Hello Scouts and Scythes,
Congratulations! You are now an advanced Eyewire player! The following is a brief introduction and manual to your new Scout and/or Scythe duties. The first few sections are an overview and description of your duties. Afterwards, we’ll review the tools available to you to perform these tasks and your reporting procedures.
- A scout has the ability to choose any cube in a cell and inspect it. If there’s a merger or error in the cube, the scout can flag the cube for review which highlights the area in question in yellow in the overview. This flag alerts scythes, admins, or even GrimReaper himself to check out the problem.
- To be promoted to the rank of Scout, a player needs to have completed 1000 cubes with an accuracy of ~90%. You also need to be an active member of the community who seeks out mergers/errors and reports them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Your new chat color is turquoise.
- Scythes (previously known as Scouts) are able to choose a cube to inspect, enter the cube, perform any reaping if needed and submit the changes. Scythes have the responsibility to assist in removing mergers and finding extensions.
- To be promoted to the order of the Scythe, you need to be an active member of the community with experience as a Scout and show initiative in finding correct extensions and origin points of mergers.
- Your new chat color is glowing turquoise.
- Your new mission, should you choose to accept it, is to assist the GrimReaper in finding areas that need to be extended and mergers that must be banished.
- Scouts receive 50 points for each cube flagged. Beware overzealous flagging! You don’t want to court the wrath of the GrimReaper!
- Scythes receive 30 points per each cube that has been submitted with no changes. They will receive 150 points per cube that has been submitted with correctional changes.
What is Reaping?
- Most of you are aware that GrimReaper or his admins are called upon to remove mergers – those extra cell bodies or areas where a branch from another cell has been added. But the GrimReaper’s job involves more than smiting mergers, the Reaper must also extend the branches when players get stuck. To do this the GrimReaper chooses a starting cube along a branch, and then moves along it (use ALT+Click), while looking for rough and jagged places or areas where there is a “bald spot” where branches seem to be missing in the cell’s structure. These spots indicate that something may have been missed. Once the Reaper finds a suspicious spot he selects the cube by using SHIFT+Click and then clicking on Inspect. A Scout can then flag this area for extension and a Scythe can choose to extend it.
What Cubes Should I Check?
- You don’t need to check every cube on a branch. When you select a branch and look at it’s descendants there are certain cubes that you can target. Let’s take a look at a branch on the Spokes Neuron.
- Let’s just focus on the branch half on the right.
- I’ve highlighted four main points that should be areas that need to be checked. I chose these points primarily because they have jagged ends and look like they might continue. I didn’t choose one spot because it’s smooth and ended in a bulb-like structure.
Area # 1
- This area is a tail, but with a closer look you’ll notice that the end is smooth and not jagged. You’ll notice it ends in a rounded bulb. Thus, we can skip over it. If you’re still not sure, a quick in-cube check will confirm that it has terminated. We don’t need to report this.
- In the overview, the area looks jagged but you can quickly spot that it’s a merger. Upon entering the cube, we can see that the merger is part of the seed piece and caused by the AI. We should report this as a merger in the spreadsheet.
- This is an area where a nub has been missed – it has a jagged end and seems to end rather abruptly. If you go into the cube you can tell that there needs to be something added. I’ve gone in and shown in orange that this missed small branch actually exits out the cube, so it actually was a very important nub that needed to be flagged.
Area #3 Inside the cube
- This spot is the end of the branch so naturally we check this out and usually it needs to be extended. In some cases, such as this one, the branch actually ends. If we go into the cube, we can see that it naturally terminates. We don’t need to report this cube.
What is a Nub?
- A nub is an spot that juts out from the main branch that is being traced. Most of these nubs end, but some of them are tiny branches that need to be caught. If you’ve found a nub that needs to be traced further, please report the cube. The example below shows a nub in green that was missed in the initial tracing – as you can see the start of the missing area starts to extend out from the main branch.
What is Dust?
- Dust is what we call tiny missing pieces in a branch. While the main branch may seem to have some little “holes”, they don’t highly affect our data. Since it’s not imperative to the overall structure of the branch, you don’t need to report cubes with missing dust. I’ve highlighted a piece of missing dust in green here.
- The first change you’ll notice is the toolbar down at the bottom of the page (now there is one!) You’ll see the Heat Map, the Intensity Slider, and a Search Box.
- First, let’s check out the heat maps. The drop down menu gives you two options. The first heat map we encounter is “Created”.
- Cool isn’t it? The redder the color the newer the branch. In this screenshot the light blue is the oldest, then the purple, then the pink, and then the red. You can use the slider to the right of the drop down menu to change the intensity. The Created heat map can help us figure out which part of the cell has stopped growing and where a brand new merger started.
Now check out the awesome “Scythe Vision” heat map.
- This was created especially for scouts, scythes, and reapers. It combines edits made by each group. Have a look at the legend which identifies what each color means on the map.
- Blue branches are normal and have not been edited. Yellow marked areas are where Scouts have flagged cubes for review by a scythe or reaper. The orange areas are where Scythes have made and saved changes to a cube. The red cubes mark where the Reaper has intervened and saved changes. The GrimReaper uses the purple coloring to mark that everything past this cube is complete. As a rule admins, will often “mark a branch as purple” as a way to indicate the branch is done and it does not need anymore attention or growth (unless a merger happens to grow). What that means is they have reaped the branch completely, so they will pick a cube near the base of the branch and save it. This “root cube” will be a light purple and the rest of the branch colored will be purple. Sometimes branches that are marked as done might have a mistake on them or an extension may have been missed, remember admins are people too and they make mistakes just like everyone else.
