times Eric Chiang's Transparency as IC Storyline Coordinator

26 Apr 2013 15:57 - 26 Apr 2013 17:51 #47785 by echiang

- If you feel that you don't have the time or energy to go into all these details, why do you expect Pascal to go into all these details? Do you presume that he has more time or energy to answer questions than you do?

As Jeff has elaborated, I am still putting in time to answer your questions. An action which speaks for itself.

- I don't argue that the VEKN is very transparent. I argue that their PROCESSES are very transparent. Just because they don't give make the results of the process public knowledge doesn't mean the PROCESS is opaque. The PROCESS is simple for why cards might be errata/banned: Pester/Nag/Talk with Pascal. I also argue that YOUR activities were not transparent, just highly advertised. A lot of noise and comparatively little actual transparent substance.

I find your comments about "a lot of noise" ironic. ;)

But you are entitled to your own opinion.

- You have not answered the question about what IP you felt was being infringed (and not the IP of another party) or why you needed to engage in plans to litigate.

I know I have not answered that question. And given who you are (and aren't), it wouldn't make much sense to answer your question.

It's highly unlikely that the IP conflict will ever arise. And I sincerely hope that it never does.

For *any* sort of scenario regardless of who is it and what the issue is, it's usually not a good idea to spill *any* potential legal strategy to some random guy on a public forum just because he asked you to. I would hope that VEKN would also not share its legal strategy (to you or to me), and that companies like CCP, WotC, or maybe Mark Rein-Hagen would also show such restraint.

If/when all the playtesting files are ever made public, I would be able to better answer your question (and to non-playtesters the situation will make more sense).

Furthermore, answering your question and discussing this entire IP matter could affect "future sales of VTES products." So even if I were to answer your question that would make you mad because it would violate another core principle. Catch-22!

- Why do you discount the ability for high quality players to identify the ways these cards would potentially be used or broken?

Yes, high quality players can do this well, and those skills are especially helpful for the playtest process.

"Why did you not canvas the opinions of expert players DURING the design process before the playtesting was done?"

For much of the period, there wasn't even a new set on the horizon so the storyline reward cards were more of a pet project than a reality. Similarly, if I were playing around with a Kuei-Jin set (as a hypothetical) I wouldn't have been bothering expert players either but maybe those really interested in Kuei-Jin.

As soon as the design process for the set began, you had the uncomfortable question of "how much design stuff should you be sharing and talking about outside the design team?" In the case of storyline cards I had a tad bit more latitude, but I still wanted to be careful.

And once playtesters were recruited, you had the issue that many of the expert players were playtesters and the VEKN felt it was important to clearly separate the playtest sphere from the design sphere. And though contact between designers and playtesters wasn't strictly forbidden, it was highly discouraged and frowned upon.

As a contra-example the rowing: there are a number of top-ranked tennis players coached by former top-ranked tennis players. Andy Murray being the obvious example as he has been trained by Ivan Lendl.

Yes, there are situations where it can help. I don't dispute that.

What I'm saying is that it's neither a necessary nor sufficient condition.

- What actions were you taking with PCK that the IC felt drew you into a great enough conflict of interests that the IC felt the need to remove you from their midst? If you will not discuss this potential conflict of interests between your activities as PCK and your activities as a VEKN IC Member, how can we be sure that you are not acting in the interest of your PCK activities when you insist on courses of action by the VEKN? How can you prove to the PLAYERS that your actions are not to further the interests of PCK; interests which you believed were threatened enough to require litigation?

Well, I'm pretty sure that you're sufficiently entrenched in your beliefs about me, my motivations, and my "agenda" that there is almost nothing that I could ever do that would convince you otherwise.

Similarly, I'm pretty sure I'd never be able to convince the Pope to convert to Judaism or Islam! Or convince most creationists about evolution! :cheer:

People (and players) are entitled to their opinions. If someone were to believe that I was the actual anti-christ, I guess I could try to prove them otherwise, but at the end of the day, there is only so much I can try and do. Sorry.

- If you are afraid of being attacked by members of the IC or VEKN for revealing details of your past decision processes, why should they not be afraid of you attacking them for revealing the details of their recent decisions?

