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In order to garner interest...

Discussion in 'Office of Strategic Influence' started by Acklow, May 26, 2012.

?

Are you interested in playing mafia?

  1. Yes

    58.2%
  2. Maybe

    24.2%
  3. No

    17.6%
  1. Acklow

    Acklow

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    So basically, summer is around the corner. People are finishing up school or already are finished with school. Smogon Mafia is currently dead, and needs proper reviving. As someone who feels committed to helping Smogon Mafia make a comeback, I would like to see how many people are actually willing to play.

    I know that several people are already making/done making games, however putting up signups can be risky since it means we either

    a) Don't get enough players to sign-up for the game due to being busy with other things.

    or

    b) Get an influx of players that want to play.

    If the latter occurs, it is better to stagger sign-ups for games in order to prevent people who are in one game to fill slots in another (unless the slots need to be filled or for other reasons). Assuming there is enough interest in the mafia playerbase (from newbies and veterans alike), I think that the time to start up a few games is coming very close.

    I know that this is a bit of a giant leap coming from myself, but I have been itching to play in/host a mafia game in a long time, and I know that there are at least a few of you out there that actually want to as well.

    Anyways, please post your thoughts or opinions as to what could be done to re-establish Smogon Mafia within the Smogon community.
  2. Zacchaeus

    Zacchaeus
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  3. idiotfrommars

    idiotfrommars schemes and plots are the same thing
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    I've been looking to get into Smogon mafia after playing a fair number of games on the Pokemon Online forum.

    I would definitely be interested in playing in a few games if they were started since summer is going to give me a lot of free time.
  4. Vintage Books

    Vintage Books

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    well its the opposite for me as its now winter for me, but I'd be very keen for some mafia.
  5. vonFiedler

    vonFiedler Visualize It
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    I'm interested in hosting a game should we have enough people.
  6. ginganinja

    ginganinja Dating Haunter
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    considering the my last and only game I hosted was ass I prolly won't host a mafia game in the near future. That said, I still love to play mafia games so im in if we get games up and running
  7. coolking49

    coolking49

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    I haven't played mafia in about a year or so, mostly because of school work. I'd be willing to start playing over the summer, though.

    i think one reason why interest is starting to fade is that games often ending up being the village leader telling everyone what to do, and a couple people in the mafia telling everyone what to do. While it may be the form most conducive to victory, its pretty boring for everyone else. The games in which everyone is forced to participate (the last game I played was the card game, every man for himself one, the name I have since forgotten) are usually expert games, meaning people who weren't experienced or confident enough to be leaders were stuck in a cycle of playing normal mafia, getting bored, and not getting into the interesting ones.

    So while the distinctive style of smogon mafia (2m1v, village leader) is declining, I think that is because of the inherit flaws in the format, namely making it interesting to all parties. That being said, normal NOC mafias are pretty terrible too imo, so while I can't suggest anything specific, I think we need to look at why interest is decreasing before we look at how to increase it again, and solve the underlying problems first.
  8. Blackhawk11

    Blackhawk11 one on one

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    I've been looking to get into mafia for awhile now, and the summer would be a perfect time for me to do it!
  9. Blue_Tornado

    Blue_Tornado

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    Get a group of dedicated players and play. You're golden as long as they're dedicated, no matter the format. Small playerbase or large shouldn't matter.
  10. Acklow

    Acklow

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    I generally do agree with that, but that issue also comes up in multi-faction as well. The thing is that everyone expects someone to step up and lead, so the scumhunt becomes obsolete once there's a leader. This is because the leader can efficiently scumhunt since everyone is putting their money on him to win the game for them.

    A good free-for-all or two could help solve the problem in my opinion. Free-for-alls force people to respond and to work together. That or find a way to prevent a single person from leading any of the factions in traditional 2v1.
  11. Draycos7

    Draycos7

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    I'm willing to play most of the time.
  12. Blue_Tornado

    Blue_Tornado

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    Again, the format of the game shouldn't matter. If people want to -play the game-, they'll find a way to participate despite the existence of leaders and such.

    Did not mention this earlier, but I might be able to host a game as well. If people don't like NOC I guess I can try something else.
  13. jumpluff

    jumpluff princess
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    I've thought about this many times before, and it's immensely difficult to manage for mafia, even if the staff agreed Circus is a valid place for CC (I think it is, but only in theory) to be rewarded in.

    The people I would personally reward -- as a long-time Circus member -- would not be eligible for CC, because the badge isn't awarded for contributions prior to its introduction. I think those of the community who have contributed that much through hosting great games, and hosting them well consistently, haven't contributed a sufficient amount since CC was given. Additionally, a single mafia game can and should take a fair amount of time to create. A big mafia game takes 1-2 months to run. People won't realistically churn games out, so we'd be looking at giving CC for 1-2 games or nobody would have it. But Community Contributor is an activity badge except for those who have been deemed to go 'above and beyond', so how do you know when to strip the badge, given the length of time that can be reasonably expected between people's games? Those who have truly gone above and beyond in Circus took years to do so, and needless to say these special cases occurred before this year.

