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a multiplayer game of parenting and civilization building

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#1 2019-12-06 19:53:56

Kinrany
Member
Registered: 2018-01-22
Posts: 695

Hierarchies

Edit: see the second thread at https://onehouronelife.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=8695
        and the update at https://onehouronelife.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=8705


Right now villages are mostly very anarchic. Real civilizations are deeply hierarchic. Having some structure would help a village function as a single entity. This structure must also have these properties:

1. Give power to the players at the top. Realplay, not roleplay.
2. Be meritocratic. Best players must get the most power.
3. Be robust enough to not fall apart when players die.

To have a hierarchy, we just need Supervisor - Subordinate links between characters. This way orders will propagate from top to bottom.
To be meritocratic, it needs to be changeable by players. "Bow to the queen or get knifed" works well enough.
To survive player deaths, we could let players transfer their subordinates to other players.
To give top players power, it should be enough to let them mark their subordinates as exiles. When everyone is in the same hierarchy, it's reasonable to kill on sight everyone who isn't.

1. Say "I serve Alice" to form a link with Alice as your supervisor.
2. Say "I exile Alice" as Alice's supervisor to break the link with her.
3. Say "Alice serves Beatrice" as Alice's supervisor to make Alice Beatrice's subordinate.

There'll also be an indicator: "supervisor", "subordinate", "friend". "friend" means that you're in the same hierarchy.

None of the rules above actually have any physical consequences. They're basically automated gossip.
They could even be implemented as a client mod, except they won't work without player adoption.

Last edited by Kinrany (2019-12-14 17:17:18)

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#2 2019-12-06 20:08:33

Keyin
Member
Registered: 2019-05-09
Posts: 255

Re: Hierarchies

Sounds good to me. The more affordances for communication the better. There is simply not enough time to establish hierarchy/hold town meetings. As a result, a OHOL village is like one big group project with many people.

We all know how those turn out...

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#3 2019-12-06 20:09:38

The_Anabaptist
Member
Registered: 2018-11-14
Posts: 336

Re: Hierarchies

Just one more mechanism that I'll forget to do life after life.

The_Anabaptist

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#4 2019-12-06 20:12:28

Kinrany
Member
Registered: 2018-01-22
Posts: 695

Re: Hierarchies

Just one more mechanism that I'll forget to do life after life.

Other players will remind you! :^)

By the way, if this works, we can get rid of wars between families.

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#5 2019-12-06 20:23:13

DestinyCall
Member
Registered: 2018-12-08
Posts: 3,589

Re: Hierarchies

Keyin wrote:

As a result, a OHOL village is like one big group project with many people.

We all know how those turn out...

Yep, just like a group project in school, I always find myself stuck doing all the work and cleaning their messes.

Curse my perfect GPA!   I am a slave to those beautiful numbers.

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#6 2019-12-06 20:46:51

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 4,676

Re: Hierarchies

Kinrany, if it was just labels with no actual effect, wouldn't it just be roleplay, even less meaningful than a label like "Sister" or "Uncle"?  Even those labels have real meaning in the game, in terms of shared memory and experience and historical interactions (Sister means we had the same mother, Uncle means his mother was my grandmother, etc.).

These hierarchy labels would convey some information.... if you serve Alice and I serve Alice, we must both know Alice, but that's about it.

When you proposed this idea in the other thread, I assumed that there would be some gameplay consequence to these relationships.



It seems like you're suggesting some sort of actual power based on killing or limitations on killing?  Like we can't kill those in our hierarchy?  We have to leave or get exiled first?

So people would want to band together to prevent killing and preserve the peace, while breaking up the band as needed to deal with trouble-makers?

I guess this is a bit like an alliance in an RTS, where friendly fire is blocked as long as the alliance is in effect.


Let's say you served someone who then became a tyrant, and you wanted to kill them.  What then?  Can you leave their service on your own?  Do you need to be exiled first?

