Tuesday, July 28, 2009

No Vice as Novice

UPDATE (31/07/09):

OK, folks, we've just prepared a simple Entry Form for this hunt. And because of this hunt, I'm very happy to announce that I have now learned how to upload a word document file to a google group freehost, and hopefully successfully linked it to this blog. I've also created a link in the "Announcements" frame on my sidebar, so you can also download by clicking "Entry Form" from there. It's about time, too, that I learn these things!

I will also send out emails to some of the hunters I know to inform them about this hunt very soon. If you need further information, please feel free to contact me.


This morning, Alvin Wong and I exchanged several text messages about the Palliative Care Association of Kota Kinabalu Treasure Hunt last Sunday. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, Alvin was already suggesting doing another hunt on 31 August—Merdeka Day. Then we continued building on that idea through several exchanges of emails. Then the excitement grew and eventually we ended up meeting for lunch along Gaya Street near my office.

Alvin's idea was to organise a kind of tutorial hunt in the hope of raising the standard of the local hunters, but also to encourage new teams onboard. To do this, the plan is to set a hunt comprising about 75% of basic cryptic questions of novice standard, and 25% of the more challenging questions, but may also be achiveable by the new teams. The same formula will also be adopted for the 4 treasures.

We're hoping that the new hunters are able to experience a less painful learning process, and maybe that can whet their appetite for more hunts in the future. Apart from that, we decided that this hunt shouldn't be about big prizes; and neither should it be about us making profits. The idea is to charge a low entry fee which is to be treated more like a tuition fee for the aspiring teams. Alvin has come up with a catchy theme fo this hunt: No Vice as Novice.

In order to do this well, both Teams Kena Tembak and Megapawns will not be hunting, so that other teams are able to compete on a so-called level playing field. And since Kena Tembak and Megapawns won't be hunting, we will be combining our efforts to clerk the hunt instead. It is still too early and we have not decided who will do what and to what extent, but based on my discussion with Alvin over lunch today, I have the impression that I will be setting about a third of the total number of questions; and Alvin and Christine will each do a third respectively. We have not decided on the use of tulips for this hunt, but I'm inclined to bring it back for the sake of the new teams.

To keep cost even lower, and having taken the fasting month into account, we will not be providing meals and refreshments. We will probably arrange for the end venue close to eateries, so that hunters are free to find their own meals if they want to after submitting their answers, and then come back for the presentation later. As for the prizes, we are only giving away hampers and there will be no cash up for grabs.

In view of the above, we're setting the entry fee at RM100 per team for the first 15 teams to register; and RM150 per team for the rest up to 20 teams only. At the same time, if there are any of you who'd like to contribute additional prizes, we would welcome that too.

Just to clarify that this is not a part of my KK Challenge series. My KK Challenge 5 is still on course for October, though I have not set a specific date yet. If this hunt is successful, Alvin is also toying with the idea of doing another one in September. I think if that September hunt can also materialise, teams will be more prepared for my KK Challenge 5 and better able to score well.

Kena Tembak and Megapawns will be meeting again soon to iron out the details of this hunt; and I will come up with the Entry Form soon after that. I will then make the proper announcement here.


cleo N the Gang said...

great idea!! since we are also novice hunters, its a good experience for us to learn more from this tutorial hunt. please count us in! hehehe

teo said...

Hi Corny,

My team decided to sponsor a prize for this hunt as to help promote and encourage more new hunters to take part in the Treasure Hunts. And hopefully we wont get it back should we win something from this hunt haha

Cornelius said...

Hi Cleo,

I'm glad to hear that from you. I'm assuming that Alvin or Ellen has your contact. I will request the list of hunters from them so that I can inform all of you via text message or email. We will surely get in touch with you soon.

Cornelius said...

Wow! that's generous of your team, Teo! Thanks for supporting this event. So is CK also coming all the way from Sandakan for this?

I'm telling you, Teo, your team really needs to do something to find your way back to the top. This lately, it seems that Team Mung Cha Cha and Team Flame had overtaken your team. And for this coming hunt, I will try to "force" Vivian's team to hunt too. Besides, since 75% of the questions will be easy, the novice teams will also have a shot at the podium too. So I can foresee a very close fight!

