Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 105 – Interview with Kestas: webDip’s Facebook friend

Venue: Banc, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Kaner: The Heads lager from Noosa, Queensland and Two Birds pale ale from Victoria

Amby: 2017 Oxhardy Upper Tintara shiraz from the McLaren Vale, South Australia and a GSM from Rhone, France

The guys invite Kestas back onto the show to discuss webDip’s partnering with Facebook. Plus lots of Diplomacy chat, including variants and Kaner’s great game result.

Intro & Diplomacy talk

  • The guys introduce the show, the venue and their drinks (0 mins 15 secs)
  • They reflect on last episode where they misheard what was happening in Ukraine at the time (4 mins)

Interview with Kestas

  • Amby welcomes Kestas back to the show after an absence for 4 years on the podcast. He asks about some of the latest developments at webDip and the artificial intelligence collaboration with academia and Facebook (5 mins)
  • Kaner asks about the system and approach to redacting personal identifiable information (12 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby asks about the technical aspects of how the data is used and what will a player experience as a result (17 mins 30 secs)
  • They touch on the bot games briefly ceasing a year ago before Amby asks about covering costs for the hardware upgrades (21 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby reflects on some discussions he and Kaner had on their Patreon feed about Facebook getting involved in Diplomacy. He goes onto ask about webDip’s admin conversations with Facebook about the intellectual property of the data they had and the nature of commercial considerations (26 mins 20 secs)
  • Amby asks whether Kestas and webDip would’ve taken a different approach if partnering with a military organisation as opposed to a commercial business (34 mins)
  • Amby mentions how he got back into Diplomacy around 2007 thanks to Facebook (43 mins 45 secs)
  • Kestas asks the guys whether they’d prefer for a bot player to take over from a civil disorder position (44 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby talks about how he and Kaner a year ago were testing alliance combinations against webDip’s bots. They discuss how good the bots were. He asks whether there’s been any thinking around different levels of bot competency (49 mins)
  • Kaner asks about whether this has made things too busy for the Mods. Kestas mentions some of the SVG map changes happening as a result of the Facebook partnership (53 mins 15 secs)
  • After putting his foot in his mouth, Amby asks Kestas whether he’s played much since their last interview (56 mins)
  • Kestas mentions his last face to face game back in 2003, and how it gave him the idea of bringing Diplomacy online, and what his family thinks about what Kestas has done (58 mins)
  • Amby tries pitching PoppyCon to Kestas’ dad. Kestas reflects on how Dip has helped players get into coding (1 hr 2 mins)
  • The guys discuss their thoughts on the interview and artificial intelligence. By the way, the Canadian institute in Montreal developing the AI can visit their site at Mila (1 hr 4 mins)
  • They do a “What the Dr Recommended” for the top 25 active players at webDip (1 hr 15 mins 30 secs)

Diplomacy chat & Kaner’s great game

  • They grab some mid-game drinks (1 hr 19 mins)
  • Amby will be attending PoppyCon on 23-24 April, but Kaner can’t make it (1 hr 23 mins)
  • They talk petrol/gas prices (1 hr 25 mins 30 secs)
  • Its only a month or so until the next Australian federal election, which means its almost Democracy Sausage time! (1 hr 29 mins)
  • The guys give a shout out about DixieCon coming up before discussing sausages again (1 hr 31 mins 45 secs)
  • They turn to some variant talk discussing David E. Cohen’s Mandate of Heaven variant that he’s currently refining (1 hr 38 mins 45 secs)
  • Ryan Treanor emailed us about out Baron von Powell interview and asked if his College of Cardinals variant ever made it to an online platform. Amby gives an update from Baron (1 hr 48 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks a question around where can you play Diplomacy currently by email (1 hr 51 mins)
  • They discuss one of Kaner’s game, 36-4-All, has finished in a three way draw with Kaner as the Livonian Order (mauve on the map). Kaner discusses his thinking when deciding not to stab his ally Sweden. Kaner is now officially higher placed in vDip’s Hall of Fame, way above Amby (1 hr 53 mins)

Kaner's drawn position


  • The guys start wrapping up the show and acknowledge the need to get back to a more predictable  release schedule (2 hrs 2 mins)


Just a reminder you can support the show by giving it 5 stars on iTunes or Stitcher. And don’t forget if you want to help pay off the audio equipment… or get the guys more drunk, you can also donate at Patreon, plus you get extra podcast episodes!

Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe so you get the latest Diplomacy Games episodes straight to your phone.

Thanks as always to Dr Dan aka “The General” for his rockin’ intro tune.

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