Romance of the Three Kingdoms Online Quiz

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Romance of the Three Kingdoms Online Quiz

Unread postby James » Sat Jul 10, 2004 5:07 am

Heya guys,

I’ve decided to take on a pretty large (but fun) project for KMA. Basically, it will be a quiz based off a large database of questions. People would register a username, then use that account to take the quiz on one of three difficulty levels. Their high scores would be saved in their account, and the best overall high scores would be displayed for everyone. If they beat a high score for a certain difficulty, their account high score would be updated. Both accuracy and speed would be factored in when determining the final score.

The project is already well under development (in fact, the quiz functionality is nearly complete). There’s a few small bugs to work out and some testing to do, and the task of linking it all to a database, automating the addition of questions, and creating the interface all remain to be done, but it could be around sooner than later.

Why post now?

I need questions of course! The more people who send questions my way, the more variety there will be to the test (e.g. the ‘easy’ difficulty may contain over a hundred questions, but only twenty will be offered on any given run of the test).

Easy questions should be things that someone who is fairly familiar with the novel and reading at KMA should have a decent chance of knowing, but nothing too easy. Naming Sima Yi’s two powerful children (Sima Zhao and Sima Shi) might be one, but it will not be something like “What is the name of Guan Yu’s sword?”

Moderate questions will be things that require some pretty specific knowledge and experience. The sort of stuff that most people would have to look up, and may include items that are very find to hard on the Internet, but that an alert person would have picked up on their way through the book. This could include something like picking the correct list of the 10 regular attendants, or knowing who the five Wu ‘tigers’ were (what were they called, the Tigers of Jiang Dong? I forget…)

Advanced questions are the sort of thing that would be a challenge for even people like Lady Wu, Great Deer (Transformer A), Han Xin, Cai Yan (Transformer B), Mengdez New Book, etc (all our good old knows-all-sorts-of-stuff friends). Feel free to go all out on these ones, but at least make them possible to learn. This should be a chance for people who have been enjoying the era their whole lives to stumble across questions they don’t know the answer to so they can look them up and learn.

Why do it? Because it would be fun to inspire people to learn more about the era, and one of the best ways to pull that off is with some friendly competition. :)

Submitting (Automated): You can use the form below to submit questions for the quiz. It automates the process and sends it directly to my email under the proper subject so it isn't lost in the inbox.

Quiz Submission Form

Submitting (Manually): You can also complete a submission or submissions manually. If so, please use the template below and send it/them to me using the form at http://kongming.net/email/ (please do your best to word questions and answers so they are as clear as possible, I’m fully expecting to see many questions I do not know the answer to at all).

_DIFFICULTY[Easy, Moderate, Advanced]
_QUESTION_NAME[Type out question]
_QUESTION_ANSWER[a, b, c, d, e, f]
_QUESTION_CHOICE_A[First of six multiple choice answers]
_QUESTION_CHOICE_B[Second of six multiple choice answers]
_QUESTION_CHOICE_C[Third of six multiple choice answers]
_QUESTION_CHOICE_D[Fourth of six multiple choice answers]
_QUESTION_CHOICE_E[Fifth of six multiple choice answers]
_QUESTION_CHOICE_F[Sixth of six multiple choice answers]

Make the subject line something like ‘Three Kingdoms Quiz’.

Here’s an example:

Easy
Who were the Five Tiger Generals of Shu?
e
Zhuge Liang, Zhao Yun, Pang Tong, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei
Guan Yu, Zhao Yun, Zhang Fei, Liu Bei, Ma Chao
Zhao Yun, Zhuge Liang, Ma Chao, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei
Huang Zhong, Guan Yu, Zhao Yun, Zhang Fei, Wei Yan
Zhang Fei, Huang Zhong, Zhao Yun, Ma Chao, Guan Yu
Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun, Ma Chao, Wei Yan


- - - - -

Please feel free to use this thread to discuss the idea itself, related ideas to improve it, suggestions, and also, I don’t mind if you toss around your ideas for questions in this thread if you’d like feedback, just don’t post the question answers publicly here or it might disqualify them from the quiz (nice to make them look at least a little).
Last edited by James on Sun Jul 11, 2004 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Zhou Gongjin » Sat Jul 10, 2004 5:52 am

