM
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UrAvgAzn
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Nice to finally know who the HAs are. :)

quote:
Jatopian wrote:
I guess we'll never get that Bad Evil Restaurant sequel...

I will, one day make a sequel to Bad Evil Restaurant that is so painstakingly hard, but in a sense, still fun, and you'll all come back! *Puts on mad scientist mask and prepares fire extinguisher* ;)

Keep posting,


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02-06-2007 at 02:13 AM
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RoboBob3000
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quote:
zex20913 wrote:
HAs must give 2 Yes votes, and no No votes for your hold to be promoted jiffily.


I propose that the hold architect must also be required to cast a yes vote in some manner. This is to protect against when the HA's find some minute error and point it out to the nitpicky architect, but promote it anyway. The architect should get one last say in whether or not the hold gets promoted in light of the HA's findings.

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02-06-2007 at 02:25 AM
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zex20913
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I'm personally of the assumption that if the architect submits a hold, they are voting "yes" to uploading it, and that nitpicking should have been done previously. I don't speak for all the HAs here, but I do believe that this is the prevailing view.

Still, we do let architects upload new versions for submittal during the upload process. Once it's done, though, and on the Holds board, the requirements for change become the stricter ones. If we find any nitpicky things, the architects are sure to know, and have the opportunity to change it.

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02-06-2007 at 03:39 AM
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zex20913
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quote:
Jatopian wrote:
I guess we'll never get that Bad Evil Restaurant sequel...


IMO, thank goodness.

quote:
So, unintended solutions are unchangeable now? Even trivializing ones?


For the most part. Trivializing unintended solutions should have been picked up in testing. I know that this isn't always the case, but it is a tribute to the player to "break" a room, in an unintended solution. There's one room in Don't Kill the Messenger that exemplifies this, though I forget the coordinates at the moment. Michthro's demo is phenomenal, and would not have been caught during testing, unless tested by michthro himself.

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02-06-2007 at 03:47 AM
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silver
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quote:
zex20913 wrote:
A word of caution for architects: Hold uploads are final. When you upload your hold, you can no longer decide to update it or remove it without getting permission from the hold admins. If it's a textual/speech/artistic change only, then we're probably going to be nice and approve it. We do have ways to see if you're trying to sneak more changes in, so no lying. That's bad. If you just don't like the hold anymore, and want to change it, then tough cookies. You should have been sure before you submitted it. If, however, we screwed up, and let a playability issue pass through, then we'll attempt to fix the problem together with you, doing the least amount of modification to a room as possible. UNINTENDED SOLUTIONS ARE NOT A PLAYABILITY ISSUE. You have been warned.


yipes. I've been working on a "canonical-compatible" version of my hold for a while (but mostly on the back burner due to work and TES4:Oblivion) based on comments from eyetanz, and was going to update it "some day"... now the rules have changed under me. What is my recourse?
(the changes are mostly textual, but because some of my plot was incompatible with goblin canon I had to rearrange a little bit more than just the words)

--

For that matter, why are we saying that holds get to be the only kind of software known to man in which the QA process is assumed to catch all bugs? DROD has dot releases, but holds can't? why?




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[Last edited by silver at 02-15-2007 02:53 AM]
02-15-2007 at 02:44 AM
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zex20913
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Hold uploading, in this case, refers to when you submit the hold to the HAs for final approval. You can upload as many versions as you want to the Architecture board, but please try to have a finished hold before submitting it for Holds board approval.

We are not assuming that we will catch all bugs. We just filter out the holds that are not ready, because of either playability issues (can't be completed, backtracking) or PC/PR issues (profanity, copyright.)

I think it's a good analogy to say that we're publishing your hold. You've written it, your testers have edited it, and the HAs put it into the mass market. You have no deadlines, and we're pretty lenient, but we are not afraid to say no if our standards aren't met.

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02-15-2007 at 04:27 AM
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Schik
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quote:
silver wrote:
DROD has dot releases, but holds can't? why?
In short, because of the high scores. It's not fair to the 140 people who have high scores on your hold if we update it in such a way that it invalidates their high scores without an extremely good reason - i.e. "it's broken and can't be completed". Changes that don't affect demos - like changing scroll text, speech, room styles, etc. are perfectly fine. So you could certainly change the story in whatever ways you want, as long as you don't destroy the hard work of those 140 people by invalidating their solutions.

If that's not good enough, you could always change it as much as you want and attach it in your hold's topic with a note saying that those who don't care about highscores and who want to see your current vision of the hold should download the attached one rather than the official (highscoreable) version.

