[Server] Research Land

MrResearch
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[Server] Research Land

by MrResearch » Thu Jan 11, 2018 14:08

Server Name: ResearchLand
Address: 46.17.88.25
Port: 30001
Subgame: Minetest Game
Mods: Areas, mobs_redo, mobs_monster, mobs_animal, stamina, farming, 3d_armor, craft_guide

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This is a special server hosted by Joshua Clay at The University of Derby, UK as part of an ongoing research project in player modelling; the Crafting People project. As far as gameplay goes it's your pretty standard survival server featuring mobs, area protection and a pretty neat map.

When you play on this server, your in-game actions such as mining and placing blocks will be correlated into data for the study, with the ultimate intention of being able to dynamically classify players into specific groups from an extensively researched taxonomy of player types. if you would like to know more about the study or have any questions please visit http://joshuaclay.co.uk/craftingpeopleproject.html.

Why are you doing this?
The aim of this project is to be able to classify players based solely on how they interact with the game's environment. The applications of this study are numerous! Ranging from assisting in game design, understanding and predicting player behaviour to better understand player psychology and many other things. An outcome for Minetest specifically could be amending the server name and description to give an overview of what kinds of players are connected to a server or the overall "vibe" of the play session (relaxed, creative, competitive) etc. The server will be running and collecting information indefinitely and you can help the study simply by playing a fantastic game.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have or contact me directly with any urgent queries!
Last edited by MrResearch on Mon Jan 22, 2018 16:06, edited 2 times in total.
 

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Re: [Server] Research Land

by Stix » Thu Jan 11, 2018 14:11

Looks Great! maybe ill give it a go.
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Re: [Server] Research Land

by parasite » Thu Jan 11, 2018 15:47

Hi!

MrResearch wrote:This is a special server hosted by Joshua Clay at The University of Derby, UK as part of an ongoing research project in player modelling; the Crafting People project. (...) When you play on this server, your in-game actions such as mining and placing blocks will be correlated into data for the study, with the ultimate intention of being able to dynamically classify players into specific groups from an extensively researched taxonomy of player types.


That sounds great!
First, I think that it is wonderful that minetest can be used as research tool, and second, I think it is wonderful that minetest players actions can be studied. But I am a little bit worry if such data you want to collect will be enough, I mean it could be interesting to have the possibility to correlate such data with some demographic variables too (but how to get true personal information from players, especially from minors in the Net? That can be mission methodologicaly impossible). Whatever. I hope your project can be successfully performed and when finished, I hope you will release your statistical data and classification conditions to minetest community :D

Maybe you would like to consider adding your bachelor's dissertation supervisor info at your webpage so your project could looks even more interesting, professional and stable?
 

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Re: [Server] Research Land

by MrResearch » Thu Jan 11, 2018 15:56

Hello!

parasite wrote:But I am a little bit worry if such data you want to collect will be enough, I mean it could be interesting to have the possibility to correlate such data with some demographic variables too


Of course this was considered! But in the end the focus of the study was decided to be player modelling as opposed to what you describe, which is player profiling. Player profiling can be extremely useful and could of course be correlated with this data for future studies, but here we are simply focusing on in-game classifications (builder, miner, farmer, etc). There are a couple of reasons for this, but the most important are focus and timescale, plus the fact that participant consent becomes more complicated once you start collecting personal information. I hope someday somebody does expand on this with player profiling, that would be awesome!

parasite wrote:I hope your project can be successfully performed and when finished, I hope you will release your statistical data and classification conditions to minetest community :D


Of course I will post any and all findings here, the community so far has been so helpful and supportive that I couldn't keep it quiet if I wanted to. With regards to adding my supervisor's information to my webpage, you're absolutely right! I have a meeting with him in the morning so I will update the page accordingly when I have the go-ahead.

Thanks so much!
 