Now onto, cube selection and inspection.
- Try hitting SHIFT and clicking on a cube. It’ll turn white and a cube outline will appear around it. You’ve selected a cube. To unselect the cube hit ESCAPE. Selecting a cube gives you more information, and options. The toolbar will now tell you the cube ID and the number of ancestors and descendants the cube has. Try hitting the Show Descendants button. It should look something like this:
- The Show Descendents button shows all the cubes that were spawned from the selected cube. Likewise Show Ancestors will show all the cubes that lead to the selected cube.
- Now, let’s use the Search Box. To bring back the Search box hit the Escape key (it disappears when you have a cube selected). Try searching for 88097. When you hit the “Jump to” button you’ll be taken right there.
- Now hit the Inspect button, this will take you into the cube, if you’re a Scout you won’t be able to change anything, but you will be able to see what others have done.
The Show Parent button will show you the ancestor of your current cube. The Show Children button will show the descendents of your cube. Try it out.
Now, this is where we’ll start to see a difference between Scouts and Scythes. Since Scythes can edit a cube, their toolbar will contain an option to “Reap” the cube, rather than being able to “Flag” the cube like Scouts.
- Scouts – are only able to inspect cubes, but the cannot edit them. Once you ascend to Scythe level you’ll be able to enter and Reap a cube, just like the GrimReaper. Scouts have the ability to flag a cube for review. To do this Inspect a cube, and then click on the Flag button. In the overview this will turn the cube bright yellow. Be sure to log any cube you flag in the Scouts log, and be sure to state the reason why.
- Scythes – are able to choose a cube to inspect, enter the cube and perform any corrections to errors that may be occurring in the cube. This includes removing or adding branches/nubs, cutting off mergers, finding correct extensions, tracing around AI seed mergers or finding the correct continuation of an AI merger. After performing any corrections, click on the Reap button and submit your changes. Be sure to update the log accordingly with any changes you make to a cube.
The Scout & Scythe Log:
- For now most of the scouting and scything is marked on the Scout & Scythe Log, a Google doc which you will have access to. The scouting is logged by cell name/number. You can do any cell you want to at any time but make sure you use the tabs on the bottom of the doc to switch to the log of the correct cell. If a new cell is posted and there is not yet a scouts log for it, please gently remind the admins at email@example.com and someone will make a new one asap.
- The headings are fairly self-explanatory – you put the Cube ID you’re looking at/working on, your username, choose from the available statuses (explained below) and add any additional comments you feel are needed. The following are a list of possible status selections for the cubes and when to use them. Each has a color associated with them to make it easier to identify what needs attention when scrolling through the log.
- Missing branch – (red) Needs to grow, but you have not grown it.
- Still growing – (red) Is being grown and needs more weight. Also indicates the cube has reached the edge of the current dataset please note in the comments if this is the case, we may need to build more cubes. You know you’ve reached the end of the current dataset when in the overview the side of the cube is red.
- Merger – (red) Merger that can likely be removed by correctly playing the cube and overweighting it
- Need Admin – (yellow) Something here requires the attention of the admin, can’t get enough weight to grow a branch, can’t get enough weight to remove a merger, there is an AI merger, etc. Use the comment section to indicate
- Need Scythe – (orange) Something here needs to be reaped or edited by a Scythe. Use the comment section to indicate what may need to be edited (incorrect branch grown, difficulty finding correct extension due to shift in slides, merger, etc.)
- Good – (green) The cube has enough weight now to grow correctly or the merger has been removed (if the cube has grown mark the ID of the cube that was grown in the comments section. If a merger was removed please mark “merger removed” in comments as well). Basically use this when you are done correcting whatever was wrong, means everything is good in that cube/area now.
- Subtree complete – (purple) This section of the branch is finished, no need to scout it anymore. Only admins mark subtrees as completed.
- Watch – (blue) This looks okay, but keep an eye on this cube/area in case things grow strangely. Use when not 100% positive about a continuation.
Here are some important things to know about the Scout & Scythe Log:
- To put a line break in a cell in google docs double click the cell you want to edit and press ctrl + enter. You can use this to add your name to a task you’ve worked on with someone else.
- If you add a task ID and the cell turns grey that means you have a duplicate. That task is already listed in the task IDs and has already been scouted before. If you have a duplicate task it probably means that task still requires scout attention, look for it in the doc (ctrl+f will bring up a search bar to search the doc) and attend to the task there.
- ALL mergers should still be reported via email to firstname.lastname@example.org however they can be reported here also, sometimes in an effort to remove them and sometime as a heads up to other scythes and scouts. If the merger was player created and can therefore be removed by enough players doing the cube correctly, you should put definitely that merger in here.
- As a scythe especially, you’ll hear a lot about cube weight. In short the weight of a cube is a numerical value used to determine when players get cubes and when something grows from cubes. Normal players and scouts have a weight of 1 and admins have a weight of 1000000. Scythes have a weight of 1 when playing normally. But when a scythe is inspecting and reaps a cube, they have a weight of 2. This additional weight is to aid them in overcoming mergers and correcting errors. If a cube is done well, it needs a weight of 2-3 to grow. For the most part cubes in Mystery cells should only be scouted or grown when the weight is 3 or more. Starburst cells can be scouted or grown at 2 or more.
Thanks Everybody and Happy Scouting!
P. S. Thanks to @a5hm0r and @nkem for donating their time to help create this guide to the Scout’s Log.