Go Houses, Teams or Clans
I liked the idea of "clan matches" that was quite popular on KGS a few years ago. It would be great if instead of being just another lone wolf on the server, you could belong to a "Go House" or such, and that there was a way for players from different houses to set their games so that they were official "inter-house" matches, with the server taking care of tabulating the results. Members of a house could have a room of their own, and would be have special areas to study together and keep databases of information only open to other house members. It would be wonderful to have the chance to belong to something, and to work with others to the success of my house.
Wouldn't that be a nice idea for Go Clubs? Like they could have their own little blog/site on Kaya with link to their website, with the members listed etc. and their could be like tournaments between Go Clubs?
I agree with aims' comment : I don't like the idea of being splitted into Houses like in Harry Potter, and of feeling compelled to play against other houses' members, or - as a beginner - to feel additional pressure on top of Online Go Anxiety. I rather prefer that we are all one, as Genki Sudo would put it.
I believe one of the virtues of go is its ability to make people from different nations / background / age communicate in the unique language of the game thus uniting people from all over the world with a common goal of enjoying, getting better at or competing at this game.
I'm not sure about the houses/clans idea. It could be OK as long as it doesn't create divisions among players and doesn't hinder the interaction (ie. a 7k without a clan is looking for a ranked game against an opponent of her strength and out of 8 people with 7k on the server 6 decline her because they only play in clan games to boost their clan's rank, etc. Result - The 7k player gets the feeling she'd need to also join a clan to be able to fully enjoy the server action).
Bottom line - it could prove to be a layer of "membership", which would hinder the otherwise free interaction between players. IMHO.
I really like the idea of having Houses, and whether or not a certain House succeeds, or what its purpose is, is completely up to the players who are in it and does not have to be an issue that is considered in designing it.
I also believe that adding too many types of groups, such as clans, on top of the House system would be a bad idea. It would make the community system too cliquish and confusing.
I believe only three things are necessary:
Houses (can only be a member of 1)
ad-hoc and sustainable teams (potentially unlimited number)
KGS-style chat and game rooms
Houses could cover any purpose. A Go school, a group of like-minded players, a group of elite players, etc.
House members should be able to make games that are only for others in their House to join or spectate.
Houses should have their own private places for chatting, and maybe a persistent messaging system similar to a forum. Any other information repositories can be held by the players off-site and need not be a concern in the design.
The houses don't have to be strict. House leaders could be as active or as laissez faire as they wished. What I would like to see is support to allow people to band together as they wished, and to compete against other groups. Therefore, not only rooms like those on KGS would be cool, but also a way to tag house vs house games so that the result is automatically entered into inter-house records.
House versus house competition could take the form of one-on-one games between single players, or formal team matches with a certain number of players per team, and first board, second board and so on.
An additional nice feature would be a badge or similar graphic to add to your user profile to show your membership of a house. That badge could be designed and uploaded by the house leader.
It's always nice to belong to something. I would happily lead a house or join somebody else's.
Yuuki, you're right
The greatest problem will decide how bigger should be the scope of a clan/house...
I think this could be a idea to be worked with the users. Maybe, a initial concept could be:
(1) House - molded in community style, like Facebook;
(2) Clan - molded user-centric, like WoW;
(3) Faction - molded on the background, like KGS rooms, and;
(4) Groups - molded in a G+ Circle way;
Each of this could be molded and works in different ways, giving different resources and different pov. If you think on tournaments, that could be only against the same type (House vs House, Faction vs Faction), etc...
Maybe, a way to reduce complexity should be define a hierarchy:
Groups are isolated;
Teams are independent or aligned to a clan;
Clans are independent or aligned to a House;
Well, this could be troublesome to be implemented... :P
From my pov, this is a nice idea, but there need to be some clarifications since there are many different kinds of groups:
* study groups or schools
* clans of people with a similar background (for instance, same country, similar age, similar interests, etc)
* teams of friends who know each other
* go houses consisting of ... whom?
