Daniel Lepage on 4 Oct 2003 18:14:58 -0000

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Re: [spoon-discuss] Redefinition

On Saturday, October 4, 2003, at 02:03 AM, Glotmorf wrote:

Okay...I'm gonna have to take this in pieces.  It's too damn
big to sit and comment on in one sitting.

Such comments as I've entered so far are below.


On 4 Oct 2003 at 0:52, Daniel Lepage wrote:

A more finalized form of a proposal to overhaul many of the basics of
the game. I believe it is compatible with everything it doesn't change
(please let me know if I missed something). I also added the keywords
OnNweek and OnCheckpoint, with OnCheckpoint have three subwords,
:First, :Second, and :Third. I think it would make things much easier
if every rule that defined something that happened at the beginning of
an nweek had the keyword OnNweek, so simply be filtering by that kw we
could get the list of nweekly events.

Anyway, I've tried to be thorough, and to keep most of the definitions
in the same numerical location in the ruleset as their current
counterparts are. If nobody has any suggestions or criticisms, this
protoproposal will be made into a full proposal next nweek.

I don't propose:


Replace rule 13 [[r13/3, __Definitions__]] with:
__Abstract Objects__ {*(Definitions, Abstract, Objects),2*}

A Game Object is anything which exists within the context of the game,
that is, its existence must be mandated by the ruleset; the term
Object shall be an unambiguous synonym for Game Object in all game
documents except where specified otherwise. [[Note that this does not
require the object's definition to be in the ruleset; an object could
be defined by reference to an outside Document]]

Try to find a word other than "mandated".  "Mandate" as a verb
means "to make mandatory", so a rule-mandated object would be
one that the rules require to exist.  I suspect you would
include players, societies, proposals and a few other things
as game objects, yet, while it's convenient to the operation
of the game that they exist, they cannot be conveniently
mandated to do so.

Perhaps "sanctioned"?


An External Force is anything which exists independantly of the game.

An Outsider is an External Force which is also an Object. [[ i.e.,
something that exists outside of the game but is also acknowledge by
the rules as influencing the gamestate, and thus exists within the
game as well, such as a player]]

Joel and his machine influence the gamestate, and are
mentioned indirectly in Rule 0.  Not sure I'd refer to them as
a "force", though.

Joel and his machine do not directly influence the gamestate; the directly affect the means by which the gamestate is recorded, and they indirectly affect the gamestate by, for example, hosting nomic.net so we have the space and the scripting power to allow things like Tunnelers and the Ruleset, but they don't actually change the gamestate themselves.
And their existence isn't sanctioned by the rules.

A Game Document is a body of text specified as a Game Document by the
Rules. Game Documents are Game Objects. [[ which is true by
definition, but we might as well be safe and state it.]] }}

This doesn't read well...it suggests the text exists first,
and then the rules reference it as a game document.
Alternately, it's redundant, since I assume you intend it to
be part of the rules.  How about something like, "A Game
Document is a type of Object consisting of a body of text.
Game Documents can only exist or be created in accordance with
the rules."

The text does exist first - I type a proposal, and upon arriving at the Public forum, the rules start referencing it as a game document. The problem with your suggestion is that there are some things in the game that are nothing but a body of text, but shouldn't be Game Documents; a player's name, for example.

Replace rule 2 [[2/3, __Names__]] with:
__Names__ {*(Definitions, Abstract, Objects),2*}

All distinguishable Game Objects should have unique identifiers.
Objects indistinguishable from each other need not have separate
identifiers [[So a players points don't need to be named separately,
but different players do]].

What about gnomes with different hit points (assuming the
gnome prop gets passed)?  They're not indistinguishable from
each other.  Would they need serial numbers in their names
(interesting if unweildy idea), or would they be identified by
their attribute values (and then what happens when two gnomes
ARE indistinguishable)?

Yeah, this section's been giving me trouble. The Gnomes would need to have separate identifiers, otherwise when I said, "I throw my Fire Gnome at the Baron", nobody would know which one. On the other hand, one could interpret a unique description of the object as a unique identifier, as in, "I throw my Fire Gnome with 1 hit point at the Baron". But then it would also make sense for a player's unique identifier to be, "The player who joined on nday 5 of nweek 2", or "The player with 307 points."

Perhaps Dave could be empowered to assign nicknames to objects? So that if you joined without specifying a name, Dave could say, "Okay, player 3, your new name is 'Toe Cheese'."

An abbreviation or nickname for an object may be used in place of its
identifier provided that the context makes it unambiguous which object
is being referred to. }}

Replace rule 14 [[r14/1, __Forfeit__]] with:
__Players__ {*(Definitions, Player, ProposingEntity, LostSoul), 2*}

A Player is an Outsider who consents to be governed by the rules,
fulfills all requirements for playerhood specified by the rules, and
has become a player in a manner specified by the rules.

An External Force may become a Player by posting a message to a Public
Forum containing a request to become a player and a uniquely
identifying name that e wishes to be known by. It may do this if and
only if it fulfills the following requirements: * It is capable of
passing the Turing Test * It is either not already a Game Object, or a
Lost Soul * It has a working e-mail address

Ya know...the above requirements could well belong to an
entire other nomic...they could get together and vote on what
responses to make on a turing test, and if it's over email it
could actually pass...

I believe someone tried at one point to have a society join the game as a player; the verdict was that if the turing test is administered, the society itself doesn't pass it; the members do. Without the members, the society would not be able to pass it.

I think the same arguments would apply to another Nomic, as well.

Of course, if they tried to join and pretended to be a single person, there's not much we could do to stop them; but on the same note, if a player pretended to be multiple people, we couldn't stop that either. I think we just need to trust that nobody would do something like that. (but then, would we really mind if they did? )

A Player may cease to be a player by Forfeiting the game; this must be
done in a Public Forum unless there are no working public fora, in
which case e may notify the administrator privately instead. The
Administrator must report the Forfeiture as soon as possible if this

If there are no public fora, don't we have a state of

Probably, but possibly not; we once had a situation where nomic.net was down, but we didn't need to declare a state of emergency, I think - WildCard set the alternate lists and Dave declared those public until the server worked again.

And people should be able to forfeit during a state of emergency, I think.

No restrictions may be placed on when a player may forfeit; any player
may forfeit the game at any time (regardless of the clock, the watch,

When a Player ceases to be a player for any reason, e loses all game
defined properties and attributes except for eir Name, and becomes a
Lost Soul. Lost Souls are game objects.

Spoilsport. :)

Nyah. :)

Players are Limited PEs.

How about layering the definitions (like PE) so that they're
added as a general case for other objects and a specific case
for existing objects, as you've generally done up to this
point?  As in, worry about what a PE (or even a limited PE) is
after you've defined a PE?

I'm not sure I follow...

I know, it's all self-referential.  Still, somehow I suspect
the definition of a player is gonna be pretty high up in the
food chain, and is a prerequisite for the concept of a
proposing entity.

It seems to me that a player is a type of proposing entity; so proposing entity should be defined first, and then player. At the moment the rules only call for Players and the Admin being Limited PEs, but I can see other PEs, both limited and unlimited, existing; for example, societies should probably be Limited PEs, and under the old Unauthored Proposal system, Gremlins had to be Unlimited PEs.


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