The IC are members of a somewhat representative organization (according to Johannes), though not a full democracy. That is a very different situation for what I currently am.

Government officials (both elected and appointed) are routinely criticized for their decisions. That's part of the territory. And as a nuance, the criticism would more likely be for the actual decisions or the process used, rather than the act of revealing the details of the decisions.

This is especially in the light of your past attempts at litigation; how could the VEKN trust you not to take litigation in the future if they did reveal information to you?

I don't expect the VEKN to reveal details about Danse Macabre that could be at issue.

But a lot of the information that I (and others) are asking for have absolutely nothing to do with that. What are you asking? Are you concerned that I'm going to sue them for banning Lilith's Blessing?

If it makes you feel better, I will 100% go on the public record and say I will not sue anyone (or any organization) for banning Lilith's Blessing, explaining why it was banned, or explaining the process used to ban it. :cheer:

- I do not claim that VEKN = VTES, or VEKN = Players OR VTES = Players. You assume I do. VEKN currently has control of VTES. So at the moment, setting up a 'rival VTES' is basically attacking the VEKN. If you have such a vast problem with the VEKN, then establish your OWN players association with its own tournament rules, ranking systems, storyline systems and so forth. Potentially you may be able to, if you could prove your alternate players body was suitable, gain legal access to the IP required on your own.

So you are suggesting that I establish my "OWN players association," which is essentially a "rival VTES," which is "basically attacking the VEKN?"

- Why did you believe that the VEKN would accept cards in public that they did not accept in private?

There were some cards that the VEKN clearly wanted in private. And there were some cards that we hoped we could change such that the VEKN was willing to accept them in public.

Were you hoping to organise some kind of 'mass of players' to effectively bully the VEKN into accepting your cards into the "official" VTES cards?

Nope!

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Last edit: 26 Apr 2013 17:51 by echiang.
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26 Apr 2013 19:43 #47788 by Juggernaut1981
So Eric,

To summarise your responses to my questions you have given (and some of them are repeated):

1) Well that's your opinion
2) Putting in time now when I don't have additional VEKN duties shows I did put in effort when I did. (Via a Jeff Kuta Proxy no less, thanks Jeff for joining, but Eric's a Big Boy now.)
3) I won't answer.
4) Storyline cards weren't a serious thing, so I didn't ask the best people to help me.
5) Straw men


So, to put the important questions more directly, since you avoid them.

1) PROVE to the players you don't hold a conflict of interest now, which you held when the IC removed you from PCK. The core of that conflict being "Your own ambitions in PCK" vs "The current plans by the recognised developers of VTES, the VEKN". You would not accept an answer of "I'm not saying" from any other public official or office-holder, even after they leave office, so why should we accept it from you?

2) Why given your history of litigation should any member of VEKN respond to any request for information disclosure?

3) I never asked you to detail legal strategy. The contents of a litigation, or potential litigation are a matter of public knowledge. What Intellectual Property you (and the others in PCK) claim was infringed is a matter of public information.

4) At what point did you suddenly change your mind about angering the player-base? Was it before or after you began your threatened litigation during the production of Danse Macabre?

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26 Apr 2013 20:38 #47789 by echiang

So Eric,

To summarise your responses to my questions you have given (and some of them are repeated):

1) Well that's your opinion

Clarification:

1) Well that's your entrenched opinion, and it seems quite clear there is little that I (or anyone) can do to change it. Similarly, you have an entrenched belief about my "sinister agenda" and you seem determined to hold on to that belief no matter what. It also seems pretty clear to me that your constant stream of questions (to which I *am* making a good effort to respond to and answer when appropriate), is mainly a fishing evidence to fuel your confirmation bias. But hey, that's just my opinion. ;)

2) Putting in time now when I don't have additional VEKN duties shows I did put in effort when I did. (Via a Jeff Kuta Proxy no less, thanks Jeff for joining, but Eric's a Big Boy now.)

And I would argue that I put plenty of time and effort back then as well.

Furthermore, back then there weren't many people asking for transparency in the storyline design process, at least not that I can recall.

3) I won't answer.

