Surface and Orbit Authority

Proposal: Space Master 2.0

As described in the 1.190 and Stuck Grids threads, I am not abiding by the current rules. Rule 9.3 (“Continuity”) requires that I announce admin changes at least three days before I make them, and I have not been doing that. What I have been doing is making judgement calls about what kinds of server-admin intervention are likely to be acceptable to y’all, and then being clear about them after the fact.

That seems to have gone well. First, I’m grateful for your trust and tolerance. Second, I’d like to formalize this, so that the expectations you can all have of me (and of my successors as Space Master) are once again clear. This proposal is intended to accomplish that.

First, it unifies “Continuity” into the “The Official Server” rule, since Continuity is largely about what the Space Master can, must, or must not do with regards to the official server anyways.

Second, it replaces the Space Master’s duty to notify with a new duty to report, and clarifies when it is appropriate for the Space Master to make changes that must be reported.

Third, it’s intended to answer something that came up in Discord. When I was inventorying grids to identify problems caused by the 1.190 upgrade, I inevitably got to see projects people had not otherwise shown off. I posted a screenshot of one project, without asking permission from the player responsible for it. While that appears to have been harmless, I did ruffle some feathers by doing that, and for that, I apologize. This should make it clear that we expect the Space Master to maintain confidentiality.

It’s phrased the way it is at @David_s’ recommendation, to allow the Space Master to talk to a player about that player’s own grids. The scenario they were specifically concerned about was talking to a player to ask permission to remove dead/laggy grids, and I think that’s a pretty reasonable thing for the SM to be able to do.

I submit the following proposal:


Title: Space Master 2.0
Adoption Index: 1.0

Repeal rule 9.3 (“Continuity”).

Append the following text paragraphs to the end of rule 9.2 (“The Official Server”):

The Space Master must take all steps necessary to ensure that the data created by the official server is protected from accidental deletion or modification.

The Space Master may only deliberately view, modify, or delete the official server’s data through ordinary gameplay, to implement adopted proposals, or to address non-gameplay-related technical issues. If the Space Master makes a deliberate modification to address a non-gameplay-related technical issue, they must publish a complete description of their changes, and their rationale for them within a day.

Information about the state of the game on an official server, other than information stored in the server’s configuration files or information included in the server’s log files, is game information. Persons must not disclose game information to a person who would not otherwise be aware of that information, unless it is information they would be aware of through ordinary gameplay, or unless it is information they are required by this Charter to disclose.

@derspiny, you have knack for the word smithing. I think that covers all of the cases that I could think of and more probably.

Thanks dude.

I’ve got a small correction to clear up pronoun confusion in the final paragraph. I withdraw the above proposal and submit the following in its place:


Title: Space Master 2.0
Adoption Index: 1.0

Repeal rule 9.3 (“Continuity”).

Append the following text paragraphs to the end of rule 9.2 (“The Official Server”):

The Space Master must take all steps necessary to ensure that the data created by the official server is protected from accidental deletion or modification.

The Space Master may only deliberately view, modify, or delete the official server’s data through ordinary gameplay, to implement adopted proposals, or to address non-gameplay-related technical issues. If the Space Master makes a deliberate modification to address a non-gameplay-related technical issue, they must publish a complete description of their changes, and their rationale for them within a day.

Information about the state of the game on an official server, other than information stored in the server’s configuration files or information included in the server’s log files, is game information. Persons must not disclose game information to a person who would not otherwise be aware of that information, unless it is information the recipient would be aware of through ordinary gameplay, or unless it is information the disclosing person is required by this Charter to disclose.

I feel like this is a bit broad:

If David tells me something on Discord, am I allowed to tell Derspiny? If that considered information I received “through ordinary gameplay”? (There are conventions of confidentiality to consider that are independent from what we want to try to regulate, but that aside.)

As I understand it, the thing we are specifically trying to regulate is the disclosure of information by the Space Master, that the Space Master learned through their special abilities/duties as Space Master, to a player that may not previously have known this information. Assuming that’s correct, I think the wording as it stands is maybe a bit too broad in what it tries to regulate.

My suggestion would be:

Information about the state of the game on an official server, other than information stored in the server’s configuration files or information included in the server’s log files, is game information. Game information that the Space Master learns of through the execution of their privileged access is privileged game information. The Space Master must not disclose privileged game information to any player except when required for the execution of their duties, and then only to the most limited set of players feasible, unless required by this Charter to disclose.

Oof. Nice catch. That’s substantially broader than I intended. I did intend to expand it to prevent, for example:

  • former Space Masters from disclosing information they learned while in office, after they leave the office or leave SOA entirely, and
  • players from disclosing information they learn either by inappropriate actions of the SM or by game bugs - such as standing under the world during the loading window and spotting a grid in the distance belonging to another player.

I did not, however, intend to restrict players, or the Space Master, from disclosing information they themselves learn in normal gameplay, but I agree with you: as worded, this creates exactly that kind of restriction.

I’d like to keep the former two restrictions, rather than scoping this down to the current Space Master, if possible, but I agree with you otherwise.

Would

Persons must not disclose game information to a person who would not otherwise be aware of that information, unless it is information either the disclosing person or the recipient would be aware of through ordinary gameplay, or unless it is information the disclosing person is required by this Charter to disclose.

be a suitable improvement?

Another tack might be to try to describe a class of “generally known” or “public” game information, which would include both a player’s own observations as well as information gleaned via conversation, forum posts, Discord, and so on. I’d want that to be fairly broad, to avoid creating a duty of confidentiality between members by accident.

I think this does still create a “duty of confidentiality between members”.

(change in italics, I believe)

This still forbids “David told me something on Discord, and now I want to tell Derspiny or Canderthal” as far as I can tell, if the “something” is something that the recipient (Derspiny or Canderthal) did not already know through “ordinary gameplay”.

I interpret (perhaps too strictly) “ordinary gameplay” to be limited to “within the Space Engineers program”. I’m happy to be told I’m being overly pedantic though, if you believe that’s the case. :slight_smile:

Updated suggestion: