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ErikH2000
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Edit: Deadline for submitting entries has passed. We are now voting! See "Caucus for Five-Suite Speaking Grounds" topic.

Construction Order for a Five-Suite Speaking Grounds

True, our every decision is perfect. True, that words from Lowest Point are the Will of Empire, and not to be questioned. Yet despite the flawless unanimity to which we ultimately arrive, there are periods of dispute where cautious arguments are made between those enabled to speak them. Brothers in spirit and purpose, yet ruthless partisans by occupation--these are the Negotiators. When a conflict of interests arises, they dwell in Speaking Grounds and don robes of advocacy. Each battles with contrived selfishness to achieve his assigned outcome.

You, humble architect, are given orders to construct a new Speaking Grounds. We have little faith in your abilities, so several identical construction projects will commence simultaneously, each led by a different architect. All will make a separate attempt, and we shall choose the best among them for our use. For a project this significant, the waste and expense is of no concern. I have already sent 500 Carvers to prepare the excavation where you will build the Grounds, and further craftsmen are arriving at the site tomorrow. You must draft floorplans immediately, and I have been asked to explain just enough that you may begin. Many things I will tell with great reluctance, since they are not meant for someone of your occupation to learn.

The most common type of dispute requiring a Speaking Grounds involves two distinct interests. I should give you a concrete example, to make it clear: One party's view is that centralized distribution of knowledge artifacts is best conducted by the Librarians of rank 17 to 60. You might well expect to hear this from the mouth of a 30th level Neuronomist, ha ha, but of course if a Numbering Initiative is underfoot, then Ecnocrats will be demanding resources from the Librarians, and will be full set against any move to route artifacts around them without supervision from a Persistence Pool. That's not the best example, but I wanted to pick something simple, so you would understand. We have, in our example, two conflicting interests and the need of resolving their dispute. In this case, two Negotiators of appropriate rank are dispatched to a two-suite Speaking Grounds. Each Negotiator is fully briefed on the interests of the party he represents (i.e. the Neuronomists or the Ecnocrats) and is charged to advocate solely on its behalf. Negotiation begins, and eventually, after hundreds or maybe thousands of rounds, the best possible compromise is determined. With such a system, we achieve unity despite conflict of interests.

A Speaking Grounds contains chambers and passageways devised especially for this type of encounter. We have many Speaking Grounds with two suites, since two-sided disputes are most common. However, disputes may have a larger number of distinct conflicting interests. As the tasks Empire undertakes grow more complex, factions arise and our capacity for disagreement increases. So it has been necessary over the centuries to build Speaking Grounds with three, four, and now... five suites. Yes, you are to create the first five-suite Speaking Grounds!

I know, I know. Of course, it's a great honor. Don't thank me--it wasn't my decision anyway.

I will now list requirements of the facility:

1. As mentioned, the Speaking Grounds must contain five suites, one for each Negotiator involved in a five-sided dispute.
2. The Negotiators will all be of unequal rank, and, of course, protocol demands recognition of rank. So the first suite will house the lowest-ranking (fifth-ranking) Negotiator. The second suite will house the fourth-ranking Negotiator, and be larger than the first suite to show rank difference. The third suite will house the third-ranking Negotiator, and be larger than the second suite. The fourth suite will house the second-ranking Negotiator, and be larger than the third suite. The fifth suite will house the top-ranking Negotiator, and be larger than the fourth suite.
3. We are concerned with the morale of the lowest-ranking Negotiator and do not wish for him to feel unimportant or sleighted. So make his suite (the first suite) larger than the fifth suite.
4. Each suite should provide rudimentary accomodations including separate chambers detailed as follows:
- a. A sleeping chamber for the Negotiator.
- b. A waiting lobby including posted authorities to enforce queueing procedures.
- c. A very large office with a tiny desk that the Negotiator will sit behind. We find such a ratio promotes the proper frame of mind in both the Negotiator and his visitors.
- d. An archive for the storage of papers and additional adjoining quarters for the archival staff.
5. Public entry into the suite should only be possible via the waiting lobby.
6. A network of passages must be present that allow private interaction between various combinations of Negotiators. These are detailed as follows:
- a. Two Negotiators may wish to speak privately, without the other three Negotiators present or even knowledgable of the activity. Every suite should provide passages to allow for its Negotiator arranging such a meeting with any of the other Negotiators. In similar fashion...
- b. Three Negotiators may wish to speak privately, without knowledge of the other two Negotiators. Construct passages to allow for this.
- c. Four Negotiators may wish to speak privately, without knowledge of the remaining Negotiator. Construct passages to allow for this.
7. After resolutions have been reached in private, and it is clear what may be said before all parties, all five Negotiators will meet for discussion. Construct passages to allow travel to a Chamber of Final Speaking that serves this purpose. It must be equidistant from each suite, so as not to suggest an advantage for any of the five.
8. The center of the Speaking Grounds shall contain the Public Entrance, which should be farthest away from the Chamber of Final Speaking, so as not to promote too-casual observance of proceedings from the public.
9. If a visitor arrives at the Public Entrance and wishes to go to the Chamber of Final Speaking, he must first see each of the five Negotiators in their offices to gain admittance.
10. All passages are to be sinister with no rightward bent.

