Monday, 17 December 2012

Not happy

It appears that someone is distributing an .exe which has been modified to directly affect the vote outcome.

I believe this is a violation of the spirit of the poll, and I'd like to ask this person to stop.

46 comments:

Tanthie said...

Hehe.

Joseph said...

Well I was wondering how Sun Crusher got 3 votes already...:-)

All jokes aside, that is just terrible. I look forward to this poll.

Andrew Doull said...

I expect if it isn't resolved soon, I'm going to permaban the game from contention in future years.

Joseph said...

That sounds like a reasonable move, and I'm not sure I could be so reasonable in your position. I might do something totally nuts, like kick the game and restart the poll. It's still early enough.

Andrew Doull said...

Joseph: If I did that, I think I'd have a fan base baying for my blood...

Replace 'permaban' with 'elevate to the hall of fame which prevents it being voted on again' if it helps any ;)

And the 'modified .exe' merely contains an announcement with a direct link to the poll. So not quite the scandal I was initially suggesting :)

But it still doesn't feel like cricket...

Joseph said...

Alright...well I guess I'm slightly less pissed off now.

Abe Heron said...

hmmm...maybe I need to refresh my memory of everything I ever known re:ethics, but how is 'advertising'/'hawking' your game for votes a problem?

Isn't it similar to designers asking people to go in droves ...isn't it similar to an election candidate distributing flyers everywhere asking people for their votes? (unless the .exe is some kind of a Trojan)

Ben Sutton said...

Yeah... To me it just sounds like a creative way to let your players know about the contest, even if they don't read the Dev Blog, or visit the games site much.. If the game in question even _has_ a a proper site to advertise on.

Linaniil of the Kar'Krul said...

I see were this is going.
Why don't you say the name of the game?

And as ToME is currently leading I imagine you mean it, see it's not hard to say it.

So let me clarify for you: I have not made made any "systems"/"modified exe"/... to cheat the poll.

What I *do* is:
- advertise for the poll (and quite obviously suggest people vote for tome ..)
- link to it in IRC
- link to it on my Forum/site/facebook page/...
- link to it from within the game. I suspect this is what you mean by a "modified exe". Well if you would be so kind as to actually start the game to see for yourself you'll find it does a little popup to inform players of the currently running poll, and, if they choose to, they can click on a button to open your blog post. It doesnt link to the poll widget directly, it doesnt autoselect tome in the list. It opens the post.

Now if this is a problem, then I think you should ban all games that tell their players about the vote, be it ingame, in forums, ...

TLDR: telling people to go vote != cheating ..

PS: And if this wasnt about ToME, well at least it's clear what I'm doing anyway, nothing to hide :)
PS2: this is DarkGod, obvisouly

Darren Grey said...

This reveals an inherent problem with the poll - it becomes a measure of who has the largest fanbase and can motivate their fans the most. With ToME's large pool of players and in-game online messaging it has a clear advantage.

To solve this should we go tell the Diablo 3 fans about the poll? ;-)

Andrew Doull said...

DarkGod: I completely appreciate all you're doing is including a link to the poll within ToME itself, which from your perspective is the 'fair' approach. I don't see it this way though, since you're effectively selecting from an audience which is already engaged with ToME and funneling them through to the poll. If you don't honestly believe this would affect how people would vote, why did you include it in the first place?

In order to 'compete' with you, does this mean every other game has to update themselves to include a note asking players to vote on this poll as well?

On top of that, you've proven twice that you already have a community large enough to 'beat' the poll. Why did you feel the need to go to this extra step? Were you worried about not winning this year?

I find it a little bizarre that the ToME community has this 'battle which lies ahead of us' attitude to what is meant as a light hearted celebration of all things roguelike.

Have you not won enough?

We're only a day in and I'm already seeing elsewhere questions like 'why didn't you exclude previous winners?' and 'no point voting, ToME already has a big lead'. I don't want to exclude you, but it feels like your doing everything possible to make it an easy decision to make.

Edwin DeNicholas said...

Play to win.

Joseph said...

Meh...a good game is going to be popular. Can't fault a developer for hawking their product either.

My initial negative reaction assumed some sort of bot was cheating the poll. That's not what's happening.

Dark God just put a link to the poll on the splash page of his latest ToME4 build.

Overreaction. Carry on.

Joseph said...

EDIT: Gosh Andrew you really feel strongly about this...well, it's your poll man. Do what you feel is right.

Andrew Doull said...

Edwin: I'd completely agree with you were this a game.

Protip: It's not.

Andrew Doull said...

Having said that, to be explicitly clear: All I'm asking for is for DarkGod to remove the in .exe link to the poll.

