times Eric Chiang's Transparency as IC Storyline Coordinator

28 Apr 2013 17:15 #47880 by johannes

7) Johannes decided to make that letter public including provocative rhetoric in his post. Thus, outrage. And not constructive discussion.


What?

My exact words:

"PKC seeks to attack the V:EKN"
I let the community build their own opinion about the current effort of PKC to influence the creation of the official V:EKN set.

I am not sure where you see "provocative rhetoric" here. I think a threat of litigation is very clearly an attack and then it is a single introductory sentence on why I post this letter, so the community can form their opinion on your efforts.

I think the outrage was more based on your douche-baggy letter than on my allegedly provocative rhetoric.
The following user(s) said Thank You: acbishop, KevinM, Ohlmann

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28 Apr 2013 17:21 #47882 by echiang
Dear Andrew,

How are a few quick answers to some of your points. Unfortunately it only addresses a small fraction of your voluminous questions. I feel that I have already shown an extraordinary degree of patience in responding to your queries, having already responded to your posts 13 times (including this one) in the past 4 days. So it may be awhile before I will be able to generate more answers.

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".


Once again you are equating “best players” with “the best” for design. There is some overlap but they are distinct sets.

More importantly, some of the people I consulted *were* “considered amongst the best players in VTES.” Last I checked, Brian Moritz is the only person to have won both an NAC and an EC. Does Mr. Moritz not qualify as among “the best” in your book?

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?


Playtester opinion was important and the storyline cards did go through significant changes from Round 1 to Round 2. Unfortunately, you only saw a very limited sample size. I was only involved in two rounds of VEKN playtest so you only got to see a single opportunity for change. There were also plans for significant changes for Round 3 of playtest, to further incorporate playtest feedback.

There were some playtesters who I had consulted with on the storyline reward cards before they became playtesters. In some of those cases, I later got additional feedback from them (I didn’t exactly know for sure who was a playtester), and many of those playtesters were disappointed that the intended Round 3 versions of the storyline cards never got to see the light of day.

You claimed to have been taken by surprise when the Inner Circle declared they were working on a new set. As an Inner Circle member were you not privy to the meetings? Were you not in discussions with the remainder of the Inner Circle about these actions? Does this represent one of the following:

1) An effective motion of no-confidence in your abilities as an Inner Circle Member by excluding you from these discussions.
2) Negligence on your part regarding the activities of the Inner Circle.
3) Further evidence of your conflict of interest where the activities of the Inner Circle were less important than your own and hence you were caught by surprise regarding the Inner Circles actions.


4) It was mainly a Johannes (Chairperson) decision, and not something the IC truly decided on (similarly, Johannes decided on the Design Team Leader and the Playtest Coordinator).

5) The VEKN had/has serious structural deficiencies including poorly defined roles and responsibilities and a complete lack of bylaws

VEKN is the only player organisation for VTES
If you think you could do a better job of:
- designing cards
- maintaining a tournament scene
- designing and maintaining a website
- cultivating the player base of VTES
- promoting and advertising the game to new players

then why are you arguing here instead of creating your own player's association and compete with the VEKN? If you are so good at these things, then go prove it. You are free to create your own player association with its own rules and it's own transparent decision making processes.


One issue that PCK has continually tried to make clear is that we think that the VEKN is an important organization and plays an important role in the organization of tournaments and rankings. However, we have consistently asserted that in our opinion, the VEKN is not the proper venue for card design. We believe that ideally, card design should belong to a body independent to the VEKN. (PCK is not interested in commercial/monetary activities, but we also similarly believe that the VEKN is not the proper venue for the commercial/monetary aspects).

Based on our reasoning, it would not make sense to create a complete rival for VEKN. The VEKN already does a spectacular job in organizing events, so there is no need for us to create a different organization for that. (As for ratings, that’s a more controversial issue, but hopefully the upcoming release of the new system will solve that issue).

And while I (and PCK) am not interested in creating my own player’s association to compete with the VEKN, if someone else did want to do that, good for them! Why not let them try? As history shows with the National Jyhad League & Michigan Jyhad League, it wouldn't be the end of the world. :)

pckvtes.wordpress.com
@pckvtes

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28 Apr 2013 17:45 #47886 by Ohlmann

I think the outrage was more based on your douche-baggy letter than on my allegedly provocative rhetoric.


