Wednesday, March 3, 2010

KK City Hunt 2010—Transparency & Gameplay

One of the many aspects of the KK City Tourism Hunt 2010 which was extensively discussed and debated about was the transparency in the point allocation. The organiser did a good job as far as the route questions and treasure clues were concerned. Participants were very clear on how many points would be awarded for each correct answer and treasure. However, the same can't be said about the games.

We had 4 games and a challenge in this hunt. The latter was just a matter of spending the time to go to several places around the city to collect stamps. For as long as those stamps were successfully acquired, one would know that he has achieved full score for that challenge. So there is no problem there, even if the organiser did not reveal how many points allocated for that challenge.

Of the games, we had the forsaken blowpipe, walking and balancing on coconut shells, kite making and flying, and picking soy beans with chopsticks. The first two games were quite straightforward. In the blowpipe challenge, we were given clear explanation what each hit was worth. Same with the coconut shells.

But for the kite making and flying challenge, no one knows how the points were awarded. Teams were supposed to have been judged on 3 elements, i.e. (1) the actual making of the kite (ready-made kites are disqualified), (2) creativity, and (3) the ability to remain airborne for at least 10 seconds. The total score for this challenge, if I'm not wrong was 10 points. I have no idea how many points were allocated for each of these 3 elements.

As for the soy bean challenge, that is even more interesting. A few dry soy beans were mixed together with about half a kilo of red beans in a transparent plastic container. Participants were required to pick only the soy beans using a pair of chopsticks within 60 seconds. The total score for this challenge was 10 points. Again, no one knows how the points were awarded for this challenge. Some of us did ask the question, of course, but all we got was "I don't know, only the CoC knows." We were merely told to pick as many soy beans as possible, don't worry about the score.

Don't worry about the score!? Are you serious!?

In my opinion this was a lousy approach by the Organiser/CoC to protect themselves from possible challenges. Since this was a game of strategy, teams deserved to know how the points were allocated. That can even affect our gameplay. For example, we may decide to make the kite and work on the creativity element, but would not invest in the extra efforts to keep it airborne for 10 seconds if only, say, 1 point is allocated for that last element. We would rather spend the extra 20 minutes to do other tasks for greater rewards.

At the end of the hunt, questions were raised. If one team performed equally well in all the questions and other games against another team, and it boiled down to, say, the kite challenge, would it be logical to assume that the team with the successfully flown kite did better than the team which did not? Would it, then, be logical to assume that the former should reasonably score better than the latter?

These are examples of questions raised by some of the teams after the hunt, because from the little that we know, it seems that the answer to both these questions is "NO". However, we may be wrong. We would therefore appeal to the organiser or the CoC for a clear answer please.


Update (04/03/2010):

I have since received an email from the CoC, explaining the mechanics of point allocations for the 2 Games in question. For the benefit of some of you who've been asking me, please find below herewith the scoring format:

Game 1: Wau! Now everyone can fly! (Maximum 10 points)

Kite Making (Based on Creativity & Effort)

A—7 points

B—5 points

C—3 points

Ability to Fly (Min 10 Seconds)

additional 3 points

Game 2: Picking Up Sticks (Maximum 10 points)

0—3 beans = 4 points

4—8 beans = 6 points

9—14 beans = 8 points

15 beans and more = 10 points

In the case of Game 1 above, the CoC has combined the elements of the actual making of the kite and its creativity, and here there are 3 possibilities, i.e. 7 points (most creative), 5 points (average design), 3 points (least creative).

On its ability to fly, that is a separate thing. Any kite, regardless of its design, for as long as it's able to remain airborne for at least 10 seconds, shall be entitled to 3 points.

In other words, if one is able to make a kite and fly it for at least 10 seconds, he should be able to get a minimum score of 6 points. And of course if his kite can't fly, he can't possibly get more than 7 points for that challenge.

In the case of Game 2, I'm quite OK with the format, except that I think it's rather unfair that 0—3 beans are entitled to 4 points; whereas 4—8 beans are entitled to 6 points. It means that anyone can simply appear at the game station and get no beans at all, and still get 4 points. Yet someone who manages to pick up 8 beans gets 6 points, i.e. a difference of only 2 points for a difference of 8 beans picked!


Anonymous said...

I agree with what you said about transparency in scoring. My team also would like to know our scores for games. But no point because we are new team and games score cant make difference anyway. From our own calculation, maybe got few points difference. But we believe the coc is very professional person. So we trust his calculation. You make it sound like there is some hanky-panky with scores. Maybe you trying to accuse coc is not honest? If I am the coc, I will fight back to clear my name.

Cornelius said...

Thank you, Anonymous friend, for your comment. But I never suggested that there was foul play; neither did I say that the CoC was a dishonest person.

Sometimes, even when one behaves "professionally", he may still end up making mistakes. That's reality. I have been discussing hunt questions and other hunt issues whenever I can. I'd like to think that I have, to a certain extent, influenced the treasure hunting scene where CoCs are now trying much harder to be very careful with their work.

But at any rate, by an email I received from the CoC last night, it is now confirmed that there's indeed some sort of error in the calculation of scores in at least one team. The only question remaining at this point is error by what margin?

From where I stand right now, at least one team is robbed of a second place finish, with an overwhelming possibility of the pole position even.

And yes, I have also been furnished with the mechanics of point allocations for the Kite Challenge & Picking Sticks Challenge. But I will post it here later when I have the time.

Cornelius said...

Another update to keep my readers informed of what has transpired since this afternoon.

Apparently a few teams which have successfully flown their kites for over 10 seconds found that they fell short by a few points when compared to those announced by the CoC.

For those who did not participate in this hunt, here are the Rules & Regulations as found on the 1Malaysia Game #1 sheet in verbatim:


You are to build a kite using your own materials. Points will be awarded based on your effort, your kite design and your kite's ability to fly!

Rules & Regulations

1. You are free to use any materials and design for your kite. You must look/buy/scavenge for your own materials.


3. The Teluk Likas station will be open from 8.30am to 11.00 am only!! Teams reporting in after 11.00am will not be entertained.

4. You will gain BONUS POINTS if your kite can fly and stay airborne for at least 10 SECONDS!!

From the above Rules & Regulations, it looks to me like if one is able to fly his self-made kite and keep it airborne for at least 10 seconds, he is entitled for that bonus points (in this case 3 points). There is nothing in the rules about flying straight or beautifully etc. The way I see it, if it flies, it flies. If it's airborne for 10 seconds, then it's airborne for 10 seconds. Therefore, these teams deserve the bonus points.

However, by the last reply from the CoC, we now know that there was no mistake in the calculations after all. In spite of the fact that those kites were successfully flown for over 10 seconds, and then acknowledged by the marshal, those flights were recorded as "not meeting the flight criteria", resulting in no bonus points. So that settles it then. No mistakes in calculations!