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[Last edited by Schik at 02-15-2007 05:10 AM]
02-15-2007 at 05:09 AM
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silver
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So no more dot releases that change behavior and thus invalidate demos, ever again? :)


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[Last edited by silver at 02-15-2007 06:49 AM]
02-15-2007 at 06:49 AM
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zex20913
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I'm not willing to put an "ever", but if it does happen, it happens for a good reason.

And I'm fairly certain that new holds (those boosted by the HA system) will never have demo-altering changes.

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02-15-2007 at 12:34 PM
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Syntax
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quote:
silver wrote:
So no more dot releases that change behavior and thus invalidate demos, ever again? :)


:) indeed. It's always fun if you're an optimiser to spend *another* Sunday redoing that 1200 move combo because there's an extra wall in the middle.

Fun... the first time ;)
02-20-2007 at 07:08 AM
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Jeff_Ray...
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Ok, so I submitted my hold, but I don't want it to be Anyone Edit. Does it mean we can't change editing permissions?

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03-08-2007 at 08:31 PM
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quote:
Jeff_Ray... wrote:
Ok, so I submitted my hold, but I don't want it to be Anyone Edit. Does it mean we can't change editing permissions?


Was it Anyone Edit when you submitted it? If you want to change that, change it and I believe there's an interface for uploading a new version.

The HAs do not require an Anyone-Edit version of the hold in order to review it.

Josh

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03-08-2007 at 08:40 PM
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Jeff_Ray...
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Nono, I just have a

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that I don't want others to see unless they mastered the hold.

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03-08-2007 at 08:44 PM
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tokyokid
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Are you having trouble seeing the "Upload a new version" text? It's at the bottom of the HA box (on the blue border, If I recall correctly). Hope it helps.
03-08-2007 at 09:09 PM
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Jeff_Ray...
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Nevermind, I was able to fix it along with another bug.

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03-08-2007 at 09:12 PM
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coppro
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What's the official opinion on "remakes" like ZelDROD and MetDROiD Prime?
03-20-2007 at 12:49 AM
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quote:
coppro wrote:
What's the official opinion on "remakes" like ZelDROD and MetDROiD Prime?


There's nothing inherently wrong with them, although they are likely to run into a problem if they're using any copyrighted artwork.

I don't think that duplicating the storyline is considered to be an issue.

Josh

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03-20-2007 at 03:00 PM
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zex20913
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Update to first post regarding the HAs recently discovered superpower of rejectability.

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04-11-2007 at 08:28 PM
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zex20913
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Update to first post. Eytanz has reformatted the friendly note, and added some more details to it. Why holds exist, pros and cons of uploading, a brief history, a new "bad" rule, a reminder that we're human, and where to go if you don't like the Holds board rules are all of the new things.

But it can't hurt to reread the whole thing, right? ;)

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05-04-2007 at 08:07 PM
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quote:
zex20913 wrote:
5. Your hold is bad if it's essentially the same as a hold already on the Holds board (even if the older hold is your own, or if you have permission to copy it). By "essentially the same" we mean that the puzzles can be solved by the same solutions. Making an easier/harder version of an existing hold is ok.
*cough*KDD2*cough*HIJK*cough*cough*etc.

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05-04-2007 at 11:10 PM
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schep
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quote:
Jatopian wrote:
*cough*KDD2*cough*HIJK*cough*cough*etc.

See the other section:
quote:
It looks like there are some holds there that would be bad by your rules. Why?

05-04-2007 at 11:26 PM
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eytanz
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Also, and this is important, KDD 1.0 has a special status as far as the holds board is concerned, in that it is not enabled for highscores. And since highscores are the biggest problem with duplicate holds, it's not really the same as the other cases.

Note that The Choice, which was bundled with KDD, also violates the "must allow backtracking" rule. But as said in the section Schep points out, the rules apply for new holds, and not necessarily for holds that existed before they were created.

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05-05-2007 at 02:27 AM
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Jatopian
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eytanz wrote:
Note that The Choice, which was bundled with KDD, also violates the "must allow backtracking" rule. But as said in the section Schep points out, the rules apply for new holds, and not necessarily for holds that existed before they were created.
I'm just saying that if holds that are generally reviewed positively violate this rule, then there's something wrong with the rule, and that I believe this to be ill-considered.

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05-05-2007 at 04:09 AM
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silver
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"Your hold is bad if there are backtracking issues, like you can't return to a required room you didn't complete, or there are two required paths, either of which make you unable to get to the other one. Unrequired rooms that are not backtrackable are okay."

it doesn't say "always be able to backtrack" just always backtrack to required rooms. eyetanz was mistaken, because the Choice doesn't violate this rule as stated.


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05-05-2007 at 04:13 AM
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