Try harder to do better on your treasures. I notice that's almost always the weakness of your team! I'll try to convince Alvin not to ask for stones as treasures, OK? Consider that as a small favour from me! That's my way of saying "thank you" for the prize you're sponsoring. See? I'm a very nice guy wor!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cornelius,
Good to hear that you and Alvin and company are coming up with the tutorial hunt next!Just 1 request please for this next one -please reinstate back the use of the good ole "tulips". i didn't take part in the PCA hunt but I understand that the lack of "tulips" resulted in no cut off points between 2 sectors and questions.Since both Bernard and Christine are "Q.S." I am sure this husband and wife combination can come up with the lovely "tulips" signs.

cleo N the Gang said...

Hi cornelius,

thanks for your reply. we are really excited and looking forward to this merdeka hunt..
BTW, what is "tulips" stands for? we really have no idea what that is. We hope that you can tell us more about it so that we can get prepared for the next hunt.. haha
for your info, we are group no 40 in the PCA hunt.. cheers!

Cornelius said...

Anonymous friend,

As I said in the earlier post, the navigational element was perhaps the most talked-about subject in the PCAKK Hunt. For some strange reasons, quite a number of hunters came up to me to object the kind of navigational aid for the hunt. But actually, it's OK to go directly to Alvin himself. He's open to comments and suggestions.

Yes, I have discussed the issue of tulips with Alvin for the coming hunt and I'm inclined to believe that he's in favour of the idea to provide tulips for this novice hunt.

However, to be fair to Team Kena Tembak, let me mention here the justification for the navigational aid for the PCAKK Hunt as explained by Alvin. In his opinion, treasure hunt is not only about answering cryptic clues. As in the case of an actual treasure hunt, one has to figure out the location(s) of the treasures first with the help of map(s). So in that sense we're looking for the locations of the sectors first before we get to answer the clues. I suppose it depends on the personal styles and preferences of the CoCs. I can agree that that’s a valid justification, except that maybe the CoC should’ve considered the strength of the hunters that day and adjusted either the difficulty level in the questions or hunt duration to balance off everything. But again, I will try to bring back the tulips for this novice hunt.

Thank you for your interest in this hunt. I have more or less received positive responses from almost all the familiar teams in KK.

Cornelius said...


"Tulips", in the context of treasure hunts, are navigational aids to guide the hunters to the numerous hunting sectors. A typical "tulips" comprises small diagrams with arrows to show the directions to go to; the distances (usually in km) from one turn to another; the areas where the answers are to be found; and any important remarks or landmarks for each sector.

To the new hunters, this may seem like a very complicated document. But actually once you can understand how to read it, it can make life very easy for hunters. But don't worry, if it is used in the hunt, the CoC will explain thoroughly how to read the tulips. At any rate, it is much easier to use when compared to what we had in the PCAKK Hunt.

BTW, I am amused by your excitement. I went through exactly the same thing when I first started hunting. And the excitement is always there before a hunt up to now!

Cornelius said...

OK, so now Alvin has confirmed that we will be providing tulips for this hunt.

Alvin has suggested that I explain about tulips here in this blog. I will have to find a proper time to do that. It's a good idea because I can make use of the tutorial over and over again in the future! Just that I am so lazy to embark on it!... hehehe

delurk said...

So the reason not to provide tulips is to simulate actual treasure hunt, where one has to search for the location first? Really? WoW

My conspiracy theory mind says it was designed to deny HrU+1 from winning.

Cornelius said...


I am the first one to admit that my team benefitted from the format of this hunt.

We benefitted from the KK City Hunt in February too, since that hunt adopted almost the same format, i.e. no tulips. In fact that hunt did not even provide any maps at all. Hunters were free to choose the sequence of the sectors and tasks. But the difference was that instead of providing the maps, they provided the names of those places instead. HRU almost failed to find one of those sectors, but they found it in the end, and won the hunt.

I shared the same table with HRU during the presentation at the PCAKK Hunt. I realised that there's no doubt that they're stronger than all of the KK teams as far as cryptic ability was concerned. Yet they were disadvantaged by the format of the hunt.