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#7 2019-12-06 22:15:30

Kinrany
Member
Registered: 2018-01-22
Posts: 695

Re: Hierarchies

jasonrohrer wrote:

Kinrany, if it was just labels with no actual effect, wouldn't it just be roleplay, even less meaningful than a label like "Sister" or "Uncle"?  Even those labels have real meaning in the game, in terms of shared memory and experience and historical interactions (Sister means we had the same mother, Uncle means his mother was my grandmother, etc.).

I'm not sure it will work, but it doesn't seem impossible.
All of IRL social structure has no actual effect by itself. Information affects the world through people. [1]

Family relations are fixed. They provide very little information because your uncle will always be your uncle. In contrast, the hierarchy labels proposed in this post would change over time. This makes them orders of magnitude better at conveying information, if we were interested in raw capacity. You could say they're a better tool for communication.

[1]: See also all the math problems about perfect logicians, like this one about people with blue eyes. Or this very long story.

jasonrohrer wrote:

These hierarchy labels would convey some information.... if you serve Alice and I serve Alice, we must both know Alice, but that's about it.

This also means that Alice didn't exile any one of us! So we can trust each other and go to Alice if we have a dispute.

jasonrohrer wrote:

When you proposed this idea in the other thread, I assumed that there would be some gameplay consequence to these relationships.

There would, but these consequences would be caused by other players, not by the game physics!

Like many social things, it's very nebulous and subject to network effects and other weird stuff. I think there are two necessary conditions:
1. There's an equilibrium where everyone forces everyone else to support the system
2. There's a way to bootstrap that equilibrium, and doing that is profitable

I imagine the equilibrium state to be that all must follow the orders of their superiors, and all exiles are enemies and must be killed on sight. Consequences:
1. Exiling people gets them killed.
2. No one wants to be exiled.
3. Only griefers and rebels are exiled.
4. Killing exiles is usually a good choice.
5. Killing is also dangerous, but pretending isn't.
6. Everyone sees everyone else killing exiles.
7. ...

Doesn't need to be perfect. As long as the queen is not too much of a tyrant and shows her power from time to time, people will usually follow orders, especially when it's all the same to them anyway. Many would even be happy to have a purpose and be doing something productive, even if it benefits someone else's goals.

jasonrohrer wrote:

Let's say you served someone who then became a tyrant, and you wanted to kill them.  What then?  Can you leave their service on your own?  Do you need to be exiled first?

As above, I don't want to have rules against friendly fire, so you can just try to kill them.
Other people will probably try to stop you though, unless it's common knowledge that rebels are stronger than loyalists.

There are many edge cases to consider, but they don't seem insurmountable.

1. Is a hierarchy a tree, a DAG, or an arbitrary graph? Trees are simpler, but arbitrary graphs should be OK too.
2. Subordination should probably be transitive. Your superior should be able to do anything you can do.
3. But this probably means that you should be able to exile yourself, in case you're staging a coup.
4. In case of a DAG, should you be able to exile someone on behalf of your superiors too?
5. What happens when you exile someone? Does the hierarchy get split in two?

This can get a bit complicated. Should work out okay if only the graph itself is stored, and everything is defined in terms of graph traversal.
It's tempting to just have clans, like many games do, but I think clans are way too simple, not suitable for a game where everything is in flux. A clan would get bottlenecked on the clan leader.

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#8 2019-12-06 22:36:42

Keyin
Member
Registered: 2019-05-09
Posts: 255

Re: Hierarchies

If there are no mechanics people won't use it though.  The amount it helps from the way you described it seems trivial. It will be something too inconvinient for the amount of benefit it gives, like putting a fence + property gate around the whole town.

Having no friendly fire- at least none from those below you would help build trust. If someone serving you decides to leave, you know they're up to something and cannot trust them any longer.

There could even be submission wars. One town leader makes the leader from another town submit to them, and now the first leader is at the top of a two-town hierarchy, and can only be attacked by someone who leaves/exists outside the hierarchy.

I also assume someone born wont automatically be a part of the hierarchy? So there must be a distinction between exiles and the young, otherwise murderous griefers would just never serve

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#9 2019-12-06 22:41:35

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 4,676

Re: Hierarchies

Blue Eye puzzle reminds me of the Muddy Children puzzle (which inspired my game Diamond Trust of London).