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Re: [Server] Research Land

by GreenDimond » Thu Jan 11, 2018 16:03

Interesting idea.
However, you may have overlooked the 'protect' privilege for players, as we are not able to use /protect when we mark an area so we cannot protect anything.
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Re: [Server] Research Land

by MrResearch » Thu Jan 11, 2018 16:08

GreenDimond wrote:Interesting idea.
However, you may have overlooked the 'protect' privilege for players, as we are not able to use /protect when we mark an area so we cannot protect anything.


You're absolutely right. I have amended this and it will take effect on the next server restart. Thanks for pointing this out!
 

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Re: [Server] Research Land

by parasite » Thu Jan 11, 2018 16:52

Hi!
Thanks for your interest and reply!

MrResearch wrote:Of course this was considered! But in the end the focus of the study was decided to be player modelling as opposed to what you describe, which is player profiling. Player profiling can be extremely useful and could of course be correlated with this data for future studies, but here we are simply focusing on in-game classifications (builder, miner, farmer, etc). There are a couple of reasons for this, but the most important are focus and timescale, plus the fact that participant consent becomes more complicated once you start collecting personal information. I hope someday somebody does expand on this with player profiling, that would be awesome!

Yes, I can imagine that the design of such study with player profiling could be hard challenge. It is absolutely obvious that it should be explored with some smaller project before anybody will try to run any complicated one. Your project seem to be innovative in minetest community and I hope it can become some kind of stimulus for more research in the future ;)

MrResearch wrote:Of course I will post any and all findings here

Great!

I visited your server. I had the possibility to set up 2 points with /area_pos1 and /area_pos2 commands, but /protect <area_name> did not work. It triggered the message that I do not have priv to use area protection mod.
And I also listed /mods and found that you do not have much mods there. I guess this can keep players away from your server. I always thought that minetest_game is exactly the same thing, what a stub is among wikipedia pages. I mean it is not a complete game, but something what provide some basic biomes, ores, apples and wheat to your world.
 

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Re: [Server] Research Land

by MrResearch » Thu Jan 11, 2018 17:14

Hi everyone,

Privileges have been updated and the server restarted. You should be able to protect areas just fine now. Let me know if you have any further issues!

I'll be adding additional mods over the coming days. This is still technically a test phase, so there's plenty of room to expand.
 

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Re: [Server] Research Land

by parasite » Thu Jan 11, 2018 18:38

Hi!
MrResearch wrote:Privileges have been updated and the server restarted. You should be able to protect areas just fine now. Let me know if you have any further issues!

well, I still have a problem with it
Last edited by parasite on Sat Jan 13, 2018 13:54, edited 1 time in total.
 

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Re: [Server] Research Land

by GreenDimond » Thu Jan 11, 2018 18:41

It's possible that we still don't have it because we joined before he fixed it, and he added it to the initial privs, so we didn't get them. He may have to grant them to everyone that joined prior to the fix manually.
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Re: [Server] Research Land

by MrResearch » Thu Jan 11, 2018 18:47

parasite wrote:Hi!
MrResearch wrote:Privileges have been updated and the server restarted. You should be able to protect areas just fine now. Let me know if you have any further issues!

well, I still have a problem with it


I just tested with a new account and it seems to be working now, should be in place for everyone. Try again and send me a private message if it still doesn't work.
 

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Re: [Server] Research Land

by Shara » Thu Jan 11, 2018 18:50

MrResearch: Please don't give areas related privs by default. You need to adjust the settings of the areas mod instead.

Talk to me on IRC if you need help with this.
 

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Re: [Server] Research Land

by parasite » Thu Jan 11, 2018 21:56

Dear MrResearch,
Protection now works well! Thanks a lot!
:)
 

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Re: [Server] Research Land

by ThomasMonroe » Sat Jan 13, 2018 13:41

Hello MrResearch, great project you have going here!

I'm the owner of the Legends Of Survival server and former admin on MM-Survival (a deceased server)
If you need help or suggestions with running the server(in-game) you can ask me anytime.
Usually I'm on IRC, but recently I moved house, so I am quite busy atm and also have slower, less reliable internet.