You don't seem so happy anymore to receive this responsibility. Shall I tell my masters that you wish a different assignment? Perhaps we will send you instead to design flow plumbing in the Fire Mines. No, I didn't think so. Excellent! You can begin work at once.

Contest Rules

To enter the contest, you need to make a hold that at least attempts to meet some of the above requirements. Ideally, you'd figure a way to accomplish them all, but something tells me that may be too hard. In fact, I would consider a hold meeting all ten requirements awe-inspiring! Intentionally, I've thrown in a few paradoxes to give you trouble and force a creative solution. There is no one way to solve this, so interpret and fulfill the requirements to the best of your ability. E-mail me (Erikh2000 at yahoo dot com) your exported hold file with "Anyone" editing privileges by February 15th, Midnight Pacific Standard Time. Posting your hold on the forum (work-in-progress or complete) isn't allowed. You can talk about anything you like regarding the requirements and your design, but keep in mind you might give away a really clever idea to your fellow contestants. Also, if you want to be judged anonymously later, be careful about revealing yourself as the author of one particular hold by describing it.

It occurs to me that the requirements description might be so strange and twisted that you'll have no idea where to begin. Let me help you get started. You're making a hold and it will probably have one level with multiple rooms. I think one level because some of the requirements like #9 and #6 will be difficult to set up over multiple levels. I think multiple rooms because it's going to be hard to pack all the needed chambers and passages into one 38x32 room. You must set up five "suites" in your hold. A suite is just a collection of chambers. Probably each suite will look a lot like the other suites, but I picked an odd number of suites to foul up any easy symmetry you might come up with. When you make one suite you need to carve out some interconnected chambers for requirement #4. Some of the things described in #4 can certainly be represented in different ways using DROD elements. For example in #4d, who are the archival staff? Goblins, maybe? Requirement #9 suggests a way to make your hold into a playable challenge. Who would you expect to show up at the Public Entrance? Why, Beethro of course. Where would a good place be to put the level exit, given how the requirements are setting up obstacles to reach it? There are three requirements that I created especially to cause difficulties in your design. I haven't figured out in advance how you would solve them--that's your job! "Impossible," is not a valid answer.

Note that requirements are intentionally vague to allow creative interpretation, so it is not worth trying to nail down specifics by asking me questions. For example it would be reasonable to ask several questions about requirement #6, i.e. "How do Negotiators arrange to meet with each other?", "Under what conditions would uninvited Negotiators know that other Negotiators are meeting privately?", "Does there need to be a separate chamber for each type of meeting?", "Can the same passages be used for different types of meetings?", and many more. You should ask these kinds of questions, at least to yourself and to other people on the forum, but I'm not going to give authoritative answers.

On 2/16 I'll post the entered holds on the forum. Here's a twist: Nobody can vote for them until a period of discussion has passed--we'll call it the "Caucus". Unlike the mapmaking contest that has just concluded, everyone will be encouraged to discuss the entries during Caucus so that all of their features are brought to light. You could argue about why one hold (maybe yours) is best, and try to convince people to vote for this hold. The first criterion for voting should be how well the hold has satisfied contest requirements, and I'm hoping that we'll get some nice debate going. In the end, however persuasive arguments are, everyone will cast their vote the way they think is best, and we will have one winner. The Caravel crew is free to enter the contest, and I won't be giving them any special help. I'm the only one getting left out--I won't enter a hold, vote for a hold, or discuss holds until after voting concludes.

The winner will get a choice of one item from the DROD Store. By that time, we should have a Map of the Eighth wall poster available in the store, if you are interested in that.

(Cringing as I hit "Send Message". Is this thing going to be too convoluted and weird for people to get into? We'll see.)

-Erik

[Edited by ErikH2000 on 02-16-2004 at 07:57 PM GMT]

[Edited by ErikH2000 on 02-24-2004 at 03:50 AM GMT]

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01-23-2004 at 08:55 PM
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quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
Is this thing going to be too convoluted and weird for people to get into? We'll see.
No, in fact I'm already done :D Now, to commit my idea to a computer with DROD on it...

Oh, if we have questions that we don't want other people to be privy to, may we email them to you?

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01-23-2004 at 09:06 PM
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Nillo
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I have english as second language, and I have no idea what he's talking about, other than that we're gonna make a hold of some sort.

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“Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin' off Nantucket Sound from the nor' east and the dogs are howlin' for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the 'Ellie May,' a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin' and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests.”
01-23-2004 at 09:20 PM
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ErikH2000
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quote:
DiMono wrote:
Oh, if we have questions that we don't want other people to be privy to, may we email them to you?

I think for most things you should just post here. I don't intend to reveal anything privately to one person, and leave other people out.

Speaking of which, I did mention to Schik that requirement #10 is intentionally subtle. I repeat it here so that all info is public.

DiMono, if you still think there is something that should be asked in private, go ahead and e-mail me. I'll just decide if I can tell you the answer and if it should really be posted on the forum.

-Erik

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01-23-2004 at 09:39 PM
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are you talking ur.. writing about a hold based on a office
owned by Negotiater or somthin
I would enter, if I knew what your on about
01-23-2004 at 09:42 PM
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ErikH2000
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quote:
Nillo wrote:
I have english as second language, and I have no idea what he's talking about, other than that we're gonna make a hold of some sort.

I'm actually fairly worried now about intimidating people away from the contest, because the text is so lengthy and deals with story elements that nobody will understand even if they read all of my writings to date. In a way, the contest is largely an English reading comprehension test. A few things to make this easier:

1. You can pretty much ignore the part preceding the requirements list. It's just meant as an introduction, and will no doubt also work as a textbook example of how to lose your readers by confusing them.

2. Ask some questions here on the board, and I'll explain things better and give ideas how to proceed. I was planning on being more detached from the contest, but that may work too strongly against people participating.

-Erik

[Edited by ErikH2000 on 01-23-2004 at 09:53 PM GMT: Corrected confusing grammar.]

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01-23-2004 at 09:47 PM
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quote:
sims5000 wrote:
are you talking ur.. writing about a hold based on a office
owned by Negotiater or somthin
I would enter, if I knew what your on about

Yes, the hold you create has a certain theme. You must imagine that is occupied by five characters known as "Negotiators". These Negotiators are like office workers and the hold must be suited to them as described by the ten requirements. There is no real "Negotiator" DROD element, so many of the things you would do to create your hold must rely on your acceptance of an imagined reality described by the contest rules.

-Erik

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01-23-2004 at 09:51 PM
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I think I'm getting the hang of it.
Just one question before I start, what are you gonna do with the winning hold?

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“Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin' off Nantucket Sound from the nor' east and the dogs are howlin' for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the 'Ellie May,' a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin' and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests.”
01-23-2004 at 10:30 PM
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Do we get bonus marks if the hold is beatable?

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01-23-2004 at 10:35 PM
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ErikH2000
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quote:
Nillo wrote:
I think I'm getting the hang of it.

That's great to hear!
quote:
Just one question before I start, what are you gonna do with the winning hold?

I don't have any special plans for it, although I think it might make some sense to put all of the submitted entries in one hold at some point.

-Erik

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01-23-2004 at 10:37 PM
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ErikH2000
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quote:
DiMono wrote:
Do we get bonus marks if the hold is beatable?

I was going to be open-ended about this, but let's say for the sake of simplicity that the hold should be beatable. The player should start at the "Public Entrance" and be able to reach a level exit, via the "Chamber of Final Speaking".

-Erik

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01-23-2004 at 10:47 PM
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So are we expected to have puzzles in all the rooms?

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01-23-2004 at 11:45 PM
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ErikH2000
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The_Red_Hawk wrote:
So are we expected to have puzzles in all the rooms?

No. Only if you want.

Voters will be asked to judge entries based first on how well they meet the ten requirements. After that, you can imagine that people might take into account other qualities they like, such as playability, story scrolls, or aesthetics.

-Erik

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01-23-2004 at 11:50 PM
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One thing confuses me about it.

Requirements 2 and 3 contradict each other.
01-24-2004 at 12:42 AM
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Scott wrote:
One thing confuses me about it.

Requirements 2 and 3 contradict each other.

Intentional.

-Erik

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01-24-2004 at 12:47 AM
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Ha! Brilliant!

Now I've got to break out my convoluted hold building. Excuse me.

Matt



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01-24-2004 at 01:54 AM
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do you mean I have to get walls so on the minimap it shows pitures of beds and chairs? :?
01-24-2004 at 08:39 AM
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I'm nearing completion!
My Speaking Grounds will meet every requirement except #10. :cool

Edit: Done! I'm sending it to you now.