I'm not sure about this:

all exiles are enemies and must be killed on sight.

Yeah, if that was the custom, then it would enforce the rest.  Not being part of the clan would be dangerous, so people would want to be part of the clan.

But how does that custom get started?  What unmoved mover kicks it off?


Seems like a tree would be fine.  You can only follow one person.  That person can follow someone too, resulting in a tree.

Bob says:  "I follow Alice"

(Bob sees Alice as LEADER, and Alice sees Bob as FOLLOWER.)

Alice says:  "I exile Bob"

Alice and everyone under her sees Bob as EXILED

Bob cannot follow Alice or anyone under her

Bob can still follow people in same tree as Alice who aren't under her (people in other branches), unless the root person in that tree (King) exiles Bob too.  Then the whole tree sees him as EXILED.


Steve says, "I exile Bob"

Steve is not above anyone currently (he's a leaf in some tree).

Now Bob is blocked from following Steve, ever, but Steve is the only one who sees Bob as exiled.


Bob says, "I follow Jane"

Bob says, "I follow Mary"

Bob switches from following Jane to Mary (and all people under him go with him).


In terms of bootstrapping, or people forgetting to use this feature, these relationships could be inherited.  If your mother follows Bob, you follow him too by default.  You can switch your leader later, by following someone else.

And death is fine, with no need to hand stuff down.

When the king dies, there are two dukes, and the kingdom is divided.  Maybe one duke will follow the other, and join the kingdoms, but maybe not.  Or they could pick a third person to be the new king and both follow that person.


Non-trivial amount of work to implement...  but I'm still hung up on one thing:

Would it actually be used by players and influence their behavior in an interesting way?


Maybe so... maybe it's the kind of information that people need, just like they all use names, even though they are optional....

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#10 2019-12-06 23:09:23

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 2,906

Re: Hierarchies

Are these relationships mutually agreed upon, or can they get imposed on people?  Because if one person can impose a hierarchy on another which does not have a real basis, like knowledge (teacher and students have a hierarchy, but it's based on knowledge... low pop towns generally have an implicit hierarchy, but it's based on the person who plays there the most), then such hierarchy can or will feel like oppression to someone.  Additionally, even if a hierarchy has a valid and sound basis, I don't see it as being attractive to some people.  Imagine yourself as a semi-new player trying to figure out something new that you want to explore in the game... I don't know... like Christmas trees, but that person ends up bossed around because he or she is low on the totem pole.  Heck, that could have happened to Jason a while back when he was made a stone hoe to grow milkweed on a Twitch stream (sic!  I wish I were making this up, but I'm not!).  Maybe Jason deserved to get bossed around for that one, but people have to have the freedom to make their own mistakes in order to learn well.

Currently, also, people seeking a subordinate role can and do ask 'job?'.  One can also currently ask something like "I need an apprentice" or "who needs a job?".

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#11 2019-12-06 23:15:36

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 2,906

Re: Hierarchies

jasonrohrer wrote:

In terms of bootstrapping, or people forgetting to use this feature, these relationships could be inherited.  If your mother follows Bob, you follow him too by default.  You can switch your leader later, by following someone else.

But then it sounds like people would have to have a leader.  I don't think that's all that great, because it doesn't sound like it would allow for players having the freedom to try some measure of self-reliance.

jasonrohrer wrote:

Would it actually be used by players and influence their behavior in an interesting way?

Some jerk would abuse it for sure.  You might find such interesting to observe, but if I were bossing you around penalizing you for making a stone hoe to grow milkweed, I don't think you'd like it, even though making a stone hoe to grow milkweed doesn't make much sense at all.  And it'd surely have a bad effect on new players in some situations.  Getting bossed around as a first time player by a griefer trying to murder fertile women and girls or trying destroy a family by other means, when the first time player expected to play a game of parenting and civilization building?  Doesn't sound good to me, and I doubt it would be interesting for a new player with their heart in the right place, so to speak.