My brother is also usually on IRC and he can help you quite a bit with mods as he is currently working on a huge subgame.
feel free to PM me if you need anything.
I hope you do well and make a great server :)
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Re: [Server] Research Land

by MrResearch » Sat Jan 13, 2018 15:36

Thank you so much ThomasMonroe! I'll be sure to take you up on that at some point, I've already collected some really useful data already but I definitely need advice on more mods I could add to make the gameplay aspects of the server more engaging.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by and taken part already.
 

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Re: [Server] Research Land

by MrResearch » Sat Jan 13, 2018 16:08

Hi everyone, apologies for the double post. I have updated the server with animals, stamina and farming. If anybody has any further suggestions or runs into any problems with these mods please let me know (:
 

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Re: [Server] Research Land

by parasite » Sat Jan 13, 2018 18:08

Hi!
MrResearch wrote:but I definitely need advice on more mods I could add to make the gameplay aspects of the server more engaging.

MrResearch wrote:I have updated the server with animals, stamina and farming. If anybody has any further suggestions or runs into any problems with these mods please let me know (:

I will try to help by preparing a questionnaire. But first I also think that IRC is the best friend of all admins. :))

I think it is not good to add various mods just like that because they seem cool. It would be best to first think about what kind of game you want to have on the server. You can`t add all mods, because almost every one can make a challenge for RAM and/or CPU and can make some more problems which can not be predicted now, before adding these mods to the server. It is expected that the admin will be able to make changes in the mods code to adapt mods to the server needs, or to remove problems that will appear unexpectedly in the game. Someone might say that it would be safe to avoid adding mods which code seems incomprehensible.

If this is to be hard survival, other mods will be needed than in the case of a light fun for the youngest children. Generally, kids are not able to plan or create a long-term strategy, they will not wait for reward. Young children will come to the server when they will be able to quickly and easily get the most valuable resources. They want to succeed immediately, otherwise they will leave crying or claiming that the admin is stupid, the game is stupid and pointless and others are overwhelmed. If one want to have a crowd of kids, the server must be fake-survival-almost-creative lol. Wood, wool and clay in all possible colors, and homedecor stuff, and some sheeps and cows (and monsters that can not do any harm and can be killed without any weapon, or no monsters at all) are the most important then. But if the game is to be rewarding for older children, teenagers and even adults, it must be a challenge to some extent. Then the game can not be only a substitute for lego, dolls and a dollhouse. Different servers adopt different solutions to make the game attractive and requiring a bit of thinking and planning. You can modify the recipes for common things so that the player will have to play a month searching the map for rare ores to be able to create a furnace or faster pick. Or you can remove all dirt from map and force player to buy it in admin shop for a $$$$ else player will have no possibility to plant some food and will die of hunger. You can configure hunger in such way that the player does not have to worry about food, or on the contrary, so that the player is very hungry after just a few minutes. Such a simple solution can completely changes the gameplay! Or maybe it is time for something completely new and dedicated just for this server? Why not create a modification referring to scientific research, data collection and analyzing them?

So, if you are wondering what mods to choose, and which them forget, maybe it's worth answering a few questions:

  • Is it to be easy or difficult to survive in this world?
  • how you will deal with griefing? Will you allow players to put/place the water and lava above X, 0, Z level?
  • your players can craft locked chests, but will they have the possibility to craft locked doors and trapdoors too?
  • will players lose their stuff after death (so they will need to go back to their bones to get that stuff back)?
  • will you allow for PvP?
  • will players have craftguide in their inventory all the time (like unified inventory) or they will need to craft it (like this or this one)?
  • Is it to be easy to move from one location to another (or only by foot, carts and boats)?
  • will players be able to do /sethome (and teleport to this location from any other place)?
  • will players be allowed to teleport at all? If yes, which solution choose:
  • if players will not be able to teleport and will need to walk (or ride by cart) evrywhere, will they have the possibility to help themselves with comapss and/or sprint (1, 2, 3)?
  • do you want players to interact, help and team with each other, or maybe you prefer to support individuality and independence in the gameplay?
  • what about roads, rails (for carts) and even advanced trains? If some player will build a road, will you connect it to the spawn bunker?
  • will players have the possibility to make shops to sell and buy stuff from each other? (for example smart shop or vending machines)
  • will players be allowed to use some advanced devices in mines, like technic quarries, drills and lasers, or digitron?
  • what will be found underground? Maybe nothing, but maybe some caverealms, or underworlds?
    (While caverealms mod is commonly found on servers, the latter is not (yet) very popular. To get some ideas how you can expand underworlds and settle it with mobs, check beerarchy server).
  • will fishing be possible? If yes, which one: this or this?
  • do you want to have beautiful (but heavy!) nature? I mean: biome_lib, more trees, plantlife, sea?
  • what about some decorative but also useable stuff, like industrial lights and signs_lib, or wine (with farming redo I guess)? (these mods are just examples)
  • do you want to have some experimenting fun with new mods like laptop or gramophone?

I guess the most important question is about crafting guide :)

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Last edited by parasite on Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:30, edited 1 time in total.
 

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Re: [Server] Research Land

by ThomasMonroe » Sun Jan 14, 2018 03:57

MrResearch wrote:Thank you so much ThomasMonroe! I'll be sure to take you up on that at some point, I've already collected some really useful data already but I definitely need advice on more mods I could add to make the gameplay aspects of the server more engaging.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by and taken part already.


Your welcome, I should be getting better internet here in a couple weeks, so I'll be back and more active soon. :)
See ya around.
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Re: [Server] Research Land

by MrResearch » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:31

Hi!

If a player called "Li" in the server happens by this post I'd be very interested to talk to you via irc or discord as a case study. Lots of cool work, keep it up!
 

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Re: [Server] Research Land

by MrResearch » Mon Jan 22, 2018 16:14

Hello again!

After reading some feedback from players, I have decided to update the server with user Stu's 3D armor mod and user cornernote's Craft Guide mod. Hopefully this will make playing on the server just a bit more engaging.

I'm still in the process of perfecting the balance of the server for the best possible data. I understand a lot of users are attracted to servers with tons of mods that create a whole variety of gameplay experiences but I'm really trying to keep the game as "basic survival" as I possibly can to try and keep the usability of my results as broad as possible. Quality of life improvements and additions that add depth and usability are what I'm currently looking into adding. With that in mind I'm still open to any suggestions.

I've gathered a lot (actually more than I expected) of really useful info, but I'm struggling to retain long-term engagement with the server and would be happy to hear any more feedback.

Thanks to everyone who has participated so far! Everything is progressing smoothly and I can't wait to make this project even more exciting as it develops.
 

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Re: [Server] Research Land

by ThomasMonroe » Mon Jan 22, 2018 16:20

MrResearch, glad to hear everything is going well.

[quote=MrResearch]but I'm struggling to retain long-term engagement with the server and would be happy to hear any more feedback.[/quote]

add the IRC mod, then you can interact via chat with the players without being in-game. That is what I am doing at the moment because my internet is not the greatest right now and I can't get in-game.
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Re: [Server] Research Land

by MrResearch » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:54

Hello everybody!

The first round of data collection is almost finished. As such I will be shutting down the server on Monday 5th of March. If anybody would like a backup of the map file and configs please let me know (:

I wasn't expecting this to be as successful as it has been. Over the course of two months 570 unique players visited the server, with 98 of those logging enough playtime to be usable in the statistical analysis portion of the study. When I first started the server I was hoping for 30, so this is huge. You're all wonderful people and I cannot thank you enough.

I'll post updates on my analysis as and when. Thanks again!
 


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