I confirm it's the case for me. It was the point where I stopped taking echiang and his pal seriously.

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28 Apr 2013 17:49 - 28 Apr 2013 17:53 #47887 by echiang
Dear Andrew (Juggernaut1981),

Thank you for your previous response. It was very helpful.

As for the perceived “conflict of interest” which you are fixated on, I believe the details on why I was removed from the IC were publicly provided in the “State of the V:EKN – May 1” thread:

vekn.net/index.php/forum/10-news-and-announcements/29172-state-of-the-vekn-may-1

And I thought that I addressed the perceived “conflict of interest” at that time as well:

Ya know, I'm not really a supporter of the VEKN or the new set in any way, but if you openly take a stance against the VEKN and go your own way it isn't entirely unexpected to be removed from the VEKN IC, now is it?

In my opinion, I have not openly taken a stance against the VEKN at all. I do disagree with an official VEKN position (process issues regarding the new set) and have taken an unpopular course of action but that hardly makes me “anti-VEKN,” which many people seem to have concluded.

I think it is quite common for a person to support an institution even if they strongly disagree with some official positions. Lots of Americans are devoted to their country yet strongly oppose national decisions like the Iraq War or the embargo against Cuba. I imagine there are many people in countries like China who are patriotic yet strongly disapprove of the human rights violations commonly committed by their country. There are plenty of Catholics who support their religion, even if they disagree on the official church position on papal infallibility, abortion, and homosexuality.

In the U.S., abortion is legal. Yet there are plenty of pro-life judges. Some will look for loopholes and exceptions to gradually chip away at Roe v Wade (the case law which legalized abortion). Others may occasionally even blatantly rule against established case law, with the knowledge that a Court of Appeals will almost certainly overturn the ruling. There are plenty of state/federal disagreements where state governments support positions firmly opposed by the federal government (legalization of marijuana, homosexual marriage, immigration). Doing so doesn’t mean that you are “enemies” of the federal government. They just have different interpretations on the best way to serve their respective constituencies.

And those are all mostly oppositional, for-or-against issues. I do not see why the “official VEKN set” and the “Carl/Jeff/Eric” set have to be mutually exclusive. I don’t see why they can’t both be successful. As we have explicitly stated, when we are done with our set we will submit it to the VEKN and it would be nice if they accepted our cards and sanctioned their use.

I have never told anyone that they shouldn’t be involved in the official VEKN set. I have never suggested that people help with the “Carl/Jeff/Eric” set *instead of* with the official VEKN set. Most VTES players are adults and can make their own decisions. And if they decide to help with both sets then that’s fantastic!

It’s quite common for people to be involved in multiple charities. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think it’s rare for people to be criticized for starting a charitable initiative – especially if it’s going towards a good cause. Carl, Jeff, and I are putting forth our efforts to better the game and the community. I am saddened that some people think we are “opposed to VEKN” because I do not see it that way at all.

With regards,
Eric Chiang
Inner Circle: Storyline Coordinator



Some people view any action outside of V:EKN as “anti-V:EKN.” I disagree with that perception. That’s what I said a year ago but you seem intent on bringing that topic up yet again.

As much as I would love to continue debating with you on this, our constant back and forth is starting to get distracting to casual forumites who aren’t as familiar with the issues. And I think even those familiar with the issues are beginning to get weary of the constant Eric & Andrew Show. ;)

Furthermore, the discussion has increasingly derailed into a giant discussion on transparency and overshadowed some basic and reasonable queries for information (by people other than me). I know that this whole thing isn’t really about me, or my non-existent “grudge” against VEKN (I am genuinely glad I am no longer on the Inner Circle). If you recall, the initial request (by numerous people) was to have a short explanation for rulings/bans/errata for later reference and for the curiosity of the players. I’m not sure exactly how the discussion got sidetracked into a "full revelation of the process" or "total transparency”.