I think all the Sabahan hunters knew very well why my team won the hunt instead of HRU. I respect HRU as a well-oiled hunting machine. We still have a long way to go before we can reach their standard.

But give us Sabahans a bit of credit also lah. If we had to go to the extent of conspiracy to win a hunt, I'd rather not win it. The format of the hunt, the questions, the treasures, challenges and whatever connected to this hunt were all the CoC's idea. I had no part to play in any of it.

If we had wanted to conspire against HRU, perhaps a much simpler way was to let us Sabahans have the answers to the tough questions or rehearse the challenges before the hunt. That would have absolutely blocked HRU out from winning.

While I'm writing all this to protect my own reputation, I am also protecting the reputation of the CoC as well as all my Sabahan comrades.

Let me say it here again, if I have to cheat to win a treasure hunt, I'd rather stay out of it. I am sure my fellow Sabahans share the same attitude.

Cornelius said...

I received a text message from Alvin Wong this morning in connection with the latest comment here. I'd like to append below his comment (with his permission, of course):

"Conspiracy is a very strong word. I repeat again that we should look out from our own stereo type perception what "treasure hunt" should be. Just because it is usually done like that in the West, should we just adopt it? Treasure hunts in any other context involves searching for the location(s) to find the treasure(s). Hunters might die fighting for the map - not the treasure; although in most cases for the treasure. And in most movies, the actions are in searching for the locations. We had to level the playing field with teams like HRU in the fray. Easy questions for them would be tough for Sabah teams. It would be much sweeter to win in a hunt where they were made to sweat rather than snatching candies from children. And yet, we had to do it fair. We did say they could ask, or even get a taxi driver to lead them if necessary. These would only slow them a bit, but no way preventing them from winning. As for conspiracy, we are all friends, but we are also professionals."

delurk said...

Cornelius Koh,

NEVER ONCE did it cross my mind that you were involved in any form of cheating. Not in this hunt, not in nay hunt. Come on, you are part of the regular hunters (masters) and I know the standard of ethics among us.

So let me reiterate that I did not think you cheated in any way. I must also add that, whatever the reason for not providing the tulips, it DID NOT take away your achievement in winning the hunt.

I apologies to you if what I said earlier appears as if I'm accusing you of cheating.


To me, designing a hunt so that certain teams are at a disadvantage like putting in silly games and challenges and (no tulip)making it difficult to look for answers should not be encourage.

KK hunt scene should adopt common accepted standard, encourage and welcome the world, play among the best.

delurk said...

Cornelius Koh,

I was typing the earlier comment and didn't see your post regarding the CoC's comment until after I posted mine.

I read the CoC comment with interest. When I first read your review about the hunt and the part about the no tulip and see the results, immediately I asked myself "did the CoC designed it that way to make it tougher for HrU?" I have my answer now.

Which is why when you reported that the CoC had wanted to simulate actual treasure without any mentioned of the any other reasons I wondered, really?

The net results is team like Cleo and the Gang (I assume many others too) miss the chance of learning the basic because the CoC designed the hunt for one team.

BTW, why revert to tulip for the up coming NOVICE hunt if treasure hunt are suppose to be like the actual thing?

Anonymous said...

I was the one who brought up the issue of having "tulips" in the next novice tutorial hunt. Although I didn't take part in the PCA hunt , you can say I was somewhat involved in it in a different capacity. I am sorry if the subject attracted so much comments both favourable and adverse opinions.Variety,they say, is the spice of life soI opined here that different navigational formats beig adopted by C o Cs should be encouaged.Whatever format is used does not discouraged me as a hunter . I can only say I will be happy to do any hunt ,no matter how it is set as long as my team and I do not have to exert too much physical efforts like carrying bags of rice from one point to another!Can you imagine the disavantage such a task will entails to an all ladies team of say 2 ladies or evn, god forbids, 3 or 4 of them even.To you and the Kena Tembak Team,keep up the good effort to encourage motorized treasure hunting in Kota Kinabalu! Cheers!

Cornelius said...