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#12 2019-12-07 00:24:34

Kinrany
Member
Registered: 2018-01-22
Posts: 695

Re: Hierarchies

Keyin wrote:

I also assume someone born wont automatically be a part of the hierarchy? So there must be a distinction between exiles and the young, otherwise murderous griefers would just never serve

jasonrohrer wrote:

In terms of bootstrapping, or people forgetting to use this feature, these relationships could be inherited.  If your mother follows Bob, you follow him too by default.  You can switch your leader later, by following someone else.

Yeah, this. Or you could follow your mother if she doesn't have a leader.

In the second case everyone will start as a follower.

jasonrohrer wrote:

But how does that custom get started?  What unmoved mover kicks it off?

I imagine the main driver would be veteran players who want to get more stuff done. (And use the cool new feature, at first.) Two problems:
1. Ruling should be better than doing everything yourself.
2. The aspiring queen should be able to convince other players to follow her.

No idea how to check the first problem in advance. I guess there shouldn't be too much typing involved. I think the main risk is if managing other players is too hard even when they do everything you say.

The benefit for followers is that they get access to information about certified non-griefers. They can be less paranoid around a person with a bow if that person has the green mark, or whatever. There's a network effect, but there's no downside.

A cook or a blacksmith can probably convince quite a few people. It's easy to show off if you're doing something really fast. And again, no downside, so it's more like a "thanks".

The next step is to ask your followers to recruit more people.
The last step is to kill everyone who didn't join.
These two probably depend on how apathetic people are.

At this point the hierarchy works as protection against griefers, but otherwise doesn't make the village act together. I'm not sure if queens would be able to leverage their exiling powers into being able to boss people around.


jasonrohrer wrote:

Bob can still follow people in same tree as Alice who aren't under her (people in other branches), unless the root person in that tree (King) exiles Bob too.  Then the whole tree sees him as EXILED.

Hmmm, not sure. Usually the rest of the tree would also want to know that the person was exiled.
Being bottlenecked on the king is not great even if he's active. And asking every duke to exile the person is even more work.
My initial thought was that everyone in Alice's tree should see Bob as exiled, but Alice's leaders should be able to invite Bob back.

Maybe the easiest way is to write one of these: EXILED BY YOUR LEADER, EXILED BY LEADER, EXILED BY YOU.

A leader should have control over followers, and the power to exile is the means of control. There are two ways this can work:
1. You can tell your follower that someone is exiled
2. You can tell everyone that you exiled your follower


That said, the king can still exile anyone they want. And being bottlenecked on them actually grants them more power, which is good. And it's even easier to implement, I assume? Okay, I'm convinced smile

jasonrohrer wrote:

Would it actually be used by players and influence their behavior in an interesting way?

I think the main risk is that explaining would be harder than doing something yourself. (This applies to both productive things and killing griefers.)

Btw, an easy way to spot a king is that he doesn't have a leader.

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#13 2019-12-07 00:34:08

Kinrany
Member
Registered: 2018-01-22
Posts: 695

Re: Hierarchies

Spoonwood wrote:

Are these relationships mutually agreed upon, or can they get imposed on people?

It's probably more convenient to already have a leader when you're born. (Also makes it easier to bootstrap.) But you can change your leader or exile yourself anytime. And with the way exiling would work that Jason described, being exiled by a nobody with no followers wouldn't matter at all.

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#14 2019-12-07 00:57:14

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 4,676

Re: Hierarchies

What I meant was that the Duke can only exile people from the Duchy, not from the whole kingdom.  The count can exile from the county, but not from the whole Duchy.  If anyone above you exiles someone, you see them as exiled.

Your noble doesn't like this guy, but the king isn't convinced.  So you and everyone in your sub tree, who share your noble, see the guy as exiled.  But people in other parts of the greater tree, under other nobles, don't agree.  If enough nobles exiled this guy, they might talk to the king about a kingdom-wide exile.

Green mark....  this is a point where I struggle.  I'm trying to keep the UI in the game from looking too UI-ish, with things hovering over people's heads and stuff.  It's supposed to look like a cohesive cartoon.

Mousing over someone to see their Friend or Exile or nobility status is easy enough.

But that doesn't give you an at-a-glance assessment of someone.