For the benefit of others, to reduce my "noise output," and because I think it is the responsible thing to do, I suggest that we continue this discussion privately. If 14 public responses to you in the past 4 days hasn’t been enough, I doubt another 14 in public will do the trick.

And so people don’t think I’m trying to “hide” anything: Andrew, if we continue these discussions in private, you have permission to publicly repost on the VEKN forums what I say, provided that you post a given private message in its entirety (to avoid being quoted without context). If my messages include non-public playtester information, you also have permission to redact any portions that would violate your NDA if you were to otherwise repost my message.


To conclude, Andrew I’ve noticed that you seem particularly intent on responding to me. I am sufficiently curious to ask whether you have any sort of grudge against me (or PCK) as a result of:

1. Your personal interactions with me during the initial months of my role as Storyline Coordinator (I apologize for not helping you with your personal storyline event. And I hope you did not take it personally that I did not take you up on your offer to contribute, especially since I didn’t know you at the time).

2. Your experience as a playtester

I’m not bringing this up as an attempt to simply dismiss your concerns, or accuse you of your own “sinister agenda.” I am genuinely trying to understand your perspective.

We can discuss this privately as well, if you want. Or not discuss it at all. :cheer:

Yours truly,
Eric Chiang

pckvtes.wordpress.com
@pckvtes
Last edit: 28 Apr 2013 17:53 by echiang.

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28 Apr 2013 22:14 - 28 Apr 2013 22:17 #47903 by KevinM

One issue that PCK has continually tried to make clear is that we think that the VEKN is an important organization and plays an important role in the organization of tournaments and rankings.

Can you provide evidence of PCK's "continual" attitude before your ejection from the VEKN? Because I can find no evidence for it.

And given PCK's contradictory feelings about how they respect the VEKN but "just not for card design", I'm going call bullshit and say that what PCK is really doing is creating a false persona for themselves to have a basis to refer back to.

Yeah, you're not attacking VEKN, you're not competing with VEKN, and you ESPECIALLY don't want ANYONE profiting from card design.

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
PCK IS GOOD FOR V:TES

Kevin M., Prince of Las Vegas
"Know your enemy and know yourself; in one-thousand battles
you shall never be in peril." -- Sun Tzu, *The Art of War*
"Contentment...Complacency...Catastrophe!" -- Joseph Chevalier
Please visit VTESville daily! vtesville.myminicity.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/129744447064017
Last edit: 28 Apr 2013 22:17 by KevinM.

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29 Apr 2013 00:05 #47905 by Juggernaut1981
State of the VEKN May 2012

I did not want this to happen but in trying to solve that conflict I realized an important problem: there are people who see the ability to make decisions as a right they have earned and that volunteering results in entitlement.
...
During the public discussions about the design team I read from several people that they think the Inner Circle is too secretive and only staffed with a close connected group of people. To be honest, when building the new V:EKN after White Wolf dropped V:TES we didn´t build an Inner Circle. We just named important positions and put them in there. Also since we have been getting along just fine in the V:EKN days, the Inner Circle´s ability to make decisions was not that important before. So what we did is to think long and hard about the structure and members of the Inner Circle and here are the changes to come:

- The Storyline Coordinator position will be moved from the Inner Circle to the Design Team. All later tournament legal reward cards have to follow the standard design process.
...
- Eric Chiang will be leaving us as storyline coordinator after running the event at the NAC. We thank him for his service. There are two promising candidates and we will give you a new name soon.


These seem to state that:
- You were not a team player (as evidenced by the 'ability to make decisions as a right' and 'volunteering results in entitlement' and that you were the only one to be 'leaving' the Inner Circle).

- After having you in the role of Storyline Coordinator, they decided to effectively demote the position so they were a direct subordinate of the Design Team Leader. This removes the chance for a role-conflict caused by the Design Team Leader potentially having to report his activities to his subordinate because they are a member of the Inner Circle. Many corporations work hard to avoid these chain-of-responsibility/command issues.


You yourself stated, well after the State of the VEKN May 2012 announcement that it was due to your involvement in PCK. If your involvement in PCK was enough to be a contributing factor to your removal from the Inner Circle, then it is also evidence of a potential conflict of interest.