Well, you stole my old idea and actually made something nice out of it. I still have all the questions to the original RTK quiz that I started two years ago, so I'd be happy to help out.
I just have one question about the Advanced questions. Are they based on fact or are they in somehow related to speculation? Like would they be questions like: "Where was Zhou Yu when Lu Su took Zhuge Liang to see Sun Quan? [SGZ]" or something different like "Was Sun Quan being fair when he told Lu Meng that he regretted listening to Lu Su about Liu Bei?" I think that definition would need some clarification.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sat Jul 10, 2004 7:24 am

Sounds like fun! Count me in! I don't know where the Transformers went, but I'm happy to proofread the questions and answers if you care to send them my way--I don't have dependable internet access, but this is something I can download, print, and read during this incredibly long travelling to fieldwork sites.

Zhou Gongjin wrote:I just have one question about the Advanced questions. Are they based on fact or are they in somehow related to speculation? Like would they be questions like: "Where was Zhou Yu when Lu Su took Zhuge Liang to see Sun Quan? [SGZ]" or something different like "Was Sun Quan being fair when he told Lu Meng that he regretted listening to Lu Su about Liu Bei?" I think that definition would need some clarification.

The answers would all have to be factually-based. Questions like "Why did Sun Quan attack Jingzhou?" are not good questions, since depending on your views, anything from "Sun Quan was a loser" to "Liu Bei was a loser" are legitimate answers. :pika: A better question would be "What reason did Sun Quan cite when he declared war on Liu Bei?" (well, he didn't cite any reasons, nor did he overtly declare war; I'm too tired to think of a real question relating to Jing, heh) All the answers should be able to be backed up by a passage from the novel or SGZ (which would help with the "adjudicators'" review of the questions).

Which raises another point: Should the questions be historically-based or novel-based? Should we allow questions that pertain to the 3k culture rather than to the novel/historical account? The "5 tigers of Wu", for example, is neither a term in the novel nor in history, but somehow it seems that everyone knows who they are. Old Duke of Goats (Eric Cartman on 3k.net) posted a quiz in ye olde days (do we have a copy of that still in SGYYS?), but many of the questions require knowledge of RTK-related Chinese operas, and there's one question ("what is the first chapter Zhuge Liang was mentioned in?") whose "correct answer" is based on the Tongsu (i.e. pre-Mao Lun/Zonggang edition), which very few of us have access to.

Incidentally, there's a little program out there in Chinese that has quite a huge database of RTK multiple choice questions. sanguogame.net and cne3online.com both used to have links to it, but both sites seem to be down these days--anyone know anything about it?

BTW, I actually can't name the 10 Regular Attendants off the top of my head--the RTK version, of course. :P
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Unread postby Kong Wen » Sat Jul 10, 2004 7:41 am

I would like to see a novel-based quiz, because that is what most people have access to, and arguably what most people are interested in. It's also easier to dig up "facts" because the entire thing is translated into English, whereas only some parts of SGZ are translated.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sat Jul 10, 2004 8:01 am

However, if we do it to the lowest denominator, we'd have to not include questions regarding the poems in the English translation, too, since most of the poems are not in the standard Mao-edited Chinese versions.

PS: Oh oh oh, is it possible to make "historical questions" a settable parameter? If part of the point of the quiz is to make people aware of more RTK-related stuff and make them go look stuff up, we shouldn't discount historical questions altogether (though we can make sure that the answers can be found somewhere in English). However, there would be people who don't want to deal with the historical questions (most people haven't read--or even been made aware of--a separate historical tradition of RTK), and it only makes sense to accommodate them as well.

I vote we don't include game-based questions.


PPS: I'm tired and braindead. What I meant by "settable parameter" is that prior to taking the quiz, people can click something which translates into the filtering out of all historical questions in the set of questions in which the randomizer picks questions.
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Unread postby Kong Wen » Sat Jul 10, 2004 8:08 am

I agree with the no-game-based-questions idea. I think it would be great to be able to check a box to "Include Historical Questions" or something. That way their quiz would contain historical questions, but not be limited to them (but the default option for the quiz would simply be novel-based).