    There is only one person in Circus I would consider personally to be even remotely in contention for it, in light of the fact that the badge cannot be grandfathered. I've talked about this in the past with other long-time mafia players, including staff, and I believe they agreed with my general concerns. Anyway, I don't see CC happening for Circus.
  14. Exarius

    Exarius

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    An idea pluff: Circus contributor badge (if the badge is so important), given to people that have hosted big (as in, games that changed how we played) or otherwise been important in the mafia scene?

    As for the topic of the thread: I might be interesting. However, I might be more interested in the hosting end, especially during the game, although won't scoff at a chance to get into mafia again.
  15. jumpluff

    jumpluff princess
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    Circus badge by itself would never, ever happen. CC is the closest thing we'd get but it's never going to happen for the people who would have deserved a badge for their extended and sustained contribution to mafia. To be honest, people should be playing and hosting mafia because it's fun, not for a badge, though maybe a badge would encourage some people to up the quality ._. The lack of an interest is just a normal thing imo, though I did vote maybe because I would play a game if it looked promising.

    I think we need hosts more than we need players, except for bigs; it's just that the community has become so small that we need the fresh blood to play so they can also host games, because I think everyone has either put their idea for a mafia game on the procrastination shelf or hosted themselves out of ideas that will ever come to fruition.
  16. Walrein

    Walrein

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    I have so many half-finished ideas sitting in google docs it's not even funny.

    I do agree that we need to up the community size and the quality of the games hosted if we want to pull smafia out of this rut it's fallen into.
  17. Blue_Tornado

    Blue_Tornado

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    We're not lacking in players or in hosts. We're not lacking in ideas, either. The problem as I see it is that games are stale and/or boring lately, not necessarily because the games are bad but because the playerbase in its majority has lost interest in them.

    This is why 'upping the community size' isn't a requirement, neither is installing a prod badge for 'contribution'. All we need is a group of people that are in that "let's play a mafia game" mood. If this leads us to making a game only once per few months, or once a year, so be it, as those games will be the functional mafia games we're hoping for.

    Of course, if we DO have a constant, sizable group of players that are into it, the community will revive, and it'll happen without any fancy, revolutionary ideas.

    Aaaand because there are enough people voting 'Yes' in that poll thingy at the top of the thread, someone can start a game and it should be mildly successful at the very least. Who's the volunteer?
  18. Gmax

    Gmax kuahahahaha
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    I don't know how to put this really, but I'd say one of the major problems is that there isn't a really mafia community that's there at the moment. When Smogon mafia started out, there was like this core bunch of people who'd always play every game, but it wasn't just that, they'd also hang outside of mafia. They were friends outside of mafia etc as well, which is what made it more fun for them to play the game. This is before we had CM, so it was mostly the Firebot crowd, which was basically #smogon folks. It was like there was always a bunch of ~20 people who knew each other pretty well who were signing up for every game, hosting new ones, and coming up with new ideas. Eventually some of those people stopped playing, but new guys kept becoming part of the core community that was responsible for actively playing and making games with new concepts and moving mafia forward. Now the trouble is that there's been a mass exodus of sorts because of life etc. There isn't really much of a core community anymore. Sure there are people who've played some mafia and know each other, but it's more fragmented now than it used to be, and the numbers are fewer as well.

    The onus is on today's CM guys to keep mafia alive. If you guys are so interested in playing mafia, then DO something about it. Make games. Garner interest. Also, PLAY. Something I've observed is that as mafia has developed, it's become a lot more organised and restricted in some ways. Village leaders bark out orders, villagers take them, and shut up. In the mafia groups as well, everything is controlled by 2-3 people who do everything, and the rest of the people just sit around sending in PMs. Play the goddamned game, take interest in it, talk to the team leaders or whatever. Don't just sit there. It's like everyone's content with being a pawn, and no one wants to have a say in what's done. No one's going to let you have any level of control until you show that you deserve it. At least try to participate in team discussions, stay updated and give suggestions. There's also an issue with people who lead teams who promote this kind of stuff. Really, if you keep people involved, they WILL get bett0er (unless it's like RODAN or someone) and that benefits the mafia community as a whole. You've got to trust your team.

