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Ambition: Enigma [OLD] Messages in this topic - RSS

Kade Carrion (an_ocelot)
Kade Carrion (an_ocelot)
Posts: 1368

1/10/2014
As the original author of the IRC document referenced above, I have trimmed it back some--I don't think the state it had been in was a problem, frankly, or I wouldn't have left it in that state even though other people made the edits--but concerns having been brought to my attention, I have erred on the side of more caution. That document, FYI, is a bare list of "here are the places to get the clues" and leaves you to put them together yourself. If that's not what you want, don't click on it.

(Experience, including my own, has shown that by itself, those by themselves are hardly obvious, which is why I thought it was within the letter and spirit of the non-spoiler request.)

I understand that a more hint-through version is on its way, and I am also very happy to help people with hints in PM.

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Alexis Kennedy
Alexis Kennedy
Posts: 1374

1/10/2014
The way this thread's gone saddens me, but with hindsight I totally understand why. By the standards of an ARG this is a trivial puzzle - but by the standards of a CRPG or an MMO or indeed FL it's unusually hard. The customary and accepted response of people to a puzzle in a game is to google it after a few minutes of faffing about, and make frustrated posts on forums when the answer doesn't show up. I'm not sneering! That's just how it is.



  • Ambition: Enigma is a throwaway bit of fun - I need my side projects to stay sane now Mr Eaten is Official Failbetter Content, but A:E will always be much tinier and much less serious than Mr Eaten was. I'd like to see people happen across the clues and follow through, to whatever elements I add later. I'd like a friendly conspiracy of silence about it.


    As it is, what I think we'll see is people coming here via Google, we'll get a twenty-page constantly necro'd thread of 'please PM me', and people will go busting in without solving the puzzle or knowing the background and be disappointed because it's just, like, taken all their stuff and given them some arty rambling and some content they don't understand.


    I am inclined to


    1/ lock this thread.
    2/ open a new thread with a policy ('the first rule of Enigma is that we don't talk about Enigma... it's meta, it's optional, it gives no rewards') and link to an_ocelot's doc in its current form
    3/ moderate people asking about it and point them politely to that policy
    (4/ replace the link if an_ocelot goes mad with power or gets bored of being a doc maintainer)


    This is a little higher-maintenance than I'd planned, but we're about to hire a community manager and I prefer it to the current situation.


    Does anyone else have any thoughts about unintended consequences if I do this?
  • +8 link
    Chris Gardiner
    Chris Gardiner
    Administrator
    Posts: 536

    1/10/2014
    Alexis Kennedy wrote:
  • Does anyone else have any thoughts about unintended consequences if I do this?

  • There's the risk that once you institute the First Rule of Enigma, you'll turn out to be Brad Pitt. There's precedent*.


  • * That time you turned out to be Brad Pitt.


  • edited by Chris Gardiner on 1/10/2014
  • +9 link
    Alexis Kennedy
    Alexis Kennedy
    Posts: 1374

    1/10/2014
    Hey, you created me. I didn't create some loser alter-ego to make myself feel better. Take some responsibility!

    Chris Gardiner wrote:
    Alexis Kennedy wrote:
  • Does anyone else have any thoughts about unintended consequences if I do this?

  • There's the risk that once you institute the First Rule of Enigma, you'll turn out to be Brad Pitt. There's precedent*.


  • * That time you turned out to be Brad Pitt.


  • edited by Chris Gardiner on 1/10/2014


  • +4 link
    Alexis Kennedy
    Alexis Kennedy
    Posts: 1374

    1/10/2014
    There are worse places, although also better places, than a meta thread about meta content could go than a Fight Club quoteversation.
  • +10 link
    Kade Carrion (an_ocelot)
    Kade Carrion (an_ocelot)
    Posts: 1368

    1/10/2014
    Mwa-ha-ha-ha!

    Ahem.

    /mad with power

    If you're okay with a list of bare clues, and indeed _that_ list of bare clues, that's fine by me. Honestly I was figuring a hint-through that leads up to those clues (and stops there) would be more welcomed than what I did, which I really started very quickly just so people coming into IRC didn't have to keep replying to "what are the clues?!?!" However, I was trying to keep from asking you all for a ruling on it or any forthcoming hint-through.

    Personally, as a player, I think I'd prefer a hint-through document that also includes links to those clues, but again, I recognize that doing that on your current plan would imply endorsement and that is something rightly to be avoided.

    (Edit: between this post and my last, I was thinking of changing my .sig to invite people to PM me for hints; would that still be acceptable?)
    edited by an_ocelot on 1/10/2014

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    Social Actions: send them to Kade Carrion (she/her; no Tournament of Lilies, please). an_ocelot has gone NORTH and cannot benefit from social actions!

    Possibly-Useful Things: Spreadsheets and hints and link collections, oh my.
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    Theus
    Theus
    Posts: 311

    1/10/2014
    The moderation has the potential to be the biggest wild card.