I won't answer because it would be stupid for me (or anyone asked that particular question by you) to answer. If anyone else was ever asked that questioned by you, I also hope that they wouldn't answer!

I won't answer because answering would simply give you yet another reason to go off (supporting your confirmation bias) since answering could impact future VTES sales.

4) Storyline cards weren't a serious thing, so I didn't ask the best people to help me.

4) When the game was canceled and no new cards or other options were in sight, I took my storyline responsibilities seriously, but new cards were a pipe dream to everybody.

I did consult with some of the "best people," such as LSJ, and my predecessors (Swainbank and Goudie). No, I did not consult with who you think were the "best" (Hugh or Ben) because they are/were not necessarily the "best," and although nowadays I agree that Pascal would be among the "best," he wasn't at the time.

Furthermore, if you really want to consult with the "best people," one should really be talking to Richard Garfield, and some of the folk at WotC, Fantasy Flight, and Alderac too. But unfortunately I did not consult with them, which clearly shows that I did not take this seriously. ;)

5) Straw men

Please elaborate. Thank you.

So, to put the important questions more directly, since you avoid them.

1) PROVE to the players you don't hold a conflict of interest now, which you held when the IC removed you from PCK. The core of that conflict being "Your own ambitions in PCK" vs "The current plans by the recognised developers of VTES, the VEKN". You would not accept an answer of "I'm not saying" from any other public official or office-holder, even after they leave office, so why should we accept it from you?

As I've mentioned before, with your entrenched belief, it's doubtful that there really is a way to "prove" something like that. It's like trying to prove the non-existence (or existence) of God to someone who believes otherwise. Yes, you can provide plenty of logical arguments but at the end of the day, they are still going to hold on to their belief.

Why don't you provide half a dozen significantly different ways that someone (like me) could "prove" such a thing, to the degree that you (and other players) would be fully satisfied?

Depending on the question and the situation, yes, I might accept "I'm not saying" from an office holder after he or she leaves office. Sorry but things aren't always so black and white.

2) Why given your history of litigation should any member of VEKN respond to any request for information disclosure?

Many of the requests for information aren't coming from me.

Many of the requests for information have nothing to do with the past issue of potential litigation.

Or are you saying that PCK has provided the VEKN with a carte blanche excuse to never disclose any information ever? B-)

3) I never asked you to detail legal strategy. The contents of a litigation, or potential litigation are a matter of public knowledge. What Intellectual Property you (and the others in PCK) claim was infringed is a matter of public information.

Well if it's public knowledge, then that information should already be available to you and you should be able to figure it out yourself! :)

If you're trying to gain additional information that is only known to those parties potentially involved, then that's not really "public information" now is it?

4) At what point did you suddenly change your mind about angering the player-base? Was it before or after you began your threatened litigation during the production of Danse Macabre?

I don't understand your question. Can you please rephrase?

In particular:

- What do you mean by "chang[ing] your mind"?
- What do you mean by "angering the player-base"?

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26 Apr 2013 21:19 #47794 by Jeff Kuta

2) Putting in time now when I don't have additional VEKN duties shows I did put in effort when I did. (Via a Jeff Kuta Proxy no less, thanks Jeff for joining, but Eric's a Big Boy now.)


Proxy? No, it was just an observation about how long it does take to write up thoughtful posts. Clearly some time and effort went into it, something you seemed to willfully ignore.

If I only had a nickel for every time Juggernaut said "We"...

When you are anvil, be patient; when a hammer, strike.
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26 Apr 2013 21:40 - 26 Apr 2013 21:42 #47795 by Juggernaut1981
Entrenched Opinion
I hope you can see that I have not formed opinions about your intentions and behaviour that were not based on your actions. I have followed up your actions with questions, and in many cases, received obfuscations or other forms of non-answer. These have added to the information which has led me to conclude that you have a conflict of interest which you refuse to acknowledge, refuse to explain and refuse to disprove.

As a consequence of this, I have then framed your actions of the last year or so as the actions of someone who is retaliating after a personal slight. I see these actions regularly in my work as a school teacher and their pattern is very distinctive. In addition, your other actions, particular around the litigation and insisting that the IC meet with you to discuss your PCK products, would easily constitute bullying at least in the education system I work in.