I think it is quite common for a person to support an institution even if they strongly disagree with some official positions. Lots of Americans are devoted to their country yet strongly oppose national decisions like the Iraq War or the embargo against Cuba. I imagine there are many people in countries like China who are patriotic yet strongly disapprove of the human rights violations commonly committed by their country. There are plenty of Catholics who support their religion, even if they disagree on the official church position on papal infallibility, abortion, and homosexuality.

Eric, these people rarely engage in legal action claiming theft of IP. Most of these people consider writing to representatives (like putting their ideas on this forum), organising fundraising or support for alternative views and generally lobbying within the socially acceptable methods. Your actions, as part of PCK, were clearly commented on by the community around VTES in their response to the publishing by Johannes of your letter to the VEKN. If you re-read their responses, the majority of them seem to be focused around your methods and not your intent to improve the game; they question the need for legal action on matters of IP. They, as a whole, suggest that this community did not accept your methods and found them at least distasteful.

As you mentioned, you feel no need to replace the VEKN with another association. So, if you want to improve the VEKN then you will achieve better results by engagement and using methods which are socially acceptable to the player-base. The methodology you have used in the past to try facilitate change has failed, so change your methods to something more acceptable to this community.


Conflict of Interest
None of the information you have actually posted addresses your conflict of interest. All it says, is in effect the same thing you have said all along which is "My conflict of interest is a matter of other people's opinion." The problem, for you, with conflicts of interest is that once others see them it effectively rests with you to clear them. That is also why inquiries into corruption tend to take a long time.

I have gone through your own words and actions and put them together to highlight the conflict of interest which is, hopefully, now evident.

This is without going into the kinds of conflicts of interest or conflicts of command which may have occurred due to you being both a subordinate and a supervisor of the same person.


Regarding any grudge
I have no ill-will to you personally.

I saw that a number of people have been very frustrated or angered by your actions, and I thought that over a period of time I may be able to affect some change in the way you engage with the VEKN, particularly in response to their decisions. You clearly didn't like their decisions regarding your service in the IC, their response to the PCK set and then to the recent RTR. Teaching and training is my career after all, something I enjoy and am passionate about; it is at its heart about creating change in people's thoughts and hoping it results in changes in behaviour.

I object to the idea you used your office to advance your own objectives.

I object to the idea that you view your conflict of interest as a problem with others even though you, and others, have given plenty of facts regarding your own conflict of interest in that role.

I object to the idea that you will not meet, and have not met in the past, the standards of transparency and productivity that you have demanded of others across numerous posts on this forum.

I have no grudge against you. I strongly dislike your actions in the past and of recent times. I try to avoid holding grudges since they have the greatest impact on me and not on the subject of the grudge.

Playtesting
Regarding the playtesting experiences, I assumed the processes would work those cards either to a suitable state or to the point where they were shelved. As they were the first set created by the VEKN, I honestly expected there would be some serious bugs in early development. I personally would view the absence of a card in a later round of playtesting to be a sign that the Design Team was listening to playtesters and either shelving the card idea permanently, or holding that idea in reserve for a later date when time permitted a more extensive redesign than the space between playtest rounds would allow. Seems like a valid R&D process to me; the product was found lacking during testing and has been withdrawn so a decision can be made on pursuing its development (rather like Lilith's Blessing).

Creating Noise
I find it highly ironic that you are claiming that you would like to move this discussion out a public space to reduce the 'noise output' when there are a number of threads which contain claims by people other than myself that you are creating 'noise output'.

Public Discussion
If I quote your words, I am not breaking my NDA. I am quoting information in the public arena. I have no fear of quoting your words and I am sure I can manage to find ways to discuss events without breaking the details of my NDA regarding playtesting.

To be honest, I've learned to prefer having these discussions publicly. In my day-job these kinds of discussions are best held with witnesses to ensure that both sides stick to the truth of what was actually said. I have to stick to it, so do you. It removes the opportunity for either of us to claim different things about what has been said to the other. It makes us both accountable and gives us both confidence in knowing just what has been said. I'd prefer to keep this discussion in this thread on the forum in a public fashion.

:bruj::CEL::POT::PRE::tha: Baron of Sydney, Australia, 418

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