Maybe just the exile status needs to stand out visually, because that will be more rare?  Could be as simple as a black X on their body or clothing.

Also, I think there's a difference between being exiled and not following someone.  A visitor from a different land isn't exiled, yet.

So if you say, "I FOLLOW MYSELF," then you have no leader, but you're not exiled.  You could still get exiled by one more more people, though.


I'm also thinking about rankings, like these:

King, Queen
Duke, Duchess
Marquess, Marchioness
Earl, Countess
Viscount, Viscountess
Baron, Baroness

There are 7 there...  Maybe too many.  Might shorten it to:

King, Queen
Duke, Duchess
Count, Countess
Baron, Baroness

So if you have some direct followers, you are a Baron, but that's it.  A flat kingdom has one Baron.

If the Baron follows someone, that person becomes a Count.  If the Count follows someone, they become a Duke.  Dukes follow someone who becomes a King.

Maybe it could go up from there, if need be, with Supreme Kings, Ultra Kings, etc.

But even with these 4 levels, we can have a kingdom of 31 people, even if each person only has 2 direct followers.


Maybe people need visible rankings on their shoulder, like Chevrons or something (only visible to their followers).

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#15 2019-12-07 00:59:34

jasonrohrer
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Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 4,676

Re: Hierarchies

Oh, okay, obviously above King should be Emperor...

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#16 2019-12-07 01:01:15

Keyin
Member
Registered: 2019-05-09
Posts: 255

Re: Hierarchies

Kinrany wrote:

It's probably more convenient to already have a leader when you're born. (Also makes it easier to bootstrap.) But you can change your leader or exile yourself anytime. And with the way exiling would work that Jason described, being exiled by a nobody with no followers wouldn't matter at all.

In this case wouldn't the best thing to do is change who you serve to be the oldest person around? So you aren't marked as exiled but you're free after a couple minutes?

Aspiring queens trying to get people to convince people to support them doesn't sound like a problem though. The best leaders are usually those who don't want to be in charge, from what I've seen.

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#17 2019-12-07 01:02:16

Wuatduhf
Member
Registered: 2018-11-30
Posts: 406

Re: Hierarchies

jasonrohrer wrote:

Oh, okay, obviously above King should be Emperor...


Should there be hierarchies right away in the game?

What if Hierarchies could only be formed once someone wears a crown? From there, then people could only follow others who are following someone else, and so on...

That would maybe help to keep the flow of the game "Tribal" in the early sequence, and slowly transforms into "monarchic" in the sense that has been discussed in this Topic so far.

It would also maybe justify more game-associated features being implemented in association with the hierarchy.



Edit: Maybe this could make it so that the three different types of crowns had a kind of purpose/use if they were actually worn by a "True" king?

Last edited by Wuatduhf (2019-12-07 01:04:29)


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#18 2019-12-07 01:03:03

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 2,906

Re: Hierarchies

Kinrany wrote:

The last step is to kill everyone who didn't join.

That doesn't leave room for disagreement.  Socrates would be condemned to drink hemlock, Jesus nailed to a cross, and really, even worse, Aristotle would denounced as a fool, shot with a bow and arrow (or killed by a knife), and never go on to become the founder of logic (note Aristotle was exiled).

Kinrany wrote:

It's probably more convenient to already have a leader when you're born. (Also makes it easier to bootstrap.)

Any experienced player will get penalized thus by some ignorant 1st or 2nd game player who just likes bossing people around.  It's certainly not meritocratic with inheritance.

Jason, I'm going to try to emphasize two things said by Kinrany:

Kinrany wrote:

To give top players power, it should be enough to let them mark their subordinates as exiles. When everyone is in the same hierarchy, it's reasonable to kill on sight everyone who isn't.

Kinrany wrote:

The last step is to kill everyone who didn't join.

Jason, you've said before that you want people to play for the survival of their offspring.  But, enough people would dissent under this idea.  They would get exiled.  And since the whole notion is that exiles are worthless and should be shot or knifed by default, it just means more intra-family violence in the end.  And that means fewer people playing for the sake of their lineages.