So, not an entrenched opinion. An opinion informed by at least 12 months of evidence and by my own experiences of human behaviour as a teacher. This informed opinion is then, in no way, refuted by your claims that it is "just an opinion" as I go into on my next point.

Conflict of Interest
Eric, the onus is not with me to prove you don't have a conflict of interest. It is with you. You were the IC member. You were the Storyline Coordinator. You were a member of PCK. My view isn't entrenched, it's just well backed up with evidence from your own actions and posts.

Is your comment/evidence/proof of your lack of conflict of interest "My conflict of interest is a matter of your opinion"?

If so, then your comment is false. You yourself admitted that the IC ejected you for a conflict of interest. It is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of fact. It is also a matter of fact that you disclosed publicly.

It is not an 'entrenched opinion'.

Storyline Games and Storyline Coordinator Duties
So because the task was too hard to achieve you didn't attempt it?
Is Pascal allowed to make his defence "Being completely transparent about every card ban, errata and change to the rules is too hard to achieve so I won't attempt it"?

If you won't accept it from Pascal, why should we accept it from you?

Other than the two cards created for the EC, and the games at the EC, what else did you achieve as the Storyline Coordinator? Most of your actions seem to be evidenced in public or summarised by 2 cards and one game in 2012.

From my own perspective, I did send you a number of cards for a Storyline and got no real assistance or feedback on them. Were you too busy producing two cards in two years for the EC to give me feedback and help?

Who is the best
So two repeat winners of the NAC and EC are not to be considered amongst the best players in VTES? I'm sure those with greater practice of mining the information in the TWDA could drag up the details of their VTES Tournament careers.

That seems a rather limited view on "the best", that you have advocated, at least when it comes to ideas of "advice from strong tournament players".

Card Design Processes & Separation
Yes, I was an advocate for effectively a Chinese Wall between the Playtesters and the Design Team. Mostly to ensure that the cards would be treated on their face-value and not with some kind of 'off-the-card information' about how it is intended, the way it works, etc. It was to allow the cards the chance to speak for themselves during the playtest and not have their designers speak on the cards' behalf.

As part of that process, based on the cards I saw, the Playtesters panned the Storyline Cards and that feedback was effectively ignored. The obviously storyline cards came back after scathing commentary from numerous players with no meaningful changes.

Did you decide that the Playtesters' opinions were irrelevant to your card design?

Public Information and Litigation
The IP which is the subject of a genuine litigation is a matter of public information since it is to be lodged with a court and AFAIK US legal systems regarding litigations is similar to Australia in so much as it requires that matters being heard or to be heard by the court are kept on public record.

If your IP has been infringed, enough to publicly threaten litigation, then the details of what Intellectual Property which you claim is yours shouldn't need to be private information. Have a little transparency about your actions. Even Apple and Samsung can detail the IP infringements before court proceedings start.

If you are willing to make it matter of public record in a court, what is the issue with making it a matter of public record now?

:bruj::CEL::POT::PRE::tha: Baron of Sydney, Australia, 418
Last edit: 26 Apr 2013 21:42 by Juggernaut1981.

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26 Apr 2013 22:10 #47796 by Juggernaut1981

Proxy? No, it was just an observation about how long it does take to write up thoughtful posts. Clearly some time and effort went into it, something you seemed to willfully ignore.

If I only had a nickel for every time Juggernaut said "We"...


Three points for you Jeff.

1) Eric started this to evidence his activities. If you would like to detail your own, I'm sure you can start another thread where that can be discussed. I would like to limit the sidetracking of this thread as this topic has done to so many on the Forums in the past.

2) Why does Eric need you to defend his ability to write long posts? He can write long posts. They are all over the thread. His effort at long posts is not necessarily an example of transparency or to his ability to work on the IC.

3) Private citizens and NPO can be bound by Confidential-in-Confidence (CiC) clauses in agreements by companies. I don't know the details of the CiC clauses, but they exist and as an entity whose leadership may be subject to legal action for breach of contract, I would be grossly selfish and irresponsible to encourage those people to break CiC clauses.

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