Karthik and I discussed the state of Netrek generally last night.

The major demotivator we have for clue at the moment is the lack of new
clue, or lack of development interest among the newbies.

Clue is defined as the ability to play as a team contributor during a
game.  Clue is what makes Netrek really fun.  Clue play with clue
because it's fun.  Clue avoid playing with newbies because of the

Newbies are appearing regularly, presumably through random surfing.  But
few are developing into clue.  Those that show signs of enjoying play
with clue are prime targets for development.

So we need to make more clue from newbies.  We can code all we like, but
unless we can get this to happen, Netrek will be less fun.

The methods we used in the past for developing clue were university
computer labs, corporate teams (Digital, Sun), the INL, and the Draft

I'll add that Stephen and I have been doing a yearly clue development in
the form of a time slot or two in an IT oriented kids holiday camp, but
without an INL or Draft to feed these guys into, the effort isn't
returning as much as I'd hope.

These development methods reinforced the behaviours necessary for team
play.  The basic stats model doesn't reinforce this, although it has
some usefulness.

So there's lots of things we can do to improve the situation.

For the moment, what I'm thinking is:

1.  every service provided to the netrek community should have two
gatekeepers, so that the service can continue despite someone dropping
out, ... if a service only has one gatekeeper then it should be said to
be degraded and in need of fixing, like a RAID set with a dead disk,

2.  newbies need to be rewarded for team play somehow, to encourage them
to develop toward clue, the stats model we have rewards the wrong

3.  clue need to be told when other clue are present (metaserver, RSS
feeds, e-mail notifications, cell phone text messages, whatever it

4.  the meta-node clue, the ones who persist with helping the newbies,
need to be supported by the rest of the clue.

James Cameron    mailto:quozl at us.netrek.org     http://quozl.netrek.org/
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