Thanks for your latest comments. You have lifted a great burden off my mind; and I'm sure Alvin feels the same too.

For those who don't already know it, Alvin has always adopted this particular approach in most of his hunts - not only in the PCAKK Hunt. In fact, he did not provide any tulips in the Tembak Series 1 in May too. And long before that he has been doing the same for the (closed) hunts for his church members too. As I said, it's a personal preference of the CoC. He has his justification for his format. It is a different flavour I guess, and one which not all of us may like!

But although he used the same navigational approach in the Tembak Series 1 in May, not many hunters objected to it then. Immediately we ask ourselves, why? I think in the Tembak Series 1, the questions were much easier than what we had in the PCAKK Hunt. And because of the easier questions, it sort of balanced off the time and efforts to look for the sectors. That's why I said it's a matter of balancing the many elements of the hunt.

Regarding your question on why the tulips will be used again in this coming novice hunt, I think the answer is obvious, isn't it? This time, I have a say in it. And my style has always been with the tulips, especially since I'm now expecting some new teams joining the hunt. I'm sure if Alvin had it his way, he'd rather not use the tulips.

Cornelius said...

Dear Anonymous friend,

No need to apologise. It's good that we can raise these issues and discuss them openly here. Some of the other hunters who don't really know us may get the wrong idea. It so happened that I was lucky to win both of Alvin's recent hunts. And both times, I was heavily involved in promoting the hunts for them too. And then now I'm setting the novice hunt together with Alvin.

I want to assure the other hunters that we are professional people, and the meager few RMs just not worth spoiling our reputations; we don't do hanky-panky stuff.

In the Tembak Series 1 in May, Bernard's son was also hunting, but they didn't make it to the top 3. Although Benjamin is only a Form 5 boy, he is a hunter to be reckoned with, having been hunting occasionally with his parents several times since he was a very young. His team almost beat my team during the KK City Hunt in February.

I'm telling all this for the sake of being transparent. We have nothing to hide - except for the questions lah, until the hunt day! (smile)

Oh by the way, I just noticed a small inaccuracy in your earlier comment. Bernard is the Land Surveyor; Christine is the QS. Then Alvin is the Marine Biologist. These are very brilliant people! I wish I can say the same about myself!... HAHAHA!

Cornelius said...

I received a question from a hunter this morning, asking me if there will be any restrictions against non-novice teams. I thought this is an important question and would like to give the answer here.

Perhaps it's our mistake for not clarifying this particular point. In spite of the title, Novice, this hunt is still open to all except of course to the team members of Kena Tembak and Megapawns.

The hunt is designed for "novice standard" in the sense that about 75% of the route questions and treasure questions will be of beginner's standard; whereas the rest will be a bit more challenging. It's in that sense that we've said it is a kind of "tutorial" hunt for the new teams. We think there is a good deal of hunting stuff to be learned in the 75%. What's more, it's comparatively much cheaper when compared to what a typical hunt would cost. Furthermore, as Alvin put it (and I agree with him), we are actually training other hunters who will eventually become threats to our own teams!

However, it doesn't mean that teams with hunting experience can't join this hunt. There will still be a bit of challenge in the remaining 25%. So don't expect a stroll in the park all the way through! Some of the regular teams have already confirmed their participation.

But to be quite honest, I am focusing more on attracting new teams to come onboard. I know the regular teams will be there rain or shine! I hope the new teams won't miss this opportunity to learn. It will be fun.

Cornelius said...

Just to update a bit on the response so far. As of 6pm this evening, I have 6 Entry Form submissions. And tomorrow morning, Claire (Team Clejoy) will be submitting her form too. Since Claire has never missed my hunt, I consider her team as confirmed also. So now we have 7 teams. I have not heard from Team Bachelords (now known as The Stone?); Flame; Never Give Up. It would be amusing if they end up paying RM150 each (smile).

Interestingly, Team B+ (Vivian's team), was the first to submit their entry form. And I thought only the regular teams will submit first. But I was pleasantly surprised to have received the entry from of Cleo N the Gang (Team Eighty4). I have the feeling that we will quickly achieve the 15 teams.