    You, Alexis, have earned a bit of a cult of personality from your forum interactions. People like "talking to the tiger" because you're "the guy" and wield the power around these parts but also because you have genuine human interactions. I know it's part of your mid/long-term plans to diminish in this capacity, and there will ostensibly be in place a barrier between you and us.

    In practice, the purpose of the community manager is to enable clear communication, but people are not solely rational. To be clear, I'm not saying this is the wrong move.

    If you produce a thread with the need to be moderated at the same time as you introduce a new person, there is the danger of first impressions being weighted towards having to redirect, edit, and ultimately adjust poster behavior, which could leave a sour taste with some.

    It may ultimately be better to remove this thread for some period of time (driving a few stragglers to an_ocelot or other non-official sources until the fervor dies down). Once the community manager has been established and the community adjusts to the new state of "the relationship" it would be a better time to start a new thread that would require moderation.

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    +3 link
    Lady Red
    Lady Red
    Posts: 517

    1/10/2014
    Alexis Kennedy wrote:
    'the first rule of Enigma is that we don't talk about Enigma... it's meta, it's optional

    My only concern about this is that half the fun of certain parts of the game, like SMEN and puzzles like the Mirrorcatch box and Enigma etc etc, is talking about them. And if you don't allow people to talk about them on the forum, they'll just take their chat and their buzz elsewhere - leaving the forum less active and less useful (and leaving you, as the game creators, less in control of how how things like spoilers are/aren't handled).




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  • +3 link
    Alexis Kennedy
    Alexis Kennedy
    Posts: 1374

    1/10/2014
    an_ocelot wrote:
    If you're okay with a list of bare clues, and indeed _that_ list of bare clues.


    It has the big advantage of being already there and taking zero additional effort. :-)


    I will probably lay a few more starting breadcrumbs, anyway, because there are specific issues around finding the route in.

    an_ocelot wrote:
    I was thinking of changing my .sig to invite people to PM me for hints; would that still be acceptable?)



  • Sure! I don't mind consenting adults sharing hints or indeed telling each other the answer. This isn't Cicada: I just want to provide some polite, low-effort protective measures to prevent players from accidentally trampling on their own fun. One of the IRC participants sent me (with, he assures, the permission of other participants) a summary of what happened on the IRC, and it reads as a dozen people having great fun and then five dozen people getting frustrated, trying to bang in solutions at random with the heel of their hands, and coming away dissatisfied when they succeed. That's a bit of a shame.
  • +1 link
    Alexis Kennedy
    Alexis Kennedy
    Posts: 1374

    1/10/2014
    Theus wrote:
    People like "talking to the tiger



  • you know, I arbitrarily switched avatars from rubbery_man about the time we set up this forum. I wonder if I'd come across differently if you were talking to tentacles.


    Theus wrote:
    moderated at the same time as you introduce a new person,


    oh, I wasn't clear. The hire won't happen tomorrow - I only meant that I am readier to commit to long-term moderation knowing we'll have an extra resource in that long term.
  • 0 link
    deadcrystal
    deadcrystal
    Posts: 125

    1/10/2014
    If it's any consolation Alexis, I went out today and got two pairs of books, by Borges and Calvino, brought about solely as a route from Enigma, and some utterly gorgeous quotes.

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    A determined Dolphin - Alexis
    Great Grind Empress, and Knife and Candle Queen
    +2 link
    Kade Carrion (an_ocelot)
    Kade Carrion (an_ocelot)
    Posts: 1368

    1/10/2014
    Alexis Kennedy wrote:
    an_ocelot wrote:
    If you're okay with a list of bare clues, and indeed _that_ list of bare clues.


    It has the big advantage of being already there and taking zero additional effort. :-)

    I will probably lay a few more starting breadcrumbs, anyway, because there are specific issues around finding the route in.


    I'm not at all good at these kind of puzzles, but in making my personal-use hint-through, the ways I could start were all extremely meta, so yeah, I think so too.

    Alexis Kennedy wrote:
    an_ocelot wrote:
    I was thinking of changing my .sig to invite people to PM me for hints; would that still be acceptable?)


    Sure! I don't mind consenting adults sharing hints or indeed telling each other the answer. This isn't Cicada: I just want to provide some polite, low-effort protective measures to prevent players from accidentally trampling on their own fun. One of the IRC participants sent me (with, he assures, the permission of other participants) a summary of what happened on the IRC, and it reads as a dozen people having great fun and then five dozen people getting frustrated, trying to bang in solutions at random with the heel of their hands, and coming away dissatisfied when they succeed. That's a bit of a shame.


    Cool; and yes, I agree.

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    Social Actions: send them to Kade Carrion (she/her; no Tournament of Lilies, please). an_ocelot has gone NORTH and cannot benefit from social actions!

    Possibly-Useful Things: Spreadsheets and hints and link collections, oh my.
    -1 link
    Alexis Kennedy
    Alexis Kennedy
    Posts: 1374

    1/10/2014
    deadcrystal wrote:
    If it's any consolation Alexis, I went out today and got two pairs of books, by Borges and Calvino, brought about solely as a route from Enigma, and some utterly gorgeous quotes.