[Edited by Nillo on 01-24-2004 at 09:39 AM GMT]

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“Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin' off Nantucket Sound from the nor' east and the dogs are howlin' for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the 'Ellie May,' a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin' and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests.”
01-24-2004 at 09:11 AM
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quote:
If I submit a hold, and then decide to make revisions, may I re-submit? If you allow it, will it replace my first submission, or will I then have two submissions competing against each other?

You can tell me which of the two options you prefer, and we'll do that. Generally, I don't want to encourage people to send me interim versions that will get replaced later, but some of that, I don't mind. In the spirit of fairness, I'll try to say very little about any hold I receive, so sending me early holds won't be useful for getting feedback.

-Erik

[Edited by ErikH2000 on 01-24-2004 at 05:44 PM GMT]

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01-24-2004 at 03:46 PM
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quote:
sims5000 wrote:
do you mean I have to get walls so on the minimap it shows pitures of beds and chairs? :?

If you liked, you could arrange things that way. It's up to you, Sims.

-Erik

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01-24-2004 at 05:38 PM
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eytanz wrote:
quote:
erikh2000 wrote:
quote:
eytanz wrote:
If I submit a hold, and then decide to make revisions, may I re-submit? If you allow it, will it replace my first submission, or will I then have two submissions competing against each other?

You can tell me which of the two options you prefer, and we'll do that. Generally, I don't want to encourage people to send me interim versions that will get replaced later, but some of that, I don't mind. In the spirit of fairness, I'll try to say very little about any hold I receive, so sending me early holds won't be useful for getting feedback.

-Erik


Whoa, weird... You replied within my own message, thereby confusing me a whole lot more than the instructions for the contest ever did...

Jeebus, I'm gonna have to stop doing that. Honestly, it was just an accident. :)

-Erik

[Edited by ErikH2000 on 01-24-2004 at 07:42 PM GMT]

I do that as well - that little link has caught me I don't know how many times.

Matt

[Edited by Mattcrampy on 01-25-2004 at 09:16 AM GMT]

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01-24-2004 at 06:43 PM
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Agh, my head hurts! Stop that! -_-

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“Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin' off Nantucket Sound from the nor' east and the dogs are howlin' for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the 'Ellie May,' a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin' and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests.”
01-24-2004 at 08:05 PM
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Quick question: What does #10 mean? It would be fairly simple to arrange the rest, but I can't understand the last part.

~joker5

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01-24-2004 at 08:13 PM
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No passages turning right.
He says it is there to force a creative solution.

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“Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin' off Nantucket Sound from the nor' east and the dogs are howlin' for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the 'Ellie May,' a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin' and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests.”
01-24-2004 at 08:20 PM
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But that means all passages must be straight. You see, even if it turns left from one end it must turn right from the other end.

Oh.

~joker5

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01-24-2004 at 08:21 PM
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That's easy to solve. Instead of passages, enlarge it into a room that has an exit towards the right. Since it's no longer a passage, it's fine.

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Slashing, whirling, diving, twirling,
Snapping, turning, rising, swirling,
Screeching, flipping, gliding, sliding,
The red hawk's dance of death.

.....the king of the skies.....
01-24-2004 at 08:40 PM
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joker5
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icon Re: Five-Suite Speaking Grounds (New Contest) (0)  
That's what I'm doing... darn, you think like me.

~joker5

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"Two words: Beam Waffle!" -me
01-24-2004 at 08:46 PM
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Nillo
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icon Re: Five-Suite Speaking Grounds (New Contest) (0)  
And sharp corners has no rightward bent.

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“Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin' off Nantucket Sound from the nor' east and the dogs are howlin' for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the 'Ellie May,' a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin' and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests.”
01-24-2004 at 08:46 PM
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The_Red_Hawk
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icon Re: Five-Suite Speaking Grounds (New Contest) (0)  
I think that Rule #10 didn't include corners.

quote:
joker5 wrote:
That's what I'm doing... darn, you think like me.


:D

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Slashing, whirling, diving, twirling,
Snapping, turning, rising, swirling,
Screeching, flipping, gliding, sliding,
The red hawk's dance of death.

.....the king of the skies.....
01-24-2004 at 08:49 PM
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Nillo
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icon Re: Five-Suite Speaking Grounds (New Contest) (0)  
I meant "passages with sharp corners have no rightward bent".

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“Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin' off Nantucket Sound from the nor' east and the dogs are howlin' for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the 'Ellie May,' a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin' and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests.”
01-24-2004 at 08:59 PM
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