Honestly, I don't think you should give this idea a second thought.  It's as bad as ideas get around here and likely to result in disaster perhaps as bad as The Come Together Disaster, a change the likes of which you had to undo so much of.

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#19 2019-12-07 01:04:08

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 4,676

Re: Hierarchies

Anyway, just having kids shouldn't get you a follower.  That would make every grandmother a Countess automatically.

You should directly inherit your mother's leader.  Her Baron becomes your Baron, etc.  And once you're old enough to speak, you can peel off and pick your own leader or become a loner.


I know people would go nuts with this, and try to become king by getting Dukes to follow them, and there would be lots of drama around it.  I'm just struggling to understand how any of it would be real.... well, maybe no more real than such things are in real life.  The army only listens to the king because they listen to the king....

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#20 2019-12-07 01:06:23

Wuatduhf
Member
Registered: 2018-11-30
Posts: 406

Re: Hierarchies

jasonrohrer wrote:

Anyway, just having kids shouldn't get you a follower.  That would make every grandmother a Countess automatically.

You should directly inherit your mother's leader.  Her Baron becomes your Baron, etc.  And once you're old enough to speak, you can peel off and pick your own leader or become a loner.


I know people would go nuts with this, and try to become king by getting Dukes to follow them, and there would be lots of drama around it.  I'm just struggling to understand how any of it would be real.... well, maybe no more real than such things are in real life.  The army only listens to the king because they listen to the king....

An alternative to having anything pop up could be the text boxes? Someone more important to you vs. a complete stranger could have completely different-sized text, or even the color/boldness of the font.

A "peasant" hearing the words of the king would take priority layering over others' text?


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#21 2019-12-07 01:10:45

DestinyCall
Member
Registered: 2018-12-08
Posts: 3,589

Re: Hierarchies

Just make the speech boxes different colors and people will happily murder each other for titles.

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#22 2019-12-07 01:10:54

Keyin
Member
Registered: 2019-05-09
Posts: 255

Re: Hierarchies

Wuatduhf wrote:

Should there be hierarchies right away in the game?

What if Hierarchies could only be formed once someone wears a crown? From there, then people could only follow others who are following someone else, and so on...

That would maybe help to keep the flow of the game "Tribal" in the early sequence, and slowly transforms into "monarchic" in the sense that has been discussed in this Topic so far.

Even tribes usually have a council of elders at the top, or a chief of some kind

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#23 2019-12-07 01:12:23

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 2,906

Re: Hierarchies

And why would Tarr, Pein, Alec, or any other advanced, experienced player be in a subordinate role at 3, when they probably have more of a clue as to what the town needs than the less experienced player over them in the imposed and ARTIFICAL hierarchy?  The advanced experienced player would rationally dissent, or have to fake that the player over time in the hierarchy had a clue.  But, then such a player would become an exile and worthy of death or have to lie.  And then the lineage is likely even more doomed, there's fewer experienced players around to deal with inter-family violence since some would rationally dissent or get exiled NOT by their own choice, fewer people would be around to be capable of handling town issues, and more inter-family violence would happen.

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#24 2019-12-07 01:17:21

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 2,906

Re: Hierarchies

DestinyCall wrote:

Just make the speech boxes different colors and people will happily murder each other for titles.

Yep.  And that's why this idea is total trash.  It would mean more senseless intra-family violence, and people less inclined/encouraged to play for their lineages.

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#25 2019-12-07 01:22:14

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 2,906

Re: Hierarchies

jasonrohrer wrote:

I know people would go nuts with this, and try to become king by getting Dukes to follow them, and there would be lots of drama around it.  I'm just struggling to understand how any of it would be real.... well, maybe no more real than such things are in real life.

It wouldn't make things more real.  It would involve some people being more fake, since they would be low in the hierarchy by artificial means, and have motivation to fake being inferior.  It would also result in more inter-family violence, and that would make things more fake, since in the real world, people rarely to never kill their uncles for some title.  Even under real monarchies, it wasn't like there were that many families that had monarchical status, and though women can be and are sometimes mean to each other, it isn't like there is all that many women who kill other women just to become queen bee.  Again, this whole idea would make things less real.

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