I'm happy for voting to proceed as is, with the current totals, if that is done.

Tom Hudson said...

As somebody who's just started playing (and rather enjoying, despite limited-Berlin-coherence) TOME4 last week, I certainly thought the repeated in-game appeals were cheesy enough that it lost any chance of my vote. Cheesy because I thought there was at least one that was phrased as 'click here to vote for TOME4', but I don't have a screenshot, and it sounds like DarkGod is claiming otherwise.

Douglas Miller said...

Wow this is bonkers!

Andrew, do you really think that people should not encourage players to vote in your poll?!

All DarkGod has done is do a better job of getting involved in this than anyone else. Surely more people coming to see this thing is good for all the games on the list. I don't think there would be many votes for any games if it weren't for publicity.

Darren Grey said...

That might have been for Steam Greenlight rather than this poll. Both get advertised in the game.

Darren Grey said...

As far as I know there's nothing in the game files themselves about the poll. Instead the game looks for online news updates and shows those. If playing offline you won't get this message. It's a bit like the Crawl servers having a "go vote" line and link on the login screen.

Perhaps DarkGod can clarify if this is exactly the case.

Linaniil of the Kar'Krul said...

While I firmly believe this is not less fair than advertising in big forums, in the intent to appease things I have removed the popup from the game earlier this morning. The announcement about the poll will stay on the main menu but that link is not clickable so I think you'll agree this is "fair" ?

Also I would love it if you could make it clear with a new post that there was actually no cheating involved, not even a modified exe as you said.
Yes there was a release yesterday but this has nothing to do with the poll, it has to do with promising V1.0.0 before 2013 and given the adte I really needed to get a RC1 out quickly and I do releases on weekends usualy so ..
And the exe contains no reference to your poll, this is server side content pushes, so now it's disabled for any versions.

Darren, I know this was tongue-in-cheek (about D3) but that is a good point. If you (andrew) want to have the poll fair, why include such dangerous things ? D3 players have not spotted the poll, but if they do, they'll crush it and it'll become meaningless.
If you want this poll to be for new upcoming RL, this sounds great to me, but then do not include any of ToME, DCSS, DF, Brogue, ...
(which I could support BTW)

Oh and I'm sorry if my posts sounded a bit bitter, but I *really* ressented the accusation of cheating. I've been a member of the RL community for so long I predate a major part of it, I think I'm reasonably known to not jump to conclusions like that ..

PS: Tom, I'm sorry if you felt nagged, but the screen should only appear once, if it did more then it's probably because you had a crash inbetween and the state didnt save :/
What does limited-Berlin-coherence means BTW? :)

Tom Hudson said...

DarkGod: Checking back, what prompted my memory of multiple nags was that I'd seen the request multiple places: at game log-in every time, at least once as an in-game announcement, and at the website.

As for my "limited-Berlin-coherence" tangent: http://roguebasin.roguelikedevelopment.org/index.php?title=Berlin_Interpretation. We could probably argue anywhere from 6/9 to 9/9 match between TOME and the major points, but the things I've been thinking about most (resource use, identification) aren't such a big part of TOME - which I know is intentional.

Holsety said...

I don't think even Diablo 3 players are happy with Diablo 3.

As for the 'fairness' of using an in-exe link, I'm not seeing it.

The games with the biggest fanbases are going to dominate no matter what.
Or did you think the majority of votes for ToME/Crawl/Dredmor/Isaac did NOT come from players who play that game mainly/only?

By telling people not to advertise/link the poll in-game you're limiting your voting audience to
a) people who've read about the poll on the forum of the roguelike they play; ie. pretty much only the roguelikes with the big fanbases (ToME/Crawl/Dredmor/Isaac) :)
b) people who visit this blog or another roguelike community site, like the Temple or the Basin.

So really, you can object to ToME having an ingame link to the poll, but it would likely get the message across just as effectively with its forum and ingame chat.

I doubt your objections have any basis considering the state of things for the past few years :p

Holsety said...

Damn it. 'fairness' means 'LACK OF fairness'.

DarkGod said:
"If you want this poll to be for new upcoming RL, this sounds great to me, but then do not include any of ToME, DCSS, DF, Brogue, ...
(which I could support BTW)"

I'd agree with this to be honest.

Not to kick you in the shins repeatedly, but the poll is so freeform and skewed it just seems silly to me to then start making objections of any kind, Mr Doull.

Unknown said...

"This reveals an inherent problem with the poll - it becomes a measure of who has the largest fanbase and can motivate their fans the most."

What exactly is the poll supposed to be the measure of, if not which roguelike is played extensively and enjoyed continuously by the greatest number of people?