So, should there be multiple groups a player can participate in? Like 1 house, an unlimited number of teams, 1 clan and up to 3 study groups? I would rather avoid everyone to be in about every group just because it sounds cool - every membership should carry a certain meaning.
Apart from that, I like the ideas of Fabio. Kaya can avoid the likely reason why most of the clan or clan-like systems on other servers failed: Organization from an individual's pov. (I remember a clan tournament I was in a few years ago. 8 rounds. My opponents did not show up in 6 of them for various reasons)
As a final thought, I agree with Gabriel that leading a more important group (that is, a house or clan) requires a fitting leader. I know some people who got the courage and drive, so I'll try to have them shift their activities to kaya. If they move, their respective groups will follow, too. Of course, kaya needs to provide better means of group management and user experience, but that's one thing i'm not concerned about :)
I think that people from the same country would like to join other players from the same country. Also people who shares the same type of playing...
Maybe the House could be thought a little less strict as I suggested. Or maybe we could split the idea on "Houses" and "Teams". "Teams" should be a kind of study group, without a very strict structure or anything. Teams could be formed by anyone at anytime, but Teams would not be used by "House matches". A Team could be "upgraded" to House with time and hard effort from the Team. At the same time, Houses could merge good Teams, and House merge with other houses and split...
I would like to build a Team/House to:
(1) A study group: I think I could learn more congregate with people;
(2) Play agains other Houses in Hoyuses Matches: it would be inspiring playing in tournament and matches in this way;
(3) Helping beginners: I don't consider myself a strong player, on the opposite (13K KGS), but I think that I could help beginners to understand the rules and some techniques (even not being that strong)
(4) Chat and socialize: okay, I know MSN and Facebook is already there for this, but this could be very good anyway;
AdminGabriel Benmergui (CEO, Kaya.gs) commented
I remember the KGS clan matches, but i dont remember how they died off.
Certainly we can make a very rich House/clan like experience and it sounds cool. My concern is that running a House requires a very charismatic and energic leader to organize it.
A clan has to have a strong identity, not just a name, so its not a piece of cake, and of course that is out of our control.
I think this could be a potential thing for Teachers, as in school vs school matches. But its not so neat.
more people have to discuss this idea, but keep the feet on the ground: this is a requirement for users, not for us. We cannot make people conglomerate. Who would like to manage a House? why? , etc.
It's a very good idea: if you think on kaya.gs as a "WoW for Go", that's sounds a really good ideia.
To better the idea:
(1) Matches agains houses could be allowed and adopt a team play rule (like HnG on, IRL, the Davis Tennis Cup). The best X players of each house play agains the best X players from the other house. X could be decided previously. The standard should be 5 players;
(2) I disagree partially with the "locking" of the information in a house, at least partially. I think Go is based on courtesy and interaction.
(3) Chat and room are okay and I think that the games between players of the same house could be "hidden" from the other players, BUT this could be disencouraged outside tournament training et cetera... For example: think A house against B house. In a defined time before the tournament, A house and B house chat and room should be hidden from each other's players, but NOT for the rest of community. I know this could allow some kind of "middle man" work, but that's life.
(4) House filiation for players should be unique (each player should be from one house), but house alliances should be encouraged.
(5) Players from all house should have a "Elysium" (adopting the Vampire: The Masquerade RPG term), a place where everyone could play and chat normally in ANY situation;
(6) Inter-house tournaments could be on two "modes":
(a) traditional - the best from Team A againts the best from Team B; the 2nd best against 2nd best and so on;
(b) knock-out - it would starts from the bottom: the worst player of the two teams plays against each other. Tlhe winner stays and play against the next one from the loser's team, until all the players of one team are defeated, when that team would be declared loser.
In any of this cases, changes in the "seats" should be disencoraged (registered on the Team profile) but not forbidden (at least on the traditional "mode")
(7) If the "achievement system" would be implemented:
(a) being of/playing against/win over a house could award achievements;
(b) special achievements should be implemented for the house
(c) The house itself could have some "achievements"