    Another issue is the lack of big games from the newer folks. Seriously, aside from Yeti (whose game was not exactly very well done, but her hand was forced in many ways I guess lol) I don't think anyone who started playing after 2008 or 9 has attempted to make a big game. Big games are on an entirely different level from small games. Once your team gets going, and you have a group of individuals to talk to, they're a ton of fun. If you've played a few big games, you'll understand. However, creating, balancing and hosting a big game is more challenging than making a small game. I guess that intimidates people somewhat. I'm not sure if the current CM crowd is even sufficient to sustain a big game. But big games were really the heart and soul of Smogon mafia, the form that shaped them, and the form that's been most important throughout. You guys really ought to try and host some at some point.

    The main problem I guess is that there aren't as many people interested in mafia as there used to be. Otherwise more people would be taking some initiative when it comes to making games and playing them. It's unfortunate for the Circus that today's existing communities aren't interested in mafia, unlike the communities of a few years ago, when mafia was developing/at its peak. Playing mafia with your buddies is a ton more fun, just like most other games, and if you have a set of buddies big enough to sustain games by themselves, that's a pretty huge bonus. That's how it used to be. That's not how it is any longer. Ah well...

    I'm done ranting, sorry if I came off as condescending or elitist at any point, I didn't mean to! I also apologise for pointing out a lot of problems without offering any real solutions. Good luck!
  19. Walrein

    Walrein

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    I have a 15 player game that's almost finished (just gotta finish role PMs and get approval), so stay tuned.
  20. vonFiedler

    vonFiedler Visualize It
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    To my knowledge the Metroidvania formula never really got expanded on, even though it was easily my most successful game from a social engineering standpoint. What people seemed to take from it was the 3 faction part, which wasn't the highlight.

    While some of the individual ANDs and ORs weren't balanced, on the whole it led to a game where every player had a personal stake. In the Belmont team had a strong leader that took input from others. The Space Pirates was much more of a team effort with everyone giving input, but this didn't stop one of them from backstabbing them to victory. The Castlevania team had Spiffy declare himself leader very quickly, only to suffer mutiny. In the end two Castlevanians had the choice of either taking a selfish victory, or winning the game for their team. A FEW players were downright inactive of course, but every other single player put a lot of effort into the game.

    Perhaps future versions could have players with both an AND and an OR (as no matter how hard ORs were to achieve, they were always better). This requires some brainstorming as to what these conditions could be. But the test model for this system worked perfectly.
  21. Aura Guardian

    Aura Guardian

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    You forgot to mention one of the neutrals (me) betraying every team in a couple-hour (IIRC) interval one cycle.

    Anyway, I'm working on a multifaction game, and *hope* to have it done soonish...
  22. billymills

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    I'm going to assert a few short things:

    We have enough players, we have plenty of interest, but we don't have enough strong games.

    I would be willing to approve any game of any size, but I would strongly encourage shorter, smaller games ~12-18 people. For larger games, aim for more open-themed games.

    CC badge does apply to Circus, but it will only be handed out on a hosting basis (not limited to mafia games btw). Pluff has already dealt with the details of the badge.
  23. Bass

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    I think pretty much everything that needs to have been said was stated by Gmax, though really if I were to put the problem into one word, it would be "passion".

    You see, I do agree that there really hasn't been a slew of memorable games, and that many innovators of this community have lost interest in mafia. But having an interesting idea isn't enough. The hosts really need to be passionate about the game they are hosting, and really loving what they are doing. BIG SANDS (which will soon live in infamy as the new title holder of "game that must not be named") is a recent example of a game that was absolute shit because the host put very little energy into making it and running it. And the feeling is mutual. The more effort a host puts into their game, the more effort you can expect from the players in return.

    There is no better indicator of passion though than the postgame analysis. In fact, it seems like many recent games have been lacking postgames at all. To me, this is an alarming trend. A timely and well written postgame is a sign of a game that could be called a "labor of love", so to speak. Not only does it allow the players to see the game from the host's perspective, but also a good self-evaluation tool. Thus, I believe even hosts who made games that turned out to be absolute shit should at least write a quality postgame. You might be surprised, but it is something that is incredibly helpful in improving your own games in the future, and that is something today's hosts need to consider. I know that when I designed the tasks in cereal, I reflected heavily on its predecessor, and as a matter of fact the postgame that I wrote for that turned out to be a valuable asset. I know that when I am finally finished hosting it, I will be sure to have a lengthy postgame written up shortly afterwards, and will be sure to refer to it when the time comes for me to host again.
  24. smashlloyd20

    smashlloyd20

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    Me and Cereza are making a Naruto mafia atm. Stay tuned I guess?

    EDIT: Okay I really really wanted to write a postgame for AW Mafia...but there's honestly no point. Everybody knows that IDS got stupidly lucky and won...that's it. The entire postgame would be 'X member of hidden faction moled X village faction...repeat until game end'. Just a disclaimer.
  25. Bass

    Bass Brother in arms
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    The point of a postgame though isn't just to summarize the game. You should also be asking yourself "why". Why you made the design decisions you made as a host, as well as why you think the players took the actions they took.

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