Simuladywu Edit: Like Lady Wu said, only in reverse.
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Unread postby James » Sat Jul 10, 2004 5:43 pm

Zhou Gongjin wrote:I just have one question about the Advanced questions. Are they based on fact or are they in somehow related to speculation? Like would they be questions like: "Where was Zhou Yu when Lu Su took Zhuge Liang to see Sun Quan? [SGZ]" or something different like "Was Sun Quan being fair when he told Lu Meng that he regretted listening to Lu Su about Liu Bei?" I think that definition would need some clarification.

It’s basically just as Lady Wu said above. Since the whole test will be multiple choice, with a minimum of six options, every question must have a clear answer that isn’t open to debate. There are of course many more options that can be brought out in the presentation of the question though, and I’ll elaborate on that below.

Lady Wu wrote:Sounds like fun! Count me in! I don't know where the Transformers went, but I'm happy to proofread the questions and answers if you care to send them my way--I don't have dependable internet access, but this is something I can download, print, and read during this incredibly long travelling to fieldwork sites.

Sounds wonderful. What do you have in mind for proof reading? I figure most people wouldn’t want to see too much of the quiz so they can actually be ambushed by it while taking it. I’m trying to organize it in such a way that assembling a cheating guide for it would be nearly impossible to do well (everything is random, including the order in which the answers are listed). Including a large database of questions would prevent the test from being invalidated by seeing the answers shared inside forums by people who were inspired to learn about it. I’m trying to make it something to inspire knowledge, not hide it. :)

Would you like to see questions, questions and options, or are you more thinking of submissions that I’m not sure of myself (I remember seeing plenty of things like this in the various quizzes I’ve come across in the past).

Lady Wu wrote:"What reason did Sun Quan cite when he declared war on Liu Bei?" (well, he didn't cite any reasons, nor did he overtly declare war; I'm too tired to think of a real question relating to Jing, heh)

We can also use the infamous ‘none of the above’ from time to time, as long as it is never an escape from effort. Hehe…

Lady Wu wrote:Which raises another point: Should the questions be historically-based or novel-based? Should we allow questions that pertain to the 3k culture rather than to the novel/historical account? The "5 tigers of Wu", for example, is neither a term in the novel nor in history, but somehow it seems that everyone knows who they are. Old Duke of Goats (Eric Cartman on 3k.net) posted a quiz in ye olde days (do we have a copy of that still in SGYYS?), but many of the questions require knowledge of RTK-related Chinese operas, and there's one question ("what is the first chapter Zhuge Liang was mentioned in?") whose "correct answer" is based on the Tongsu (i.e. pre-Mao Lun/Zonggang edition), which very few of us have access to.

I am personally thinking of a mix. The easy category would not include anything that wouldn’t be accessible in the novel or without an introductory knowledge of discussing the topic at a forum like SoSZ, 3K.net, SOC, etc. Moderate questions would be free reign to things like historical differences between the novel and SGYY (e.g. “In history, who actually killed Wen Chou?”). As for advanced questions, I’d be happy to see them very hard as long as there is a means of learning the answer available to people who speak English, including research in a forum or searching on the Internet. Obscure questions are okay as long as there is a balance, this is a category I don’t really expect to see perfect scores in (in fact, only true die hard scholars should be pulling that off in this category without spending a lot of time moving through the test).

Lady Wu wrote:Incidentally, there's a little program out there in Chinese that has quite a huge database of RTK multiple choice questions. sanguogame.net and cne3online.com both used to have links to it, but both sites seem to be down these days--anyone know anything about it?

That would be awesome to find. I’d gladly pilfer the contents!

Lady Wu wrote:BTW, I actually can't name the 10 Regular Attendants off the top of my head--the RTK version, of course. :P

Neither can I! Questions like that would be made easier by having the multiple choice answers shown though. Having to list them all into text fields would be much more difficult (and would open up the doors for spelling issues, and Wade-Giles vs. Pinyin.