If some people care about the poll, and thus advertise it to their fan base, and encourage them to vote, why is this unfair just because others do not?

Joshua Day said...

The problem is that TOME4 is two very different things. It's a well-integrated Steam-like platform for roguelike games, and it's the flagship game on the platform. The communication that happens in the TOME4 platform is one of the major draws to it for players, and it is (I think) very easy to see why DarkGod would be comfortable advertising the poll there -- because the feature exists for that kind of communication.

Anyone else with games there could do the same!

(At the same time, I'll admit I'm squeamish even at game-specific forum mentions.)

Jak Wings said...

CAPTCHA suggested. And discount the popular ones with a notice, like "POPULAR", or mark the new games with "NEW".

Linaniil of the Kar'Krul said...

Capcha cant hurt, although I fail to see the relevance to the subject at hand: there was NO CHEATING. Votes have been made by humans.

Brian said...

I too don't see cheating afoot, though I'd say this is a capital watershed moment to perhaps pencil in to have multiple award categories reckoned for next year to allow for multiple spotlights to be shined about.

erdraug said...

Solution: create two pollls.

Poll N°2: Which of the games that have won a "Roguelike of the Year" award in the past has progressed the most this year?

Poll N°1: same as has always been, except games that have already won a "Roguelike of the Year" award are excluded (see above).

Think of it as a "Hall of Fame". Once you're in, you're in another league.

tiger-eye said...

Andrew, I listen to you on Roguelike Radio (and even joined you for an episode), and you come across as a reasonable guy. However, your OP is completely offbase. Quite frankly, it is offensive and distasteful, and it generally goes against the spirit of the poll (which, generally, I view as a celebration of the entire roguelike genre).

It is your poll, of course, and you may do with it as you please. Next year, having a separate "New roguelikes" sub-poll would be appropriate in my opinion.

Banning previous winners from winning again? Uh, that doesn't make much sense to me. I thought one of the primary purposes of this poll was to get more people to discover other roguelikes, which is also justification for including the likes of Diablo in the poll. If you exclude a major fanbase, then they won't see all the other wonderful roguelikes out there.

As for ToME4... three years ago it didn't even exist! It is a young roguelike built from the ground up primarily by a single individual. There is no reason another new roguelike can't do the same thing and become a major roguelike that can compete in this poll. The fact that ToME4 has won two in a row is a testament to the great work that DarkGod has done year-in, year-out. ToME4 has made huge advancements in the past year, and ought to be able to compete in this poll against other rogulikes that have no doubt made advancements too.

I don't know how DarkGod does what he does, but I want him to continuing doing it, and (falsely) accusing him of cheating--and not rescinding the accusation--is not helpful in the slightest.

*Disclaimer: I help contribute to ToME4, and I also voted for more than one game in the poll.

Nick said...

Personally I'm sure ToME4 is just the tip of the iceberg - there is clearly widespread cheating. The only fair solution is to close the poll, declare FAangband the rightful winner and forget the whole unpleasant episode.

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

I don't really think it's a big deal, though removing previous winners from the general pool next year is probably a prudent move.

Jeff said...

Besides, let's talk about the real elephant in the room, Noxico somehow has 8 votes...eep.

Joseph said...

Crap Noxico is beating out Sun Crusher!!!

We can't let that happen, can we...


:-)

Eric Michael Wykoff said...

I think the best we can hope for this poll right now is for Noxico to pull out an unprecedented victory.

Eric Michael Wykoff said...

Maybe 'pull-out' wasn't the word I should have used... pull off I meant :P

Andrew Doull said...

DarkGod: I was planning on excluding Diablo 3, Torchlight 2 and Path of Exile, but was persuaded that if we were including games like FTL, it was better to include than exclude action RPGs.

HunterZ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Laird said...

What if the norm is three votes on that page, a radio button in each of three categories. Then you avoid the problem and can still have a meaningful poll. In the end you can have a few trophies, "Old Hickory, aka the big five + sexy advertised" for "saplings" like Brogue, UnAngband, etc, another for best "seedling"- alphas and emergent titles.

Floor is lava said...

Help, I can't find Animeband on this list.

RobotAcid said...

I think the poll is a nice representation of the community rather than a mark of quality. It's interesting for that.

I will say however; how the hell is my game sitting on more votes than Zaga 33 right now? That's just plain wrong. And what is Turnament doing in there, I deliberately designed it to not be classified as a roguelike (no permadeath, no calls to Math.random in the entire code base).

RobotAcid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RobotAcid said...
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RobotAcid said...

Sorry. Blogger went mental and started spamming my post.