  • Cool! I think you posted, earlier, that I'd aroused interest: and that was a secondary motive in all this. Once an English teacher, always an English teacher. :-) And Borges in particular is to interactive narrative what Aristotle is to science, but much more readable. Hyperbole much? Possibly. But the number of ways in which he anticipates games and interactive stories are doing, in form or content or technique or theme - without ever doing anything strictly non-linear - is astonishing.
  • +6 link
    Dawson
    Dawson
    Posts: 137

    1/10/2014
    an_ocelot wrote:

    I understand that a more hint-through version is on its way, and I am also very happy to help people with hints in PM.

    That was going to by my so-called "guide" (really just a more user-friendly tour of the clues that I'd rarified and obfuscated significantly).

    I'd started writing it over an_ocelot's original document some time yesterday when I realized the doc had been posted to the forums. It seemed to me (and a few others) both appropriate and somewhat urgent to do something about it, since the doc came from the IRC channel to begin with and had at that point been expanded well beyond an_ocelot's original bare-bones to include nearly all of the text of the clues within and outside of EB. That seemed like much more of a spoiler now that the initial puzzle's been solved, than when people were master-sleuthing it on IRC before. But it didn't seem fair to leave people completely hanging either, since others had already clearly profited from the doc and latecomers were at something of a disadvantage, having missed out on the starting frenzy. I anticipated a lot of grumbling if some jerk like myself just deleted the whole doc without a word. Regardless, the link was just hanging out there, it was late and I was feeling internet-justicey so there it is.

    While I'm reasonably satisfied with the resulting guide, I'm inclined not to upload it after all now, in light of the current conversation. If you, Alexis, are fine with just an_ocelot's clue-list then that seems better to me anyway. The only reason I did anything to anything was on account of it not sitting right with me, having so much already-worked-out information just dumped onto the forum—trivially, as it were.

  • edited by Dawson on 1/10/2014

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  • +2 link
    Kade Carrion (an_ocelot)
    Kade Carrion (an_ocelot)
    Posts: 1368

    1/10/2014
    (Minor edits made to the doc, referencing this thread & noting that no clues are needed to advance from Enigma 1 to 2.)

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    Social Actions: send them to Kade Carrion (she/her; no Tournament of Lilies, please). an_ocelot has gone NORTH and cannot benefit from social actions!

    Possibly-Useful Things: Spreadsheets and hints and link collections, oh my.
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    wallofillusion
    wallofillusion
    Posts: 18

    1/11/2014
    Alexis Kennedy wrote:
    deadcrystal wrote:
    If it's any consolation Alexis, I went out today and got two pairs of books, by Borges and Calvino, brought about solely as a route from Enigma, and some utterly gorgeous quotes.



  • Cool! I think you posted, earlier, that I'd aroused interest: and that was a secondary motive in all this. Once an English teacher, always an English teacher. :-) And Borges in particular is to interactive narrative what Aristotle is to science, but much more readable. Hyperbole much? Possibly. But the number of ways in which he anticipates games and interactive stories are doing, in form or content or technique or theme - without ever doing anything strictly non-linear - is astonishing.

  • Chalk me up as another one who picked up some Borges after getting started with Enigma. I read "The Garden of Forking Paths" in a class once several years ago, and this seemed like an excellent time to expose myself to more of his writing.


    --
    Avis Webb: A dreamer and a Seeker. It'll bite off more than it can chew eventually, but until then, be wary.
    A Masked Dreamer (semi-active tumblr account for my character)
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    Asclepius Unbound
    Asclepius Unbound
    Posts: 389

    1/11/2014
    Stumbled on this half an hour ago, and just managed it now! The brief pointers towards certain places from this thread and from Spacemarine's admirable blog were helpful in finding that this was now a thing at all, but I maintain that my RL profession didn't hurt! Big Grin

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    Alas, Asclepius Unbound is now forever beyond the reach of invitations. A successful Seeker.
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    Trodgmey
    Trodgmey
    Posts: 164

    1/11/2014
    I'd also just like to add to those looking -- if you're relying exclusively on googling certain phrases, then let's just say success is not in the cards...


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    Trodgmey -- an otherwise pleasant chap with a peculiar obsession with the first four cities.
    http://www.fallenlondon.com/Profile/Trodgmey
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    Ewan C.
    Ewan C.
    Posts: 675

    1/13/2014
    Possibly the first time that I'm the first to find a FL item?: the plot from Enigma 2 is indeed active.
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    Sara Hysaro
    Sara Hysaro
    Moderator
    Posts: 4514

    1/13/2014
    [spoiler]Can you advance to 3? I played through it not too long ago but there was an impossible option that I'm assuming is what will take it up to 3. [/spoiler]

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    Please do not send SMEN, cat boxes, or Affluent Reporter requests. All other social actions are welcome.

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