Kong Wen wrote:I would like to see a novel-based quiz, because that is what most people have access to, and arguably what most people are interested in. It's also easier to dig up "facts" because the entire thing is translated into English, whereas only some parts of SGZ are translated.

What I envision:
Easy: Novel based; commonly known history.
Moderate: Obscure or difficult novel; reasonable history knowledge.
Hard: Difficult novel (hard to simply look up), but still fun to learn and relevant (no page numbers, etc, must be dynamic); Difficult history or cultural, but still possible to learn.

Lady Wu wrote:However, if we do it to the lowest denominator, we'd have to not include questions regarding the poems in the English translation, too, since most of the poems are not in the standard Mao-edited Chinese versions.

We can include things from the two major English translations of the novel. We don’t have to make them things everyone knows, otherwise we’ll fail in aspects of inspiring learning, no? There should be enough variety involved that everyone encounters a few real challenges in any given test. This will balance out in the end, and people with a more universal knowledge will come out ahead. We should focus on English though, since KMA has a pretty considerable English demographic (though by comparison, it has a pretty high Chinese, Japanese, Korean demographic as well).

Lady Wu wrote: PS: Oh oh oh, is it possible to make "historical questions" a settable parameter? If part of the point of the quiz is to make people aware of more RTK-related stuff and make them go look stuff up, we shouldn't discount historical questions altogether (though we can make sure that the answers can be found somewhere in English). However, there would be people who don't want to deal with the historical questions (most people haven't read--or even been made aware of--a separate historical tradition of RTK), and it only makes sense to accommodate them as well.

I vote we don't include game-based questions.

It could be possible to make that a settable parameter, filtering out non-historical questions, but in honesty, do we really want to do that? I personally wonder if that would offer a difficulty rift, and reduce the learning incentive. Maybe historical questions should instead be placed on a gradient against the knowledge of the average fan of the novel (e.g. an ‘easier’ history question ranks higher than an ‘easier’ novel question, because less people know the history at all).

Kong Wen wrote:I agree with the no-game-based-questions idea. I think it would be great to be able to check a box to "Include Historical Questions" or something. That way their quiz would contain historical questions, but not be limited to them (but the default option for the quiz would simply be novel-based).

It is definitely worth considering. And yeah, I agree that game-specific knowledge is not going to be a part of the quiz, unless I added a whole new tier specifically for game knowledge.

- - - - -

As for what I mentioned at the top, it would be possible to divide the nature of answers through the wording of the question. A novel question could easily be identified by reference to the novel in the title, and where relevant (perhaps in higher difficulties) versions could be specified (I can think of a few cases where that might be appropriate). Specific reference can also be made to Pei Songzhi’s notes, SGZ, etc. It all comes down to how good a job we do at categorizing the questions.
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Unread postby KingofWei&Wu » Sat Jul 10, 2004 6:50 pm

James wrote:Moderate questions will be things that require some pretty specific knowledge and experience. The sort of stuff that most people would have to look up, and may include items that are very find to hard on the Internet, but that an alert person would have picked up on their way through the book. This could include something like picking the correct list of the 10 regular attendants, or knowing who the five Wu ‘tigers’ were (what were they called, the Tigers of Jiang Dong? I forget…)


Sun Jian was known as the Tiger of Jiang Dong, I can't remember Wu having five tiger generals, they had those seven that were always grouped together, :oops: Zhou Tai, Han Dang, Xu Sheng, Ding Feng, Cheng Pu, Jiang Qin, and..... I think Pan Zhang.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sat Jul 10, 2004 11:33 pm

James--I was thinking that you could send questions over whose answers you're not sure about. I don't doubt your proofreading abilities--what I had in mind was more like validating the answers.

If you can set up a submission form, that'd be awesome. I'm jist a bit too lazy to type and format everything by hand. :P
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Unread postby James » Sat Jul 10, 2004 11:53 pm

Lady Wu wrote:If you can set up a submission form, that'd be awesome. I'm jist a bit too lazy to type and format everything by hand. :P

It is just a quick step away now. I already finished writing a tool that processes the questions into a format for storage, which means I’ve already got the interface for the submission form too!
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